Upon opening in 2008, SeaWorld's third waterpark in the country, Aquatica Orlando, was an immediate success. With a wide array of attractions for all ages and swimming abilities, including two wild wave pools, and an 80,000-square-foot white sand beach, it's not hard to see why. Oh, and did we mention the numerous marine animals that you can practically swim alongside? Everything you need to know about Aquatica's great water slides, lazy rivers, Quick Queue, dining options and even a few FAQs — it's right here in this all-inclusive guide. Ready to get soaked? Let's hop to it, then!
Aquatica Orlando Overview and Theming
Kia Ora, froggies! Welcome to Aquatica Orlando, the premier water park for animal lovers and thrill-seekers alike. Nowhere else in Orlando can you come face-to-fin with a number of beautiful aquatic creatures while hopping on epic water slides. Here, you'll find speedy body slides, radical racers, walls just waiting to be scaled and rivers both relaxing and roaring, as well as several play areas that are tailor-made for tadpoles of all ages!
When you're here, you're immersed in the influences of the South Pacific and welcomed by Australian and New Zealand-based mascots including Roa (a kiwi), Kata (a kookaburra), Wai (a Commerson's dolphin), Ihu (a gecko), Papa (a royal spoonbill), Wae Wae (a takahe) and Motu (a turtle). Let the flora and fauna of these breathtaking countries sweep you away to Pacific paradise.
Aquatica Orlando Parking
Parking is $30 for cars and motorcycles and $40 for both RVs and Preferred parking. You can pre-pay for parking by purchasing a pass for $30 on the Aquatica website — although it may vary based on day and seasonality. Parking tickets are only valid for general parking for one car or motorcycle on one operating day. Tickets can be upgraded to Preferred parking for only $10 at the toll booth. Just keep in mind that Preferred parking is subject to availability.
Aquatica Orlando Tickets and Add-Ons
Save some green and purchase your tickets through Undercover Tourist! You even have the option to save money by purchasing a ticket solely for a weekday or splurge a little bit by adding on All-Day Dining — an amazingly convenient upgrade that allows you and your frog squad to eat and drink all day as often as once every 90 minutes.
Want to get up close with the beautiful Commerson's dolphins that call Aquatica home? Purchase the Commerson's Close-Up tour, a one-of-a-kind experience hosted by zoological experts that allows you to spend time viewing and interacting with the playful dolphins while you learn about their diet preparations and life support systems! Tadpoles must be at least 6 years old to participate.
Aquatica Orlando Slides and Pools
Aquatica is the only water park in Orlando where you can have thrilling wet and wild fun alongside some of the ocean's most magnificent creatures. It's also the perfect place to relax whether on the sandy beaches or the serene lazy river.
- Reef Plunge: This exhilarating all-new water slide sends frogs splashing, twisting and turning through 330 feet of eye-catching translucent cutouts and rings before dropping them into a vibrant marine habitat filled with Commerson's dolphins, leopard sharks, sardines and other cold-water fish. Make sure to keep your eyes open!
- Riptide Race: Welcome to the world's tallest dueling racer. This adrenaline-pumping waterslide pits teams against each other in a fast-paced, high-speed splash to the finish line. Be prepared to climb up the 68-foot tower before racing down this 650-foot slide — complete with low walls to keep an eye on your opponent(s) on the way down.
- KareKare Curl: Surf's up! Inspired by KareKare Beach in Auckland, New Zealand (one of the most popular surf spots in the world), this 361-foot slide sends frogs down a tunnel 50 feet up before catapulting them up a 35-foot wall where they'll experience a brief moment of utter weightlessness ... and back down again. Hang ten? More like, hang on tight!
- Ray Rush: This brand-new family raft ride triples the fun with three frogciting wet and wild features! This slide begins with an epic launch that sends you into a colossal water sphere for a spin before spitting you out into giant manta wings where you'll swoop up and down a different path each time.
- Cutback Cove & Big Surf Shores: Nowhere else in the country will you find two giant side-by-side wave pools! Head on over to Cutback Cove where the waves are always rolling and the action's always high or take a dip in Big Surf Shores where the surf can either be big and high or slow and easy.
- Ihu's Breakaway Falls: Are you brave enough to brace this free-fall? Named after the park's colorful gecko who searches for the biggest thrills, sharpest hills and coolest spills, Ihu's Breakaway Falls is the steepest multi-drop tower slide of its kind in Orlando. Cross your arms and legs and don't froget to breathe. You never know who's going to fall first.
- Kata's Kookaburra Cove: Named for the Australian bird famous for its contagious laugh, this family play area is perfect for frogs of all ages! Here, you'll find a beginner's body slide, water spouts and other kooky rides that make this the coolest place to be in the park for tadpoles and parents alike.
- Loggerhead Lane: Grab a tube and take a load off. This lazy river takes you on a leisurely ride where you'll pass under sprinklers and waterfalls and by those gorgeous Commerson's dolphins and a tank filled with exotic tropical fish. Loggerhead Lane is a perfect escape to cool off webbed feet when the pavement gets a little too hot.
- Omaka Rocka: Let the waves guide you. This single-rider slide speeds frogs down flumes into massive tunnels where they'll slide high up one side and then the other — over and over and over again. Watch out for the surprise water pouring down on you at almost every turn.
- Roa's Rapids: Strap on a life vest and hop in. These racing rapids rush you along a high-energy river through wild white waters. Get ready for high tides, swirling whirlies and gushing geysers. This river has two different openings so you can head out early to get to more rides or stay in for as many rounds as you want!
- Tassie's Twisters: Prepare to shoot down a tube at lightning speeds and be plunged into a giant bowl where you'll spin around ... and around .... and around ... before being dropped back out into the lazy river. Don't try to control the direction of your tube. The bowl will do as it will — which could very well mean spitting you out backward!
- Taumata Racer: On your mark, get set, go! It's a race to the finish at this extreme thrill ride where you'll compete against seven other racers down a staggeringly steep hill, head first on a mat. Climb up with your frog squad and see who clocks the fastest time. Loser has to buy shaved ice for everyone!
- Walhalla Wave: This family thrill ride will send you and up to three other frogs zooming through a six-story maze of twists, turns and pitch-black tunnels before bursting you back into the sunlight. This ride is on the same tower as Ray Rush so be sure you know which line you're hopping into as it can handle fewer riders but does have a shorter height requirement.
- Walkabout Waters: Covering a full 15,000 square feet and towering 60 feet tall, this whimsical rain fortress is bursting with color, excitement and adventures waiting to begin. The premier spot for tadpoles to play at Aquatica, there's something for everyone at this frog-favorite attraction!
- Whanau Way: Team up with a fellow frog or go solo on this raft ride adventure! Located under the shadow of Omaka Rocka and directly across from the two gnarly wave pools, this slide tower features four distinct high-speed experiences so be sure to try them all. Which color are you hopping on first?
Our Top Aquatica Orlando Tips
Keep reading to get familiar with our top tips and advice that you can use to have a relaxing day at Aquatica!
- Keep your hands free and your belongings stored safely all day with a Cashless Wristband. Head to any ticket booth, Guest Relations or the Information & Reservations Counter and sign up with cash or a credit card to receive your wristband. Then scan it at any shop or restaurant to make a purchase. Quick and easy!
- If getting on as many rides as possible — particularly the thrill ones — is your main priority, arrive ahead of park opening. When we visited in June, Reef Plunge and KareKare Curl by far had the longest wait times mid-day, so we'd recommend hitting up either of those first. That being said, Walhalla Wave was pretty much a walk-on at park open, as were Whanau Way and Tassie's Twisters at park close.
- Only send one frog in your party to your locker at a time. The locker areas can be small and get crowded really easily — especially at the beginning and end of the day.
- When we visited, everyone rushed to the main lockers across from Kiwi Traders. Head further back to find other locker areas that are less congested. The one across from Adaptations looked particularly deserted first thing in the morning.
- Another benefit of arriving before the park opens is having the first pick of lounge chairs. You won't actually be let into those areas until the official park opening time, but chairs will be ripe for the taking if you're one of the first ones in the park. Aquatica Orlando has great seating around the rides and attractions. If you have younger children, you might want to park it at the tadpole-friendly, smaller Kata's Kookaburra Cove pool. For older children or adults, you can't go wrong with the beachfront chairs near Cutback Cove and Big Surf Shores.
- Be sure to stay hydrated! If you find yourself on one of those long lines in the mid-day heat, your throat can dry up really fast. Mommy Frog started to feel pretty parched halfway up the tower to KareKare Curl. Water fountains are available around the park near the restrooms.
- Be prepared if you have a fear of heights AND claustrophobia. The slide towers are very tall and those body slides — especially Ihu's Breakaway Falls — can feel very confined.
- Aquatica Orlando does not provide any free towels, so be sure to bring your own if you do not want to rent them.
- We highly suggest walking around with your flip-flops or water shoes on because the sidewalks can get very hot! At the entrance of the water slides, there is a place to put your shoes, hats, sunglasses or other belongings while you ride. (However, note that on rides such as Reef Plunge, the pathway up to the ride can also be quite hot so be prepared. Everyone was either standing along the edge of the pathway in the narrowly shaded areas or on the roped sides of the bridge over the lazy river.) While there are sprinklers along some of the walkways to cool down hot feet and/or get the sand off, they are few and far between.
Aquatica Orlando Restaurants and Dining
From American favorites to international flavors, there are several different dining options located around Aquatica that are perfect for the entire family. Grab something quick and bring it back to your lounge chair or sit down for a relaxing mid-day meal. The best part: mobile ordering is available at certain dining locations through the official Aquatica app so you don't need to spend time waiting in line. The restaurant will text you to let you know when your food is ready!
- Papa's Cantina: Enjoy a variety of fresh empanadas and boneless wings — complete with delicious sauce flavors — at this brand-new cantina next to Motu's Beach Bar
- Mango Market: Choose from sandwiches, salads, snacks, sweet treats and more at this grab-and-go market located next to Kata's Kookaburra Cove.
- Waterstone Grill: Chow down on burger, fish and chicken dishes, as well as some delicious desserts, at this grill located near the park entrance across from Kiwi Traders.
- Ke-Re's Bar: Cool off with frozen favorites, prepared specialty cocktails and a wide range of beers, wines and seltzers at this bar located next to Riptide Race.
- Kiwi Market: Stop by and pick up some Cheetos, churros and chips or a Chameleon cold brew at this market located across from Waterstone Grill and Kiwi Traders.
- Motu's Beach Bar: Enjoy a full-service bar featuring a wide variety of frozen daiquiris, draft beer and more at this bar located across from Kiwi Traders and Waterstone Grill.
- Banana Beach Cookout (Open Seasonally): Savor BBQ favorites such as ribs, chicken salad, burgers, pulled pork and more at this restaurant located next to Loggerhead Lane.
Aquatica Orlando Cabanas, Premium Seating, Quick Queue & More
Premium Seating and Cabanas
If you just want to spend the day relaxing in an island paradise, consider splurging on these awesome upgrades that will make your worries float away.
Opt for Premium Seating Loungers for access to two loungers with a shaded canopy — which can truly make all the difference on days when the hot Florida sun is beaming down. There's one secluded grassy area underneath KareKare Curl with views of Cutback Cove that starts at $45 per set of loungers and another area on the sandy beach near the Big Surf wave pool that starts at $39. Loungers don't participate in cabana culinary delivery and are non-refundable due to weather, ride closures or early park closures. No more than two adults are allowed per lounger set.
Enjoy your own private hideaway with one of the many cabana rentals available at Aquatica. These come in a variety of sizes and locations throughout the park. Each cabana includes rental towels, a locker, a ceiling fan, a refrigerator stocked with 12 complimentary bottles of water, 20 percent off merchandise and in-cabana food and beverage service. If you have tadpoles, you may want to consider the cabanas near Walkabout Waters. If you want a prime spot near the side-by-side wave pools for all-day waves, opt for the Beach Front Cabanas. If you want some quiet away from the crowds, choose one exclusively located on Roa's Rapids Island.
If you really want to splurge, there are four other cabanas available per day that offer a few extra benefits. Grab one of two Premium Cabanas on a private island between the two wave pools that features upgraded furniture. If you need more room, purchase the Roa's Rapids Family Cabana which is centrally located on Roa's Rapids Island and features a picnic-style table and additional loungers or the Ultimate Cabana located on the aforementioned private island which features upgraded furniture, a dining table for six, a second cabana with a couch, a coffee table and additional seating. Both of those also provide four extra complimentary bottles of water and can accommodate up to 10 frogs.
Aquatica Orlando Quick Queue
Water park visitors also have the option of purchasing Quick Queue Unlimited, which can drastically decrease the time you spend waiting in line for the park's most popular rides. There's also the option to purchase Quick Queue Unlimited Plus which grants frogs a one-time priority ride on both Walhalla Wave and Ray Rush!
Three self-service ALL-DAY locker rental areas are located around the park (by Ihu's Breakaway Falls next to Kata's Kookaburra Cove, near Walkabout Waters across from Adaptations gift shop and at the main locker location across from Kiwi Traders gift shop). When we visited recently, we decided to forego a lounge chair and stuff all of our belongings in lockers for the day. It was super convenient to just return to them anytime we needed something! Picnic lockers are also available at the front gate and must be rented from a ticket booth.
You'll find two different gift shops around the park that offer sunscreen, swimsuits, hats, sunglasses, swim diapers and cool Aquatica Orlando merchandise.
Aquatica Orlando FAQs
What Are the Aquatica Orlando Ride Height and Weight Restrictions?
Height restrictions vary for each attraction, but here are the basics:
- All the body slides and raft slides have a minimum height requirement of either 42 inches or 48 inches.
- Walhalla Wave and Ray Rush require those between 42 inches and 48 inches tall to either ride to wear a life vest and Riptide Race requires those between 42 inches and 48 inches tall to ride with a supervising companion.
- Guests under 51 inches are strongly encouraged to wear a life vest on Roa's Rapids whereas guests under 48 inches are strongly encouraged to wear a life vest on Loggerhead Lane.
- Tadpoles must be under 48 inches to enjoy Kata's Kookaburra Cove.
As for Aquatica weight restrictions, all slides — including the multiple-rider raft slides — have a different weight limit. When you arrive at the top of any of the round-raft slides, an ambassador will have your party step into a square that discreetly weighs your group.
What Are the Aquatica Multiple-Rider Rides?
- Whanau Wave: 1-2 riders
- Riptide Race: 1-2 riders
- Tassie Twister: 1-2 riders
- Walhalla Wave: 2-4 riders
- KareKare Curl 2-4 riders
- Ray Rush: 3-6 riders
What Are the Depths of the Pools and Slides?
Depths vary according to attractions. Frogs should assess their own ability to swim prior to boarding any slide or attraction. Frogs should also review warning signs posted at the entrance to each ride prior to making a decision to ride. At 6.5 feet, Cutback Cove is deeper than Big Surf Shores. Depths at Kata's Kookaburra Cove never exceed 2 feet.
Is Aquatica Accessible for Guests with Disabilities?
Wheelchair ramps are available at Cutback Cove, Big Surf Shores and Loggerhead Lane. Roa's Rapids has a transfer chair near the beach entry and a transfer stair near the entrain at Walkabout Waters. Frogs must meet all ridership requirements, which means maintaining a proper riding experience throughout the attraction experience (here is more accessibility information from Aquatica's site). The park has five attractions designed with towers that do require climbing stairs that are accessible by current ADA guidelines. All rivers and family attractions have beach entries that don't require steps. Frogs with visual impairments can email email@example.com with up to two weeks notice for assistance and accommodations.
Did you know Aquatica is also a Certified Autism Center? Aquatica Ambassadors receive specialized training to ensure they have the required knowledge, skills, temperament and expertise to cater to all tadpoles — including those with special needs — and are hoppy to offer specialized services to frogs with autism and other special needs. Check out the IBCCES Sensory Guide to read about how a tadpole with processing issues may be affected by each sense for rides and attractions at Aquatica.
Are There Showers at Aquatica?
Frogs will find restrooms, showers and lockers scattered around the park for their convenience.
Can I Wear Shoes on the Slides?
Flip flops, sandals and water shoes are allowed on most of the slides. Footwear is restricted on Riptide Race, Omaka Rocka, Reef Plunge and Ihu's Breakaway Falls. Slides that do not allow shoes have places to store them near the ride's entrance before you head up to the slide.
Are GoPros Allowed on the Rides?
No. Unfortunately, Tad has not been able to bring his GoPro onto the water slides or tube attractions.
Is Aquatica Orlando Open Year-Round?
Short answer: yes! You can visit this water park during both the hot summer months and the cool winter days. Virtually all of the pools and water parks in Orlando are heated during cooler times. Occasionally, the Orlando water parks close because of exceptionally cold days in the winter months, but they are few and far between.
Should I See Aquatica over Another Water Park in Orlando?
If you're already planning a trip to SeaWorld Orlando, we think it's definitely worth adding an additional day to experience Aquatica — especially if you're looking for a fun way to cool off. We love the up-close animal encounters you can find here, as well as the epic array of thrill rides!
We hope you've learned everything you need to know before you head to Aquatica Orlando! If you still have questions, drop us a line in the comments below!