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Our Favorite Orlando Water Rides

by Tad on August 7, 2014

Well, it's August. The school supplies are in all of the stores. And for us younger frogs, it means it's time to head back to school. Speaking of school, I've been spending the first few (really hot) days back in class daydreaming about my next trip to Florida. If you're anything like me, there are few things you love more than a cool water ride on a hot day. And let's face it, there are plenty of hot Orlando days. Fortunately, there are also plenty of cool Orlando water rides at the theme parks!

With that in mind, I put together this list of the top Orlando water rides inside the theme parks. If you're headed to the theme parks in the next couple of months, you'll want to take notes! While lines will be longer, you want to save the water rides for the hotter parts of the day. You can thank me later.

Without further ado, here are my very favorite Orlando water rides in the theme parks:

10. SheiKra at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Orlando water rides - SheiKra

You don't exactly get soaked on this roller coaster, but it is still a crazy cool ride! SheiKra is a floorless, dive coaster that is smooth, fast and thrilling. We find that if you sit in the back row, you'll usually get splashed more than the other rows. If you really want to get soaked, though, just stand in the area where SheiKra makes its splash down - there is no doubt you'll be drenched!

Drench factor: Low (if on the ride), High (if off the ride and standing by the splash down zone)

Minimum height requirement: 54 inches

9. Stanley Falls at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Orlando water rides - Stanley Falls

This is a classic log-flume ride, plummeting you down a 40-foot hill. It's simple and doesn't have elaborate theming, but it gets the job done and cools you off! Plus, it's a good time to relax and catch some views of Busch Gardens. Fun fact - Stanley Falls was the first water ride to open at the park!

Drench factor: Medium

Height requirement: 46 inches

8. Popeye & Bluto's Bilge Rat Barges at Islands of Adventure

Orlando water rides - Popeye & Bluto's Bilge Rat Barges

The theming of this water ride is one of the best in Orlando! You're part of the story line, getting stuck on Bilge's not-so-great raft, instead of one of Popeye's spectacular rafts, and watch the two face-off several times throughout the ride. Lots of twists, dives, waves, splashes, speed and more make this an exciting river ride!

Drench factor: High

Height requirement: 42 inches

7. Congo River Rapids at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Orlando water rides - Congo River Rapids

Another river rapids ride, this one spins you through a geyser, under waterfalls and into a mysterious cave! Watch out for the bystanders, as well -  they use water spray jets to further soak riders traveling by!

Drench factor: Medium to High

Height requirement: 42 inches

6. Jurassic Park River Adventure at Islands of Adventure

Orlando water rides - Jurassic Park River Adventure

On this ride, you'll take a tour (that starts off peacefully) through Jurassic Park. Suddenly, a dinosaur pushes your boat off course and danger ensues! The ride takes  a turn and you'll face escaped dinosaurs, including a T-Rex, right before you plunge down 85 feet! The splash at the bottom is awesome and doesn't leave you extremely soaking (depending on where you sit), like Dudley Do-Right's.

Drench factor: Medium

Height requirement: 42 inches

5. Journey to Atlantis at SeaWorld Orlando

Orlando water rides - Journey to Atlantis

Do you dare heed the sirens call? This combination roller coaster and dark ride packs a punch on a hot day. We recommend you hit Antarctica first, or you will be chilled to the bone after your soaking.

Drench factor: Medium

Height requirement: 42 inches

4. Kali River Rapids at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Kali River Rapids

Those of you seeking a river rapids adventure need look no further than this white water journey down the Chakranadi River. I love that the whole family can experience this one together and give Kali River Rapids two thumbs up for the theming.

Drench factor: Medium to High

Height requirement: 38 inches

3. Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls at Islands of Adventure

Orlando water rides - Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls

I had no idea who Dudley Do-Right was when I first went on this ride, but it didn't matter. This log flume was -- and is --  so much fun on a hot day at Islands of Adventure. Prepare to get drenched during your 75-foot-drop into a cascade of water. Since you'll already be soaking, it's the perfect time to hit up Islands of Adventure's other nearby water rides, Jurassic Park River Adventure and Popeye & Bluto's Bilge Rat Barges.

Drench factor: High!

Height requirement: 44 inches

2. Quest for CHI at LEGOLAND Florida

Orlando water rides - Quest for Chi

I had such a blast on this ride when we visited LEGOLAND. Our whole family got in on the fun. How drenched you get on this ride depends on where you are sitting, and yes, you can sort of scoot around the boat to get even wetter! Plus, you get to shoot water cannons at rival boats and the onlookers. Warning to those parents who decide to just watch: If you are in the splash zone, you are fair game!

Drench factor: Medium

Height requirement: No minimum if you ride with a responsible rider at least 48 inches

1. Splash Mountain at Magic Kingdom

Orlando water rides - Splash Mountain

What can I say? This is the log flume ride that set the standard for log flume rides. With its catchy soundtrack and Br'er Rabbit's tale of leaving home as the basis for the dark ride, ride-goers will enjoy the cool darkness on the hottest of days. The thrill is the 52-foot drop and the resulting drenching (depending on where you sit).

Drench factor: Medium to High

Height requirement: 40 inches

Keep in the mind that during the less hot months in Florida, the drench factor may be lower than the peak of summer heat. What's your favorite theme park water ride? Have a favorite that's not on my list? Share in comments below!

Stay cool!

-- Tad

 

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