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Because of Florida's nearly year-round warm temperatures, we're lucky that cooling off in the Frog Pond is easy peasy. That said, sometimes we like some excitement with our swimmin'. There's no better spot for that than one of the Orlando water parks! Enjoy the beautiful sunshine as you float in a tube down a lazy river or take on a thrilling water coaster. Just don't froget your sunscreen!
We've put together this summary of Orlando's best water parks to help you plan a splashin’ good time. As we always say ... for a great Orlando vacation, just add water!
Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park
Theme: Legend has it that Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park was created during a huge storm that flung surfboards into the trees and tossed boats onto roofs. The storm’s force impaled Miss Tilly, the centerpiece of the park, on the top of Mount Mayday.
Frog Family Opinion: The first of Disney's two water parks, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park is great for the whole family, especially the little ones. The sandy beaches and palm tree-lined paths transport you to a tropical lagoon filled with fun. Lily loves Ketchakiddee Creek, where there are many different activities with kid-sized slides and fun water features. Not to be left out, tweens and teens will still have lots of fun on thrill slides such as Crush ‘n’ Gusher Water Thrill Ride and Humunga Kowabunga. The park's most recent addition, Miss Adventure Falls, is a family raft ride that sends riders down a treasure-filled slide.
After debuting in 2018, H2O Glow Nights became a summer tradition until 2020. We're so hoppy that this After Hours event returned with a splash last year and will return for summer 2023! This separately ticketed event brings the water park to life at night with special lighting effects and DJ dance parties. Check out our top four reasons to attend this illuminating event:
Bottom Line: Disney's Typhoon Lagoon is always at the top of our must-do list on an Orlando vacation. The play areas and kids' slides are great, and the landscaping and theming are amazing. Even better, it's affordable with the Disney Park Hopper Plus Option.
Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park
Theme: As Disney tells it, there was a freak snowstorm over Orlando that resulted in the construction of a ski resort complete with slalom courses and toboggan slides. When the snow melted, it made for a perfect water park with a ski theme ... Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park!
Frog Family Opinion: Of Disney’s two water parks, this one is geared more toward the bigger tadpoles in the family. Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park has more slides with height restrictions than Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon. Tad loves this water park and thinks the ski-resort theme is awesome. After all, it's the only snow you get to see in Florida! His favorite thrill slides are Summit Plummet and Downhill Double Dipper. He also enjoys going head-to-head with the other seven competitors on Toboggan Racers. That said, there are PLENTY of activities for the little ones. Lily loves Teamboat Springs and chilling out on Cross Country Creek.
During the park's extended closure, Disney Imagineers implemented some awesome upgrades. Check out our POV of one of our favorite inner-tube waterslides, Runoff Rapids — now with a brand-new cargo lift so you don't have to lug your tube up a towering staircase:
Bottom Line: The lines at Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park may be long, but the thrill slides and ski-resort theme make them worth it. It's easy to experience Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon with the Disney Park Hopper Plus Option.
Aquatica by SeaWorld
Theme: This SeaWorld Orlando water park is inspired by the South Seas and the animals that live there. The wildlife and culture are woven into every aspect of the park.
Frog Family Opinion: Aquatica is one amazing water park! Where else can you zip down an enclosed slide with real dolphins swimming alongside you? Aquatica is absolutely abundant with tropical theming, slides and activities for all ages. Tad loves racing his dad, Leap, on body slides such as Taumata Racer. I have fun on Ihu’s Breakaway Falls drop slide. The entire Frog Family loves the tube rides we can enjoy as a family such as Walhalla Wave and Ray Rush. When we need a break, we rent a cabana for some shade and mid-day naps.
Bottom line: The live animal interactions — DOLPHINS, YO — make Aquatica one of our favorite Orlando water parks. There are several ticket options to visit Aquatica and all of SeaWorld Orlando parks.
Universal's Volcano Bay Water Theme Park
Theme: Legend has it that the fictional "Waturi" people discovered this tropical paradise on the edge of the world with the help of a mystical fish after traversing the ocean in search of a new home. The volcano itself has a backstory that begins with the fiery god, Krakatau, who couldn't contain his adventurous daughter, Tai Nui, who fell in love with local native Kala. Krakatau banished Kala to the moon, and Tai Nui's grieving tears became the sea. Seeing his daughter's heartbreak, Krakatau sought to make amends, reuniting the young lovers by pulling the earth to the sky. His rage and jealousy remain inside the volcano.
Frog Family Opinion: Universal's first water theme park is a tropical-themed paradise. We have a full guide to Universal's Volcano Bay that completely covers this park. With the 200-foot Krakatoa volcano as its centerpiece, this park caters to thrill-seekers as well as little ones. With four themed areas, each one offers thrills and tamer experiences. Yours truly braved the Ko'okiri Body Plunge, which drops you from a trapdoor down a 70-degree tube through 125 feet of slide. Lily can't get enough of Runamukka Reef, while Leap loves the Maku Puihi Round Raft Rides. Tad's favorite is the Krakatau Aqua Coaster, a raft ride that pulls you uphill and through the volcano. Check out this ride in Tad's video:
Bottom Line: We love the theming, design and thoughtful details that make it easier for families to spend their day in this park. We definitely think hopping over for an hour or two in the daytime or in the evening during your visit to Universal Orlando Resort is the way to go. Here are all of the Universal Orlando ticket options so that you can start planning a toadally awesome visit for the whole family!
LEGOLAND Water Park
Theme: This water park “within the park” continues the same primary color brick theming as its namesake.
Frog Family Opinion: For the family LEGO fanatics (every family has at least one, right?), LEGOLAND Water Park is on the must-do list in the warmer months (hours scale back during the school year and cooler months). Where else can you build a one-of-a-kind raft out of soft LEGO bricks and then float down a lazy river on it? There are also a number of family-friendly activities, as well as the Splash Out speed slides and Twin Chasers tube slides that Tad gets a thrill out of. The park's most recent attraction — Creative Cove — lets you build and race your own LEGO boat. That's ... awesome!
Bottom line: This is an affordable add-on, especially if you are already planning a visit to LEGOLAND Florida.
Have questions about any of the water parks or want to tell us which one you think is the best water park in Orlando and why? Drop us a line in the comments below!
Related: Guide to the Disney Park Hopper Plus Option
Disney's Blizzard Beach,
Aquatica by SeaWorld,
My boys are 10 and 11y, and love going on water slides with tubes/rafts - is there a water park that has the most amount/best slides with tubes/rafts? Thank you!
You honestly can't go wrong with ANY of the water parks in Orlando. However, Aquatica and Volcano Bay tie for the most slides with tubes/rafts (each have seven), and if we had to pick one out of those two, we give Volcano Bay the slight edge because we love Krakatau Aqua Coaster.
We will be visiting Orlando June 2023 and my autistic 14 year old wants to go to a water park. She has sound-sensitivity and migraines. Is one of the water parks quieter than the others (or has better places to get away from the noise)?
Aquatica Orlando is a designated Certified Autism Center. You can find more info on its website!
Hi! Which park would you recommend for young adults (we are 28-29) looking for thrilling rides? Does Volcano bay has a lot of attractions or is it realy small?
If you’re asking strictly about water parks, Volcano Bay and Disney’s Blizzard Beach are our picks for more water thrill rides. Have a great time!
Yikes - this is not an objective review at all... Volcano Bay is so much better, with much more to offer across the board, than either Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach that it's almost not even worth comparing them. To suggest that it's a couple of hours diversion while not mentioning the same for the other two is strange to say the least!
Additionally it's a cheaper ticket add-on if you don't already have a park-hopper ticket; costing just $40 as opposed to Disney's frankly outrageous $69 for it's two aging water parks.
One of my kids finds the fully enclosed tube rides claustrophobic. Which of the parks had more of the open tube rides and less of the fully enclosed tubes? Thanks in advance.
We think Blizzard Beach will be the best water park for your tadpole! Teamboat Springs and the Toboggan Racers are some of our favorite open rides, among others.
Which water park in Orlando is more adult appropriate with the least amount of little kids and/or noise?
You'll run into kiddos at just about any water park you visit, but we'd suggest Volcano Bay, if only for its TapuTapu system so that you can spend less time waiting in line with others. (Universal in general also tends to attract an older crowd). Enjoy!
Can I buy tickets to Typhoon Lagoon waterpark without buying Disney theme park tickets
You sure can! If you head to Disney World's site, you'll see some options in the navigation at the top; hover over "Parks and Tickets" and you'll see an option for Water Parks, where you can choose the water park you'd like to visit and buy individual tickets.
Hello ! If you had to pick for a 6 year old between Typhoon Lagoon, Aquatica, and Volcano Bay, which would you go with? He's about 47 inches - might hit 48 with sandals :) Dont want crazy lines but willing to get a fast pass if the park has one. thank you in advance!
All of the water parks are perfectly suitable for your son's age group. The only one that offers skip-the-line access is Volcano Bay, with its express passes, which is an additional charge.
Hello! We are taking two 6-year olds and a 10 yo to Orlando for spring break in March. Wondering if you have any updates to favorite water parks since this list was written two years ago? Also, any suggestions on hotels there with most fun pools? Thanks much!
Our recommendations are the same. Hands down the hotel with the best pool is Disney's Beach Club (and Disney's Yacht Club, which shares the pool). I would make the water park decision based on which theme parks you're staying at. If you're headed to Disney or will spend most of your time there, I would add on the water park option or stay at one of those hotels. If you're visiting Universal, you can add on Volcano Bay. If you're visiting Disney and Universal, you have more options. And you could always add on Aquatica, and it might be a better choice during spring break as far as crowds.
[...] miles of each other, how can you plan a summer trip to Orlando and not visit at least one of them? Here’s an overview of the water parks to help you decide which one to put at the top of your [...]
[...] While Tad has his personal favorite is Disney’s Blizzard Beach, our very favorite water park in Orlando is Aquatica. Here is a look at the Orlando water parks at a glance. [...]
[...] because it’s usually easier to get to the resort pool! Blizzard Beach is my favorite of the Disney water parks. I just love the idea that a ski storm sprung up after a freak snowstorm blanketed [...]
[...] Related: Orlando’s Water Parks … At a Glance [...]
[...] First up is the Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon 1 Day ticket, with a savings of $3 off of the gate price. A visit to Disney World’s water parks is a great way to cool off and have fun! It also makes for a nice mid-week break between theme parks. While both feature rides for the whole family, Typhoon Lagoon has a few more activity areas for the little ones, while Blizzard Beach boasts more thrill rides. (Read more about them in our overview of the Orlando water parks.) [...]
[...] Related: Orlando Water Parks At a Glance [...]
[...] Frog already spent a whole blog writing about the Orlando waterparks, so all I will say about them is that my personal favorite is Blizzard Beach. I love Summit [...]
When I view your RSS feed it just gives me a page of weird text, may be the problem on my reader? TY for putting this up, it was very helpful and explained tons.
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