With summertime in full swing, 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. We've put together this summary of Orlando's top water parks to help you plan a splashin’ good time. Curious about what water rides will help you cool down at the Orlando theme parks, as well? Fear not, we also created a post on our favorite Orlando water rides! As we always say ... for a great Orlando vacation, just add water!
The Frog Family's Take on the Top Orlando Water Parks
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 walks paths transport you to a tropical lagoon filled with fun. There are 10 different activity areas with kid-sized slides and fun water features. Lily loves Ketchakiddee Creek! Not to be left out, pre-teens and teens will still have lots of fun on thrill slides like Crush ‘n’ Gusher Water Thrill Ride and Humunga Kowabunga. Shark Reef also provides all sorts of thrilling entertainment! The park's newest ride, Miss Adventure Falls, is a family raft ride that sends them down a treasure-filled slide. Check it out here:
Bottom Line: This is our pick for Disney's top water park and no. 2 of the Orlando water parks. 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.
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. His favorite thrill slides are Summit Plummet and Downhill Double Dipper. That said, there are PLENTY of activities for the little ones. Lily loves Teamboat Springs and chilling out on Cross Country Creek. SUMMER BONUS— Frozen Games at Blizzard Beach lets her hang with Kristof and Sven for some kid-friendly and "Frozen" themed activities. In summerrrrrrr!
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 is 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 like Taumata Racer. I have fun on Ihu’s Breakway Falls drop slide. The entire Frog Family loves the tube rides we can enjoy as a family like Roa’s Rapids and Walhalla Wave. We have been known to rent a cabana for some shade and mid-day naps.
Bottom line: It’s in a tight race for Orlando's top water park. The live animal interactions—TURTLES YO—push it to the top of the list for us. There are several ticket options to visit Aquatica and all of SeaWorld Orlando parks.
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 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 loves 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 and little ones. With four themed areas, each one offers thrills and tamer experiences. Your reporter braved the Ko'Kiri Body Plunge, which drops you down a 70-degree tube through 125 feet of slide. Tad loves the Karakau Aqua Coaster, a raft ride that pulls you uphill and through the volcano. Lily can't get enough of Runamukka Reef, while Leap loves Maku Puihi. Check out this ride in Tad's video:
Bottom Line: We love the theming, design and thoughtful details that it makes it easier for families to spend their day in this park. However, we feel the Tapu Tapu Reservation System needs some work before it moves up our list. We’ve read reports of long wait times for rides and experienced them ourselves in the first weeks of operation. We have heard that Universal is working to address this, and to be fair, we would expect there to be some kinks with any brand-new park. We expect that there will be a solution soon! 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 the Universal Orlando ticket options.
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 for the older kids and adults. The park's newest 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 Orlando water parks or want to tell us which one is your favorite and why? Drop us a line in comments below!