There are many ways to cool off during your Orlando trip and a water park is one of the best. If you are a fan of water parks or shopping around to see which is best then consider a trip to Universal’s Volcano Bay. Volcano Bay opened in 2017, making it Orlando’s newest water park, and features many unique features. In this article, I will go over five of those features and how they improve your visit.
Volcano Bay’s most recognizable feature is its free wearable technology called TapuTapu. Each Tapu is similar in size to a watch and features an LCD screen and wrist strap. These electronic bracelets replace the need for credit cards, paper tickets, cell phones, and locker keys throughout the park. Tapu are provided to each guest of Volcano Bay at the park’s entrance and must be returned when exiting the park.
To use your Tapu for payments create a Universal Orlando user account, add your credit card information, link your park ticket to your account, then set a PIN for payments. Once set up just hold the Tapu next to the reader at any retail or dining location and enter your pin (adults, remember to bring your ID for alcohol).
Tapu also can be used for fun, interactive elements throughout the park. Find the glowing Volcano Bay logo throughout the park and hold your Tapu to the touch point to activate water fountains, sound effects, bubbles, lights, and more.
TapuTapu’s biggest feature is the ability to join the Virtual Lines used for slides around the park. Similar to Disney’s Lighting Lane, Virtual Line allows guests to reserve a spot on waitlist for the ride instead of physically standing in a queue. There are three ways TapuTapu Virtual Line is different than Lightning Lane:
- Virtual Line is free!
- Reservations must be done at the attractions, there is no mobile app booking.*
- Guests receive an estimated wait (ex: 60 minutes) and not a return time.
*Guests with cabans have a kiosk where they can reserve a spot in line.
While you wait for the slide grab something to eat, relax in the wave pool, spin around the two lazy rivers, or do any “Ride Now” slides. When your reservation is called your Tapu vibrates and you will be able to enter the queue for the ride. On my last trip, we waited no longer than 10 minutes once we entered the queue till we were on the slide. While you are able to hold onto a reservation till the park closes for any ride you cannot create another reservation.
Tube and Raft Conveyor Belts
Stop me if this sounds familiar: you want to ride a slide with an inflatable tube. So you pick it up from the bottom of the slide’s splash pool and drag it up flights and flights of stairs in the heat. Volcano Bay realized how much a pain in the keister tubes are for guests and built conveyor belts for all slides that require inflatable tubes. So no need to drag a blown-up vinyl donut up 5 flights of stairs.
Walking Distance from Resorts
Disney and SeaWorld’s parks are all located a car or bus ride away from your hotel, but Volcano Bay is within walking distance from several Universal hotels. Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Aventura Hotel, Sapphire Falls Resort, and Royal Pacific Resort are all within a 10-minute walk to the park with some rooms in Aventura and Cabana Bay mere minutes away. This is great for early entry mornings or for a mid-day break. Cabana Bay and Aventura are also good options for food if lines in the park are too long or a place to hide during an afternoon storm.
It’s Got a Huge Volcano
Ok but really it has a huge volcano in the middle of it.
As you enter the park Krakatau Volcano stands tall in front of the shimmering waters of the wave pool. Water, steam, and geysers erupt from the cauldron on top as large waterfalls flow over the front of the volcano. At the summit are three body slides that drop guests into a tube that spirals through the volcano and deposits riders at the foot of the volcano.
Unlike other mountains in water parks, Krakatau is fully explorable. The lazy rivers wind through the volcano and several slides including the Krakatau Water Coaster weave through the rockwork. Guests can also find a way inside the volcano to meet Vol, an interactive character that talks to guests.
Those are five unique reasons to visit Volcano Bay on your next trip. Purchase your tickets through Touring Plans Travel and receive free early park admission, a must for anyone wanting to ride the Krakatau Water Coaster.