Getting to Know Universal: Volcano Bay Basics

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Whether you are a long-time Walt Disney World guest looking to switch your vacation up or you are visiting Orlando for the first time, planning a visit to Universal Orlando Resort poses a lot of questions. In this article, we will cover Universal’s only water theme park, Volcano Bay, and what to expect during your visit.

What is Volcano Bay?

Volcano Bay is Universal’s water park offering. Opened in 2017, the 27-acre park features high-tech water attractions, modern amenities, and queueless technology. The park surrounds a 200 foot tall, manmade volcano.

Where is Volcano Bay Located?

The water park is located on the North Universal Orlando Resort campus, south of Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort. Guests can see slides and the massive Krakatau volcano from Interstate 4. 

Traveling to Volcano Bay

Off-site guests park at the Universal Orlando Resort parking garages, located off Interstate 4 exit 75B east, exit 74B west. Follow the signage to the Universal Orlando theme park parking and follow the directions to Volcano Bay shuttle pick up.

On-site guests staying at Cabana Bay, Universal’s Aventura Hotel, and Sapphire Falls Resort can walk to the water park from their hotels. The remaining hotels, plus Sapphire Falls, offer bus transportation.

What Are My Ticket Options?

Admission starts at $80 plus tax for guests ages 10 and up, $75 plus tax for guests ages 9 and younger. Admission prices increase during the summer to $85 plus tax for guests ages 10 and up, $80 plus tax for guests ages 9 and younger on peak days. If you are a Florida resident, discounts are available through the Universal Orlando web site.

Volcano Bay admission is separate from admission to Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure. You must purchase a separate ticket for Volcano Bay or upgrade your multi-day ticket to the 3-park option.

Volcano Bay Tapu Tapu – Aqua Coaster Wait

What is Tapu Tapu?

Tapu Tapu is a free, wrist-worn device similar in size to a digital watch that acts like a souped-up MagicBand:

  • Make Ride Reservations: Rides and slides with measurable wait times will have guests enter a Virtual Line using the Tapu. When the return time arrives, the Tapu will vibrate.
  • Access Lockers: Open lockers using your Tapu Tapu instead of a ticket or fingerprint.
  • Buy Food, Beverage, and Merchandise: When synched up with a Univeral account with an attached credit card the Tapu acts as a payment option to purchase items in the park.
  • Interactive Elements: Hold your Tapu next to the wave icons throughout the parks to activate special effects, water streams, and more.

Tapu Tapu is handed out upon arrival and must be returned at the end of the visit.

Virtual Line?

Yup, unlike traditional parks that require you to stand in a hot queue, at Volcano Bay you can relax in a wave pool, have a drink, or float along the lazy river before you ride. Simply tap your Tapu Tapu (get the name?) on the volcano icon at the entrance of the attraction to reserve your place in line. In the morning most rides are “ride now” but as guests pour in the lines will turn over to using Virtual Line.

What Attractions Are There?

Volcano Bay features nearly two dozen attractions spanning thrilling body slides, high-tech water coasters, children’s play areas, wave pools, and lazy rivers. All the attractions are modern in design and include new features such as a tube conveyance system so guests will not have to carry tubes in the queue. Attractions and their thrill levels can be found on Volcano Bay’s map.

Where Can I Keep My Stuff?

All-day lockers are available for a fee:

  • Small Size Lockers (17″ x 15″ x 5.4″): $9 a day
  • Regular Size (17″ x 12″ x 13″): $13 a day
  • Family Size (17″ x 12″ x 16.25″): $16 a day

Private Cabanas and Premium Seating also feature storage for items.

What About Chairs and Cabanas?

Free chairs are available throughout the park, similar to a traditional pool or water park. Volcano Bay also offers a section of reservable, premium lounge chairs featuring a shade structure and a compartment to hold items. Premium seating starts at $49 plus tax, with prices varying by season. To book call 877-489-8068.

Luxury cabanas are also available for rental. Cabanas provide a private area to relax and come with a fruit gift basket, unlimited bottled water, complimentary towels, food delivery, ride reservation kiosk, and more! Cabana prices start at $149 plus tax with prices varying by season. To book call 877-801-9720.

Help! I Forgot Something!

Do not panic! At the entrance of the park are two shops, Krakatoa Katy’s and Waturi Marketplace, that sell everything from sunscreen to swimsuits. If you forgot it in your room or at home they will likely have it here.

Have any other questions about Volcano Bay? Let us know in the comments.

First published May 22, 2021. Updated July 27, 2021.

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Joseph Matt

Avid amusement park and video game fan. Enjoys picking up rare beers at breweries, exploring cities, cooking, and sports.

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