Which Is Better? – The Pros and Cons of Volcano Bay and Blizzard Beach

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Visiting a water park in Orlando is a must for many guests, especially in the spring and summer seasons. Universal’s Volcano Bay and Disney’s Blizzard Beach are two of the hottest places to cool off right now. To help you decide which is right for you, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of Volcano Bay, as well as the pros and cons of Blizzard Beach.

Blizzard Beach Cross Country Creek
Volcano Bay Entrance

Short answer: our team prefers Universal’s Volcano Bay over Disney’s Blizzard Beach. There are better variety of attractions, better rivers, and better variety of food. Even with the added cost of parking and having to deal with the added hassle of having to take a bus our team would still choose Volcano Bay.

However, some folks may prefer Blizzard Beach. Families with young kids may prefer to Blizzard Beach because the young kids area can be less overwhelming than Volcano Bay’s. Plus the parking lot of Blizzard Beach is right outside the park gates, whereas at Volcano Bay you’re a bus ride away from your car. With young kids sometimes it helps knowing you’re able to depart the park without much hassle if needed. Let’s dive deeper.

It costs more for a single day ticket to Universal’s Volcano Bay than it does for a one day ticket to a Disney water park. There are two Disney water parks, but Blizzard Beach is the only one open at this time. It costs less for a single day ticket to Blizzard Beach. but, it costs more for a 3-day Disney ticket that includes the water parks versus a 3-day Universal ticket that includes Volcano Bay.

  • Disney Water Park One Day Ticket = Adult $69 + tax / Child $63 + tax
  • Disney Water Park and More Ticket 3-Day = $436.55 (price varies based on start date of ticket)
  • Universal’s Volcano Bay One Day Ticket = Adults $80 + tax / Child $75 + tax
  • Universal 3-Park – 3-Day Ticket = Adult  $332.99  + tax
Volcano Bay Entrance
Disney’s Blizzard Beach Melt Away Bay

Pros of Universal’s Volcano Bay

  • It’s newer
  • More attractions
  • Tapu Tapu virtual queue
  • More food and beverage variety
  • Tropical island theme with themed sections throughout the park
  • The cabanas are better than the ones at Disney’s water parks
  • Many attractions have conveyor belts so you don’t have to carry a raft up stairs in line
Volcano Bay Tapu Tapu – Aqua Coaster Wait
Maku Puihi Round Raft Ride – Volcano Bay

Cons of Universal’s Volcano Bay

  • Parking fee if you’re not at a Universal hotel
  • Parking at main Universal Orlando parking garage, with a bus ride required
  • Lots of the seating areas are premium (an upcharge)
  • Kids area gets very busy and crowded on peak days
Volcano Bay Entrance Tunnel
Runamukka and Tot Tiki Kids Play Area – Volcano Bay 2

Pros of Disney’s Blizzard Beach

  • Parking is free
  • Quirky, unique theme
  • Disney details throughout the park
  • Easy to find lounge seating
  • Ski-lift attraction is unique
  • Little kids and school age kids have two play areas, large enough to generally handle crowds
Disney’s Blizzard Beach Snow Family
Disney’s Blizzard Beach Ski Patrol Training Camp

Cons of Disney’s Blizzard Beach

  • Older park and it some ways it shows
  • Smaller, with less attractions than Volcano Bay
  • No virtual queue system
  • Less dining and bar options
  • Doesn’t have a strong tropical getaway feeling that many prefer at a water park
Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Slides
Disney’s Blizzard Beach Ski Lift

With either water park you really cannot go wrong. Both have mobile ordering for most food and beverage locations. Both have a variety attractions geared to families and those without kids too. Enjoying a water park at either Disney or Universal can often be much more relaxing than a day in one of the regular theme parks.

Have you been to either Blizzard Beach or Volcano Bay? What pros and cons would you add to our list? Let us know in the comments!

First published March 21, 2021. Updated September 7, 2021.

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Dani

Born and raised in the land of sunshine and dreams come true, Dani is a proud Orlando Native who loves sharing her hometown with others. She's worked in nearly all of Orlando's theme parks, on board Disney Cruise Line, and in hotel management. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @thisfloridalife

6 thoughts on “Which Is Better? – The Pros and Cons of Volcano Bay and Blizzard Beach

  • March 21, 2021 at 7:14 pm
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    I like to compare Volcano Bay, Blizzard Beach, and Typhoon Lagoon in categories:

    Body Slides (incl speed slides):
    1. Volcano Bay
    2. Blizzard Beach
    3. Typhoon Lagoon

    Tube slides (1-2 people per tube):
    1. Typhoon Lagoon
    2. Volcano Bay
    3. Blizzard Beach

    Raft slides (3+ people per raft):
    1. Volcano Bay
    2. Typhoon Lagoon
    3. Blizzard Beach

    Lazy River:
    1. Blizzard Beach
    2. Volcano Bay
    3. Typhoon Lagoon

    Not-so-Lazy-River:
    (Volcano Bay runs unopposed in this category)

    Wave Pool:
    1. Typhoon Lagoon
    2. Volcano Bay
    3. Blizzard Beach

    Theming & Atmosphere:
    1. Volcano Bay
    2. Typhoon Lagoon
    3. Blizzard Beach

    Food
    1. Volcano Bay
    2. Typhoon Lagoon
    3. Blizzard Beach

    Kids’ Area would be another good category, but I don’t have the experience to compare them there. Overall, I agree Volcano Bay is the winner; though all three are worth experiencing (whenever Typhoon Lagoon opens back up. Each has something unique that the others don’t have an equivalent for—VB has Krakatau and the fast river; BB has the chairlift and the kooky theme; TL has the Crush n Gusher and the huge waves in the surf pool.

    At some point I need to try out Aquatica too…

    Reply
    • April 3, 2021 at 3:07 pm
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      You definitely need to go to Aquatica ! Its fast River is better than volcano bay, and you have a good variety of food spots as well as a large variety of slides and raft rides. I personally prefer the atmosphere of volcano bay but Aquatica is nice as well it’s just a different colorful theme and I prefer the Hawaiian theme of volcano bay but Aquatica also feels tropical none the less. In my opinion it is definitely a contender against volcano bay without the tapu tapu ☺️

      Reply
  • April 6, 2021 at 10:56 am
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    Yo acabo de llegar de florida y fui a blizzard beach y si esta bonito pero senti el rechazo a los hispanos como k no son muy educados en ese aspects

    Reply
  • August 8, 2021 at 11:43 pm
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    More attentions! Then blizzard beach ! I don’t think so!!! I looked at the map they have far less rides then blizzard beach and Summit Plummit is absolutely not a kids ride. It is like the 2nd largest water slide in the world!! I don’t know what about that is childish. There is no slide scarier then that one! Of any water ride I’ve ever been on. Tube slides are always more kids and family style. I agree typhoon lagoon has the best wave pool’ and I liked their raft slides! I think Disney and universal are both great idk why there is always which is better as they are like made from the same company and structure

    Reply
  • September 8, 2021 at 9:21 am
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    I haven’t been to Volcano Bay to compare Blizzard Beach to as I don’t particularly care for water parks in general, but I love Blizzard Beach! The layout is fantastic, especially for the ‘tweens area (Ski Patrol) in a cul-de-sac with only one way to get in and out of the area. There are plenty of things to keep kids entertained there. We typically will hit the big slides at rope drop, then take the kids to this area in the afternoon while the old folks (me and my wife) lounge and rest on deck chairs.

    And I agree with Brittany that Summit Plummet is great! You haven’t lived until you have slid on your rear end at over 60 miles per hour (or nearly 100 kph for our international guests). There is a radar gun at the bottom that tracks the speed of the riders. Ladies, just make sure you hold on to those two piece tops, and everyone don’t be embarrassed by the wedgie it gives you as it happens to everybody!

    Reply
  • September 28, 2021 at 7:20 am
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    Hey Dani,

    Everything you said about Volcano Bay and Blizzard Beach is true.

    Because i had also got its reviews and information about this, so understand so much that blizzard beach is better to go rather than volcano bay because some have unique slides and others requirements.

    Reply

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