What has 36 slides, six rivers and lagoons, 3.1 million pounds of soft, white sand, and 3.3 million gallons of watery rides and pools? If you guessed SeaWorld®’s new Aquatica® water park, give yourself a treat, and book a visit to Orlando’s newest adventure park.
SeaWorld AquaticaWater Park
Located right across the street from SeaWorld and only 15 minutes from Orlando International Airport,® Seaworld Aquatica® offers water park rides tailored to all ages and sizes, plenty of big thrills, interaction with beautiful wildlife, and a place to unwind.
Aquatica® visitors love Big Surf Shores & Cutback Cove, two gigantic side-by-side wave pools. There’s nothing like them anywhere else in the country. Big Surf is better for the smaller kids in your group, with its gently rolling surf. Don’t laugh too hard when the five-foot swells start rolling in Cutback Cove, though; you’ll need your energy to ride the surf!
Little ones will feel right at home at Kata’s Kookaburra Cove. This watery wonderland features gentle rides, slides and fountains, and even the tiniest of tots can ride with mom and dad, in rafts for two. Kids will also love Walkabout Waters—one of the world’s largest interactive water playgrounds—with its slides and blast cannons.
At the opposite end of the spectrum is Roa’s Rapids, at the park’s center. In this action-river ride, you’ll race through a roaring ribbon of white water, splashing your way past “swirling whirlies and gushing geysers.” Kids shorter than 51 inches high can still experience the Rapids with a life vest.
Another thriller—Tassie’s Twisters—lures tubers to a tower above the Loggerhead Lane Lazy River, then shoots them down into a bowl, where they spin and spin, until they’re spun back out into the Lazy River.
After a few hours of adventure, your crew might be ready to chill out. Facing the wave pools is the park’s most relaxing draw—the giant Beaches of Aquatica, where suntanning is the order of the day. Pack that paperback you’ve been meaning to read, throw a hat and swimsuit in your suitcase, and get ready to enjoy being a toasty tourist in Florida’s warm winter sunshine.
While rays are the perfect antidote to northern winters, a little shade can also be a welcome respite. At Beaches of Aquatica, $150 to $175 (depending on the time of year) affords your party of four the most luxurious shade of all: a private cabana for four, gently cooled with its own ceiling fan. A cabana reservation also earns an all-day locker; plenty of towels and sunscreen; your own private refrigerator stocked with soda, water and juice; and a 20 percent discount on merchandise. Extra persons can be added for $30 each. These cabanas are a great investment for fair-skinned families and those with babies, if the budget allows. If you usually buy souvenirs, you may even recoup your cost with the merchandise discount.
When you get your second wind, you’ll find more thrills at Whanau Way® where double inner tubes carry riders down any one of four 5-story slides, with unexpected curves, exciting drops and curtains of water. The Taumata Racer® gives mat-riders a steep, high-speed thrill ride.
A central tower conveniently lifts visitors and their floats to their choice of Walhalla Wave or Hoo Roo Run. The breathtaking Walhalla sends riders wheeling through a six-story maze of tunnels, twists and turns. And you’ll be lucky to yell out “hoo-roo!” before your raft flies over the edge of its drop-off and hurtles down six stories. Hoo Roo’s seven-foot-wide flume takes four riders at a time, and each gets to experience the thrill three times.
Aquatica® is filled with a host of characters; by the end of the day you’ll no doubt have your favorite park mascot. You’ll also have plenty of great choices when you feel hunger pangs. Banana Beach Cookout (brilliant for teens with never-ending appetites) is an all-you-can-eat destination with one-time and full day passes available for purchase online or at the park. You can just relax while your gang chows down on burgers, hot dogs, BBQ chicken and a host of sides. For takeout, Mango Market offers yummy wood-fired pizza and all sorts of snacks, and will even pack a picnic for you to enjoy on the beach.
If your crew would like to sit down for a meal, head straight for WaterStone Grill for fresh sandwiches, salads and desserts. Guests 21 years of age and older can chill out with an ice cold beer. Be sure to get your hand stamped if you leave Aquatica® should you wish to go back to the resort for a meal or a rest!