Volcano Bay is the newest park at Universal Studios Orlando. It’s called an amusement park, but it’s a water park –slides, tub rides that sort of thing. And it is POPULAR!!!! It has reached max capacity everyday since it opened. And that means that many things are backed up and many waits are long. I went there in August –high season and the first summer it opened. I am normally one of those wait a year and then see it people, but the opportunity presented itself and I seized it. But didn’t want to have a miserable time paying for a day at the park and getting very few rides in So I attacked the situation with my years of amusement park experience as a guide. That means lots of review reading to assess the problems and more review and blog post reading to see if anyone has tried the answers. I will share what was successful for us. We had a wonderful day at Volcano Bay armed with these actions and expectations. If you want to know if it will be crowded when you go check out the Touring Plans crowd guide.
LOCKERS AT THE BACK
Go to the lockers at the back, they aren’t as busy, and this way you can see all the seating options (but we will get to my favorite seating locations soon). And use a locker. I don’t care what people say it’s crazy to not store your stuff safely, plus the tapu tapu gets you in and out of the locker –the whole family.
You can’t use hotel towels and the rentals aren’t worth the nickel and dime feeling.
If you are staying on site (which I recommend more than anything the perks are very numerous and worth it) you get early Park hours —USE THEM AND ARRIVE EARLY FOR THEM. That’s right don’t just decided to show up sometime during early park house. Show up early for early park hours. This is like trying to see Wizarding World in its first year. IT’s packed by 10 am and doesn’t empty at all until late in the day. When you arrive early before it opens ( and I recommend at least 20 minutes before opening) you will get the chance to get in first, try a few slides that will have 3 hour waits late in the day and you can likely get an awesome shade seat for you family.
MANAGE YOUR EXPECTATIONS
I warned my kids how the TapuTapu worked (it gives you a virtual place in line, but doesn’t get you ahead in line) and explained that the park would be packed with people. So they needed know this wasn’t going to be a VIP tour of the waterpark. There would be limited opportunity for good access to the rides and they needed to know that they might love something and only get to do it once.
RESERVED SEATING AND CABANAS
Ok, these would probably be an advantage and make your visit nicer, but I wasn’t going to shell out the hundreds of dollars necessary for it. Entering the park is expense enough. Due to high demand the seating reservations were at peak prices (premium seating was $140-$250 depending on location and I would need 2 of them–2 seats per reservation, cabanas started at $600). I understand there were a few advantages I gave up here 1. The in cabana taputapu 2. Food service to the cabana/seating 3. Shade options I decided that most of that was gonna be fine as I had was to work around it. There are free seats with shade, they are just limited. The food service to your area was slow from reviews due to the high demand etc. and The in cabana tapu tapu–well you just have to walk up the ride and tap your wristband.
USE THE WRISTBAND
And not just for rides. WE put the credit card on it and the kids could get food when they wanted, rent things as needed, get in and out of the locker and overall save me the hassle of getting into the locker.
GO ON THESE RIDES FIRST
Ko’okiri Body Plunge, Kala and Tai Nui Serpentine Body Slides, Aqua Coaster. These all have HUGE ques once the park hits capacity. Actually they have lines as soon as it opens. So get in the que early.
If you want more tips on Universal Orlando Resort:
- Best Rides of Universal Orlando’s Volcano Bay
- 5 Places for food at Universal Orlando Resort
- 10 Reasons to stay at the Loew’s Royal Pacific –on site
- Hogwarts Express Ride Know Before you Go