Chill in Orlando's Water Parks

These Wet and Wild Attractions are an Oasis of Refreshment in the Midst of Hot Central Florida

When the thermometer is pushing 100 degrees and the humidity is nearly the same, there’s only one thing to do in Orlando: head to one of our incredible water parks!

Disney Water Parks

At Walt Disney World, there are two different water parks to choose from: Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon.

In the middle of a hot Florida summer, a visit to a snowy water park sounds just about perfect. If you think so, too, then head to Disney's Blizzard Beach, where you can shoot down Summit Plummet, paddle the day away in Melt Away Bay or splash around in Tike's Peak. There's even a chair lift that delivers you to the summit!

Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park

At Typhoon Lagoon, guests enjoy a day in a tropical paradise-themed park with surprises around every turn. Take it easy on Castaway Creek, the park’s lazy river.

Castaway Creek, Typhoon Lagoon

Or experience waves in one of the world’s largest, man-made surfing lagoons, covering 190,000 square feet, and containing more than three million gallons of water. In fact, the wave pool is so massive that you can actually surf on it during “Surf Like a Pro” private lessons, held on select mornings. For more details, call (407) 939-7529. There are also tons of slides to choose from, including the Miss Adventure Falls.

Miss Adventure Falls at Typhoon Lagoon

New for this summer, guests have even more fun when the sun goes down! That’s when H2O Glow Nights, a special, separately-ticketed event, gets underway on Thursday and Saturday evenings June 21 through August 11.

H2O Glow Nights at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon

Come along for the fun as Rex and his Toy Story friends throw a glow party that takes over the park, with character greetings, a DJ dance party and more. There will also be an adults-only area with a private bar. To purchase tickets, call (407) 939-1872.

Volcano Bay 

Universal Studios Orlando debuted its third park, Volcano Bay, a year ago, and it's quickly become a staple of the tourist corridor scene with its Polynesian theme and lush, island vibe. The park’s centerpiece is a 200-foot-high volcano called Krakatau, where guests can embark on a number of thrill rides, including the Krakatau Aqua Coaster and the heart-thumping Ko’okiri Body Plunge, your chance to experience a near vertical drop.

Volcano Bay at Universal Orlando Resort

The park has tons of slides to choose from, with everything from racers and body slides, to multi-raft slides that bank high on turns. For guests who are looking for relaxation in place of exhilaration, Waturi Beach, the park’s wave pool, offers plenty of lounge chairs and even cabanas for rental. Another pool, The Reef, offers fewer waves but plenty of fun; or seek out Puka Uli Lagoon for the ultimate in zen time.

Family Time at Volcano Bay at Universal Orlando Resort

Tube slides like the three-story Taniwha Tubes, offer fun family racing opportunities galore.

Taniwha Tubes at Volcano Bay at Universal Orlando Resort

Kiddos aren’t left out though, with Runamukka Reef with its own smaller slides, and Tot Tiki Reef, perfect for small fry. The park also offers guests the opportunity to make reservations for attractions and skip standing in line with TapuTapu, a wristband that allows you to reserve your spot in the queue while enjoying the rest of the park.


SeaWorld’s Aquatica offers thrills for the whole family in a park that shares space with aquariums, so you can swim and race alongside dolphins as you play the day away. New for 2018, experience Ray Rush, a family raft ride that combines three different types of fun into one.

Ray Rush at Aquatica

Water jets launch you into the ride for a thrilling entrance to the course, before you swirl around a giant sphere, and then dive into giant manta wings, where you can experience a different path each time you ride.

Or take the Dolphin Plunge, side by side submerged tube slides that allow you to swim right alongside playful Commerson’s dolphins. Be on the lookout — the playful creatures may even challenge you to a race.

Dolphin Plunge at SeaWorld's Aquatica

You can also grab a mat and challenge your bestie to a race on the Tamauta Racers.

Our pick for fun in the sun? Roa’s Rapids, a lazy river that’s not so lazy. Wade through the water that’s propelled by a series of jets, and float along at an exciting pace that will leave you wanting more. And here’s a tip for visiting this beautiful park: when you purchase your tickets ahead of time, you can save big over waiting to purchase at the gate.

Tamauta Racers at Aquatica Orlando


Brooke Fehr
About the author

As group editor for WhereTraveler publications in Orlando, Daytona Beach, Tampa and So...