Volcano Bay is the newest and coolest (literally) theme park at Universal Orlando. There’s nothing more fun to do on a hot Florida day than head to a waterpark. Volcano Bay officially opened in May 2018, and we were lucky to be some of the first guests, to check out the park and ride the water slides.
We’ve put together this guide to planning your trip to Volcano Bay Universal Orlando to ensure you know the ins & out’s of the waterpark.
There are more than 20 waterslides at Volcano Bay. There is a slide for everyone’s adventure level. There’s one that starts with a 70-degree fall through a trap door, round rafting up sweeping walls, and drop slides shooting you out.
Float in the lazy river as your Tapu Tapu wearable waits in line for your next waterslide. If the lazy river is a little too lazy for you, then jump in a tube and head down the fearless river, complete with rapids and choppy waves.
Complete list of rides at Volcano Bay
- Krakatau™ Aqua Coaster | 4-person canoes sliding & twists into the volcano before plunging through the waterfall of the volcano
- Ko’okiri Body Plunge™ | 70-degree fall through a trap door down the volcano 125 feet. Definitely not for the faint-hearted.
- Kala & Tai Nui Serpentine Body Slides™ | Lay down and wind your way through the volcano before hitting the water below. Punga Racers™ | Single racers race each other to the bottom a manta ray mat.
- Honu ika Moana™ | 4-person raft that sweeps up two huge walls and will have you screaming at the top of your lungs. *Editors Favorite
- Taniwha Tubes™ | There are 4 tubes all with unexcepted turns.
- Maku Puihi Round Raft Rides™ | There are two lava tubes to choose from, 6-person rafts make their way spinning through the volcano, and then a zero-gravity hang to top off the ride!
- Ohyah & Ohno Drop Slide™ | Take your pick between two drop slides, Ohno lunges you out 6 feet above the pool.
When entering the park, you’ll be given a TapuTapu wearable which will transform the way you experience the waterpark. Your TapuTapu wearable will not only wait in line for you but can also make all your park purchases. No need to remember your locker number. Your TapuTapu will automatically open your locker door.
To make purchases via TapuTapu, you’ll need to set up a Universal account on the app and link a credit card. It’s super easy to do and will make your day at the park much more enjoyable.
No Standing In Line
We grew up in Wisconsin and went to Wisconsin Dells Noah’s Ark Waterpark every year, and I remember standing in lines for HOURS. Well, Universal Orlando has come up with a way to eliminate this and created a line management system.
Now all you have to do is tap your TapuTapu wearable at the totems marked with the Volcano Bay logo at the entrance of rides. Your TapuTapu stands in line for you, and you’ll be alerted when it’s your time to ride. Once your watch says “Time to Ride,” head over to the ride and tap in!
Volcano Bay Express Pass
For those wanting to ride as many rides as possible, it’s worth getting an express pass. The express passes are a little different than other Universal Orlando theme parks. With an express pass, you can go to any ride at any time and join the “line.” Remember the line is very short, on average 15 minutes, and only for those guests who waited for their TapuTapu to alert them to ride or those with an express pass. There are two types of express passes at Volcano Bay.
Volcano Bay Universal Express Pass Plus, $39.99 per person per day, lets you skip the virtual lines at all attractions & rides once. This would be a good option for those who want to test out each ride.
- Volcano Bay Universal Express Pass, $19.99 per person per day lets you skip the virtual lines at SELECT rides & attractions once. Before purchasing this express pass, make sure the rides at Volcano Bay you really want to ride are part of the select ones included in this express pass.
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A Real Sand Beach
At the base of the volcano is Waturi Beach, complete with real sand. Your toes can be in the sand while your TapuTapu counts down the minutes until it’s time to hit the waterslides.
There are a ton of beach chairs and umbrellas that are first come, first served. We recommend coming early to get a chair. However, for the ultimate day at the park, reserve a cabana or premium seating in advance. There are two types of cabanas, single cabanas for up to 6 people for $159.99 per day and family cabanas which can hold up to 16 people for $299.99 per day. Plus, cabanas come with some pretty sweet bonuses:
- Refrigerator stocked with waters
- Fruit & Snack Basket
- Towel & Locker Service
- Concierge service with an exclusive menu delivered right to the cabana
Lockers are available to rent for the day. There are several sizes. We found that the larger ones fit several people’s stuff. What we really liked about the lockers is that the TapuTapu will automatically open your locker when you come back, which is awesome because we often forget our numbers…
There are a ton of restaurants and island-inspired eats to try out. We personally indulged in many of the Volcano Bay exclusive eats. Some of our favorites were: mango BBQ pulled pork sandwich, longboard-shaped Hawaiian pizza, coconut chicken curry, plantains, poke bowl, and much more. There are tons of drink and snack shops throughout the park as well. Restaurants to check out:
Restaurants to check out:
- Kohola Reef Restaurant & Social Club
- Whakawaiwai Eats
- The Feasting Frog
Unique Food Items Exclusive To Volcano Bay
- Dippin’ Dots Berry Breeze | Exclusive mix of blueberry and lime Dippin Dots
- Beer – Volcano Blossom | Specially brewed beer by local Orlando Brewer, Orange Blossom Brewing Co. Volcano Blossom is a honey beer made with real, local blossom honey, starfruit, and papaya.
- Kunuku Kooler | Exclusive sweet mixed berry punch only available at the souvenir cup Coca-Cola dispenser
Hours vary based on the time of year and the day of the week. During the summer, when the days are longer, it’s open until 10 pm on the weekends, but during the winter months, the park closes at 6 pm on weekdays. The park opens daily at 10 am for regular admission, and early admission at 8 am during the summer of 2022.
Volcano Bay ticket prices vary based on many factors. There is one day passes, multi-park passes, Florida resident pricing, and an annual pass option. There is no annual pass to only Volcano Bay. You’ll have to purchase the three parks’ annual pass. Here are a few ticket prices for adults ages 10+ to give you an idea:
- 1 Day Volcano Bay Pass $70
- 3 Day 3 Park Pass $314.99 | 4 days 3 Park $324.99 | 5 days 3 Park $334.99
- 3 Day 1 Park a day pass $259.99 | 4 days 1 Park a day $269.99 | 5 days 1 Park a day $279.99
- Annual passes range from $383.99- $688.99
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Follow the signs to a dedicated Volcano Bay parking section of the Universal Orlando parking garage. From here, you’ll have to take a shuttle to Volcano Bay.
Universal Orlando Parking Rates:
- $30 prime parking
- $22 RV/Bus parking
- $20 parking
Valet parking is available at additional rates.
Universal Orlando On-Site Hotels
There are six on-site hotels, but Cabana Bay is at the base of the volcano. There are several rooms with epic volcano views. There is even a private entrance to Volcano Bay for Cabana Bay guests. If you are staying at one of the other resorts, there are shuttles to Volcano Bay.
- Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort
- Hard Rock Hotel
- Lowes Sapphire Resort
- Lowes Royal Pacific Resort
- Lowes Portofino Bay Hotel
- Universal’s Aventura Hotel
No matter which Universal Orlando Resort you stay at, you’ll only be minutes away from all action.
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Have you been to Volcano Bay and have any tips for an epic day at the waterpark? Share them below in the comments and we’ll make sure to add them in our article.
*We are official members of the Universal Blog Squad but as always opinions are our own*