Set to open in 2017, Universal’s Volcano Bay is a next-generation water park inspired by the belief that water is life and life is joy. Universal’s team traveled the world visiting water parks and tropical resorts in Bali, the Middle East, Europe, and the United States to help shape the vision for their all-new destination. Spanning over 28 acres, Volcano Bay will transport you to a lush, tropical oasis influenced by the Pacific isles.
What was originally thought to be called Wonder Sea Island has transformed into a picture-perfect destination called Volcano Bay. According to an announcement, the water park will open by at least June 1st, 2017, making it the resort’s third park. With Orlando welcoming a new water park, summer visitors are bound to visit it, but why should they visit it? Why should they give the park a chance? Why should they look forward to this development? And what’s different about this water park from others? Well, let’s just say it completely redefines what a water park is. Universal’s Volcano Bay is not just a “water park” but a “water theme park,” the resort insists. Volcano Bay will feature a towering volcano at the center called Krakatau and include surprising drop slides that you’re pretty much guaranteed to enjoy. So now the question is, why not look forward to this? I’ll break down my reasons for you below, and when you’re finished reading this article you’ll probably be planning your next vacation to Orlando in the summer of 2017.
It Redefines What a Water Park Is
In terms of theming, Universal has hit it out of the ballpark! Branded as a “water theme park,” Volcano Bay will revolve around one main theme but consist of over four themed areas — Krakatau, Wave Village, River Village, and Rainforest Village. Krakatau, the heart of the park, will feature a towering volcano as the park’s landmark. Wave Village (located at the base of Krakatau) creates a peaceful escape overlooking the sparkling waters of Waturi Beach. River Village provides a scenic atmosphere and Rainforest Village stretches along the shores of an action-packed river to provide the perfect mix of relaxation and exhilaration. These attributes help to create a setting like no other, but that’s not where Universal’s Creative team chose to stop!
When visiting a theme park, lines always come to mind. How long will the lines be? What are the lines like during the summer? Will the wait times be long during my visit? Well, that’s where Universal promises little hassle for guests, declaring that they “found a way to get rid of long lines.” The company plans to accomplish this using a complimentary wristband called Tapu Tapu wearable, which will virtually hold your place in line as you explore the park. And to make the experience even better, the wristbands will allow you to illuminate hidden images in the volcano’s hidden caves and more.
Just as every other theme park features a landmark (Universal Studios Florida’s landmark is the arch, Islands of Adventure’s is the lighthouse, Magic Kingdom’s is Cinderella Castle, etc.) so does Volcano Bay — and unlike Universal’s existing parks, Volcano Bay’s landmark will not be located at the entrance but rather at the center. What is the landmark you may be asking? Well, I doubt that was a question you were waiting to ask because it’s outright obvious. But you may be wondering, how tall is the park’s landmark? Volcano Bay’s landmark is a 200-foot tall volcano called Krakatau. This towering structure will feature a cascading waterfall by day and illuminate with blazing lava by night to create a truly epic ambiance.
And lastly, you can’t forget about the attractions—they’re the highlight of the park, and this park will feature 18.
Located at the park’s heart is Krakatau. This area will consist of three distinctive body slides at the rear of the volcano as well as additional attractions in the zone. Ko’okiri Body Plunge (one of the “volcano slides”) features a racing, 70-degree fall through a drop door at 125-feet through the center of Krakatau. Ko’okirir Body Plunge will be the world’s first ever slide to travel through a pool occupied with guests. And if you thought that was where it ended…it’s not. Krakatau will also feature two intertwining slides called Kala and Ta Nui Serpentine Body Slides in which two guests drop simultaneously through twin trap doors at 124-feet. But Krakatau doesn’t only feature trapped door type slides, and that’s where the area’s other two attractions come into talk — Punga Racers and the marquee attraction Krakatau Aqua Coaster (this epic ride launches you upwards and downwards and through the volcano).
Another themed area is Wave Village. Here, you can visit Waturi Beach (a sparkling, multi-directional wave pool) and The Reef (a leisure pool with calm waters).
At River Village, you can enjoy a winding river through Krakatau’s hidden caves (Kopiko Wai Winding River), splash around at Tot Tiki Reef’s toddler play area, play at a three-story water playground (Runamukka Reef), go on an adventurous raft ride (Honu), and enjoy a twisting raft ride across bubbling geysers (Ika Moana).
And finally, you can visit Rainforest Village, which features the most attractions in the park. Rainforest Village includes North America’s first “saucer ride” that sends rafts speeding around three saucer-shaped curves (Maku), a multi-passenger raft ride that plunges into darkness (Puihi), two twisting slides launching four or six feet above water (Ohyah and Ohno Drop Slides), and three additional attractions — TeAwa The Fearless River, Taniwha Tubes, and Puka Uli Lagoon.