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Aquatica Orlando: 12 Tips for Your Day at SeaWorld’s Waterpark

The Encore Resort Blog
April 24, 2024
April 24, 2024

Aquatica is as clean, imaginative and family-friendly as Orlando water attractions come. That means a lot in a city largely dominated by Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach and Universal’s Volcano Bay. But at SeaWorld’s Waterpark, not only will you slide and glide, float and coast, you’ll often do so only feet from playful dolphins, majestic turtles, tropical fish and more. In fact, between the 80,000+ square feet of sandy beaches, 36 water slides and several lazy rivers, there’s plenty to fill your day.

Here are our best tips for making sure you get the most of your experience:

Aquatica Tips

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1. Bring Your Own Towels

In Aquatica Orlando, you can only rent towels as there are no free towels. So be sure you bring your own towel if you don’t want to spend any money on renting them.

2. Wear water shoes or flip flops

Make sure you keep your flip-flops or water shoes on to protect your feet from the hot cement. When you get on the a ride, use the cubbies that are available around the park to store your shoes while on the rides.

3. Rent a Locker

If you’ve never been to a waterpark, you’ll find out very quickly that carrying around a load of gear — coolers, towels, personal items, etc. — gets old very quickly. Save yourself the struggle by stashing your stuff first thing at either the large picnic locker station by the entrance, or one of the smaller personal lockers located throughout the park. As a bonus, you’ll have peace of mind all day knowing your cell phones and other valuables are safe and sound (not floating around in the exit pool of your favorite slide!).

4. Rent a Lounge Chair

Do you get hot easily? During the summer the Florida sun can be pretty rough and if you ever need a break but still want your kids to enjoy the park then consider renting a lounge chair. The premium seating loungers come with access for two loungers in a shaded canopy. There are different areas you can get them and the earlier you come the more chances you have to get the best ones with great views of the park. Some of the areas the loungers are located in are the grassy area under KareKare Curl and another in the sandy beach near Big Surf wave pool.

Keep in mind though, that loungers do not participate in the cabana culinary delivery and are not refundable due to weather. Prices start at $49 per lounger.

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5. Bring Your Own Water & Snacks

Wondering what to bring to Aquatica? Definitely include your own water supply. Not only are your water bottles allowed in the park, they are encouraged to help your family stay hydrated. Small snacks are allowed, too! However, please note that meal-portioned items (including things like whole bags of chips) are prohibited. Our workaround? Feed your whole family right before entering and bring along pre-portioned snacks like crackers, cheese and granola bars to last throughout the day. Chances are your older kids will be so busy they won’t want to slow down for food anyway!

Pro Tip: If you’re concerned about an epic hunger meltdown, bring your full-sized lunch items and store them in one of the “picnic lockers” outside the front entrance. At mealtime, exit the park, pick up your food and head to the nearby park-provided picnic tables to eat! Then re-enter the park afterwards with your all-day tickets.

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6. Be Smart About Sun Protection

You’re probably already expecting to slather your family in water-resistant SPF 30+ sunscreen throughout the day. Good call! But there are a few other items you may want to bring along, too:

  • Specialty sun shirts for children and babies. Cotton t-shirts and shorts are not permitted on most body-slide rides.
  • Sunglasses and hats—these are especially helpful between 11:30 am and 3 pm.

7. Don't Miss Roa's Rapids!

Aquatica features two main lazy river experiences — Roa’s Rapids and Loggerhead Lane. Widely considered one of its best attractions, the rapids are nearly three times the size of the other river with much stronger currents. So although no inner tubes are allowed, the flow of the water still makes for a relaxing “ride” around the park — and it doesn’t hurt that much of the route is partially shaded by palm trees!

8. Make a Group Plan - Divide & Conquer

One of our go-to strategies is to split the family up by age and interest, with an agreement to meet back at a certain location at a certain time. Just purchase cheap, waterproof wristwatches for each family member in advance and give older children strict instructions about staying together and when to report back. (Please note that SeaWorld policy requires children under the age of 13 to be accompanied by an adult at all times.)

Pro Tip: Consider using the Cashless Wristband System (opens in a new tab) to ensure everyone can make necessary purchases on their own throughout the day. You can even set spending limits for teens!

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9. Try Renting a Cabana

If you are traveling with a large group, small children or an elderly family member, the additional cost to rent a cabana can be an excellent investment. In addition to shade, your cabana may include a ceiling fan, locker rental, bottled waters, mini fridge, Wi-Fi and more. Just think of the potential for naps and cold waters throughout the day — this is your vacation, after all!

Pro Tip: Interested in this option? Reserve your cabana online in advance to guarantee your spot.

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10. Take Advantage of the "Sunny Day Guarantee"

While Florida certainly lives up to its nickname as “The Sunshine State,” we do get our fair share of afternoon showers and thunderstorms. Most of these pass relatively quickly, ensuring you’re only likely to be kept off rides (for safety concerns) for 15 minutes to an hour, but be sure to review the Aquatica Sunny Day Guarantee (opens in a new tab) in advance in case your visit qualifies for a complimentary ticket to return another day.

11. Claustrophobia or Fear of Heights Warning

Throughout the whole park you will find that many of the slides and rides feature very confined areas with tall heights. So if you are one of the unlucky ones be prepared. You will be in tall areas and a lot of the slides are very narrow all the way down.

12. Aquatica Dining Options

Decided not to bring your own snacks? The dining options at Aquatica offer many different styles of food. Both American and International options are available throughout the park. The following are open throughout the whole year:

  • Waterstone Grill – Choose from a variety of kid-friendly dishes, salads, burgers, chicken sandwiches, wraps, and delectable desserts. Served with a selection of Coca-Cola drinks and ice-cold lager.
  • Trader Turi’s Tiki Bar – Take in the Polynesian atmosphere. Select from a range of tropical cocktails and frozen drinks, such as the iconic Orlando Vice.
  • Ke-Re’s Bar – This Bar serves a wide range of frozen treats, handcrafted specialty cocktails, draft and bottled beers, and a substantial array of wines, seltzers, and sangria available for purchase.
  • Kiwi Market – Expect a wide variety of wine and beer in bottles and draft, along with a large assortment of snack foods and Coca-Cola drinks, including frozen Jack & Coke.
  • Motu’s Beach Bar – Serves a wide range of specialty cocktails, frozen daiquiris, draft and bottled beers, wines, seltzers, and sangria. In addition, a variety of packed food and non-alcoholic beverages are available to enjoy.
Close up of a pepperoni pizza


  • Banana Beach Cook-out – Enjoy a wide variety of delicious favorites, such as pulled pork, burgers, BBQ ribs, BBQ chicken salad, kid-friendly meals, and delicious desserts. A range of bottled wine, beer, and sangria are on sale, along with a selection of Coca-Cola drinks.
  • Kura’s Beachside Panini – Find a wide range of delectable sandwiches, like the Caprese Panini, Turkey Panini, Cuban, and Chicken Pesto Panini. There are also packaged beer, seltzers, sangria, and wine available, in addition to fountain drinks.
  • Walkabout Pizza – This location is a favorite among people looking for a savory break. For the ideal refreshment, choose a freshly cooked, flatbread-style personal pizza with cheese or pepperoni and pair it with a refreshing fountain drink.
  • Papa’s Cantina – Choose from a variety of boneless wings and empanadas that are ready to be eaten with a selection of delectable sauces. Plus, quench your thirst with a refreshing selection of beverages.
  • Mango Market – Offers a great assortment of salads, sandwiches, loaded fries, and hot dogs. To sate your sweet craving, indulge in a variety of fruits, desserts, snacks, and sweet delights. There’s also Starbucks coffee, a selection of bottled wine, beer, and sangria, and a choice of Coca-Cola drinks.

Aquatica Frequently Asked Questions

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Q. What are Aquatica Orlando’s operating hours?
A. Park Hours Vary from season to season, weather and events so it is best to check their webpage for all opening/closing hours.

Q. Are there Minimum Height Requirements?
A. Yes, some of the raft slides and body slides have minimum requirements ranging from 42 to 48 inches. If your child is at least 48 inches tall then they will be able to explore everything the park has to offer. Check out the accessibility guide for more information.

Q. Can I re-enter Aquatica Orlando if I leave the park?
A. Yes, people may leave and re-enter the park on the same day. Make sure to get your hand stamped at the exit before re-entering.

Q. Does Aquatica offer accommodations for guests with disabilities?
A. The park provides accessible guides as well as unique access to rides and attractions for customers with impairments. Please visit Guest Services when you arrive for further information.

Q. Can Shoes be worn on slides?
A. Flip-flops, sandals, and water shoes are permitted on the majority of slides. However, footwear is not permitted on Riptide Race, Omaka Rocka, Reef Plunge, or Ihu’s Breakaway Falls. For slides with shoe restrictions, there are storage spaces near the ride’s entrance where you can leave your shoes before ascending the slide.

Q. Are there Showers in Aquatica Orlando?
A. Yes, you can find showers and lockers all throughout the park.

Q. Can I smoke at Aquatica Orlando?
A. Smoking (including the use of electronic cigarettes) is only permitted in designated smoking locations throughout the park. The specific smoking place is located near Omaka Rocka and is prominently marked on the park map for your convenience.

Q. Are Life Vests Availible at Aquatica Orlando?
A. Yes, the park offers a variety of United States Coast Guard (USCG) Type III life jackets for all ages, as well as Type II vests designed for infants, for free throughout the park. Guests are only permitted to use USCG-approved Type II or III life jackets. The use of flotation equipment such as noodles, swimmies, in-suit flotation gear, personal swim rings/floats, and boogie boards is prohibited.

Book Your Stay at Encore Resort at Reunion

After a day of excitement and discovery at Aquatica Orlando, relax in the comfort and luxury of Encore Resort at Reunion. Our resort has luxury vacation homes ranging from 4- to 13- bedrooms, each with a private pool, fully equipped kitchen, and plenty of room for relaxation and entertainment. Plus, with resort-style amenities and concierge services, your stay will be as delightful as seeing Orlando’s best attractions.

By planning your Orlando vacation, enjoy the best of both worlds — from the aquatic delights of Aquatica and SeaWorld to the unsurpassed comforts of Encore Resort. Book your vacation home (opens in a new tab) rental today and prepare for an amazing trip!

Nico Luna wearing a swimsuit a T-shirt

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