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What to Expect at Universal’s Volcano Bay in Orlando

The Encore Resort Blog
April 25, 2024
April 25, 2024

Volcano Bay combines the thrills of a waterpark with the Universal Studio magic guests know and love! From thrilling slides like the Krakatau Aqua Coaster to serene spots like Waturi Beach, there’s something for everyone. With TapuTapu technology minimizing wait times, you’ll spend less time in lines and more time enjoying the fun. Whether you’re seeking adrenaline-pumping rides or laid-back relaxation, Volcano Bay promises a day of excitement and tropical bliss!

So, what can you expect when visiting Volcano Bay? Let’s find out!

Universal Studios-Worthy Storytelling

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Universal’s Volcano Bay™ is being called a “water theme park.” Its detailed staging borrows from South Pacific cultures with a fictional-yet-intricate backstory about the forbidden love between Tai Nui (daughter of the god Krakatau) and Kala (a native youth). After being separated, the two are later reunited as the volcano centerpiece of the land — and celebrated by the Waturi people for eternity. Your whole adventure takes place in this setting!

Upgrades for Annual Passes

Is Volcano Bay included in an annual pass for Universal Orlando™ Resort? The short answer: It can be. Annual passes purchased before the park opened now have the option to upgrade the remainder of their year to include the new park for a fee. Three-park annual passes comprise the most economical option for guests wishing to visit all the parks year-round.

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Unique Water Rides

Sure, the names of the rides might be a little difficult to pronounce, but what matters here is substance. Must-try attractions (opens in a new tab) include the magnetically-powered Krakatau™ Aqua Coaster, which actually accelerates faster on climbs than drops; the daring Ko’oriki Body Plunge™, the world’s tallest and fastest trap door slide; and TeAwa The Fearless River™, a whitewater inner tube experience. But the mat racers, tube rides, sandy beaches, lazy rivers, and even the tropical food and drinks all create an unforgettable experience!

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Cool Wrist Bands

One key feature of the bay is its TapuTapu™ wristbands. These waterproof, wearable bands allow you to hold your place in line without actually being in line! Just scan your band outside one ride at a time to start a countdown which ends with a beeping “RIDE NOW” notification. This allows you to maximize time checking out the other attractions. As a bonus, the wristbands can be tethered to your credit card, allowing you to leave all your dry stuff and valuables in a locker all day.

Lockers

Volcano Bay provides a choice of locker sizes for rent at five different sites. Each site has a kiosk that will walk you through the payment procedure and link your locker with your TapuTapu for further ease during your stay. Exclusive lockers are also available when you reserve a private cabana or premium seats.

Maps

Keep a watch out for Volcano Bay maps throughout the park, and take advantage of the Official Universal Orlando Resort app, which contains a full map. It’s a good idea to acquaint yourself with the map before your visit. Volcano Bay is separated into three major areas: Wave Village in the entrance, Rainforest Village in the back, and River Village near the volcano. Furthermore, the Volcano itself offers distinct attractions. Each hamlet is outfitted with necessary amenities such as lockers, restrooms, beach chairs, culinary options, and lots of sunshine, assuring a comfortable and enjoyable experience for all visitors.

Dining Options

Dining at Volcano Bay provides a unique experience that complements the park’s immersive, tropical setting. The water park has a number of eating options spread among its three main villages: Wave Village, River Village, and Rainforest Village. Each location has its own selection of eateries, ranging from quick snacks and light eats to more substantial, sit-down meals. Here is a quick list of what to expect:

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  • Bambu: Provides customers with a relaxing dining experience reminiscent of a beachfront getaway, along with a selection of fresh and savory cuisine. Its architecture, which emphasizes natural materials, perfectly compliments the park’s tropical atmosphere, making it a popular stop for visitors to refuel and unwind in between water park excursions.
  • Dancing Dragons Boat Bar: Relax in the cool shade of this one-of-a-kind canteen, which is shaped like an antique outrigger canoe and with brilliantly repainted sails reminiscent of a Chinese junk ship. It’s the ideal place to unwind with a tropical cocktail or ice drink in hand, all while feeling the sand between your toes.
  • Kohola Reef Restaurant & Social Club: A breezy oasis, perched at the foot of the majestic Krakatau volcano, serves a variety of fresh island fare. Try the zesty Mango BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches, savory Quinoa Edamame Burgers, crispy Coconut Crusted Fried Chicken, and sweet Guava Tapioca Pudding. Relax and enjoy the soothing sound of calm waves brushing against the lagoon’s edge while you indulge.
  • Kunuku Boat Bar: There’s something for everyone, from refreshing frozen drinks and unique specialty cocktails to traditional fountain sodas and keg beers. This landlocked bar, named after the mythological fish that brought the Waturi islanders to Volcano Bay, provides a unique backdrop for a refreshing drink.
  • Whakawaiwai Eats: Enjoy the flavors of Island BBQ Chicken Pizza, Tropical Baby Greens Salad, Hawaiian Pizza, Specialty Foot-Long Hot Dogs on Pretzel Buns, Jerk Shrimp Mac & Cheese, fruit, and other delectable treats next to the shimmering river. Indulge in these tropical classics, which guarantee to tantalize your taste senses at any time.
  • The Feasting Frog: Modeled after a tropical frog, with an inviting patio seating. It offers a selection of cool beverages and robust foods, such as the Poke Poke Bowl, tasty carne asada or chicken tacos, and liberally topped nachos
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Height Requirements

Guests taller than 48″ can ride all of the adult rides, while those between 42” and 48” may need to be accompanied by what the park calls “a supervising companion.” The large bodies of mostly-standing water, including the beaches and lazy rivers, don’t have height requirements, but children under 48” may be asked to wear a life vest. Several attractions are designed specifically for children. Read the official list.

Off-Site Parking

One thing that’s not well advertised is the parking situation. Unfortunately, the 30-acre park does not offer on-site parking. Instead, you’ll need to leave your vehicle at Universal CityWalk™ and ride a shuttle over to Volcano Bay. It’s a short distance, but one you’ll want to expect before showing up.

Early park admission to Volcano Bay

Is available to Universal Orlando Hotel guests and other select groups. You can get inside the park up to 1 hour early before the park opens.

Premium Seating & Cabanas

We recommend that clients wanting a calm refuge in the stunning water park oasis reserve a Volcano Bay Cabana or choose Premium Seating. These options are great for individuals who want to enjoy the luxury of Universal Studios’ water park or simply find a sheltered area for the day. Consider hiring a cabana with a refrigerator and dedicated service for an extra touch of VIP treatment at Universal’s Volcano Bay.

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What to Bring

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Wear a swimsuit and consider a cover-up, as well as water-friendly shoes, and always bring a towel. Aside from that, keep your belongings to a bare minimum, similar to beach day necessities like a refillable water bottle, sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat. Remember that whatever you carry should fit easily in a locker or be properly stored in your beach chair while biking.

Best Time to Visit

Spring

From mid-March to May, just before schools break for the summer. The weather is nice, and crowds are often lower than during peak summer months. This is an excellent time to visit the sights and avoid huge lines.

Summer

Early June or late August. Despite the fact that summer is the biggest season, arriving just after schools finish in June or when schools reopen in late August can result in slightly smaller crowds. Prepare for scorching temperatures and occasional afternoon thunderstorms, and consider visiting the park early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid peak sun and crowds.

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Fall

September through early November. This is likely the greatest time to visit Volcano Bay because of the lesser crowds, particularly on weekdays, and the still-warm temperatures. The water remains warm, and the shorter wait times for rides improve the experience.

Winter

January to February. Volcano Bay can still be nice during the mild winters in Florida, especially on milder days. Crowds are kept to a minimum, and while some days may be too cool for water park fun, others are lovely enough to swim. Check the weather forecast and plan a visit on a sunny, moderate day.

Dani Luna in a swimsuit and inner tube

Universal’s Volcano Bay Water Park offers an unparalleled blend of thrills, relaxation, and tropical beauty. With its innovative attractions, TapuTapu technology, and stunning scenery, it’s a destination that promises endless fun for visitors of all ages. Plus, with convenient accommodations nearby like the Encore Resort at Reunion, your vacation experience is elevated to new heights.

After a day of excitement at Volcano Bay, retreat using Encore’s complimentary shuttle to the luxurious resort comforts, where spacious vacation homes, private pools, and top-notch amenities await. Whether you’re seeking heart-pounding excitement or peaceful moments by the water, Volcano Bay delivers an unforgettable experience that will leave you longing to return again and again. So pack your sunscreen and sense of adventure – a day at Volcano Bay, coupled with the indulgent relaxation of Encore Resort, is sure to be a highlight of your Orlando getaway!

Latest Happenings

Santa and Mrs. Claus sitting in a private cabana at the Encore Resort Water Park