If you're going to Orlando soon, you need to set aside at least 1 day at Volcano Bay on your trip.
On this post
The newest park in the city is one of the busiest and perfect for those who like to enjoy a pool while on vacation.
However, as it is very recent, Volcano Bay has not yet become popular and people are not sure what to expect from park.
In today's article, we'll show you what you can do at Volcano Bay and how to use your 1 day there to enjoy it all. So keep reading!
Before we start, some information about Volcano Bay
Volcano Bay is an extremely recent park, having only opened in 2017. In other words, it brings the most modern when it comes to water parks.
It was built by Universal to replace the old Wet ?n Wild and is set to become a focal point for anyone vacationing in Orlando, especially in the warmer months of the year.
Speaking of which, let's start by answering a very common question: when is the best time to go to Volcano Bay?
In terms of temperature, Orlando has a set of more or less well-defined seasons: from October to March, the city goes through autumn/winter, with the coldest weather and less rainfall.
From April to September, the weather warms up and rains appear.
Therefore, we personally recommend that you go to Volcano Bay between May and June, as July, August and September tend to have heavier rains and even the possibility of hurricane.
Also, between October and March the temperature drops considerably and it is not so nice to spend the day at a water park.
Having defined the period you will go to Volcano Bay, there are three more points that we need to address before the itinerary itself. Check out:
One of the great novelties of Volcano Bay is the Tapu Tapu, an electronic bracelet that is used in practically everything involving the water park.
The innovative aspect is that with Tapu Tapu (each visitor gets one), Volcano Bay creates digital queues at attractions.
In other words, you don't have to physically stand in line to go to one of the rides. You can go there, swipe your Tapu Tapu at the attraction machine and join the digital queue. Then enjoy and have fun. When it's your turn, Tapu Tapu will let you know and you can go to the toy.
With that, you have more time to enjoy the park. In other words: you enter the digital queue and go enjoy the pools until your turn comes to the toys.
In addition, Tapu Tapu are used to pay for purchases at Volcano Bay restaurants and open lockers inside the park. Speaking of which…
Cabinets, cabins and towels
Like any water park, you will need to change. After all, you can't walk the streets in a bathing suit until you reach Volcano Bay.
Therefore, there are many lockers available to users, all of which work in a rental format. The smaller ones cost $8 dollars, the medium ones are $12 dollars and the fee for the big ones is $15 dollars.
Remembering that all payments are daily, regardless of the time of use.
In addition to lockers, the park also rents towels for the use of its visitors. The current price is $4.99 USD per unit, but we do not recommend renting them.
If you go in hot weather, you'll naturally dry off in the Florida heat, so towels aren't as useful. Also, you can bring your own towels or those from the hotel, so it doesn't make much sense to rent them.
To top it off, Volcano Bay still rents cabins of different types to users. They are scattered throughout the park, with waiter service, lounge chairs, towels and water, as well as a tablet that allows you to queue for attractions without having to go there. They cost $160 dollars per day.
1 day at Volcano Bay – a hectic and radical morning
Okay, now we can get into our 1-day Volcano Bay itinerary, as we have seen some basic information about the water park.
Volcano Bay is divided into 4 regions. See which ones:
- Wave Village;
- Rainforest Village;
- River Village.
For our 1-day itinerary in Volcano Bay, we will divide the period between morning and afternoon, with two regions in each. However, you can adapt our tips and organize your tour as you wish, ok?
The park is named Volcano Bay because of a gigantic 61-meter volcano that stands at its center. It is also there that the first region of our itinerary is located.
We chose to start our 1 day at Volcano Bay in this part because that is where the most extreme attractions of the park are.
Therefore, this is where the general public usually concentrates and it is good to take advantage of the first few hours to enjoy these toys before they sell out.
If you are staying at a Universal resort, we recommend that you use the advantage of entering an hour early (Volcano opens at 10 am, but guests enter at 9 am) to enjoy these more extreme attractions.
Check out what they are!
Attraction 1 – Ko'okiri Body Plunge
The best way to start our 1 day at Volcano Bay is to start an adrenaline rush with the main attraction of the place.
The Ko'okiri Body Plunge stands out can have a slide that is 38 meters high, at an angle of 70 degrees, which causes enormous speed. The coolest thing is that you enter a capsule and the floor opens for you to fall straight down this incredible slide.
Attraction 2 – Krakatau Aqua Coaster
One of Volcano Bay's most iconic attractions is this water roller coaster.
You get in a cart with 4 people and go through a path with ups and downs, which goes up to the volcano.
Attraction 3 – Kala & Tai Nui Serpentine Body Slides
A really cool attraction for your 1 day at Volcano Bay is Kala & Tai Nui. There are two slides (one green and one blue) that leave the volcano and lead to the large pool in the park.
The cool thing is to race with a friend and see who gets there first (hint: blue is faster, but green has more route changes). After going one way, try to go back to the other slide.
Attraction 4 – Punga Racers
Another cool idea of competition between friends is Punga Racers. There are 4 water slides that come out of the volcano and that will also fall into the pool. The cool thing about the attraction is that 4 people go together to bet a race and see who gets there first.
After having fun at Volcano's extreme attractions, our 1 day at Volcano Bay continues with more adventurous attractions.
This time, we go to the Rainforest Village, a part that is behind the park's volcano.
Rainforest Village stands out for having some radical attractions, but not as heavy as the Volcano. So it's perfect for slowing down a bit without losing impact.
Let's discover its attractions!
Attraction 5 – Taniwha Tubes
Taniwha Tubes is an attraction with four different water slides. In it, participants get together on a float (1 or 2 people at a time), to go down the path.
Each of the waterslides has a different path and it's pretty cool to try to do them all.
If you are afraid of very extreme attractions, don't worry, as the waterslides are quiet.
Attraction 6 – Maku & Puihi
Maku & Puihi is a set of water slides with multiple paths. It's really cool to walk through them because you feel like you're in a racing video game, seeing the "shortcuts" around the track.
It is worth going several times to go through all the available paths.
Attraction 7 – TeAwa The Fearless River
To end the morning of our 1 day at Volcano Bay, a ride on the fast-flowing river that passes around Rainforest Village.
The route is very peaceful and relaxing, perfect for a break before lunch.
Break for lunch
After a busy morning, our 1 day at Volcano Bay takes a break from the pool and goes to lunch.
It is worth remembering, as always, that if you want to adapt the attractions and modify the itinerary, feel free to do what is best for you and your family.
Among the food options, Volcano Bay has 4 fast food restaurants and 2 kiosks with some interesting food options.
All fast food outlets participate in the Universal Dining Plan, but kiosks do not.
Below, we list them all, in addition to their main dishes.
Follow the reading to know which one to choose when you're at Volcano Bay!
Bamboo Jungle Kitchen
With jungle-style decor, the Bambu Jungle Kitchen offers an array of snacks and sandwiches for visitors to Volcano Bay.
The main dish of the house is the Bambu Burguer, served with cheddar, cabbage, fried onions and avocado mayonnaise, in addition to a portion of fries (costs $15.49).
In addition to it, there are still more traditional hamburgers such as the cheeseburger or bacon cheeseburger.
For those who don't like hamburgers, the restaurant has some dishes such as chicken and salads.
The Feasting Frog
With the appearance of a giant frog, this restaurant specializes in Mexican food.
Their main course is the taco, served with beef, chicken or shrimp.
In addition, one of the highlights is the Poke Poke Bowl, a typical Hawaiian dish, which consists of a bowl with raw fish and various vegetables.
As a side dish, Feasting Frog serves French fries with guacamole.
Kohola Reef Restaurant & Social Club
The largest of Volcano Bay's restaurants is also the most famous and most sought after by tourists.
They serve a little bit of everything, but the main dish is the pork ribs made in the Hawaiian way (a delight).
In addition, they still sell chicken dishes, various types of hamburgers, sandwiches and even pizza (vegetarian or not).
They also stand out for delicious dessert options, such as a chocolate Lava Cake.
Whakawaiwai Eats is a pizza restaurant. They serve several, of all sizes and flavors.
The most curious is the Island BBQ Chicken Pizza, a pizza made of barbecue chicken (with barbecue sauce).
For the kids, they serve hot dogs and macaroni and cheese. By the way, they also have a 30 cm hot dog for adults, a specialty of the house.
1 day at Volcano Bay – an afternoon to rest and relax
Who hasn't heard parents or grandparents telling them not to go swimming right after eating? Therefore, we decided to list only quieter activities for the afternoon.
In addition to relaxing and resting, the afternoon will also give you more time to decide whether to return to one of the attractions you liked the most in the morning.
To top it off, as there is always a risk of rain, the afternoon also allows you to get out of the pool area while it rains and still have time to do everything.
So let's go!
After having fun at Volcano's extreme attractions, our 1 day at Volcano Bay continues with a break from the extreme.
Well, more or less.
Going to Wave Village, which is at the foot of the volcano, we only have more relaxing attractions.
Attraction 8 – Waturi Beach
Waturi Beach is an artificial beach with waves that serves as the “center” of Volcano Bay.
The pool is huge and with lots of artificial waves, which can reach some relatively high heights.
For some people, Waturi Beach is one of Volcano Bay's highlights, as it really feels like you're on a beach, but without the salt water.
Attraction 9 – The Reef
If you like a pool with waves, but not as big as the ones at Waturi Beach, you can go have some fun at The Reef.
It is also a wave pool, but much smaller and with small waves. More for rest.
Attraction 10 – Ohyah and Ohno Drop Slides
To finish off this area, a little more adventure with the Ohyah and Ohno Drop Slides. These are two water slides that start from inside the volcano, but end up there in the wave pool.
The tour, in general, is very smooth and pleasant. It doesn't have that much speed, especially compared to other attractions in the same park, but you can have a lot of fun.
The essential point here is that you are thrown directly into a part of the pool that is 3 meters deep. That's why it's very important that you only go on the waterslide if you know how to swim. Small children shouldn't go, of course.
Afternoon snack break
After enjoying the Wave Village area after lunch, you'll probably start to get a little hungry around 3:00 pm or 3:30 pm.
It's a great time to take a break from the fun for an afternoon snack at one of Volcano Bay's kiosks,
Check out our suggestions below!
The Fish Tail
This kiosk serves two options of snacks, plus some drinks.
The first one is the Churros with chocolate syrup. The second is a pretzel with cheese sauce. Both are very tasty and cost $6 dollars.
Both snacks are part of the Universal Dining Plan, so they are excellent options for those opting for this meal plan.
Koka Poroka, in turn, is an ice cream option, ideal for hotter days.
The downside is that they don't accept the Universal Dining Plan system, so you would have to pay dollars for the ice cream.
The good part is that the main ice cream of the house is Waturi Fusion, a “rainbow” ice cream, with a mixture of strawberry, orange, blue raspberry and banana. A delight!
After lunch, it's time to get back to the fun!
River Village is the last part of our 1 day at Volcano Bay as it is more “useful” for a certain type of audience: those traveling with children.
River Village is almost entirely dedicated to the youngest. Because of that, it's not very interesting for older people.
So, if you are not traveling with children, we recommend just one of the attractions here and then you can use the rest of the day to revisit the parts you liked the most, rest somewhere or do whatever you want.
If you have children, it might be interesting to change the order of the areas and start with the River Village, and then move progressively to the more hectic areas.
Let's see what the attractions of the area are!
Attraction 11 – Runamukka Reef
Runamukka Reef is a special area dedicated to pre-teen children. There are some slides (nothing too extreme), slightly deeper pools and the decor is very beautiful, based on corals.
Attraction 12 – Tot Tiki Reef
Also with coral decor, this area is more for the younger kids, 5, 6 years old, maybe a little less.
The pools are very small and shallow, with some playground-style toys. There are also some water jets that come out of the floor and other details that will amuse the children.
Attraction 13 – Honu Ika Moana
There's a little adrenaline here, but it's very little. There are two slides that stand out for some fast curves, but nothing that scares children or adults.
They are made in buoys (5 or 4 people depending on the slide), which makes the game more fun.
Attraction 14 – Kopiko Wai Winding River
To finish our 1-day itinerary in Volcano Bay, the ideal is to complete the path of the second rapid river in the park, the Kopiko Wai Winding River.
It runs around River Village and you can ride it on a single tube.
Is it worth staying overnight at Volcano Bay?
Well, our itinerary for 1 day at Volcano Bay ends here. If all goes well, you'll stay in the park until about 18 hours.
The big question that remains is: is it worth staying at Volcano Bay until the park closes? For those who don't know, the activities end at 9 am.
The thing is, it really depends.
For example, the time of year defines the time of sunset and the beginning of “evening” in Orlando. Between late March and early April, the weather starts to change and the sunset starts around 8pm, 7pm and whatever.
Before that, however, the sun starts to set at 18:00. After October, too.
In other words: staying longer in the park after 6 pm will depend on when you go. Also, it will depend on the weather.
Naturally, the sunset period is a little cooler than the rest of the day, so it might not be so cool to enjoy the pools. However, it is the park's off-peak hours, so there are fewer lines for activities.
Ultimately, the decision will depend on what you want. If you're in the mood for one more round at the main attractions, it's worth staying. Our 1-day Volcano Bay itinerary is designed to give you that leeway.
If you are tired of the park's water activities, it might be worth leaving at 6pm, going to your hotel, taking a shower and changing to enjoy dinner or something in the CityWalk, who knows?
That was our 1 day itinerary on Volcano Bay. You don't need more than that to enjoy everything the park has to offer. However, you will not be harmed if you prefer to repeat the dose on another day.
Unlike other parks, Volcano Bay is a place to relax and enjoy, so you can go for two days, maybe even three if you want.
If you liked our 1-day Volcano Bay itinerary, you might be interested in others we did:
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About the Author Carlos Braga:
Unparalleled experience in Orlando and Disney! As a former Universal Orlando team member and a passionate devotee of the magic of Disney, I have become a true Orlando travel expert. Before becoming a renowned travel consultant dedicated to Orlando, I had already made hundreds of visits to the parks, cultivating my knowledge and passion mainly over the last 7 years as a consultant and specialist in Disney travel.
My journey into this enchanted world began in 1995, when I took my first trip to Orlando. Since then, my love for Disney and the city has only grown. In 2023, we celebrate the sixth anniversary of 'Partiu Disney Parks', consolidating our role as one of the main sources of information about Disney and Orlando Parks.
During these six years of existence, we have continued to offer quality and updated content, being the reliable source for all those looking for essential information to plan their trip to Disney and Orlando. With my vast experience and passion for this magical destination, I am here to guide you every step of the way towards the most incredible Orlando and Disney experience!