10 Tips for Visiting Universal's Volcano Bay Water Park

If you're planning on a Universal Orlando vacation, you need to make sure Volcano Bay is in your itinerary!

Many think that 2 days is enough when visiting Universal Orlando... wrong! Volcano Bay has more family attractions than any water park, meaning it's fun for the WHOLE family! You can also utilize early park admission to Volcano Bay if you are staying at a Universal Orlando resort. 

1.Stay at the Aventura Hotel!

The Aventura Hotel is within walking distance to Volcano Bay, and is a FANTASTIC hotel! Check out some photos from my stay on July 1 below, as well as some key amenities and features of this resort. Note that the Aventura definitely has a more modern, "older" feel, and though it is kid-friendly, Cabana Bay is a bit better fit for those with younger kids. Luckily, Cabana Bay isn't too far away!

Aventura Hotel amenities:

  • Early park admission to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter one hour before the parks open
  • Steps away from Volcano Bay waterpark
  • Rooftop Bar 17 Bistro
  • Starbucks on property
  • Pool and kids splash zone
  • and more!

2. Speak to the spirit of the volcano, Vol!

You can speak to the spirit of the volcano, and yes - his name is Vol! I personally always ask to hear the story of how Volcano Bay came to be.

3. Get the MyUniversalPhotos!

The 3-day UniversalPhotos is a MUST get if you are planning to visit all three parks. If you have ever wondered what you look like coming down a water slide, here is your chance!

These attractions will snap your photos:

  • Krakatau Aqua Coaster 
  • Ohyah of Ohyah & Ohno Drop Slides 
  • Ohno of Ohyah & Ohno Drop Slides 
  • Tonga of Taniwha Tubes 
  • Raki of Taniwha Tubes 
  • Punga Racers 
  • Honu of Honu ika Moana 
  • Ika Moana of Honu ika Moana

4. Upgrade to premium seating
Premium outdoor seating is a lifesaver. Volcano Bay offers two types of upgraded seating: the premium seating and cabanas for larger groups. Both must be booked in advance - especially for weekends and summer holidays. 

Premium Seating

Premium seating includes two lounge chairs with shade and a lockbox. Lock away your valuables and know that they are safe! Get food delivered to you while you soak up the sun. The perfect place for when you need a nap!

Cabana Rentals

Relax, unwind and enjoy the charms of your own private cabana in paradise with extra-comfy seating, concierge service and more. Each retreat offers padded lounge chairs, a small refrigerator stocked with bottled water, complimentary fruit and snack basket, towel and locker service, plus concierge service with an exclusive menu of food and drink delivered directly to the cabana. One-story and two-story retreats are located throughout the park.

5. Pack the essentials...

Don't forget to pack the essentials! You don't want to show up to the water park with things like sunscreen, sunglasses, or a hat! If you do forget something, items are available for purchase (at a much higher price point than what you would get at Walmart). 

Pack things like...

  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Waterproof case or ziploc baggies
  • Towels
  • Hat

6. ... Bring a towel!

Universal charges a towel fee ($5-$6), so bring your own! EXCEPT if you're staying at a Universal Orlando resort hotel. Rent a cabana, and they will provide you with one! Read more about cabanas above.

7. Use TapuTapu wearable to reserve your time at attractions and have fun around the park

When you arrive at Volcano Bay, you’ll receive a TapuTapu to wear on your wrist. It's your key to having an amazing day—you'll use it to ride most of the attractions, activate interactive surprises, open rental lockers, make cash-free payments and more. Read more about the TapuTapu here.

8. Download the Universal Orlando app to use for mobile ordering

Take advantage of mobile ordering while at Volcano Bay! You can conveniently order food and drinks, giving you the opportunity to still have fun and avoid long lines. You can order from popular places such as Kohola Reef or Bambu and The Feasting Frog. Mobile ordering save you lots of times so you can maximize the time you have at Volcano Bay!

9. Make sure the little ones in your party are big enough to participate in the attractions

You'll want to know this beforehand if you are bringing little ones to the park that might want to join their older brothers and sisters on the rides!

If your child is at least 48 inches tall, they can enjoy ALL attractions at Volcano Bay. Those who are at least 42 inches can participate in most. For those under, Runamukka Reef, Tot Tikki Reef, and Kapiko Wai Winding River (the lazy river) are made for smaller guests. These sections even have slides for the little ones to still feel like they are in on the fun like the big kids!

10. Don't let rain ruin your day

Is rain in the forecast the day you are supposed to be at Volcano Bay? Don't let it rain on your parade, you are going to be wet anyways! Just bring rain ponchos or plastic baggies to wrap your towels and/or throw your gear in a locker on-site at the park and call it a day. 

I hope you found/find these tips helpful for your upcoming trip to Universal Orlando! And if you want to start planning your vacation, you know where to find me! :)