With summer temperatures consistently in the nineties, Central Florida is a haven for fun in the sun. But if you’re looking to beat the heat on your next Orlando-area vacation, a water park may be just the ticket. Here is a quick guide to some of the area’s best settings for aquatic adventure. (Note: Water parks close throughout the year and due to bad weather, so be sure to do a check a few days before your trip to verify that your desired destination is fully operational.)
If Disney is your next vacation destination, consider spending a day at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park. This 56-acre theme park features nine water slides, a water coaster, a whitewater adventure, and a pool with the world’s biggest artificial waves, among other attractions. A ticket can easily be added to your other Disney venue visits with the Park Hopper Plus pass. Or, you can opt to add on a water park visit and some sports-related fun with Disney’s Water Park and Sports Option ticket which includes miniature and regular golf opportunities.
For a deluxe day in the water, check out Discovery Cove. With a strict capacity limit, this water park offers an unrivaled combination of theme park attractions and up-close animal encounters in an exclusive environment. At Discovery Cove, you can plan the day to suit your needs. Swim with the dolphins, snorkel with rays, or just lounge on the lazy river or an in-park beach while indulging in unlimited food and drink. This all-inclusive experience has you covered from tip to toe with towels and sunscreen included.
Aquatica Orlando is SeaWorld’s themed water park that features a variety of rides like racing raft slides as well as relaxing beaches and heated pools. It has recently ranked #1 as the Nation’s Best Outdoor Water Park by USA Today 10Best Reader’s Choice Awards and has garnered several other accolades. The park is packed with pools and slides as well as ample shopping and dining venues. For a special day in the shade, book a private cabana.
Another amazing water park offering is Universal’s Volcano Bay Water Park. Opened in 2017, this park is themed around a 200-foot-tall volcano named Krakatau. As with other Universal offerings, this destination caters to thrills with attractions like Kala and Tai Body Slides—featuring trap doors and intertwining tubes, the twisty Krakatau Aqua Coaster, and the Ko’okiri Body Plunge with its 125-foot, 70-degree fall. Here, you’ll also be treated to delicious South Pacific-inspired dishes and fabulous shopping opportunities for essentials and one-of-a-kind merchandise.
Wherever you choose to cool off, end the day at a reliable resort-area hotel. Close to Walt Disney World, check out the Crowne Plaza Lake Buena Vista or the Fairfield Inn Orlando Lake Buena Vista. If your stay centers around the dining and entertainment of International Drive, consider lodging at the Aloft Orlando International Drive, Comfort Inn International, Element Orlando International Drive, or Best Western International Drive. Other excellent area options are the Wyndham Orlando Resort & Conference Center/Celebration, Staybridge Suites Orlando Royale Parc, and Fairfield Inn Orlando Airport.