Aquatica Orlando: The Ultimate Guide for Wet & Wild Fun with Kids

With a variety of Aquatica slides, guests can choose their level of thrill.
With a variety of Aquatica slides, guests can choose their level of thrill.
6/4/23 - By Charlotte B

We recently visited Aquatica, SeaWorld’s awesome water park, for the ultimate summer outing to beat the Florida heat! This was my first Aquatica visit with all three of my kids (ages 5, 9, and 12), and we had a blast! There is truly something for every age to enjoy at this tropical oasis. Not only is Aquatica Orlando home to many fun water slides and pool areas, guests can also get a glimpse of sea life as well, making Aquatica a truly unique Orlando vacation.


Kids love playing in the sand and wading into the water at the two wave pools, while parents relax in a lounge chair or beachside cabana. Photo courtesy Aquatica

Aquatica Orlando: Water Slides

Aquatica offers two body slides. Reef Plunge takes riders through an underwater habitat, home to playful Commerson’s dolphins and leopard sharks. Daring guests can brave a freefall on Ihu’s Breakaway Falls, Orlando’s steepest multi-drop tower. Extreme thrill seekers can race down mats head first on the Taumata Racer water slide.

Tassie's Twister: Aquatica Orlando: The Ultimate Guide for Wet & Wild Fun
Make your way to the thrilling Tassie's Twister, accessible from the lazy river. 

Aquatica also boasts several raft or tube water slides. Race with friends on the world’s tallest dueling racer: Riptide Race. Experience weightlessness on KareKare Curl, a thrilling family raft ride. Ray Rush is another family raft ride, offering guests three water adventures in one cool ride. Team up on Omaka Rocka, a fun water slide featuring flumes and funnels. The quirkiest ride in the park, Tassie’s Twisters, can only be accessed through the lazy river. Riders shoot out of tubes into a giant bowl, spin around several times, and exit the ride right back into the lazy river. Choose between four separate high-speed adventures on Whanau Way, and venture through a six-story maze ride with Walhalla Wave.

RELATED: Best Outdoor Water Parks in Orlando for Family Fun

Turi's Kid Cove: Aquatica Orlando: The Ultimate Guide for Wet & Wild Fun
Turi's Kid Cove has zero-entry access, making it the perfect water area for young guests. Photo by the author

Aquatica Orlando: Pools, Rivers, & Play Areas

Little ones can enjoy hours of fun in the newly renovated Turi’s Kid Cove, complete with a variety of slides, interactive splash pad area, and shallow pool with zero-entry access and maximum water depth of two feet. The main attraction, Tamariki Twirl, is a wave slide designed just for little ones, and was a highlight for my kiddos! This is just one of the many reasons we named Aquatica one of Orlando’s best water parks for toddlers.

Tamariki Twirl: Aquatica Orlando: The Ultimate Guide for Wet & Wild Fun
Tamariki Twirl is a wave slide designed just for little ones.

While Turi’s Kid Cove is great for younger guests, older kids will probably want to gravitate toward the whimsical Walkabout Waters giant water playground. This 60-foot tall structure features slides, stairs, water cannons, a giant water dump bucket, and many more fun features.

Enjoy double the fun with side-by-side wave pools: Cutback Cove & Big Surf Shores. Each wave pool features a sandy beach area and plenty of seating so parents can relax while kids enjoy the waves.

Rao's River Aquatica Orlando: The Ultimate Guide for Wet & Wild Fun
Relax and gently float down Roa's Rapids. Photo by the author

And no water park is complete without a lazy river to float in! At Aquatica, there are two rivers to choose from: Loggerhead Lane is a traditional lazy river where guests grab a tube and float past tropical fish and a viewing area of the park’s playful Commerson’s dolphins; more adventurous guests can ride Roa’s Rapids, a higher speed “white water” adventure. (This was a favorite among my older kiddos - we floated through the rapids several times throughout the day!)

Aquatica Orlando: Dining Options

Aquatica has many dining options throughout the park. Located near the park entrance, Waterstone Grill is open year round and features chicken sandwiches, burgers, wraps, salads, and kids' meals. Near the lazy river, Banana Beach Cookout offers pulled pork, BBQ ribs, kids' meals, and more. Walkabout Pizza is located near Walkabout Waters. Plus there are several snack stands and bars located throughout the park. An all-day dining deal is available to get the best bang for your buck.

Aquatica Orlando: Hotels

With both SeaWorld and Aquatica conveniently located right next to Orlando's International Drive area, there is an abundance of nearby hotels to choose from. To help narrow down the options, check out our list of the Best Orlando Hotels for Families, and for even more water park fun, consider one of these Best Hotel Water Parks in Orlando.

Aquatica Orlando: More Questions

Which is better for kids: Aquatica or Volcano Bay?

It depends on what you'd like to get out of your experience. Universal's Volcano Bay tends to skew towards adventurous, older kids and adults because of its thrilling rides. All the Volcano Bay ride lines are virtual by use of the water park's TapuTapu waterproof band. Aquatica offers more attractions, including two rivers and two wave pools, as well as the new Turi's Kid Cove (with no height requirements), which is great for younger kids. If your children love animals, Aquatica may be a better bet for a chance to see dolphins and more sea creatures.

Aquatica Orlando: The Ultimate Guide for Wet & Wild Fun: Commerson's dolphins
Catch an underwater glimpse of playful dolphins at Aquatica. Photo by author

Which is more fun: SeaWorld or Aquatica?

Again, it just depends on what your family wants to get out of your Orlando trip. Aquatica offers an action-packed day of wet and wild will DEFINITELY get soaked; SeaWorld features amazing animal encounters, incredible shows, and Sesame Street MAY get soaked.

Aquatica Orlando: The Ultimate Guide for Wet & Wild Fun: Cutback Cove and Big Surf Shores: Aquatica Orlando: The Ultimate Guide for Wet & Wild Fun
Cutback Cove's waves are always rolling; Big Surf Shores' surf can be high or slow and easy. 

Aquatica Orlando: Helpful Tips for Visiting

  • Save money by purchasing tickets online in advance.
  • Bring sunscreen and continue to apply it throughout the day!
  • To avoid a towel rental fee, bring your own towels.
  • Lockers are available for rent, and there are three convenient locker rental areas throughout the park.
  • I highly suggest bringing a waterproof phone lanyard. I brought one and was able to carry my phone with me at all times along with some money so we wouldn't have to go back to our locker as often. It kept everything completely dry, even through the rapids!
  • Life vests are available free of charge throughout the park, and guest under 48” are required to wear them on most attractions.
  • Host a birthday party at Aquatica with a group deal.
  • Keep an eye out at the beginning of each year for the announcement of the Preschool Pass, where Florida resident kids, ages 3-5, can get a FREE pass to SeaWorld and Aquatica.
  • No outside food or beverages are allowed (however, you can bring a water bottle or refillable water bottle).
  • Sunny Day Guarantee: If your day is impacted by inclement weather, you can exchange your ticket for a Sunny Day ticket (valid for a return visit within one year).
  • Add-on experiences and upgrades include a Quick Queue ride option (available seasonally), a Commerson’s dolphins close-up tour, private cabanas and loungers, and the all-day dining deal (mentioned above).

Unless noted, photos courtesy of Aquatica.

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