The Top Water Parks in Orlando for Kids
These water parks in Orlando offer big water slides, toddler friendly play structures, and plenty of ways to cool down and escape the Florida heat.
Orlando water parks pack full-size fun, often at a fraction of the price of the area's theme parks. Nor do these parks stop at just the mega twisty water slides and dumping buckets. Many water parks in the Orlando area offer extra special experiences such as dolphin encounters and mermaid shows.
From theme park water parks to a spring-fed water park, here's a look at some of the best water parks in Orlando. If the anticipated crowds at these water parks deter you, consider instead visiting one of Orlando's beautiful natural springs or a nearby Florida beach.
Take a family raft ride at Aquatica, a favorite water park in Orlando. Photo courtesy of Sea World Orlando
1. Aquatica — SeaWorld Orlando
SeaWorld’s water park, Aquatica, boasts multiple rides, animal encounters, and sandy beaches. The newest ride – Riptide Race – features dueling rafts that race through tunnels and loops. The most popular ride at the park is Dolphin Plunge, where guests are immersed in an underwater world alongside playful black-and-white Commerson’s dolphins. Other attractions include side-by-side wave pools, Kookaburra Cove water play area, raft slides, a 60-foot tall water playground, and a lazy river. Aquatica is open year-round.
2. Blizzard Beach — Walt Disney World
One of two Disney water parks, Blizzard Beach has a unique theme as a failed ski resort turned water park. The rides fall right in line with this theme, such as a chairlift trip up Mount Gushmore to the park’s main attraction – Summit Plummet – one of the tallest and fastest free-fall body slides around. Guests can also race toboggans down an eight-lane water slide, plunge down three tube rides, and encounter fun obstacles at Ski Patrol Training Camp. Little ones are sure to love Tike’s Peak, featuring miniature show-banked slides, an igloo fortress, and melting snow sculptures. Blizzard Beach is open year-round, however, there is a brief closure each winter for annual maintenance.
Hit the water slides at Blizzard Beach, a Disney water park. Photo courtesy of Disney World
3. Buccaneer Bay — Weeki Wachee Springs, Spring Hill
Located at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, this spring-fed water park is smaller than the other water parks in Orlando, but it is ideal for those wanting to enjoy family fun while exploring the real Florida. Buccaneer Bay features a white sand beach leading into the crystal clear spring waters, two large water slides, a natural lazy river, and a Caribbean Cove water play area for younger children. Be sure to carve some time out to see the iconic Weeki Wachee mermaids perform their famous underwater show. The water park is open seasonally, but the beach and swim area are open year-round.
4. Daytona Lagoon — Daytona Beach
Planning a beach trip on your Orlando vacation? Located within walking distance of Daytona Beach, this hidden gem features both a water park and a family entertainment center. The water park boasts eight fun attractions, including tube and raft slides, mat racers, a lazy river, wave pool, and a water playground. After some time in the water, head to the entertainment center for a bumper car battle, go-kart race, a round of mini golf, and more. Daytona’s water park is open seasonally on select days from March-September. The entertainment center is open year-round.
5. Discovery Cove — SeaWorld Orlando
For a unique water park experience like no other, consider reservations to SeaWorld’s Discovery Cove. While you won’t have the thrills and rides like the other parks listed, my family has made some terrific memories made at Discovery Cove. Get nose-to-nose with dolphins at the signature dolphin experience, snorkel in the Grand Reef with thousands of tropical fish and stingrays, swim next to otters and marmosets in a freshwater rainforest oasis, and explore a giant aviary with hundreds of birds. Discovery Cove is open year-round.
Double up for the Twin Chasers raft ride at Legoland's water park. Photo courtesy of Legoland Florida
6. Legoland Florida Water Park — Winter Haven
This Lego-themed water park near Orlando was designed with little builders in mind. Its water attractions are Lego-themed, of course, such as a build-a-raft lazy river, a wave pool with floating bricks, and a Creative Cove build-a-boat area. Older kids and teens can enjoy several water slides and a double-seated tubing ride, while little ones can play at the Joker Soaker interactive water playground or the Duplo Splash Safari play area.
Legoland’s Water Park is located inside of Legoland, but requires an add-on to the theme park ticket. It is open seasonally on select dates from February-December. Note: Peppa Pig fans can align a visit to Legoland with the opening of its new theme park in 2022!
7. Typhoon Lagoon – Walt Disney World
Note: Typhoon Lagoon remains temporarily closed. (Disney's other water park, Blizzard Beach, is now open).
With over 10 fun rides and attractions, this Walt Disney World water park makes for a full day of family fun. Brave 6-foot swells in the massive wave pool, enjoy a twin raft ride with coaster-like twists and turns, or plummet down a 5-story body slide in the dark. Little swimmers can splash around Ketchakiddee Creek, with mini water slides and interactive elements designed for toddlers and preschoolers.
RELATED: Top Hotel Water Parks in Orlando
Enjoy thrill rides, a faux beach, or water play at Volcano Bay. Photo courtesy of Universal Orlando
8. Volcano Bay — Universal Orlando
Orlando’s newest water park, Volcano Bay, is located at Universal Orlando Resort and features 20 rides and attractions. Guests will first notice the park’s centerpiece – a giant volcano revealing several water rides inside. Thrill-seekers can enjoy plunging body slides, raft rides, and even an Aqua Coaster. Chill at out with a swim at one of the two themed leisure pools at the Orlando water park, or sunning at its faux coastline, Waturi Beach. For the youngest guests, there is Tot Tiki Reef (complete with a tot-sized volcano) as well as a whimsical water playground known as Runamukka Reef.
One of the best features at Volcano Bay is the technology; rather than long wait lines, riders are able to "tap in" to a virtual queue with a wristband, and the wristband will notify them when it's time to return to the ride. Volcano Bay is typically open year-round. Recently, however, it closed from November 2020 through February 2021, so be sure to check if you plan on visiting during the colder months.
Top Tips for Visiting Orlando Water Parks
- Afternoon storms are common in the summer months, and some rides may be suspended temporarily in the case of inclement weather.
- Arrive early to try to avoid the biggest crowds (and the afternoon storms).
- A waterproof phone case comes in handy to capture memories while not worrying about your phone getting wet.
- Bring sunscreen and be sure to reapply it throughout the day.
- Wear water shoes or flip-flops as the walkways can get hot in the Florida sun.
Places featured in this article:
LEGOLAND Florida Resort