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Orlando Area Water Parks - The Ultimate Visitors' Guide

Visiting Orlando in June, July, or August?  Like most of our 25 million  summertime visitors, you may spend a day cooling off at an Orlando Water Park.  Though most Orlando Theme Parks include a few water-rides, for the purposes of this guide we'll focus on the four "Exclusive" water parks in the area.  These parks' only purpose is to provide your family with a day of sandy, sunny, soaking fun.  Read onward for our candid reviews of Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach, Wet'n'Wild, and Adventure Island.

 Wet 'n' Wild - Orlando

Opened in 1977, Wet'n'Wild was Orlando's first water park - but don't let that scare you.  Although smaller in size than the Disney water parks we will describe later, Wet'n'Wild packs a lot of fun into a very small space.  This is a versatile park - with a greater variety of activities than other area parks.  Visitors can enjoy near-vertical water slides, multi-person rafting rides, wakeboarding, water-blaster wars, and more.  But beware - this park is Orlando's most popular, and it can be a bit crowded on weekends during the summer.

Visitor Ratings:
Thrill Rides - 4/5
Kids' Area  - 4/5
Crowd Handling  - 2/5
Unique Attractions   - 4/5
Bang For Your Buck - 3/5

Wet 'n' WIld Orlando Water Park
6200 International Drive - Orlando, FL 32819
For Information Call: 407-351-1800

Adventure Island - Tampa

Adjacent to Busch Gardens in Tampa, Adventure Island is similar in scope to Wet'n'Wild - with a similar selection of rides, slides, and flumes.  A bonus for families with mid-age children (ages 6-10) is "Splash Attack."  "Splash Attack" complements the standard kids rides offered by Adventure Island, with 500 feet of slides, tubes, climbing nets, and interactive water elements.  Added Bonus: You save $20 when you combine admission with Busch Gardens on a 2-Day Pass.

Visitor Ratings:
Thrill Rides - 3/5
Kids Area'  - 5/5
Crowd Handling  - 2/5
Unique Attractions   - 3/5
Bang For Your Buck  - 4/5

Adventure Island Of Tampa Bay
10001 Malcolm McKinley Drive - Tampa Bay, FL 33612
For Information Call: 1-813-987-5660

Disney's Blizzard Beach

Disney's cartoonish take on a midummer blizzard is fun in the off months (May, September, and October).  Unfortunately, if you visit in the summer, you need strong sunglasses - all that fake snow is BRIGHT in the Florida sun!  Lots of fun for all ages, with Mickey "snowmen" floating downriver and America's tallest waterslide (at 120 feet).  The theme is unique and the "ski resort" details give kids a lot to talk about.

Visitor Ratings:
Thrill Rides  - 5/5
Kids Area'   - 4/5
Crowd Handling  - 3/5
Unique Attractions   - 4/5
Bang For Your Buck - 5/5

Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park
Post Office Box 10000 - Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
For Information Call: 1-407-824-4321

Disney's Typhoon Lagoon

Typhoon Lagoon is the cream of the crop.  This Disney water park is designed and landscaped to resemble a castaway island, with details like "shipwrecked" boats and numerous palm trees and grottos.  "Castaway Creek" is the best "river" feature of any Orlando water park.  This is the best florida water park experience you'll get outside of visiting on of our famous springs.  Perfect for a lazy day!

Visitor Ratings:
Thrill Rides - 3/5
Kids Area'  - 4/5
Crowd Handling  - 3/5
Unique Attractions   - 5/5
Bang For Your Buck - 5/5

Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park
Post Office Box 10000 - Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
For Information Call: 1-407-824-4321

Sea World's Aquatica

Sea World's newest attraction has made a splash in Orlando! Slide in transparent tubes through dolphin filled pools, meet birds, penguins, and aquatic mammals, glide through grottos full of tropical fish, and more! Featuring an enormous children's area and plenty of chances to see and learn about aquatic wildlife. Although it's a trek to get around this enormous addition, and thrill rides are lacking, the park shows promise and has a family-friendly atmosphere.

Visitor Ratings:
Thrill Rides - 3/5
Kids Area' - 5/5
Crowd Handling - 4/5
Unique Attractions - 5/5
Bang For Your Buck - 4/5

Sea World's Aquatica Water Park
10303 International Drive - Orlando, FL 32821
For Information Call: 1-407-363-2280

Take-Along Necessities

Although the water parks have gift shops, snack stands, and towel rentals, those amenities can quickly add up!  You'll want to use our handy checklist of necessities to ensure you have the basic supplies handy, ensuring your family's comfort and safetly at our water parks and attractions.

  • Towels for everyone - why pay to rent them?  You may be tempted to purchase souvenir beach towels, but it's best to purchase those at the END of your day.  If you leave them lying around while you play, less scrupulous guests may take them!
  • Plenty of sunscreen - it costs twice as much at the park.
  • Plenty of bottled water - why pay $2 per bottle?
  • Sunglasses - "souvenir" sunglasses may not be strong enough.  This is another item that's best purchased at the end of the day because of a high "vanishing" rate.  If you buy souvenirs at the beginning of the water park visit, leave them in your locker.
  • Cash for locker rentals to hold wallets/keys/etc.
  • Non-perishable snacks like crackers, raisins, etc.  Why snacks?  It is important to snack often when swimming and playing in the summer, to avoid heat exhaustion in 95+ degree weather!

Pricing for the water parks changes constantly, and often depends on season and the size of your group.  Many parks offer discounts for groups of 15 or more, so contact them if you are coming with other families.  Also, be aware that the parks do maintenance on the rides in the off-season, so if there is a particular attraction you are dying to ride, call ahead to make certain it is open.