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Cool Down at the 6 Hottest Water Parks Near Orlando

Cool Down at the 6 Hottest Water Parks Near Orlando

The thrill of rushing water propelling you down a 100-foot-tall slide. The chill you get when the slide plunges you into a sparkling blue pool. On a hot Orlando day, there’s nothing better than slipping and sliding the day away at one of the city’s water parks.

Whether you’re seeking a high-octane day of jumbo slides and wave pools, or somewhere the kids can splish-splash around, there’s a water park for you near Orlando.

Here are six of our favorites.

1.      Typhoon Lagoon

A family holds hands and runs through a wave pool at Typhoon Lagoon, an Orlando water park at Walt Disney World Resort

Since opening in 1989, Typhoon Lagoon has become the second-most popular water park in the world.

What is this Walt Disney World park’s secret? For one, it boasts the biggest wave pool in North America. Every 90 seconds, the 2.5-acre pool produces a 6-foot-tall wave, making it one of the few wave pools on the continent where guests can body surf. And on select mornings, experienced wave-riders can surf for real.

The Ron Jon in Disney Springs sells boards, or you can rent one from Cloud of Goods.

But Typhoon Lagoon is more than just a place to hang ten.

The tropical-themed park’s other signature attraction is the Crush ‘n’ Gusher. This water coaster takes riders up and down hills and through daunting curves before plunging them into Hideaway Bay. The water park also has several other slides, a rapids ride, and a lazy river. When you need a break, grab a lounge chair at Typhoon Lagoon’s white sand beach.

On select evenings, Typhoon Lagoon hosts Disney H2O Glow. Guests at this after-hours event enjoy shorter waits, dazzling light displays, an electrifying dance party, and free snacks all night.

2.      Aquatica

In March 2008, SeaWorld Orlando got into the water park game when it opened Aquatica.

The 59-acre attraction prides itself in having something for everyone. Aquatica’s slides include KareKare Curl, a massive wave slide that vaults riders up a 35-foot wall, and a dueling slide called Riptide Race. But the most popular one of all is Reef Plunge, an enclosed water slide that whisks riders through a pool of dolphins and other sea life.

When you’ve slid all you can slide, there’s plenty more to do.

Dodge the big swells in Aquatica’s two wave pools. Or float down Loggerhead Lane, the park’s lazy river. Children will love Turi’s Kid Cove, a brand-new splash park with a mini version of KareKare Curl.

Upgrades include beachfront cabanas, priority boarding passes, and a dolphin encounter.

And when we say that Aquatica takes pride in inclusivity, we mean it. It was the first water park in the world to become a Certified Autism Center. Aquatica has produced a sensory guide for each of its rides so that neurodivergent guests can decide which they’ll enjoy. There’s also an on-site quiet room for visitors that need to take a break from the water park bustle.

3.      Volcano Bay

On a lava-hot summer’s day, Volcano Bay is the place to be.

Universal Orlando Resort opened the attraction 2017. Volcano Bay is pretty hard to miss — just look for Krakatau. This 200-foot volcano houses a fast-paced aqua coaster, three trap-door slides, a racing slide, and a stretch of the park’s lazy river.

Krakatau, the stately volcano at the heart of Volcano Bay, a water park operated by Universal Orlando Resort

The park also has two wave pools: the high-intensity Waturi Beach pool and the gentler Reef pool.

Guests that prefer to watch others make a splash can people-watch from one of the park’s white-sand beaches, or from Puka Uli Lagoon, a leisure pool with great views of Volcano Bay’s water slides. If you’re somewhere in-between, TeAwa the Fearless River may be your spot. It’s a cross between a rapids ride and a lazy river and takes guests through a lush tropical forest.

4.      Island H2O

The search for your lost shaker of salt — and for a refreshing water park day — is over.

Orlando’s newest water park, Island H2O, opened in June 2019 as part of Margaritaville Resort Orlando. It is in Sunset Walk, Margaritaville’s shopping and dining district. Island H2O features all the water park staples, including a six-track racing slide, a kids’ splash park, a wave pool, and a lazy river. But it sets itself apart with its high-tech flourishes.

For instance, its trapdoor slide, Live Streaming, records every thrilling moment on an on-ride video camera.

And all rides come with your very own soundtrack.

Upon entry, guests are given a wristband that connects to a phone app. When you log into the app, you can choose music you’d like to hear while zooming down the water slides. Playlists include ‘90s hip-hop, top 40 music, reggaeton, modern country, and arena rock. And, of course, there’s a playlist with “Margaritaville” and loads of other Jimmy Buffet songs.

On select nights, the fun continues when the sun goes down.

After-hours events include movie nights and epic foam parties.

5.      LEGOLAND Water Park

For families traveling to Orlando with young kids, LEGOLAND Water Park is well work the drive.

Located an hour west of Orlando, LEGOLAND Florida has operated a separately ticketed water park since 2012. Its rides and attractions were designed with young water-lovers in mind.

For instance, the LEGO wave pool features gentle waves that ease swimmers into the surf. The park’s lazy river uses tubes with LEGO blocks built into them. Guests can keep adding blocks until they have the perfect vessel, then float away peacefully. At the Build-a-Boat attractions, parkgoers of all ages can design and race watercrafts.

Young kids will love the Joker Soaker, a water playground with slides, climbing walls, fountains, and more.

The LEGOLAND Water Park is an add-on experience to general LEGOLAND Florida admission. Tickets start at $114 to visit both parks in one day.

6.      Nona Adventure Park

In the southeast reaches of Orlando, you’ll find Nona Adventure Park. This lakefront attraction is perhaps the city’s most unique water park.

At this Orlando attraction, you can live out your Wipeout dreams on a 1,000-foot inflatable aquatic obstacle course.

It includes climbing walls, monkey bars, a diving platform, and other extreme challenges. The course is open to adventure-seekers 5 and older. The park also offers chances to wakeboard or kneeboard on Lake Nona. Lessons are available.

A guest climbs through an obstacle course at Nona Adventure Park, a unique water park in southeast Orlando

The water park also features a kids’ zone with a bounce house, child-sized climbing wall, and snacks. It’s open to children between 36” and 60” tall.

End your day at Splashes, a family-friendly bar where you can enjoy sandwiches, wings, pizza, and alcoholic and nonalcoholic drink specials.

Float Back to Rosen Plaza

At the end of a day spent splashing about at one of Orlando’s best water parks, dry off in your spacious guestroom at Rosen Plaza.

Our Orlando hotel is centrally located on International Drive and close to major highways, making it easy to take the plunge at your favorite water park. For more water wonders, order a meal or drink at ’39 Poolside and enjoy our scenic swimming pool and whirlpool spa.

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