On May 25th, Universal Orlando Resort will debut their long awaited Volcano Bay. Volcano Bay is Universal’s third theme park and is based on a fictional story.The elaborate backstory centers around the way in which “Waturi islanders” journeyed across Polynesia before discovering “Volcano Bay”. The islanders pick up many cultural influences along the way, and this is reflected throughout the new 30-acre water park.
As with Universal’s other theme parks, wristbands are administered in the place of tickets. These “TapuTapu” wristbands, which are included with admission, allows guests to book rides in advance, to avoid actually having to wait in line.
To say the park is detailed would be an understatement. Upon entry, patrons feast their eyes upon the park’s main attraction, Krakatau, a 200-foot peak that is half water volcano and half fire volcano. “The park is designed to go into the evening and that waterfall will do a show changing from waterfall to firewall to lava flow every night,” says Dale Mason, the vice president and executive art director of Universal Creative. The rest of the park also contributes to it’s volcanic-island vibe. Every inch of it was hand carved by a crew of sixty sculptors, painters, and metal workers who have spent almost three years on the project.
In true Universal style, the rides are nothing short of spectacular and exhilarating. At the backside of Krakatau, park goers can enjoy the park’s most daring ride, the Ko’okiri Body Plunge. Guests are dropped at a 70-degree angle through a trap door and are then sent plummeting more than 100 feet through the middle of the volcano. Altogether there are eighteen major rides throughout the park, including an action river with rapids.
PHOTOS: Copyright Universal Orlando
Aside from the rides, the park boasts a huge wave pools with nine different wave-types, guest locker rooms, and six dining locations (four restaurants and two bars). Guests can enjoy a variety of cuisines, as well as an assortment of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
The park is undoubtedly a step up from Universal’s Wet’n’Wild water park, which closed in 2016. Though Volcano Bay has yet to be released, a 5-acre expansion is already in the works.