Aquatica opened in March 2008 next to sister park SeaWorld on International Drive and has quickly become one of the most popular water parks in the area, with a very different array of attractions, all with a South Pacific theme with overtones of Australia and New Zealand. It has various animal icons (like Roa, a kiwi, and Ihu, a gecko) and small-animal encounters periodically during the day to add to the fun of all the raft rides and body slides.
What not to Miss
There are eight main body slides and raft rides and you will probably want to enjoy them all (although the freefall slide of Ihu’s Breakaway Falls and the Dolphin Plunge are not for the faint-hearted!). The family-style raft rides of HooRoo Run and Walhalla Wave will appeal to most, while Taumata Racer is fun for those who like to go head-to-head in a downhill race!
Queues rarely get very long at most of the rides, but they can build up for the Dolphin Plunge and Tassie’s Twisters, so you should aim to do these first. Ihu’s Breakaway Falls is the big attraction in every sense, but it doesn’t appeal to the majority and the line is rarely more than 15-20 minutes.
Top Water Features
The fast-paced Roa’s Rapids is simply the most fun feature of the park, a white-water style whirl through a surprisingly fast-paced lazy river. Loggerhead Lane is then the slow version, in rubber rafts, while the two big wave pools – Cutback Cove and Big Surf Shores – provide all manner of splashing fun. For children, there are 2 dedicated areas of smaller scale slides, climbs, fountains and pools at Kata’s Kookaburra Cove (for those under 4ft tall) and Walkabout Waters (for older children).
Roa’s Rapids Advice
We absolutely love this attraction and you can try it both with and without the floatation vests they provide. We definitely recommend trying it at least once WITH the vests, as it adds a whole new experience to the rush-along fun!
If all the rides and slides sound too hectic, there is plenty of chill-out territory here, with a huge beach area fully stocked with sun loungers and umbrellas, while you can even hire your own cabana for the day (for an extra fee). There are also three main dining options, including an all-you-can-eat buffet and the well-stocked Waterstone Grill restaurant.
While dashing from ride to ride, don’t miss the chance to see the park’s Commerson’s Dolphins (where the Dolphin Plunge slide goes right through their lagoon) up close at their underwater viewing window, as well as a small-animal encounter with Sulcata, the African spurred tortoise mascot.
Although it opened as recently as 2008, the park has already added several new features, notably OmakaRocka, a 1-rider raft ride into a tube and funnel that ends with a big splashdown, and the 86ft tall Ihu’s Breakaway Falls, a 3-tube freefall slide that features a trap-door floor and a dramatic 3-2-1 countdown before you drop!
This incredible attraction was unveiled on 12th May 2018. It’s the first water slide at Aquatica to combine 3 unique slide elements- splash, slide and soar. Riders will be launched forwards at a rate of 33-feet per second, before swirling through a huge translucent sphere, racing through enclosed tubes, dropping into a manta shaped half-pipe and plunging into the water! Make sure you add this to your must-try list.
Estimated Visit Time
Aquatica: Half to a full day.
Like all water parks, there are lockers in which to store your valuables (for a small fee) and then you simply go and find your own loungers and place to base yourself for the day. Both children’s areas (Kata’s Kookaburra Cove and Walkabout waters) have plenty of space for parents to be able to sit and supervise. If you have forgotten anything, there is a handy shop, Kiwi Traders, where you can buy towels, toys, suncream and even swimming costumes.
Big eaters will be pleased to know there is a great all-day dining option here. Banana Beach Buffet provides unlimited visits with the purchase of a special dining wristband, which you can buy on the day or in advance. Mango Market is a grab-and-go option for lighter meals.