Scroll down for the video guide if you prefer!
1. GET THERE EARLY
Understandably, Universal’s Volcano Bay is expected to be very busy all summer – after all, who wouldn’t want to visit Orlando’s biggest and best new water theme park?! Typically the park begins to fill up at around 11am, so the earlier you arrive, the more likely you are to get on the rides while they’re quiet. When you get there, head to one of the key attractions first – the Krakatau Aqua Coaster or the Ko’okiri Body Plunge (both located in the volcano) to take advantage of the short wait lines. Tap in to wait for the other ride first though – you can ride that one next!
2. GRAB A SPOT AT THE BACK
As soon as you enter the park and have received your Tapu Tapu wearable, grab a locker and a sunbed at the back of the park. After you’ve been on at least one of the key attractions above, head back towards your spot and ride the attractions around there. Guests naturally go to the first slide they see, so heading to the back first is another great way to avoid the lines. If you tap in to the ride first, you’ll even have time to apply your sun cream before you go on the ride!
3. STAY ON SITE
The best place to stay if you’re excited to explore Volcano Bay is Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort. This is for 3 reasons: 1 – you can walk to Volcano Bay from the hotel, saving you time and hassle in the morning so you can be sure you’ll get there early! (You can catch a quick bus from the other Universal hotels too if you prefer to stay there) 2 - You get early park access when you stay at a Universal resort hotel, meaning some days you can be at the park form 8am, well before the 11am start of peak arrivals. 3 – There are some brand-new suites which have just opened overlooking the theme park! Floor to ceiling glass windows offer you spectacular views over the park and make you feel as if you’re staying in a Polynesian paradise. Make sure you book the ‘Volcano Side’ rooms when making your booking.
4. MAKE THE MOST OF TAPU TAPU
Tapu Tapu technology allows you to wait in a virtual line for one attraction at a time before buzzing to alert you that it’s your time to ride. Tap your wristband to queue for a ride with a long line and, in the meantime, jump on rides which are ‘Ride Now’ or relax in the Kopiko Wai Winding River or the on the Waturi Beach. Signs around the park indicate ride wait times, so make sure you check these out and plan your ride schedule tactically like I did. By 10am, you could have easily been on 4 of the top attractions, had a float in the winding river and been taken out by the waves at Waturi Beach!
Save time when you arrive by connecting your ticket to your payment card before you travel, so you can pay for the lockers and any food or drink purchases you make at the park straight away, with no hassle. Less time setting up your account means more time riding the waves!
5. EMBRACE THE RAIN
If there’s one thing us Brits can handle, it’s a bit of rain. Visit the park on a day when it’s overcast or raining, and you’re guaranteed to find fewer crowds though, so it’s definitely worth visiting on one of those days. In the summer, rain storms typically hit every day in the late afternoon so if you can brave an hour or so of the onslaught (why not stick it out in one of the parks many restaurants or bars?) you’ll be rewarded with an empty park for the late afternoon when the sun makes an appearance again!
6. VISIT AGAIN AND AGAIN
With your flexible 14-day Universal tickets, you can visit as many times as you like within a 14-day period. Take advantage of the quiet mornings a couple of times on your holiday and head back to the hotel when the parks start to get busy for a lazy afternoon by the pool. Alternatively, head back to the dry land of the Universal Studios or Islands of Adventures parks to carry on the fun or return to Volcano Bay in the evening when it’s calmed down and you can enjoy the wonderful night lights.
If you've found this guide useful, you might also like these top tips from vlogger Brogan Tate (and there's some great shots of the park in there too!):
Planning a trip to Volcano Bay this summer? Don’t leave home without our top tips or of course, your tickets! Right now you can get 3 amazing Universal parks for the price of 2.
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