If anyone advises you to steer clear of water parks in December, don’t listen. Even after we arrived in Orlando, we still weren’t sure we’d make it to Volcano Bay. There was lots of rain in the forecast and the temps for our days there were highs in the 70s and lows in the 40s. Not exactly water park weather. But once we decided to make a go of it, there was no turning back!
Universal Orlando Resort proudly describes Volcano Bay as a water theme park. This is the first clue that this is no run-of-the-mill water park. The second is its Creation Myth:
It all began with the fiery god, Krakatau (kra-kuh-TAU). Though his wrath and fury dominated the land, he couldn’t contain the adventurous spirit of his daughter, Tai Nui (tie-NOO-ee). She fell in love with a native youth named Kala (KAH-lah). And when her fiercely protective father learned of the romance, he flew into a rage. He banished Kala forever to the sky, where he became the Moon.
Overcome with grief, Tai Nui’s tears became the Sea. Krakatau then realized he had only succeeded in destroying what mattered most to him: his daughter’s happiness. Determined to reunite the young lovers, he reached into the earth and pulled it to the sky – creating the volcano of Volcano Bay. Krakatau trapped the remains of his anger and jealousy in the form of the fire spirit, Vol, whom he imprisoned deep within the volcano.
This is how the Sky, Sea and Earth united to form the paradise of Volcano Bay.
The story doesn’t end there. The legend goes on about the Waturi people who eventually discover the land and take up residence here. When you arrive at Volcano Bay, you are welcomed into the Waturi Family. Universal Orlando Resort did a stellar job bringing this vision to life. The attention to detail is just spectacular! You really do feel as though you have been transported to another time and place. The low crowds in the off-season only made the experience that much more enjoyable.
In spite of overcast skies and occasional showers, we squeezed every ounce of fun out of Volcano Bay that we could. The water was surprisingly warm, and there is a good mix of family and thrill attractions. Over the course of our visits, fearless Slinky rode literally everything, including the Ko’okiri Body Plunge. Then he and Blinky rode everything else. Collectively, we all enjoyed Honu of Ika Moana (thrill slide), ika Moana of Honu ila Moana (moderate thrill slide), Kopiko Wai Winding River (lady river), and the Taniwa Tubes (moderate thrill tube slide).
Have you ever seen a wave pool so empty?
The DH and I also enjoyed holding down base camp.
We wore our Tapu Tapus, which is a magic band type system that makes use of a virtual queue. However, as the crowd was minimal, we only had to use it twice for Honu of Honu ika Moana. That said, you can also use your Tapu Tapu at strategic points to spurt water at other guests. This water is not heated. Let’s just say Stinky and Blinky really enjoyed surprising everyone who dared to cross their path.
I could not get enough of the lush scenery! Just look at this unique bromeliad!!
High praises all around for Volcano Bay! We can’t wait to go back!!
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