Aquatica is as clean, imaginative and family-friendly as Orlando water attractions come. That means a lot in a city largely dominated by Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach and Universal’s Volcano Bay. But at SeaWorld’s Waterpark, not only will you slide and glide, float and coast, you’ll often do so only feet from playful dolphins, majestic turtles, tropical fish and more. In fact, between the 80,000+ square feet of sandy beaches, 36 water slides and several lazy rivers, there’s plenty to fill your day.
Here are our best tips for making sure you get the most of your experience:
1) Travel light by renting a locker inside the park.
If you’ve never been to a waterpark, you’ll find out very quickly that carrying around a load of gear — coolers, towels, personal items, etc. — gets old very quickly. Save yourself the struggle by stashing your stuff first thing at either the large picnic locker station by the entrance, or one of the smaller personal lockers located throughout the park. As a bonus, you’ll have peace of mind all day knowing your cell phones and other valuables are safe and sound (not floating around in the exit pool of your favorite slide!).
Pro Tip: Towels are available to rent for the day, but most guests bring their own.
2) Save money by bringing your own water and snacks.
Wondering what to bring to Aquatica? Definitely include your own water supply. Not only are your water bottles allowed in the park, they are encouraged to help your family stay hydrated. Small snacks are allowed, too! However, please note that meal-portioned items (including things like whole bags of chips) are prohibited. Our workaround? Feed your whole family right before entering and bring along pre-portioned snacks like crackers, cheese and granola bars to last throughout the day. Chances are your older kids will be so busy they won’t want to slow down for food anyway!
Pro Tip: If you’re concerned about an epic hunger meltdown, bring your full-sized lunch items and store them in one of the “picnic lockers” outside the front entrance. At mealtime, exit the park, pick up your food and head to the nearby park-provided picnic tables to eat! Then re-enter the park afterwards with your all-day tickets.
3) Be smart about sun protection.
You’re probably already expecting to slather your family in water-resistant SPF 30+ sunscreen throughout the day. Good call! But there are a few other items you may want to bring along, too:
- Flip-flops or water shoes to protect your feet from the hot cement. Cubbies are available around the park to store your shoes while on the rides.
- Specialty sun shirts for children and babies. Cotton t-shirts and shorts are not permitted on most body-slide rides.
- Sunglasses and hats—these are especially helpful between 11:30 am and 3 pm.
4) Don’t miss Roa’s Rapids!
Aquatica features two main lazy river experiences — Roa’s Rapids and Loggerhead Lane. Widely considered one of its best attractions, the rapids are nearly three times the size of the other river with much stronger currents. So although no inner tubes are allowed, the flow of the water still makes for a relaxing “ride” around the park — and it doesn’t hurt that much of the route is partially shaded by palm trees!
5) If your group wants to divide and conquer, make a solid plan.
One of our go-to strategies is to split the family up by age and interest, with an agreement to meet back at a certain location at a certain time. Just purchase cheap, waterproof wristwatches for each family member in advance and give older children strict instructions about staying together and when to report back. (Please note that SeaWorld policy requires children under the age of 13 to be accompanied by an adult at all times.)
Pro Tip: Consider using the Cashless Wristband system to ensure everyone can make necessary purchases on their own throughout the day. You can even set spending limits for teens!
6) Try renting a cabana.
If you are traveling with a large group, small children or an elderly family member, the additional cost to rent a cabana can be an excellent investment. In addition to shade, your cabana may include a ceiling fan, locker rental, bottled waters, mini fridge, Wi-Fi and more. Just think of the potential for naps and cold waters throughout the day — this is your vacation, after all!
Pro Tip: Interested in this option? Reserve your cabana online in advance to guarantee your spot.
7) In cases of inclement weather, take advantage of the “Sunny Day Guarantee.”
While Florida certainly lives up to its nickname as “The Sunshine State,” we do get our fair share of afternoon showers and thunderstorms. Most of these pass relatively quickly, ensuring you’re only likely to be kept off rides (for safety concerns) for 15 minutes to an hour, but be sure to review the Aquatica Sunny Day Guarantee in advance in case your visit qualifies for a complimentary ticket to return another day.
Planning to visit SeaWorld Orlando on your trip as well? Check out our top tips for your day at one of our other favorite theme parks. Then, book your vacation rental with Encore Resort at Reunion today!