First look: Universal Orlando Volcano Bay water park

As of this summer, Universal Orlando is hoping the tides on the traditional water park experience with the debut of the Volcano Bay.

Opening May 25, the new Polynsian theme park promises to be the guests of the brand new experiences, including reducing waiting times thanks to the bracelet technology, gastronomic experiences and, of course, plenty of wild water rides.

Here are five ways Universal is the re-inventing of the water park this summer:

1. TapuTapu Wristbands

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(Courtesy Of Universal Orlando Resort)

Universal is using smart technology to cut down on the notoriously long water park wait times. All guests entering Volcano Bay to receive new “TapuTapu” wristbands, so that the experiences of our guests “more hassle free, immersive, and faster to the fun,” Chris Crayner, Universal Orlando’s Chief Digital Officer, told Fox News.

With a simple tap, these waterproof devices from the visitors the opportunity to become a member of a “virtual line” to reserve a place for an attraction, enabling you to explore the park while you wait. A small screen on the bracelet and a soft buzz will alert you when it’s time to drive. As Disney’s MagicBands, wristbands can also be linked to a credit card to allow easy payment and locker rent, the removal of the need of wearing a wallet. Universal also has photo opportunities in the park that can be saved using the wrist strap, so need to get your mobile phone wet lugging it.


2. Interactivity

TapuTapu wearables also enable a layer of interactive moments are activated during the Volcano Bay. “Since the guests are not physically stand in a line, we wanted to make sure that we had plenty of other experiences for them,” said Jeff Polk, Vice-President of the water parks in the Universal Parks and Resorts.

Guests can lead to a variety of special effects while wandering the park. Universal is staying tight-lipped about what some of these surprises are, but Polk did hint that visitors “can spray water on someone else.”

3. Unique Travel

Spread over four distinctly-themed ares, Volcano Bay offers a range of attractions and slides. Center is Krakatau, a 200-metre-high volcano, waterfalls and streams flow through the day and the start of fiery lava effects through the night. Tucked away in the Krakatoa Aqua Coaster. “We have a number of the existing technology, we can use linear inductor motors in a different way,” Polk told Fox News. “Riders are propelled up and down the various hills and valleys, at the same time still a bit of a surprise from a spouting tiki’s along the way as you travel through the cave.”

The volcano is Ko’okiri Body Dip slide pulls the ground under you by a drop-door which will send you 125 feet down a steep, 70-degree drop.

Under the volcano, in the River Village, you will find the Kopiko Wai Winding River, a slow ride, you can enjoy the sights and attractions around lava rocks and through a magical cave. But Polk gives preference to action river ride, TeAwa The Intrepid River, which the park visitors of the race through rapids.

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(Courtesy Of Universal Orlando Resort)

4. Food

The eclectic menus of the Volcano Bay are the “exclamation point” to the experience, says Ric Florell, Senior Vice President & General Manager of Resort Revenue at Universal Orlando Resort. “Because everything here is on the next level, we had to create a new level of cuisine to match.”

Beyond the expected cheeseburgers and pizzas, the menu created by Universal’s chefs features more than 60 items that contains healthier food, also.

The water park features a variety of foods with an island flair, of coconut curry shrimp and jerked mahi mahi Hawaiian ribs and a mango BBQ pulled pork slider. The menu also includes tacos, fritters, spring rolls and even sushi. People with a sweet tooth enough to enjoy in the park chocolate pineapple upside down cake, and guava tapioca pudding.

5. Story-Driven Design

Universal has the nickname Volcano Bay, a “water theme park.” The immersive experience comes from the same creative studio’s the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, so it’s all about the small details, such as the over-the-top rides.


“Our Universal Creative team will always want to set out to create an experience like no other, that will truly transport guests into another place and another time,” said Polk.

So what is the story? Volcano Bay is a centuries-old Pacific island inhabited by the legendary Waturi islanders, who are responsible for all the adventures found within.

“We have a water theme park, that is the story woven into everything you see. It is in the architecture. It is in the fabrics used for the canopies in the village of huts around the park. It is a part of interactive experiences that you can turn it on via the TapuTapu portable,” said the Pole. “It is evident in everything.”

Ricky Brigante is a theme park expert and fan who edits InsideTheMagic, a blog focusing on Disney and theme park news and entertainment. He is also host of the award-winning “Inside the Magic” podcast.

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