Table of Contents[Hide][Show]
- Volcano Bay Tips and New Info for 2021
- 1. Arrive Early
- 2. Set Up Cashless Payment
- 3. Reserve Seating in Advance
- 4. Get Seats and Lockers Early
- 5. Research
- 6. One of the Most Important Volcano Bay Tips: Make a Plan for Riding and Sliding
- 7. Don’t Forget to Pack Essentials
- 8. Volcano Bay Tip: Don't Let the Rain Drive You Away
- 9. Stay Late
- 10. Taking Younger Kids to Volcano Bay? Know these things beforehand
- Get Discount Universal Tickets
Before you head to Volcano Bay, Universal Orlando Resort’s epic water park, check out the ticketing info and COVID rules for 2021. There’s no reservation system. So how do you make sure you get in? Here are the tips you need to avoid disappointment.
My family loves a good waterpark and we’ve been to a lot of them. Volcano Bay is my favorite. It’s beautifully landscaped (which the kids don’t care about but I do), and thrilling yet relaxing. Basically, all the things you want a water park to be.
Volcano Bay reopened in February 2021 and is proving to be very popular as the weather gets warmer. Here are all the Volcano Bay tips you need to plan your best trip possible to what I’m calling the BEST water park ever.
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Volcano Bay Tips and New Info for 2021
At present, the park is NOT on a reservation system. The park simply closes to new entries when capacity is reached. They may reopen later in the day as morning visitors leave. Guests can call Universal Orlando Resort’s capacity hotline at 407-817-8317 for the latest updates. They also post updates on social media. On busy days, Volcano Bay reaches capacity by mid morning.
Face coverings are mandatory to enter the park, in restaurants and retail shops. Face coverings may not be worn on water slides and in the pools. Expect temperature checks upon entry.
Currently, tickets to Volcano Bay are available as single-day tickets, but Universal Orlando Resorts report that a three park pass will be available soon. Your travel agent or vacation planner should be on top of this for you. Assuming you are planning to explore all three parks, this will likely be the best deal.
If you’ve previously purchased a three park pass and postponed your trip due to COVID-19, this page has some helpful info.
Excited to visit Volcano Bay? We are, too. Here are our best Volcano Bay tips to help you plan your awesome day.
1. Arrive Early
Volcano Bay opens at 10 a.m. Please note the hours might be different from pre-pandemic times. The park used to open at 8 a.m. but the current calendar shows hours of 10 a.m.-5 p.m. through April and 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. through May. Check before you go.
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Volcano Bay is a relatively new and very popular attraction. Even before COVID, the park was known to reach capacity very quickly. Purchasing your ticket and planning your day isn’t going to do you much good if you can’t get into the park because it is already at capacity.
TravelingMom Tip: In the past, guests at Universal Orlando Resort Hotels were allowed early entry into Volcano Bay. At publication time, we are not able to confirm if that is currently the case. We recommend checking with the resort when you make your reservation and when you check in.
2. Set Up Cashless Payment
You’ll need to download the Universal Orlando App and connect your credit card. Once you’ve done that, you won’t have to worry about cash or credit cards. You can use your Tapu Tapu wearable wrist band (more about that in a minute) to pay for food and drinks, merchandise in the park, locker and towel rental and more.
This is super easy to set up. I loved not having to worry about keeping track of cash or credit cards. The last place you want to lose your credit card is in a moving body of water.
3. Reserve Seating in Advance
There is plenty of seating at Volcano Bay but most is in the full sun. If you’re interested in reserving premium seating or a cabana (big splurge but so fun!), contact the park as early as you can.
Premium seating is a lounge chair with a canopy and an attached safe. A cabana is much more luxurious and private and comes with a ton of amenities, including some snacks and your own personal server.
You can inquire about seating availability at one of the concierge huts on the day of your visit. You might get lucky. But, if you want to guarantee yourself a shady take-a-break spot, reserve before you go.
4. Get Seats and Lockers Early
If you’re not planning to pay for premium/reserved seating, get your lockers and stake out your seats as soon as you arrive.
Do not pass go. Do not stop to look at all the things. All the things will be there after you get a locker and find someplace to sit. But maybe not vice-versa.
You will have fun at Volcano Bay, no matter what. It’s that kind of place. But your visit will be so much more awesome if you take a little time to do some research beforehand.
Scope out the height requirements, menus and, most of all, read up on how Tapu Tapu works.
Tapu Tapu is Volcano Bay’s wearable wrist band that acts as your locker key, your cash and holds your place in line. Yes, really!
6. One of the Most Important Volcano Bay Tips: Make a Plan for Riding and Sliding
Use the Universal Orlando Resort app to familiarize yourself with the lay of the land before you visit. Decide if your family is going to stay together as a group or if you’re going to split up. What are the check-in expectations going to be?
Pick your must-dos ahead of time and ride those first thing in the morning. The Krakatau Aqua Coaster is the most popular ride, so if that appeals to you, you’ll want to ride that first.
The thing I like most about Volcano Bay is how they have their virtual lines set up. You can reserve your place in a virtual line – just tap in with your Tapu Tapu and your wearable will display the estimated wait time. Relax in your lounger or go enjoy another attraction while you wait to be notified you can ride. You can get in line for attractions that don’t have a wait time or you can enjoy one of the pools. You can also float in the winding river and the fearless river, as neither one of those require you to tap in to get a wait time.
We rode our must-dos first and worked our way through all the ride our kids were tall enough to ride. After that, we re-rode our favorites. By lunchtime, the Krakatau Water Coaster had a three-hour wait. Yikes, right? We tapped in for that, had a leisurely lunch and a rest while we waited in the virtual line.
7. Don’t Forget to Pack Essentials
Make sure you have plenty of sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, and a waterproof case for your phone. If you forget something, you can purchase it in the park…at theme park prices, of course.
Volcano Bay charges a towel fee, so bring your own if you can. If you’re staying at one of the Universal Orlando Resort hotels, you’re prohibited from taking your hotel room towels in to Volcano Bay.
This doesn’t make a lot of sense to me since the pools at the resort hotels offer free towel service. This is one thing I hope they change in the future. If you’re traveling by air, beach towels for everyone will take up some space in your luggage, so plan for that.
8. Volcano Bay Tip: Don’t Let the Rain Drive You Away
If it starts raining, don’t immediately scurry for the exit. It rains almost daily in central Florida, especially in summer. Try to wait it out. If you leave, you’re not guaranteed to get back in.
Remember the capacity limits we talked about earlier. There’s no “save my place in line” for someone who leaves and comes back the same day. Your ticket will permit it, but park capacity may not.
9. Stay Late
Volcano Bay after dark is pretty neat. The volcano (Krakatau Mountain) lights up and changes colors. This is definitely worth sticking around for if you have the energy.
Currently, the park closes at 5pm (scheduled to move to 6pm in May 2021) so there’s not a chance to see these after dark sights right now. We are hopeful that as the season progresses and more things open up that Volcano Bay will extend their hours but that remains to be seen.
10. Taking Younger Kids to Volcano Bay? Know these things beforehand
If your kids are at least 48 inches, they can enjoy all the attractions at Volcano Bay. Kids who are at least 42 inches can enjoy most of the attractions. Other than the designated areas that cater to little kids and the Kopiko Wai Winding River (lazy river) you have to be at least 42 inches to participate.
If you’ve got little kids in your group, Volcano Bay hasn’t forgotten about you. Runamukka Reef is for guests under 54 inches only and Tot Tikki Reef (don’t you just love these names?) is for guests under 48 inches only. These two areas allow your smaller kids to splash and have an awesome water park experience without getting too close to older, bigger kids whose splashing might be too rough or intense. They even have slides that are just the right size for littles.
Also, guests under 48 inches must wear a life jacket and/or be accompanied by an adult on various attractions. You can see the breakdown here. Even if you are confident in your child’s ability to swim, the life jacket rules are based on weight and are strictly enforced by the lifeguards.
If you have a mix of big kids and little kids, Volcano Bay has something for everyone. However, if your kids are all younger or all under 42 inches, you might consider saving this water park until they are older. If you move forward with plans to go, think about what ride swapping strategies you might employ. The Tapu Tapu system helps keep your wait in a physical line to a minimum.
You’ll have fun no matter what but this isn’t an inexpensive water park and to pay the admission fee and not be able to take full advantage of all of the slides and thrills may not make sense for you.
You also may want to consider wearing your little one’s Tapu Tapu wristband. If you let your child wear their own, make sure you check frequently to make sure they still have it.
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