Water you waiting for? Calling all Floridians! These waterparks are only a hop, skip and splash away.
Universal’s Volcano Bay Water Theme Park, Orlando
Are you ready to explore Florida’s newest water park? Us, too! Relax in your own waterside cabana, drift in a winding lazy river or battle gushing whitewater torrents—which island adventure will you explore? Universal’s Volcano Bay allows you to experience it all. Upon entering, you’ll be gifted a TapuTapu wearable. This innovative bracelet will hold your place in a virtual line, so you can explore all 18 incredible attractions without spending half the day waiting around. The wearable also features Tap to Play, that allows guests to interact with various areas throughout the park with just a tap of their bracelet.
Must see: The centerpiece is a 200-foot-tall volcano that towers above the island’s tropical landscape, blowing off steam by day and fiery lava by night. The featured attraction is Florida’s first aqua coaster, the Krakatau. Using state-of-the-art technology, guests will be propelled up, down and around before plunging through a shimmering waterfall. Fear factor? Five out of five!
The Wave Village
Must see: The Reef is a serene pool to kick back in and relax while waiting to take on your next stomach-dropping adventure. A private waterfall spills into the pool—a perfect spot for the kiddos to frolic about.
Good eats: Savor the Kohola, a burger topped with crispy fried onions and pickled jalapenos topped with fresh slaw and avocado mayo on a King’s Hawaiian Roll—only served at the Kohola Reef Restaurant & Social Club. Take advantage of Universal’s dining plan for perks such as free unlimited soda refills.
Must see: Ideal for toddlers, the Tot Tiki Reef invites younger guests to play amongst the splashy slides, a tot-sized volcano and a family of friendly tikis and singing whales.
Good eats: Whakawaiwa Eats has the best pizza pie on the island. The Island BBQ Chicken Pizza comes topped with diced chicken, mango barbecue sauce red onions and gouda cheese.
Must see: Alright families, let’s get in formation. In this village, you will stumble across the Maku-Puihi Round Raft Rides, a six-person rafting adventure with two lava-tube paths. Maku brings you through a deep volcanic gorge before spinning to the bottom in a bowl-like pattern. Puihi puts gravity to the test on a stomach-flipping ride to the bottom. Which route will you choose?
Good eats: Once you locate the bamboo hideaway crafted by islanders at the Bambu restaurant, treat your taste buds to the exquisite flavor found in the Quinoa Edamame Burger, topped with roasted shiitake mushrooms, lettuce, tomato and sriracha mayo.
Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park, Orlando
Don’t mind the surfboards hanging from the palm trees—this surf-haven has just been turned upside down by an epic typhoon. Take on this sandy oasis in a fast-paced quest you won’t soon forget.
Must-see: Miss Adventure Falls. Captain Mary Oceaneer—a pirate whose haul was lost and scattered around this tropical paradise during the typhoon—invites you and three other people to climb aboard her raft on a voyage to seek out her lost treasure on Typhoon Lagoon’s newest attraction.
Must see: Humunga Kowabunga. Plunge down Mount Mayday for a near-vertical, five-story drop—in the dark. We said it first, “Kowabunga!”
Surf’s up, Dude. Surf lessons are offered on select days prior to the park’s opening. Classes are taught by pros who know how to hang ten and are willing to pass down their mad skills. At the end of practice, you could be catching waves up to 6 feet tall.
Did you know? To “hang ten” means to hang all 10 toes over the nose of the board in order to keep your grip?
Good eats: Boogie on over to Lowtide Lou’s for your choice in wraps, sandwiches and suds.
Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park, Orlando
Looks like winter is over at this ski resort. The ice caps have melted, and Mount Gushmore is flooding with melted slush. Catapult down high-intensity waterslides, and fly through super-long mazes in unpredictable raft rides, battling the infamous whitewater rapids.
Must see: Ski Patrol Training Camp. Show off your skills as you maneuver through an obstacle course for big kids and preteens.
Must see: Cross Country Creek. Pass through polar caves and a lush, green forest landscaped with rocks and overhead wood and pebble bridges, as you circle the entire park in a tube.
Good eats: Mini donuts—prepared daily in fresh batter and dusted with powdered sugar, then drizzled in a bath of chocolate, white chocolate or raspberry dipping sauce—are one of the park’s main attractions and can be found at the stand near Lottawatta Lodge.
Did you know? In 2012, the waterpark joined 500 host locations to help set the Guinness World Record for the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson.
Discovery Cove, Orlando
Discovery Cove is an all-inclusive day resort where your family can pose next to a paradise of rocky lagoons surrounded by lush landscaping, tropical reefs, winding rivers, a resort-style pool complete with waterfalls and pristine white-sand beaches. Florida Residents who book a day at Discovery Cove will receive admission to SeaWorld and Aquatica at a discounted rate.
Must see. Freshwater Oasis. An all-new experience to Discovery Cove, you are invited to admire the rainforest canopy above and sparkling-clear springs below. Wade, wander and float through water-filled trails. You’ll come face to face with playful otters and curious marmosets.
Must see. Dolphin Lagoon. New friends are always a good thing, especially when visiting the cove. Swim alongside a bottlenose dolphin during a 30-minute interactive exploration. With an experienced trainer, a small group of guests will become better aquatinted with their new pal through a series of hugs, kisses and rubdowns. In deeper water, an exciting dorsal fin tow ride back to shore is in store.
Did you know? Dolphins sleep by resting one side of the brain at a time. This allows them to continuously rise to the surface for air and keep an eye open for predators.
Adventure Island, Tampa
Twist and shout—you’re in for quite the ride. Enjoy slides, pools, kid-friendly attractions and some good ol’ vitamin D. There’s enough entertainment and sunshine to go around. This park caters to the needs of the whole family.
Must see: Wahoo Run. In case the 600-foot-long flume ride doesn’t sufficiently drench your crew, your multi-person raft will zoom fast through four waterfall curtains to ensure maximum soaking.
Must see: Runaway Rapids. Choose from five unique slides for a high-speed adventure on a mountain-like peak. Can’t choose just one? Try them all!
Good eats: Nothing complements a day of outdoor fun like a nice, cold refreshment. Quench your thirst with an iced beverage, and cure your hunger with a zesty flatbread. Surfside Café and Island Bites will serve you all this plus a sweet funnel cake for dessert.
Aquatica SeaWorld’s Waterpark, Orlando
Aquatica, SeaWorld’s Waterpark, is a whimsical, one-of-a-kind water park unlike any you’ve ever experienced. Make memories on their wondrous waterslides, relaxing rivers, cooling wave pools and countless animal encounters.
Must see. Ihu’s Breakaway Falls. This slide is the tallest, steepest and only multi-drop tower of its kind in Orlando, not to mention—the drop is a surprise.
Did you know? Ihu’s Breakaway Falls was named after the park’s gecko mascot, Ihu.
Must see. Tassie’s Twister. A ride with a literal spin, the adventure ends with a peaceful ride alongside the Lazy River.
Good eats: Banana Beach Cookout calls out to all who want to enjoy an all-you-can-eat feast, loaded with yummy choices from pulled pork to cheesy pizza.
Weeki Wachee Springs’ Buccaneer Bay, Spring Hill
Buccaneer Bay Waterpark, located inside Weeki Wachee Springs, is appealing to guests who want to catch some rays on the smooth, white beach or dive into the crystal-clear, spring water. This park features five thrilling flumes, three of which drop off into the naturally cold waters of Weeki Wachee Springs. Buccaneer Bay is free with your paid admission to Weeki Wachee Springs State Park.
Did you know? “Weeki Wachee” was named by the Seminole Indians. It means “little spring” or “winding river.” The spring, however, is not so little. In fact, it’s so deep that the bottom has never been found!
Legoland Water Park, Winter Haven
Cannonball right into this innovative waterpark. The park as a whole includes over 50 rides, shows and attractions.
Must see. Boating School. All aboard this fun-filled ride that allows kids to captain their own mini-vessels.
Must see. AQUAZONE Wave Racers. Steer your wave racer to dodge water cannons, and splash your friends and family in this head-first race toward the finish line.
Good eats. Head to the Beach-n-Brick Grill for an assortment of yummy treats that will satisfy the entire family.
Know before you go. Legoland Water Park admission is not available without a tickets to Legoland Florida.
Tradewinds Island Resorts, St. Petersburg
Island Grand Resort and Guy Harvey Outpost Resort—two of Tradewinds finest choices—are located on the soft white sands of St. Pete Beach on Florida’s Gulf of Mexico. These beachfront destinations have earned their bragging rights, with seven heated swimming pools and the new triple-chuted inflatable High Tide Slide—coming in at three stories tall and 200-feet long. After you’ve conquered the High Tide Slide, head out to the 15, 750-square-foot Floating Water Park, featuring climbing apparatus, balance beams, splash mats and runways. Guest passes are sold at justletgoshop.com.
CoCo Key Hotel & Water Resort, Orlando
Flamingo Waterpark Resort, Kissimmee
The Holiday Inn Resort Orlando Suites Waterpark
Cypress Springs Water Park at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center, Kissimmee
Fun In The Sun Giveaway
Check out Healthy Living’s Facebook page in July for your chance to win tickets to Buccaner Bay, a two-night stay at the Tradewinds Resort in St. Petersburg or a family four-pack to Florida’s newest water park, Universal’s Volcano Bay in Orlando.