Everything You Need to Know before Going to Universal Orlando’s Volcano Bay Water Park

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Images courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort

Volcano Bay Water Park is Universal Orlando’s newest theme park making it the third park alongside Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure. This theme park is different in that it is a water park with rides and attractions! You can spend a full day enjoying the park just like you would at either of the other parks.

The philosophy celebrated at Universal’s Volcano Bay:

Water is Life. Life is Joy.

Here are all the things you need to know before you go to Orlando’s Volcano Bay Water Park:


TapuTapu is the KEY to a great day at Volcano Bay. It is a digital wristband that each person receives when they enter the park. You link it to your credit card, use it to shop within the park, pay for dining, get into a “virtual” line for one of the rides/slides and rent lockers. Your TapuTapu serves as your locker key, and you use it to re-open your locker all day.

The Tapu Tapu is how you avoid lines at Volcano Bay. When you find a ride you’d like try, tap the TapuTapu against the station in front of the attraction. The station notes the earliest time you’ll be able to return and ride. Then, you’re free to swim and enjoy other park attractions while your spot in line is “held” for you.

While you are waiting look for RIDE NOW signs and hit up a few more slides. Be sure to hit up both the lazy river AND the not so lazy river. Both are very fun but the not so lazy river is a fun wild ride that you will enjoy over and over!

When it’s time to ride, your TapuTapu will VIBRATE and show you the name of the attraction you chose, along with a “Ride Now” message! When you return to ride, your TapuTapu resets, and you can select another ride.

If you lose your TapuTapu (one of my kids lost theirs in the first 30 minutes so MAKE SURE it is secured properly) just head to one of the concierge huts with your ticket stub to get it replaced. 

TapuTapu only works inside Volcano Bay and you don’t get to keep it. When you exit the park they collect your band and wipe the memory – very important if you attached a credit card to them, as we did.


There are six locations to dine, featuring 60+ delicious items from water park favorites to Polynesian-inspired dishes.

  1. Kohola Reef Restaurant and Social Club™ – Burgers, barbeque, chicken, seafood, and pizza.
  2. Dancing Dragons Boat Bar – Tropical cocktails and frozen drinks.
  3. Whakawaiwai Eats – Pizza, hot dogs, mac & cheese, and salads.
  4. Bambu – Burgers, sandwiches, hot dogs, and salads.
  5. Kunuku Boat Bar – Specialty cocktails, frozen drinks, sodas, draft beers.
  6. The Feasting Frog – Tacos, poke poke bowl, plantain chips, and guacamole.


Free Seating: There is a ton of free loungers/chairs/umbrellas all over the park for you to use. They are first come, first served so BE EARLY if you plan on just grabbing seats. Bring a towel or t-shirt to save your spot while you swim. We had ZERO issues with our items “walking away” while we played and we left bags, clothes, and towels.

Premium Seating: These are a little fancier than the free seats for sure. They include a pair (2 chairs) of padded loungers with an adjustable shade canopy and a built-in storage lock box (perfect for wallet, purse, and keys). You can enjoy the services of an area attendant who’ll see to your food and drink orders. Prices start at $30 per pair.

Single Cabanas: These small cabanas hold up to 6 people – perfect for a small family or a couple of moms/dads visiting just with the kids. You can choose from upper level for spectacular views, ground level cabanas for convenience & accessibility, or stand-alone cabanas that offer more privacy. Cabanas start at $160.

Family Cabanas: This larger size holds up to 16 people. This size is perfect for multiple families, neighborhood/scout/school groups or family reunions. Relax with your family/friends in a large, private stand-alone cabana. These large size cabanas start at $300 (and are so worth it!).

Helpful $$ Info To Know Before You Go

  • Even though it is a HUGE park the price is very comparable (cheaper even) to other Orlando area water parks.
  • Attach your credit card to your Tapu Tapu so that you don’t have to carry cash or a credit card.
  • A one-day Volcano Bay admission ticket is $67.
  • You can bring your own towels or rent them for $5 each.
  • There are lockers available for rent where you can store your purse/wallet/valuables. They are varied in price depending upon size. Just know the smallest will only hold a wallet and keys.


Written by: Kendra from When’s My Vacation

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  1. Absolutely loved Volcano Bay! Is it bad that lounging on a chair on the sand while eating a churro was one of my favorite parts? LOL! But really! They outdid themselves on the park’s design (awesome theme), rides, food, and technology. Can’t wait to go back!