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Universal Orlando Announces Volcano Bay Water Park

May 28, 2015, 7:54 AM · The Universal Orlando Resort this morning officially confirmed plans to build a new water park, Volcano Bay, on a 33-acre site just south of the Cabana Bay Beach Resort.

Volcano Bay
Concept art courtesy Universal

In addition to the wave pool in the foreground, if you look carefully on a high-res version of the concept art above, you can see a water slide in the middle of that waterfall, from which people are emerging just to the right of the tiki at the bottom of the image. From Universal Creative President Mark Woodbury's announcement:

The park will feel as if it is set in picture-perfect tropical islands, formed by a massive volcano – and it will have something for every member of the family. It will feature radically-innovative attractions, peaceful moments of relaxation and an experience that we hope will change the way guests think about water theme parks.

We’ve already broken ground on Volcano Bay, just south of Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort. Construction will move quickly, and the park will open in 2017.

No other details were announced, though documents filed earlier this year with the South Florida Water Management District called for "slides and pools plus various recreational facilities. A tall 'volcano' with slides will be constructed in the southern portion of the site."

Construction site

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Replies (25)

May 28, 2015 at 8:09 AM · They will fill every single inch of the Universal Orlando property. A long walk in and out. Hopefully, shuttle busses will be available.
May 28, 2015 at 8:12 AM · There is absolutely no truth to the rumor that the park will open each morning with a ceremony where a cartoon mouse is dropped into the volcano as a sacrifice. None.
May 28, 2015 at 8:14 AM · I don't think Disney would lava that.
May 28, 2015 at 8:16 AM · @Robert I think the mouse is roasted in a more brutal way; less money for Disney and more for Universal from guests.
But jokes aside this is looking nothing less then stunning.
May 28, 2015 at 8:18 AM · But Robert, wouldn't that be Great...

The past few Years, Universal has been expanding and doing some great things.
WWOHP - Transformers - Rip Ride Rocket - New Hotel and now this....

And Disney made a train coaster that rocks back and fourth...

Disney needs to be all in on Star Wars.... Forget Avatar...

May 28, 2015 at 8:20 AM · The news from Universal just keeps getting better. They're making it tougher to focus on Disney with future trips. When will Disney respond? Do they even care?
May 28, 2015 at 8:28 AM · Apx. the same size as Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard "without" their parking lot acreage. The park, as noted before, will fill that entire stretch of property next to Cabana Bay. Cabana Bay, the new Sapphire falls hotel & the Royal Pacific will all be prime vacation destinations as they will only be a few minutes walk from the water park.
May 28, 2015 at 8:30 AM · "There is absolutely no truth to the rumor that the park will open each morning with a ceremony where a cartoon mouse is dropped into the volcano as a sacrifice. None."

That's pretty funny. I wouldn't mind seeing that just for the laugh...

May 28, 2015 at 8:59 AM · Harry Potter bucks have been rolling in for years... I love this waterpark concept, by the way.
May 28, 2015 at 9:07 AM · So if people want to visit this water park, will they need to park in the regular parking garages or be a hotel guest? I'm guessing they will have a transportation plan for that.
May 28, 2015 at 9:14 AM · Great news. But judging from the concept art, the production quality doesn't seem quite as high as, say, Typhoon Lagoon. You can see blue tiles at the edge of the pool and colorful plastic slides in the background. To me, this breaks the theme. I guess that the outcome will be something in-between Aquatica and Typhoon Lagoon.
I'm curious about the radically-innovative attractions though!
May 28, 2015 at 9:48 AM · I'm guessing that the parking garage slated for behind Sapphire Falls will accommodate the water park, too?
May 28, 2015 at 9:49 AM · Nick: Both.
May 28, 2015 at 10:04 AM · Wowsers!!!

Robert, your first comment almost made me spit my Coke :-).

May 28, 2015 at 10:34 AM · i'm hoping the park will also be open evenings in peak season. It would be great if the volcano waterfalls will be colored lava at night, as will be the waters in the two lazy rivers and other water areas.
May 28, 2015 at 10:54 AM · Hey Robert, just wanted to get your opinion on this matter. Will Universal start buying the land that's around them soon? Seems like they're beginning to get squeezed as far as land goes.
May 28, 2015 at 11:12 AM · I didn't realize there was a parking structure in the works behind Sapphire Falls, that would make a lot of sense.

I also wonder how Universal is going to create the feeling of a tropical getaway with two major roads outlining two of the water park's borders. If it will be possible to get to the top of the volcano, that will not be a pretty sight. Although I trust Universal to figure that one out!

May 28, 2015 at 11:14 AM · This looks fantastic, and Universal's recent track record gives me no reason to doubt that this will be THE water park in Orlando, although I admit I really love Typhoon Lagoon. Now if only I can lose my...err...baby fat. Yeah.

Too much 4Rivers BBQ?

May 28, 2015 at 2:12 PM · The Huffington Post has a good article on the water park. They emphasize that it is not a "themed water park". But that it will be something different than any other, it will be the world's first "Water Theme Park"."It will be an entirely new experience", says Huffington Post. It will be detailed & immersive like Diagon Alley, and will not have the traditional water slides.
May 28, 2015 at 3:12 PM · Seems like a greatly expanded version of the Polynesian Resort's pool area. Good choice. Personally I am not much of a water park fan (or water theme park fan) but anything that pulls crowds away from the actual theme parks is a welcome addition.
May 28, 2015 at 3:08 PM · I'm interested to see what all this waterpark will include. Since it's unlikely I'll be visiting Florida until at least 2017 anyway, this might give me something else to check out while I'm there. The big question is with nine theme parks, five water parks, numerous other tourist attractions, and a two-week limit, what doesn't make the cut?
May 28, 2015 at 9:37 PM · @Robert, as a Disney fan, your comment makes me erupt with rage. Seriously, that sacrifice you describe would magma skin crawl...
May 29, 2015 at 10:56 AM · The definitive size of the Orlando water parks. All four are essentially the same size. This info was posted on the Magic site. Source is the Orange County Property Appraiser website.....*Typhoon Lagoon: Park only 34 acres, Total area 55 acres (20 acres of which is parking and 1 acre retention pond)...*Blizzard Beach: Park only 36 acres, Total area 58 acres (20 acres parking 2 acres retention pond)...*Aquatica: Park only 30 acres, Total area 58 acres (20 acres parking 8 acres retention pond)...Volcano Bay: Park 33 acres , no parking or retention pond.....
May 29, 2015 at 11:46 AM · Wow, Universal is kicking butt..........mean while down the road.........yawn, oh I feel asleep.
May 29, 2015 at 1:40 PM · What will happen to wetn wild? Will universal tear it down because I really like wetn wild

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