Theme Park Insider

Universal Orlando's Volcano Bay to feature virtual queues, LIM water coaster

November 3, 2016, 8:58 AM · Universal Orlando's new water park, Volcano Bay, will feature virtual queuing and a linear induction water coaster when it opens next year, the resort announced today.

The Krakatau Aqua Coaster will occupy the park's iconic central volcano. The first of its kind in Florida, the coaster will use LIM technology to launch riders upward into the volcano's interior. Visitors will ride in four-person "canoes" through a variety of themed scenes, including tunnels, caves, and past waterfalls.

And no one will have to wait in a line to ride. Universal also announced that all Volcano Bay visitors will get "TapuTapu" wearables that they will use to reserve their places in the park's virtual queues. The wearable will alert visitors when it is their turn to ride.

Visitors also will be able tap the TapuTapu wearable (get the name, now?) to activate "tap to play" experiences through the park, including water cannons and special effects inside the volcano.

In Universal's promo video, we see that TapuTapu is kinda of an Apple Watch meets MagicBand, a waterproof wristband that seems to include a display screen, presumably to let you know when to return to a ride.

If you are wondering about the patent implications with Disney's MagicBand system, Universal three years ago did file a patent application for a virtual queue management system that included wearable devices. IANAL, but it seems that the addition of the display screen would represent enough of a substantial difference from the MagicBand to protect Universal from any infringement action over these wristbands.

Finally, if you want to get your tickets to Volcano Bay, you won't have to wait long. Universal also announced that tickets will go on sale Nov. 15.

Replies (11)

November 3, 2016 at 9:11 AM · Great, now my visits to Orlando will be even longer. My meager teacher salary can't afford this, but we'll have to cut where we can to make it work!
November 3, 2016 at 4:33 PM · My family's vacation experiences at Universal Orlando have been very relaxing. Staying at on on-site hotel with front of the line access made planning easy, almost unnecessary. My family leisurely strolled through the parks and when we where ready to eat, we had priority seating at the restaurants (another on-site hotel perk). If we enjoyed a particular attraction and wanted to do it again, we did it again without the wait. This type of relaxation is not available at Disney parks as EVERYTHING has to be planned ahead of time if we wanted the best "bang for our buck". Disney vacations are stressful. Universal Orlando is the complete opposite. And for Universal Orlando to offer the best of all the amenities (a stress-free vacation) at a water park is INGENIUS. I'm sold!
November 3, 2016 at 1:50 PM · It's kind of amazing that with Moana coming out soon, that it is UO that is poised to sell the theme park version of that "IP" (the water of Hawaii having a life of its own). Clever timing, and I think this park will be a hit. It would be as if they had opened an Ice Castle resort hotel three months after Frozen came out.
November 3, 2016 at 2:02 PM · The Moana thing is just a coincidence.
The aqua coaster sounds awesome, like the dark ride version of a traditional water slide.
November 4, 2016 at 2:53 AM · Will be interesting to see how much a ticket costs since "every guest is granted the power of a TapuTapu wearable"

TapuTapu is a cool name to go with the Volcano Bay theme, but doesn't seem like a good choice for a name when it is inevitably rolled out in the regular parks at some future point.

November 4, 2016 at 1:35 PM · Volcano Bay just keeps looking more and more amazing, and I've got a feeling it will set a new standard for waterparks. As for TapuTapu, if that is anything like the Q-band Six Flags uses at their waterparks it is going to be excellent for most guests, though it does remove spontaneity. Still, it will be a much more relaxing waterpark experience than the typical 45 minutes of hot pavement per ride.
November 5, 2016 at 2:43 AM · I'm thankful that Universal's video plants a flag that should have been acknowledged years ago: WATER PARKS ARE THEME PARKS.
November 5, 2016 at 5:59 AM · Will there be express pass or some other kind of pay to ride system?
November 6, 2016 at 11:02 AM · Looks awesome! Way more excited about this than Star Wars and Avatar Lands.
November 6, 2016 at 6:12 PM · Oh My, that's certainly tempting!
November 7, 2016 at 9:00 AM · This looks amazing. This is what Aulani should have had, instead of just a lazy river.

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