Theme Park Insider

Universal Orlando's Volcano Bay opens May 25

January 25, 2017, 5:38 PM · Universal Orlando Resort revealed today that its new Volcano Bay water park will open officially on May 25. Billed as Universal Orlando's third theme park, the 28-acre Volcano Bay will offer 19 water-based attractions across four themed zones: Rainforest Village, River Village, Wave Village, and Krakatau — the volcano at the heart of the park which gives it its name.

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.

Universal also has 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 to activate experiences through the park, including water cannons and special effects inside the volcano.

Volcano Bay effectively replaces (and Universal hopes, surpasses) the Wet 'n' Wild water park, which closed on Dec. 31. The industry's first water park, Wet 'n' Wild stood across Interstate 4 from the Universal Orlando Resort, where the new Volcano Bay will stand next to the Cabana Bay hotel.

Universal has sent invitations for a multi-day press event leading up to the grand opening on May 25. Theme Park Insider will be there for the event, showing you Volcano Bay here on the website, as well as on our YouTube channel and Twitter account.

Replies (11)

January 25, 2017 at 5:59 PM · Have they revealed yet whether or not this will be included on any annual passes? I'd like to visit at least once.
January 25, 2017 at 5:59 PM · Why can't Disney move at this pace?
January 25, 2017 at 7:25 PM · If they have rides with special effects and animatronics, and a variety of experiences, maybe a few shows, I would say they're justified in calling it a theme park. If it's just the same sort of water slides, I would say it's not.
January 25, 2017 at 8:00 PM · If you saw the capital expenditure costs Universal has spent/is spending to not only buy out Universal Resort partners, but upgage the formally neglected parks, you would be shocked$!$!$!

Corporate parent, Comcast, continues the capital expenditures, but it's interesting to note they only highlight "theme parks cash flow" vs net income. Will be interesting to see if 'net income' is listed in the 4Q16/Fiscal Year earnings release.

Sadly, the are still in the replace vs expand/add new rides and attractions phase.

Case in point, Volcano Bay is another upgage replacement.

For all the DIS haters, the same could be said of DIS, but when you're #1 you can take your time. Did you see the FY2016 'Net Income' Parks & Resorts reported!

January 26, 2017 at 7:12 AM · I'm looking forward to the report..... as long as Speedos are not part of the official TPI reporter's uniform for water theme park grand openings! ;)
January 26, 2017 at 7:55 AM · Volcano Bay is way more exciting than Avatarland or Star Wars Land. Disney may have the best Imagineers in the world, but what does it matter, so long as Disney's Imagineering geniuses are hamstrung by Iger and Chapek's boneheaded marketing diktats and atrociously bad taste?
January 26, 2017 at 11:45 AM · I gotta say...this sounds awesome...
January 26, 2017 at 1:27 PM · Wet 'n Wild will be missed. I'm not sure if this is really a replacement for it.

Wet 'n Wild was more of a blue-collar, locals waterpark with an outstanding collection of water slides and attractions. Volcano Bay is more of a VIP waterpark and the price point is going to reflect that. I'm excited about the new waterpark, but this is not a replacement.

From my perspective I think they could have survived side-by-side, but that's a tough sell to the Universal execs.

January 26, 2017 at 9:19 PM · Re: Previous anonymous post

Disney has its "bubble" so now Universal wants its very own "bubble"

They want the Wet N Wild space for another hotel or two.

Universal could always put another waterpark on Site B in the future.

Plus they may want to avoid the cannibalisation that happen to Wdw when AK first opened

January 27, 2017 at 3:17 PM · Speaking of Universal's expansion plans, I am now wondering what is going in that spot on South Universal Blvd that they bought. I keep seeing a big sign saying "the future of entertainment" as I drive by and lots of construction going on behind it.
January 28, 2017 at 8:31 AM · Never really been a water park fan - but will look forward to seeing the new ideas and the innovation Universal brings to this park.

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