Aquatica Orlando Water Park
By James | Last updated November 26, 2023
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SeaWorld’s Water Park, Aquatica Orlando was originally scheduled to open in the summer of 2007 but this was pushed back to a soft opening date of March 1, 2008. The official opening was on April 4, 2008.
Aquatica Orlando is located on 59 acres of land, on the east side International Drive, south of Sea Harbor Drive between the existing SeaWorld park and the Williamsburg residential subdivision. It is about one third the size of the original SeaWorld water theme park and about twice the size of Discovery Cove with visitor numbers limited to around 7,500 people per day.
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Aquatica is a combination of animal experiences, water rides and slides, high-speed thrills and relaxing sandy beaches and will appeal to all ages.
SeaWorld’s aim is to offer “a high level of service without long lines”. They are slowly expanding the park with rides, Ihu’s Breakaway Falls in 2014, Ray Rush in 2018 and KareKare Curl in 2019.
Aquatica is a direct competitor to the two Disney water parks; i.e. Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon and to Universal’s Volcano Bay (and previously Wet ’n Wild). Aquatica is slightly more expensive than the other water parks but less than the exclusive Discovery Cove.
For information on the latest ticket prices and deals, head over to our Aquatica Orlando ticket prices page.
Main attractions at Aquatica Orlando
There are two large side-by-side wave lagoons, offering two very different experiences. One has crashing waves and five foot swells whilst the other has a gently rolling surf. It is possible to generate nine different wave patterns.
The winding rivers also offer different journeys from calm to extreme with gentle waterfalls past exotic parrots into an undersea grotto full of colourful tropical fish in one and rolling rapids, racing waters and rushing geysers in the other.
There are also eight-lane racing slides, racing tunnels, triple-drop raft rides and inner tube river adventures.
Small children and toddlers are not forgotten. They have an enormous interactive water play area including a 60 foot high rain fortress besides a 15,000 gallon pool plus special family orientated slides and water cannon.
Aquatica Orlando Rides
This is a quick stop info tour of the Aquatica rides available for you to explore at the park now.
Aquatica has over 36 slides and flumes, six winding rivers and lagoons and rivals the other main Orlando water parks such as Universal’s Wet ‘n Wild and Disney’s Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon.
All Aquatica rides have height restrictions (see individual ride descriptions for details) and some have weight restrictions. Free life vests are readily available in all sizes at each ride and posted signs indicate any warnings and restrictions.
To ride any of the inner tube rides, riders must be able to sit upright and hold onto the handles.
There are also rumours of other planned slides being launched as they look to keep the competition in Florida.
Seaworld Aquatica Rivers
Aquatica has six separate river and lagoon attractions as well as 36 water slides. There are two children’s play areas catering for all age groups.
There are also more than 80,000 square feet of soft, white sandy beaches and tranquil pools for those who just want to chill out. There are hundreds of sun loungers plus large and small beach umbrellas.
For the ultimate luxury retreat, you can hire a private cabana.
Some attractions have height restrictions (see individual attraction descriptions for details) and some have weight restrictions. Free life vests are readily available in all sizes at each ride and posted signs indicate any warnings and restrictions.
To ride any of the inner tube rides, riders must be able to sit upright and hold onto the handles unassisted.
Aquatica also boasts over 80,000 square feet (7,400 sq m) of white sandy beaches. Here you can relax in the shade of your own personal cabana and take advantage of the beachside service. The beach is situated by the two wave pools.
Some attractions bring the guests into close proximity with dolphins and other marine animals; a “total immersion in the sea”. Animal Ambassadors can also be found wandering around the park with several unusual animals including a giant anteater.
The landscaping is themed on the beautiful lush flora of the South Sea Islands, New Zealand, Australia and New Guinea with crystal clear rivers, hidden grottos and sparkling waterfalls.
Buildings are brightly coloured and there are carved totem poles decorations taken from New Zealand’s Maori culture.
One of the signature attractions of the new park is a very special water slide.
It consists of a pair of clear acrylic tubes that swimsuit clad guests will slide down through a pool inhabited by black and white Commerson’s dolphins, giving the impression of flying under water.
Though you are not be able to touch the dolphins (unlike at Discovery Cove) you get very close to them.
The Commerson’s dolphins look a bit like a miniature killer whales and are smaller than the more familiar bottlenose dolphins. They are very agile and will often jump out of the water.
There are not many Commerson’s dolphins in captivity and they have been brought over from SeaWorld in San Diego. In 2016 SeaWorld announced that they will no longer breed or replace the Commerson’s dolphins. They will most likely be the last ones kept in captivity.
Other Aquatica Water Parks
As well as Aquatica in Orlando, SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment also operate Aquatica San Antonio in San Antonio, Texas which opened in 2012 and Aquatica San Diego in Chula Vista, California which opened in 2013. The revamped Aquatica San Diego started out life as Knott’s Soak City San Diego.
Aquatica Orlando Certified Autism Center
Aquatica Orlando has worked with The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards to be designated a Certified Autism Center. The first water park in the world to achieve this.
Future of Wet ‘n Wild
George Millay (one of the founders of SeaWorld and Wet ‘n’ Wild) wrote in his book, The Wave Maker, that one of the reasons he sold Wet ‘n’ Wild in 1998 was because of the increasing land lease charges.
He also predicted that Universal, who owned Wet ‘n’ Wild would move it from its current location on International Drive. This would be to their own property in Orlando before 2012 as the lease charges continued to rise. It stayed open until the very end of 2016 before being replaced by Volcano Bay which opened in 2017.