The world’s number one tourist destination enjoys the best there is in terms of year round weather and family thrills and fun, but it’s that gorgeous warm sunshine that makes a day at a water park near the top of the ‘ top things to do in Orlando’ list!
All of the water parks are worth their entrance fee, but if you’ve only got time to visit on or two of them, we figured you’d appreciate some advice in choosing the best splash and play destination for your particular family vacation!
Orlando’s Water Parks listed by annual attendance!
We thought that this little list mights start things off for you!  Attendance figures can mean a lot in determining which is the best, but read on before deciding, there’s much more to each water park than you might think!

 

Water Park  2013 Gate Operator 
Typhoon Lagoon 2,142,000 Walt Disney World
Blizzard Beach 1,968,000 Walt Disney World
Aquatica 1,553,000 SeaWorld
Wet ‘n’ Wild 1,259,000 Universal Studios
Adventure Island 638,000 Busch Gardens
Discovery Cove 350,000 Est SeaWorld
LEGOLAND Water Park New 2013 LEGOLAND

Typhoon Lagoon – Walt Disney World

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Typhoon Lagoon enjoys top slot as Orlando’s premier water park choice for tourists with over 2m guests heading there each year.  With those kinds of figures, you’ve got to believe that this is going to be great!
With a legendary ‘lazy river’, a stunning sandy beach wave pool with shallow wading for younger kids, family raft rides, inflatable ring slides, and a range of body slides that range from ‘kindergarten’ right up to ‘kamikaze’ level, you know it’s got something for everyone.
There’s something special about Typhoon Lagoon though, hard to explain perhaps why it enjoys an additional 100,000 visitors a year over its nearest rival Typhoon Lagoon.
In a nutshell, this adorable water park has a tropical charm that is perhaps more realistic than the real thing!
The ultimate simulacrum (or in other words a creation that’s better than the real thing!) is a tropical paradise, which according to Disney’s charming back story; was created so far in land by a huge tidal wave that brought the Ocean to Orlando!  As you walk around the park, surf boards, life belts and even a huge boat called Miss Tilly perched atop the aptly named Mount Mayday!
The walkways are immaculate, the landscaping is straight from a tropical reef and the Magic is 100% pure Disney at its best.  That’s why this water park is number one we guess!
  • Your water park pass, also allows you to hop to Blizzard Beach in the same day!
  • Great for families of all ages
  • Beautiful tropical theme and landscaping
  • Swim with Sharks (harmless)
  • The best Lazy River on earth?
  • Excellent wave pool
  • Surfing Lessons available (special hours)
  • Family Rafts
  • Body Slides
  • Fun and Splash areas
  • Sandy Beaches
  • Snacks and Fast Food
  • Towel Hire and Beach wear stores
  • Photopass photographers
  • Free Parking
  • Best for: Tropical Atmosphere
Typhoon Lagoon Tips and Advice Get there early if you want a sun bed.  They will mostly be gone by 10:30am during busy days!
For more about Typhoon Lagoon, visit our main Typhoon Lagoon website article or head off to Disney’s official page.

Disney’s Blizzard Beach

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With 1.9m visitors a year, Disney’s Blizzard Beach blows in at a healthy number two slot on Orlando’s water park attendance list.  The rebellious TotalOrlando team however, vote this as our favourite water park, mainly down to the novelty factor of having a ski resort right in the heart of Florida!  The back story to this snow filled water park is that a freak snow storm blew in, dumping enough of the fluffy white stuff to open a ski resort, just in time for the warm weather to return for your visit to have some fun!
Of course, there’s no real snow, but the Disney Imagineers have again excelled themselves at producing a theme that adds something extra special to a day in a water park.
Blizzard Beach has a feeling of extra space in comparison to Typhoon Lagoon, which might be worth considering if you are headed there during a busy season.
  • Your water park pass, also allows you to hop to Typhoon Lagoon in the same day!
  • Great for families of all ages
  • Imaginative Ski Resort theme and landscaping
  • Very nice Snow themed Lazy River
  • Excellent wave pool
  • Family Rafts
  • Body Slides
  • Excellent Fun and Splash areas
  • Sandy Beaches
  • Snacks and Fast Food
  • Towel Hire and Beach wear stores
  • Photopass photographers
  • Free Parking
  • Best For: Crazy Ski Resort Atmosphere
Blizzard Beach Tips and Advice Get there early if you want a sun bed.  They will mostly be gone by 10:30am during busy days!  Visit our website review of Blizzard Beach or take at look at Disney’sofficial page.

Aquatica – SeaWorld’s Water Park

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Coming in at a respectable number 3 in the attendance list, SeaWorld’s Aquatica is a relative newcomer, opening March 1st 2008.
SeaWorld have fought for visitors aggressively of late and a lot of their big investments have paid off well, including Aquatica.
Located just along the street from their signature SeaWorld Park, Aquatica cleverly borrows some of the expertise from its neighbour with some nicely themed aquatic exhibits including Dolphin Plunge, a body slide that passes through the Commerson’s Dolphin habitat.
The park is nicely themed and has a great sense of open space, perfect for finding your way about.  For what some guests may feel Aquatica lacks in ambience and theming compared to the Disney Water Parks, Aquatica certainly makes up for with the overall experience.
Aquatica seems to manage busy days very well, thanks to those wide walkways and open spaces.
The attractions are varied enough to be attractive to family members of all ages and each has a nice touch to make them a little different.
The $12 parking fee is a big turn off for us!
  • Nice wide open spaces
  • Landscaping is good but a little behind Disney’s
  • A very novel Lazy River uses life vests not rings
  • Clever Dolphin Plunge
  • 2 Wave Pools
  • Kids Play area
  • Good family water park
  • Body Slides
  • Not strongly themed
  • Food, snacks available
  • Towel Hire and Beach wear stores
  • Park Photographers
  • Multi Park Deals with SeaWorld/Busch Gardens etc
  • Parking Fee
  • Best For: Busy Days
Aquatica Water Park Tips & Advice Visit our main website review for Aquatica or visit their official website.

Wet ‘n’ Wild – Universal – PERMANENTLY CLOSED!

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Located on International Drive in the heart of Orlando’s Tourism area, Wet ‘n’ Wild has certainly made a splash or two since it opened way back on March 13th 1977.
As the USA’s first ‘mainstream’ water park, it set the standard for modern day water parks to follow.
With a perfect location, a raging popularity with locals and tourists alike and a wide range of new attractions, Wet ‘n’ Wild thoroughly deserves its number 4 position in the Water Park popularity list!
Bordered from all angles, the compact Water Park makes great use of the space it has and provides guests with a great blend of thrill rides and most importantly rides that the whole family can enjoy.  The theming of the park is quite limited, but the fun isn’t, so don’t put off a visit to this wonderful spot on I-Drive.
  • Small Lazy River
  • Extreme Body Slides
  • Several Family Rafts and two person Tubes
  • Great location on I-Drive
  • Weak theming
  • Wake boarding lake (small extra charge)
  • New kids play area
  • Wave Pool
  • Snacks and Food
  • Excellent Beach wear Shop
  • Multi Park Deals with SeaWorld/Busch/Universal
  • Best For: Wide choice of attractions & wake boarding
Wet ‘n’ Wild Orlando Tips & Advice: Get there early, very limited sun beds!
Visit our Wet ‘n’ Wild page or visit their official website

Adventure Island – Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Adventure Island
For most Orlando area visitors, Adventure Island is always going to be a tough one to fit into a regular vacation schedule.  The park itself is very capable and offers some amazing adaptations of water park attractions, however the location over near Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay is a good hour’s drive along the I-4.  The journey is straightforward enough, but, most people would probably head out that way for one thing alone during a vacation, and that is of course the amazing Busch Gardens theme park.
It’s impossible to fit in a full theme park visit and a water park visit and two trips over there in a vacation isn’t high upon many people’s agenda!
Where this charming water park does fit in though, is with locals and families that are taking a part of their vacation over on the Gulf Coast.  A long weekend over there works well and a trip to Adventure Island ties in nicely with a day at Clearwater Beach, a visit to Busch Gardens to fill up a great vacation weekend away from Orlando.
Adventure Island is modern, charming and full of innovative rides and slides that you won’t find elsewhere, so if you can, try and squeeze it in!
Adventure Island is also perfect for families that don’t mind splitting up into two groups, mom enjoying the sun and the water park, the older kids heading into Busch Gardens for roller coaster fun!
  • An hour away from Disney
  • Lazy River
  • Wave Pool
  • Multi Park Deals with SeaWorld/Busch Gardens etc
  • Very diverse attractions
  • Great Family Fun
  • Excellent landscaping
  • Food and Snacks
  • Best For: A great mix of swimmers and roller coaster fans!
Adventure Island Tips & Advice: Get there early, very limited sun beds!
Visit our Adventure Island page or visit their official website

Discovery Cove – SeaWorld’s Luxury Dolphin Swim Water Park

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Discovery Cove is the famed Dolphin Swim experience just along the street from SeaWorld and may surprise people that haven’t yet been, to be included in our water park list.
We’ve included it for one very simple reason, this is without doubt, the very best water park we’ve ever experienced and that is setting aside the optional Dolphin Swim.
Discovery Cove, is an all inclusive ‘day resort’ that is totally devoid of any water slides, tubes or rafts, yet you would easily spend the entire day here oblivious to that fact!
In simple terms, Discovery Cove is effectively 3 areas, a beautiful rock bedded fresh water lazy river, a salt water swimming reef complete with rays and exotic fish to swim and snorkel amongst, and of course, that legendary Dolphin Swim area off to one side.
The best part of all, is that families (or their individuals) can choose to either opt in or opt out of the Dolphin Swim and enjoy those first two areas to the full for the entire day.
Families aren’t separated, so the fun is seamless, no matter what activities you decide to go for.
  • All inclusive dining
  • Limited access – bookings only
  • Never too busy or crowded
  • Optional Dolphin Swim
  • Discounts for non Dolphin Swimmers
  • Fresh Water Lazy River
  • Salt Water ‘Swimming Reef’
  • Snorkels, masks wet suits provided
  • Sandy beaches
  • Best For: Luxury environment and swimming
Discovery Cove Tips & Advice: Book well in advance and pick dates out of season or off peak as the ticket pricing varies according to demand.  Be selective about who will swim with the dolphins and save lots of money!
Visit our Discovery Cove page or visit the Official Discovery Cove site.

LEGOLAND Water Park

April 12th 2014 Opening Banner

Central Florida’s newest member of the water park gang is LEGOLAND’s Water Park right next to its main theme park located about 30 minutes from Disney.
If you’ve got younger kids in your team, they will love LEGOLAND, but if they want to end a visit there in style, you could just about squeeze a few hours in towards the end of the park day if you remembered to pack your swim wear!
As you’d expect, LEGOLAND is very much geared towards under 12s, but, to be fair to LEGOLAND, they do that job in style!  Both the theme park and the water park are gorgeous and form a great base for a perfect kids day.
Don’t underestimate the park’s abilities, and also don’t misjudge how cool this park is for all ages!
  • Kids splash and play area
  • Combo price with theme park
  • Body slides
  • Build a raft Lazy River
  • Fast Food
  • Beach wear store
  • Best For: A Few hours cooling after the park
LEGOLAND Water Park Tips & Advice:  Only available as a combo admission with the theme park.
Visit our LEGOLAND Water Park page or visit the Official LEGOLAND Water Park Site

Volcano Bay – Universal Orlando – New Summer 2017!

Volcano Bay Orlando

Volcano Bay will make a very big splash in every way possible during the summer of 2017!
Details are only just emerging, but, this hot piece of rocky water park property is going to thrill from the construction we’ve seen so far!

  • Details emerging!
  • For the latest, visit our web page for Volcano Bay!
Volcano Bay looks as though it will be open during evenings!
A big win for tourists and water park fans that love the warm evening air in Orlando!