When visiting Orlando, Florida (USA) there is a tendency to go with the two theme park mammoths of Walt Disney World and/or Universal Orlando. However, if you have been to Orlando before, you will know that this barely scratches the surface of what is on offer.
So on a recent visit to the Sunshine State, the #NInja decided to give some of the other parks / attractions in the area a blast and see how they fair in comparison!
Aquatica, put simply, is an amazing waterpark! There are plenty of rides and attractions for all ages along with plenty of loungers and umbrellas if you’d prefer to just relax for the day and let the rest of the family go mad!
The main area (in the middle of the park) has the beach with the loungers and the wave pools. The waves go at intervals – Its announced and theres a timer for when the waves are due to start in case you need to make a quick exit!
The lazy river system is great and a bit different from what you normally find in a waterpark. There are 2 different rivers – the one with the Tube is the traditional lazy river (Loggerhead Lane) but there is also another one for swimmers (Roa’s Rapids). Stick on your life vest and jump in, it’s a faster paced river which is really good fun.
Tassie Twisters are only accessible from the Lazy River so watch out for the signs for where to exit in Loggerhead Lane.This Tube ride shoots you into a giant bowl and spins you around and around before shooting you back out to join the Lazy River again.
One of the best slides is IHU’s Breakaway Falls – you stand in the tube and countdown to the floor just disappearing from under you! The anticipation is the worst bit! It’s a great ride, a must do! (There is also a version of the slide which doesn’t have the breakaway floor if that sounds too crazy for you!)
Brand new this year is Ray Rush. A raft ride for a minimum of 2 people which is so much fun! Your raft gets launched out at speed down the slide and then you’re swooping high out onto the Manta wings!
Another great raft ride for the family is Walhalla Wave. Loads of twists and turns as you shoot down the slidetogether in a raft – so grab the family and jump in.
A #NInja favourite is the Taumata Racers. An individual mat ride for up to 8 people, race head first against your mates down the slide! Always great fun and remember to check your time to see who wins (this #NInja always won!!)
One of the top signature attractions is The Dolphin Plunge. Twin slides which send you though a Dolphin pool with black and white Commersons Dolphin so keep your eyes peeled! There’s also a viewing area for the Dolphins if you want a closer look.
There are plenty of tube rides as well, such as Omaka Rocka which you speed down into the huge funnels and slide high up on both sides.
One of the #NInjas favourite tube rides is Whanau Way. One or two person tube rides but a NInja top tip is go for the 2 person tube ride as it’s faster and you get plenty of air time on the last part of the ride! Look out for the Aquatica photographers taking your pics on this one!
Kookaburra Cove and Walkabout Waters are areas for the little people. There’s so much on offer in these areas and if you’ve got smaller children you’ll probably find yourself here for a good part of the day.
Lockers and Towels can be rented if you need to. We rented a locker just for valuables and used it as and when we needed to. There are showers as well once your day at the park is over which is great bonus if you’re heading on elsewhere etc
Ninja Top Tip – If you’re gonna be there for probably 2+ days consider purchasing a refillable cup – 2nd day you bring your cup and pay once for all day refills. Well worth it if there are a couple of you wanting drinks through the day …. and the frozen drinks are an amazing refresher!!
There are a lot of waterpark options in the Orlando area – however time and again Aquatica matches and surpasses the other choices, certainly in this #NInja’s opinion, and its constant improvement (new slides already planned for 2019) means return visits will always be required!
To read the #NInja Verdict on Discovery Cove please CLICK HERE
To read the #NInja Verdict on Seaworld please CLICK HERE
To read the #NInja Verdict on Busch Gardens please CLICK HERE
In summary, the choice on offer with these parks is certainly comparable to the Disney and Universal products. There is so much variety in what they can offer, and whilst they may not have the polished shine or magic of Disney, they will more than fill your day with bundles of hours of fun for kids and adults alike.
The best value ticket for visiting these parks is the 3-Park Seaworld, Aquatica and Busch Gardens Ticket, or the Discovery Cove Ultimate Package. The 3-Park ticket offering 14 days unlimted entry to those 3 parks when guests book and visit before 31 December 2019. Tickets also include free parking at the 3 Parks.
The Discovery Cove Ultimate Package includes a one day reservation at Discovery Cove (with 30 min dolphin swim experience, all meals, snacks and beverages included) plus 14 days unlimited entry to Seaworld, Busch Gardens and Aquantcia Orlando
The biggest selling point however is the ticket price – offering you entry to Seaworld, Aquatica and Busch Gardens for 14 consecutive days from only £110 per adult or £106 per child. This stacks up very well against the more premium priced Disney and Universal ticket entry and allows for many repeat visits over 2 weeks.
For more information on Seaworld Paks please visit http://www.seaworldparks.co.uk or for ticket purchases, visit http://www.attraction-tickets-direct.co.uk – or why not visit your local #NInja travel agency who can help plan your perfect Orlando holiday
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