Of course the first thing on our agenda was to fill our tummies with the complimentary breakfast at our hotel, Staybridge Suites Orlando at SeaWorld. They have such a good range of options in a buffet style restaurant. We then popped back to our room to put on our swimming costumes ready for our day out.
Aquatica Orlando is a five minute drive from Staybridge Suites. You are able to get tickets to Aquatica as part of a multi park ticket or an any day ticket costs $69.99. There’s also an option to have the all day dining package added too. We had a SeaWorld and Aquatica, a two park ticket which cost $114.99 with no meal plan.
Aquatica is open from 9am and closes at 6pm. It’s a much shorter day than most attractions we did during our stay in Orlando. I felt a little anxious that we wouldn’t get everything done in time, especially as it was still memorial weekend and peak time.
We had decided to arrive in our swimming costumes. The adults (Hubby, my Mum and me) had popped light weight clothes over the top. We wasn’t entirely sure how going to a water park worked in terms of where we kept our stuff, where would we put cameras or phones and snacks etc. So we tried to minimise everything to start with.
We arrived for opening time and joined the security check queue. I love that they check bags, it makes you feel so much safer. It was quite busy but it only took a few minutes to get through and into Aquatica. We then headed straight for the lockers. You pay a set amount for the entire day and there’s also different sizes.
We ended up taking two fabric beach bags to keep our belongings in. We kept just the girls really cute Hooded Towels from Frugi, some snacks, our cameras and water. We left our shoes inside the lockers which was a huge mistake as the floor/sand/everything at Aquatica gets scorching hot.
We found some beach chairs under a shaded umbrella on the sand of Cutback Cove & Big Surf Shores. I’d highly recommend finding yourself a place to call your base especially if you have small children who will need to take a break. Aquatica have adult sized beach loungers and little ones too.
To kick off our adventures, Hubby and I left the girls playing on the beach and in the wave pool with my Mum so that we could get the bigger rides done. There are lots of different rides for different confidence levels and heights. I was really excited to try something new as I haven’t done any water rides before.
Hubby kicked us off with what’s called KareKare Curl. The queues were quick moving. I believe this one is a newer one to Aquatica. It gives you a sense of weightlessness and you ride as a two. It’s slightly terrifying going up a vertical wave wall and you get a great rush of adrenaline.
Hubby and I then moved on to do Omaka Rocka and Whanau Way. Omaka Rocka is a single rider experience, the heavier you are the faster you go, I’m quite light in comparison to my husband but still had the thrill of riding the water slide and going up side to side as you rocket round the flumes. Whanau Way is a double ride where you sit behind each other. It was great fun!
Hubby and I actually missed out quite a few of the big rides like the Dolphin Plunge, Walhalla Wave, Ray Rush and Taumata Racer. This was mainly due to queue times but also the fact that we didn’t want to leave the girls for too long with my mum. Hubby did however bravely do the Ihu’s Breakaway Falls. This is the ones where you literally drop down through the ceiling. He said it was a great adrenaline rush. He came back to us shaking! Nothing could persuade me to go on that, he’s very brave!
We returned to the girls and my Mum after about an hour of slide riding. The girls had been burying each other in sand and splashing around in the wave pool. First on our agenda was to enjoy the Loggerhead Lane. Loggerhead Lane is a lazy river where you have to be inside rubber rings (or tubes as they call them in America) to float around. It was a really cool lazy river with two separate aquariums to view; one with fish and the other was the slide from the Dolphin Plunge so it had a couple of dolphins swimming past too.
We then decided to head for the children’s splash pool area called, Walkabout Waters. It was spectacular! A giant outdoor climbing frame full of water activities like fountains, bucket drops and slides. Freya and Elsa really enjoyed this area but Eva has a slight fear of water going in her face so she wasn’t too impressed by all of the splashing. Instead she spent her time in the shallow water.
Roa’s Rapids was another lazy river only without float rings and the water flowed at a faster rate. It was a really crazy experience and shows you just how dangerous water can be. I could only just reach the bottom in this lazy river so the pressure of the water really pushed me along. It was great fun!
Aquatica has strict rules on children wearing life vests. The ones that we always use were not to the standards they would hope for. Thankfully, Aquatica provide all sizes of life vests to use free of charge, from baby to extra large adult. They were surprisingly soft and comfortable for the kids to wear, they were very bulky but it didn’t effect their swimming at all and meant they were very safe in the water.
Kata’s Kookaburra Cove was one of the last things we did whilst at Aquatica. It’s a smaller area with some slow, child friendly slides. All three girls loved this area because they could do the slides without getting too splashed. They even have a slide where you can sit on the tubes.
The girls had started to get a little grumpy and irritable from heat and hunger. We had only packed snacks and had been busy enjoying our time that we forgot to stop for some lunch. One of our must visit places to eat was IHOP (International House Of Pancakes) so we asked the girls if they fancied it for dinner. Of course they all squealed in delight so we headed in an Uber for food.
IHOP was literally everything we imagined in to be and so much more. The prices are so good and you get so much food too. I mean look at the photos below! We left feeling so full, content and ready for bed. It was a really good way to end our day.
As always, I hope you enjoyed this blog post and will take a watch of the video I created too. Please come back soon for more Orlando fun.