Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Water Park Aquarium

Imagine a water park that you could not only ride the rides, but also features sea life. Look no further than SeaWorld's Aquatica water park in Orlando, FL!

In addition to having rides, Aquatica features some fish to look at on the lazy river and a dolphin tank. It isn't exactly a combination of a water park and an aquarium (it would be really cool if it was), but it's still a nice touch. You can look under the dolphin tank from a certain point.

The water park is run as a part of the SeaWorld amusement park, although tickets are sold separately as it is across the street. Aquatica is one of four water parks in Orlando. The others are Wet n Wild , Disney's Blizzard Beach, and Disney's Typhoon Lagoon. I haven't been to any of the others except Typhoon Lagoon, and the last time I've been to Typh as at the age of 13, and don't remember it well enough to review it.

The rides:

Tassie's Twisters - a bowl ride with a circle of water to guide the raft into the exit, in order to prevent people from getting stuck. You have to go on the Loggerhead Lazy River in order to access this ride (interesting).

Dolphin Plunge - A body slide going straight through the dolphin tank. Very intense, but you don't really get to see the dolphins while in the ride.

Tamuata Racer - A mat slide where you race up to eight people, and it is timed.

Wahoo Run/Hoohoo Run - A four person raft ride which I didn't ride since I was by myself. One of the slides was straight down with bumps, the other was a twisting raft slide.

Whanau Way - A tube ride, very fast. There are four different slides to choose from, but only two were open when I was here (Pink and Blue). The one problem was they didn't offer single tubes for this slide, so I had to carry a heavy double tube up even though I was doing it by myself.

and last but certainly not least...

Omaka Rocka - A tube slide which had bumps and three funnels throughout the tube which push you back and forth through the funnel. This is a very rare type of slide. The only known locations of it are here, Great Wolf (Kansas City), and a water park in Darien Lake, NY.

There's also Roa's Rapids, a water river that propels you.

Food: I didn't eat much here except for popcorn and dippin dots, but there were several restaurants and snack bars.

Transportation: Fly into MCO (Orlando International). You can also fly to SFB (Sanford), but it will be farther away. The park is located on International Drive. If you don't have a car, take the I-RIDE trolley (serving all of International Drive) as it goes directly to the water park gate.

Overall, it was a very good water park and a lot of fun. It may be one of the best I have been to. It wasn't at all crowded (I went in January), but looking at the design, I expect it gets pretty crowded in summer. (Some of the pathways to the ride went on and on). Also, the water park is more expensive than most, at $48 a ticket. Besides this, however, it was a lot of fun.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.