Water is life. Life is joy. It’s a simple but important message at Universal Orlando’s newest theme park, Volcano Bay. Sure, it’s a waterpark, but if you think that’s all it is, then you haven’t been yet. Last Thursday the new park celebrated their Grand Opening in grand fashion by celebrating the culture that inspired the look and story of the park.
Watch-Volcano Bay Grand Opening Ceremony at Universal Orlando
Universal brought in the Maori People to stand in for the fictional Waturi that discovered Volcano Bay. The Maori come from the islands of New Zealand, and even brought the number one recording artist from New Zealand to help mark the occasion.
Universal Orlando President, Bill Davis was on hand to accept a ceremonial rock from the bottom of the ocean, and to open the park in traditional Maori Style. The Universal Creative Team who worked on the park also posed for pictures with the Maori.
The opening of the park is a very important step for Universal Orlando for many reasons. The biggest is that with the opening of Volcano Bay, the resort now has just about everything that a vacation needs, without leaving the comfort of the resort. Guests can enjoy two world class parks, stay in one of five (soon to be six) onsite hotels, and even eat at one of dozens of unique restaurants. Volcano Bay now gives guests that interactive experience that was missing from a park like Wet n Wild. While Wet n Wild had history, and iconography on it’s side, it was away from the core of Universal Orlando, which meant that guests had to leave. Now, guests simply have to take a bus, or simply walk from their hotels.
Even more, Volcano Bay represents the next step in waterpark evolution. Traditionally, guests have to lug around wet money, and go from one end of the park to the other in order to do things like eat, or even get to their locker. Universal took all that into account, and has created Tapu Tapu. While the main focus on the wearable device has been to skip lines, and wait virtually, the other applications are honestly the more impressive ones. Guests can link a credit card to the device, as well as a ticket, and just simply walk and pay. No more carrying around wallets. Instead of one central restaurant, like many waterparks have, Volcano Bay utilizes nine different spots for food and drink. Whether it’s a quick taco, a drink at a bar, or even a full meal, you really don’t have to go too far from your fun.
Universal also double the amount of Cabanas, and introduced lockable lounge chairs. Of course, all of these come at a premium, but to not have to visit a locker when you want to get your stuff, and even more, to not have to worry about leaving your belongings out is a huge relief.
Then of course there are the slides, which offer a great mix of mild family fun, to pulse pounding white-knuckle thrills. Universal has taken every aspect of the waterpark and turned it on it’s ear.
There are more plans for Volcano Bay, with a five acre expansion coming within the next year. Hopefully this new expansion will bring more family fun to an already action packed park.
Stay tuned throughout the day as we focus even more on Volcano Bay and all the amazing fun it has to offer.
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