Universal's Volcano Bay Tips & Tricks! Here's what to know before you go, where to eat, what to ride, and more.
Visiting Volcano Bay is always a highlight of our Universal Orlando vacations! I love Islands of Adventure for the thrill rides and Universal Studios Florida for the 3D/4D experiences, but nothing compares to this one-of-a-kind water theme park.
You can decide if you want to spend your day lounging in the sand, swimming in the wave pool, floating the lazy rivers, or wandering around the park.
It's 100% hassle-free! At Volcano Bay, don't expect to tote around a huge float or raft. You're able to roam around hands-free and comfortably.
The lines are virtual, so you just tap in using the TapuTapu Wearable and it'll alert you when it's time to ride.
Top Volcano Bay Tips
Arrive early: Be sure to tap into your favorite ride!
TapuTapu: Set up cashless payment through the Tapu Tapu wristband to pay for food, drinks, lockers, towel rentals, park merch, and more!
Remember: No hats, sunglasses, or shoes are allowed on rides. Either keep them at your chair, secured in a locker, or at the entrance to a ride. Most slides have a place to store belongings.
What to Bring
Remember sunscreen, towels, sunglasses, and hats. Here's my go-to packing list:
- Sunscreen: Both mineral for face and spray for body.
- Hat: I love this wide-brim visor!
- Towels: Opt for large beach towels, if possible.
- Sunglasses: Plus floating glasses straps / croakies
- Sandals: TEVA's are great because they're quick drying.
- Swimsuit and cover-up: I tend to wear an oversized shirt with athletic shorts over my swimsuit.
All About the TapuTapu
The TapuTapu reminds me of an Apple Watch, except for way more durable and totally waterproof.
It's made from a durable synthetic rubber and made to be worn like a watch. You can however wear it on a lanyard, around your ankle, or swimsuit strap.
Your TapuTapu is included with admission and allows you to ride a majority of the rides, make cash-free payments, activate interactive locations throughout Volcano Bay, open lockers, and more.
Best Rides at Volcano Bay
The most popular Volcano Bay Attraction is The Krakatau Aqua Coaster. It's my personal favorite with its launches, drops, twists, and turns!
Other Volcano Bay Attractions that draw a crowd are Maku Puihi Round Raft Rides, Honu ika Moana, and Ko’okiri Body Plunge.
If you're not into rides, you'll be happy to know there are several beaches with plenty of lounge chairs to kick back and relax.
There are two lazy rivers – Kopiko Wai Winding River is a slow-paced ride through the tropical landscape. TeAwa The Fearless River is more thrilling and instead of floating on an inner tube, you’ll wear a life vest.
One of my favorite things to do at Volcano Bay is hang out in the lagoon pool AKA Waturi Beach. It’s located at the foot of the iconic Krakatau Volcano with nine different types of waves.
Universal's Volcano Bay Food Options
If you're spending the day at Volcano Bay, you may be wondering where to eat and drink within the water park.
There are four restaurants: Kohola Reef Restaurant & Social Club, Whakawaiwai Eats, Bambu and The Feasting Frog.
There's also two full bars: Dancing Dragons Boat Bar and the Kunuku Boat Bar.
I recommend Bambu and Kohola for food and Kunuku Boat Bar for cocktails!
My husband was a big fan of the Pulled Pork Sandwich Platter with Fries from Kohola and the Mahi Sandwich Platter from Bambu.
Eating Vegan at Volcano Bay
Due to my food allergies, I prefer to eat vegan while traveling. I was happy to see a handful of plant based options through Universal during our recent trip.
At Kohola Reef Restaurant & Social Club I enjoyed the Beyond Burger Platter served with fries.
For lunch at Bambu, I loved the Gardein Chick'n and Avocado Sandwich Platter with Follow Your Heart dairy free cheese, also served with french fries.
Volcano Bay Drink Menu
If you're looking to indulge a little during your time at Volcano Bay, you're in luck!
Kunuku Boat Bar is tucked away towards the back of the park and we never had to wait for our drinks.
I'd suggest taking the walk to the back, rather than Dancing Dragons closer to the front entrance of the park, off to the side of the main pool.
The bartender was super friendly and the cocktails were great!
Volcano Bay FAQ
Park hours vary throughout the year and different seasons, so be sure to check online. Typically Volcano Bay opens in the morning at 10AM and closes around 6PM-9PM depending on the day of the week. Universal Orlando Hotel guests can get early admission up to 1 hour prior to park opening with Early Admission. I highly suggest utilizing Early Park Admission at any of the Universal parks.
The Volcano Bay Express Passes let you skip the regular lines at participating rides and attractions, similar to how you would at Universal Studios or Islands of Adventure.
A One Park Volcano Bay ticket is $65 for children and $70 for adults.
During your trip to Volcano Bay, you can rent lockers, premium seating, cabanas, and towels. The Volcano Bay cabanas fluctuate in price depending on availability and demand. During the 2022 summer season prices varied from $750-$1,200. Premium seating for two was a little over $100, lockers ranged from $12-$15, and towels are available to rent for about $5.
Does Volcano Bay have towels?
Volcano Bay does not provide free towers so bring your own unless you’re willing to pay to rent them.
Heck yes! While Universal is a fantastic spot for family vacations and kids are welcome, Volcano Bay has plenty of adult-friendly attractions and beverages.
You sure can, and it’s what we’ve always done! If you’re staying at Universal’s Cabana Bay, Sapphire Falls, or Aventura Hotel it’s a short walk along a walking path. Otherwise, take a complimentary shuttle bus from your Universal hotel or CityWalk.
Is Volcano Bay Orlando worth visiting?
YES! If you're visiting Universal Orlando Resort, be sure to check out Volcano Bay.
It's a mix of fun and relaxing, and truly unlike any water park I've ever been to!
The virtual lines allow you to make the most out of your time, so you can spend time floating, eating, or relaxing instead of waiting hours in the Florida sun.
Read these before heading to the parks:
- First Timer's Guide to Universal Orlando
- Universal Orlando Resort Travel Guide
- Loews Sapphire Falls Resort Review
I hope my Volcano Bay Review was helpful and makes you excited to visit soon! Check out the Universal website for more Volcano Bay tips.