We loved our time at Universal’s Volcano Bay. It was my kids favorite of all the parks by far. We stayed at Cabana Bay which was connected to Volcano Bay so you can’t beat the convenience of being able to walk to the park!
When we first got there I was just amazed at how authentically Polynesian the foliage was. It really set the tone for the whole park. We recently traveled to Hawaii this past year so the feeling of the tropical surroundings made me almost feel like I was back in Hawaii!
When you go through ticketing, everyone gets a Tapu Tapu ( a smartwatch of sorts that is exclusive to the park. It is included in your ticket price! ) The Tapu Tapu is so great. It acts as your express pass to save your place in line, you can hook your credit card up to it via their smart phone app and use it to pay for drinks and food and anything else in the park all day long without having to go back to your locker for your wallet! We didn’t set it up the first day and I really wish we had. The second time we went we made sure to set it up and it was so much easier!
I didn’t get a ton of pictures from the park because we had such a blast riding the rides and just being in the water. The wave pool and the kids zone were by far the place we spent the most time. We rented a deluxe family sized cabana the first day we were there with my parents.
IT WAS THE BEST MONEY WE SPENT THE WHOLE TIME.
Granted, it was pricey. But it was worth every penny. We had such a good time and having a “home base” that was out of the sun, under a fan, and secure place to store our belongings was priceless. I only wish we had gotten there earlier in the day to have used it for the full time. When you stay at Cabana Bay you get early access to the park!
When you rent a Cabana you get a fridge full of cold water, a welcome basket full of fresh fruit and baked goods, towels, a covered cabana with lounge chairs, a safe for your belongings, and the ability to save your place in line for any of the rides right from your cabana! You also get a dedicated server who will serve you food and drinks and provide you almost anything you could need (even provide complimentary swim diapers and baby wipes when you run out!)
I SO wish we had gotten more photos of Teddy living it up on the kids water slides. He literally spent 2 hours just riding the slides back to back to back. He was just barely 5 years old and only 41 inches so he was not quite tall enough to ride any of the regular rides. However, they have a huge kids area and the main wave pool that provided plenty of entertainment for both Teddy ( 5 years ) and June ( 2 years ) There is an entire Toddler slide and splash pad section of the kids zone too, so it really is perfect for all ages of kids.
I can’t really speak to any of the big water slides, but we sure did have a blast in the wave pool, the lazy river and the kids area.
- You either need to bring your own towel or rent one. They are not free!
- Come prepared to leave your stuff in a locker or in a Cabana. You will not be able to take anything with you on the rides.
- If your kids are under 42 inches, they will not be able to ride any of the water slides except what is in the kids area. So if you are wanting to do the adult slides then prepare to child swap or have someone stay back with the kids.
- Take the time to set up the Tapu Tapu pay on the smartphone app when you get there. It is worth the few minutes of hassle to set it up. Seriously makes everything so much easier!
- If you can spend the money on a cabana – DO IT. So wonderful and really the best way to fully enjoy the park.
- Don’t walk all the way around the park – cut through the center of the volcano! There is a little known shortcut right through the center of the volcano structure. There is also a fun interactive game with the “spirit of the volcano” that our kids absolutely loved!
- You can bring your own snacks and such in the park. The food was moderately priced and pretty yummy! Definitely worth getting the Volcano Bay souvenir cup if you plan to get more that one drink! It cuts the price on the cocktails from $16 to $10 for a refill.
- Stay at Cabana Bay if you’re planning to go to Volcano Bay for more than one day. The walkability to your resort is second to none. It is sooo convenient when you have little ones that may need to go back to the resort at some point in the day and you don’t have to deal with a long commute back or riding a shuttle.