It is water park season.  Now that summer is just around the corner, and the weather is beginning to hot up, there is nothing better than a day at one of Orlando’s amazing water parks.

We’re spoilt for choice here in Central Florida, with something to suit everyone.  Here’s my low down on each park… hopefully it can help you decide which park to try first.

Just don’t forget to pack your sun screen!


Prices: $48 – $58 for a day admission (best rates online or through our agent).

Wet ‘n Wild® was originally constructed in 1977 by SeaWorld creator George Millay and is considered to be America’s first water park.  In 1998 it was purchased by Universal.  It has more rides and more multi-person slides than any other Orlando waterpark.  However, this is your last season to experience its rides, like Aqua Drag Racer™, The Storm, Der Stuka (a nearly vertical, six-story speed slide), Disco H2O™ or Blastaway Beach™, Florida’s largest water play area with a six-story castle, two pools, 15 slides and over 160 water cannons, jets, soakers and waterfalls, and its Lazy River, because Universal has announced that this park will close at the end of this year.

SeaWorld’s Aquatica


Prices: $29 (mid-week deal until June) – $58 for a day admission.

Aquatica delivers SeaWorld’s take on water slides, thrill rides, and water play areas, with marine life shows, aquariums and up-close encounters with dolphins, tortoises and penguins all part of the package.  Its most popular ride is Dolphin Plunge, two side-by-side enclosed tube slides which send you racing through an underwater world that is home to a playful pod of beautiful black-and-white Commerson’s Dolphins.

SeaWorld’s Discovery Cove


Prices:  £127 – £414 (depending on time of year and package).

When travel review site TripAdvisor revealed its rankings of the best amusement and water parks around the world in 2014, Discovery Cove made the top amusement park spot.

This all-inclusive park gives guests the opportunity to snorkel with rays, feed tropical birds, play inches from a family of otters, and even walk on the “ocean” floor.  Between adventures, you can recharge with unlimited island fare and refreshments. But the highlight of your visit undoubtedly will be a one-of-a-kind swim with bottlenose dolphins.

Disney’s Blizzard Beach

Prices:  Call our agent for the best prices.

Disney’s two Orlando water parks made it to number three and four of Trip Advisor’s best water parks list, with Blizzard Beach just pipping Typhoon Lagoon out of the top three.

At Blizzard Beach, Disney has opted for a theme of one-time ski resort turned watery wonderland – making it the perfect setting for some Frozen-themed activities this summer.

There is very much a family theme here, but there are more rides with height restrictions in Blizzard Beach than in Disney’s other water park, Typhoon Lagoon.  Nevertheless, there is something for everyone here: whether you like to zip down the slushy slopes of Mount Gushmore on one of the world’s tallest and fastest waterslides or prefer to float down the tranquil river and sunbathe on the white-sand beach.  There’s a children’s water play area, suitable for little ones, too.

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon


Call our agent for the best prices.

This water park is a tropical-themed paradise of lazy rivers and surging waterways.  There are nine water slides, the most impressive of which is probably Humunga Kowabunga – a five story water slide in the dark.  But there is plenty of opportunity to kick it back a notch too: relax along the Castaway Creek lazy river, share at trip down the disturbingly named Keelhaul Falls or try out the Typhoon Lagoon surf pool.  You can also swim alongside tropical fish, stingrays and sharks at one of Typhoon Lagoon’s Shark Reef.  Plus, a water play area for the littlies.


Gatorland isn’t the most likely location for a family swim or a relaxing dip.  But, if you can get past the name and the relative proximity to some of Florida’s most deadly creatures, this little water park is a great addition to one of my family’s favourite Orlando attractions.  It isn’t a water park in the same sense of the others on this list but my kids love the water play area attached to this half-day attraction – a Gatorland visit can easily be extended to a full day by packing your swim cossies.

Further Afield in Central Florida

Winter Haven: Legoland Florida’s water park

Drive time from Kissimmee:  1 hour (about 35 miles).


Prices: An add-on to the normal park admission (adds about $20 to the price).

Legoland’s water park is very kid friendly: who knew the Lego theme could be such a perfect foil for a water park?  But it is; right through to building your own raft out of giant blocks to float down the lazy river.  There is a wading pool and Duplo Splash Safari water play area for little ones, and for older kids there is a wave pool and plenty of plunging slides, including the Twin Chasers – an intertwining pair of enclosed water slides that end with a big splash.

Tampa Bay: Adventure Island

Drive time from Kissimmee: 1 ½ hours (approximately 73 miles).


Prices: $44 – $52 (but multi-park tickets will probably offer better value).

Adventure Island is located northeast of Tampa, across the street from Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.  It offers a combination of high-speed thrills and tropical, tranquil surroundings for guests of all ages.  There is a good selection of slides and rides, including the Calypso Coaster, the Runaway Rapids and the Wahoo Run waterfalls, plus the new Colossal Curl, which combines funnel and wave experiences.

The less brave can enjoy the Rambling Bayou, the park’s lazy river, and the Endless Surf wave pool.  For the little ones, there’s a water playground. Out of the water, as well as the usual cafes, picnic and sunbathing areas, and gift shops, Adventure Island is also home to a championship sand volleyball complex.

Daytona Beach: Daytona Lagoon

Drive time from Kissimmee: 1 ¾ hours (between 80 and 100 miles, depending on your route).

Prices: $11 – $28

This water park at Daytona Beach might be on a smaller scale, but there is still plenty here to keep you amused.  With twelve slides and a lazy river, this is a great value option.  The Daytona Lagoon complex offers more than the Lagoon Waterpark: you’ll also find Go-Karts, Miniature Golf, Lazer Tag, and a Rock Wall on site.

Spring Hill: Weeki Wachee Springs State Park’s Buccaneer Bay

Drive time from Kissimmee:  2 hours (about 93 miles).


About 35 miles northwest of Tampa, you’ll find the Weeki Wachee Springs State Park which has an unusual claim to fame: its mermaids.

The Buccaneer Bay water park is a nice add-on to the legendary Weeki Wachee mermaids attraction.  It is Florida’s only spring-fed water park and the water runs at a cool 72˚F.  The water park has a lazy river, a children’s water play area, and three slides including the Pirates’ Plunge waterflume.  The daily mermaid shows are included with admission to Buccaneer Bay, although it should be noted that the slides are only open at the weekends early in the season.  Daily opening starts from June 9.

Prices: certainly the most reasonably priced of all the parks featured on this list, with 5s and under going free, kids aged between 6 and 12 just $8 and an adult ticket setting you back only $13.

Ocala: Silver Springs State Park’s Wild Waters

Drive time from Kissimmee: 1 ¾ hours (approximately 90 miles).

At another of Florida’s beautiful State Parks, Silver Springs in Ocala State Forest, you can find Wild Waters, a small water park set in stunning natural surroundings.  Wild Waters doesn’t open until the end of this month, on May 28, but it is then open 7 days a week until September.  The water park might not be worth the three-hour round trip for its own sake, but it’s worth the detour if you schedule some time to explore Silver Springs park by canoe, kayak or glass bottomed boat while you’re there.

One to look forward to:

Coming in 2017: Universal’s Volcano Bay

As Universal retires Wet’n’Wild at the end of this year, work is already underway on an all-new Universal water park: Volcano Bay.  Universal unveiled plans back in 2015 and we can’t wait for the gates to open!