Theme Parks

Aquatica is the Seaworld water park in Orlando and in other parts around the country and recently my family and I visited the park.

My family and I have spent many days over the years at the Disney water parks and it was a nice change of pace to go to Aquatica as we had been hoping to visit the park for quite a while. This year, we decided to take advantage of the Black Friday deals that priced annual passes at around $56.00, less than a one-day pass.

So wat buying the passes worth it? Was taking the family to Aquatica something we will do again in the future? That’s tough to say right now but let us take a look over the two days we were there, the positives and the negatives, and then I will let you know.

One of only a handful of bars in Aquatica! Image courtesy Brian Miller

Food and beverage

On our first day, we roughed it. We arrived at the park around 12:00 and we were surprised we found seating next to each other. It was a short day and the park was relatively crowded. On day two we rented the cabana and you can read that review here. 

The park is quite big but if you are hoping to get food easily, it isn’t going to happen. If you are wanting to get a cold drink, alcohol or not, you are going to wait. The restaurants are crowded and the are too few. Making all of this worse is the “No Outside Food” policy that they are pretty strict about. It’s not a smart rule especially at the water park where beverage carts are hard to come by. In fact, we only saw one place that sold beer and mixed drinks, naturally, the line was quite long and hot.

The food was decent enough but it is expensive and since you can’t bring your own food, you are kind of out of options. Unlike other local parks, including Disney, packing a lunch or picnic is not going to happen.

Rides and attractions

Breakaway Falls is the top attraction at Aquatica water park in Orlando, Florida. Image courtesy Brian Miller

I can say that while some of the policies at the park are a bit much, the rides are pretty darn good. I  have ridden every water ride at the two Disney water parks and I can say that the Aquatica water rides are better and in some cases, it isn’t close. That really surprised me because I liked the rides at Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon.

That being said, the wave pools at Disney’s parks are a lot better as are the lazy rivers. I was actually very disappointed in the “lazy rivers” at Aquatica. The slower of the two is pretty short while Roa Rapids is a little longer but far from lazy. Disney’s lazy rivers are quite long and almost wrap around the entire parks.

Overall, for the thrill of the water slides, Aquatica doesn’t get the props they should in that regard. The kids area, while crowded was better than what we experienced at Disney but that comes with a caveat, at Disney, the kids are far better supervised by their parents than at Aquatica. Do with that information as you may but some of the kids were unruly and no parents to be seen. Making that a little worse was the fact that there was only one “Ambassador” that I saw in the area and at least 100 kids or more. Not unruly enough to ruin our time but enough that you noticed.

A sign directs guests of Aquatica to go outside the park for guest services. Image courtesy Brian Miller

Customer Service

I won’t waste your time rehashing this. SeaWorld and Aquatica have the absolute worst CS of any Orlando theme parks. You can read my “You have to be kidding me review” here. 

Overall impression

Aquatica is a cheaper option than other parks that are similar in Orlando and while the slides are pretty good for the most part (not Dolphin Plunge), the park itself was a bit dirtier and the guests did not have much pride in helping keep it clean. For families on a budget, there is nothing wrong with this park at all aside from the food situation which is horrible. That being said, if you love water parks and are on a strict budget, you should get the annual pass option when the sales roll out on Black Friday.

The park is worth the price we paid on that deal but had I paid the full price for the park, I would have rather spent the extra money to go to a Disney park or Volcano Bay at Universal.

So would we go back? The short answer is yes, it was fun and we enjoyed ourselves but if I am going to get nitpicky, I would rather spend some extra money and get far better food service options and customer service. At the Disney water parks, you don’t have to search for places to buy a drink and they have a refillable cup that you can buy that drops the prices a bit.

I had been hoping to go to Aquatica since it opened and now that I finally have, I’m not disappointed but I’m also not kicking myself for going sooner.

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