While many people come to Disney to visit Mickey at Magic Kingdom, or take a trip around the world at Epcot, Universal Studios has a lot to offer families when they come to Florida, and there is a big expansion in the works that will add to the action and adventure that Universal Studios is known for.

Volcano Bay is Universal’s newest project, and will be a 28-acre water park with 18 thrilling attractions, all centered around Krakatu, a massive volcano! There are even plans to have water slides on the volcano itself! The volcano will have large waterfalls during the day, and will light up the night with fiery “lava” at night.

The park will have four different areas, with Polynesian and Hawaiian themes, to name a few. In these areas, families can find rides for everyone, from thrilling rides where the floor drops out from under you and sends you speeding down a slide, to calmer attractions like wave pools and lazy rivers. For smaller family members, Tot Tiki Reef will be a safe and refreshing place for kids to play, and Runamukka Reef, a three-story water playground, will be a popular spot for everyone in the family to cool down.

For the more fearless family members, rides like Puihi in the Rainforest Village will get hearts racing for sure. With a zero gravity drop and funnel feature, this multi passenger ride will be fast and exhilarating. If you’re looking for more thrills, the Ohyah and Ohno Drop Slides will twist and turn you before dropping you directly into the water from 6 feet high. Universal is focusing on making this brand new park a place where families can enjoy the rides, and not spend all day waiting in line. They haven’t announced exactly how they’ll do this, but locals and anxious tourists are keeping their eyes and ears open for more news.

There is something about being in the sun and water all day that can really work up an appetite, and Universal plans to have restaurants throughout the park, so families don’t have to head to the front to get a bite to eat.

Universal Studios is an easy drive from Kissimmee, making it easy for families staying close to Disney to add a day at Universal to their dream vacation. Universal isn’t spilling much about the opening day of Volcano Bay, only saying it’ll be 2017 when families can slip and slide on what will be, undoubtedly, one of Orlando’s coolest

Diana McCarthy
Magical Stays Vacation Homes