Entrance to Aquatica Orlando Water Park - image by Dani Meyering
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Aquatica Orlando with Kids: Essential Tips and Mistakes to Avoid

Not sure which Orlando water park to visit? Or perhaps you’ve decided Aquatica Orlando is the one for you. I’ve been to this tropical water park multiple times over the past few years. It’s one of our favorite places to swim with kids in Orlando. Make the most of your experience by avoiding common pitfalls and following these essential tips.

Aquatica Orlando Tips and Mistakes to Avoid

Park Map and Navigation

You can find an Aquatica Orlando map at each restroom as well as a few key spots around the park. There are directional signs as well. Paper maps are not distributed at the park. You can view the Aquatica Orlando map in the image below.

Aquatica Orlando Map on a large sign Posted in the Park
Aquatica Orlando Map image by Dani Meyering

There is also an official Aquatica Orlando app so you can view the park map, attraction info, dining, and more while on your phone.

Keep an eye out for the locker entrance and familiarize yourself with restroom locations. These simple steps can save you valuable time and hassle during your visit. Even after multiple visits I still forget to look for which entrance I have used.

sign at Aquatica Orlando restroom that reads This Restroom Has Two Entrances You Are at the Locker Entrance
Aquatica Orlando restroom sign image by Dani Meyering

Important Note: Loggerhead Lane, the lazy river, does not open until around 4pm.

Loggerhead Lane does have a neat, but small, portion of the lazy river that passes through a fish tank. It’s a nice way to unwind at the end of a busy day. But it is such a small lazy river that if you miss it don’t be discouraged.

The new Tassie’s Underwater Twist is an immersive water slide that exits into a portion of the lazy river. This new slide’s popularity causes Loggerhead Lane to open late in the day, if at all.

Avoid Long Lines

The lines at Aquatica Orlando get long quickly. Anytime we visit we arrive by 10:30 a.m. Since our son is of elementary age, we spend most of our time at Turi’s Kid Cove. I absolutely love it! My favorite place to grab chairs is right here at Turi’s Kid Cove.

Turi's Kid Cove Entrance and Sign Aquatica Orlando
Turis Kid Cove Entrance image by Dani Meyering

By getting into Aquatica Orlando first thing in the morning we avoid long lines practically everwhere. We usually head for Tamariki Twirl which is a fantastic family slide. It uses a dual raft for a child to sit in the front and the adult to sit in the back.

Three slides are this way at Turi’s Kid Cove, and we can usually walk right onto these slides for a good 30 – 45 minutes before the crowds arrive.

POV Mom Riding with Son on Tamariki Twirl Water Slide at Turi's Kid Cove Aquatica Orlando
Tamariki Twirl Water Slide image by Dani Meyering

The two most popular slides which have long lines at Aquatica Orlando are the NEW Tassie’s Underwater Twist (which includes immersive sights and sounds) and Reef Plunge which has a portion that goes through an aquatic habitat where you can glimpse dolphins and sharks.

Lines at Aquatica Orlando start to get long around 11:00 a.m. Crowds begin to dissipate around 3:30 p.m. So get there early, and take a long lunch break from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (rest and relax on the beach). Then get back into the action around 2:00 p.m. and stay as late as possible.

Guests Splashing Down at End of Tassie's Underwater Twirl New Water Slide at Aquatica Orlando
Tassies Underwater Twist New Water Slide image by Dani Meyering

Bring a change of clothes, there are changing rooms at the front of the park.

Life Vests for Roa’s Rapids and Wave Pool

If you’re tackling the exciting currents of Roa’s Rapids with young adventurers, don’t forget to grab a life vest. It can make navigating the rapids much easier and safer for kids.

Adults should wear a life vest in Roa’s Rapids too. You may think you won’t need a life vest, but there are a couple of spots where it can get fast and bumpy, and the life vest makes it much easier.

Life Vests Worn by Father and Son at Roa's Rapids Fast River at Aquatica Orlando
Roas Rapids at Aquatica Orlando image by Dani Meyering

Best Seating Areas

I love that Aquatica Orlando has lots of shade around the seating areas. Though these shady spots with umbrellas and canopies do fill up quickly.

The large beach near the wave pool is the most popular place for beach chairs and lounge chairs. This section is massive and it can be hard to locate your chairs after exploring the rest of the park.

Beach Chairs and Loungers at Aquatica Orlando Near Wave Pool
Beach Chairs Near Wave Pool image by Dani Meyering

My favorite place to grab some chairs is by Turi’s Kid Cove. This awesome kids’ area is in the back corner of the park. After entering Aquatica and crossing the bridge over the Reef Plunge dolphin slides, you’ll see the main beach straight ahead.

Turn right here and follow the path toward Mango Market. Turi’s Kid Cove is to the left of Mango Market.

Father and Son Enjoy Turi's Kid Cove Swimming Area Aquatica Orlando
Turis Kid Cove Swimming Area image by Dani Meyering

I love getting seats here because dining, a tiki bar, and restrooms are nearby. Best of all my husband and I can take turns splashing in the cove with our boy and relaxing in our chairs nearby.

Height Requirements

Kids of all ages can enjoy Aquatica Orlando. There are two kids’ play areas, one large wave pool, and lots of water slides.

  • Riptide Race – 42″ (107cm) or taller
  • Ray Rush – 42″ (107cm) or taller
  • Taumata Racer® – 42″ (107cm) or taller
  • Omaka Rocka – 42″ (107cm) or taller
  • KareKare Curl – 48″ (122cm) or taller
  • Reef Plunge – 48″ (122cm) or taller
  • Ihu’s Breakaway Falls™ – 48″ (122cm) or taller

No minimum height, but life vest required:

  • NEW Tassie’s Underwater Twist – Riders under 48″ (122cm) must wear a life vest and be able to maintain proper riding position unassisted
  • Whanau Way® – Riders under 48″ (122cm) tall must wear a life vest and be able to maintain proper riding position unassisted in a double tube
  • Walhalla Wave® – 42″ (107cm) or taller
  • Loggerhead Lane – Guests under 48″ (122cm) must wear a life vest
  • Kata’s Kookaburra Cove® – Children must be under 48″ (122cm).  Adults/guardians must be accompanied by a child
  • Roa’s Rapids® – Riders under 51″ (130cm) tall are required to wear a life vest to experience this attraction

Swim areas

  • Walkabout Waters – Children under 6 must be accompanied by a supervising companion
  • Cutback Cove & Big Surf Shores (wave pool) –  Weak or non-swimmers without life vests should not go beyond black line. It is suggested that all swimmers wear a lift vest due to the nature of this attraction.

Make it easy on yourself and have your kids’ heights checked at the concierge cabana. They can issue colored wristbands, and signs will indicate which attractions are accessible to each guest based on their height.

Less Crowded Dining

When hunger strikes, skip the crowds at the main Waterstone Grill and Matu’s Bar. Head to the quieter Trader Turi’s Tiki Bar for a relaxed place to grab something to drink.

For a satisfying and budget-friendly meal, check out Kora’s Beachside Panini. Their offerings provide a decent value, but note that they close at 3 PM, so plan accordingly.

Important note: SeaWorld Orlando charges a 5% fee on all transactions. It’s unfortunate and the price of food there is already expensive. Most sandwiches costs about $14 – $15.

BYOT: Bring Your Own Towels (and Sunscreen)

Don’t get caught without towels! Remember to pack your own for drying off after splashing around in the park’s attractions. Towel and locker rentals are available if needed, at the front of the park.

Protect Your Tech with Waterproof Cases

Keep your devices safe from water damage by investing in waterproof cases. Waterproof cases along with other water park essentials are sold inside Aquatica Orlando. You can snatch up some goggles, towels, and sunscreen.

Sneaker Keepers for Shoes

While the attractions provide plenty of thrills, the walkways aren’t cooled by jets. The walkways around Aquatica Orlando can get hot pretty quickly. You may want to consider wearing flip flops or sandals, even heading to each attraction.

A designated area for storing your footwear is near the entrance to each attraction. Consider bringing beachy footwear that is easy to store in the cubbies.

sneaker keeper shoe storage cubbies at aquatica orlando
Sneaker Keeper shoe storage image by Dani Meyering

Explore Aquatica Orlando with us in this video below ↓

Aquatica Orlando Hours and Info

Address: 5800 Water Play Way, Orlando, FL 32821
Hours: 10am – 6pm daily, peak days and holidays are sometimes 10am – 7pm
Tickets: Regular price tickets to Aquatica are $109.99, but there are almost always sales or discounts available online.

Aquatica Orlando is SeaWorld’s water park. It is located next to SeaWorld, however, it is not truly accessible from one park to the other.

Special Event: Aloha to Summer

Saturdays & Sundays, March 30 – June 2, 2024
Say “Aloha” to summer with games, dance parties, and exclusive food & beverage offerings.

Oh! One last tip before you go – At the end of the day, stop by the underwater viewing area at the Commerson’s Dolphins habitat, which also has cool fish and a few smaller sharks! It’s a great place to slow down and savor the moment after a fun day together.

Armed with these tips, you’re ready to make the most of your next visit, creating cherished memories that will last a lifetime.

author avatar
Dani Meyering
Born and raised in the land of sunshine and dreams come true, Dani is a proud Orlando native. She loves sharing her hometown with others from the theme parks to Florida's natural beauty. With over 15 years of experience, Dani is thrilled to serve as our Managing Editor at Orlando Date Night Guide, Orlando Parenting, as well as Tampa Bay Date Night Guide.