Volcano Bay and Typhoon Lagoon are two of Orlando’s most popular water parks, but which one’s best?
Volcano Bay is the best water park for adults and teens. Meanwhile, Typhoon Lagoon is better for families with tweens or younger children.
That being said, age isn’t all you should consider when deciding which Orlando water park to visit.
What’s the Difference Between Volcano Bay & Typhoon Lagoon?
First, let’s talk ownership. Volcano Bay is owned by Universal and is part of the Universal Orlando Resort. Meanwhile, Typhoon Lagoon is owned by Disney and is part of the Walt Disney World Resort.
When it comes to age, Typhoon Lagoon is significantly older than Volcano Bay. Typhoon Lagoon opened in 1989. Meanwhile, Volcano Bay opened in the spring of 2017.
Typhoon Lagoon has undergone several refurbishments over the years. However, when it comes to ride design and technology, Volcano Bay wins hands down.
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Which Water Park Has the Cheapest Tickets?
Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon has cheaper tickets than Volcano Bay.
Tickets to Typhoon Lagoon cost between $64 and $79 for adults (aged 10+). However, Volcano Bay tickets cost between $80 and $110 for adults.
The exact price you pay for tickets to both Volcano Bay and Typhoon Lagoon depends on the time of year you visit. Tickets are sold using a dynamic pricing model and factor in the expected demand.
You can buy discounted tickets to Volcano Bay or Typhoon Lagoon as a ticket add-on.
The exact discount varies on several factors, including:
- The time of year you’re visiting
- The number of days you’re increasing to
You can purchase this ticket add-on:
- During the ticket-buying process
- In advance of your visit by calling either Disney or Universal
- During your visit by going to Guest Services for the respective destination
Which Water Park Has the Best Rides?
Volcano Bay has more and better water slides than Typhoon Lagoon.
At Typhoon Lagoon, there are:
- 7 water slides
- 1 small kid slide
- 1 children’s splash zone
- 1 lazy river
- 1 wave pool
The biggest water slide at Typhoon Lagoon is Humunga Kowabunga, which has a near-vertical 54-foot drop in the dark!
Meanwhile, at Volcano Bay, there are:
- 12 water slides
- 1 small kid slide
- 2 children’s splash zones
- 2 lazy rivers
- 1 wave pool
Volcano Bay is home to the tallest body slide in America, Ko’okiri Body Plunge. This ride sees you fall at a 70-degree angle through a drop door and down a 125-foot drop. Having been on this ride myself, I can tell you it’s not for the faint-hearted!
The intense, thrilling rides make Volcano Bay the water park of choice for teens and adults. However, there is still plenty to do with little ones here.
I visited the Universal Orlando Resort with my baby Oliver when he was 6 and 18 months old. We went to Volcano Bay during both visits and had a fantastic time. However, as Oliver begins to go on rides, we will start going to Typhoon Lagoon instead of Volcano Bay, as there are more rides here suitable for his height.
Both Volcano Bay and Typhoon Lagoon also have several shops and fast-food restaurants. Here, you can buy anything you forgot to pack, such as sunscreen or swimming costumes, as well as souvenirs.
For a guide on what to pack for each water park, be sure to check out my respective guides:
Universal Orlando Travel Planning Guide
🎟️ Where To Buy Tickets for Universal Orlando?
If you’re based in the US or Canada, I recommend Klook for your Universal Orlando tickets. Klook consistently has the most competitive prices. There’s also a range of different ticket options to suit all budgets and requirements.
Meanwhile, if you’re based in the United Kingdom. Then I recommend buying your Universal Orlando theme park tickets from AttractionTix. I personally use AttractionTix when purchasing Orlando theme park tickets. That’s because AttractionTix consistently has the most competitive prices and incredible customer service.
🏥 Should I Buy Travel Insurance for a Visit to Universal Orlando?
If you’re travelling to Universal Orlando for vacation, then travel insurance is recommended. Basic travel insurance coverage with Safety Wing averages between $5 – $10 per day and offers peace of mind.
However, if a trip to Universal Orlando isn’t part of a vacation. For example, you live locally. Then travel insurance isn’t likely to be necessary.
🚘 Do I Need to Rent a Car for a Visit to Universal Orlando?
You don’t need to rent a car to visit Universal Orlando, as the resort has Uber / Lyft pick-up and drop-off points. However, if Universal Orlando makes up the majority of your vacation, then you may want to stay on-site.
Staying onsite at the Universal Orlando Resort comes with several perks. Including complimentary transport from the hotel to the Universal Orlando theme parks. In some cases, you can even walk from your hotel straight to the theme park gates.
However, if a trip to Universal Orlando only makes up a portion of your vacation, then you may want to rent a car. I personally use Discover Cars to find the best car rental for all of my trips to Orlando.
🏨 Where to Stay When Visiting Universal Orlando?
If you’re spending the majority of your vacation at Universal Orlando, it’s a good idea to stay at a Universal Orlando hotel. Staying onsite at Universal Orlando comes with several perks, including;
- Early park admission
- Complimentary transport
- Complimentary Universal Express Passes (selected hotels only)
- Walking distance of the Universal theme parks (selected hotels only)
While staying onsite at Universal Orlando is great value for money, it can still be out of budget for many. Thankfully, there are several budget-friendly hotels close to Universal Orlando to choose from.
Meanwhile, if Universal Orlando only makes up part of your Orlando vacation, then you may want to stay elsewhere. Kissimmee, International Drive and Lake Buena Vista are all within a 40-minute drive of Universal Orlando.