Volcano Bay vs Typhoon Lagoon – Which Water Park Is Best?

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Volcano Bay and Typhoon Lagoon are two of the most popular water parks in Orlando, but which one’s best?

Volcano Bay is a better water park for teenagers and adults while Typhoon Lagoon is better suited to families with tweens and younger children.

However, who the water park is best suited for may not be the only thing you want to conder when making your decision as to where to visit.

What’s The Difference Between Volcano Bay & Typhoon Lagoon?

The principle of both Volcano Bay and Typhoon Lagoon are very much the same in that both parks are water parks. However, that’s just about where the similarities between these two parks end.

Firstly, let’s talk ownership. Volcano Bay is owned by Universal and is part of the Universal Studios Resort which is located just off International Drive.

Meanwhile, Typhoon Lagoon is owned by Disney and is therefore part of the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Beuna Vista.

Typhoon Lagoon is also significantly older than Volcano Bay having opened in 1989. The park has undergone minor refurbishments over the years with an upcoming major overhaul of the park due in late 2022 / early 2023.

Meanwhile, Volcano Bay opened in the spring of 2017 replacing the former Wet N’ Wild which is now subsequently The Endless Summer Resort and home to two of the eight on-site hotels at the Universal Studios Resort.

Which Park Has The Cheapest Tickets?

Typically Walt Disney World Resort theme park tickets cost more than Universal Orlando theme park tickets. However, in the case of Typhoon Lagoon and Volcano Bay, it’s actually $15 cheaper per person on average to visit Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon when compared to Volcano Bay at Universal Orlando.

Tickets for Volcano Bay start at $80 plus tax per person with prices varying based on estimated demand (most notable increases are over major holidays such as Spring Break).

Meanwhile, tickets for Typhoon Lagoon are either $64 plus tax or $69 plus tax for adults with the exact price depending on whether you want to visit the park over selected blackout dates.

Which Park Has The Best Water Slides?

Volcano Bay is significantly better than Typhoon Lagoon when it comes to both the variety and intensity of water slides.

At Typhoon Lagoon you’ll find;

  • 7 water slides
  • 1 small kid slide
  • 1 children’s splash zone
  • 1 lazy river
  • 1 wave pool

The biggest and most intense ride at Typhoon Lagoon is Humunga Kowabunga which sees you plummet down Mount Mayday for a near-vertical 54-foot drop in the dark!

Meanwhile, over at Volcano Bay, you’ll find;

  • 12 water slides
  • 1 small kid slide
  • 2 children’s splash zones
  • 2 lazy rivers
  • 1 wave pool

The biggest and most intense ride at Volcano Bay and subsequently the tallest body slide in America is the Ko’okiri Body Plunge.

This incredible ride sees you fall at a 70-degree angle through a drop door and down a 125-foot drop before heading vertically beneath a pool of guests and landing in a splash zone at the bottom of the iconic volcano. Having been on this ride myself, I can tell you it’s not for the faint-hearted!

Which Park Is Best For Teenagers?

Volcano Bay is significantly better for teenagers when compared to Typhoon Lagoon for three key reasons; Firstly, the number of slides available. There are five additional water slides at Volcano Bay when compared to Typhoon Lagoon.

Second, the intensity of the rides. The rides at Volcano Bay have been designed for Universal’s target audience – teenagers and young adults.

Unsurprisingly then you’ll find that the vast majority of rides here are incredibly thrilling and exciting for teens.

Finally, the TapuTapu technology. The complimentary TapuTapu wristband you receive when arriving at Volcano Bay allows you to virtually stand in line for rides within the park. While you physically spend time exploring other areas of the park until your space becomes available.

Which Park Is Best For Younger Children?

The best water park for young children (42″ and under) is Typhoon Lagoon at the Walt Disney World Resort since this park has more rides suitable for this height requirement when compared to Volcano Bay.

Some of the best water rides and attractions for children 42″ and under at Typhoon Lagoon include;

  • Bay Slides
  • Castaway Creek
  • Gangplank Falls
  • Keelhaul Falls
  • Ketchakiddee Creek
  • Mayday Falls
  • Miss Adventure Falls
  • Storm Slides
  • Surf Pool

Which Park Is Best For Babies & Toddlers?

We travelled with our seven-month-old baby to both Volcano Bay and Typhoon Lagoon and found that Volcano Bay is slightly better for those looking to visit a water park with babies or toddlers.

This is not only a result of Volcano Bay having two splash pads when compared to Typhoon Lagoon’s one, but also that during the height of summer Volcano Bay still feels significantly less crowded and more spacious when compared to Typhoon Lagoon.

The atmosphere on the sunloungers is significantly more relaxed and with selected lounges being on the sand there’s still plenty for the little ones to do outside of the water.

If you’re looking to get into the water as a family, then you’ll be pleased to know that both Typhoon Lagoon and Volcano Bay have lockers where you’re able to safely store your belongings.

Which Park Has The Best Food & Drink?

While both water parks serve a range of hot food, cold beverages and even alcoholic drinks for you to enjoy throughout the day it’s Typhoon Lagoon that offers the better variety and quality.

Some of our favourite dishes to enjoy at Typhoon Lagoon include;

  • Dole Whip
  • Sand Pail
  • Blue Raspberry Frozen Lemonade
  • Fresh Fruit Waffle
  • Shrimp Wrecked Salad

Meanwhile, if you’re visiting Volcano Bay, don’t forget to pack your Coca-Cola freestyle reusable cup so you’re able to get unlimited soft drinks throughout the day.


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