Whether you’re visiting in the heat of summer or the briskness of fall, the Florida sun will keep on shining. Teens love to take a day to explore the water parks, and parents get a chance to relax and unwind as well. There are four major water parks in the Orlando area, and each has its own unique teen appeal:
Spanning 56 acres, Typhoon Lagoon has some of the wettest and wildest attractions of all the water parks. Except for the snorkeling area, all water here is heated to between 75 and 80 degrees, so there’s no bad time to visit. Some of the most popular attractions for teens include:
- Castaway Creek – Here teens can relax on an inner tube as they meander through rain forests, grottos, waterfalls, caves, and more on a 2100-foot continuous water way.
- Humunga Kowabunga – Teens will travel up to 30 miles per hour as they plummet down three triple enclosed slides on this 214-foot ride.
- Crush “N Gusher – This is a wild one! Themed after an abandoned tropic fruit processing center, guests ride two to a raft and can pick one of three different slides. No matter which one they choose, they’ll be twisting, turning, spilling and sliding toward a final thrilling plunge.
- Shark Reef – Teens can observe sharks and fish from above, or dive right in and snorkel alongside them.
- Wave Pool – No matter if your teen is a beginner or an adventurer, there’s a perfect time to visit the wave pool. It goes through a regular cycle that includes surf waves, bobbing waves, and period of totally calm waters.
Blizzard Beach is a 660-acre water park that was themed after a snow ski resort that couldn’t quite make it in Florida. It has some unique attractions of its own:
- Summit Plummet – Not only is this one the tallest and fastest free-falling slides in Orlando – it’s one of the tallest and fastest in the world. At over 120 feet and 13 stories high, it’s propels riders at almost 60 miles per hour straight down the slide.
- Slush Gusher – Though it’s not quite as intense as Summit Plummet, Slush Gusher is another speed slide that reaches almost 50 miles per hour. A tip for teens: To catch ultimate air, cross your legs and raise them just before you hit the second hump.
- Downhill Double Dipper – Teens can race each other – or their parents – on these side-by-side 50 feet high racing slides that can reach 25 miles per hour.
A sister park of SeaWorld, Aquatica Orlando is themed after the southern Pacific and features tons of details from Australia and New Zealand. In addition to the attractions listed below, this park also has a white sand beach, and many of the rides travel directly through animal habitats.
- Dolphin Plunge – Likely to be your teen’s favorite attraction, these enclosed tube slides send visitors right through the middle of a pool that contains live dolphins.
- Ihu’s Breakaway Falls – This drop pod style body slide is slated to open in Summer of 2014.
- Taumata Racer – Why race one when you could race up to seven at once? Here you’ll find eight lanes of serious slide racing.
- Walhalla Wave – Several people can ride this raft at once, but beware – it twists and turns through enclosed, pitch dark segments.
- Cutback Cove and Big Surf Shores – Both wave pools, Cutback Cove features strong, tall waves, while Big Surf Shores offers gentler, rolling waves.
Wet ‘n Wild
Considered by many to be the ‘father of water parks’, Wet ‘n Wild first opened its pools in 1977. While attendance has decreased since the opening of Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon, Wet ‘n Wild was once the most visited water park in the world. Their long list of exciting and updated attractions includes:
- Mach 5 – Fast, wet, and wild, Mach 5 sees riders lay down on a padded body map and take twists and turns head first. There are 3 side-by-side courses with a total fall of 1,700 feet.
- Der Stuka – This 6-story slide sends riders down over 250 feet on an almost vertical drop, which transitions gradually into a 115 foot water way.
- The Storm – Referred to by many as a “body coaster”, The Storm is like riding on the inside of a cyclone. Riders are dropped through an elevated chute that sends them spinning in a giant bowl, and eventually plops them out three feet above the pool.
- The Bomb Bay – The most thrilling part of this ride may be the anticipation. Riders are loaded into a waiting pod, where a trap door opens with no fanfare and they are dropped 76 almost-vertical feet.
- The Wake Zone – Unique to Wet ‘n Wild, The Wake Zone offers guests a chance to try their hand at wake skating, paddle boarding, or knee skiing. These attractions do require an additional fee on top of park entrance, and they’re only open from noon to dusk May through September.
Water parks are the perfect option for teens who want an exciting, exhilarating, and downright amazing day, while parents want to sip a drink by a calm, serene pool.