Hey Thrill Seekers,
I have already posted several blogs about my trips to SeaWorld, Discovery Cove and Busch Gardens during my recent FAM trip to Orlando. My fourth and final day was spent at Aquatica, SeaWorld’s water park. This park is perfect for some unforgettable thrills, along with a bit of relaxation.
After stashing our personal belongings in one of Aquatica’s handy lockers we decided to try out Roa’s Rapids, a river ride with a bit of a difference. The strong currents propel you around the rapids, through waves, swirls and sprays. For those not-so-strong swimmers or if you’d just prefer to float along the river and let the current do all of the work there are life jackets located at the entrances to the rapids. We had a go with and without the life jackets. Personally I prefered the ride with the life jackets as you seem to sail along much faster. I also advise keeping an eye out for the great view into the Aquarium. The turning is in the middle of the rapids so it can be easy to miss when you are going along at speed.
After a few laps of Roa’s Rapids we decided to hit some of the thrilling water rides. First we got a little bit competitive on Taumata Racers, a high-speed competitive mat ride. Unlike most rides of this kind it begins with a twisting enclosed tube slide before opening out into a straight, steep hill drop to the finishing line which I think improves the experience greatly.
You start by placing your mats at the top of the slide whilst you wait for the countdown to hit ‘GO!’. You’ll then need to launch yourself and the mat into the tunnel. After that gushing water and gravity does the rest of the work. I found that the best technique for a quick start time was to place the mat as far forward as possible without letting go and pushing yourself forward as you jump on. This is a great ride for groups and families. I cannot count how many times we went on throughout the day!
Walhalla Wave was a personal favourite of mine. This is a thrilling raft ride, seating up to 3 people making it perfect for families or groups. After being nudge off of the edge by a member of staff you slide around the first corner, through one of the many waterfalls and straight into a tunnel. Once you have rounded the first corner of the tunnel you will find yourself in complete darkness. As we had not really checked out the ride before getting on, this is something that we had not been expecting, however this definitely added to the experience. It also meant that we had no idea what was coming next! You go through lots of twists turns, climbing one side of the tunnel until you feel as though you may fall out before spiralling up the other side. You are then plunged back into daylight and into the pool at the bottom. I think that the best ride experience is had with a full raft of 3 people.
HooRoo Run shares a tower with Walhalla Wave so we decided to head back up to the top to give this one a go. This uses the same rafts as Walhalla Wave, so again up to 3 people are able to ride together. This is where the 2 rides similarities end as unlike Walhalla Wave, HooRoo Run is an open, straight run to the bottom making it an extremely fast ride. Once you are nudged off of the edge by the staff member the raft plummets over several seat-lifting ridges before diving into pool at the bottom.
Next we headed for Dolphin Plunge, Aquatica’s signature ride. As you enter the park you will see an underwater viewing area containing beautiful black and white Commerson’s dolphins. Dolphin Plunge runs right through their enclosure. You begin by getting ready at the top of one of the two enclosed tube slides. Once the light has turned green you are free to propel yourself into the tunnel, lying down with arms and legs crossed. This part of the tube is opaque and will take you through a series of twists and turns as you gain speed. After about 250ft the tube becomes transparent and you will find yourself in the middle of the dolphin’s enclosure. The tube then changes back to opaque before hurtling into the pool at the bottom of the slide. I advise trying slow yourself down as you begin to see the light of the transparent tunnel to give you the best opportunity to see the dolphins as you will be travelling at speed.
We spent the remaining time that we had left in the park sun bathing, with short intervals too cool off in Cutback Cove and Big Surf Shores, Aquatica’s side-by-side wave pools. Cutback Cove offers constant high waves, whereas Big Surf Shores changes between high or slow.
That wraps my unforgettable trip to Orlando. A big thank you to SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment for hosting a fabulous FAM trip! I will follow up with one last blog featuring my top 5 rollercoasters of the trip so keep an eye out.