Universal’s Volcano Bay is the latest and greatest place for your group to experience incredible waterpark action in Orlando. But as with anything new, there’s questions. So we’d like to share some insight on visiting Volcano Bay with a student group to help you determine if you’ll want to add it to your next Orlando itinerary.
Only Universal Buses Can Take Your Group Directly To The Park:
To get to Volcano Bay, your bus will drop you off at the Universal CityWalk bus loop. This is how it’s done with Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida too. However, instead of going straight to security and onto the parks, you’ll actually board a Universal shuttle that takes you to Volcano Bay.
This is worth mentioning so your group can budget enough time in the morning, especially if you have a larger group. Your group will wait with the general public, and if there’s a lot of people, it could mean you’ll be split between multiple buses which normally come one at a time, a few minutes apart.
Our recommendation would be to let your Green Light Tour Director take the lead here. If necessary, they’ll communicate with the Universal employee at the bus loop about getting a few more shuttles on the route.
Once everyone has made it to Volcano Bay, we recommend making your way through security, following the signs to the park entrance, and reuniting the group before the entrance turnstiles for a full group selfie beneath the Volcano Bay sign. Cheese!
“Chill Out” About Cold Weather (Get It?)
Water parks can be a tricky thing to plan around. The prevailing myth is it’s never cold in Florida, therefore it’s always good water park weather. Though this is mostly true, the whole truth is a bit more complicated.
Orlando water parks have been known to close when the weather dips below 70 degrees…which actually happens sometimes! That means groups traveling to Florida in the cooler months will occasionally be hit with a “Florida Cold Front” and be forced to call an audible on their water park day.
Volcano Bay has addressed this problem.
All of the water at Volcano Bay is temperature controlled. That means even if the air is a little nippy, the water will be cranked up to a deliciously inviting temperature. Therefore, you can plan your water park day with more confidence that an unexpected cold front won’t be interfering.
However, nothing is guaranteed, right? Case in point, Orlando experienced some actual cold weather in December and January of this year. The days were windy and the temperature dipped into the 30’s at night. Even people from the north thought it was cold! Stranger yet, this weather pattern continued for a few weeks.
The heated water at Volcano Bay couldn’t help in that situation, so they made the decision to close the park for a few days. Who in their right mind would want to be in a bathing suit in that kind of weather anyway? We cannot stress enough, weather that cold is extremely rare in Orlando. And Volcano Bay is better equipped than any other water park to remain open through the traditional Florida winter weather.
Our advice is to visit Volcano Bay in February and March before it starts to get really busy in the summer. Volcano Bay was selling out every day last summer. However, this February the park was pretty much wide open. The lines weren’t even long enough to use your TapuTapus.
The Island BBQ Chicken Pizza Is Worth It:
The food is inspired by southern Pacific island cuisine. Consequently, you’ll see a lot of pulled pork, fish, fresh veggies, bold spices, and fruit infusions throughout all the menus. We had the island BBQ Chicken longboard pizza that was served with a mango bbq sauce, sliced red onion, and melted gouda cheese. We may be going back to Volcano Bay very soon…just for lunch. Additionally, the park features plenty of quick-service eateries within a short walking distance of some huge covered canopies where student groups can eat together.
Make Volcano Bay A Part Of Your Group’s Orlando Trip:
Final verdict: we really like this place for student groups! We’re excited for Volcano Bay to become a staple on Orlando itineraries. The temperature controlled water is a game-changer. There’s a range of rides for everyone across the thrill-seeking spectrum. We like the TapuTapus, but we hope you never have to use them. Heck, even hopping on the Universal shuttle to get to the park wasn’t so bad. But remember: you probably want to go before the peak summer months. And for heaven’s sake, try the BBQ chicken pizza!