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Thread: Volcano Bay - my review

  1. #1

    Volcano Bay - my review

    OK, just just got back from our 1st visit to Volcano Bay - the new Universal waterpark. Here's my review and top-tips for making sure you have the best day at a very busy park.

    The park officially opens at 9am but we were lucky to be staying on site so thought we'd get in an hour early but actually they opened the park at 7:30am for us - RESULT!

    We were queueing from 7:15am, got straight in and ran right to the back at the park *top-tip* sit behind the volcano as everyone opts to sit at the front of the volcano.

    *Top tip* don't take any valuables and you won't need to fight for a locker rental. There are not enough of them and they cost $12 to rent.

    We had our Tapu Tapu wearable technology that felt like it would fall off with any real force - I was right. It came off once after a ride but I felt it go and grabbed it but in the not-so-lazy river I lost if completely so beware. *top tip* try not to lose it as you will waste precious time having to queue up at Guest Services to get it replaced.

    We made sure we did all the family raft rides first - they are all so much fun but hugely popular.
    Honu & Ika Moana are brilliant fun as is Krakatau. Very thrilling (if you like that sort of thing!)

    They weigh you all first to make sure you are not too heavy to ride together. You will be split up as a party if you weigh too much!

    There's no carrying up the stairs of any inflatables and I found that a real blessing as that can really exhaust you.

    In the one and half before the park opened to the general public we managed to get all the popular rides done then we noticed that the "Ride Now" signs had changed to around "80 mins wait" so started to Tapu our place in the queue. What that means is that they won't let you queue for a ride, you have to 'tap-in', get a return to ride time, then enjoy another part of the park whilst you wait for a "Ride Now" message on your Tapu and you then can then join the queue. The average wait time for the queue is 30 mins (on top of the time you have had to wait already so bear that in mind).

    *Warning * It's nothing like Fast Pass where you get to return and jump the queue - this can be quite confusing and frustrating and you can only 'tap-in' for one ride at a time.

    By 10am the waiting times were around 120/180 mins for all rides. By the time we left the park at around 1pm I have never seen so many people in a waterpark in all my life. It was ridiculously packed and quite unbearable. It's easy to see how some people only get on a couple of rides and have nowhere to sit.

    Re: food - I thought it would be better than it was. It was expensive and the chicken wasn't even real so beware.

    Staff were all friendly on all the rides and helpful throughout the park.

    The park itself is very confusing to find your way around so it would be easy to lose small children in your party.

    Some of the surfaces can get extremely hot and slippery to walk on so aqua shoes would be a bonus to wear.

    Having tried out all the other water parks I can honestly say that this is the best in terms of quality of rides but it will take a good year to iron out all the issues they currently have.

    Enjoy if you go but follow the golden rules, get there early, bag a seat straight away, ride the most popular rides immediately and try and work out the Tapu queue system to make best use of the day. Hope someone finds this useful


  2. #2
    Super Moderator carolmc's Avatar
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    Apr 2003
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    Thanks for the review Victoria - most interesting and helpful for anyone planning a visit. I have to say I'm not going near anything where I have to be weighed


  3. #3
    Moderator christhear's Avatar
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    Aug 2004
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    Westbury,Davenport,Florida.& Hemel Hempstead
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    My son is coming out in a weeks time and he and his girlfriend have the universal tickets that cover volcano bay. Did say we would go with them for the day but after reading this review (one I can trust) and a lot of other terrible reviews, think I will save my money. We can't get in early as not staying at universal so think it would be a waste of time.
    Christine



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