As far as water parks go, SeaWorld ’s Aquatica (5800 Water Play Way, hours vary seasonally, open year-round except a few dates in winter, $44.95 adults, $38.95 children) is a far more attractive proposition than the crowded mayhem of International Drive’s Wet ’n’ Wild , and the added element of live animals—from Commerson’s dolphins and tropical fish to a wide variety of exotic birds—even sets it apart from the two Disney water parks.
But still, a water park’s a water park, and Aquatica’s main attraction is the number of opportunities it provides visitors to get wet.
By far the most unique slide at Aquatica is the Dolphin Plunge, which races you down one of two side-by-side tube slides—right through a water habitat filled with dolphins. Although you’ll likely be going too fast to really observe them at play, the underwater sensation is completely unique.
More traditional attractions at Aquatica include the side-by-side wave pools and sunbathing area of Cutback Cove & Big Surf Shores, the splashing river rafting adventure of Roa’s Rapids, and Whanau Way, an enormous, four-slide tower.
There’s also the Loggerhead Lane lazy river and two kid-friendly areas.
Dining options are fairly limited at Aquatica; the WaterStone Grill serves sandwiches and salads, and the Mango Market has pizzas, wraps, and chicken tenders. Guests committed to an entire day’s visit tend to opt for the Banana Beach Cookout, which sells full-day passes, allowing unlimited noshing on their barbecue, burgers, and dogs for $19.95 (adults) and $9.95 (kids).