Travel During COVID: Aquatica Water Park in Orlando

(c) 2021 Patti Aliventi

A Black Friday deal gave us three days in Sea World parks as opposed to Universal Parks. With having to make reservations and two of the parks involving water activities, it was hard to choose what to do and when. January is a month where it can be up in the 70’s to near 80’s in air temperature, or all the way down in the 50’s during the day.

I planned Aquatica for one of our first days there, hoping if the weather wasn’t good I could change it to another day. I lucked out and it was a very warm day.

A waterpark is a hard place to wear a mask. You can’t wear a mask on any of the rides or even in the wave pool. I imagine they are worried about masks coming off and clogging the filtering system. Any place inside such as shops or restrooms, it’s advisable to wear a mask. I saw them enforcing this for food service areas where I would pick up food and go outside to eat, but nowhere else. I can’t say I was that worried about virus transmission outside, but if you’re not comfortable with people not being masked up, you’ll want to skip waterparks.

There is so much to do at Aquatica! We didn’t do or see it all the day we were there. Right in the middle of the park is Roa’s Rapids. It’s a not-so-lazy river that you float around in life jackets, or not! There’s no tubes for floating in here, just the current. It was my first activity of the day and I went around several more times throughout the day.

Roa’s Rapids

Only one side of the wave pool was open while we were there. We moved over to chairs right near the edge of the water and went swimming there. The waves are off and on during the day, so if you’re not comfortable with the waves you can just wait them out. I didn’t think the waves were that big even when they were on.

My son went off on his own to find slides to do. Although he’s 20, he’s on the autism spectrum and just now getting to the point where he’ll try more “thrilling” rides.

By far, this was his favorite slide. This slide is the Dolphin Plunge where the transparent slide travels through a tank of black and white Commerson’s dolphins. I watched from the viewing windows as the dolphins in the tank seemed to enjoy the people on the slides as much as I was enjoying watching them. The Loggerhead Lane lazy river goes through this area too, where there’s a more relaxing tube ride with viewing areas all around.

The larger slides were in walk-up towers like these. I wasn’t walking up that day and my son tried one and had enough. He was happy just to bob in the wave pool for most of the day.

I found the bar. I can say I was very happy with the pours here. The drinks were strong. The bartender was very attentive and there was some attempt at social distancing at the bar itself.

The food however, was horrible. My spouse and son eat almost anything and all they had was a pretzel and some popcorn after seeing the cheeseburger I brought from the one food stand. It had been on a steam tray swimming in grease. We all picked at it and the fries which were rather soggy. No one went back for any food after that.

We didn’t go in the back by the kiddie area. We usually go every other year with my granddaughter and take her to a waterpark while the other adults head to Universal. If that’s the case next year, I’d happily bring her here. Aside from the food, it’s ahead of the other waterparks I’ve been to in Orlando.

3 replies »

  1. Thank you, Patti,, for this description. I can’t say you have made me want to go there – I can’t swim and in fact am quite water phobic, so I probably wouldn’t even be able to watch.But the description of the lack of food was enough. It reminds me of when I took the children to Disneyland Paris when it first opened. What a disaster. I had been persuaded to go because there was bound to be good food. It’s Paris, after all. But unfortunately for me and for my kids it was all fast greasy food. And no wine!!! This was in April 1997, so perhaps things have improved since then. But I also doubt that I will go and check!