Volcano Bay – Universal’s third park in Orlando – will be themed as a tropical paradise, with sandy beaches, lush vegetation, carved stone tikis, and water-based adventures for the entire family. The park’s icon is Krakatau, a 200-foot-tall volcano, which will steam and smoke throughout the day. After dark, Krakatau’s caldera will glow brightly as lava erupts skyward into the night sky.
The park’s featured ride (I personally have a hard time calling water slides “rides”) will be a thrilling attraction called Krakatau Aqua Coaster. This slide will propel guests riding in unique canoe-like vehicles through the dark caves and mysterious interior spaces of the park’s volcano; the vehicles will have the ability to race uphill as well, thanks to linear induction motor technology. Aqua Coasters are becoming fairly commonplace, popping up at water parks and on cruise ships with increasing frequency. What will likely stand out here, is the level of theming and experiential detail that Universal is no doubt, lavishing on this attraction.
Another interesting detail from today’s announcement focuses on the fact that Volcano Bay will feature virtual queues, as guests take advantage of wearable technology Universal has named TapuTapu. Acting much like Disney’s FastPass and MagicBand, Volcano Bay guests will be able to “tap” into virtual queues at the park’s attractions and then receive notification as to when they can return and ride, without waiting in a physical line. Throughout the park, Universal is also creating small experiences that guests manually activate with their TapuTapu wearable technology – visual and practical gags that make Volcano Bay come alive on a very personal level, much like the wand interactive effects found throughout The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. TapuTapu will come with each guests’ admission to Volcano Bay, and while Universal hasn’t called it out yet, one would have to assume that this wearable tech is going to be waterproof. It is a water park, after all. It’ll be interesting to see if this tech evolves and continues to spread across the Universal Orlando Resort, which would be a direct response to Disney’s high-tech FastPass+ system and its various capabilities and components.
More Volcano Bay details will be coming in the months ahead as the park nears completion. It looks to be a stunning park and a critical addition to the Universal Orlando Resort as the company continues to go head-to-head with Disney and neighboring parks on all fronts. Summer 2017 is going to sizzle in Orlando!
- Rick West
Volcano Bay Details Renderings:
Official Volcano Bay Details Press Release From Universal Orlando Resort:
In early summer 2017, a first-of-its-kind water theme park will erupt at Universal Orlando Resort – Universal’s Volcano Bay. It will be an innovative experience filled with incredible thrills and perfected relaxation. And on November 15, guests will have the chance to purchase tickets to experience it firsthand. Guests can receive a notification when tickets go on sale and updates about Volcano Bay by signing up for real-time email alerts.
Volcano Bay will span 30 fully immersive acres and feature a variety of experiences that range from daring to serene. Dozens of unique attractions will offer something for everyone, including a multi-directional wave pool with sandy beaches, a peaceful winding river, twisting multi-rider raft rides, speeding body slides that drop from the top of the volcano into the waters below – and more. And the best part – guests won’t have to wait in long lines to enjoy any of it.
Today, Universal Orlando Resort reveals first-ever details about the park’s state-of-the-art Krakatau Aqua Coaster that will take guests on an exciting voyage unlike any other, and the all-new TapuTapu wearable technology that will redefine the way guests experience water parks.
Krakatau Aqua Coaster – Volcano Bay’s State-of-the-Art Marquee Attraction
Krakatau Aqua Coaster will be the star experience at Universal’s Volcano Bay – combining innovative ride technology with water theme park thrills to take families on an unforgettable adventure through the park’s massive icon – the 200-foot Krakatau volcano.
Guests will board specially-designed canoes and propel downwards – and upwards – through the volcano’s interior peaks and valleys. They’ll twist, turn and plummet along dark passageways, be launched through sparkling waterfalls and so much more.
Universal is using some of the incredible technology that makes its theme park attractions so compelling to create a first-of-its-kind aqua coaster in Florida. The attraction will use linear induction motor technology, which launches the canoe uphill before it immediately sends riders into a downhill plunge. This technology – combined with the immersive theming Universal is known for – will make Krakatau Aqua Coaster a unique water theme park attraction that’s fun for the entire family.
TapuTapu Wearable Will Redefine the Queue Experience – Less Time Waiting in Lines, More Time Having Fun
Universal’s Volcano Bay will debut a new technology, the TapuTapu wearable, designed to make the guest experience throughout the entire park as hassle-free and fun-filled as possible. As part of their admission, guests will receive a TapuTapu wearable upon arrival to the park that allows them to do the following with a simple tap:
- Virtual Lines.
Guests will be able to virtually wait in line while they play in other areas of the park. The wearable will alert guests when it’s time for them to ride so they can head to the attraction.
- Tap to play.
Guests will discover various “tap-to-play” experiences throughout the park – all designed exclusively for Volcano Bay by Universal’s award-winning creative team. With just a tap of TapuTapu, guests can trigger special effects like controlling streams of water spurting from whales in Tot Tiki Reef, shooting water cannons at guests snaking down Kopiko Wai Winding River and illuminating images in the volcano’s hidden caves.
Even more details about TapuTapu and its unique guest features will be released soon. More Volcano Bay details will be revealed over time. For more information and to sign-up for updates, visit http://www.universalorlando.com/volcanobay.