The 200-foot Krakatau volcano that will stand at the center of Universal’s new Orlando water park, Volcano Bay, will house an aqua coaster with canoes as the ride vehicles, which will be the park’s marquee attraction, Universal announced Thursday.
Universal also promised guests won’t have to wait in long lines because a new wearable high-tech device will hold people’s place in line for an attraction while they play elsewhere. The device has some similarities to Disney World’s Magic Bands and special wands in Universal’s Wizarding Worlds of Harry Potter.
Volcano Bay is scheduled to open early next summer as part of the growing Universal Orlando complex — two theme parks, five hotels and CityWalk. It is under construction on Turkey Lake Road, south of Universal’s Cabana Bay hotel, and the structure of the volcano has been visible from Interstate 4 for months. The company’s existing water park, Wet ‘n’ Wild, is set to close for good Dec. 31.
The 30-acre park will be a “lush tropical oasis” divided into four themed, Polynesian-influenced areas, with a 200-foot volcano that spews lava at night at its center.
In June, Universal announced the outlines of a plan for the 30-acre park, which will be a “lush tropical oasis” divided into four themed, Polynesian-influenced areas. At its center is the volcano with waterfalls, night-time illumination by “lava,” and water slides. Kept under wraps til now, the Krakatau Aqua Coaster canoes will be launched uphill by linear induction motor technology and propelled through the volcano’s dark passages, waterfalls, and interior peaks and valleys.
Other attractions include a multi-directional wave pool; two rivers, including one that winds through the volcano’s caverns; many water slides, including racing slides and slides with breakaway drops; raft rides, beaches, toddler play area, restaurants and bars.
Universal has not announced a specific opening date — or admission prices — for the park, but said tickets will go on sale Nov. 15; earlier the park had said tickets would be available for travel dates beginning June 1.
Included in the price of admission will be the TapuTapu wearable, which Universal says will allow guests to “virtually” wait in line while they’re elsewhere in the park. The device will alert them when it’s time to head to the ride. It will also activate “tap to play” special effects, such as shooting water cannons and illuminating images in the volcano’s hidden caves.