The U.S. Travel Association’s IPW conference is currently happening in New Orleans and Universal is there to show off new details on its third theme park – Volcano Bay, which could potentially open on June 1, 2017.
According to the Orlando Business Journal, Universal is describing the 28-acre Volcano Bay as a “lush, tropical oasis unfolds before you, instantly transporting you to a little-known Pacific isle. In the distance, a colossal volcano rises above a sparkling beach, boasting majestic waterfalls by day and blazing lava by night.”
Despite it sounding like just a water park, Universal is pushing forward in declaring Volcano Bay an actual theme park – that is just heavily themed around water. The speculation is that the opening date is June 1, 2017, because that is the same day a new Universal “Three-Park Explorer” ticket option will be available to purchase.
Universal Orlando’s official blog followed up with more details on the 4 lands and 18 attractions:
At the heart of the park, you’ll see the 200-foot-tall volcano called Krakatau. By day, you’ll see its majestic waterfalls. And by night, the volcano will illuminate with blazing lava.
- Three distinctive body slides are found at the rear of the volcano, and each starts off with surprise doors that drop out from beneath you:
- Ko’okiri Body Plunge: A racing, 70-degree drop that will plummet 125-feet through the center of Krakatau. It will be the world’s first slide to travel through a pool filled with guests.
- Kala and Ta Nui Serpentine Body Slides: Two intertwining slides where you’ll fall freely along 124 twisting feet.
- Punga Racers: A high-speed race through four different enclosed slides featuring manta-shaped mats.
- Secret Attraction: I can’t talk about this one yet, but it’ll be like nothing else in the park.
Located at the base of Krakatau, Wave Village is a perfect place to soak in the sun and relax on the sandy shores. It includes:
- Waturi Beach: A sparkling, multi-directional wave pool where you can swim, relax on the sand or indulge in private, one- or two-story cabanas.
- The Reef: An adjacent leisure pool with calmer waters and exciting views of riders speeding through the Ko’okiri Body Plunge.
River Village offers several family-friendly attractions and experiences and features:
- Kopiko Wai Winding River: A gentle, winding river that passes through the volcano’s hidden caves, featuring spontaneous water effects and a journey through the cave of starlight.
- Tot Tiki Reef: A whimsical toddler play area with spraying Maori fountains, slides and a kid-size volcano.
- Runamukka Reef: A three-story water playground inspired by the coral reef overflowing with twisting slides, sprinklers and more.
- Honu: An adventurous, multi-passenger raft ride that will soar across a dual wall.
- Ika Moana: A twisting, multi-passenger raft ride that will glide across bubbling geysers.
Rainforest Village features an incredible assortment of attractions for thrill-seekers, including:
- Maku: North America’s first “saucer ride”, sending multi-passenger rafts speeding around three saucer-shaped curves.
- Puihi: A breath-taking multi-passenger raft ride that will plunge you into darkness before bursting into a funnel and launching into a zero-gravity drop.
- Ohyah and Ohno Drop Slides: Two twisting, adrenaline-pumping slides that launch you four- or six-feet above the water at the end.
- TeAwa The Fearless River: An action-packed, racing torrent river where you’ll have to hang tight in your inner tube amidst roaring, whitewater rapids.
- Taniwha Tubes: Four unique Easter Island-inspired slides with rafts for single or double riders.
- Puka Uli Lagoon: A tranquil pool where you can swim and relax.
Overall, it seems like Universal is going to have a hit based on initial renderings of the park. However, if they continue to tout it as a third theme park, there might be a disconnect with what guests are expecting out of a theme park. The good news is that Cabana Bay Beach Resort fans got their first glimpse at the design for the third tower being built at the hotel.