Saturday, August 28, 2010

Vacation 2010 - Aquatica

The one place we enjoyed the most out of all the places we visited was the one place I took the least pictures: Aquatica! We fell in love with it from the moment we saw it out the hotel window.

It was clear to us there was plenty to see and do, but it was nothing like we expected. It was a hundred times better!

Aquatica is brand new, and is part of SeaWorld. It's literally across the street. We went there on our second day, the kids and I because J had to work. We were immediately impressed with all the colors and greenery. It's very bright, colorful and happy. The first place we passed was a large dolphin tank with some sort of tube going through it:

We found out later it's a ride called The Dolphin Plunge. You can actually slide right through the dolphin tank. I'm not much for these types of rides (I get claustrophobic) but J rode on it 4 times. My daughter A got on once, which was more than enough for her LOL. As for E and I, we were content just watching the dolphins, especially when they swam by together. Doesn't it look like they're holding fins?

After that we rented a locker to put everything away, and the camera went in there too. No way was I going to stay out of all the fun just to take pictures (sorry!). The first place we went to was Loggerhead Lane, their version of a lazy river. It was hot out, but the water was sooo refreshing! My daughter decided she wanted to go down the lazy river another way - via the
Tassie Twister. It starts off as a slide but goes into what looks like a giant funnel before ending in the river. She said it was great! She liked it most because you ride it on an inner tube which she prefers, unlike Daddy who likes to just go down without anything in his way.

We then went to the wave pools - that's right, there's two of them, Cutback Cove and Big Surf Shores. One's right next to the other, so they never got overcrowded even though the park was packed. E showed us his swimming skills and even gave us lessons. It was so relaxing, I could have stayed there all day. I'm glad I didn't, though!

Our favorite area by far was Roa's Rapids (if you haven't figured it out by now, the entire park has an Australian theme). While the lazy river is just that, a slow river with everyone floating on inner tubes, Roa's Rapids is a long, fast moving river. No inner tubes are allowed here; a life vest (provided free by the park) can be worn but isn't required. Basically the current is speeding you through the river which has two entrances. We went around and around so many times we'd lose count! It was quite a workout, too - we would swim or run or just let the current take us. I don't recall ever having so much fun and getting so tired at the same time!

The other area we went to over and over was Walkabout Waters. This section is for older kids like my son E. There's also a section for the little tykes called Kata's Kookaburra Cove, for children 5 and under. Walkabout Waters is large, has water spraying from every which way, and also has slides. My son didn't want to go on any of them at first; the height scared him. When J was finally able to join us, he took E with him and showed him it was nothing to be afraid of. Then we couldn't get E out of there! We spent 10 hours at the park the first day we went, and it seemed to go by too quickly. Of course when we got back to the hotel we practically passed out from exhaustion! The last day of our vacation we finished off at Aquatica as well. I don't remember hearing my hubby laugh as much in our entire marriage as he did the days we spent at Aquatica. He and A rode on more slides than I can count!

We visited Aquatica about 5 more times, sometimes for the whole day and other times for half the day after visiting another park. That's the advantage of the Orlando Flex ticket - it's a park hopper pass for Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, SeaWorld, Aquatica and Wet 'n Wild. We did go to Wet 'n Wild but were sadly disappointed. As my daughter pointed out, we might have liked Wet 'n Wild more if we hadn't been to Aquatica first. Wet 'n Wild was okay, but nothing compared to Aquatica. It had more family oriented areas, more stuff for older kids and pre-teens, more greenery just rocked! At the end of our vacation J asked about getting the annual pass for Aquatica - that's how much we loved it! I wouldn't mind visiting a few times a year. We went over and over and never got tired.

Aquatica gets two thumbs up, but we enjoyed lots more on our vacation. More to come!


Kristi Lea said...

I'm so jelous! Not really, I'm happy for you, and pray I can make it back to a water park in the future. They are absolutely one of my favorite places to go, and I haven't been since a teenager. I'm glad you put the camera down, and enjoyed yourself! Cameras and water fun don't mix! I'm so happy that you all had such a wonderful vacation, and I love the links!

Yaya Yarns said...

Looks like you had a wonderful time!