- Bio | E-mail | Recent columns
- Dry approach to water-park planning
- Pictures: Rating Central Florida's Water Rides
- Pictures: Orlando water parks
- Pictures: SeaWorld Orlando's Aquatica water park
- Pictures: Wet 'n Wild Orlando through the years
- Pictures: Typhoon Lagoon water park at Walt Disney World
See more photos »
- Amusement and Theme Parks
- Tourism and Leisure
- Theme Park Vacations
See more topics »
•A stand-out for Aquatica is Roa's Rapids, also known as "the crazy river." We suggest grabbing a life vest, lifting feet and going with the flow.
•A recurring theme for its slides is enclosed beginnings. Don't worry. Just glide toward the light.
•Nail-biters are rare here, but there are thrills with the Taumata Racer, a face-first downhill mat ride, and the popular Dolphin Plunge. (Our advice: Check out the dolphins after the ride.)
•More soothing is Tassie's Twisters, which sends you tubing down into a bowl, then into lazier river Loggerhead Lane.
•Did someone say all-you-can eat? Banana Beach Cookout puts out a spread, buffet-style, and it includes a full day of soft drinks.
Details: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily; off BeachLine Expressway at Interstate 4 southwest of Orlando; $47.99 adults, $41.99 ages 3-9; 407-351-3600, AquaticaBySeaWorld.com.
The theming is a foot-deep at this Disney World park. Its story is set in post-freak-snowstorm Florida.
•The intriguing ski lift has dual purposes: Transport folks to the top of Summit Plummet and establish a ski-resort atmosphere.
•Theming continues into the children's area called Ski Patrol Training Camp. Kids maneuver themselves across iceberg floats with ropes.
•Overall, the intensity level of the rides is lower than at sister park, Typhoon Lagoon.
•There's seating — and wet folks — everywhere, but for a more secluded spot, try the sandy cul-de-sacs behind the mountain.
•Miniature-golf course Winter Summerland is next door. You won't even need a snowmobile to get there.
Details: 9 a.m.-8 p.m. daily; off Buena Vista Drive near Disney's Hollywood Studios; $46 adults, $40 ages 3-9, free age 2 and younger; 407-824-4321; DisneyWorld.com.
Disney's older water park, near Downtown Disney, has a lush, established feel.