Cool It: Orlando Water Parks, Pools, and Splash Pads
By: Christie Cronan
Summer weather in Orlando can get downright toasty. So it's no wonder that tourists and locals alike seek out places to cool off during the warmest months of the year. From water parks to hotel pools to splash pads, Orlando offers plenty of cooling water fun for families. Here’s a list for every family budget:
Where else in Florida can you cool off in snow? One of the most unique water parks in Florida, if not the world, Walt Disney World's Blizzard Beach Water Park offers everything your family could want in water fun, complete with a wintry wonderland.
The entire locale is winter-themed to the max -- including snowmen, ice sculptures, frozen ice caps and ski slopes.
Blizzard Beach is packed with water slides set on top of mountain slopes -- from the easy "bunny slopes" to the towering iconic 120-foot drop Summit Plummet.
SeaWorld Orlando's Aquatica Water Park offers a blend of animal encounters and water rides for everyone in the family.
The Dolphin's Plunge ride lets guests zoom by Commerson's Dolphins through see-through water tubes. You can also lazily float by tropical fish at Loggerhead Lane, and get up close to an African Spurred Tortoise.
There are plenty of thrills to experience on Aquatica's many water slides. Let's not forget the littlest splashers. Kata's Kookaburra Cove offers some of the best slides and splash areas for little ones. Walkabout Waters offers a giant multi-level waterworks experience, with two tipping buckets, multiple slides and many mazes of water fun.
Hotel Pools & Water Parks
Water parks aren't the only places to cool off in Orlando. Orlando's hotels also offer amazing water attractions, all on-property. Gaylord Palms Hotel's Cypress Springs Water Park offers one of our family-favorite hotel pool areas. The zero-entry swimming pools offer splash areas for both the littlest guests and the biggest.
There are four water slides, a multi-level waterworks play area, complete with a huge tipping bucket and a perfect wading area for babies and toddlers, too.Here are some of our family's other favorite Orlando hotels with family pools and water parks:
- Disney's Yacht Club Resort
- Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World
- Coco Key Hotel and Water Park
- Holiday Inn Club Vacations Orlando - Orange Lake Resort
- Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa (Three words: gigantic pirate ship)
- Cabana Bay Beach Resort
I am a BIG fan of splash pads in Orlando. They're refreshing, fun and most important, free (or almost free).
These areas offer tons of great water features, from waterfalls to fountains. Here are some of our favorite Orlando splash pads:
- Downey Park Splash Pad, East Orlando
- Fort Mellon Splash Pad, Sanford
- City of Oviedo Splash Zone, Oviedo
- Torcaso Park Splash Pad, Winter Springs
- Bithlo Splash Pad, Bithlo
- Capehart Park, Orlando
- Dr. P. Phillips Community Park, West Orlando
- Splash Pad at Trailblazer Park, Lake Mary
- Shady Park Splash Pad, Winter Park
I couldn't resist adding one more popular Orlando water park to the list. Typhoon Lagoon, another Disney-themed water park, offers families some of the most popular water park attractions in the area.
Where else can you snorkel with the sharks, included with your admission price? Other notable water rides include the iconic Surf Pool with huge crashing waves, multiple water slides and a multi-tiered kiddie area at Ketchakiddie Creek.
Photos by Christie Cronan for VISIT FLORIDA