Adventure Island and Aquatica Orlando are water-themed parks regarded as the best in their locality. But although Adventure Island is an adventure paradise, Aquatica offers more thrilling rides and attractions.
So, how do you pick one from the other?
This article outlines their key differences in attraction and rides, theming and atmosphere, pricing and value, crowd level versus wait times, and, most importantly, food and beverage options.
Here are the key differences between Adventure Island and Aquatica Orlando
Aquatica has the best attractions and is purely meant for leisure and swimming. However, it lacks the diversity of combining attractions, action, and fun for groups or families, which is Adventure Island’s advantage with its Harry Potter rides and exploration adventures in paradise.
Attraction and Rides
Adventure Island: Rides & Attractions
Named the “friendliest park in the world,” Adventure Island is the first of its kind. It combines an outdoor waterpark with an indoor adventure area making it the best destination for older kids and teens who enjoy the bull ride and those seeking adventure based on exploration and teamwork.
Opened in 1976, the laid-back tropical park operates year-round with 36 attractions, including 5 roller coasters and long white swirling water rides.
Unlike Aquatica Orlando, which is divided into specific areas, Adventure Island is separated into the East and the West sides of the pier, with the middle, dubbed “the Adventure Island,” bearing a 5-story soft-play center, 4 rides, and 1 cafe.
One of the notable and exclusive water attractions is the Fox Revolution ride which has people fixated on, especially the part where the ride comes through the caves at the night watch tower.
The five roller coasters include the green scream, which was once the park’s signature feature, the barnstormer, the mighty mini mega, kiddi koasta (children’s), and the rage which is now the biggest investment and the main star attraction.
It is 75 feet in height (23m), with a 97-degree drop, a vertical lift hill and loop, zero-g rolls, and tight turns.
Their rides, however, are restricted to 1 meter, 1.2 meters, and 1.3 meters in height.
1-meter high rides include;
- The cow jump
- Drop n’ smile
- The dragon, and
- The pirate plunge, all of which are operational.
The 1.2-meter rides are;
- Devil’s Dance
- The creature
- Pharaoh’s fury
- Ramba Zamba
- Sky drop
- Tidal wave blue
- Tidal wave green, and
- The time machine.
Adventureville, American whip, big wheel, carousel, city wheel, crooked house, and dune buggies are some rides with no minimum height.
Aquatica Orlando: Rides & Attractions
Aquatica Orlando has time and again been named one of the “best waterparks in the country” courtesy of its whimsical experience of high-speed thrills, which offers a variety of riding, climbing, and swimming.
Crazy enough, it achieved immediate success on its grand opening in 2008 with its iconic Dolphin plunge water slides, up-close animal experience, and relaxing artificial white sandy beaches spanning 80,000 sq. feet and equipped with sun beds, deck chairs, and umbrellas.
Set in a natural environment, the southern pacific themed park is divided into four sections. The Volcano Adventure Island, Sea World, Indoor Water Park, and White Water World.
The park has two wave pools body or matt slides, including Reef Plunge, Ihu’s Breakaway Falls, and Taumata Racer, featuring a wide range of attractions for everyone, especially those with swimming abilities Whanau Way, Tassie Twisters, Riptide Race, Omaka Rocka.
Multi-family raft slides include; Walhalla Wave, Ray Rush, Karekare Curl, and the Riptide Race.
But some of Aquatica’s best features, which many visitors enjoy, is the lazy river, which features the Roa’s Rapids and the Loggerhead Lane.
Otherwise, two wave pools (Cutback Cove and Big Surf Shores) plus two designated young children’s areas, Kata’s Kookaburra Cove featuring smaller slides, and Walkabout Waters, a play fortress, sums up Aquatica Orlando.
Evaluation: Aquatica Orlando has the best thrilling water activities; unless that is all you seek for your vacation, a fun-filled adventure and action plus water activities at the Adventure Island could prove much better.
Theming and Atmosphere
Contrary to careful designing and consistent theming in other theme parks, adventure island is a mish-mash of popular properties, with generic adventure themes plastered randomly on its walls.
They include the beautiful work of Harry Potter, Jurassic World, Marvel Comics, Port of Entry, and the Lost Continent.
Outside of that, though, the rest of the park is quite functional and holds its own regarding its diversity of rides.
Being an underwater theme park, the Aquatica Orlando, famed for its unique and fascinating attractions, has its walkways and water walls designed in the most attractive and prominent illustrations featuring colorful mosaics that reflect different cultures in different historical locations times.
These works of art include Dubai’s rich Arab heritage, while the Japanese walls borrow heavily from the Kyoto Castle, which extends to the food court, the food, plus the table service. Of course, with a little bit of aquatics
Evaluation: If you are a stickler for carefully organized designs, then the Island of Adventure’s inconsistent aesthetics will not offer you the atmosphere you need for your vacation, but Aquatica Orlando, with its work of precision, will be your hallmark of true beauty.
Pricing and Value
Adventure Island single-day ticket for a person aged three and above is around $48.36, and an E-ticket valid for one visit expires precisely one year from the day of purchase.
On the other hand, Aquatica Orlando’s single-day ticket plus a meal voucher goes for around $125.65; based on online reviews, supposedly operational rides are partially open.
Aquatica Orlando leads as the park with top-notch attractions but is expensive in terms of value for money.
Some online comments complain that paying $30 for an open parking lot instead of a multi-level parking garage is outrageous.
Evaluation: Value for money is essential, and while ticket fee does not include parking, Adventure Island seems to be better organized in their pricing and value, unlike Aquatica, whose hype for the unique thrills inside the park has their revelers complaining because of short expectations.
Crowd Level Verses Wait Times
Both Adventure Island and Aquatica Orlando have hectic schedules, predominantly afternoons and weekends.
Weekday mornings are, therefore, the best times to visit long before the crowds surge and waiting in lines, whether in water rides or restaurants, gets insane.
Evaluation: Aquatica, out of the attractions they offer, has more crowds and long lines, which can only be eased through technology so that whoever comes first gets served first. Otherwise, crowds are expected in both parks, and revelers must blend in and enjoy despite the challenge.
Food and Beverage Options
Food from outside is strictly prohibited, but several cafes and restaurants in both parks offer everyday foods for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, in terms of pizzas and so forth.
For visitors who want to order more than just basic food, there is an extensive menu with various food items that will suit their needs.
Evaluation: Aquatica Orlando, because of its expansiveness and different environments, offers a wider variety of food in different locations to cater to the number of people that need such services.
And unlike Adventure Island, where people complain of inadequate sitting arrangements, Aquatic offers a place to sit, relax and catch your breath while enjoying the spectacular view of the place while eating or snacking away.
There seems to be a mix of reviews on both Adventure Island and Aquatica Orlando concerning ticketing and parking, customer care, food pricing, rides that should be working but are not, long waiting lines, and poor technology use, among others.
But amidst all that, plenty of people visited either of the parks and got the treat of their lives. Regardless, plan to visit on weekdays since the number of people on weekends makes the parks too crowded, resulting in long waiting lines.