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Are you visiting Aquatica and have small kids in tow? I am happy to tell you that Aquatica is great if you have younger children! Thanks to great Orlando weather, you can visit Aquatica on most days throughout the year. For you parents out there, here is my guide to Aquatica with toddlers!
Strict Outside Food and Beverage Policy
Just like SeaWorld, Aquatica is pretty strict when it comes to bringing outside food and drinks. You are only allowed to bring bottled water and small, snack-sized items. It’s pretty annoying, especially because we are used to the Disney theme parks, which allow you to bring pretty much an entire picnic lunch.
What is doubly annoying is that what constitutes a “snack item” is subjective and completely at the discretion of the staff. Some are stricter than others. In my experience, I had packed one slice of chocolate bread (my son’s favorite snack) in a Zip-Loc and was told by the girl checking my bags that this is “not allowed” because “it’s a sandwich,” but that she’ll “allow it just this one time.” It’s ONE piece of dessert bread with chocolate chunks in it for crying out loud.
Needless to say, now we just play it safe by packing only unopened, store-bought, pre-packaged, obvious snacks. Think like those little snack-sized bags of chips, granola bars, etc. Since then, we have not had any issues.
You are allowed to bring in all the baby formula and baby food you want, however. They also have a tiny picnic area near the parking lot, but generally if you plan on spending the entire day at Aquatica without leaving, expect to buy food at one of the restaurants in the park.
Plenty of Life Vests
Aquatica makes safety its number one priority, and it is obvious. Not only are there lifeguards everywhere, but they require all guests under 48″ to wear life vests on most attractions. These life vests are readily available throughout the park and are free of charge. Just look for them!
There are plenty of jackets for guests of all shapes and sizes. They even have infant sizes for the smallest guests. Get there early and grab some for your family as availability quickly dwindles down throughout the day, especially during the busy summer months.
Get There Early to Get an Umbrella
We were there right when the park opened, so were able to grab a couple of lounge chairs under an umbrella. There was plenty to go around, but it was not a super busy day either.
In the summer months or during holidays, especially if you get there late, it will be much harder to find an open chair, and even more an umbrella. With an energetic two-year-old, I don’t/can’t really lounge around much anyway, so if I couldn’t find a spot, I would probably just park my stroller in a corner and pile all my things on it, then go swimming. A chair or two should open up eventually. They have umbrellas for rent as well, but I say just get there early so you can get a prime spot and have no issues.
A fun play area at Aquatica is Walkabout Waters, located at the right-most edge of the park. Built to resemble a colorful fortress, the little ones will have a great time splashing around and playing with the fountains. The maximum depth in the play area section is only 1 foot 3 inches. We played mostly in the shallow parts because my son got terrified of the huge bucket of water that overturns when it fills up and throws a massive amount of water on the people below!
Kata’s Kookaburra Cove
Kata’s Kookaburra Cove is what I recommend if you are going to Aquatica with toddlers! This attraction was made specifically for young children, and the maximum water depth is 18 inches. Children must be under 48″ to play here, but this rule is not really enforced. I still have to watch out for bigger kids running over my son and niece.
There is even a first-timer’s water slide! After seeing other kids going down the slide, my son decided he was ready to try it too! There’s a lifeguard at the top of the slide and also at the bottom, so I felt very safe. I walked up to the top with my son and had my sister wait at the bottom of the slide to catch him. My son loved it! He went down the water slide multiple times that day!
My son and niece love Kata’s Kookaburra Cove, and we always spend the majority of our day here.
Tip for nursing mothers: If you are a nursing mother, there is a nursing room to the right of the women’s bathrooms at Kata’s Kookaburra Cove.
Have a Fun, Relaxing Time!
I did not expect to spend the entire day from open to close at Aquatica, but the kids just had so much fun! If you have young children, I highly recommend visiting Aquatica. We can’t wait to go back and are already planning our next trip!
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