Most of us would agree that one of the best ways to beat the Florida heat this summer is at a waterpark. Sliding around, floating through endless lazy rivers, and generally splashing to our hearts content; it doesn’t get much better than that.

Located only a few hours up Florida’s Turnpike is one of the greatest waterpark meccas in the world, where you can choose from five major parks, and several smaller ones to get your splash on.

Recently, Palm Beach Happening spent a warm summer’s day exploring Aquatica®, SeaWorld’s Waterpark®. The park features some of the world’s most thrilling water rides, featuring 42 slides, rivers and lagoons, and 84,000 square feet of sparkling white, sandy beaches and breathtaking animal exhibits. Though not as large as the Disney Parks, it does have something for everyone to enjoy, and provides enough watery fun to spend most of the day. Keep in mind, however, that it has been filling to capacity recently, so the trick is to arrive early, and pack your patience!

The park is probably best known for Ihu’s Breakaway Falls, where you experience Orlando’s tallest, steepest, and only multi-drop tower slide of its kind as the sun sets across the Orlando skyline. After climbing 80 feet into the air, guests step into one of three breakaway boxes anxiously waiting to see who will drop next as part of this wild ride. It also features the Dolphin Plunge, where you slide in almost total darkness before reaching a clear section, travelling through a pod of four Comerson’s Dolphins. How cool is that?

They are also one of the few parks in the country with twin wave pools, and also have two river rides; a lazy river and a fast river. Although the lazy river gets you a close-up view of the dolphins, as well as some amazing tropical fish, our favorite river is the fast one; Roa’s Rapids. Be sure to check it out!

New this year, guests can ride more slides and save time with Quick Queue at Aquatica. With Quick Queue, guests can skip the regular lines and enjoy front-of-the line access to six of the most popular water-slides including Ihu’s Breakaway Falls, Taumata Racer and Omaka Rocka. Quick Queue is available online for as low as $15, and with the park reaching capacity lately, it might be a good idea. Keep in mind that the prices are throttled depending on how busy they are!

Taking place every Friday and Saturday night through August 6, guests can enjoy an evening celebration of summer with Island Nights presented by Coca-Cola®, which includes extended park hours, a daily happy hour from 5 p.m. to park close, an evening menu sizzlin’ with flavor at Waterstone Grill and an evening kick-off party with a DJ and dancers. Event included with park admission to Aquatica. As we arrived early in the day, shortly after opening, we didn’t get to enjoy the evening activities. However, it would probably be cool to slide in the dark, don’t you agree?

Guests can enjoy Island Nights for just $38 when they buy their tickets in advance online, a $20 savings off of general admission. Guests can also visit both Aquatica and SeaWorld for only $99 with the Choose Your Adventure 2-parks ticket option.

For more information, park hours and to purchase tickets, visit Events and times are subject to change. Follow Aquatica on Facebook and Instagram for the latest Island Nights information. Join the conversation with #Aquatica and #IslandNights.

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