Whether you’re looking to learn how to wakeboard, traverse twisty water slides or take a dip with dolphins, Orlando is the spot to do it.
And despite Florida’s reputation for heat and humidity, it’s sometimes too chilly during a Central Florida winter — when it can dip into the 40s and 50s overnight — to enjoy these particular elements to their utmost.
That’s why the off-season, from late summer through late fall, is the ideal time to indulge in water park whims. From indoor water sports complexes to Diamond Resorts’ own properties and parks, here are a few ways to splash around Orlando this summer — beyond the obvious Walt Disney World® attractions.
Shred Waves in a Unique Way
With the opening of the Orlando Watersports Complex, one of the most unique ways to enjoy controlled water sports has arrived in Orlando. Part of the facility is devoted to teaching riders how to wakeboard while holding on to overhead cables (as opposed to being pulled behind a boat).
While the activity is an enormously popular option among serious wakeboarders, who practice here to prep for competitions, don’t be intimated; the OWC brings enjoyment at all skill levels. You’ll find plenty of first-timers taking beginner lessons.
If you’ve got young children, or wakeboarding just isn’t your jam, venture around the OWC’s other offerings: the inflatable Aquapark obstacle course, a boat lake and a paddleboard area that’s specifically designed for family fun. (Note: Aquapark requires children be at least 6 years old, and is closed between November and February.)
For particularly young kids (as well as adult LEGO lovers), LEGOLAND® Water Park in nearby Winter Haven is another stellar option. The park is ideal for pint-sized tots since water levels are kept on the low end, which means even toddlers are safe to stand in the shallows. Here, wee ones can build and float on boats and rafts, slide down animal-shaped tubes with buddies in tow and enjoy interactive water play to their heart’s content.
Slip and Slide
When staying at Cypress Pointe Resort in the heart of Orlando’s tourist district, you won’t have to venture far to find water-related thrills. The resort’s pool features a water-shooting volcano and tubular water slides, which tempt every age group to enjoy hours upon hours of family fun in the sun.
When you do make it beyond the convenient waters of the resort, head to another volcano nearby: Universal’s Volcano Bay™. In addition to amazing rides, the park has instituted a TapuTapu wristband. This waterproof, virtual pass holds your place in line and alerts you when it’s your turn, so you can wander around and explore other amenities or simply relax on Waturi Beach or in a rented private cabana. It’s a genius way to ensure you don’t waste a second of your precious Orlando vacation waiting in line.
Swim with Dolphins
For even more Orlando immersion, make plans to swim with dolphins, snorkel with stingrays or wear a dive helmet and walk underwater at Discovery Cove. On-site eco-adventures also include other wildlife encounters such as feeding parrots and activities that are suitable for even the youngest members of the family.
There are plenty of ways to explore the Cove’s many lagoons and waterfalls and get your tan on afterward on the white-sand beaches. Perhaps the most appealing element about Discovery Cove is that it’s all-inclusive, which means that items ranging from food to gear (towels, snorkel masks and more) are included in the price of admission. Diamond Resorts members and guests can receive special deals on Discovery Cove passes through Florida Ticket Station.
Awaken Your Senses
Parents with children who have special needs might want to check out Aquatica Orlando. The first park in the city to collaborate with The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards, Aquatica is now a Certified Autism Center. In addition to the usual thrill rides, wave pools and splash-down features — including slides that curl like a huge, Hawaiian surfing wave or plunge you through a dolphin enclosure — the park includes a certified staff, a quiet room and a low-sensory area.
Finally, return to the family-friendly Grand Beach on Little Lake Bryan for some time in the resort’s extensive outdoor pool and whirlpool area. You can also hang out in the hammocks by the lake, or even take out a canoe and cast a line. You may or may not hook your dinner, but you will certainly catch some outstanding relaxation.
Can’t wait to get your feet wet? Start planning your Florida summer vacation by perusing Diamond Resorts Orlando properties today.
Diamond Resorts International Marketing, Inc., its parents, sister companies, and subsidiaries, make no warranty, express or implied, as to the condition, capacity, performance or any other aspect of the activities, events, or service providers listed herein. No inquiry has been made into the activities or events, or the qualifications or the quality of services offered by the providers. Do not consider this an endorsement of or recommendation for any of the activities, events, or providers.