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It’s no secret that our family loves visiting water parks! On our recent Orlando trip we were so excited to finally visit H2O Live! This waterpark is actually located in Kissimmee, just south of Orlando. We had a great day at Island H2O Live, and I know you will too. Keep reading for my full waterpark review and tips for your next visit!
Island H2O Live Water Park Orlando Florida
Our family loves waterparks! Over the years we have been to Sesame Place, Aquatica Orlando, Splish Splash Long Island, Great Wolf Lodge in the Poconos, the Kartrite Resort and Indoor waterpark, and the waterpark at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point. This July, when spending a week in Orlando we decided to try Island H2O live because it was new-to-us and my cousin has annual passes. She told us we would have a blast at Island H2O and she was totally right.
What is Island H2O Live?
Island H2O Live is a waterpark located on the grounds of the Margaritaville Resort in Orlando (Kissimmee) Florida. The park opened in June 2019 and we loved the “online” theming of this thrilling water park. All of the attractions have social media based names (like Follow Me Falls and Profile Plunge), and when you enter you are given a wrist band you can use to interact with the attractions.
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Attractions at Island H2O Live
Island H2O Live is a waterpark with numerous thrill rides. Plan to spend the entire day at the water park. We arrived early, around 9am and left after 7pm! Two interludes for rain, but the kids spent many hours going on the water rides.
For the littlest ones, there are two splash park areas – one for really little guests (Candy Stripe Cove) and one that kids of any age will enjoy (Pelican’s Paradise). For all guests, there is also a lazy river (Chat Creek) and wave pool (Live! Lagoon).
Loyal readers know, lazy rivers and wave pools are where you will find me!
The other waterslides I would classify as more “thrill” than “chill” – which of course the kids loved!
There are eight thrill water rides, ranging from tube rides to free falls to head first racers. With the reduced capacity (due to COVID, see below), the lines were not too long and the kids could ride everything multiple times.
Visiting Island H2O Live without kids? There is an adults only area just for guests 21 and up! Here there is a swimming pool, cabanas for rent, and a bar.
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VISITING ISLAND H2O LIVE DURING THE COVID PANDEMIC
We visited in July 2020, during the Coronavirus Pandemic. At this time Island H2O Live had precautions in place to keep guests safe at the park. For example, they were limiting capacity at the park (which is why it is recommended to arrive early), they were sanitizing tubes after each ride, had a tube-less lazy river, and had one long queue for rides instead of side-by-side lines for attractions with the same set of stairs. Also, the drop slide was closed as a worker mentioned its one they cannot sanitize between use – unlike the tube slides. It was a little more crowded than we anticipated, but otherwise the park was clean and felt safe.
Tips for visiting Island H2O Live waterpark:
- Rent a cabana. At around $120, the cabanas are so affordable. Plus, you get locker rental and 4 bottles of water. You also get a food and drink server- and let me tell you, the line at the concession stand was long all day. Lastly, it’s Florida and it will probably rain at some point in the day. The cabana will provide much needed place to shelter from the rain. Cabanas seat 6, so grab another family and split the cost. I had really regretted not getting one!
If a cabana is not in your budget, at the very least, rent a locker when you arrive. This way you can keep your valuables safe while you are in the water.
- Download the Island H2O Live app and verify your profile BEFORE you go. I downloaded the app, but forgot to verify, so I had anxious kids ready to ride and collect points who had to impatiently wait for me to link their bands. The app was not the easiest to use, and you really don’t NEED it, but the kids loved scanning, getting points, and earning a free ice cream at the end of the day!
- Get a season pass. A season pass is only $25 more than a one day ticket (and you save $10 on the parking), so a no brainer if there is any chance you will visit twice in one year. If you are doing a one day ticket, definitely buy your ticket online before arriving. By doing so, you will save $5 a ticket, and time at the gate.
- Bring your own towels to Island H2O Live– they are not provided (although you can purchase in the gift shop).
- Life jackets are provided so you can leave yours at home.
- Bring snacks and drinks. According to the Island H2O Live website, one bottle of water per person is allowed, as is a small, soft sided cooler . We brought waters and juice boxes (one per person) and a few snacks. We definitely could have brought more. You can also bring a reusable water bottle and refill at the Coca-Cola freestyle machines. As for other food at Island H2O Live, you can purchase lunch at Megabytes (PS get a pretzel, worth the $7 overpriced tag but my whole family loved it!). The concession stand also had pizzas, burgers, chicken fingers and fries.
- Arrive early, maybe? On the day of our visit we arrived at 9am for a park opening of 10am. Because of limited capacity and additional screenings due to the pandemic, we figured we would go early. We were allowed in the park around 9:15, but the attractions didn’t open until 10 on the nose. But arriving early allowed us to get a good spot to sit, and walk around the park and scope out the rides!
- Parking costs $10 a car. This appears to be a recently added additional charge.
- Some attractions close early. On the day of our visit, the park “closed” at 9, but only the wave pool (see tip 10) is open from 7-9. The baby area closed at 5:30, and the rest of the slides at 7pm.
- Stay for the dive-in movie. On Friday nights a movie starts at 7 and plays on the screen behind the wave pool. On the night of our visit, they played the new Lion King. We watched for a bit- we had been there since 9am, so at one point it was time to finally go home!
We had a great day at Island H2O Live and my kids are of course asking to go back. I loved that hubby and I could chill in a lounge chair and the kids could navigate the park themselves – Island H2O Live is big enough to be really fun, but small enough that elementary age kids can go around by themselves. A day at the waterpark is a great way to beat the Florida heat and we definitely recommend adding a visit to your upcoming Orlando trip.
Have you been to Island H2O Live in Orlando? Does your family love waterparks as well?