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Volcano Bay

Discussion in 'Universal Orlando' started by Mike C, May 28, 2015.

  1. TJ Vazquez

    TJ Vazquez Well-Known Member

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    I'm not really a Water Park guy (had a ton of bad experiences through the years) but this park makes me what to at the very least spend a few hours and explore.
     
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  2. Quinnmac000

    Quinnmac000 Well-Known Member

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    11 Slides are heavily themed, 2 river attractions are highly themed, three kids area heavily themed and the volcano which houses 9 slides. So if 14 of the 18 advertised attractions are heavily story focused that already puts it over those at other parks and the slides that aren't as well themed are all attention grabbers by the road as all of them are also the higher thrill slides. Thrillseekers will want to come and go down thrillings slides, theming people will be shocked by the 14 story based attractions and enjoying that once that get inside. Its a win for everyone.
     
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  3. sedati

    sedati Well-Known Member

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    I agree that as a collection of new slides, this park looks great. Theme is fine, though from the outset I never understood why they would do a volcano theme as there is another one down the way. And the volcano is what I'm most critical of. The detail looks fairly low as far as the rock-work craftsmanship goes. As more and more scaffolding comes down I keep thinking this looks like a giant rotted out tree trunk. The volcano look really only works from one side. Still think this will be a world class waterpark and if it causes the others to up there game, then it's more than a good thing.
     
  4. rushtest4echo

    rushtest4echo Well-Known Member

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    14 of the 18 attractions are not highly themed. That's just an outright lie. In fact, the opposite is a much closer number. I get that you work there or something, but the majority of Volcano Bay's slides will compare with Aquatica. Aquatica's slides have cute names tooand some generic island theme but they're not "heavily story focused" and neither are the majority at VB. And much like Aquatica's headliner body slides, the two drop slides at VB will probably send you through anything special so quickly that it's rendered useless. Still holding out hope that the hydromagnetic will be a world beater though, and I hope I'm wrong about the body slides in the volcano. The lazy river looks fab too, but again I'm not sure it'll be any more impressive that Aquatica's lazy river, or the one at Atlantis, or a few in the Middle East. It'll be great though, just not "industry changing". Everything else is something I've ridden elsewhere. Same light theming, same basic story, same slide, same lack of any theming throughout the ride itself. Not that there's anything wrong with that, it's the industry standard. But that's the thing, some people are convinced that this is creating a new standard in the industry, they feel VB is going to be the Wizarding World of Water Parks, and it's just not going to be.

    Then again, if perception trumps reality- then Universal's done a great job at creating the perception that this park is worthy of being considered above any class of water parks before it. That's complete hogwash, but again they've seemed to done a bang up PR job to convince people that it's going to be a world beater. Either way, it'll still be a great park that I intend to visit as a guest ASAP (though I've already seen enough of the park not as a guest to know that it's not some mindblowingly amazing water park in comparison to others around the world or even down the street). Anyone who's walked the place (myself included) and has seen what the water park industry offers elsewhere will not conclude that this park is head and shoulders above the industry's other offerings.

    This is sort of like a Six Flags/Cedar Fair vs Universal/Disney argument in the theme park realm. Sure, VB will totally outclass a Six Flags type waterpark, but it's not going to outclass a Disney type waterpark and it's certainly not going to one up everyone in the way that Potter did.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2017
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  5. rushtest4echo

    rushtest4echo Well-Known Member

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    Wish they'd build one of these in the US! Universal would actually "upend" stuff if they had one of these. ;)

    Not really, I mean that's insane, but still......
     
  6. rushtest4echo

    rushtest4echo Well-Known Member

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    That's not a quote of his...

    Visit Yas Waterworld, Atlantis and Wild Wadi- they're all within a two hour drive of each other (yes, on the other side of the globe, but still) and two or all three of them are easily more impressive than Volcano Bay. It's not even a debate.

    Each of those parks has a package of slides similar to VB (atlantis is a bit light on slides, but the ones they have are spectacular) but they're all much better integrated into the theme and landscape of the park. No towers sticking up with slides attached...

    Plenty of waterparks under construction in China will completely blow away any US water park in terms of theming and slide collection as well. There are almost too many to count!
     
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  7. flynnibus

    flynnibus Well-Known Member

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    Why compare to dak? Jus compare to the other two water parks in town that are tropical settings. Discovery cove...and TL.

    Discovery cove is awesome for what they accomplish given their location.
     
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  8. rushtest4echo

    rushtest4echo Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. Though Aquatica is practically the same theme as well- as are countless other water parks.

    I doesn't need to be (and isn't going to be) as immersive as AK- because there are like 2 other parks on earth as immersive as AK. Based on a walk though VB and my familiarity with the other Orlando water parks, it'll be top of the pack for most people. Theming and immersion wise, probably not. But the slide selection is excellent and the theming is great where it's present.
     
  9. rushtest4echo

    rushtest4echo Well-Known Member

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    Ah yes, the sage advise of cliche's from some high school book club.

    And does anyone really use their true birthdate on message boards?

    Do I often give my opinion on unfinished projects? I'm stating that VB's offerings will be excellent (though not much beyond what other parks offer), and that the theming isn't going to surpass the rest of the industry, or even local parks. That isn't something that needs to be seen in a finalized state for me to comment on. It's not some big secret that Universal's using the only plot of land that they have and they're making the best of it for the price that they wanted to pay (which is not the amount of money showered on water park designers elsewhere in the world right now, I can assure you of that).

    For all intents and purposes, Volcano Bay is done. Yes, they need to finish everything and install pathways/lighting. But it's obvious what the place has to offer. It's a great park too. As far as finishing some plaster work and planting trees- yes that's obviously going to help the park out a lot. It's not going to apply themes where they don't exist. "Wait till it's done" doesn't apply to slide towers next to a freeway on one side or a 6 lane highway on the other and whether or not they'll have an immersive story/feel.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2017
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  10. raven

    raven Well-Known Member

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    Universal has done an excellent job creating 18 attractions in the small space that they were limited to, all of which looks very alluring from the outside.

    As for the "lack of theming" does it really matter? I don't think anyone is going to walk away from there complaining about minimal theming when they walk out. If they do then they already came there with a grudge.
     
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  11. JoeCamel

    JoeCamel Well-Known Member

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    Taken yesterday by bioreconstruct and cleaned up in Photoshop by Scott Walker

    Presented for your enjoyment

    vb night.jpg
     
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  12. Bairstow

    Bairstow Well-Known Member

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    After that state representative's kid got decapitated by the one in Kansas, I think we've seen the last new airtime slide in the US for a long while.
     
  13. rushtest4echo

    rushtest4echo Well-Known Member

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    Back to Volcano Bay in the appropriate venue:

    Those who feel Volcano Bay is some paradigm shift in the water park industry, and feel that sets itself apart from other parks by having the newest versions of slides that have been offered in the catalog for years, having wave pool tech from the 1980's, having night time entertainment, bars & drinks, projection shows and interactive wristbands are:

    Ill-informed
    Universal fanboys
    Haven't taken a look around the industry
    Looking for anything to substantiate their notion that Disney is now 'behind Universal'

    and we've established that some people definitely meet at least the first criteria when they think those things are innovation. :p:p:p
     
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  14. RMichael21

    RMichael21 Well-Known Member

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    Everyone's entitled to their own opinion, for some this may be something they've never experienced before so therefore they're excited about it.
     
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  15. rushtest4echo

    rushtest4echo Well-Known Member

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    No doubt, I'm excited to see it! But to never have experienced something is not the mark of something that is innovative. The discussion keeps trending towards this notion because it's being compared to the WDW water parks and instead of comparing their offerings, many people seem to be stating (including Universal's marketing) that things at Volcano Bay have never been done before and are industry firsts. So much so that this isn't even a water park, but really much closer to a theme park. Not even a themed water park, which has existed since Typhoon Lagoon, but a new type of park with unique technology and offerings that sets itself apart from any other water park. This is not the case.
     
  16. RMichael21

    RMichael21 Well-Known Member

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    And I see your point. However, I honestly do believe that many aspects of Volcano Bay are very innovative. Tapu Tapu for example, has never really been done before (at least a paid version for each guest and not a up-charge Fastpass-type system). The fact that there'll be very few lines is also a first as a result of this system. In addition, I know of very few water parks that have conveyor belts at every slide. The water coaster itself seems pretty inventive, with an actual station where you start and end, instead of dropping into a pool below.

    Now let me just say, I love Universal and I love Disney equally, but for different reasons. Comparing the innovative-ness of Volcano Bay and Typhoon Lagoon/Blizzard Beach is comparing apples to oranges. What was considered innovative then is completely different now. What Volcano Bay is doing is taking what was innovative back when Typhoon Lagoon opened and improving upon it, as well as introducing new ideas. :)
     
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  17. Casper Gutman

    Casper Gutman Well-Known Member

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    Hey, guess I'm ill-informed, but I'm always open to new info! What other water parks feature night time entertainment, projection shows, and interactive wristbands?
     
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  18. JT3000

    JT3000 Well-Known Member

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    Please give us a detailed explanation for why this is not the case, since you've obviously visited the park already. Lucky you.

    And if you can convince me that Volcano Bay fails to innovate because some obscure park on the other side of the world already did all these things that Universal's actual competitors have not, I promise to send them a harshly worded e-mail petitioning for its immediate demolition... or something. :cautious:
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
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  19. rushtest4echo

    rushtest4echo Well-Known Member

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    I apologize for the length of this post. But people seem to require more information to understand that many of these things have been present in industry for a long time. They're not firsts...


    The exact same system (though an earlier version of the tech), has been there for quite some time. Same company even.

    Wristband reservations at water parks have been done by a number of companies, the most famous being Lo-Q (now called Accesso), which Universal already had a relationship with, and has used their products in the past. Their QBand product wasn't even the first to market in 2010 though. Fort Rapids Waterpark used RFID wristbands for payments back in 2006. Still, Accesso's technology is what's being used here. It contains a "tap point" where reservations would be made on an attraction, and the return time is shown on an LCD very similar to the one Universal is using in their Tapu Tapu (which is merely an updated version of QBand called Prism). Six Flags has been using this system in several of their water parks for 5 or 6 years now. These bands have cashless payments and can open lockers as well. Other clients that have been using this exact same system include Dollywood's waterpark, Wet 'n Wild Vegas, Schlitterbahn, and several smaller US based parks.

    [​IMG]
    Universal's Tapu Tapu

    [​IMG]
    The underlying tech. Has been used at parks since 2011. Universals "innovation" regarding this product seems to be that they're using it to completely eliminate queues. We will see how that works out, but yes I'll give them credit for that attempt. But the product and the system aren't innovative at all. A Six Flags park 7 hours away has been using the same thing for 6 years. The cashless payment system has been in place at parks across the country using these wristbands for almost as long.

    A more rudimentary version of this system has been in use at Great Wolf Lodge's across the US for a long time as well (some of the older lodges don't use these, but the ones built in the last 5 years mostly do).
    [​IMG]
    This system stores waterpark access, opens hotel doors, does cashless payments, and even triggers "hidden" show elements and interactive stuff. Unfortunately, the vast majority of "triggered effects" have broken and were never fixed as Great Wolf has switched vendors and technologies. They rolled out a new wristband tech last summer using Heroncore's technology, which didn't go too well, and it appears that in 2017 they'll be using yet another vendor. Hopefully they'll restore the broken interactive elements at some point when they settle on a tech that they'll use long term. According to a vendor, Pocano's Great Wolf still has their "storybook adventure", though the RFID tech is embedded in a stuffed animal outside the water park po

    And from the other thread is:
    [​IMG]
    At Yas Waterworld, their system does not use an LCD, but functions as a virtual queue, cashless payment, opens lockers, and interacts with show elements/objects around the park. Yes, this park is halfway around the world, it's one of three Middle Eastern parks that are very well known in the industry for being the best, regardless of whether or not the ill-informed understand that fact- it's not disputed among people who know much about water parks. Saying it's some obscure park doesn't negate anything. If you think Yas is obscure, you don't know the industry, period.

    As far as nighttime entertainment, Aquatica's Island Nights (as well as Adventure Island) both have live entertainment throughout the evening (hey, the same tired Polynesian theme too- just like Volcano Bay). As far as multimedia displays, the US is surely light on that if they exist at all. However, I have a colleague who has done projection shows in water parks eleswhere. I asked him for a quick list off of the top of his head that he or someone he knew had worked on as far as night time entertainment/projection shows and he replied with Asia- India (Blue World, Vismaya, ), Indonesia (Jogja), China (Chimelong's many parks), Phillipines (JPark), and Europe- (Italy) Etnaland, (Portugal) Slide & Splash, Russia (H20), Czechia (Aquapalace). There are probably lots of other examples floating around Youtube especially if you search in the local language. Heck, even Efteling licenses out their projection mapping tech to water parks for usage in night time shows in Belgium and France.

    Not sure what else I can say. Volcano Bay will be excellent. It will bring some new slide technology to the US, as well as projection shows, live entertainment and some really great theming. I hope the shops and food are a step ahead of current offerings as someone alluded to. I hope there's a dark ride element on the headliner slide, but that's been done at several water parks as well (including one in Colorado). i'm looking forward to seeing Americans experience a park that looks very much at the level of the top water parks on earth. The combination of all of their various so-called innovations will make it the park to beat certainly in Orlando. But again, yes you're quite ill-informed if you believe that Volcano Bay separates itself from the offerings at the world's other great water parks- and none of them has gone to the lengths of saying "this isn't a water park, this is something new entirely that nobody's ever seen before, it's so much more than just a water park." There are examples of all of the things Universal is doing scattered across the globe. A combination of those elements will make Universal's water park wonderful, and it'll be right up there with the tops. But it's not even industry leading, let alone on a separate plane from the rest of the industry.

    If you want to say that Volcano Bay is Orlando's most innovative water park, I concur. If you want to say it's the US's most innovative water park, I mostly agree. If you want to say that it's the world's most innovative water park, then you're ill-informed. Simple as that. Going by the logic that VB is innovative in comparison to similar parks in it's home market is fine, but Universal's marketing this place as a quantum leap in water parks. Maybe it is for Orlando, and maybe even the US in general if you'd like to look at it that way. The points I (and several others) have been making is that for the most part, these are upgraded offerings that exist elsewhere- and in many cases they're actually standard offerings compared to the actual innovations in the water park industry.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
  20. rushtest4echo

    rushtest4echo Well-Known Member

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    I don't see how any of what you said correlates to the information of mine that you quoted. Did you even read what you quoted?
    What you quoted was:
    - I'm excited to see it!
    - But to never have experienced something is not the mark of something that is innovative.
    - The discussion keeps trending towards this notion because it's being compared to the WDW water parks and instead of comparing their offerings, many people seem to be stating (including Universal's marketing) that things at Volcano Bay have never been done before and are industry firsts. So much so that this isn't even a water park, but really much closer to a theme park. Not even a themed water park, which has existed since Typhoon Lagoon, but a new type of park with unique technology and offerings that sets itself apart from any other water park. This is not the case.

    I don't need to convince you that some obscure park has done these things. What I've stated is that in comparison to Disney's offerings, yes Universal is clearly ahead of them, as should be expected for a park being built decades later. What I pointed out is that regardless of Universal's marketing, the "innovation" in Volcano Bay is largely standard or a newer model with slight upgrades in the industry (other than eliminating queues). It may be the latest and greatest, but simply because you buy a 2017 Toyota with a back up camera doesn't mean Toyota is innovating since Mazda doesn't have a back up camera- if much of the industry already uses backup cameras. But what Universal is doing is equivalent to saying "this Camry has blind spot monitoring, side airbags, a backup camera, and heated seats- it's a game changer and we struggle to even define this thing as a mid-size sedan anymore, because the offerings as just so superior to all other midsize sedans". This is what Universal (and a few delusional/ill-informed fans) are trying to do.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
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