Volcano Bay: Come for the water adventure, stay for the food


As Krakatau towers over Universal’s Volcano Bay, thrill seekers prepare for a day filled with water adventure, but the delicious food has everyone coming back for more.

Volcano Bay is Universal Orlando Resort’s epic water park. Like other Universal Orlando Resort properties, the experience is meant to be an immersive one. From the moment guests step through the welcoming flags, a water adventure awaits.

With water coasters, lazy rivers and numerous other water adventures to be explored, some guests might not initially think about the delicious food that is offered throughout this theme park. After sampling many of the tasty treats, food should be the reason you stay longer and come back time and again.

Over the years, water park food has evolved. Similar to theme parks, food has gone from a plain hamburger or hot dog to flavorful dishes and tons of choices. Now, a water park, like Volcano Bay, has numerous food options that are just like any restaurant on Universal Orlando Resort properties.

Granted, the traditional foods are, and will always be, on the menu. Many families crave that familiarity at a theme park or while traveling. Still, the foodie component is becoming the norm, too, and Volcano Bay is delivering.

Volcano Bay food, photo by Cristine Struble

Overall, Volcano Bay has a tropical island theme. From Polynesian, Hawaiian or Caribbean, the island influence is clear in both the design and food. Bright colors, vibrant flavors and an island atmosphere make guests feel as if they are whisked away on a tropical vacation.

Like many of my vacations, food influences my perfect day and luckily Volcano Bay delivers so many tasty options it was the ultimate foodie escape.

One of the biggest takeaways from sampling many of the dishes at this theme park is that flavor drives the menu. From bold spice to creative combinations, these dishes deliver on taste.

In some cases, the menu choices borrow from island favorites, like a mahi sandwich. Without being overpowering, the mahi sandwich offers varied textures and layered flavors.

From the crunchy slaw to the soft bun, each bite satisfies. Given the water park area, the sandwich is filling without becoming too heavy.

Since many people prefer to eat lighter, especially at a water park, the salads are quite delightful. The tropical greens salad with heart of palm is a must try. This salad balances traditional ingredients with more elevated choices, like heart of palm. It could even make the biggest carnivore go meatless for a day.

Volcano Bay salad, photo by Cristine Struble

One of the biggest flavors that is woven through the Volcano Bay menu is coconut. From using coconut in the coating of shrimp and chicken to flavoring a nuanced curry, coconut continues that island flavor inspiration. By adding this flavor to dishes, it adds a touch of sweetness, balancing the heat in some dishes.

As food trends embrace global flavors, this theme park’s menu embracing that trend in an approachable way. For example, one of the most popular dishes is the Jerk Mac and Cheese. The heat from the jerk spice is balanced by the richness from the comforting food classic. While it might seem unlikely to eat mac and cheese at a water park, this dish is definitely a must try during at least one visit.

Volcano Bay poke bowl, photo by Cristine Struble

Additionally, there are a variety of tacos and flatbreads on the menu. These items blend the traditional and the island-flavor infused. These dishes could be an opportunity to push yourself outside your flavor comfort zone.

Occasionally, like during the Annual Passholder Appreciation Days, there are special menu items. Recently, there was a Glazed Pork Belly Bianco Pizza.

While the theme park’s menu has evolved from its initial opening, the vast and varied menu offers wide appeal. Of course, everyone knows about the picture perfect Rainbow colored Waturi Fusion Ice Cream, which becomes a must try. Still, that is just one of the many treats available.

Adults will be drawn to those colorful cocktails, as well. Each cocktail continues the island theme. Just remember to hydrate on those hot Florida days.

Rum cocktails at Volcano Bay, Universal Orlando Photo by Cristine Struble

Universal’s Volcano Bay is an example that a water park can, and should, offer variety on its menu. Today’s theme park guests are savvy and demand more. Spending time relaxing on a lazy river can work up a huge appetite.

Even if you are not a huge water coaster person, foodies can tag along and eat their way through this Universal Orlando theme park. It could be your next food adventure.

Volcano Bay is located at Universal Orlando Resort. In addition to regular tickets, express passes, dining plans, premium seating and cabana rentals are available.

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What is your favorite food from Universal Orlando’s Volcano Bay? Do you go for the water adventure and stay for the food?