PHOTO: Universal Orlando Resort Volcano Bay rendering. (photo courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort)
Once there was a powerful god, forceful and fiery, who controlled everything he saw. Krakatau was the most powerful in the land. As powerful as he was, he couldn't control the will of his daughter Tai Nui.
Against her father’s wishes, she met and fell in love with a native named Kala. Their forbidden love was discovered, and Krakatau was furious. For loving a mortal, Krakatau cast Kala into the sky. Tai Nui was so saddened that she began to cry. She cried so much, that it created the ocean. Krakatau had destroyed the one thing he loved, his daughter.
Vowing to reunite them, he reached deep into the ocean and pulled out a volcano that stretched to the sky. In the volcano he put all his anger and jealousy, so that it would never hurt the ones he loved again. He created the spirit, Vol, who can still be seen to this day, spewing anger towards the sky. Sound like a kids movie? It's not the latest animated feature, but the story behind Universal’s new Volcano Bay. The waterproof isn't set to open until May, but guests are able to see the story that the entire experience is built around.
Universal Orlando has built all of its projects around the story. It's honestly what makes Universal parks so great, because when you step into a park or attraction, you step right into the world the story creates. To create Volcano Bay they had to create a legend of how this amazing place got there in the first place. The story of Krakatau is just the beginning. To bring guests further into it, Universal had to create a bridge between the guests and the story. So, what bridges Krakatau to you as you walk into the park? The Waturi.
The Waturi live their lives on the ocean, searching for a mystical fish called Kunuku. Kunuku was magical, and had many fins…more than a regular fish. The Waturi people ventured all over the globe, looking for their fish and their home. One day, they came to the edge of the world. There, they found Kunuku playing in the waves. Kunuku took them to a place that was paradise, and had everything they needed. To honor Kunuku and the kindness he showed them by bringing the mystical Volcano Bay where Krakatau’s Volcano roars, the Waturi greets all guests as friends. To help them along the way, and to find the secrets of the island, they give every guest the gift of Tapu-Tapu.
The story is an amazing way to link the look of the park to the virtual line system. Tapu-Tapu will work like magic, as guests will be able to book their experiences at each attraction by waving their hand. Then, instead of waiting in line, guests are free to venture around the park and look for the hidden treasures that can only be unlocked by Tapu-Tapu. Kunuku is said to be somewhere in Volcano Bay, and if you listen you might be able to find Vol.
Universal’s creative team has some of the best storytellers in the industry, all with the goal of making you forget that you're at a theme park and make you believe you're in a magical story. Tickets are now on sale for Volcano Bay. The park opens May 25.