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Five tips for a great day at SeaWorld Orlando's Aquatica water park

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Aquatica, the SeaWorld Orlando water park, is already a popular place in the summer, and expect its popularity to skyrocket once Ihu's Breakaway Falls officially opens on May 9. How can you avoid the crowds and lines as much as possible? Here are five tips:

1) Get to the park as soon as it opens. When people are on vacation, they tend to move slowly. Whether you're on a trip yourself or you're a local, it pays big dividends to push yourself and arrive when the front gates open. The crowd will be fairly light, and you'll see it grow steadily throughout the day.

2) Rent a cabana. If you arrive early, you'll have no trouble snaring a nice, shady spot, but you'll be surrounded by a sea of other people. That's fine, but if you prefer something a little more comfortable, rent a private cabana, especially if you're staying all day. It gives you a comfortable, quiet and private home base.

3) Go to the back of the park. Most people think "Shiny!" and run right to the first attraction they see, so those lines build rapidly. You'll walk on the slides at the back of the park with little wait if you pass the sheeple. If you want to ride Ihu's Breakaway Falls, head there first and fast because that's going to be a big crowd attractant.

4) Stay until closing time. Yes, that means you're going to have to slather on lots of sunscreen throughout the day and plan your time wisely so you don't get exhausted, but the payoff is that many other people will bail early. You'll see the crowd grow, than dwindle, when you do an all-day visit, and the lines will get nice and short. Many locals head over to Aquatica for the last hour or two of the day to take advantage of this.

5) Buy the all-day dining package. If you're staying for the day, your family can eat all its meals in the park, which breaks up the day nicely. The package also includes beverages at the buffet location, so it provides an easy way for everyone to stay hydrated. They can pop in any time and just grab something to drink without getting food.

It looks like it's going to be a busy summer at Aquatica, so hopefully these tips will help you enjoy yourself even if you visit in the peak season.

Need advice or guidance from a Central Florida theme parks expert? Check out my ebooks for Kindle and Nook.

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