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Aquatica - Cutback Cove & Big Surf Shores


These twin wave pools are arranged side by side (the only such arrangement in the world, apparently) facing an enormous 80,000 square foot artificial white sand beach filled with beach chairs. Most people will head here soon after arrival to stake their claim to the beach chairs that will form their party’s base of operations for the day and I recommend that you do the same. A towel, a t-shirt, a beach bag, or other item is sufficient to mark a lounge chair as “taken.” Most of the chairs are in the open sun, although a few offer some shade, yet another reason for getting there early.

Despite the name, Big Surf Shores is the calmer of the two wave pools, with gently rolling surf. It is also shallower than Cutback Cove, where the depth reaches six and half feet. The waves in Cutback Cove reach five feet and are a lot of fun.

The wave action in both pools operates on a 20 minute schedule, 12 minutes off and eight minutes on, although they don’t always seem to adhere to that schedule. Electronic signs at the edge of the water variously announce the time, the air temperature, or the remaining minutes left on the current wave cycle.

Back on the beach, you can relax in your lounge chair and look past the twin wave pools to SeaWorld, just across International Drive. You will easily spot the Sky Tower, the golden cupola of Journey to Atlantis, and the steel spaghetti sprawl of Kraken. Be aware that the lounge chairs here are placed quite close together, so there is little opportunity for real privacy. Be prepared to get to know your neighbors.

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