Written by Heather Hinson, Orlando Vacation Photographer
Looking for a way to cool down with a splash this summer, Disney style? Look no further than Disney’s most overlooked parks – Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach.
Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach are Disney’s Orlando water parks. They are everything you would expect from a water park, but with Disney level theming and attention to detail. As with all of Disney’s parks, they offer attractions for all ages.
What to expect
Although Typhoon Lagoon is one of the most visited water parks in the country, the water parks are largely two of Disney’s lesser known parks. We visit these parks all summer long and multiple times a month – we have never waited in line for more than 5 minutes! It’s quite probable that you will get to experience every attraction during your park visit.
It is worth mentioning that some of their more popular attractions will come with a longer wait during peak hours and busy season.
Keep in mind that they close one of the parks down every Fall and Winter for refurbishment, and they will also close in cases of inclement weather.
They do not currently have a Fastpass system, but we have never personally had a need for it. Sometimes it can get a little busy over the summer months, but it usually calms down after 2 pm.
Each water park offers locker rentals and complimentary life vests in multiple sizes. There are changing areas and bathrooms beside the locker areas. They also provide tubes for the lazy river and Blizzard’s melt away bay.
As Disney legend has it, Typhoon Lagoon is a tropical island that survived a powerful storm. Amidst the wreckage, there is paradise abound on this island oasis. As you enter the park, soak in all the water views and Mount Mayday with a special viewing area with lookout binoculars. You will immediately notice the incredible theming as you view an impaled shrimp boat on the tip of Mount Mayday.
As you enter the park, you will notice an island themed photo op with the park mascot, Lagoona Gator. Then you will walk through lush tropical foliage to see Miss Tilly atop Mount Mayday.
An aqua hued lazy river winds around the entire park, my personal preferred mode of transportation! In addition to kickin’ it in the lazy river, you can relax on any of the many sandy beaches with shaded lounge chairs. There are zero depth entry tidal pools located near most attractions and throughout the park, great for cooling off with little ones!
Wave Pool Typhoon Lagoon is home to one of the largest wave pools in the world, with waves rising to a staggering 6 feet every few minutes. Surfers can pay to surf the wave pool when the park is closed with Craig Carroll’s Cocoa Beach surf school.
In addition to riding the waves, there are calmer sections closer to shore where little ones can enjoy splashing around. There is also a kiddie water slide near the lounge areas.
Crush n’ Gusher My all time favorite water park attraction of all time is Crush n’ Gusher. Despite all of the water, you won’t be able to wipe the smile off of your face as you experience Typhoon’s water coaster. The height requirement is 48 inches and there is a single rider option as well for two seater rafts. You will likely want to ride this again and again, so try all three coasters!
Miss Adventure Falls This is Typhoon Lagoon’s newer family river raft ride. Captain Mary Oceaneer’s priceless treasure of artifacts was strewn about during the ravaging typhoon that ripped through the island. You will see the wreckage with Duncan, Mary’s parrot. Keep your eye out for some of Mary’s lost jewels as you splash through the water slide.
Ketchakiddee Creek is a play area for younger kids to enjoy their very own mini water slide and a GIANT sand ship. There are shaded areas to lounge and small wading pools for kids to play in. Complete with a splash pad and conveniently located right beside two adjacent tube rides: Mayday Falls and Keel Haul Falls.
Storm Slides These are a set of three body slides that twist and wind you through waterfalls and scenery. I love these slides because of the beautiful views you get as you slide down!
Humunga Kowabunga This attraction offers three speed slides that wind guests through 214 feet of action at 30 mph.
Gangplank Falls A family raft ride that is a really fun crowd pleaser and is located on Mount Mayday.
As the name suggests, this tropical ski resort looks like an island paradise underneath blankets of snow. You will immediately be swept away by the immersive theming as you begin venturing into the park.
Blizzard Beach is home to some of the most thrilling speed slides in the world, but it also has a really fun selection for kids of all ages.
Summit Plummet isn’t for the faint hearted. At 120 feet tall, you will take in an incredible panoramic view as you wait to free fall 60 mph down an adrenaline rushing plummet to the bottom. All of my friends agree that this was a blast, but that their hearts were racing as they plunged. This is one of the most popular attractions, so there will be a longer wait during busy season. Height requirement is 48 inches.
Slush Gusher is another thrilling body slide and it’s also atop Mt. Gushmore. The height requirement is also 48 inches.
Ski Patrol Training Camp is conveniently located by Mt. Gushmore and is great for kids of all ages. There are three exciting and mild slides that adults can also enjoy! My favorite feature of this section is the zip line where kids can race down on a zip line to plunge into an 8.5 ft deep pool. Kids and teens also have a blast slipping and sliding across floating ice burgs to get to the other side of the pool.
Ski Lift In order to get to the top of Mt. Gushmore, you will need to walk up quite a few stairs. The ski lift is a fun and relaxing way to travel to the top of Mt. Gushmore if you are riding Summit Plummet, Slush Gusher or Team Boat Springs. You will have to walk back down.
Teamboat Springs is a lot of fun! I always enjoy family raft rides and this one is the longest in the world! Most important thing to note is that you must ride in parties of 4-6, they will put you with another family if there aren’t enough people with you.
Downhill Double Dipper is a tube race that sends you flying down 1 of 2 competing slides at 25 mph. You must be 48 inches to enjoy this one.
Runoff Rapids has 3 different slides to choose from, one being enclosed. It’s so much fun! You go down a 600 ft slide in a tube. You collect your tube at the bottom of the stairs and carry it up with you. There is no height requirement and I like this one because all three of us can go down at similar times and meet each other in the catch pool at the end.
Snow Stormers is a blast! You slip and slide down on a toboggan mat and like Runoff Rapids, there are three slides. Again, I like that I can be there when our 4 year old comes giggling down the slide into the pool.
Toboggan Racers allows you to compete with 7 other racers as you soar down 250 feet of watery slope.
Tike’s Peak I adore this little kiddie area because it is so adorable. Again, there is a really fun small slide for the little “tikes” and a very shallow pool to splash in.
Cross Country Creek is Blizzard Beach’s lazy river that winds around the whole park. As you float along be careful not to get splashed by the ice gator’s sneeze!
Melt away Bay is a melted ice pool located below Mt. Gushmore and I personally love that the waves gently rock you up and down as you float. It’s completely different from Typhoon’s giant wave pool that occurs every few minutes. You can bring a tube in and chill beneath melting ice caps.
Dining & Beverages
There are quick service restaurants at each park that serve lunch. You can bring your own food and drinks into the park, but straws are not permitted anywhere in the parks. I highly recommend dropping by Happy Landings and getting the ice cream bucket. It’s $12.99 and you get a beach bucket filled with soft serve ice cream! They also offer a refillable souvenir mug that can be purchased for $11.99. At Blizzard Beach, a popular food item is the mini donuts, which is located near Lottawatta Lodge. They have different topping choices and also offer frozen lemonade which is delicious!
You can also get Joffrey’s coffee, bakery items and adult beverages at different concession areas throughout the parks.
Beach Haus & Singapore Sals are the souvenir shops located at Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon. They are each located as you enter the park.
Will you be hitting up the Disney water parks this year? What do you most enjoy about them? Leave us a comment below🙂
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Heather and her husband Jon are family portrait photographers based in New Smyrna Beach. They specialize in vacation portraits all along the coast and in Orlando. They are parents to a train-loving 4 year old and a cuddly chihuahua. When they aren’t at Disney, they enjoy beach days, coffee breaks and kayaking.
I didn’t even know Disney had water parks, they look fun!
They are so underrated, since most people don’t give them a lot of attention. Great way to cool off and take a day off from the parks 🙂