We kicked off our summer with a little land and sea Disney week! We headed down on a Friday afternoon, stayed at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn & Villas, hit up both water parks in one day, enjoyed a resort day and then met up with the rest of the family for a Disney Dream Cruise!!
Our annual passes expired last October and we won’t do them again until late this fall. So, we opted for a one day water park ticket instead, which gives you admission to BOTH Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon in the same day. These will run you significantly less than a one day peak theme park ticket but are just as much fun!
We let the littles choose how to spend the day and, after looking at pictures on the blog from our water park days back in 2014, they decided they love Blizzard Beach more … except for “the awesome wave pool” at Typhoon Lagoon. So, we headed to Blizzard Beach to start the day.
What was once a ski resort has now melted into the watery wonderland of Blizzard Beach. Christmas music plays all day, hot chocolate is a plenty, a ski lift carries you to the top of the biggest slides and pretty much everything is snow capped. It’s Disney at its best.
The water parks are open from 10AM – 5PM and I recommend arriving around 9:30AM. You will have time to park, get through the gate, take some cute pics, later up with sunscreen and be ready to hit the slides running.
First things first, you will want to head for the ski lift! You can access three slides from the lift and there were no lines at 10AM. If a line builds up for the lift, you can certainly take the stairs as well!
There is a great mix of body slides, float slides and family raft slides. It would be hard to not have a whole lot of fun!
There were photo pass photographers scattered about the park this time! We managed to snag a couple family pics.
After a few hours of solid sliding, we parked it at the Ski Patrol Training Camp for another couple of hours! This is a fantastic area for kids in the age ranges of mine (7 and 10). Honey and I carried over a few chairs to a shady spot and they wore themselves out on the iceburg – ropes course thing and zip line.
We were beyond starving by the time we stopped to eat, but I really wanted to try The Warming Hut the last time we came and it wasn’t open. So, by way of the lazy river, we made our way clear to the other side of the park. The salad and rice bowls were GOOOD. Was it that we were starving? Perhaps. But I’d def eat this again.
After lunch we did a few turns on the lazy river. Of course, the littles were anything but lazy…
We couldn’t hardly leave without the sand pail of ice cream! This is a dessert we’ve talked about for two years, for crying out loud. It was just as good as we remembered. Soft serve loaded with toppings and fudge and whipped cream and Mickey sprinkles with a cherry on top. Yes, please!
Disney legend purports a tycoon wreaking havoc upon the formerly pristine tropical paradise that is now known as Typhoon Lagoon. Boats, fishing gear and beach wear is strewn about and left in the sometimes odd places where the storm flung them. From the “Miss Tilly” shrimp boat precariously perched atop Mount Mayday to the bells of watch sound, the park is done up in the magical way that only Disney can do.
(This is an old pic but I wanted to you to see how CRAZY this wave pool is!)
Here are a few tips and tricks for navigating Disney’s water parks:
- At Blizzard Beach, start with the slides from the chairlift before that line gets too crazy. If your kids are bigger , there is a single rider line that moves very quickly.
- Bring your own towels or plan to rent for $2 each. We brought towels from our resort pool and just dropped them on lounge chairs under an umbrella by the wave pool as soon as we got there. We left our wallets and phones secured in the car and only brought in towels and a bag with sunscreen.
- The sidewalks were almost all constantly sprayed with little sprinklers to keep them cool. This was such a nice touch as I have had my feet scorched many times at water parks and pools. We saw no need for water shoes.
- Thanks to the MagicBands, no money or key to the world cards had to be kept up with. It was perfect!! They can go in the water so that wasn’t an issue at all. This saved us from having to rent a locker too, which was nice.
- At Blizzard Beach, Try the mini donuts and hot chocolate. SO fun and silly to do while in swim suits :-) At either water park try the sand pail ice cream sundae!!!
- Water parks are only open from 10-5 in the off season so get there early and know you’ll end your day pretty early too. We found the park to be nearly empty for most of the morning but it started to fill up after lunch. We were able to do all of the slides, many multiple times, from 10-12. And then the rest of our day was spent in the wave pool, lazy river and kid area where there really aren’t lines.
- If possible, drive yourself to the water parks. (This coming from the family that exclusively uses Disney transportation to the theme parks.) Parking is easy if you arrive early. Of course, when we drove over to Typhoon Lagoon at 3PM we also were able to park near the very front.
- If you are buying a multi day park ticket, be aware of how to maximize your time… For example: On an eight night stay a few years ago we did a three day ticket + water parks and more. This gave us entry into three theme parks (we chose Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios) plus admission to three other smaller parks (we chose Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon and a combo of Disney Quest and Winter Summerland Mini Golf). It’s a great way to get more bang for your buck and still have SIX days of fun!!
- A one day water park ticket allows you to hop between BOTH water parks! It’s a relatively short day, but if you are driving yourself it’s easy to do.
- We didn’t purchase our one day ticket until the morning of. There’s no need to buy in advance and we wanted to be sure of nice weather. I headed down a few minutes before the boys and bought from the resort concierge. We skipped the line at the water park ticket booth and it all worked out perfectly.
Have a magical day, y’all!
As an independent consultant with Glass Slipper Concierge, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, I offer concierge travel planning for Walt Disney World® Resort, Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland® Resort, Adventures by Disney®, Aulani and other delightful destinations.
Start designing your dream vacation today!