Since we were headed to Disney on the way home from lacrosse in the heat of the summer, we decided to spend our one full day at a water park. The boys absolutely LOVE Typhoon Lagoon so it was no surprise when they chose it for this visit.
We also did the water park with family friends last fall break so pictures are from both, hence the outfit changes. :-)
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.
With both water parks, I recommend purchasing your tickets in advance (even the day before at your resort), and arriving no later than 20 minutes before opening (usually 10AM). We always drive or Uber – the busses to the water parks make way too many stops and it eats up a ton of time.
Drop your stuff near the big wave pool (it is usually easy to find an umbrella seat during the week even in summer, as long as it isn’t a holiday). Start your day by doing rides clockwise around the park. The one with the longest wait right now is usually the new raft ride – Miss Adventure Falls – so do that one first. There are now PhotoPass photographers at some of the slides and play areas so that’s even more use out of a Memory Maker purchase!
When you’re done with the slides, spend the rest of your day alternating between the lazy river… (crazy river if you have kids)
… and in the huge wave pool. It makes giant waves and is really only suitable for strong swimmers.
Be sure to try two of our favorite Disney snacks, only available at the water parks! Mini donuts and the ice cream pail!
If you’re trying to decide between the two water parks, I personally like Blizzard Beach better. It has the cutest winter theming and it is so much fun to take a chair lift up to a snow capped water slide while listening to Christmas music. It is particularly cute because you’re probably actually sweating in the Florida heat. :-) Blizzard Beach also has more slides than Typhoon Lagoon. That being said, my boys all like Typhoon Lagoon better ONLY because they love the insane wave pool there.
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 leave our wallet and all but one phone locked in the car. Your MagicBands will have your park admission and allow you to make purchases. You will still want a photo ID.
- The sidewalks were almost all constantly sprayed with little sprinklers to keep them cool. This is 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 cards are needed. They are fine in the water.
- 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 and 10-8 in peak season so get there early and know you’ll end your day pretty early too. We find the parks 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.
- 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.
- If you haven’t purchased tickets as part of your travel package, there’s no need to buy in advance. Get them the day before or morning of from your resort concierge. Then, you can skip the line at the ticket booth and go right in.
As Gold Key Advisor with Glass Slipper Concierge, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, I offer concierge travel planning for Walt Disney World® Resort, Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland® Resort, Disney Aulani Hawaii, Universal, Sea World and to 35 countries on 6 continents through Adventures by Disney®.
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