With not one but two water parks to choose from at the Walt Disney World Resort-Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach, how do you know which one it the best water park for you and your family? To find out I spent a day each at Disney’s Typhoon and Disney’s Blizzard Beach, all in the name of good reporting to help you make you decide. Both are unique in their own special way with their own stories to tell and attractions to enjoy.
Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon
Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon is a 61-acre themed water recreation attraction — inspired by the imagined legend of a typhoon, earthquake and ensuing tidal wave combining to create an inland sea with breaker waves (Typhoon Lagoon) and a towering watershed mountain (Mt. Mayday) atop which is a stranded shrimp boat (the Miss Tilly).
It’s located in the Disney Springs resort area near Disney’s Old Key West Resort and Disney Springs West Side on Buena Vista Drive — Walt Disney World Resort, Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The older of the two water parks, this water park is home to one of the largest surfing lagoons with a more laid-back, relaxing feel to it but still plenty of thrills for those adrenaline junkies in the family.
Typhoon Lagoon: One of the world’s largest surfing lagoons (approximately 109,000 square feet, containing nearly three million gallons of water).
Mt. Mayday: The centerpiece watershed mountain, featuring . . .
- Three-speed slides — Humunga Kowabunga slides zip guests along 214-foot routes at up to 30 miles per hour.
- A trio of curving body Storm Slides — Rudder Buster, Stern Burner, and Jib Jammer wind in and out of caves, through waterfalls and between rock formations, sending guests along at up to 20 miles per hour over distances of about 300 feet each.
- Three white-water rafting adventures — Keelhaul Falls, Mayday Falls and Gangplank Falls slide through caves and under waterfalls in inner tubes (Keelhaul Falls and Mayday Falls) or family-size craft (Gangplank Falls).
Crush ‘n’ Gusher: A water-coaster thrill attraction that takes riders aboard inflatable rafts on a twisting, turning, up-and-down adventure propelled by powerful water jets.
Ketchakiddee Creek: A separate water playground for children ages 2 to 5 (under four feet tall) and their parents. Features scaled-down versions of many of the water play activities the “big kids” can do, including a pint-sized white-water rafting adventure, an activity pool and S.S. Squirt, an interactive tugboat.
Castaway Creek: Guests hop onto inner tubes for a meandering water tour along a 2,100-foot circular channel that takes them through a misty rain forest, a hidden grotto and a sun-drenching, all with a spectacular view of Typhoon Lagoon and its many activities.
- Leaning Palms and Typhoon Tilly’s (restaurants serving hamburgers, hot dogs, specialty sandwiches, wraps, salads and ice cream in waffle cones; beer also is served)
- Let’s Go Slurpin’ (a full-service bar featuring frozen drink specialties and spirits)
- Getaway Glen and Hideaway Bay picnic areas (picnicking is permitted but no alcohol or glass containers can be brought in)
- Happy Landing’s Ice Cream (ice cream and beverages)
- Lowtide Lou’s (snacks, ice cream, beverages, sundries and towels)
- Hot dog carts (hot dogs, chips, snacks and beverages)
- Beachcomber Shacks (premium shaded rental spaces include towels, locker, drink mugs, Adirondack seating, ice chest stocked with bottled water, service attendant)
- Singapore Sal’s and High ‘n Dry (swimsuits, souvenirs and sundries)
- Locker rooms (dressing rooms, showers, locker rental, towel rental, life jacket rental)
Disney’s Blizzard Beach
Located in Disney’s Animal Kingdom resort area between Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort and Disney’s All-Star Resorts at Buena Vista Drive/Osceola Parkway intersection — Walt Disney World Resort, Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
Disney’s Blizzard Beach is a 66-acre themed water recreation attraction — inspired by the mythology of a snow ski resort that didn’t exactly find a suitable climate in Florida! Bigger in size with more thrill rides, here’s what you can expect at Disney’s Blizzard Beach:
Mt. Gushmore: The snow-capped, 90-foot-high peak that is the park’s visual centerpiece, on top of which sits the platform “launch pad” for the park’s most-talked-about attraction, Summit Plummet.
Summit Plummet: Thirty feet above the peak of Mt. Gushmore is the platform for a thrill ride that sends the daring on a high-speed adventure down a 350-foot slide. At 120 feet high and up to 55 mph, it is one of the world’s fastest free-fall water slides.
Downhill Double Dipper: Side-by-side racing water slides that begin 50 feet high on the slopes of Mt. Gushmore and plunge riders along a hilly 200-foot-long course at up to 25 miles per hour.
Slush Gusher: A double-humped water slide that drops guests through a snow-banked mountain gully from a start 90 feet up Mt. Gushmore (next to Summit Plummet).
Teamboat Springs: The world’s longest family white-water raft ride takes six-passenger rafts down a twisting, 1,200-foot series of rushing water falls.
Toboggan Racers: An eight-lane water slide that sends guests racing over exhilarating dips as they descend on a 250-foot course along the “snowy” slope.
Snow Stormers: Three flumes descending from the top of the mountain and following a switchback course through ski-type slalom gates.
Runoff Rapids: An inner tube run where guests can careen down three different twisting, turning flumes — one in the dark.
Chair Lift: Wooden-bench chair lifts sporting colorful overhead umbrellas and snow skis on their underside, converted from ski-resort to beach-resort use, carry guests over the craggy face of Mt. Gushmore, from its base at the beach to its summit.
Tike’s Peak: A kid-size version of Blizzard Beach for children ages 2 to 5 (under four feet tall), including scaled-down elements of Mt. Gushmore. In addition, this area features a snow-castle fountain play area.
Melt-Away Bay: One-acre pool at the base of Mt. Gushmore and fed by “melting snow” waterfalls.
Cross Country Creek: A lazy creek circling the entire park, carrying floating guests through a bone-chilling ice cave. Once inside the mysterious cave, guests will be splashed with the “melting” ice from overhead.
Ski Patrol Training Camp: Designed for pre-teens with a T-bar drop, crinkle slide and a challenging ice-flow walk along slippery, floating icebergs. Cool Runners is the camp’s twin inner tube slide.
- Lottawatta Lodge (counter-service restaurant featuring burgers, sandwiches and salads)
- Polar Pub & Frostbite Freddie’s, Avalunch, Warming Hut, Cooling Hut and I.C. Expeditions (snack stand locations throughout the park offer hot dogs, nachos, chips, pretzels, frosty beverages and other tasty treats)
- Beachcomber Shacks and Polar Patios (premium shaded rental spaces include towels, locker, drink mugs, Adirondack seating, ice chest stocked with bottled water, service attendant)
- Locker rooms (dressing rooms, showers, locker rental, towel rental, life jacket rental)
- Beach Haus shop (bathing suits, towels, T-shirts, sunscreen and other beach essentials)
- Snowless Joe’s (photo pickup, sundries)
- Shade Shack (sunglasses and accessories)
- Picnic areas (picnicking is permitted but no alcohol or glass containers can be brought into the park)
Still can’t decide? Take a closer look at some of the differences between Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon has versus Disney’s Blizzard Beach:
- Surf Pool~ Catch a wave in this gnarly wave pool with surf lessons available before park opening. If you would like to take part in this unique adventure call 1-407-939-7529
- Crush ‘n’ Gusher~ a multi-person water-coaster ride, hold on tight!
- During the summer, get ready for a nighttime extravaganza with H20 Glow Nights
Now the attractions Blizzard Beach has that Typhoon Lagoon does not:
- Chair Lift~ Gondola style ride to the top of Mount Gushmore, hope you’re not afraid of heights, lol.
- Steamboat Springs~ a multi-person whitewater raft ride, great for the entire family.
- Summit Plummit~ 120 foot long slide resembling a ski jump with a daring 12 story drop at speeds of 60 MPH in case you feel the need for speed!
Both waterparks have locker rentals, private Cabana rentals~ Typhoon Lagoon has Beachcomber Shacks and Blizzard Beach has Polar Patios with room for six, they include beach towels, attendant on call, private locker and drink mugs with shaded comfy patio furniture.
Both waterparks also have umbrella and chair rentals available and plenty of free lounge chairs located all over the water park.
At the end of the day, you can’t go wrong. Whether you’re looking for the big thrill, high speed attractions, or just looking to spend the day floating in the lazy river or catching a wave, both Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon and Disney’s Blizzard Beach are perfect whether you’re visiting all on your own or with the entire multigenerational family and everything in between.
For even more fun, take the Disney Water Park Challenge and see if you can ride all of the water slides at both water parks all in one day! Which is your favorite Disney Water Park?