For this week’s installment of Extra Fun at Walt Disney World, I knew I wanted to talk about something involving water. Summertime in Florida is as hot as the surface of the sun and while the pools at the resorts are fun, the water parks at Walt Disney World are a much better way to spend a hot day.
There are two water parks on the Disney property; Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon. While I’ve been to both, I’ve always been more partial to Typhoon Lagoon. Since I prefer it, we are going to take a closer look at the extra fun available at Typhoon Lagoon.
One of the best things about Typhoon Lagoon is the area for little kids. Ketchakiddee Creek is a preschooler’s dream water park. There’s a cave with a waterfall, water slides, tunnels to crawl through, water cannons, their own sandy beach and fountains to play in. The best part? Their own inner-tube rapids ride! Kids 48″ and under can enjoy big kid fun on a ride designed just for them. How great is that? Kids under 5 feet can also enjoy Bay Slides, which can be found in a corner of the Surf Pool. These are smaller versions of the Storm Slides and parents can wait for their little ones at the bottom of the slides.
Now that we’ve discussed the fun the little ones can have, let’s look at the fun for the big kids. Every water park is required to have a lazy river (seriously, I think it’s like a water park law or something), and Typhoon Lagoon is no exception. Castaway Creek has 5 entrances around the park so you can float along and do all the people watching you want. All ages can grab an inner-tube and join in.
There are three Falls raft rides: Keelhaul, Gang Plank (the group raft ride) and Mayday. While Keelhaul is the least intense, it’s still a pretty fun ride. Mayday is the most intense and Gang Plank falls somewhere between the two. If you like raft rides, these won’t disappoint.
My favorite ride here is the Crush ‘N” Gusher. More specifically the Pineapple Plunger. There are also the Coconut Crusher and the Banana Blaster paths. These are serious wild rides that take you and your friends up and down, through tunnels and around tight turns. I love this ride and, if the park isn’t too busy, suggest riding all three to pick your favorite.
If you like slides, being in the dark, and dropping like 5 stories, then Humunga Kowabunga is your dream ride. I prefer rides with tubes at water parks, so I’ve never tested this one. All I can tell you is that people ride it over and over and over again, so it must not stink.
One of the hidden gems of this water park and what might make it my favorite over Blizzard Beach is the Shark Reef. Here you can swim with the fishes, literally. The water’s a bit chilly, but it is totally worth it to check out the sharks and stingrays. You don’t even need to bring your own gear, it’s included with park admission. If you want a more in-depth exploration of Shark Reef, you can rent snorkel equipment there.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the Surf Pool. There are some serious waves that happen here. Want to learn to surf? Surf school is available here as well. Who would have thought that you could learn to swim in the middle of Florida? The wave schedule is posted daily so you know when the serious waves are about to hit. Pay close attention to the schedule so you don’t decide to get in while the waves are at their strongest. May have learned that lesson the hard way…
Admission to Typhoon Lagoon starts at $53.00 and may be included with your park ticket depending on your plan. It is typically closed for maintenance sometime during the winter and will be open as weather permits.