There’s now more to do than ever at the “Most Magical Place on Earth,” Walt Disney World. The sprawling property that covers over 40 square miles (103 sq km) is home to dozens of resorts and four theme parks. Those visiting Walt Disney World may have visions of fun roller coasters and classic attractions in mind, but the resort is also home to two water parks. Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park and Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park feature thrilling attractions and relaxing water features. From North America’s largest wave pool to a rainforest-covered lazy river, there’s something for everyone in your family.
And thanks to Central Florida’s nearly year-round sunny weather, the water parks are open throughout the year. Here’s everything you need to know about visiting Walt Disney World’s water parks.
When to visit Disney World’s water parks
Walt Disney World is open 365 days a year. Disney World’s water parks are also open year round, although park refurbishments and seasonal disturbances may cause temporary closures.
With two water parks, the theme park resort does its best to keep at least one in operation at all times. It’s important to check their opening dates and times in advance as they can close for a number of reasons, including weather and capacity. Even though they’re technically open all year, low winter temperatures can cause the water parks to cease operation (but don’t worry — they’ll reopen when the weather warms up).
Disney World water park tickets
A separate ticket is required for admission to Disney’s water parks, with one-day park passes priced at USD 69 (HKD 1,321). Park reservations are not currently required to visit either water park. Discounted rates are available for annual pass holders and Disney Vacation Club members. A Park Hopper Plus add-on option is available to add water park access to theme park tickets.
Walt Disney World annual pass holders also have the option to add a water park and sports feature for an additional fee that provides unlimited access to water parks with no blackout dates. Special after-hours parties that feature DJ dances and exclusive themed menus are held on select evenings for an additional price.
Travelling to the water parks is made simple with several transportation options. Walt Disney World resort guests receive complimentary bus transportation from their hotels to the water parks, and all guests that drive to the water parks receive complimentary parking.
You can rent lockers, towels, and complimentary life jackets at both water parks.
Blizzard Beach vs. Typhoon Lagoon
Blizzard Beach Water Park
Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park is themed to a wintery wonderland right in the middle of Florida. The 66-acre park uniquely blends elements of a ski resort with tropical landscaping and a colourful Caribbean palate. It’s home to family-friendly attractions, like a lazy river, water slides, a beach-themed chair lift, and a one-acre wave pool.
One of the highlights for thrill seekers is its towering beacon, Mount Gushmore. At the top, guests can enjoy one of the tallest and fastest free-fall body slides in the world, Summit Plummet. All water areas are heated except an area of “melting snow” in the ice cave found in Cross Country Creek, the park’s lazy river.
The park recently reopened with updates inspired by the beloved Frozen. With tiny guests under 48” in mind, Tike’s Peak now features Olaf, Elsa, and Anna’s igloo castle. Statuettes of the film’s adorable Snowgie pals also sit among its polar-themed slides, wading pool, and water jets. A sandy beach welcomes guests to lay in the sun or build sandcastles.
With nine food and drink outlets, the park offers a mix of theme park standards, like foot-long hot dogs, and inventive options, such as plant-based and globally inspired bowls. The “Ice Dream Sand Pail Sundae,” a shareable frozen treat served in the beachside toy, is a fan favorite. There are several bars, including the Polar Pub situated along the wave pool’s beach, serving up tropical drinks like margaritas and rum runners.
The park offers private patios (for an extra fee) for guests looking to unwind with their own shaded deck outfitted with amenities like lounge chairs and a locker.
Typhoon Lagoon Water Park
Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park tells the story of a former tropical paradise that was destroyed by a typhoon. The park is decorated with fishing gear and surfboards left over from the fictional catastrophe. This park’s beacon is Miss Tilly, a shrimp boat left abandoned atop the park’s Mount Mayday. Attached to North America’s largest wave pool, the man-made mountain erupts a 50-foot geyser into the state-of-the-art swimming area every half hour. The large lagoon, with waves that reach up to six feet, also hosts bodysurfing and private surfing lessons.
The sprawling property houses many family-friendly attractions that include Crush ‘n’ Gusher, a thrilling raft ride for two, and Miss Adventure Falls, an immersive whitewater family adventure. Ketchakiddee Creek was designed for the little ones, and the water playground is home to water cannons and miniature slides. Those looking to relax can enjoy Castaway Creek, an over 2,000-foot lazy river adorned with lush rainforests, waterfalls, and misters.
There are several dining options, including Leaning Palms, which offers Caribbean-inspired bowls and theme park standards. Fans of Dole Whip can enjoy exciting varieties of the frozen treat at the Snack Shack. On its sandy beaches sits a watering hole, Let’s Go Slurpin’, with frozen drinks and signature cocktails, like the Typhoon Tilly. The park also offers two picnic areas, and guests are allowed to bring their own coolers into the park.
For an enhanced experience, Beachcomber Shacks offer guests private shaded areas for an additional fee.
This story first appeared on www.travelandleisure.com
Main and Feature Image Credit: Courtesy of Disney