By Jayship Earth
You’ve had just about enough of the hot Florida sun. Your feet feel like tenderized meat. It’s time for a change of pace. It’s time to hit a water park.
Walt Disney World features two water parks, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach. Each has unique theming and different types of slides and pools. So, which one do you choose? Well, it depends on what you’re looking for in your aqua-based experiences.
Blizzard Beach is the more slide-heavy, thrill seeker’s park. The back story behind Blizzard Beach is that freak snowstorm blew into central Florida. Local businesses, looking to capitalize fast, opened a ski resort, only to find it now melting in the hot Florida sun. You’ll find snowmen everywhere, fake chunks of ice floating in the pools and even a ski lift to take you to the park’s highest slide.
Blizzard Beach features a large pool, a lazy river and kid’s water play area, but the main attractions here are the water slides. You’ll find multiple speed-slides like the Downhill Double Dipper and Toboggan Racers, where you can race friends and family to the bottom. There’s also Teamboat Spring, a family slide where you and about 4 other people ride a giant raft together. But the main attraction of the park, the slide that catches everyone’s attention the moment you step into the park, is Summit Plummet. If you have the nerve, climb the endless staircase (or take the ski-lift) to the top of the slide, where you’ll be so high up, you can see Expedition Everest, the Tower of Terror and Spaceship Earth. Once you get near the slide, you’ll see it is an almost vertical drop 12 stories down. There’s something truly unsettling being half naked, shivering and that high up in the sky. I’m not sure I enjoy it, as much as I just want to get it over with. That said, it’s a heck of a ride down if that’s your sort of thing.
Also, next door to Blizzard Beach is Winter Summerland. This mini golf course follows the same theme of Blizzard Beach, with Santa and his elves enjoying a summer vacation in the hot Florida sun. Winter Summerland is an additional charge, but a great activity to do after you’re done swimming.
Disney’s other water park is Typhoon Lagoon. Here, the story goes that a hurricane ravaged the area, sending debris everywhere, and even leaving the Miss Tilly tugboat high up atop a mountain. The décor of the park is lush and tropical, with giant foliage and scraps of wood and boat everywhere. I really enjoy the aesthetic of the park, as the dense plant growth kind of obscures paths and entrances to slides, making you feel like you’re exploring and discovering the park.
Typhoon Lagoon has a variety of water attractions. The main attraction is the enormous wave pool in the center of the park. A boat horn will sound just before a giant tidal is release upon the excited masses. A lazy river surrounds the park and several speed and inner tubes slides as well. Typhoon Lagoon’s most popular slide is the Crush N’ Gusher, a roller coaster on water, a raft slide that propels guest up and down hills using water pressure.
If the slides here don’t get your adrenaline going enough, you can always stop by the Shark Reef. Here, guests don life vests, snorkels and flippers, and enter the frigid salt water tank. As they gently move across, below them tropical fish, sting rays and small leopard sharks swim through the man-made coral reef.
Both of Walt Disney World’s water parks are fantastic. Their diverse array of attractions and attention to detail and story make them must-visits in the summertime. If slides and thrills are your thing, head to Blizzard Beach. If wave pools and getting up close to marine life sounds like fun, Typhoon Lagoon is where you should go.
Personally, I prefer Typhoon Lagoon. I feel like the mix of slides, pools, the lazy river and other attractions can entertain you when you’re looking for thrills, and also when you want to relax for a bit. I think the grounds are incredibly impressive and so well themed. I enjoy exploring the grounds and not knowing what is at the end of every path. But ultimately, they are both great parks and you can’t go wrong with them on a hot day.