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Blizzard Beach vs Typhoon Lagoon

Both offer similar amenities at the same price, but which is better?

By Christina F
lazy river at Typhoon Lagoon.

Best Disney Water Park: Blizzard Beach vs Typhoon Lagoon

The fact that Walt Disney World includes two distinct water parks is often overlooked. Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach are both great options to beat the heat during your magical vacation, especially if you’re staying for 5+ days. By no means are they comparable to the experience you’ll have at Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, or Animal Kingdom, but sometimes you just need to take a dip and we get that. Both water parks are a good alternative to hanging back at the hotel, but if you have limited days in Disney World, take a half day or a raincheck here.

Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon Costs

Depending on your length of stay, it’s worth noting that the premiere ticket option, Park Hopper Plus, comes with admission to not only multiple theme parks in a single day, but also both waterparks. These tickets are sold for $189.00 each whereas the normal Park Hopper option is $169.00 and does not include the water parks. If you want to buy a 1-day pass to either waterpark, it will cost you $73.49 with tax for a single ticket. It is important to note that with this single ticket purchase, you can bounce between both waterparks for the day pending they’re both open! Therefore depending on how often you plan on visiting the waterparks, being strategic with your ticket buying could help you save in the long-run.

Getting to the Water Parks

Both Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach can be reached via the Disney bussing system that travels around the parks, resorts, and transportation & ticket center. While they might come less often than the busses for the four main theme parks, don’t get frustrated by the wait, busses to the waterparks travel on a regular schedule. You may have to hop on a connecting bus or travel to Animal Kingdom rather than getting a direct ride.

Worth the Day?

If you’re visiting Disney for 5+ days, a water park might be a great way to break up the hustle of the four main parks. Spending some time in either Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach is a great alternative to taking a day off from the theme parks or staying back at the hotel for a pool day, but it isn’t recommended to surpass one of the main four to visit a water park. While they have a lot to offer, Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom have more. You also don’t need to spend a full day in the water parks. Plan to get there when they first open and leave midday. That way you have the rest of the night to spend in the other parks.

It’s also worth noting that neither water park takes fastpass reservations. Just like rides in the four main theme parks, wait times can get pretty lengthy. This is especially true in the hotter months of the year. Be prepared to wait upwards of an hour for the more thrilling, single-rider slides!

The Basics of Typhoon Lagoon

Typhoon Lagoon is the second most visited water park in the world, with annual attendance reaching 2.3 million visitors. The theme of the park is a tropical oasis that’s been ravaged by a typhoon; leaving boats, surfboards, friendly fish and other island gear strewn around the park.

The park is open from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm all year, with the exception of when the park is closed for refurbishment, which was January – March, 2019 this year. It may also close down due to weather, including low temperatures (50’s or lower), which usually only happens a few days out of the year.

All of the dining options inside Typhoon Lagoon are quick service American cuisine, but Lowtide Lou’s and Let’s Go Slurpin’ have a bar!

If you’re looking for a more beachy experience, you can always rent a Beachcomber Shack or an umbrella to use as homebase. The shacks come with towels, cushioned seating, a locker, a cooler filled with water and fit about six people for a cost of a little over $300 for the day. If you don’t call to reserve a shack ahead of time, you have to visit “Singapore Sal’s” at the entrance of the park in order to rent one. Umbrella premium seating is setup to accommodate four guests and costs about $40 for the day. Lockers alone are $15/day to rent and towels for non-Disney resort guests are $2 (they’re free if you’re staying at a Disney hotel). Life jackets are free to use as are the showers and dressing areas.

What You’ll Find at Typhoon Lagoon

Typhoon Lagoon is home to both thrilling water rides and lounging experiences. Rides include the Bay Slides, Crush ‘n’ Gusher, Gangplank Falls, Humunga Kowabunga, Keelhaul Falls, Mayday Falls, and the Storm Slides. If gliding down a slide isn’t your speed, Castaway Creek or Typhoon Lagoon Surf Pool might be your hangout for the day. Below are some of the top attractions in the park.

Wave Pool at Typhoon Lagoon.
Wave Pool at Typhoon Lagoon.

Surf Pool

Typhoon Lagoon is most notable for being home to America’s largest wave pool. Welcoming guests of all ages and heights, the 6-foot waves are continuous throughout the day. Note that no inner tubes are allowed in the wave pool, body surfing only! If you’re not a great swimmer, float with caution. It’s like wading in an ocean.

Crush ‘n’ Gusher

The Crush ‘n’ Gusher is one of Typhoon Lagoon’s thrilling water rides, sitting in a multi-person or solo tube and taking twists and turns like you would on a coaster. The tubular slide is 400 feet long and features sudden drops, sharp turns, and some totally enclosed sections. For this ride, guests need to be at least 48 inches tall.

Humunga kowabunga

If Crush ‘n’ Gusher was too easy for you, Humunga Kowabuga is sure to get the blood flowing. The ride is made up of three separate tube-shaped body slides, all curved at a 60-degree angle for a three story drop. Expect to get water in your eyes/ears/mouth and beware, bathing suits go missing on this thriller if you don’t tie them tight enough.

Ketchakiddee Creek

For the preschool aged kids in the group, Ketchakiddee Creek is made for some calm fun in the sun. Any kids over four feet tall aren’t permitted in the area. Here you’ll find some mini water slides, caves filled with shallow water, squirting animals and sandy beaches. Parents are welcome to accompany their little ones as they explore the land made just for them.

Castaway Creek

Made for guests of all ages and sizes, the lazy river lets you float down a scenic route around the park while lounging in an inner tube. There are five different starting points of the creek around the park, as it’s length totals 2,000 feet.

Theme Nights

Typhoon Lagoon offers a seasonal theme night called H20 Glow Night starting May 30 and running through August 24. Tickets are sold separately to this Toy Story themed beach party where you’ll find lighting effects, music, characters, and special dining options. There’s even a separate adults-only party area called The Wharf, featuring entertainment and a bar.

The Basics of Blizzard Beach

The theme of Blizzard Beach waterpark is all in the name. The story goes that a ski resort transformed into a water park due to the heat and melting of the ice. Aside from the snow capped everything, most of the attractions and buildings stick with the theme and are made to look like ski resorts, snow lifts, etc. A very different approach to a typical summer park, Blizzard Beach features twelve different attractions.

Blizzard Beach water park is also open from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm all year, with the exception of the months it’s closed for refurbishment, which is September 2019 through early 2020. It may also close down due to weather, including low temperatures (50’s or lower), which usually only happens a few days out of the year.

Similar to Typhoon Lagoon, all of the dining options at Blizzard Beach are quick service American cuisine with bars scattered throughout.

Also similar to Typhoon Lagoon, there are areas in Blizzard Beach where you can reserve tables and chairs for your party as homebase. The Polar Patios fit six guests and come with towels, cushioned seats, a locker, and a cooler filled with water bottles for a cost of nearly $300. If you don’t reserve these in advance, you have to visit “Beach Haus” at the entrance of the park to rent them the day of. The Lodge Umbrellas come with two loungers, two beach chairs, a table and towels, fitting four guests for a cost of around $40.

What You’ll Find at Blizzard Beach

Blizzard Beach has something for everyone, ranging from tall plummets to obstacle courses, to lazy creeks. Attractions include: the Chairlift, Cross Country Creek, Downhills Double Dipper, Melt-Away Bay, Runoff Rapids, Ski Patrol Training Camp, Slush Gusher, Snow Stormers, Summit Plummet, Teamboat Springs, Tikes Peak, and Toboggan Racers. Below you’ll find some of the most popular attractions.

Cross County Creek Lazy River at Blizzard Beach Water Park.
Cross County Creek Lazy River at Blizzard Beach Water Park. "Lazy River" (CC BY 2.0) by wwarby

Summit Plummet

This water ride is probably the most terrifying one you’ll find in Disney. The near-vertical 12 story body slide-drop is over in almost an instant, as gravity shoots you downward through a dark tube, ending in a straightaway of white capped water. You need to be 48 inches or taller to ride the third tallest free fall slide in the world. Make sure to tie your bathing suit on tight!

Slush Gusher

Another body slide, Slush Gusher is located directly next to Summit Plummet. The drop is less dramatic than it’s neighbor, breaking the fall up into three parts. While it’s still a tall start, you don’t pick up nearly as much speed. Still having to be 48 inches tall to ride, it’s a great alternative.

Runoff Rapids

The Runoff Rapids are solo rides with three different tracks. One of the slides is enclosed while the other two are open. The open ones are a lot more fun, as the ride is kind of long and it gets boring and hot in there without a view.

Toboggan Racers

If your group is even a little bit competitive, you might spend your entire day on this attraction. Eight people can go at a time and race down the open slides against your friends and family. *Tip* make sure to get yourself into good position to kick off. The water pressure alone isn’t going to give you a good start.

Teamboat Springs

Teamboat Springs is a family raft ride with no height requirement (aside from not allowing infants on board). It’s a pretty relaxing ride, with a few twists and turns here and there, but it ends in a lazy river-type setting.

Chairlift

Riding the chairlift is a great alternative to climbing up steps for some of the taller attractions you want to ride on. Though it does stop alot and it’s usually slower than walking, it’s a fun ride and a good view.

Melt-Away Bay Wave Pool

This wave pool doesn’t compare to the wave pool at Typhoon Lagoon in that it produces much smaller waves for a leisurely feel. Here, you’re free to bring in tubes and float around, unlike the surf pool in the other park.

So, Which Water Park is Better?

Neither Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach is a downright better water park than the other. With both offering similar amenities at the same prices, it comes down to the question, what are you looking for in your water park experience? If you want to experience the thrill of a nearly straight drop, Blizzard Beach is definitely the park for daredevils. While Typhoon Lagoon has some great high speed attractions as well, it’s better known for its lazy creek and surf pool.

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