Before I go on any trip I do a lot of planning. Not because I don’t enjoy being spontaneous, but because there are so many places in the world I want to visit, I realize that logistically I might not get to return. I want to avoid the “oh you close early on Monday” moments and the “I wish I had done that” thoughts as much as possible. To anyone who has ever even thought about an Orlando vacation it should come as no surprise that there is so much to do there, it takes a special kind of planner to sift through the information. When I was doing my initial planning I thought we’d only have time to visit one of the Disney water parks. I spent hours trying to figure out which one to pick. Luckily, we ended up being able to do both so I can now avoid the worries over “did I pick the wrong park?”
Typhoon Lagoon always ranks as one of the most visited water parks in the world. It was opened in 1989 and features a relaxing tropical theme. It tends to be the tamer of the two parks, but has some cool activities in its own right that makes it stiff competition for Blizzard Beach. Along with some of the basics, here are the highlights:
Crush ‘n’ Gusher
The best way to describe this ride is as a water coaster. Up to three people can ride on one raft as you take turns and drops on one of three courses. The most adrenaline filled ride at the park.
This wave pool goes every 90 seconds and features 6 foot high waves. One of the best wave pools we’ve ever been in anywhere, and beats Blizzard Beach’s by miles. If wave pools are your thing you should head to Typhoon Lagoon.
Learn to Surf
For a bit of extra cash you can come in early and get a 2 1/2 hour surf lesson! How’s that for unique!
One of the highlights of Typhoon Lagoon is its saltwater reef. Grab a snorkel and swim along with stingrays, bonnethead sharks, leopard sharks, and tropical fish. Fun for the whole family!
Blizzard Beach is a close second for the most visited water park in the world. Built in 1995, it has a winter ski vacation feel and is more adrenaline based than it’s counterpart. Teenagers are likely going to prefer this park and it’s layout is pretty cool (many of the attractions begin atop Mount Gushmore). If you can handle a little (fake) snow with your sun, here are the best bits of Blizzard Beach:
If you are looking to be scared silly take a ride down this 120 foot slide at 97 km/hour. It’s one of the tallest and fastest free fall slides in the world, and it feels like it. Jay and Jesse loved it, but I was was happy watching from the safety of the bridge. Take a look at it here.
This slide lets you race your friends down the “slopes” on toboggans! It’s a bit like potato sack racing, but wetter and faster. I really enjoyed this one a lot.
As the world’s longest “family white-water raft ride,” this is a crowd pleaser. It sits between 4-6 people and takes you through a series of waterfalls. See who gets the most wet!
Probably the most inventive part of any water park in the world, you can take this ride up to the top of Mount Gushmore for more slide fun. There are also stairs if you are feeling the need to work off the sand pail you should most definitely eat.
Both parks also have areas for children. Typhoon Lagoon has Ketchakiddee Creek (play area with small slides and fountains) and Bay Slides (beginner slides for toddlers). Blizzard Beach has Tike’s Peak (scaled down versions of the adult slides and a play area with jets) and Ski Patrol (an area for pre-teens). As I do not have children of any age I can’t really give an accurate breakdown of the two parks, but Amy from Adventures of An Orlando Mom can!
Overall we enjoyed both, but if we could only do one again we’d probably chose Blizzard Beach. Although we adored the wave pool at Typhoon Lagoon and Jay is a lover of all things tropical, Blizzard Beach called to our inner adrenaline junkies (and maybe our snowy Canadian souls).
**TIP: We went to Blizzard Beach right after a short rainfall which made the lines shorter, meaning more play time for us! Highly recommended water park trick!