Sunday, July 14, 2013

Walt Disney World - Enjoying the Water Parks

I would like to welcome occasional guest blogger, Gaylin, back for another great post!  Today, she is sharing her water parks experience with me - kid free, just a happy adult enjoying the good stuff!

A lot of people go to Disney World and skip the water parks. Not me!  I am not a big swimmer, I can swim, I just don’t do it on my home turf, Vancouver’s (B.C.) weather is just not hot enough for me to need to.

When I am in Florida, after I have gotten a few days of theme park fun under my belt, I start thinking about the water parks.

Many people ask which water park is better: Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon. 

They both have terrific slides, tube rides, small child areas and a lazy creek to relax in.  How do you choose?    Both water parks have locker areas, shower/change/bathrooms, snack kiosks and a store where you can buy (at a premium) towels, sunscreen, bathing suits and beach wear. There is also a First Aid office if needed.

My personal favourite is Typhoon Lagoon

for one very simple reason – the Crush ‘N Gusher water coaster!  It has one tower with 3 sets of stairs to the top to go on 3 different water coaster slides. There are inner tubes for 2 or 3 people to go on.  (Must be 48” to ride) These coasters literally are a blast, you go done the first slope and high pressure water pushes you up to the next slope and on and on. I only have photos from Typhoon Lagoon so will include some here! This is a photo of the Crush 'N Gusher area.

The children’s play area at Typhoon Lagoon “Ketchakiddee Creek” and at Blizzard Beach “Tike’s Peak” both have a height limit, you must be UNDER 48” to play there. Sadly that means I have never had the opportunity to check it out either but walking by them, there is always lots of laughter to be heard.

Both water parks have the same attendance capacity but Blizzard Beach feels much larger and, as you are going to be barefoot or in swim shoes, be prepared to walk.  A lot. Most of the walkways at BB have misters spraying to keep the walking surface cool. Typhoon Lagoon has no misters but a much smaller walking area.

I am not fond of the wave pool at Typhoon Lagoon, the big waves knock you off your feet (every single time) and the bobbing waves make me seasick.

I do love the creeks at both parks. There are a number of entries in and out of the creek at both parks, you walk down the stairs, wait for an empty inner tube to float by, grab it and relax. There are smaller tubes for smaller children which have a plastic bottom under the ring for your small child to sit comfortably while you float. Adult supervision is now required in the creeks, I know from trips gone by that 6-10 year old kids on their own in the creek can be terrors . . .

There are lots of lifeguards on duty, say Hi, when you float by. I usually ask where they are from and if they have saved anyone recently. They almost always say they have. The creek may not be very deep but not every one has a great swim skill level and if they let go of that tube, they can be in trouble.

Both parks have family tube slides, where you all pile into a circular raft tube and go down the slide together. At either park, these rides areo s worth it.  Even if there are only 2 of you, you do constitute a family.  Both have 'beach' areas where there are lounging chairs, most of these get snatched up right away, I have never bothered saving one. I stuff everything into a locker and when I want to rest I go in the creek.

Blizzard Beach has a chair-lift to the top of the big slides.  If there is a line, go in the single ride line.  They try to fill each 3 person chair, so the single rider line goes quickly.  At the top is the Slush Gusher speed slide and the Summit Plummet speed slide.  Both of these have a height restriction of 48” and rightly so!  Both are longer slides that go very quickly.  Do not go on these in a 2 piece bathing suit unless it is really tight or you will be flashing all those lovely people waiting on the benches, right at the bottom of the slides . . . As it is, expect a grande wedgie.

I have been on the Summit Plummet once, just to say I did it.  The slide is nearly vertical and it is less a slide and more of a fall!  I wouldn’t go on it again- it goes by too fast to be enjoyable and whoa - the wedgie is not comfortable. They also yell at you to get out of the end of the ride as fast as possible so the next person can go, you end up doing wedgie removal out of the water (not attractive).

My last vacation was a solo trip and I didn’t go to a water park. They are definitely something to be shared with at least one other person. If your kids are not 48” tall and you are staying at a resort with fun pools, I would stick with the resort and save the money until they are tall enough for everyone to enjoy all the slides. Having said that, if your kids are water babies, this might be a great way to spend a day.

My only complaints about Blizzard Beach would be that it is painted and themed with a lot of white.  It is a melted ski resort – this means in the middle of the day the glare of the sun on all that white can be painful.  My only other complaint is that when showering afterwards there is no warm water in the showers! That might be okay in July, but not so much fun in October.

All in all, I definitely recommend both parks. I usually get there close to opening and last about 6-7 hours!

  • Be prepared to be very, very tired.  It is a lot of work to play in the water for that many hours.  
  • Bring your sunscreen! Waterproof is best and reapply often.  
  • Both parks have lunch counter food service. 
  • I like having a small waterproof hat because of sun glare, I am so classy, I shove it down the front of my bathing suit when I go on a slide. 
  • Remember other than whoever you are with, you will never see these people again, it really doesn't matter what they think of you.

This last photo is from 2005 when I had shaved my head for charity, I raised $1,500 for the Children's Hospital Kids Cancer Ward. Being bald on vacation is wonderful, no maintenance hairstyle indeed! I got a lot of funny looks - oh well!
What an awesome person, don't you think?

Thanks Jennifer for inviting me to write!


  1. Umn, anybody who shaves their head to raise money for children's cancer support is definitely an awesome person in my book. You rock Gaylin!!!

  2. It was kind of funny, the guy I was traveling with shaves his head all the time. So we were the bald Canadians . . . We actually had a few CM's greet us, saying hey, I saw you two over at Epcot the other day. It was a 13 day vacation in May - no hair is very cool. When I turned in my envelope of money and had my head shaved, the lady at the reception desk said "you raised this on your own?". :)