Do you love spending time at Disney Water Parks? Have you ever wondered which is better: Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon? Look no further, we’re going to break it all down so you know what’s in store at the water parks at Disney so you can plan a magical water park trip for you and your party!
Blizzard Beach vs Typhoon Lagoon is a hot topic and we’re going to go through everything you need to know to decide which Disney water park is best for you! Maybe you don’t need to make a choice and are planning to go to both of the Disney water parks: this article will prepare you, so you know what to expect and can make the most of your time at the Disney World water parks!
The Ultimate Guide to Disney Water Parks
What Are The Disney Water Parks?
Maps of the Disney Water Parks
Typhoon Lagoon Map
Typhoon Lagoon is one of the most unique waterparks in the world and is the most visited water park in North America. It has an amazing surf pool and a water roller coaster – very different from Blizzard Beach, this Disney water park has unique theming and a completely different range of attractions and food.
Blizzard Beach Map
Blizzard Beach is the second most visited water park in North America, after Typhoon Lagoon! It is hugely fun and the map gives you a great idea of how to plan your day – there really is something for everyone at this Disney water park. Blizzard Beach is centred around Mount Gushmore and there are three slopes – green, purple and red – designed to help guests navigate around the park.
Best Time To Visit The Waterparks At Disney
Buying Disney Water Park Tickets
What To Pack For The Waterpark
Some days we do ‘water park packing lite’ – if we’re staying onsite, with a Dining plan and just doing a morning Disney water park visit, we’ll happily rock up with sunscreen, magic bands, water shoes, a few drinks and our swimwear. We grab some towels, hit the slides and the pools (can you say lazy river?!); we hardly spend any time chilling or sitting down and, when we’re done we grab quick service lunch on our way out.
That said, the water parks have so much more to offer and can be a great destination for the whole day, but whether you’re visiting Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon, you’ll want to be better prepared so you’re not left wanting OR spending your hard earned money on things you could easily have brought with you! Whatever you’re doing, you’ll need to remember to reapply sunscreen often!
Don’t forget, kids are going to be spending a lot of time out of water and will need careful protection from the sun to shield them from rays reflecting off the water: we love swim suit sets like this for toddlers (similar ones for girls and boys) to double up on the sun protection!
Kids who wear diapers must wear swim diapers.
Disney’s website has a note about Swim attire for use in the water parks: Swimwear with rivets, buckles or exposed metal is not permitted on the water attractions. Wetsuits are not permitted on body slides. One-piece swimsuits are recommended on the more thrilling waterslides, like the Summit Plummet attraction.
For our other packing lists, read the Only Disney Packing List you will ever need.
- Disney water park tickets
- Drivers license/ID for each adult
- Cash/credit card
- Waterproof/underwater camera
- Cell phones
- Lanyard for room key/tickets
- Sunglasses w/straps
- Water bottle w/strap
- Collapsible cooler
- Bathing suits
- Beach towels – if you’re a Disney resort guest, you can get towels from the water parks without having to pay, you just need to provide your Magic band and let them know how many towels you need.
- Plastic pool cups w/top & straw
- Beach bag – we try to make sure our beach bag has at least one zippered pocket for our valuables and things we don’t want to lose or get wet. This one has a cooler compartment underneath the bag part, so may be a great addition to your Disney packing list!
- Kids ID tags
- Floatation toys
- Water toys
- Mister fan & extra batteries
- Pain medicine (like Tylenol or Advil)
- Lip balm w/sunscreen
- Insect repellent
- Antibacterial hand gel
- Wet wipes
- Swim diapers – diaper age children must wear these and while you can buy them on site, the prices are extortionate and you’ll be glad you had them on your Disney packing list!
- Waterproof watch
- Waterproof case
- Water shoes/flip flops – we recommend water shoes that you’re not going to worry about losing on a slide (although you’ll have to carry them down Summit Plummet, if you’re brave enough!) and that you just wear around the park. We love this type – they protect our feet from the hot walkways and also from the rough bottom of the pool – we hate grazing the tops and soles of our feet as we go around the lazy river!
- Large Ziplocs for wet clothes
- Dry change of clothes for kids
How To Reduce Wait Times At The Disney Water Parks
Blizzard Beach Vs Typhoon Lagoon
Best Disney Water Park For Kids
If you have smaller kids, they’re going to LOVE time at the Disney water parks and are probably going to want to spend time at Ketchakiddee Creek (Typhoon Lagoon) or Tike’s Peak (Blizzard Beach). Depending on the age of your kids, as well as their water confidence, they may prefer one or other of the Disney World water parks.
As with all Disney parks, you don’t need to buy Disney water park tickets for under 3’s.
This section is less Blizzard Beach vs Typhoon Lagoon, and more about helping you understand which Disney water park will meet your kids’ needs best. Do also think about your water confidence, too. If you’re happy in the water, you’re more likely to be comfortable letting your kids try the more adventurous aspects of the Disney water parks.
Blizzard Beach for kids
There are 2 areas for kids at Blizzard Beach: Ski Patrol Training Camp and Tike’s Peak.
Ski Patrol Training Camp is geared towards older kids – the water here is deep (over 6 foot), so your kids need to be able to swim or wearing life vests. There’s a floating iceberg course; a zip line for kids under 60 inches tall (which ends, as you probably guessed, with them dropping into a pool!).
In addition, there’s also some inner tube slides and smaller waterslides – which they may enjoy as a build up to the bigger ones; to ‘test’ whether they enjoy slides or even as well as the bigger slides. I took my 8 year old, who was very water confident – she loved the Training Camp; it’s slides (which she enjoyed doing with her 3 year old sister) AND some of the bigger slides Blizzard Beach has to offer.
Tike’s Peak has some great kid sized slides; ‘bubble fountains’; pop up water jets and cool ice-animal theming. There’s a lovely, shallow area – too shallow to be called a pool – with zero entry, so can be enjoyed by even the really little ones. Tike’s Peak is aimed at kids under 48 inches tall; but that doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy other parts of this Disney water park, but these are the areas that are exclusively for youngsters!
Typhoon Lagoon for kids
Best Water Park At Disney For Thrill Rides
There are more thrill rides for the daring guest at Blizzard Beach, compared to Typhoon Lagoon, but we’re going to cover them all to let you make your own decision.
Of course, our perceptions of what makes a thrill ride differs – what might be a tame ride for someone is totally a thrill ride for someone else. There’s no judgement, here, there’s several I wouldn’t dream of doing!
Thrill rides at Blizzard Beach
Thrill rides at Typhoon Lagoon
The wonderful sounding Humunga Kowabunga has three enclosed tubes/flumes and sends guests down 5 storeys in just a few seconds: it is the most intense ride at Typhoon Lagoon! The minimum height requirement for Humunga Kowabunga is 48inches.
Storm slides consists of 3 slides that are like more traditional flumes – semi enclosed for most of the ride (some parts fully enclosed), there are some twists and turns before depositing riders into the pool at the bottom. At the top of Storm Slides, the rider can determine how quickly they ‘launch’ themselves and therefore control (slightly and at the start) how quickly they go down the slide. You can sit or lie down on these slides. There’s no height requirement for Storm Slides.
Best Disney Water Park Wave Pool
Wave Pool at Blizzard Beach
Wave pool at Typhoon Lagoon
If Melt-Away Bay is all about relaxation, Typhoon Lagoon’s Surf Pool couldn’t be more different! Watching the waves is impressive – the surf pool It is one of the most thrilling (not to mention largest) wave pool in the world. Every 90 seconds, huge waves that reach up to 6ft move through the pool – normally accompanied by excited screams from guests in the water!
Plenty of people body surf the waves, but just as many stand waiting in the shallows for the waves to reach them. The waves still have a lot of power when they reach the ‘beach’ and can knock small kids off their feet (and take larger ones by surprise!).
Don’t forget, the floor of this pool has the same abrasive coating which can be very sore if you’re being pushed around or knocked off your feet by the waves. Not something to stop you from having fun in this amazing Surf pool, but just to be aware of.
Best Inner Tube Rides At Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon
Tube rides at Blizzard Beach
Downhill Double Dipper is a pair of side by side water slides – the tubes that you go on for this ride don’t have a bottom, they’re just like the ones in the lazy river! You’re held back at the start by a platform which drops and the 2 riders race, side by side. At the bottom, there’s a pair of digital stopclocks so you can see who won the race! The idea on this ride is mimicking a downhill ski race. Riders must be 48inches to ride and riders are one per tube.
Tube rides at Typhoon Lagoon
Crush’n’Gusher seems as much of a coaster as it is a slide! You and another rider sit one in front of the other and head down these semi-enclosed slides – there are lots of uphill climbs and sudden drops. There 3 slides in total – 2 require 2 riders; one is appropriate for single riders. Riders must be at least 48inches.
Keelhaul Falls is a fun ride – not too scary and fast and lasts a good length of time, too (much longer than some of the other rides!). There’s no height requirement for Keelhaul Falls.
Mayday Falls is similar to Keelhaul Falls, but with a slightly more substantial tube with a little backrest. This one is faster and more splashy than Keelhaul Falls – riders will get thrown around and splashed much more (with, usually, a slightly less graceful exit into the pool!). As with Keelhall Falls, there’s no height restriction.
Best Family Rides At Typhoon Lagoon Vs Blizzard Beach
Family rides at Blizzard Beach
Family rides at Typhoon Lagoon
Best Lazy River At The Disney Water Parks
Lazy River at Blizzard Beach
Lazy River at Typhoon Lagoon
The Castaway Creek, like Cross Country Creek, winds around the whole of Typhoon Lagoon in a continuous loop of over 2000 ft.. It provides tranquillity as guests float through the beautifully landscaped vegetation. For a continuous loop of relaxation and sun-catching, you’d have to go a long way to beat Castaway Creek!
Food At The Disney Water Parks
There is, as you’d expect, a broad range of food, drink and snack options at the Disney water parks – some people don’t rate the quality of the food: while the quality of food is not among the standout quick service offerings at Disney, we think that they stand up well to the average quick service quality, with some surprisingly different options.
It’s not all burgers and hot dogs, which we find refreshing, particularly for water parks. In terms of Blizzard Beach vs Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach wins in terms of number of locations, but there are plenty of offerings at both.
Food at Blizzard Beach
There are 7 counter service food locations at Blizzard Beach
- Lottawatta Lodge has a diverse menu with a really pleasing range of plant-based options.
- Warming Hut mainly sells salads, sandwiches and wraps
- Avalunch has a relatively small menu with hot dogs and sandwiches
- Cooling Hut has a relatively small menu with sandwiches, snacks and frozen treats
- Frostbite Freddy’s Frozen Freshments has a very small menu with nachos, quesadillas and a swirl cone
- I.C. Expeditions serves floats, sundaes and frozen treats – including the Sand Pail (read on to Typhoon Lagoon to find out more!)
- Finally, there’s a small hut selling Mini Donuts
Food at Typhoon Lagoon
- Leaning Palms has a diverse menu with an island feel (with also pizzas, hot dog and a simple kids’ menu).
- Typhoon Tilly’s has on its menu some traditional fishy favorites – sandwich, tacos, basket – as well as a few other items and corn dogs featuring on the kids menu.
- Snack Shack is – as the name suggests – a snack location with dips, sandwiches and salads. It also has the Sand Pail on the dessert menu (read on!)
- Happy Landing’s has ice creams and this is the place to check out the Sand Pail – Chocolate and Vanilla Soft-serve Ice Cream, Waffle Cone Pieces, Oreo Cookie Pieces, Sprinkles, Hot Fudge, Caramel Sauce, Whipped Cream and a Cherry – the thing kids will love about this is that it’s served in a Sand Pail with a shovel to eat it with!
- Lowtide Lou’s has a small menu of sandwiches and wraps
Food in both parks
Which Is Better Blizzard Beach Vs Typhoon Lagoon
Quick Tips For Visiting The Disney Water Parks
PhotoPass – do take advantage of the PhotoPass photographers, if you can. Also be aware that there are photographers stationed near the end of some of the rides – Miss Adventure Falls and Summit Plummet – to help you get great ‘action’ shots.
Lazy river tubes – if there aren’t any tubes available at your entry point, you can either wait, or – our tip – is to hop along to the next entry/exit point. Some of these are much quieter than others and often have a stack of tubes waiting for you to grab.
Annual Refurbishment – remember to check the schedule when you start planning your trip, to avoid disappointment. If you’re travelling between April and October, you should find both Disney water parks open.