10 Awesome Tips For Visiting the Disney Water Parks

Walt Disney World is home to two of the most incredible water parks on the planet, so plan to make them part of your next vacation. Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park is based on a fictional typhoon that hit the area. The legend of Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park is that a ski resort was built because of a freak snowstorm in Florida. When the snow melted, the resort was turned into a water park. The details of both water parks are incredible, and there is something to do around every corner. Bring your own towels, or rent some once you arrive. Locker rentals are available as well. Here are ten tips to help you plan your trip to the Walt Disney World Water Parks. It could be the most fun that you have on your vacation.

10. Check the Refurbishment Schedule

Not surprisingly, the water parks are busiest during the hot summer months. Things tend to slow down a bit as the days get shorter, and Disney takes advantage of that. Each year one of the parks will close for several weeks, starting mid-October. During that time everything will be refurbished. Near the end of the year that park will reopen, and the other will close until mid-March. The two parks switch each time, so if you plan to visit at the same time each year you won’t always find the same park closed.

9. Visit Both

If you’re vacationing when both parks will be open, make plans to visit both of them. They are vastly different, and you’ll have a blast both days. Kids love playing in the water, and the pace at the water parks can be a bit more relaxed than at the four theme parks. The shorter operating hours are nice as well, you can sleep a little bit later and go to bed a little bit earlier.

8. Use Sunscreen

Use the sunscreen! It doesn’t matter if you don’t usually burn, or if you’re visiting in the middle of January, use it. You will feel the sun more in Florida than in most places, and you’ll have a higher chance of damaging your skin. Find a sports sunscreen and follow the directions for reapplying. Don’t let a sunburn ruin your vacation.

7. Arrive Early

The Disney Water Parks can reach capacity, especially on hot days. Arrive early so that you won’t risk missing out. Hit the slides first, then when the crowd picks up enjoy the wave pool or the lazy river.

6. Wave Pools and Lazy Rivers

Speaking of the wave pools, they are both worth part of your day. At Disney’s Blizzard Beach the wave pool is Melt-Away Bay. The waves are pretty calm, at least compared to Typhoon Lagoon Surf Pool. That features waves of up to six feet. In fact, the waves are big enough that surf lessons are offered several times a week before the park opens. If you want to relax, look for Cross Country Creek (Blizzard Beach) or Castaway Creek (Typhoon Lagoon). The lazy rivers have beautiful themes and offer a great opportunity to melt your worries away.

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5. Plenty of Thrills

Although there are places to relax at the Disney Water Parks, there are also plenty of thrills. You’ll twist, turn, and/or drop, and then get in line to do it all over again. Possibly the biggest thrill at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon is Crush ‘n’ Gusher. It’s a water roller coaster that at times seems to defy gravity. Gravity is never in doubt at Summit Plummet. On Disney’s Blizzard Beach’s most famous ride you’ll plunge almost straight down 120 feet. It last only seconds, and it’s not for the faint of heart.

4. The Sand Pail

Of course at some point during your visit to either water park you’re going to need to get ice cream, and Disney has you covered. There is a delicious treat that is sold at both parks that will satisfy your sweet tooth and fulfill that ice cream craving for a while. The Sand Pail features soft serve chocolate and vanilla swirl ice cream that is topped with pieces of Oreo and waffle cone, hot fudge, caramel, sprinkles, whipped cream, and a cherry. It gets its name because it’s served in a sand pail, with a shovel for the spoon. It’s big enough to share…if you really want to.

3. Cooler Days

You might think that if it’s below 75 degrees that you should stay away from the water parks. That isn’t the case at all, a cooler day is a great time to visit because the crowds will be light. Keep in mind that some seasonal stands will be closed. If the temperature is going to get too low the park won’t open, so you might want to double check before you head out.

2. Summer Storms

In the summer there is a chance that it will rain almost every day. Don’t let that keep you away from the water parks. The rides stay open if it’s only raining, and you’ll already be wet. If there’s thunder all rides will shut down. The summer storms usually pass quickly, so order Sand Pails for the family and wait it out. Most days you’ll be back in the water soon after you polish off the cherry.

1. Lifeguards

Unlike many other Disney Cast Members, lifeguards aren’t there to be your friend. Be nice to the lifeguards but don’t distract them. They aren’t purposely being rude to you if they don’t make eye contact, they’re just doing their jobs and trying to keep all guests safe. Also, remember that the lifeguards aren’t babysitters. Don’t leave your child near a lifeguard so that you can go ride something. You’re putting everyone else at risk if you do that. Always keep an eye on your children, even though there are plenty of lifeguards. Have fun, but be safe.

About PaulaK

I grew up in Western Massachusetts. When I was nine my family went to Disneyland and I was hooked. I grew up, attended New England College in Henniker, NH and eventually moved to Virginia. I worked as a disc jockey, married and became a full time mom when our daughter was born. Fast forward several years. In 2010 we moved to Central Florida and my Disney obsession grew. I now work as a freelance writer and spend my spare time in the parks. Under the name Paula Brown I penned the novels Dream Wanderers and The Coffee Cruiser. I also am a co-author of Dining at Walt Disney World: The Definitive Guide. I'm obsessed with Star Wars, so this is a good time to live in Central Florida. I've been a vegetarian for well over a decade, a choice that my daughter eventually made as well. While my husband still hasn't joined us fully he has given up most meats except for seafood. I was relieved to find that vegetarian dining is not difficult at Walt Disney World.