An Early Christmas Gift from Disney World: Blizzard Beach to Reopen for the Holiday Season

blizzard beach santa clause olaf christmas disney world
Credit: Disney/ Canva

Get your holly jolly suntan on this holiday season at Blizzard Beach in Walt Disney World Resort.

You read that right! The second of Walt Disney World’s water parks is reopening starting November 6 for guests looking to add some wet and wild fun to their 2023 Christmas celebrations.

Santa Claus Blizzard Beach

Credit: Disney

Walt Disney World, home to incredibly detailed theme parks like Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, EPCOT, and Animal Kingdom, is also home to Typhoon Lagoon water park, which opened at the resort in 1989, and Blizzard Beach, which opened in 1995. Both water parks feature famous Disney theming, solid food and drink, thrilling and relaxing slides, and other attractions that served up sun-soaked fun to guests until a few years ago when the COVID-19 pandemic impacted Disney World operations.

Although Typhoon Lagoon opened back up to the public shortly following the reopening of the rest of Walt Disney World, its neighbor, Blizzard Beach, home to popular attractions like the Summit Plummet and Slush Gusher, hasn’t officially reopened outside of holiday celebrations and specialty ticketed events.

Blizzard Beach

Credit: Disney Parks

Understanding the need to break away from the hot Florida sun, building water parks on Disney World’s massive property just made sense. Compared to humid and hot treks through Magic Kingdom or EPCOT’s World Showcase, a nice, relaxing day at one of Disney World’s waterparks is just what the doctor ordered for some guests. Florida, unlike most states, has the luxury of operating all year long, as early winter temps tend to stick around 75-80 degrees.

What’s There To Do at Blizzard Beach

Despite being a place where you can take in the rays, Blizzard Beach is themed ironically. Instead of tikis and beaches, you’ll find snow-capped mountains and a flurry of fun around the melting ski resort of the water park of Mount Gushmore. 

The first thing you’d expect at a Disney water park is probably water rides! Blizzard Beach has plenty to choose from. Rafts, slides, and lazy rivers abound, with a wide selection of thrilling, moderately exciting, and relaxed experiences for guests. The aforementioned Summit Plummet and Slush Gusher offer intensive scares, as well as the Downhill Dipper. 

summit plummet blizzard beach disney world

Credit: Disney

If scary isn’t your idea of relaxing, take some time to float around Cross Country Creek, Blizzard Beach’s own lazy river. You could also enjoy the wave pool at Melt-away Bay. It’s a great way to take in the scenery, relax, and give those feet a rest!

Feeling competitive, challenge that crazy uncle (who always talks about how close they were to winning state in high school) to a thrilling, fast-paced race down the Toboggan Racers or Snow Stormers.

Food and Drink

Before we get to the holiday happenings going down in the shadow of Mount Gushmore or the seasonal surprises surrounding Summit Plummet, Cross Country Creek, and Temboat Springs, let’s talk about everyday dining at Blizzard Beach.

As with any Disney Park and other water parks like Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach has plenty of offerings when it comes to filling those tummies or cooling down with a nice beverage. In all, there are nine different spots made available to guests serving beer, ice cream, and coffee.

Avalunch Disney World

Credit: Disney

As with every other Disney Park, you’ll find a Joffrey’s Coffee at Mini Donuts, where you can also get, you guessed it, mini donuts. Lottawatta Lounge and the Warming Hut are two quick service locations offering your everyday theme park fair and a few surprises such as shrimp and grits, lettuce wraps, tuna sandwiches, and nachos with Walt’s chili. 

Several other locations exist scattered around Blizzard Beach. The Polar Pub, I. C. Expeditions, and Avalunch all serve up fresh treats, cool adult beverages, and frosty goodies for the kiddos. 

Holiday Gatherings at Blizzard Beach

Nothing says “Merry Christmas,” like a plunge down Summit Plummet or a family raft adventure at Teamboat Springs. No one really connects the dots between those warm, festive holiday feelings and wild excitement from Slush Gusher or Runoff Rapids. I doubt anyone has ever thought, “You know what would really be a fun way to spend winter, hanging out at Ski Patrol Training Camp or the Downhill Double Dipper.” Despite the awkward connection between Blizzard Beach and the holidays, Walt Disney World is bringing the holidays to the fan-favorite water park.

“Built around the mythical tale of a ski resort that melted into warm water, this 66-acre park features “snowy” scenery that will put you in the holiday spirit.” – Walt Disney World website.

Polar Pub blizzard beach

Credit: Disney

Much like in 2022, guests to Blizzard Beach will also enjoy the holiday happenings this year among the snowcapped Mount Gushmore. Not only can they experience all that Blizzard Beach has to offer, but daily snow flurries and visits from Santa Claus are also part of the festive fun awaiting guests at the water park per the “Holiday Happenings” section of Walt Disney World’s official website.

If last year was any indication, guests can expect to meet famous characters from Disney’s Frozen. As many characters from the popular film and its sequel were added to the water park in 2022, it isn’t uncommon to run into Elsa or Anna at Blizzard Beach. So, in addition to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom, “Jollywood Nights” at Hollywood Studios, and the International Festival of the Holidays at EPCOT, guests to Disney World can consider adding some fast-paced, wet fun to their holiday tradition!

About Michael Arnold

Michael is a father, husband, and an Army Veteran. Michael spends his weekends at Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando checking out new merchandise and food. Michael is a graduate of the University of Alabama and has an education background in Public Health. You can find Michael riding Pirates of the Caribbean over and over again or binge watching new Marvel and Star Wars content. Han shot first. Thor is the strongest Avenger. Roll Tide and Wash Your Hands!

One comment

  1. “Although Typhoon Lagoon opened back up to the public shortly following the reopening of the rest of Walt Disney World, Blizzard Beach hasn’t officially reopened outside of holiday celebrations and specialty ticketed events.”

    This is pretty inaccurate. Blizzard was the first water park to reopen in early 2021 and stayed open for 9 months. Typhoon was closed for almost 2 entire years, from January 2020 to January 2022! Then, Typhoon thankfully reopened for 11 months until November ’22, followed by Blizzard opening from Nov ’22 to March ’23 (4 months). Since then, Typhoon has been open for 7 months.

    Typhoon is a better park for Disney to have open because it 1) is more popular, 2) has a greater capacity, and 3) has significantly more potential for special events outside of normal hours.