Early Morning Magic at the Walt Disney World Water Parks

It is fairly well known that a family is picked each morning to be Family of the Day at the Magic Kingdom. Many people assume that there are no other similar opportunities at Walt Disney World. If you’re planning on hitting one of the two Walt Disney World water parks, you might be in for a big surprise. Each park has a special program, and if you are picked you will start your day off with some extra early morning magic.

At Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park a Cast Member will pick the Family of the Day from the line that is waiting for the park to open. One member of that family (usually a tween) will then be named the Big Kahuna. That child becomes the “boss” of the park for the day. The family is given a private tour of the park. They also receive a reserved seating area and  four free rental towels. The Big Kahuna is given a medal and a certificate. Possibly the best part of all for some kids is that the chosen child will push the button to start the wave pool. That is what opens the park for the day. Cast Members will say “Hi Big Kahuna” to the child all day long.

Over at Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park a similar event takes place each morning. A Family of the Day is chosen from the line by a Cast Member. In keeping with the theme of the park, the child picked will be the Ski Captain. The benefits are similar to those that the Family of the Day receives at Typhoon Lagoon. There are free towel rentals and enjoys a reserved sitting area. The Ski Captain receives a medal . The biggest thrill for the Ski Captain is the way that he or she will open the park for the day. The Ski Captain gets to be the first person to ride Summit Plummet.

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If you would like your family to be picked for Family of the Day there are a few things that you can do to increase your chances. Most importantly, you need to arrive as early as possible. The family chosen will usually be one of the first few in line. Second, make sure that your children are well behaved. Kids who are fooling around or rowdy will not be picked to be the water park’s “boss”. You will have more of a chance if you travel during the off season, because the water parks will be less crowded. Remember, though, that one park will be closed for its annual refurbishment for several weeks during the late fall and early winter, and then they switch. You will also want to make sure that your entire family is wearing swim attire that fits Disney’s family friendly image. Not all bathing suits are created equal.

The Family of the Day is for families, so don’t expect to be picked if you don’t have any kids in your party. Also, you will need to have a child with you who is in the right age range. The kids are usually around 8-12, although there doesn’t seem to be a set age. Don’t promise your kids that your family will be picked, even if you’re the first family in line, since it is an honor that will only go to one family each day. Instead, don’t even tell your children about the possibility, and hope for the best. There is no guarantee that a Family of the Day will always be selected. Remember that the perks can change, and that the program can be discontinued at any time.

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.