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Which Disney Water Park Should You Visit: Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon?

Even for Walt Disney World super fans, there are days the heat and humidity in Orlando can be a lot to take! Our favorite way to beat the heat during a trip to Disney World is to take advantage of a day at one of their water parks, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon or Disney’s Blizzard Beach.

We have spent days at both water parks and have not been disappointed. Tickets are reasonably priced, and the hours are usually 10 am – 5 or 7 pm, depending on the day of the week and season. There are also a few seasonal special nighttime ticketed events like the Disney H2O Glow After Hours. Admission into the water parks is on a first-come, first serve basis. While they rarely reach capacity and turn people away, it’s safest to get there close to the opening to ensure entrance into the Park and an easy time finding chairs or lockers for your belongings and taking advantage of the full day. 

Credit: Disney

Both water parks have some of the perks that you’ll find at all Walt Disney World Theme Parks, such as character meet and greets and mobile ordering at quick service restaurants. It is important to note that there is no table service dining at either water Park and no lightning lanes or virtual queues for any of the attractions.

Which of the two Disney water parks is right for you and your group? We devised a list of criteria to judge them on to help you make your decision. Let’s go to the scorecards!

Theming

Each Water Park has its own unique theming that is not really based on Disney IP, believe it or not. Both parks introduce their background tale as you’re entering to explain the incredibly elaborate theming and start immersing you into the story of your day, as Disney does so well. 

Blizzard Beach
Credit: Disney

Blizzard Beach is themed as a ski lodge, and Resort turned into a Water Park after all the snow from a crazy Florida snow storm melted. We enjoy the winter snow and ski theme that you can experience in the middle of the hot summer in Florida! It is a fairly uncommon theme here except for pop-up events around the Christmas holidays. The entire Water Park stays consistent with the theming down to the kid’s obstacle course with floating blocks of “ice,” and the ski chair lifts to ride to the top of the mountain to get in line for a slide. 

Typhoon Lagoon is themed as a Resort turned surf Park after a typhoon caused ships and surfboards to wash up from the beach all the way to Walt Disney World in Orlando. The theming stays consistent throughout the Park, with some elaborate shipwreck areas and surfboard debris scattered throughout. It is also home to Lagoona Gator, whose surf shack you can find just beyond the wave pool. The large shipwreck at the top of the mountain is a really cool and elaborate focal point detail for the typhoon storyline and can be seen from almost any point in the Park. 

Credit: Disney Dining

The theming of both parks is extremely well done and consistent throughout. You will enjoy the whimsical nature of the stories and see details throughout that stand out as well thought out touches. Overall, we have to give the edge here to Blizzard Beach. Building a ski Resort in Florida is no small feat and ends up feeling much more creative and a less obvious choice, but both parks definitely have the typical all-out theming you’d expect at a Walt Disney World Theme Park.

Thrill Rides

Blizzard Beach is best known for Summit Plummet! Summit Plummet is the ultimate thrill seeker’s water slide, you actually feel like you are sliding off the edge of a cliff as you take a 12-story plunge almost straight down! The build-out around the slide is cool and makes it appear to onlookers that you will be going off a ski jump. So if you or your kids love a good adrenaline rush (you must be 48 inches tall), Blizzard Beach is worth it just for bragging rights that you survived this water slide. 

Blizzard Beach
Credit: Disney

Typhoon Lagoon has the Humunga Kowabunga body slides. Three side-by-side slides make it great if you have a few fearless friends to go on the slides with simultaneously. The main part of the 214-foot drop has you in a full dark enclosed tunnel before you shoot out into the sun. These slides are intense but really fun, and we typically had a short wait most of the day we were there.

typhoon lagoon howabunga
Credit: Disney Dining

While any adrenaline junkie would approve of either slide, we again have to give the point to Blizzard Beach for Summit Plummet. The extra height of the slide makes for some serious speed on the way down with a radar gun to prove that bystanders can actually see on display at the bottom. The 360-foot-long body slide is the ultimate thrill ride at Disney’s water parks. 

Tube and Raft Rides

Our favorite tube or raft ride at Blizzard Beach was Teamboat Springs. It’s the only one our family of 4 can ride together (rafts fit up to 6). It’s a good time for everyone, is more relaxing than exciting, and is 1,200 feet long, so the fun lasts a while. It really is a blast for the whole family to ride together.

At Typhoon Lagoon, we rode the Crush ’n’ Gusher (2 people per raft), and it was the first water coaster we had been on. It was really cool to not only slide down on your raft but then also be pushed back up hills on your raft with water and into more turns. It definitely feels more like you are riding Slinky Dog Dog Dash than a traditional water slide. While we couldn’t all ride together, it was the perfect level of thrill and just a really entertaining ride.

Credit: Disney

Overall, we thought Typhoon Lagoon has the better tube ride than Crush ’n’ Gusher, we didn’t have to wait long and were just so pleasantly surprised with the water coaster element of this attraction. Bonus points that there are 3 different tubes to choose from when you get in line- the Pineapple Plunger, Coconut Crusher, or Banana Blaster!

Wave Pools

Both parks have large wave pools. The Typhoon Lagoon Surf Pool is known for its surf-style 6-foot swells. These intense waves run periodically for 90 min then break into slow bobbing waves for 30 minutes before they start again. Families with small children will want to camp out far from the break in some of the quieter wading areas of the pool, as these waves will knock you down. Our group had a blast trying to body surf and laughing at each other getting thrown around in the water.

Blizzard Beach’s Meltaway Bay is your standard wave pool that might be more comfortable for families with smaller children that don’t want to get knocked over by the waves. A few small waterfalls are a cool thematic touch as the pool is said to be created by all the melting snow coming off the mountain.

Credit: Disney Dining

The point has to go to the Typhoon Lagoon Surf Pool for this one. It is a focal point of the Park and a unique experience as far as wave pools go. Bonus points also for the fact that you can book a surf lesson or rent out the pool while the Park is closed for a private surfing party (something that is definitely on our Disney Bucket List)!

Food and Drinks

Both parks have multiple options for food and drinks, including mobile ordering at a few places. Both also have Joffrey’s Coffee stands to stay caffeinated all day and full-service bars where the 21 and up crowd can order the adult beverage of their choice. Both water parks stay true to their theme for food stands and bars, and each Park also usually has seasonal items that can only be found at certain locations at the water Park.

Overall, we would rate both parks equally regarding food and drinks. Food options are what you would expect at a Water Park and are fairly limited for those with food allergies. We usually bring our cooler bag with plenty of food for the day. We might choose a special item to order if we see something that we really want… like letting the kids split the Ice Dream Sand Pail Sundae at Typhoon Lagoon or the REFILLABLE beer cups (including Sam Adams Seasonal!) for the over 21 kids! 

Typhoon Lagoon Surf Board Room
Credit: Disney Dining

Kid Areas 

Both water parks have nice lazy rivers, but when we were at Typhoon Lagoon, the lazy river did seem a little more crowded. This is probably because Blizzard Beach seems to have more attractions and great areas for the smaller kids and the non-thrill seekers in your group. One probable reason for Typhoon Lagoon’s lazy river filling up is that it offers fewer options and smaller areas for those who want to slow down and relax, especially if they have little children. This point goes to Blizzard Beach and their wider array of options for the little ones.

Typhoon Lagoon Stitch
Credit: Disney Dining

Scorecard

Blizzard Beach- 3

Typhoon Lagoon- 2

Both water parks at Walt Disney World offer a great day of fun and a way to beat the heat for a day, so you really can’t go wrong with either. Each has unique offerings, and you will have to decide which is best based on what your group is looking for. (Fair warning – recently, the decision has been made for most people’s trips as both parks have taken turns with long refurbishment projects.) Typhoon Lagoon may be what your party is looking for if you want to get thrown around in the wave pool or love a wide variety of slides and the unique coaster-like raft rides at the Crush ’n’ Gusher. On the other hand, if you want the extra attractions for the little ones to enjoy while the big kids take turns dropping 12 stories down Summit Plummet at Blizzard Beach, we’ll see you on the slopes!

About Daniel

Daniel is a Disney enthusiast who loves spending time in the parks with his family and friends. He thinks one of the best things in the world is watching someone enjoy an experience at Disney World for the first time. He believes you should just keep swimming, that giving up is for rookies, that even miracles take a little time, and adventure is out there!