Splash Down at Disney's Water Parks: A Disney "Extras" Feature - PassPorter.com
Award-winning travel guidebooks
Home Florida - Walt Disney World Caribbean - Disney Cruise Line California - Disneyland Resort Anywhere and Everywhere! Travelers Store Message Boards PassPorter's Club Help!
  About Us  |  Customs Office   |   Register Your Book   |   Book Updates   |  Newsletter  |  Articles  |  Photos  |   Follow Us on
WDW Planning Articles

WDW Traveling Articles

WDW Lodging Articles

WDW Touring Articles

WDW Dining Articles

WDW Making Magic Articles
'Dream It! Do it! My Half Century Creating Disney's Magic Kingdoms' by Marty Sklar
2013 Expedition Everest Challenge
A Birds' Eye View
A Magical Wedding Day
A Pirates League For Us
A Trio of Backstage Disney Tours
Adventuring Forth
Amazing Autograph Books
Amazingly E-Racing the Guilt
Animal Kingdom Lodge
Around the World on a Segway
Backstage Magic Tour
Backstage Tour
Be Our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service by Disney Institute with Theodore Kinni
Behind The Scenes
Behind the Scenes
Behind the Scenes
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique for Boys
Bringing 'Frozen' to Life at Disney
Busch Gardens Tour
Cast Member Confidential
Cast Members Save the Day
Chaperoning at Walt Disney World
Christmas Day At Disney
Christmas Day Delights
Christmas In November
Cinderella Royal Family 5k
Cirque du Soleil
Dashing Through The ... Snow?
Dealing With the Post-Vacation Disney Blues
Decade of Dreams
Discovering the Magic
Disney Every Day
Disney Fan Gathering
Disney Podcasts
Disney Tech Primer - Part 2
Disney Vacation Countdown
Disney Vacations
Disney World and Down Syndrome - A Winning Combination
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
Disney's Hollywood Studios Then and Now
Disney's PhotoPass and PhotoPass Plus
Disney's Sinister Soiree - A Delightfully Evil Treat
Fireworks Photo Ops!
Gardens of The World Tour
Getting Your Disney Fix
Give a Day, Get a Disney Day
Grad Nites @ Disney
Holiday Highlights at Walt Disney World
Holidays At The World
Holidays At The World
Horseback Trail Rides at Disney's Fort Wilderness
How I Helped My Scaredy-Cat Kid
How Young Is Too Young?
IllumiNations Reflections of Earth
Keeping the Magic Alive
Keys To The Kingdom
Last Day Disney Blues
Learning To Like Disney
Making the Wait Magical
Meeting Marty Sklar
Meeting Mickey Mouse
Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party
Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party
Munching With Mickey
My Disney Wins
My Hidden Mickey Surprise
My Three Sons
Our Decade of Disney
Our Happily Ever After
Pack Your Pixie Dust
Pin Trading at Disney
Pirates & Princess Party
Pirates and Pals Fireworks Voyage
Pirates at Disney Parks Worldwide
Pirates, Pirates Everywhere!
Pleasure Island
Preserving Memories with PassPorter
Rediscovering Walt Disney World
Renting Surrey Bikes at Disney's Boardwalk
Richard Petty Driving Experience
Romance at Walt Disney World
Rumor Round-Up
runDisney Races - Better with Friends
Say Cheese!
Say Cheese!
Scrapbooking Disney
Senses: A Disney Spa at the Grand Floridian
Soarin' Over South Africa
Specialty Cruises
Spreading a Bit of Pixie Dust
Spreading A Little Pixie Dust
Star Wars Weekends
Stories from a Theme Park Insider by Robert Niles
Summer at Disney vs. Winter in Michigan
Survey Marks
Taking It Easy at Walt Disney World
Teeing Off at Disney
The 2009 Holiday Season at Walt Disney World
The 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend
The American Idol Experience
The Behinds the Seeds Tour at Epcot
The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund
The Laugh Floor Comedy Club
The Magic Behind Our Steam Trains
The Magic of Disney
The Monorails of Disney's Wonderful World of Theme Parks
The Osborne Spectacle of Lights
The Rest of the "World" For Kids
The Richard Petty Driving Experience
The Richard Petty Exotic Driving Experience
The School that Walt Built
The Seas with Nemo and Friends
The Sunrise Safari
The Unwitting Scrapper
The Vault of Walt by Jim Korkis
The Year Without Disney
There is More to Disney Than Rides
Three Generations of Disney Lovers
Tips & Tricks
Top 10 Disney Questions
Tower of Terror 10 Miler
Travels with
Unexpected Pleasures & Treasures
Unusual Photo Opportunities
Using YouTube for Disney Magic
Valentine's Day at Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World At The Holidays
Walt Disney World Hidden History - Remnants of Former Attractions and Other Tributes by Kevin Yee
Walt Disney World With the Grandkids
What A Wonderful World (of Disney)
What I Miss About a Disney Christmas
What Keeps Us Coming Back to Disney?
When Bad Trips Happen to Good People
When Illness Interferes with Your Vacation
When to Splurge and When to Save at Walt Disney World
Where to Find the Best Views in Walt Disney World - Part 3
Where to Find the Best Views in Walt Disney World - Part 4
Where to Find the Best Views in Walt Disney World - Part 5
Wilderness Back Trail Adventure
Ye Olde Magic Kingdom
Yuletide Magic

WDW General Travel Articles

View all PassPorter articles
Article Tools
Print Article
Download PDF
View Photos
Visit Forum
Read Comments on This Article

Splash Down at Disney's Water Parks: A Disney "Extras" Feature

by Jean Cotting, PassPorter Guest Contributor
Last modified 11/16/2006

Cool Tip: Click here to get a FREE PDF version of this article, fully formatted to print and put into your PassPorter Deluxe Binder!

Filed in Articles > Walt Disney World > Making Magic  

Your feet have swollen to twice their normal size, the "Stand By" lines are all 90 minutes, you can’t get the "its a small world" song out of your head, and you're convinced that Chip and Dale are stalking you. Now what? Well, let me tell you about one of the best ways to spend a day away from the major theme parks when visiting the Walt Disney World Resort - water parks! Before I get too far into this article I have to post a disclaimer - I am a wimp! I will not be able to enlighten you with any first-hand accounts of the more intense water park experiences. I love gently curving water slides and tube rides. I am fond of bouncing around in wave pools. I am too big a coward to go on any of the death-defying-ninety-degree-straight-down-drop-to-certain-peril sort of water slides. Also, I have my eight year old son in tow, who is not a very strong swimmer. There are many fine books and web sites that can give you those details (like PassPorter, for instance).

First, a history of water parks at Disney. The original water park, River Country, closed a few years ago. You can still see remnants of the slides if you take the boat from the Magic Kingdom to Fort Wilderness. Some of my fondest recollections of childhood trips to Disney involved barreling down the flumes at River Country. Compared to modern water parks, River Country would probably be considered rather quaint - a few water flumes, a tube ride, and not much else. However, for the late 70s / early 80s it was state of the art. Every so often rumors circulate about Disney using the space for something new, but nothing has come to fruition so far.

Of the two water parks currently in operation, Typhoon Lagoon is the older. As you drive into the entrance of the park there are a series of driftwood signs explaining the story behind the Lagoon. I don't want to include any spoilers, but basically it explains just exactly how that boat, the Miss Tilly, got stranded on top of Mount Mayday that far inland. (Hint: It involves a typhoon.) There are all sorts of cute references to the story in terms of the theming. The general feel of the place is sort of tropical island, sort of Gulf Coast. The central area of the park is the wave pool and it is a fantastic pool. The pool alternates in half-hour long shifts between gentle bobbing waves and heavy duty body-surf quality big waves. The big waves are pretty intense and my son generally prefers to wear a life vest when the big waves come. After a shift of big waves we are usually sufficiently fatigued to either go lounge in our lounge chairs or go off in search of the wimpy slides. We are very partial to Keelhaul Falls and May Day Falls, which are twisty-turning tube flumes. There is also a very entertaining family tube ride, Gang Plank Falls. For those of you looking for more exciting thrills there are plenty - the Crush-n-Gusher (a roller-coaster style slide), Humunga Kowabunga, and the Storm Slides. I've never been on them but have heard the shrieks of terror. (Just kidding ... kind of.)

Blizzard Beach is the newer of the two parks, and I have a confession. I visited it for the first time only a week ago. I had heard that it was the more dare-devil of the two parks and had decided to defer visiting until my son was a bit older. I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised. There are plenty of the drop-to-your-death variety of slide but there are many diversions for the less adventurous souls. As the name would imply, there is a blizzard theme. Again there is a story behind the theming -- a freak blizzard in Florida, resulting in a ski resort. The landscaping is sort of Swiss Alps; I kept expecting to see a lonely yodeling goatherd. It's worth going just for the background music alone: Beach Boys and other surfin' music alternating with polka music and Christmas carols. We went this year on the last day of the season before it closed for rehab. It had been chilly and rained in the morning, so we practically had the entire place to ourselves. My absolute favorite thing about this park is the chair lift which takes you to the slides. You can pack in a lot more runs down the mountain when don't have to climb to the top each time. The chair lift gives you a lovely view of the last split second before those poor masochistic fools descend down Summit Plummet. We rode the family tube ride several times, Team Boat Springs, which we enjoyed immensely. This is a very long slide and I think you pick up a lot more speed and spinning than one generally does on a group ride. This is still not a slide I would call scary. The Toboggan Racers are also delightful. They are very, very fast, and at a few points I was convinced I was airborne. It's a double hump racing slide, no twists or turns, sufficient run-off at the end so that you've stopped before hitting the end, and it's only a few inches of water so it's good choice for timid swimmers. There is also a lovely wave pool. It does not have the rotation of really big waves like Typhoon Lagoon, just continuous, gentle, bobbing waves.

I have been to Typhoon Lagoon a number of times and Blizzard Beach only once, but based on my experience so far I would say I have a slight preference for Blizzard Beach. Here is some general advice for both water parks: Get there early if you want a chair. They go early. There are plenty of counter service dining opportunities, beverage stations, and of course, souvenir shops. I strongly recommend renting a locker. The parks are huge and you won't want to leave your belongings unattended. The refillable mug program is a fairly good deal. Up until last year one had to wait in line at counter service restaurants to get refills and it really wasn't worth the aggravation. They now have sticker on the mugs which you scan at beverage stations, no waiting, which is a much more efficient arrangement. Each of the parks does close down for a month or so in the winter, but they stagger it so at least one of the parks is always open. The water is heated and one can use a Plus Option for admission on the premium park admission tickets. Even paying for a ticket out of pocket I think it's one of the best values for your dollars.

So grab your towel and water-wings, I'll see you on the slopes!

About the Author:
Jean Cotting is a first-time contributor to PassPorter News. She is looking forward to planning her next trip to Walt Disney World and perhaps working up the courage to try Humunga Kowabunga! (Ok, not really...)

Related Links:

Gardens of The World Tour - A Guided Tour During Epcot's International Flower and Garden Festival last updated 5/28/2009
Star Wars Weekends - Feel the Force at Disney's Hollywood Studios last updated 6/4/2009
Unusual Photo Opportunities - Getting Unique Photos at Disney last updated 6/18/2009
The Osborne Spectacle of Lights - Disney's Hollywood Studios last updated 7/6/2009
Dashing Through The ... Snow? - Sleigh Rides at Walt Disney World last updated 11/30/08

Reader Comments:

View all comments in forum thread

So what do you think? Click here to share your comments, feedback, and experiences on this article and topic!

(Note: You must be a member of our PassPorter Message Board Community to leave comments. Join today for free!)

Updated 11/16/2006 - Article #340 

Read additional articles from PassPorter.com

Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter, PassPorter News, published for more than 58,000 opt-in subscribers worldwide. As an added bonus for subscribing, you will receive a 20% discount coupon for the PassPorter Store -- no catch!

E-mail Address:

First Name:

E-mail Format:
-Text/Don't Know  



We respect your privacy and never sell or rent our subscriber list. Subscribing will not result in more spam! We guarantee it.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Copyright 1999-2014
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.

Learn More With Our Award-Winning Guidebooks


RSS General PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel - Getting There (and Back!): Your Journey to Walt Disney World
PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disn...
By car, plane, or train -- share your tips, plans, and experiences with others! Forum Sponsored by Quicksilver Tours & Transportation

Off site parking at Washington Reagan
18 Dec 2014 at 10:33am
Hello everyone! Has anyone ever used an off site parking lot with free shuttle to Washington Reagan National? This is our first time using...
(click title above to view replies)

Flying with liquids [in checked luggage]
by eeyoregirl
12 Dec 2014 at 6:54pm
Hello. I'm am leaving for wdw monday and have had some setbacks with a stomach issues. Right now I'm eating ensure and applesauce can I fly with them...
(click title above to view replies)

I'm Flying with 2 kids by myself... Need advice
by Tigger25
10 Dec 2014 at 2:14pm
So it's me, my DD(6),and my DS(4 months) flying to FL in January to meet my sister & mom in disney for a long weekend. We usually have daddy...
(click title above to view replies)

Need hotel/stop ideas heading in from Texas
by princetoaprincess
9 Dec 2014 at 10:52am
We're heading to DW later this week, and I'm looking for recommendations on where to stay and eat on the way. We're heading there from Texas...
(click title above to view replies)

Recommended hotel in Nashville/Murfreesboro?
by Dean1953
7 Dec 2014 at 10:11pm
I leave on December 19 with my 17 year old step daughter and 7 year old son. We are driving for various reasons; cost of tickets at Christmas time...
(click title above to view replies)

Total Visits: 3678

PassPorter ~ 1998-2014 ~ 16 Years of Making Dreams Come True!
Publishers of bestselling travel guidebooks and proud recipients of 13 national book awards
About PassPorter
About Us
Site Map
Privacy Policy
Images & Artwork
News & Updates
Message Boards
Concierge Desk
Books & E-Books
Customs Office
Register Books
Book Updates
Help & Info
Finding Answers to Questions
Help Desk
Using Your PassPorter Forum
Store Customer Service
E-Mail Us
Follow Us
PassPorter.com Front Page (Updated Daily!)
PassPorter Newsletter (weekly and free)
Latest Posts
YouTube Channel
Questions? Check our Site Map and visit our Help Desk to learn how to contact us online, by e-mail, and by phone.
Please feel free to link to this page so that other vacationers can find it.