While there are many ways to beat the heat at Disney World, sometimes the easiest solution is to leave Disney’s theme parks entirely and hit the water. The water parks that is! Disney’s two water parks, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach, have been around for a couple of decades each, but many Disney World regulars have never paid them a visit. In this week’s episode, Leslie and Joe (with special guest Ed Pizzarello) give a crash course in Blizzard Beach 101. Learn why you may want to add Blizzard Beach to your next Disney vacation during warmer months, whether it’s a fit for younger non-swimming kids, and how to beat the lines for the most popular slides.
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Disney’s Blizzard Beach Basics
Disney’s Blizzard Beach is the newer of Disney’s two operating water parks. Blizzard Beach opened in 1995 and is a water park themed to look like a melting ski resort. The premise is that a freak snow storm happened in Florida, a ski resort was built, and then it all melted leaving water features instead.
Disney takes the theming to impressive levels. Expect music like Christmas carols with Caribbean and Hawaiian rhythms or even Olaf’s Frozen ballad “In Summer.” A real operating gondola ski lift is a central feature in the park, saving visitors from having to make a climb up stairs to the higher slides.
Water park tickets are available for standalone purchase. A single day ticket for Blizzard Beach is currently $65 for adults and $59 for kids 3-9. For guests that are going to the other Disney theme parks, however, our best recommendation is to add the “Park Hopper Plus” option on to your Park Hopper ticket to get access very cheaply. The add-on for multi-day tickets is just about $25 more and gives you the same number of entrances to a water park as the number of days on your ticket. For example, a 4 day park hopper plus ticket entitles the holder to 4 days entrance to the four theme parks plus 4 additional entrances to the water parks or a few other attractions.
Blizzard Beach for Younger Kids
Many Disney-goers, especially those with little kids, skip water parks thinking they are more for thrill-seeking teens. But parents of even babies and toddlers may just find enough to do for the non-swimming set at Blizzard Beach.
Blizzard Beach is divided into several areas, a few of which work well for younger kids. The main draw is “Tike’s Peak,” with smaller slides, splash areas, and a zipline. There are lots of chairs here to be had if you want to set up camp with younger kids here for the day.
Of course, the very long lazy river (Cross Country Creek) which encircles the park and the wave pool (Melt Away Bay) work well for kids of all ages in appropriate floatation devices. Disney provides life jackets of all shapes and sizes so no need to bring one from home for your child.
Some of the other intermediate rides may work well for toddlers, preschoolers and younger kids ready for mild thrills. Teamboat Springs is a tube ride that families of up to 6 people can ride together (no infants, however). There are a number of slides on mats and in tubes that aren’t too fear-inducing.
Beating the Lines & Crowds at Blizzard Beach
If you don’t like lines, you will probably find Blizzard Beach a welcome respite. Lines just usually aren’t quite as bad at Blizzard Beach on average as they can be in the Disney theme parks. In fact, the scarier the slide, the less crazy the waits seem to be. Expect the longest lines for rides like Teamboat Springs with more universal appeal. Ride that first in the morning before it gets too long.
A line you might not expect, however, is the one for food. While there are several snack stands with limited menus, there is only one major “real” restaurant at Blizzard Beach – Lottawatta Lodge. The lines for Lottawatta Lodge can really swell during the lunch hour. Go early or late or plan to wait awhile.
Blizzard Beach Tips
A few parting tips to make the most of your Blizzard Beach experience:
- If you are staying at a Disney resort hotel, towel rental is free. Pack light coming from your hotel and stop by a towel stand as you enter.
- Lockers are available for rental and plentiful. The cheapest smallest one is $6 a day.
- Goofy is available for a character meet-and-greet near the entrance fairly regularly all day. Skip him on the way in to beat the crowds and come back mid-afternoon for shorter lines.
- Not all hotels have direct bus service to Blizzard Beach. Consider taking a Minnie Van or a Lyft/Uber instead.
- Look for Photopass photographers! There are only a few at Blizzard Beach but the best place to find them is at the end of the Teamboat Springs ride in front of the Hidden Mickey raft.
Ed Pizzarello from the Miles to go podcast joins to chat about all things Blizzard Beach – impressions, tips, tricks, best sections for kids of various ages, and more! Plus, we drop a Disney do AND a Disney don’t and chat about how Blizzard Beach handles the rain.
If you like what you hear, please share the podcast with others you think might enjoy it. Also, we’d appreciate if you subscribed on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, TuneIn, PlayerFM, or Google Play (please leave a positive review if you’re enjoying the show), liked our Facebook page, or followed us on Twitter!
You can also e-mail us at disneydeciphered AT gmail DOT com. Connect with Leslie @TripswithTykes on social media and Joe @asthejoeflies.
0:00 – Introducing Ed from Miles to go
2:01 – Overall impressions of Blizzard Beach
3:29 – Theming
5:10 – Teamboat Springs
6:30 – Other features/what’s good for younger kids (Tike’s Peak)
8:57 – More slides
11:08 – Saving money on Blizzard Beach tickets with the Park hopper plus
12:22 – Touring logistics
15:19 – Lines
17:40 – Dealing with the rain
19:11 – Disney dos don’tsConnect with Disney Deciphered!