by Kristen Helmstetter on August 17, 2011
Hopefully my last few posts have convinced you to give one of Disney’s water parks a try! But now you may be debating which to visit. This week I’ll take a look at the advantages of both and discuss which one I would pick if I could only spend one day at either Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach. So this week I’ll feature a show down between the two water parks to see which one reigns superior (at least in my humble opinion). There are several variables to consider when pondering which is my favorite water park so let’s get to it.
The first thing to point out when comparing parks is that there are more slides at Blizzard Beach, although only by a small margin. Each has attractions where guests slip down twisting paths on inner tubes as well as some where they go down with just their bathing suits. However, Blizzard Beach also features mat slides which are definitely worth a visit. Likewise, the tube slides at Blizzard Beach are generally exciting and serve up a thrill for anyone brave enough to tackle them. The tube slides at Typhoon Lagoon are generally fun, but short. On a crowded day they wouldn’t be worth the wait for me. There is always an exception to the rule and in this case it is Crush’n’Gusher. It uses an inner tube, but it really is in a category of its own and it definitely gives Typhoon Lagoon a leg up on its competition. All three slides associated with the attraction area a blast and offer a unique experience to park guests.
Continuing with the tube theme, each of Disney’s water parks has a family raft ride, but Blizzard Beach’s Teamboat Springs absolutely gets my vote vs. Typhoon Lagoon’s Gang Plank Falls. Teamboat Springs is my favorite attraction in either of the water parks since it allows you to not only have a fun slide experience, but enjoy it with a raft full of your family or friends. My friends and I laughed the whole way down and couldn’t wait to do it again. Compare that to our short and uncomfortable ride down Gang Plank Falls crammed into a small raft and I’ll take Teamboat Springs any day.
Both parks offer speed slides on which riders simply ride without a tube or mat. The speed slides at the two parks vary greatly. At Blizzard Beach you only have two options with Summit Plummet and Slush Gusher so the queues can be long. Over at Typhoon Lagoon guests may choose among several speed slide options with Humunga Cowabunga and three different Storm Slides. If you are looking for the biggest thrill Summit Plummet is the attraction for you, but there are definitely more options at Typhoon Lagoon for those who like to slide without an accessory.
Both parks feature large pools as their centerpieces. Typhoon Lagoon’s Surf Pool is my hands down preferred pool. The six foot waves produced every 90 seconds are tough to beat. I love spending time here body surfing or trying to make it over the crashing waves. The wave pool at Typhoon Lagoon is one of my favorite features of the park! The constantly lapping waves at Blizzard Beach’s Melt Away Bay are more of a pain than fun. They are tough to swim in since you’re constantly being hit in the face by the water and there are people floating in tubes who will often run into folks trying to swim.
Additionally, both parks offer lazy river attractions. Both Castaway Creek at Typhoon Lagoon and Cross Country Creek at Blizzard Beach are pretty similar. Both circle the entire park and offer a place to relax or a mode of transportation. They both have caves and scenery check out as you float along. I don’t think I’d be able to pick a favorite of the two so we’ll call that one a wash.
Typhoon Lagoon has Shark Reef as a non-slide options for guests, but doesn’t have anything similar at Blizzard Beach. Where else can you try snorkeling in an extremely safe environment where you’re guaranteed to see wildlife? I really enjoy this attraction so if I’m feeling the need to swim with the fishes on any given day I’d definitely head for Typhoon Lagoon over Blizzard Beach.
If you have kids in tow you may want to keep in mind that Blizzard Beach has two area for kids with Tike’s Peak and Ski Patrol Training Camp where Typhoon Lagoon only has Ketchakiddie Creek for the little ones. Since I do not have kids yet, I don’t have any experience with these areas other than the glimpses of them I could get from the outside. They all look like a lot of fun for kids, but Ski Patrol Training Camp looked like a place I would have loved to hang out when I was about eight years old. Even though I don’t have kids, I appreciate offering an area to children who are too big for the water playgrounds intended for little ones, but may not quite be ready for the speed slides.
I really like the themes at both parks. When I’m not running around the Disney parks you can often find me at the beach so the tropical island feel at Typhoon Lagoon certainly appeals to me. Who wouldn’t want to feel as though they have escaped to an island paradise for an afternoon of fun? The imagineers didn’t miss a beat with their sight gags and props left behind in the aftermath of the park’s legendary storm.
Even though I’m not much a ski bum, Blizzard Beach’s Alpine lodge motif is just plain cute. I enjoy all of the small and pun filled details found throughout the park. Only Disney could meld together a ski lodge and beach theme and make it work! The palm trees along with the melting snow make for a playful atmosphere sure to please everyone whether they love the snow or not.
When I look at the big picture, I have to say I think I would head to Blizzard Beach if I had to chose just one water park. While I really enjoy Typhoon Lagoon,and I think it has some superior attractions, Blizzard Beach wins by a nose in this competition. I think most of the slides are better at this park and that’s really what its all about right? Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure you would enjoy either of these water playgrounds. It’s just that I give a slight edge to Blizzard Beach. Either way be sure to give one of Disney’s water parks a try on one of your next trips to WDW!
How about you? Which of Disney’s water parks do you prefer? Let me hear your thoughts in the comments!