A Guide to Disney Waterparks

SoCal Style and the Pixie Dusted Planner are proud to present this wonderful guest post from our friend Heather of Hinson Photography! Make sure to check out more beautiful photos from Hinson Photography at HinsonPhotography.com


Blizzard Beach & Typhoon Lagoon

Did you know that Walt Disney World Orlando has two water parks? Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach are both pretty overlooked when it comes to Disney World parks but they shouldn’t be!

Cool off Disney Style

Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon are both great options for when you just want to kick back and rejuvenate from hot park days.

Disney waterparks set themselves apart by offering world renowned attractions and tasteful theming. If you are lucky, you may even spot character meet and greets such as Stitch at Typhoon Lagoon and Kristoff at Blizzard Beach.

Blizzard Beach

Hinson Photography photo of Blizzard Beach at Walt Disney Water Park

Blizzard Beach is themed after an island ski resort that has melted into a watery oasis. There are two kid centered play areas for different age groups, Ski Patrol Training Camp and Tike’s Peak. Our 5 year old son is obsessed with the zip line at Ski Patrol Training Camp and also loves balancing along the melting ice.

I love floating in Melt-away Bay which is the wave pool at Blizzard Beach and floating down Cross Country Creek because lazy rivers were made for vacations!


Blizzard Beach has one of the world’s tallest and fastest free fall slides. At 120 feet, Summit Plummet is a must see (even if you just like to watch, like me). The height requirement is 48 inches, so kids can enjoy Ski Patrol Training Camp at the bottom of Mount Gushmore. Summit Plummet is quite intense so don’t say that I didn’t warn you!

You can take the ski lift up to the top of Mount Gushmore and enjoy Summit Plummet, Slush Gusher and Teamboat Springs. The view from atop Mount Gushmore is breathtaking, you can see Pandora!

Teamboat Springs is a family raft ride that requires a minimum of 4 people, so be prepared to ride with strangers if you don’t have 4 people in your party.

Blizzard Beach Attractions:
Summit Plummet (height 48 inches)
Slush Gusher (height 48 inches)
Ski Chair Lift (height 32 inches)
Melt-away Bay (Any Height)
Cross Country Creek (Any Height)
Snow Stormers (Any Height)
Toboggan Racers (Any Height)
Downhill Double Dipper (48 inches)
Teamboat Springs (Any Height)
Tike’s Peak (Maximum 48 inches)
Ski Patrol Training Camp (Any Height)
Runoff Rapids (Any Height)

There are a total of 4 attractions with height requirements of 48 inches but what I love about the waterparks at Disney World is that they make it easy for parents to take turns while the little ones enjoy a kid friendly area.


You are able to bring in coolers with food and drinks (straws are not permitted) but there are counter service options that serve lunch such as the Warming Hut, Lottawatta Lodge and Avalunch.

You do have to try the mini donuts at Blizzard Beach, they are fresh, warm and you can purchase dipping sauces which I also highly recommend. The chocolate and raspberry are my two faves! Located in a cart near Lottawatta Lodge by several picnic tables toward the entrance area.

Typhoon Lagoon

Hinson Photography - Typhoon Lagoon at Walt Disney World Water Parks

Many people debate which waterpark they prefer and I personally love Typhoon Lagoon the most. Typhoon Lagoon is themed after a tropical island oasis that was ravaged by a wild monsoon. Amidst the wreckage lies paradise. As you enter the park you are greeted by a photo op with Lagoona Gator and a bit farther down, you will spot views of Mount Mayday.

Disney’s attention to detail does not disappoint either. You can see a wrecked shrimp boat named Miss Tilly that sits atop Mount Mayday.


Miss Adventure Falls is my favorite family raft ride of all time! It’s a relatively new attraction at Typhoon Lagoon and it does not have a minimum rider requirement.

Crush n’ Gusher is Typhoon’s popular water coaster and it has three different slides to choose from. Unfortunately, Crush n’ Gusher has a height requirement of 48”. Two of the three slides require two people but there is also a single rider alternative. It is the best waterpark attraction I have ever experienced!

Typhoon Lagoon Surf Pool has a staggering 6 foot wave that crashes down and is even used as a surf school during after hours. There is a shallow play area for the kiddos located nearby featuring kid friendly bay slides with a maximum height of 60 inches.

Hinson Photography - Typhoon Lagoon at Walt Disney World Water Parks

Gangplank Falls is another family style raft ride that can fit up to 4 people and it is conveniently located near ketchakiddee Creek which is an area designed for children.

• Miss Adventure Falls (Any Height)
• Bay Slides (Maximum 60 inches)
• Crush n Gusher (48 inches)
• Castaway Creek (Any Height)
• Gangplank Falls ( Any Height)
• Humbugs Kowabunga (48 inches)
• Keelhaul Falls (Any Height)
• Ketchakiddee Creek (Maximum 48 inches)
• Storm Slides (Any Height)
• Typhoon Lagoon Surf Pool (Any Height)
• Mayday Falls (Any Height)


There are counter service options located throughout the park where you can indulge in a quick bite to eat or grab a tropical adult beverage. Leaning Palms serves lunch style cuisine with a covered eating area. Happy Landings ice cream is located nearby and I highly recommend the ice cream bucket which is served up in a sand pail.

Happy Landings Ice Cream
Leaning Palms
Let’s go Slurpin’
Low tide Lou’s
Snack Shack

Enjoy Typhoon Lagoon & Blizzard Beach

One of the best things about Disney waterparks is that the wait times are considerably less, if you even have to wait at all. We have never waited longer than 15 minutes for an attraction and we frequent the waterparks on a regular basis. Disney does not use the Fastpass + system at the waterparks but you won’t need one anyway!

It is important to note that the waterparks are not included in a regular park hopper ticket and one of the two parks will be closed for refurbishment in the fall and winter.

Park hours do vary by season and they will close down all attractions if there is lightning nearby.

We did have to leave early once because of a thunderstorm a few miles away.

What to bring:

Bathing Suit
Change of clothes
Waterproof case for phone
Water shoes or flip flops

Life vests are available for free and towels and lockers are available for rent. There are changing areas and showers also available for use. You can either bring your own bags for wet bathing suits or ask for one at the gift shop.

I do recommend bringing your phone in a waterproof case or bag because it is easier to communicate with other members of your party and there aren’t usually photopass photographers available to take pictures. The one time we left our phones in the car we missed out on a rare character meet and greet!

About the Author

Hinson Photography Yacht Club Portrait at Walt Disney World

Heather and her husband Jon are family portrait photographers based in New Smyrna Beach. They specialize in vacation portraits all along the coast and in Orlando. They are parents to a train-loving 5 year old and a cuddly chihuahua. When they aren’t at Disney, they enjoy beach days, coffee breaks and kayaking.

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