Typhoon Lagoon FAQ, Tips & Review

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This FAQ, tips, and review provides information for planning a visit to Typhoon Lagoon, one of the 2 water parks at Walt Disney World. Typhoon Lagoon has water slides, raft rides, a propelled water-coaster, and a reef where you can swim with sharks, among other attractions like a lazy river (where you can look at all the lazy people) and a wave pool. It’s themed as a tropical resort area in the aftermath of an epic typhoon.

Despite having millions of visitors each year, Walt Disney World’s water parks largely remain a mystery to a lot of guests since there isn’t a ton of information (relative to the four Walt Disney World theme parks) online about them, nor are there many photos. (We have a separate article with a Blizzard Beach FAQ, Tips & Review.) If you’ve been on the fence about visiting Typhoon Lagoon but haven’t been able to find enough information to push you one way or the other, we’re here to help!

FAQ & Tips

As far as this FAQ goes, it’s not really a FAQ in the traditional sense of people frequently asking us these questions (we rarely receive questions about the water parks). It’s more like a rhetorical device used to convey some basic points because I’m too lazy to write flowing prose.

What’s the cost, and is it worth it?

A single day ticket to Typhoon Lagoon costs over $50. Yikes, right? Well, not really. Anyone who does any amount of advance planning probably isn’t going to be paying that much for a visit to Typhoon Lagoon. One of the reason we recommend buying Park Hoppers with the “Water Park Fun and More” option in our Walt Disney World Ticket Buying Tips article is because it’s a low cost add-on and makes visiting the water parks (and other non-theme park locations) super cheap. If you do that, your only real cost is in terms of your finite vacation time.

…As for the “is Typhoon Lagoon worth it?” question, you’ll have to keep reading until you get to the review (or just scroll down to it now).

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How is Typhoon Lagoon themed?

Typhoon Lagoon is ecotone of both natural and man-made worlds. Before nature retook the area during an intense typhoon, there was tension between the thatch-roofed village areas and the luxe Placid Palms destination resort. After the typhoon, the stark contrasts of the competing man-made areas are less-pronounced, with nature trumping all. Less abstractly, Typhoon Lagoon is the working aftermath of an intense tropical storm, with sea-stuff scattered all about. Disneyology has an excellent synopsis of the backstory here.

In terms of execution on its theme, Typhoon Lagoon truly delivers. It’s a fun theme riff with visual gags and details, and it’s a lot of fun to experience this lived-in “something gone wrong” environment. Where else are you going to find a ship-wrecked shrimp boat on the top of a volcanic mountain that erupts every half hour?!

Plus, there’s Lagoona Gator, one of my all-time favorite original Disney theme park characters. But he probably deserves his own blog post…



What attractions are there at Typhoon Lagoon?

In addition to its world famous dark rides, 3D motion simulators, and wooden rollercoasters (a little dry humor for you), Typhoon Lagoon has several water slides and raft rides. It also has a water coaster (Crush ‘N’ Gusher) that is propelled through uphill climbs, steep drops, and sharp turns. It’s not exactly a wild ride, but it is reminiscent of an actual rollercoaster, which is pretty cool. As for the water slides, they are mostly tame by comparison to other water parks, but they are still fun. Raft rides are mostly of the family variety–minimal exhilaration here, too. These slides and raft rides, with the exception of Crush ‘N’ Gusher, all seem very short in length.

In terms of raft rides, Keelhaul Falls is the tamest of the three, followed closely by Gang Plank Falls (family-style, small groups will be combined). Mayday Falls is the least tame, but it’s still not too bad.

In terms of body slides, the Storm Slides are less-intense (the three versions are all more or less the same intensity) and Humunga Kowabunga is more intense. It’s still not nearly as intense as Summit Plummet at Blizzard Beach, which is the only attraction at Walt Disney World that actually frightens me. Still, it’s no slouch. For those who don’t want to partake, there’s a viewing area at the base of Humunga Kowabunga.

In addition to these standard attractions, Typhoon Lagoon also has play areas for kids called Ketchakiddee Cree, a cold salt-water snorkeling area called Shark Reef (yes, with real sharks!), a wave pool called the Surf Pool, and a lazy river called Castaway Creek.

I don’t intend to mention these last two things as afterthoughts in this section. We spend the vast majority of time at Typhoon Lagoon in the wave pool and lazy river. The lazy river winds around the entire park, is incredibly relaxing, and has a lot of visual interest along the way. The wave pool is one of those things that is waaaay more fun than you’d suspect by looking at it. We absolutely love it. We have a whole article on the wave pool, so if you’re interested in it, check out our Typhoon Lagoon Surf Pool Tips.

As for the play area for kids, no comment on that since we don’t have kids. I loved it as a kid, but my parents also have pictures of me playing in grocery bags, so it’s not like my standards were too high. It looks nice-enough and is well-themed, but seems to skew towards toddlers. I guess slightly older kids can do things like the lazy river and the (edge of) the wave pool?

As for Shark Reef, it’s pretty awesome, but it’s also pretty cold. It’s important to resist the temptation to swim through at lightning to get out of the cold water. I guess a lot of people ask if this costs extra, because around Typhoon Lagoon it’s mentioned that there’s no extra charge to experience Shark Reef.

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What should my strategy be for Typhoon Lagoon?

Top priority should be grabbing lounge chairs in the shade, as there isn’t an abundance of these and their highly sought after. Following that (and getting a locker, if necessary), it’s time for raft rides and slides. Fortunately, the best order of attractions is basically lockwise around the mountain. This is by no means scientifically proven, just my opinion of what works well and is efficient based upon firsthand experience.

Raft rides come first, followed by body slides, followed by Crush ‘N’ Gusher, followed by Shark Reef. Followed by maximum relaxation and eating. You should be able to do all of this (including all variations of the Storm Slides and Crush ‘N’ Gusher) in about the first hour of operation. Don’t be afraid to repeat a ride here or there while you’re still in the area. It beats coming back later and waiting in a long line.

When should we visit Typhoon Lagoon?

The best times of year to visit are when it’s colder out, but not cold enough to close the park, or on rainy days. In the past, we’ve recommended water parks as a rainy day activity. Assuming you aren’t going to plan your entire vacation around a visit to Typhoon Lagoon (although avoiding summer months, if possible, is a good general strategy for visiting Walt Disney World), the best time to go is unquestionably first thing in the morning.

More than anywhere else, we think it’s important to arrive at Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach before they open. This is because you’ll want to grab beach chairs in shady locations (that will STAY shady as the sun moves) and start hitting the slides before lines form. The shady spots are all snagged fast, and if you haven’t claimed your chairs within the first 30 minutes of the park being open (usually less), you have no chance at one of these spots.

Likewise, lines for water slides aren’t exactly fun (especially ones that aren’t shaded) and waiting in line 15-60 minutes for a 60 second or so slide shouldn’t be anyone’s idea of a good time. Arriving early, grabbing a good spot and getting the slides out of the way is the best way to ensure a nice, relaxing rest-of-the-day at Typhoon Lagoon–no matter what day or time of year you visit.

We’ve seen “end of the day” as another popular recommendation for when to visit Typhoon Lagoon. We don’t agree with this. Back when Typhoon Lagoon used to have evening Extra Magic Hours, it was good advice, but that’s no longer the case. Now, the water parks become less-busy a couple of hours before closing, but the shaded spots are still mostly accounted for, and lines are still worse than early in the morning. Also, “late” in the day at a water park is still early in comparison to the other parks, so if you go late to Typhoon Lagoon, you will still likely do something else before AND after the water park (instead of going in the morning to Typhoon Lagoon and going in the afternoon/evening to another park), and three parks/activities in one day can be inefficient. Plus, the buses to Typhoon Lagoon is most efficient in the morning (and often doesn’t include a stop at Pleasure Island/West Side).

If shade is so important, is it worth it to rent a cabana?

Typhoon Lagoon has a couple of options in this regard: Beachcomber Shacks (cabanas) or an umbrella with a lounge chair. The Beachcomber Shack includes towels, a cooler stocked with ice and bottled water, your own locker, refillable mugs (for each guest–up to 6), and an attendant who will bring you food, drinks, etc. The cost for the cabanas starts out in the high-$200 range and increase to the mid-$300 range depending upon season. The chairs with umbrellas cost around $50 each and include towels but none of the other stuff.

We have not tried other of these options, so our review of these services is worth about as much as you’re paying for it. With that said, in my opinion, the $50 umbrella chair is “worth it” in absolutely no situations. If you’re concerned with value, arrive early and snag a beach chair in a shaded area. Viola, shade all day for FREE! If you’re not concerned with value, go all out and get the cabana.

As for the cabana, this is something we’d never do because it doesn’t seem to offer good value for money, but I could see a party of around 6 (making it around $50/person) with money to blow enjoying the cabana. It would mean not having to scramble for chairs in the shade, having a private space, and having someone tend to their needs. If you don’t have money to blow and are just looking to splurge on something nice, I wouldn’t recommend this being that splurge. Do a nice meal instead. The cabana experience can almost entirely be replicated on your own without spending any money out of pocket. If the “service” component is that important, just bribe your kid (or a nearby one?) with a $20 bill. Again, though, this “review” is from someone who hasn’t tested the cabanas (and probably won’t ever).

What about restaurants at Typhoon Lagoon?

Typhoon Lagoon has a few restaurants, all of which are counter service. Unfortunately, the water parks serve mostly stereotypical theme park food, with not much in the way of interesting option. Fortunately, there are a few gems among the largely uninspired menus, and ordering the “right” items can make dining at Typhoon Lagoon a really fun experience. Near each restaurant there is a visual “park wide menu,” so determining where you want to eat is pretty simple by consulting these menus. As a general rule, we recommend avoiding the standard theme park food. Here are some of our specific recommendations to make the most of dining at Typhoon Lagoon!

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What else is worth knowing before visiting Typhoon Lagoon?

Our biggest recommendation is to bring a camera! There’s a reason there are so few photos of Typhoon Lagoon online, and that’s because very few people take cameras. We think this is a huge mistake, as family photos at Typhoon Lagoon are a lot of fun (who doesn’t want to a fun photo of a wave hitting them in the Surf Pool?!) and the environment is gorgeous. Yes, there are PhotoPass photographers in a few places at Typhoon Lagoon, but taking your own water proof camera (or water proof camera bag) is so much better of an option for getting photos in more than just 2-3 locations. On our most recent trip to Typhoon Lagoon, we took 5 cameras (no joke) to do some underwater camera testing, so check out our Underwater Camera Buying Guide for tips on waterproof camera options, ranging from $15 to $1,500.

As far as other things to bring, towels aren’t free at Typhoon Lagoon ($2 rental), so another recommendation is to bring your own. Don’t go for anything fancy, just grab one out of your hotel room. After this most recent trip, something we’d highly recommend is quality water shoes. We forgot to take our water shoes, and as I sit here writing this, my feet are still throbbing from walking around barefoot on that hot pavement. You can wear water shoes on the attractions, and your feet don’t get burnt. Win-win! Oh, and the floors of the restrooms at Typhoon Lagoon are spectacularly gross, so you’ll definitely want water shoes for those.

Rather than bringing a refillable mug to the water parks (as we saw many people do), buy one at the water parks. Your hotel refillable mugs won’t work at the water parks anyway, and although you can purchase the reader-sticker to put on your resort mug and use at Typhoon Lagoon, that method is only a few dollars cheaper than purchasing the (larger-sized) water park mug outright. Plus, the water park mug is a neat-looking souvenir!

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Review

Typhoon Lagoon, in my opinion, is as close to perfection as any of the Walt Disney World parks get. By this I don’t mean that I like it more than the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, the Studios, or Animal Kingdom; I mean that it has no shortcomings as a water park, whereas the theme parks all have their faults. If that still doesn’t make sense, consider this analogy: Typhoon Lagoon is like the perfect cheeseburger, but even a perfect cheeseburger isn’t as good as an above-average steak–or in this case, above-average theme parks. Make sense?

Because it’s “only” a water park and not a theme park, Typhoon Lagoon typically receives less attention from guests and fans. This is unfortunate, as Typhoon Lagoon has a lot to offer both in the way of fun attractions to enjoy and–more importantly–in exquisite theming that in places rival some of Disney’s best work in the actual theme parks.

I’m less equipped to comment on the attractions than on the theming, but the slides all seem adequate to me. There is nothing super thrilling like you’ll find at Blizzard Beach, but the slides are fun, and I usually hit each of them before lines start developing. They aren’t cool enough to justify a 10 minute or longer wait in line, so after about the first hour Typhoon Lagoon is open, the slides have zero pull for me. Crush ‘N’ Gusher is more fun for me, but that’s partly because this is as close as any water park attraction comes to actual “attraction” status. The Tropical Amity (say it quickly…) backstory is sharp and told throughout the queue and surrounding area, and the ride itself is fun, too.

As for theming, Typhoon Lagoon was built just as the Eisner regime was finding its groove, and the attention to detail shows. I know many Disney fans love the defunct River Country, but I think that’s partly because it’s defunct–and everyone laments what they no longer have. Having experienced both parks numerous times growing up, I’ve always thought Typhoon Lagoon ran circles around River Country, which was smaller and didn’t even approach Typhoon Lagoon in terms of thematic execution. From its signage to its lush landscape to its buildings designed to look like they’re precariously standing in the wake of a brutal tropical storm, Typhoon Lagoon fires on all cylinders. There are varying layers of detail at Typhoon Lagoon, but the park never gets bogged down in convoluted “story for the sake of story.” Most of these details are chuckle-inducing, and almost every visual gag or pun works really well. Overall, it’s an incredibly clever park that’s really rewarding for anyone willing to wander around it exploring. Couple this exploration with some time in the lazy river and wave pool, and you’ve nailed my idea of the perfect relaxing day at Walt Disney World.

As for how Typhoon Lagoon stacks up against Blizzard Beach, I prefer Typhoon Lagoon to Blizzard Beach for a few reasons. The biggest reason is the theme. While I think Blizzard Beach’s theme is very well-executed, the idea of ski resort melting away as the basis for a water park just doesn’t have as much of a draw for me as a water park. I enjoy the lush, tropical ambiance of Typhoon Lagoon, which I think more closely matches expectations for how a relaxing, laid back water-based experience should feel. When I’m floating around the lazy river or just sitting on the beach, Typhoon Lagoon transports me to the type of place I’d want to be enjoying when sitting in the sun, and I just don’t have that same feeling at Blizzard Beach. There’s a reason it’s called the “island life” and not the “beach ski-bum life.”

The second reason is the wave pool. Typhoon Lagoon’s Surf Pool trounces Blizzard Beach’s main pool, Melt Away Bay. In the immortal words of Stacey from the Walt Disney World Top 7 Must-Dos video (the old version, when it was so over the top that it was good, campy fun), “this baby cranks up a 6-footer every 90 seconds!” Because of this constant action, I can spend a lot more time in Typhoon Lagoon’s main pool than I can Blizzard Beach’s. Trying to withstand the wave is engaging, and hearing the “surround sound” of the communal scream when that wave first wave starts to form is fun. I can spend over an hour in the Surf Pool before wanting to get out. By contrast, Blizzard Beach’s Melt Away Bay has some light bobbing waves, but they’re nothing special. It’s sort of like a less-lazy river, except there aren’t enough inner tubes to go around. There are plenty more comparisons to be made between the two parks, but that’s probably deserving of a separate post.

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Sarah’s opinion on Typhoon Lagoon is dramatically different than mine, but that’s largely because she works in healthcare and has the “burden of knowledge” when it comes to this type of thing. She fixates a bit on all of the unsanitary aspects of water parks, and doesn’t care for water parks at all. By contrast, I am blissfully ignorant of all of these issues–I just enjoy having fun at the water parks. With that said, Sarah does prefer Blizzard Beach to Typhoon Lagoon by just a bit, as she prefers the slides and Teamboat Springs at Blizzard Beach.

The question I left unresolved in the FAQ was whether Typhoon Lagoon is worth visiting. Yes, it is (with about ten-thousand exclamation points). Even if you’re paying the single day rate (and you absolutely should not be paying that much), it’s worth it. Coupled with an evening at a nice restaurant or at the BoardWalk, it’s a great way to spend a non-park day on your trip.

Even if water parks aren’t your thing, if you love exploring the Disney theme parks for their great attention to detail, you owe it to yourself to spend a half-day at Typhoon Lagoon. Having no interest in water slides or that type of thing is no excuse for skipping it. Dismissing it as a simple water park is missing the point, as water “rides” are not its greatest strength. Above all else, it’s a well-designed and detailed Disney theme park. The slides, raft rides, and everything beyond its brilliantly themed environment is just icing. Simply put, Typhoon Lagoon is a fun place to hang loose!

For Walt Disney World trip planning tips and comprehensive advice, make sure to read our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide and related articles.

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Your Thoughts…

Do you enjoy Typhoon Lagoon? Do you prefer it or Blizzard Beach? Share your thoughts–including any other tips we missed–in the comments!

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49 Responses to “Typhoon Lagoon FAQ, Tips & Review”

  1. Jess says:

    Great article, Typhoon Lagoon is my favorite water park and definitely rates over blizzard beach for me. Those who want to visit the water part should note that Typhoon is closed for routine maintenance in the winter months, usually around mid december-march? I always visit WDW in the winter and end up missing being able to visit Typhoon by a week or so, which is a major bummer.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      Yes, this annual refurbishment has caused us to miss out on Typhoon Lagoon a couple of times. It normally occurs from the end of October until the middle of May, but these dates do vary a bit (the 2011/12 refurb didn’t start until December 4, 2011; other times the refurb has ended in early January). What really stinks is that some of these dates are the best times to visit! The parks are nice and breezy and not too hot. Although I guess there are enough cold days to justify only having one water park open.

    • TC says:

      I can tell you that this year Typhoon Lagoon closes for maintenance on Oct. 27th. We are arrive for our vacation on the 23rd, and are squeezing it in before it closes, as my daughters have never been there. hahaha No idea how long it is closed for though.

  2. Tiffany R says:

    I have only visited Blizzard Beach and let me tell you, I am with you on the Summit Plummet. I rode it (twice) after completing the Walt Disney World Marathon in 2005. When you complete a marathon you have the feeling that you can do anything. I rode it once. Terrifying. I thought,”Well, now I know what to expect, surely it can be that bad the second time, right?” Wrong. Terrifying the second time too. Now I can’t even look at it on TV without thinking,”How did I ever ride that?!”

    I do love the Toboggan Racers at BB, they are so fun!

    • Tom Bricker says:

      I wanted to do Summit Plummet this time, but by the time we made it over there (which was still during the first hour of operation), it already had a 45 minute posted wait. No way was I waiting that long for a few seconds of thrills.

      • Tiffany R says:

        Yep, no line when I rode it (it was January). I don’t think I would’ve been able to stand there for 45 minutes and think about it. Better to just walk up there and go!

      • Tom Bricker says:

        I suspect January is a particularly slow time for the water parks. Probably just a *tad* busier than the Fourth of July! ;)

  3. Kevin says:

    Thanks for the review! I visited this park with my family shortly after it opened (1989 or 90) and haven’t been back since, so this brought back some good memories. It’s the only time in my life I’ve snorkeled.

  4. Shasta says:

    Thank you for writing this! My husband and I are planning our first WDW trip and we have been wondering about the water parks and whether we should visit. Now I know that we should!

  5. Kim says:

    On all our adventures to WDWR we have yet to do any of the water parks. But on our visit Next June (other visits were winter and a bit chilly for pool time) we are DOING the “Water Park Fun and More”. My daughter is 14 and has been wanting to do the water parks. We are looking so forward to Typhoon Lagoon. I had plan to get there early for a good beach chair. I may go ahead and do the 50$ Beach chair for convince. Also the refillable mug! Yes always keep our mugs! Thanks for the great review; you are right there is never enough photos or youtube videos.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      Just out of curiosity, why would you pay for the beach chair rather than going for a free one or upgrading all the way to the cabana? Just trying to get another perspective on this, as the beach chairs don’t have much allure for us. Thanks in advance!

      • Pamela Armstrong says:

        We always pay for the beach chair, For $50 it is worth it, two sun loungers, two small chairs and an umbrella
        It is a quite area away from all the hustle and bustle of the free loungers and only people with wrist bands are aloud into these areas. The area is close to all the amenities also.

  6. george mitchell says:

    We went to Typhoon Lagoon the opening summer and haven’t made it back since. Not by choice, it’s just the way the trips have worked out with many being after the first of the year when TL is closed for refurb. The theming alone makes TL a much more magical place than BB. The theming is important to me, which is why I really enjoy DHS and really hate the hat.

  7. Marinda says:

    Thanks for the great post on one of my favorite parts of Walt Disney World. Any tips for discounts to the water parks for annual pass holders? Thanks again!

  8. Mary says:

    I enjoyed reading about Typhoon Lagoon and agree that the cabanas are not worth it. We usually have a party of six when going to the water parks but get there at rope drop for Extra Magic Hours in the morning and easily find shade. Whichever water park we go to during a trip, we only end up spending the morning there because during the early hour and next hour we get almost everything done that we really want to do. (We tend to run from one attraction to the next for maximizing short lines until the park is open to everyone else). One reason we visit Blizzard Beach more than Typhoon Lagoon is because of the wave pool’s scratchy floor. I am not sure if this has been changed since the last time we went to TL a few years ago but we did not like swimming or riding the waves only to have our feet all scraped up from coming down hard on the floor.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      The wave pool will always have that scratchy floor–it’s actually MORE of a hazard to have a slick floor in that wave pool.

      I’m thinking of doing a post dedicated to “Typhoon Lagoon Surf Pool Strategy” because I’ve heard of so many people not liking that wave pool because they get scratched up, and that’s totally avoidable!

      • Mary says:

        Oh, that is true. I had not thought about it if the floor was very slippery. I would love to hear your strategies for the wave pool!

  9. Mitch says:

    Thank you for this review! WDW is such an amazing place, we go every year and yet we still have not visited the water parks, the golf courses, many of the restaurants, Disney Quest (which I’m sure can be enjoyed as sort of a 1990′s video game technology museum), cirque du soleil, any of the tours…. and *gasp* somehow we have still managed to miss Impressions de France each and every time we visit epcot.

    Going to put the water parks high on the list for our next visit.

  10. Mary says:

    I’m wondering how the Disney water parks compare to non-Disney water parks. We have been to Water Country USA in Williamsburg, VA, Great Wolf Lodge, and the water park at King’s Dominion. Curious if TL and BB are vastly better or if it’s more of the same thing.

    • Patrick says:

      I don’t know that you can compare the Disney Water Parks to Great Wolf. As rides go, GW can’t compare, but it’s comparing apples to oranges. GW has the benefit of being indoors, and is a 2 minute walk to your room. As far as Water Country USA goes I’d think it depends on what you like. Water Country has more thrill rides but really lacks any charm. I’m a sucker for the shark reef so I’d always choose TL, but if your kids are older I’d say Blizzard Beach is a bit closer to Water Country because of the bigger rides.

  11. Caitlin says:

    We won’t be going to either water park for our upcoming trip since it’s my bf’s first WDW trip and there’s just not time, but I remember really enjoying Typhoon Lagoon when I went with my family years ago! I’m sure I would get a lot more out of the theming and everything now.

    I have also been to Blizzard Beach, and Summit Plummet was terrifying. The worst was being almost to the front of the line and then just watching people disappear as they went over the edge. My sister just about had to push me down (what else are older sisters for?), and my main memory is that it gave me the worst wedgie of my life and wasn’t even that much fun. I definitely prefer the tamer slides!

  12. Sara says:

    I loved Typhoon Lagoon the 1 or 2 times I went as a kid. I have yet to go as an adult because my husband is anti-water park and we’ve also mostly visited when the water parks are closed. But next time, I am making him come even if he sits on the chair by himself while I play, because you’ve reminded me how much fun it is!

    ps: A+ Stacey reference

    • Tom Bricker says:

      I know what you mean. Sarah isn’t a big fan of the water parks, so we don’t go nearly as often as I’d like. I have to make “deals” with her!

  13. Allison says:

    I think I am confused. So at Typhoon Lagoon, you can get a beach chair in the morning, leave the beach chair and no one will steal it while you ride the rides? I have never been to a Disney waterpark and don’t understand why getting there early to get a chair in the shade would even work if you are not there sitting on it all day unless it has a reserved sign or something.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      Put your stuff (towels, sunscreen, sandals, etc.) on the chairs and no one will take them. Your stuff is essentially your “reserved” sign.

      • Genevieve says:

        I’m a little wary of just leaving towels, etc to reserve a lounger but if you say it’s ok, it must be.
        We’ll have magic bands so won’t have cash to worry about but what about the camera?!
        You say about carrying it with you but are there lockers or anything by the slides. It’s waterproof but I’m not sure it’s THAT waterproof!!

  14. Kelly K says:

    Shhh…don’t tell anyone else what a gem Typhoon Lagoon is!

  15. Jessica says:

    I’m from Brazil and intend to visit TL and BB next year fo the first time :)
    Tom, when you say that I should arrive early to grab a place, how do I exactly grab this place?….I mean, do I leave something on it to say that it’s mine? This may sound strange for you, but here in my country if I do that I’ll never see my things again…..coul you clear that for me? Thanks, love the blog :)

  16. Glenn W says:

    Tom–thanks for these posts regarding the Water Parks. I haven’t been to Typhoon Lagoon since 1990, and I’ve never been to Blizzard Beach (we’re not really water park people). However, my daughter has talked us into going to Blizzard Beach during our upcoming trip in August. The tips are great, and are things I wouldn’t have even thought about. It will make our visit that much more enjoyable.

    Thanks again!

  17. Ian nagle says:

    I actually prefer Blizzard beach to typhoon lagoon! Only just mind you, they are both excellent places to spend the day!

  18. Mariah says:

    Thanks for the water park posts! We visited TL and BB for the first time in May 2013 and I wish these had been available before our trip.

    We did the $50 beach chair rental at both parks and loved it! We have 2 kids (9 and 5) and it came with 2 lounge chairs, 2 kids chairs, an umbrella, a table and 4 towels which otherwise would have been $2 per towel. Since I reserved these before our vacation we were able to sleep in and have a leisurely breakfast without having to rush to the park for a shady spot. It was an 8 day vacation, so we needed the break from rope drops. The areas were roped off from other guests (we were given wristbands) which made us feel like our belongings were safer. Our BB spot was right in the middle of the wave pool (very cool) and our TL spot was secluded. There was plenty of space for the kids to build sand castles and it was a semi-private area. We didn’t run into problems with long lines, but it was the first week of May and not very cowded. We’ll definitely rent them again next time.

    • Tobi-Dawne says:

      Now this sounds absolutely wonderful! $50 and it included four towels and four chairs? AND it was roped off and only accessible to those with wristbands??? That might well be worth it. We’re going in January, and that sounds pretty great!

    • Mikia Lewis says:

      Mariah, so u paid $50 4 (4) chairs & 4 towels NOT $50 per person & how do u reserve before hand?!?!?! Im goin n April & that sound like an awesome deal!!

  19. Rona B says:

    We used “end of the day” strategy, and I think its worth a shout out because it can work beautifully for some people and times of year.

    Our family with 2 sons, (11 and 13 at the time) went last fall for a week stay at WDW the first week in October. We stayed at POR and purchased 5 day Park hopper with water park add on.

    With older kids, we could be at rope drop and wrap up a park like DHS by 1-1:30pm. We kept our swim suits and towels in the car, and drove over to TL. By 2pm it was clearing out and for the next 3 hours we had a great time. By 4 pm the place was a ghost town.

    We went back to hotel, showered and napped, and headed to Epcot (which had extended hours that evening) for a couple of hours to eat and stroll through the food and wine festival.

    Yes, it was a busy day! But for our family and the ages of our kids it worked just fine. And it is so great to hit the water at the hottest time of day after touring a park!

    We are going again to WDW the first week of October 2013 for the kid’s fall break, as it was such an enjoyable time to visit the world, and the kids are the perfect ages!

  20. Betsy says:

    I agree on your preference of Typhoon Lagoon over Blizzard Beach… if only for the fact that wearing a bathing suit and seeing “snow” makes for a huge disconnect in my brain. I got into a discussion about this with a little boy (8-ish) on one of the Disney buses last week. He said to me, “You do know it’s fake snow, right?”

  21. Amanda says:

    Great article. I am planning a trip next week to WDW. Only problem is, is that I cant swim and am deathly afraid of the water. I am still going for the kids but wondering what I can do there?

    • Joey says:

      Amanda, the great thing about the Typhoon Lagoon wave pool is that it can be catered to any kind of person. Someone may want to go way out into the 15ft deep water where the wave is the highest, or someone may just want to walk into the pool area where the wave hits them just to the knees…enough to enjoy the atmosphere and to people watch! When my wife and I aren’t out in the crowd of people waiting for the next wave (which is so much fun if you can get yourself to do it), we enjoyed just standing knee deep in the water with our Margaritas (which I think was fine) and watching everyone go crazy in the waves! Great time!!

  22. Joey says:

    I agree, again, with all your points on Typhoon Lagoon and BB. Although I didn’t wait around for the 40 minute line for Summit Plummet to get the full BB experience, I still think the general ambiance of Typhoon Lagoon puts it way over the top. Love that wave pool too!

  23. Peggy says:

    We love TL and have a great memory of our visit with our 3 kids (our 1st visit) in 2006. We arrived early-before the park opened. After waiting a bit, a park employee came out and scanned those of us waiting. She approached our family…actually our youngest son and asked him if he would be the Big Kahuna for the day and come in and open up the park. She escorted our family in, gave us a tour of the park which included walking thru the brigade of lifeguards with their preservers held high….we felt like royalty. We ended up in a roped off reserved seating section for the day, free towels, free signature warm donuts, and free pop. My son even had a “control box” in our seating area that “let him” control the size of the waves in the wave pool and received a medallion to wear as the Big Kahuna. It was magical!

  24. Julie says:

    I was just wondering about in the winter months (Jan-March) if the pools/water is heated? We were at Disney World in Feb 2013 and our pool was chilly. Just curious is all. Wondering if we should just skip this, on our next trip again.
    thanks…

    • Tom Bricker says:

      They’re heated, but it’s still cold. There are days in the winter that close due to weather, and other days are essentially dead because the air is too cold for most guests to want to be in swimsuits.

  25. Debra Knight says:

    We are local annual passholders. I had never been to a waterpark before so we have been going to Typhoon Lagoon (TL) and Blizzard Beach(BB). What I have found- if you want thrilling rides go to BB. Relaxing River-TL. Large Pool -TL (I found BB’s really scratched my feet walking across it-4/14/14. I like to just relax so I am probably shooting myself in the foot with this but Rent The Umbrella (2 loungers,2 chairs,small table and some towels, gated areas)! You will have a place to yourself off the beaten pathways fairly close to restrooms, food(clean,sandy)and at BB easy access to lazy river. Use a locker for your valuables $13 for small or $15 for large. Just a warning, if you want a cabana or umbrella get there when the park opens because they will be gone in the first hour. On 4/14/14, I got there at 10:40 and got the next to last umbrella in BB.

  26. Lynn says:

    I visited Typhoon Lagoon for the 1st time last year and I absolutely love it. I actually went back one month later and I am going again June 30, 2014. This water park has the best lazy river and wave pool. I also love the theme, it is like a tropical paradise!!! The slides are perfect for me since I am in my 40′s and enjoy the tamer rides. I did the drop slide the 1st time I went but passed on it the 2nd time because the weggy hurt!!!! It was a great slide, but the pain is not worth it!!! I rented the umbrella both times and will be doing the same this year. I like the fact that I have my own private spot to eat and relax. Maybe one day I will visit BB so I can compare the two.

  27. Isaac says:

    I will be going to Disneyworld in mid-July. My flight gets in on Saturday afternoon and I plan to go straight to Typhoon Lagoon. My wife is really interested in the Shark Reef. What sort of lines can I expect for it?

  28. Phil says:

    How far in advance should I buy TL tickets for my family? I am traveling next week. Thanks.

  29. LauraKath says:

    As I read the comments I found out that the Typhoon lagoon is close during the “cold” months!! :( This is so sad as i live in NYC and try as much to go to Disney during the winter here to enjoy of some of the sun and water fun. I went before during March but it wasn’t close. But I bet this time it will since I am going to be there for Christmas week. Well, thanks anyway for this amazing review, it had so many things about the park I certainly didn’t now…

  30. Michael Greiner says:

    Thanks for the tips Tom. I have been made a dozen trips to WDW and finally decided to try a water park after all these years. Your tips will help a lot! Do you think it is possible to do the entire park in 3 hours if we do not care about lazing around too much? Really want to just hit the slides and spend maybe an hour with the lazy river / wave pool. Thanks in advance for any thoughts.

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