1-Day Typhoon Lagoon Itinerary
Our Typhoon Lagoon touring plan covers our “perfect day” at this Walt Disney World water park, offering an itinerary for everything we’d do in one day. This includes an efficient strategy for raft rides and body slides, leisurely lounging, where to eat, and ways to slow down and enjoy Typhoon Lagoon’s exceptional themed atmosphere.
In our comprehensive Guide to Typhoon Lagoon Water Park, we stress that last point, contending that Typhoon Lagoon is as close to perfection as any of the Walt Disney World parks get in terms of theme. It’s not the best theme park, but it’s the best-themed park. The park’s overarching design and story remains coherent, the premise is brilliant, and nothing has been shoehorned into Typhoon Lagoon, as happens at the four main theme parks. Typhoon Lagoon may not be the best water park on earth in terms of attractions, but it’s my favorite because it balances everything so well.
Given that the water park is so much more than just a series of rides and slides, our Typhoon Lagoon touring plan balances efficiency with enjoying the laid-back atmosphere and clever theming. Basically, this itinerary is designed to answer the frequently asked question, “what would you do if you only had one day in ____ Disney park?” with relax being one of the big answers at Typhoon Lagoon…
One thing we should note about this itinerary is that it’s truly a full day itinerary, assuming that you’re going to arrive to Typhoon Lagoon at rope drop, and stay until at or near park closing. On an average, non-summer day, this means 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., which makes for a pretty satisfying visit.
With that assumption, we’ve built in a midday break for lounging, rest, and relaxation. The other reason this is included is because wait times are at their highest in the middle of the day, with the first hour (or so) and last hour (or so) Typhoon Lagoon is open seeing the lowest wait times. Accordingly, we recommend you focus on doing the popular slides and raft rides at the very beginning and very end of the day, as laid out in this itinerary.
If you’re only doing a half-day at Typhoon Lagoon, you should either arrive for rope drop or in mid-afternoon. For rope drop arrivals (and early departures), do as much as possible right away, saving the ‘intermission’ stuff for the very end of your visit. If you arrive in mid-afternoon, do this Typhoon Lagoon touring plan in reserve (with the intermission removed).
We love Typhoon Lagoon, and think it’s pretty easy to spend a full day in the park, especially if you follow this 1-day water park itinerary…
Save a Seat – With a rope drop arrival, your top priority should be grabbing lounge chairs in a shady spot–and one that will remain in the shade as the sun moves throughout the day. There isn’t an abundance of these and they are highly coveted.
It might be “controversial” but we do not recommend renting a locker. This is a time-consuming process, and why are you bringing anything valuable to the water park in the first place?! The chances of someone stealing your sandals or other random items is incredibly low, so save yourself the money and, much more importantly, the time. You’ll get in at least one additional attraction by skipping the locker.
Miss Adventure Falls – Typhoon Lagoon’s two newest rides are also the water park’s most popular–and best–attractions. Miss Adventure Falls is a family raft ride through the artifacts and items collected by Captain Mary Oceaneer. She’s a member of the Society of Explorers and Adventurers (S.E.A.), which is a tie-in to other Disney theme parks around the world.
If you really enjoy Miss Adventure Falls and the line isn’t too long when you get off (<10 minutes), consider doing it again. It’ll never be this short again for the rest of the day.
Crush ‘n’ Gusher – Prior to Miss Adventure Falls opening a few years ago, Crush ‘n’ Gusher was the hot new(ish) draw. This is a water coaster 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. Crush ‘n’ Gusher has three slides: Pineapple Plunger, Coconut Crusher, and Banana Blaster.
As those names suggest, this water coaster is themed to the dilapidated remains of a fruit exporting plant. The once-landlocked fruit packaging company known as Tropical Amity (get it?) now sits on the shores of Hideaway Bay, a body of water left in the wake of a torrential storm. If the wait is under 15 minutes when you exit Crush ‘n’ Gusher, consider going back to try another one of the slides.
Humunga Kowabunga – This near vertical, 5-story drop is Typhoon Lagoon’s most intense body slide, sending guests plummeting down Mount Mayday in the dark. It’s also one of the park’s most popular attractions, especially among thrill-seekers.
Humunga Kowabunga can be a bit intimidating, but I’d recommend conquering your fears and giving it a chance. It’s not nearly as intense as Summit Plummet at Blizzard Beach, which is the only attraction at Walt Disney World that still frightens me a bit.
Storm Slides – This is one of the more exhilarating attractions at Typhoon Lagoon, consisting of a trio of mostly-identical body slides known as the Storm Slides. These three winding slides are known as Jib Jammer, Stern Burner, and Rudder Buster.
If you’re experienced with modern water parks, it’s likely you’ll be underwhelmed by the Storm Slides (and possibly Humunga Kowabunga). As with roller coasters, Walt Disney World does theme well, not thrills. These are enjoyable, but I view them as one and done material. You (or your thrill-seeking kids) may disagree.
Wave Pool -Typhoon Lagoon’s Surf Pool is one of the water park’s coolest features, and is one of the largest inland wave pools in the world. It’s approximately 2.5 acres in size with 3 million gallons of water (80,000 gallons are used for each wave). The Typhoon Lagoon Surf Pool uses a machine to generate an approximately 6-foot tall wave every 90 seconds, with periods of calm between the waves.
We generally spend a ton of time in Typhoon Lagoon’s Surf Pool treading water in the deep end and getting pummeled by waves at the shallow end. It’s a blast. We love it so much that we have a dedicated Typhoon Lagoon Surf Pool Info & Tips post.
Lunch at Leaning Palms – In the past few years, Walt Disney World has really stepped up the culinary quality of its water park dining options.
Our favorite of these is Leaning Palms, which is cleverly-themed and features a solid menu, including one of the best vegan/vegetarian menus of any counter service restaurant at WDW. Read our full Leaning Palms Review for more info & recommendations.
Look at All the Lazy People in the Lazy River – It’s been so long since Walt Disney World’s in-room televisions aired the Top 7 Must Sees with Stacey that I fear some of you may not even get this reference.
Nevertheless, Castaway Creek is a glorious lazy river, with shady caverns, waterfalls, overhead rope bridges, and lush rainforest landscapes. There are 5 landings along the 2,000-foot-long lazy river route that circles Mount Mayday, and winds all the way around Typhoon Lagoon.
Mountain Trail – One of Typhoon Lagoon’s unheralded gems is the Mountain Trail, which is an elevated path from the Surf Pool, around Mount Mayday, and ending at Storm Slides.
The Mountain Trail features bridges, lush vegetation, and beautiful views of Typhoon Lagoon. It’s a great way to appreciate this exquisitely-themed water park.
Snack Attack! – You might not expect as much from a water park, but Typhoon Lagoon’s snack game is strong.
Our personal favorites are the Sand Pail and Mini Donuts. (See more in our Typhoon Lagoon Dining Guide.) Enjoy some decadent treats before beaching yourself on a lounge chair for a while.
Lounging – Self explanatory.
Late Afternoon Lingering
Gangplank Falls – One of three “falls” raft rides, Gang Plank Falls is a 300-foot-long waterslide aboard a 4-person inner tube that traverses through rocky caverns, beneath waterfalls, and under rustic wooden bridges on the path down the mountain.
To be entirely honest with you, all three of these raft rides are underwhelming in their own ways. Newer rides like Miss Adventure Falls and Crush ‘n’ Gusher will make you realize how weak these older raft rides now are. Our advice would be to do Gangplank Falls (the best one) first, and if it does nothing for you, spike the remaining two in favor of revisiting the newer, more elaborate rides.
Keelhaul Falls – The second-best or second-worst of the falls trio, depending upon your perspective. Actually, this straightforward raft ride is reasonably enjoyable, especially if you just want something chill and atmospheric.
Mayday Falls – The most intense of the trio, and by that, we mean most uncomfortable. (It’s not really all that thrilling.) If you think Space Mountain’s bumps and jerkiness are unpleasant, just wait until you experience Mayday Falls!
Race Around & Repeat – Typhoon Lagoon will start clearing out as early as 2 hours before closing, depending upon the season, weather, and day of the week. At this point, you should start checking out wait times for any rides or slides you want to repeat.
All in all, this should make for an incredibly satisfying and efficient day at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon water park. They say you can’t have your cake and eat it too, but in the case of savoring ambiance and savvy strategy (or in the case of eating dessert and enjoying a water park), you can do both thanks to this itinerary!
Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!
Do you agree or disagree with our strategy for Typhoon Lagoon? What’s included in your perfect 1-day Typhoon Lagoon touring plan? Anything you’d do differently? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!
This article is a ploy to help with overcrowding at parks. Very sneaky!
Joking aside, great stuff as always from Tom.
Do you think H20 glow nights is worth it if you already have a park hopper plus ticket? Debating whether or not to buy a ticket but we do love typhoon lagoon and would love to visit at night..
We love both waterparks – most mornings we hit one or the other waterpark right when they open, spend a few super-relaxing hours, then head back to the resort to clean up and get to our park-of-the-day just in time for our lunch. We find this morning routine gives a much more enjoyable day than spending 10-12 hours solid in a park; that’s too much stimulation for us. Aqua shoes are a must here, your feet will likely get sore/hot without them, walking around on hot pavement.
I do like typhoon lagoon but it’s a pain to get to from a Disney resort . You have to go to Disney springs and then change buses and same back which leads to a very time consuming journey and we usually only stay a couple of hours so haven’t bothered for last couple of trips
We just got back from Typhoon and it was very sad to see the workers at the top of several slides telling people that after waiting in line for a long time couldn’t ride slides because their bathing suits had ZIPPERS. You can’t do slides with zippers or snaps. Make sure the back of boys bathing trunks don’t have zippers or snaps or you may have a bad day.
Can we remind people that Thong bathing suits are not appropriate? My kids don’t need your butt at their face level while you wait 2 steps ahead of us.
We will be there in August. Do people wear shoes while walking between slides and how easy is it to retrieve them if left at the bottom of each slide. Do they keep the pavement cool enough for bare feet ?
Go with aqua socks. You can wear them on most of the slide and in the wave pool. For some slides the CMs will ask you to remove them and hold them while you slide. Anything but bare feet since the pavement is hot and the bathrooms can be… less than clean.
Could someone please advise where the best ‘shaded’ loungers are (that stay shaded all day?) last time we went we were in the sun from 12 onwards, and it kinda spoilt our day 🙁 …..
Here’s my tip….be careful of the rocks near the pathways!! If you are mildly clumsy (like me) you may trip over one, fall flat on your chest, and break 4 ribs like I did 3 years ago. It was on the way to Leaning Palms from the beach chair area near the wave pool. WATCH WHERE YOU ARE GOING! The paths are narrow and winding.
We are HUGE fans of the water parks! My family uses them as breaks between our theme park days. Since the hours are shortened (10-5), we can sleep in the day after MK or EPCOT and not feel rushed that morning. Afterwards, we head over to Disney Springs for dinner & dessert. That’s a complete day in our book!
As an added bonus, getting the Park Hopper Plus saves us serious cash over the regular Park Hopper pass. Six days in the theme parks is too much for us, but three theme park days with three water park days keeps us refreshed and very entertained!
What are the temperatures normally like in mid November/week before Thanksgiving, if you’ve been at that time? Planning for at least one day at the water parks, but hoping it’s not TOO cold so we can enjoy the day! It’s been such a long time since I’ve stepped foot in Florida, so I just imagine hot/really warm temperatures all the time.
I asked that same question of the moms panel, because I will be there mid Nov this year- (15th-18th). The Mom panelist said it varies from sweatshirt and jeans weather to tank top and flip flops in the daytime. So we will just have to wait and see. I have never done the water parks, but this year I got a special events ticket that includes it.
If you don’t get a locker, what do you do with your phones? Do you leave them unattended? I would not worry about my flip-flops or towel, but I would be uncomfortable leaving my phone. I guess this would work with a large group of people where at least one person would be at “home base” at all times?
We have had great success with waterproof waist packs for our phones. We’ve used neck ones too, but waist ones are more comfortable. We often end up splitting up and it’s great to be able to touch base with the rest of the party when we get off a slide to plan our next attraction.
I’ve been to many water parks and just left my phone (and other valuables) out of sight under a towel or shirt. It’s not something I would do as readily at a public beach (for example) but the chances that someone will make the effort to pay for admission to a place like Typhoon Lagoon (knowing it is well-staffed with good security, video monitoring, etc.) just to sneak around and rummage through people’s belongings in plain sight to steal their phones is very low. I’ve never had any issue.
I understand there’s always a chance something could happen, and not everyone will be comfortable ever leaving their phones unattended (as Tom always says, “your mileage may vary”). But my honest opinion is that it’s not worth the effort or anxiety to be hyper-vigilant about preventing crime/theft being committed against you within the walls of a Disney park. Save that for the real world!
I believe you mean “Look at all the lazy people in the lazy river.”
Gosh, it’s been so long I can’t even get my reference right! (Thanks for the heads up.)
Hi Tom, I know you don’t have kids, but any idea what the requirements are about what attractions little kids who aren’t swimmers yet can do? And do they have life-jackets for them for free? Or do you have to (and can you) rent them? Also curious how many rides you think one could get done in 2 hours. I’m trying to split the day between Typhoon Lagoon and a half day at Magic Kingdom.
They do have free life jackets available for kids. It helps to get there early for the best size selection. My kids LOVED the kiddie area. It had a scaled down version of a tube slide and lots of water play options. One of our best Disney trip memories was when our then tiny 2.5 year old twins loved that tube slide so much that they’d independently get out, grab a tube much bigger than themselves, drag it back up the small set of steps and go down again. And again. And Again.
Tom, I’ve been reading your blog for several years now but today is my first comment. I, too, love Typhoon Lagoon. For years, I never considered going. Instead, focusing on the 4 theme parks. I am 63 years old and I find the wave pool beyond delightful and has an addictive awesomeness! And to watch the fun that everyone is having. It’s joyful. Typhoon Lagoon has everything covered for all the senses. I just love it. And to some of the questions, I wear flip flops around and leave them waiting for me if I do the lazy river or a slide…. I’d also like to share with readers that there is considerable shade throughout the park. I urge others to visit. For me, there’s a spiritual element to the park. As well as magical.