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 Reviewfor 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!
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!