Blizzard Beach vs. Typhoon Lagoon: Battle of the Disney World water parks

by Shannon Albert · 17 comments · Like the Facebook page

(Article last updated: July 30, 2014)

Blizzard Beach vs. Typhoon Lagoon: Battle of the Disney World water parks from WDWPrepSchool.comPeople who plan to visit a Disney World water park don’t usually plan to visit both so they have to decide – Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon?

Today, these 2 water parks face off in 8 different categories and 1 is crowned the winner.

Let’s get started…



Some general advice first

Before the battle begins, just some general water park advice.

  • Blizzard Beach vs. Typhoon Lagoon: Battle of the Disney World water parks from WDWPrepSchool.comWhen to go. The first few hours and the last few hours that a water park is open are the best times to be there. Everything in the middle is busier. The first few days of the week are usually the least busy days at the water parks.
  • PhotoPass. There are PhotoPass photographers in the water parks too. Their PhotoPass cards are attached to a plastic bracelet that you can wear while you’re at the water parks (and to the theme parks afterward too, if you like). MagicBands are waterproof and can also be worn.
  • Winter closings. Each of the water parks is closed for a month or two each winter. Usually, 1 water park will be closed for a month or two at the end of the year and the other will be closed at the beginning of the year.
  • Too cold in winter? Check the weather daily and try to pick the day with the most suitable weather. You may not want to buy the Water Park Fun and More tickets beforehand until you know you’ll be able to visit a water park. You can always upgrade once you get there. (Read my article about ticket options here.)
  • Afternoon rains. Don’t let the afternoon rain scare you. If it rains, you can usually just wait it out. The water park will empty and you’ll have it to yourself afterward. Try the Dark Sky app for iPhone and iPad to predict the rain down to the minute while you’re on your trip.
  • Food. Of course you’re not necessarily looking for great food when visiting a water park but the mini donuts sold at the water parks are a fun and popular snack. The kids’ meals and ice cream come in a pail with a shovel.

Now…let’s check out the parks…

Nicest theming

The story behind Blizzard Beach is a cute one..

After a freak snow storm blanketed Florida in white, a ski resort sprang up with slalom courses, toboggan slides and iceberg walkways. When the weather shifted back to hot, the whole resort started to melt. What to do?

An enterprising alligator saw an opportunity. Clad in a scarf and hat, the gator slid down the ski jump, shouting “Yahoooo!” all the way. With a big splash he landed in a pool of melted snow below the mountain, and the slushy, slippery slopes became an exhilarating water park like no other in the world.

…and so this water park is themed after a ski resort, complete with ski lifts and the look of snow throughout.

Blizzard Beach vs. Typhoon Lagoon: Battle of the Disney World water parks from WDWPrepSchool.com

Typhoon Lagoon’s story is not quite as cute…

According to Disney legend, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon was created by an epic storm. Surfboards were hurled into palm trees and boats were tossed around like toys.

The typhoon made the storm-soaked Mount Mayday an ideal source for exhilarating waterslides. Surrounding the mountain, a 56-acre topsy-turvy tropical paradise was formed—full of waterways, rivers, rapids and slides.

…but the theming is more beach-like.

Blizzard Beach vs. Typhoon Lagoon: Battle of the Disney World water parks from WDWPrepSchool.com

The winner
While I like the story of Blizzard Beach and it is the most heavily themed, I don’t like the theming. It feels odd to be in a swimsuit surrounded by “snow” and listening to Christmas music.

I like the laid back, tropical feel of Typhoon Lagoon much better.

Favorite park for little ones

Blizzard Beach has 2 areas for kids: Tike’s Peak and Ski Patrol Training Camp.

Tike’s Peak is geared toward younger kids and has a snow-castle fountain, pop-up water jets and kid-sized slides in a shallow water area for little ones who are less than 48 inches tall.

Ski Patrol Training Camp is for slightly older kids who aren’t quite ready for the big slides and includes curvy waterslides and inner-tube slides, a floating iceberg course and a zip line where children less than 60 inches tall can grab a T-bar and hang on as they zip down over the water and drop into a pool.

The water in this area is around 8 feet deep so children need to be able to swim or should wear a life jacket.

Blizzard Beach vs. Typhoon Lagoon: Battle of the Disney World water parks from WDWPrepSchool.com

Typhoon Lagoon’s kid section is called Ketchakiddee Creek which has small scale slides, fun fountains, crawl tubes, waterfalls, a leaky tugboat and a mini ripply-rapids ride. There are 10 different activity areas with tons of fun for little ones who are less than 48 inches tall.

Blizzard Beach vs. Typhoon Lagoon: Battle of the Disney World water parks from WDWPrepSchool.com

The Winner
Although some of my favorite Disney World memories have been in the Ketchakiddee Creek area of Typhoon Lagoon, I have to give this one to Blizzard Beach for having more options that appeal to a wide range of kids of all ages.

Most likely to give you a heart attack

Blizzard Beach’s Summit Plummet is terrifying. 12 stories STRAIGHT down….

Blizzard Beach vs. Typhoon Lagoon: Battle of the Disney World water parks from WDWPrepSchool.com

Typhoon Lagoon’s scariest attraction is Shark Reef which allows you to snorkel in the water above sharks…

Blizzard Beach vs. Typhoon Lagoon: Battle of the Disney World water parks from WDWPrepSchool.com

The winner
By far, the winner of this is Summit Plummet at Blizzard Beach which is not only terrifying but a literal pain in the ass rear. Scariest thing in all of Disney World? Maybe.

Best pool

Blizzard Beach’s Melt Away Bay is a moderately sized pool (relatively speaking) with lapping waves…

Blizzard Beach vs. Typhoon Lagoon: Battle of the Disney World water parks from WDWPrepSchool.com

Typhoon Lagoon’s Surf Pool is the largest wave pool in the world and alternates between 90 minute surf (6 foot high) waves and 30 minute bobbing waves. You can even take surfing lessons in it.

Blizzard Beach vs. Typhoon Lagoon: Battle of the Disney World water parks from WDWPrepSchool.com

The winner
The wave pool at Typhoon Lagoon wins by a landslide.

Most popular

In 2013, Blizzard Beach had 1,968,000 visitors, making it the 3rd most popular water park in the world.

Typhoon Lagoon had 2,142,000 million visitors in 2013 and was the 2nd most popular water park in the world.

The winner
Typhoon Lagoon

Best inner tube water slide

Typhoon Lagoon’s Crush ‘n’ Gusher is a multi-rider, coaster-like raft ride for big kids and adults. Each of the 3 slides are around 400 feet long and includes lots of sudden drops and uphill climbs. Up to 3 guests can ride at once.

Blizzard Beach vs. Typhoon Lagoon: Battle of the Disney World water parks from WDWPrepSchool.com

Runoff Rapids at Blizzard Beach are 3 different inner tube waterslides for big kids and adults. Each of the 3 flumes is different, with 2 of the flumes holding 2 people and the third slide accommodating 1 person at a time.

All 3 slides have twists and turns down the hill, ending with a plunge into the pool at the bottom.

Blizzard Beach vs. Typhoon Lagoon: Battle of the Disney World water parks from WDWPrepSchool.com

The winner
Crush ‘n’ Gusher at Typhoon Lagoon is a super unique slide since it’s very coaster-like and involves going up and down throughout the ride (as coasters do).

Best lazy river

Castaway Creek at Typhoon Lagoon goes all around the park and is a great way to relax and/or make your way to a different section of the park…

Blizzard Beach vs. Typhoon Lagoon: Battle of the Disney World water parks from WDWPrepSchool.com

Cross Country Creek at Blizzard Beach is very similar but goes in the occasional cave as well…

Blizzard Beach vs. Typhoon Lagoon: Battle of the Disney World water parks from WDWPrepSchool.com

The winner
It’s a tie. They are super similar.

Best family raft ride

Blizzard Beach’s Teamboat Springs is a 1200 feet long winding river ride that allows up to 6 people per raft and is suitable for everybody in the family…

Blizzard Beach vs. Typhoon Lagoon: Battle of the Disney World water parks from WDWPrepSchool.com

Typhoon Lagoon’s Gang Plank Falls is a 300 feet long slide that winds in and out of caverns and allows up to 4 people per raft…

Blizzard Beach vs. Typhoon Lagoon: Battle of the Disney World water parks from WDWPrepSchool.com

The winner
Teamboat Springs at Blizzard Beach is 1 of the most fun attractions at Disney World for the whole family. PhotoPass photographers are at the bottom so smile! With your swimsuit on! Super awkward!

*****************

Drum roll, please….

The winner of the battle of the Disney World water parks is…

Blizzard Beach vs. Typhoon Lagoon: Battle of the Disney World water parks from WDWPrepSchool.com

It’s my favorite of the 2 water parks and has the highest chance of appealing to the whole family.

Blizzard Beach is nice in its own right so you can’t really go wrong. In fact, you may have read the description of some of the attractions here and thought “I’d love to be in a swimsuit while listening to Christmas tunes and falling 12 stories!” and that’s OK too.



Blizzard Beach vs. Typhoon Lagoon: Battle of the Disney World water parks from WDWPrepSchool.comBlizzard Beach vs. Typhoon Lagoon: Battle of the Disney World water parks from WDWPrepSchool.comBlizzard Beach vs. Typhoon Lagoon: Battle of the Disney World water parks from WDWPrepSchool.comBlizzard Beach vs. Typhoon Lagoon: Battle of the Disney World water parks from WDWPrepSchool.com
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{ 17 comments (add yours) }

Hal Fickett May 22, 2014 at 5:04 pm

Hi Shannon,

Terrific article. Thank you! You made it clear that Typhoon Lagoon it is. We’re looking forward to going this Saturday. We live in Orlando, FL, are big fans of Disney, but have never been to a water park. Thanks again.

Best, Hal | http://www.HalFickett.com | Marketing for writers

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emma watson May 17, 2014 at 3:11 pm

We visited both water parks in the afternoons in early April. We are a family with a 5 and 2 year old and we MUCH preferred the kids area at Blizzard Beach, there is much more choice for the little ones here.

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Ruth May 11, 2014 at 6:50 pm

I’m traveling to disney alone for the first time. I’m 50 and was wondering which of the two parks would be better suited for me.

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The love whisperer July 1, 2014 at 10:47 am

We’ll I think it could be your choice since you r just one person

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CinColo October 30, 2014 at 12:49 pm

I’ve only been to Typhoon Lagoon (just went in Oct). I liked the tropical theme. From what I’ve read, compared to Blizzard Beach, it has less intense rides/slides. You may want to use that as a guide. My girls and I really liked the Crush ‘N Gusher at Typhoon Lagoon. I’ve also read that some people complained about there only being 1 place for food at Blizzard Beach. Typhoon Lagoon has spots throughout the park.

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val cruz April 23, 2014 at 2:44 pm

i have not been to any of the waterparks yet but i am going soon. suprisingly, i am only 11, so i want a waterpark that has a lot of water coasters, fun activites, and an exciting experience so that my dad and i would have fun. by reading the reviews and looking at all the comments about these too waterparks, i think im going to have to go with Blizzard Beach.
thnx for the help!! <3

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Ginette April 18, 2014 at 8:15 am

I have a 4 year old and a 1 year old. Is there a better park for the little guys or should we skip it and wait a few years until they are older? The family raft at BB is the 1 year old able to go on? Thanks for the help.

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Ines Albarracin January 16, 2014 at 1:20 pm

im from argentina, and i was in disney when i was 11 years, i loved thypoon lagoon, but for me it is better blizard beach, definitely! but i have to admit that i loved to stay in a pool with sharks but i think it is more excited all the water slides, and this year im gonna again and i dont remember which park it is better, and remembered reading this article the best park and it is BLIZZARD BEACH
PD: Im sorry if something is written wrong or not understood, remember that i dont know speak english!

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Demmi August 12, 2013 at 6:21 pm

i think Blizzard Beach is better but i REALLY want to do the surfing lessons at typhoon lagoon where should i go!!!

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Greg Pabst August 11, 2013 at 5:07 pm

We just visited Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach for the first time in the last couple weeks. We have a 9 year old and a 6 year old. From a theming perspective Blizzard Beach is superb at transporting you to a different world and completely immersing you in it. I love the snow and the lift, which offers great views. The slides there are geared more for older kids and adults though, but Teamboat Springs makes up for that by being an awesome family raft ride. I wish it was more like Gangplank Falls at Typhoon lagoon where it was more of a rapids slide, but I’ll let that slide (no pun intended). The Ski Patrol Training Camp was perfect for our kids. I wish that Typhoon Lagoon had something like that. The wave pool, while VERY intense, allows everyone to throttle their experience by how far out they go. I would say Blizzard Beach would be our favorite, but the lazy river there was WAY WAY too shallow. The lazy rivers are our family’s favorite thing to do. We love to swim in them and not float. Typhoon Lagoon was 3.9 feet deep while Blizzard Beach’s was only 2.5. We had gone to Typhoon Lagoon first and really enjoyed it there. We were looking forward to at least the same experience when we went to Blizzard Beach but were disappointed by the shallow water. You can’t swim in it at all with scraping everything up. Very sad too, as the cave there is much longer and more detailed. It had the potential to be even better than Typhoon Lagoon’s. I think in the end I consider the two water parks a near tie though as there are good and bad things at both, but I think Typhoon Lagoon edges out with the deeper lazy river, more raft rides that appeals to a wide age group and the awesome Crushin’ Gusher Water Coaster.

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aidan June 20, 2013 at 6:05 pm

blizzard beach is way better without a doubt

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Rob June 10, 2013 at 12:32 pm

I vote for TL too, agreed the theme is more relaxing. I did like the giant straight slide at BB :).

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Robyn June 9, 2013 at 2:08 pm

Are both water parks open in August 2013 ? can you buy a yearly pass including both parks
if you are a Canadian citizen ? How much does this cost ?

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Rob June 10, 2013 at 12:30 pm

Robyn, I don’t think the Premium Annual Pass is restricted, I am a Florida resident so I can do the “payment plan”, but I don’t see why you wouldn’t be able to purchase it outright. It includes the 4 main theme parks, both water parks, and Disney Quest, all unlimited admission. Also free parking, merchandise, dining, and special tours discounts. Well worth it for me since I live right here. Yes, both are open in August.

I like the theme of TL better than BB, too.

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Rob June 10, 2013 at 1:03 pm

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/passholder-program/

$621 for the Premium pass, which is the only one that gives you water park admission.

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Tina September 5, 2012 at 12:27 pm

I thought Blizzard beach was better but I did have my daughter who was 5 at the time so it was a nice park for her she actually was able to ride the tubes slide. Typhoon Lagoon was one of those places I had wanted to go since I was a kid but was disappointed when I got there. Mostly I think it was due to the fact that it took us well over an hour to get there and multiple bus transfers. We ended up with less than an hour to try out the park and the crowds were terrible. I really think it is worth doing some real research if you want to go to a water park to know what rides you would like to ride as I did not even realize a water coaster existed and would have loved to ride it while I was there. I would be bad to wait in line to realize you had no idea that is what it was or to miss something really great.

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Shannon September 6, 2012 at 12:26 pm

So true! That was what I hoped to do here – highlight some of the features of each park so people would know the differences and pick the right one for them (but to have a little fun, I wanted to pick a winner).

I’m surprised to hear that TL was so busy right before it closed. That’s often one of the best times to go since people clear out a bit earlier.

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