(Article last updated: September 24, 2017)
People 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?
In this post, these 2 water parks face off in 8 different categories and 1 is crowned the winner.
Let's get started...
In this article
Some general advice first
Before the battle begins, just some general water park advice.
- When 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 usually 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 a ticket to one of the water parks until you arrive. (Read our 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 Disney water park theming: Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon
Blizzard Beach theme
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.
Typhoon Lagoon theme
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.
The winner for best Disney water park theme is...
While the story of Blizzard Beach is cute and it is the most heavily themed, we just don't like the actual theming. It feels odd to be in a swimsuit surrounded by "snow" and listening to Christmas music.
The tropical feel of Typhoon Lagoon is a much better option for a vacation.
Favorite Disney water park for little ones
Blizzard Beach for kids
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.
Typhoon Lagoon for kids
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.
The winner for best Disney water park for kids is...
Although the theme of Typhoon Lagoon is probably more appealing for adults the combination of the cute theme along with having more options that appeal to a wide range of kids of all ages makes Blizzard Beach the winner of the best Disney water park for kids.
Disney water park most likely to give you a heart attack
Blizzard Beach's scariest slide
Blizzard Beach's Summit Plummet is terrifying. 12 stories STRAIGHT down....
Typhoon Lagoon's scariest slide
Typhoon Lagoon's scariest attraction was Shark Reef which allowed you to snorkel in the water above sharks. Unfortunately, it closed at the end of the season in 2016. The most intense slide at Typhoon Lagoon is probably Humunga Kowabunga but at only a 5 story drop (in darkness) it doesn't really compare to Summit Plummet.
The winner of the Disney water park most likely to give you a heart attack is...
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 Disney water park wave pool: Blizzard Beach or Typhoon lagoon
Blizzard Beach wave pool
Blizzard Beach's Melt Away Bay is a moderately sized pool (relatively speaking) with lapping waves...
Typhoon Lagoon wave pool
Typhoon Lagoon's Surf Pool is one of the largest wave pools 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.
The winner of the best Disney water park wave pool is...
The wave pool at Typhoon Lagoon wins by a landslide.
Most popular Disney water park
Typhoon Lagoon regularly edges out Blizzard Beach in attendance, with both parks having over 2,000,000 visitors annually.
The winner of most popular Disney water park is...
Best Disney water park inner tube water slide
Best inner tube slide at Typhoon Lagoon
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.
Best inner tube water slide at Blizzard Beach
Downhill Double Dipper at Blizzard Beach are 2 inner tube waterslides for big kids and adults that are positioned side by side so that you can race to the bottom. The slides are enclosed and mimic a downhill ski race complete with digital stop clocks.
The winner of the best inner tube slide at a Disney water park is...
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 at a Disney water park
Typhoon Lagoon 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 lazy river
Cross Country Creek at Blizzard Beach is very similar but goes in the occasional cave as well...
The winner of the best lazy river at a Disney water park is...
It's a tie. They are super similar.
Best family raft ride at a Disney water park
Blizzard Beach 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...
Typhoon Lagoon family raft-ride
Typhoon Lagoon’s Miss Adventure Falls is a new family ride that includes an animatronic bird, tunnels and a conveyor belt to carry you to the top...
The winner of the best Disney water park family raft-ride is...
Although Teamboat Springs used to win hands down the new Miss Adventure Falls at Typhoon Lagoon is now in the top spot. You can't beat the slow climb to the top and the fun story that goes along with the ride.
So, which Disney water park is better: Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon?
Drum roll, please....
The winner of the battle of the Disney World water parks is...
Typhoon Lagoon wins in areas that make it most likely to appeal to the entire family.
Blizzard Beach is nice in its own right so you can't really go wrong (especially if you're looking for intense thrills). 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.
Want to learn more about the Disney World water parks?
Check out the guides below. We have everything from details on all of the rides and slides to the pros and cons (and prices!) for all your dining and food options.
- Complete guide to Typhoon Lagoon (including rides, dining, and tickets)
- Complete guide to Blizzard Beach (including rides, dining, and tickets)
Which do you think is the best Disney water park - Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon? Let us know in the comments.