Home » 8 Changes Walt Disney World Could Make to Improve Its Water Parks

    8 Changes Walt Disney World Could Make to Improve Its Water Parks

    Typhoon Lagoon Surf Pool

    The four main theme parks at Walt Disney World usually get all of the attention, but the resort is also home to two water parks that are worth your time too — in the sizzling summer months and beyond. And if Disney would extend some attention to them, they’d definitely stay on your must-visit list! Here are 9 ways that Disney could improve Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach.

    1. Promote them

    Typhoon Lagoon Surf PoolDid you know that Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon and Disney’s Blizzard Beach were recently ranked at the top of TripAdvisor’s list of the United States’ best water parks? 

    Typhoon Lagoon has one of the world’s biggest outdoor wave pools and also features a handful of slides as well as a family raft ride, a water coaster, a lazy raft ride, a play area for young kids and the chance to snorkel through a saltwater reef next to sharks, stingrays and tropical fish. Blizzard Beach’s Summit Plummet is the third-tallest and fastest free-fall waterslide in the world, and the park also boasts the world’s longest whitewater raft ride for families. This park also has a wave pool, a lazy river, an area for preteens, a chairlift and several other slides.

    Admission to either water park costs less than a ticket to any of the four major theme parks (and you can save even more with a combined theme park/water park ticket), but attendance is much lower at Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach. These parks each saw about 2 million visitors last year, while the Magic Kingdom saw 20 million. Getting the word out about the parks’ amenities would draw more people in. Disney could also be sure to let people know that the parks are open all year round. Both of them operate simultaneously throughout most of the year, but even when one park is closed for a couple of months for refurbishment, the other one will be open.

    2. Add more movie tie-ins

    Frozen Games at Blizzard BeachDisney and Pixar have no shortage of water-themed films to choose from, and while “Finding Dory” continues to rake in the money at the theaters, it seems like a fishy character meet-and-greet should be in the works. The Shark Reef attraction at Typhoon Lagoon could also be re-themed for Dory and Nemo, and Ariel from “The Little Mermaid” could preside over the Ketchakiddee Creek play area at the park. Disney can take a cue from its own Frozen Games, which lets guests join Team Olaf or Team Kristoff in some fun family activities at Blizzard Beach. These events, like Ice Pail Relays, Ski Pole Limbo and a Snowball Toss, are being held until Aug. 21.

    3. Offer incentives

    Typhoon Lagoon Surf PoolWhen you pay a ton of money to enter the water parks, you probably don’t want to have to spend even more just to rent towels, buy the sunscreen you forgot and keep from dehydrating in the hot sun. Other parks such as Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari in Indiana offer free sunscreen and free drinks (including lemonade, Gatorade, iced tea and water). Since Disney offers free parking for all guests at its water parks (a pretty rare treat, since it costs $20 to $35 to park at the four other parks each day), maybe it could at least pick up the tab for towels too. (They cost $2 to rent, or you could bring your own.)

    4. Tone down the “snow”

    Snow Stormers at Blizzard BeachEven though Blizzard Beach’s theming is unique and shouldn’t be missed, the blankets of bright white “snow” covering most of its surfaces has a downside too. The heat reflecting off the stuff can give you a sunburn, even on a cloudy day. (This is also when free sunscreen would come in handy.) Maybe if Disney painted the top of the “snow” with a less-retina-searing color like light blue or broke up some of the white with more decorations, guests could be spared from dealing with a painful end to their Blizzard Beach day.

    5. Add some more shady spots

    Patio at Blizzard BeachIf you want to get a place in the shade at Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach, you have to be fast. These prime lounge chairs are usually taken about a half-hour after rope drop. And if you still want a spot out of the scorching sun, you can either spend $50 to rent a chair with an umbrella or shell out $200 to $300 or more (depending on the season) for a cabana for up to six people (which includes an attendant, private lockers, drinks and towels). Disney would make a lot more guests happier if it added more spaces in the shade, but in the meantime, you can find some peaceful places near Crush ‘N’ Gusher, Shark Reef, Cascade Cove and near the bottom right of the wave pool at Typhoon Lagoon. At Blizzard Beach, there’s a secluded spot at the backside of the park on the right side of Summit Plummet, on a platform over the wave pool on the bottom left, a gazebo with a picnic table near the lazy river and in the Tike’s Peak toddler play area.

    6. Offer FastPasses

    MagicBandsAll of the parks’ waterslides are pretty slow-loading, and neither park offers any attraction with FastPass+. But priority access at water parks isn’t unheard of — SeaWorld’s Aquatica park offers a Quick Queue program for six of its most popular slides. You have to pay for the privilege at that park, but with Walt Disney World guests so familiar with making FastPass+ selections at the main theme parks, it just makes sense to offer the option at Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon too.

    7. Focus on food

    Seafood Platter from The Boathouse at Disney SpringsAll of that running around from line to line and slide to slide makes you hungry. And what are your food options at Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach? Snow cones, mini donuts and hot dogs, mostly. Sure, elegant dining and water parks don’t exactly go together, but Typhoon Lagoon, especially, offers such beautiful surroundings that it might be nice to be able to enjoy them in a pleasant, air-conditioned restaurant. Neither water park has ever had any table-service eateries, so they would likely be a welcome addition.

    8. Add nightly entertainment

    Island Nights at Aquatica OrlandoWater parks traditionally close much earlier than other theme parks, but offering some new amenities could entice people to stay later. After all, if Disney’s Animal Kingdom can start staying open later, surely Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon could try it too. This summer, Aquatica Orlando has been celebrating with Island Nights, which feature longer park hours, a special soundtrack and a DJ and dancers each Friday and Saturday night. And Chimelong Water Park in China, which had the highest attendance of any water park in the world last year (only beating out Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach), offers a nightly Starry Water Party that features an aquatic flying trapeze. Any special nightly events could draw more visitors to Disney’s water parks during the day and they could also bring guests to Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon after they spent the day at one of the four main parks.

    Will you be visiting Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach this year? Are there any other changes you’d like to see there? Be sure to leave your comments below!