Are Water Parks Worth a Disney Day?

Whether it’s your first time visiting the parks or your 100th return, we all know that Disney Days are like gold. Those tickets are a limited currency that you guard with your life, and you plan to absorb the most value from them as humanly possible. So, when it comes time to decide which parks will make the most of each of your Disney Days, it can be hard to justify the value of a water park day over one of the four major Walt Disney World theme parks.

While the parks are closed, and our minds are desperate for distraction, now is the time to put the work into re-evaluating your Disney schedule. Are you set in your ways and enjoying what you like? Or, are you stuck in a Disney Parks relationship rut and missing out on old favorites? 

Photo by Dominik Scythe on Unsplash

If you are staying for a limited time, say, four days or less, giving up a park day for water slides might feel impossible. But, if you are staying for a week or more and doubling up on your park visits, it might be time to explore the wet and wonderful worlds of Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach.

As a child, I remember going to both Typhoon Lagoon, though a very different version of itself back in the early ’90s, as well as River Country, the abandoned Disney property that has become the source of many mysterious YouTube videos and now set to be redeveloped into Disney’s newest resort, Reflections, A Lakeside Lodge, said to open in 2022.

A new nature-inspired, mixed-use Disney resort will welcome families in 2022 along the picturesque shoreline of Bay Lake located between Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground at Walt Disney World Resort. The deluxe resort, which will be themed to complement its natural surroundings, will include more than 900 hotel rooms and proposed Disney Vacation Club villas spread across a variety of unique accommodation types. (Proposed Artist Concept Only, Disney)

So how do you decide if a water park day is worth your time?

Well, like most things Disney, it depends on many different factors such as the time of year you are visiting, how much time you have to enjoy your must-do’s in the main parks, as well as your level of desperation to beat the heat and get some relief from the weather.

If you’re like me and you have not made the commitment to dedicate a day to the water parks since you were much, much younger, then there are a few upgrades over the last ten years that may now tip you over the edge.

One reason to take advantage of your Orlando stay and visit the Disney water parks is that they are among the best in the world and right next door to your Disney resort.

You might feel that your time is better spent in the other areas of Disney, but, are you then missing out on your only opportunity to experience another side of Walt Disney World that doesn’t usually get a look in?

If you have not been, Disney water parks are not your average Wet ‘n’ Wild; they are a different level of aquatic entertainment. Sure, you’ve got the water slides, kids areas, thrill rides and slightly-above-average water park food and drink options, but, Typhoon Lagoon also offers a variety of extras.

Did you know that they offer 3-hour private surf lessons with professional photographers? And, from May 27th – August 29th (in theory), Typhoon Lagoon plays host to H20 Glow Nights (special event separate ticket required) which will ultimately now be dependent on the re-opening of the parks.

Blizzard Beach, on the other hand, offers that unique Disney themed experience, taking something that isn’t — a snow resort in Florida — and making it come to life. While the fancy add-ons might not be as eventful as Typhoon Lagoon, the overall look of the place is a wonderful change of pace.

The attention to detail is captivating if you take the time to appreciate it. Whether it be the snow-capped attraction mountains or the ski-inspired signage complete with ‘Green Runs’ and ‘Ski Boundaries’, this place is another example of that special Disney ability to immerse you in another world far, far away.

Spending a day at Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon is a great way to stretch out your Disney days to make the most of a longer trip. They can also help to break up that over-the-top Disney feeling for anyone traveling with a less enthusiastic family member wanting to avoid that Disney Divorce.

If you want to keep that Disney magic alive but give your party a break from the traditional theme-park overload, maybe adding a water day into the mix is just what your Excel spreadsheet needs.

So, what do you think? Are the Disney water parks worth giving up a Disney Day for? Will you be giving one a try on your next return to the magic or will Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach remain a permanent “next time” in your vacation planning?

Zoë Wood is a travel writer from Sydney, Australia. After her first visit to Disneyland at the age of 6, she has spent her years frequently visiting Disney Parks and traveling around the world. Zoë is the mother of two children and has a lot of experience in traveling long distances with kids and special needs. Join Zoë as she lets you in on all the tips, tricks, anecdotes, and embarrassments that arise from her family adventures.

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