Blizzard Beach water park opened at Walt Disney World in 1995 to ease some of the load at popular sister park, Typhoon Lagoon, and it still reaps rave reviews for having the best family raft ride in Orlando. Themed as a winter wonderland after a freak blizzard hit Orlando, this snowy setting also has a body slide so tall you can see it from the streets surrounding the park.
What not to Miss
Although there are 8 major slides, 2 big children’s play areas, a blissful lazy river and the fun bobbing waves of Melt-Away Bay, the stand out attractions here are the Teamboat Springs family raft ride that courses down an open slide on a wild, scream-inducing adventure before hitting its final splash-down, and Summit Plummet, themed as a ski jump but actually a 130ft/37m body slide that feels as if you’re dropping straight down in a terrifying free-fall. Teens and daredevils love it!
Central feature Mount Gushmore is the setting for several tube and double-tube slides, as well as Summit Plummet, with Ski Patrol Training Camp at its base. It can be quite a hike walking up several flights of stairs to get to the top, so it’s worth considering the ski lift ride to the top if you’re heading for Summit Plummet, Teamboat Springs or a body slide, especially in the heat of the day. Queues can build here, though, so check to see how long the line is before you decide whether or not to take the stairs.
Body Slide Advice
Guests must wear proper swimwear with no rivets or other metal element when riding the body slides, and ladies in bikinis should take extra precautions (fold your arms over your top) or risk embarrassment (yes, it happens all the time!).
Top Water Features:
The main attractions here are the body and tube slides, but bobbing in the gentle wave action of Melt-Away Bay makes a good break from the thrills, and guests can find serious relaxation floating along Cross Country Creek in an inner tube, with the occasional watery surprise from the surrounding landscape (including an alligator with a head cold!). Pre-schoolers have their own water play area of Tikes Peak, while older kids can navigate the water challenges at the Ski Patrol Training Camp.
There are plenty of little coves and shaded areas with loungers, so we recommend arriving early and staking out one of these secluded areas as your base for the day. Dining locations are scattered around the park, with the main Lottawatta Lodge toward the front of the park, so you won’t have far to go for a snack or a meal no matter where your loungers are located.
The main restaurant, Lottawatta Lodge, is themed as a ski lodge, serving up burgers, pizza, sandwiches and salads, while various smaller outlets carry turkey legs, pulled pork sandwiches, hot dogs, burgers, wraps and salads. Alcohol is widely available, but remember, you may not bring your own into the park. And while it’s ok to bring snacks or a picnic, glass is not allowed.
Estimated Visit Time
Half to a full day.
While it is perfectly fine to leave towels and sun cream on your lounger (and you must be diligent about reapplying a waterproof 30spf or higher here, as you’ll be in the sun all day), valuables should be placed in a paid-for locker. And remember to bring a waterproof camera; Blizzard Beach is extremely photogenic!