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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park

Walt Disney World Resort boasts two well themed water parks on its vast estate—Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach.  During our trip to the most magical place on earth in July 2013, we had the opportunity to visit both water parks.  We had been to Typhoon Lagoon twice before but it was our first time at Blizzard Beach.

The park opened at 9:00 am.  We were at the gates prior to 9:00 and were able to get a park map.  Yes, the water parks have maps, too.  Actually, it is the same brochure with the water park maps back to back.  After studying the map, we decided to find a location near Ski Patrol Training Camp.

A guest was selected from the crowd prior to park opening to be taken to the top of Summit Plummet and be the first one down the slide at the moment the park opens.  The guest is given a medallion, similar to what an Olympic medal might look like.

The main gates opened prior to 9:00 am and we made our way to a bridge area where guests were stopped to wait for the official opening.  Here are photos of the crowd in front of us and the crowd behind us.

Once the park opened, we made our way to the Ski Patrol Training Camp area and found a spot.  This area was great for the boy with the zip line feature that he went on numerous times, various slides, and the “floating” icebergs for maneuvering. 

After playing for a while, we made our way to the chairlift, which s an attraction until itself.  The chairlift took us to the top of Mount Summit.  There were signs indicating how to get to each of the slides.  Only Runoff Rapids is not accessible from the chairlift.

Our destination was Teamboat Springs, a 6 person raft ride.  Since we are a party of 3, we were with other riders each time we rode.   Where Teamboat Springs ends is where guests can find the large blue “Mickey” made of rafts.  You don’t have to ride Teamboat Springs to get the photo op, just make your way to this area.  We also found a Photopass photographer there later in the day.

Speaking of Photopass photographers, they also position themselves near the zipline feature at Ski Patrol—one on each side and either provide the kids with a Photopass card on a bracelet or scan the card already on the bracelet to make sure the photos get to the right account.  The boy liked this so much, he started posing for the shots. 

There was also a Photopass photographer at one side of the “floating” iceberg/climbing feature.  Since the boy didn’t quite make it across, he asked the photographer to still take his picture.  He got a shot of him with Summit Plummet in the background.

We also found a Photopass photographer in Melt-Away Bay taking photos.

Another Photopass photographer was positioned near the entrance with the sleigh,

Goofy was at the same are greeting guests at various times of the day and a Photopass photographer was available as well.

While there was no Photopass photographer taking pictures of the snowman family, there was one nearby taking photos with Mount Summit in the background.

I think the only Photopass photographer we DIDN’T find was one in Cross Country Creek.

Speaking of Cross Country Creek, the tubes and noodles were very plentiful.  We enjoyed the theming around the creek as well as the various water features and the cave—which guests can walk through as well as float through which is different than Typhoon Lagoon.

We also appreciated the lulling waves of Melt-Away Bay.

For lunch, we grabbed a bite at Lottawotta Lodge, which has lines for guests on at least two sides.  Finding seats can be tricky, but we did it.  We used Disney Dining Plan Quick Service credits for our lunch.

Restrooms were located throughout the parks, as were locker areas.  Very convenient.  And shops were near the entrance, just in case you forgot something.

We were in Cross Country Creek with our water proof camera and another guest inquired about our camera.  They had just purchased a one time use water proof camera at the shop for $20.  Ouch!

Our tips for the making the most of your visit:
  • Water shoes and rash guards are helpful.  The husband and boy both wore theirs to Blizzard Beach.  The boy didn’t wear his to Typhoon Lagoon and stepped on something and cut his foot.  We had no problems at Blizzard Beach.
  • Utilize the Photopass photographers.  They do a great job capturing shots AND it saves you from trying to get the pictures or worrying about your camera getting wet if it isn’t water proof.
  • Ask about character greeting times and ask more than one Cast Member, as we got multiple different answers about Goofy’s greeting times.
  • Pick up a park map to familiarize yourself.  The water parks are BIG and have a lot to offer.  Don’t miss out!
  • When you enter Cross Country Creek, notice the number given to the particular entrance.  All of the entrance/exits of the creek have a number and a character.  This will help you so you remember which exit is nearest your designated location.  If you are using the creek to get to a particular destination, ask one of the lifeguards which exit is associated with that location.  For example, if you enter near the Chairlift and are headed to Runoff Rapids, ask a lifeguard which exit from the creek will get you to Runoff Rapids.
  • Be prepared to get wet and have fun!

We did not get a locker.  Our various items were on two lounge chairs.  I know guests worry about losing Key to the World cards, but since the RFID tap and pay system is in place and requires the use of a PIN number, rather than just swiping the card, the cards—and the accounts associated with the cards—are much more secure.  We did bring $5 cash as we purchased mini-donuts for a snack and those can only be purchased with cash or by charging to your room—not by using snack credit on the Dining Plan.  And, the water parks are the only place to purchase the mini-donuts and they are yummy.  Otherwise, no cash was needed.

Blizzard Beach is also located in close proximity to Disney’s Winter Summerland Miniature Golf course.  This makes it convenient to take Disney transports to Blizzard Beach and use the miniature golf course.  Our plan was to play a bit of golf, but a lightening and rain storm foiled that plan.  Oh, well, next time!

Entry to Blizzard Beach is $45 for ages 10 and up (I didn’t catch the 3-9 ticket price.)  Tickets can be purchased ahead of time with the Water Parks and More Fun added to the Magic Your Way base ticket or at the gate or by visiting a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel Concierge.

We had Water Parks and More fun added to our base tickets for $59 per person.  Since we had a 9 day base ticket, by adding Water Parks and More fun, it gave us 9 additional admissions to either water parks, DisneyQuest, Wide World of Sports, or miniature golf.  So, by visiting at least two water parks, guests come out ahead by adding the Water Parks and More fun option to their base tickets.

Blizzard Beach was built after Typhoon Lagoon.  The creek that encircles the park is longer than the one at Typhoon Lagoon.  We found the theming better at Typhoon Lagoon as well as the proximity to find attractions and amenities throughout the water park.  Our favorites at Blizzard Beach were the zip line at Ski Patrol Training Camp, the chairlift, and Teamboat Springs.

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