Nobody does Water Parks like Disney. They use their famous Imagineering techniques to theme the attractions and create backstories that bring you in on the adventure. Here is a look at the two distinct and distinguished Walt Disney World water parks.
This oldest remaining water park was the first water park added to Walt Disney World after River Country. Typhoon Lagoon is much larger scale and Disney made great efforts to convey a story. Typhoon Lagoon had a close connection to Pleasure Island. Disney Crafted new characters and backstories to sell a narrative regarding the new developments in the reimagined Disney Village. With Disney Springs, Disney has all but struck any reference to Merryweather Pleasure, or Pleasure Island. Mary Oceaneer, however, remains an important detail in the lore surrounding Typhoon Lagoon.
The parks Icon, a ship impaled on a mountain peak, is Mary’s ship, the M.S. Salty IV. Mary, like Merryweather, was a member of the Society of Explorers and Adventurers. you can find her throughout Disney in the Oceaneer’s Labs on Disney Cruises, in Mystic Manor at Shanghai Disneyland, and in Disneyland and Magic Kingdom at Tropical Hideaway and Skipper Canteen Respectively. Disney expanded Typhoon lagoon to include Miss Adventure Falls. The raft ride further reinforces and reiterates Mary’s story.
The waterpark is an exciting and adventurous place with trails and bridges winding up the mountain over the lagoon. The journey up is as much a part of the fun as the ride down. In addition to Miss Adventure Falls, the Crushin’ Gusher is another part of the expansion. The fruit processing plant themed slides each feature a fruit. The main mountain has slides with ascending thrill levels as you reach the top, and at the base is a children’s area called Ketchakiddee Creek.
Surfin’ Side note
Another fascinating thing about Typhoon Lagoon is the largest outdoor Surf Pool in North America. Disney originally planned surfing for Seven Seas Lagoon when Walt Disney World first opened in 1971. The waves eroded the beach of the Polynesian resort and had to be shut off. The Surf Pool at Typhoon Lagoon is the final realization of that initial concept. Surf lessons are available by reservation on select days before the park opens.
Another semi realization of a failed dream is Blizzard Beach. Walt Disney’s own aspiration just a couple of years before he passed. was to create a ski resort in Mineral King California. The project got as far as concept art and The Country Bear Jamboree was designed to be an attraction there. The resort was put on hold and eventually canceled due to political resistance to the development. Blizzard Beach is a water park in the Animal Kingdom resort area that is based on a ski resort built after a freak snowstorm hit central Florida.
This park brilliantly uses ski lifts to transport guests to the waterslide attractions in the snow covered mountain. Blizzard Beach also features a wave pool and Lazy River which encompasses the park. Blizzard Beach has even more for kids with Tikes Peak and Ski Patrol Training Camp. The more conveniently designed park than Typhoon Lagoon and features plenty of sight gags referencing the park’s origin story.