Blizzard Beach - Disney World's Coolest Water Park
Blizzard Beach is the World's, not just Disney World, coolest water park. Yes I meant to say coolest. Just take a look around, there's snow everywhere. It's also one of the world's brightest water parks. All that snow makes everything positively glow. Bring your sun glasses.
A snowstorm in Florida, yeah right, but it's a great water park.
Ice Gator (good name for a wrestler), a crazy alligator, is seen splashing and sliding down the flumes of this nearly defunct ski resort. So the ski resort turns into a crazy Water Park.
Yeah, I know it's a silly story. No one will ever believe that it snowed so much in Orlando that anyone would consider building a ski resort. But, it's an innovative tale and, as usual, the Disney imagineers have pulled it off brilliantly.
If it's a Disney park then it must have a mountain. Blizzard Beach has a doozy. Mount Gushmore is the centerpiece of the water park. The whole park revolves around the mountain. The detail around Mt. Gushmore is amazing. Take a good look at the ski lift and the ski jump and everything else on the "mountain".
There are 2 ways to get up Mt. Gushmore (don't you just love the names Disney comes up with). You can climb the steps or you can ride the chairlift. What ski resort doesn't have a chair lift? Mt. Gushmore's chair lift is a one-way ride to the top of the mountain. The wooden chair lifts can carry 3 guests. Skis are optional.
Mt. Gushmore - The Slopes
Just like all good ski resorts, Blizzard Beach has different colored slopes. Each of the different colors describe the degree of difficulty of the slope.
The Green Slopes
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- Summit Plummet - This is the second fastest water slide anywhere. Guests reach up to 60 MPH on this downhill marvel.
- Teamboat Springs - A family white water raft. Up to 6 guest ride a tube down the 1400 foot slide.
- Slush Gusher - A body slide with speeds of up to 35 MPH.
The Purple Slopes
The purple slopes at Blizzard Beach are the side by side (or racing) slopes. Grab a mat or a tube and see who wins.
- Downhill Double Dipper - A side by side (mano a mano) tube slide. This is a race to the finish complete with timing devices and international racing markers.
- Snow Stormers - Race through the ski gates on a mat down this slalom-style course.
- Toboggan Races - An 8-lane water slide race straight down the mountain. Grab a mat and go.
The Red Slopes
There is only one slide area on the red slopes. It's Runoff Rapids. Choose from one of the three courses and grab an inner tube for a thrilling ride careening down these water slides. Tubes can hold up to 2.
Believe it or not, you can get lost in Blizzard Beach. You might just want to grab a map so you know where you are going.
Melt Away Bay - The Wave Pool
Melt Away Bay is the pool area at Blizzard Beach. It's a one acre wave pool at the bottom of Mt. Gushmore. Unlike it's counterpart at Typhoon Lagoon, Melt Away Bay has little "bobbing" waves. They are very short in both height and duration. Just enough to keep things moving.
There is lots of sandy shore are around Melt Away Bay. It's a great place to set up shop for the day.
Cross Country Creek - The Lazy River
Every Water Park needs a Lazy River (that's what we call it in these parts). Blizzard Beach had a great one. It's called Cross Country Creek. It's a great place to cool off on a hot day.
There are 7 places you can enter into Cross Country Creek on it's 3,000 foot journey around the park. Jump into an inner tube and you can float all the way around the outskirts of the park. It takes about 30 minutes to make the whole circle. You might just stay all day. (Mrs. Mom loves lazy rivers, but this one ...)
Cross Country Creek
Be warned, this is a ski resort, and every once in a while the ice cold runoff from the melting snow splashes into Cross Country Creek, or the snow machine will splash some water on unsuspecting guests, or the ice cave dumps some droppings onto you. It's really cold.
Just For Smaller Guests
Most water parks are built for rowdy teenagers and this one is no exception. But, Disney being a family enterprise devoted a large section of Blizzard Beach to the younger generation.
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Most of the slides have a height requirement. These do too. You must be either under 48 inches tall or acccompanied by someone who is under 48 inches tall. Yes UNDER.
Ski Patrol Training Camp
|Photos by Anthonut|
What is there to do at the Ski Patrol Training Camp? All kinds of things.
There are curvy watersides and inner-tube slides. You can test your balance on a ice-flow walk across "icebergs". The truly adventurous can slide down a zip line and drop into a pool.
Food, and Stuff
Blizzard Beach has a few snack and refreshment areas. They have everything available from light snacks to hamburgers to ice cream and deserts. You can even bring your own cooler and make it a day.
Towels and lockers are available for rent. Life jackets are provided. Souvenirs including a jewelry store and swim gear are available.
Dad's Bottom Line
Disney hit a home run with this one. Blizzard Beach is one of the most innovative Water Parks in the world. The Travel Channel routinely ranks in in the top 2 or 3 water parks they review.
Grab a tube and start skiing.