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Should we take young children to water park or deluxe pool on off day?

by Jim
(New York, NY)

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“Hi, Dad. We will be heading to Disney the last week of April for 10 days, two exclusively for travel. We are staying at the Wilderness Lodge, and we’ll have a three-year-old and a four-year-old at the time of travel. Both are non-swimmers. I am undecided on park tickets. I’m thinking either of buying a seven day Park Hopper or Park Hopper Plus and using the extra day to either sit by the pool or head to the water park. What do you recommend? Thanks in advance.”

The entrance to Typhoon Lagoon

I like Typhoon Lagoon better – Photo by Judd Helms

Hey, Jim. Thanks for the question. Good question. April is a great time to go to Walt Disney World. The end of April the weather will be great. The Flower and Garden Festival will be going on. And Dad’ll be there. That should make it great. Yeah, I’m coming in the last day of April and we’re going to stay for a week, so if you come in the end of April and stay for 10 days, you might run into the old Dadster. Did I really just say that?

Dad’s April Disney World Crowds page

Now as to pools or the water park, I recommend water parks for the older set. Not that there isn’t great things for the little ones. Both water parks have a younger children’s area and they are pretty awesome.

Dad’s Blizzard Beach page
Dad’s Typhoon Lagoon page

But I don’t think that’s the best idea for your family. Let me explain…

It’s a 30 minute minimum trip to get to the water park. Then you get to the water park. If there’s a meltdown, if there’s a problem, if there’s something you forget and you have to go back to the hotel, it’s going to take at least 30 minutes and with a wait for a bus, more likely at an hour. That can be a very critical time when there is a meltdown.

I’m also not a big fan of the water parks for just a three and four-year-old, especially for the non-swimmers. I say your time would be better spent at the hotel or go to the pool for a while. Take the boat on over to Fort Wilderness campgrounds. Go over and see the horses. Go over and walk around a little bit over there. There’s a lot of things for kids over there. Just walk around. Go up to the Train Room up in the Wilderness Lodge.

Dad’s Wilderness Lodge page

Another thing you could do is buy another day’s worth of tickets. It’s the same price as adding the Water Park option. It’s $15 to add the water park to your tickets or a day in the parks. Just go ahead and spend another day in the parks. You can come and go. You don’t have to spend all day, but take a relaxing day enjoying your favorite rides from your favorite park.

Destinations to Travel

Dad’s Bottom Line

The bottom line is, if your kids were older, or if you had older kids to go along with your younger ones, I’d say go to the water park. But because you’ve got a three and four-year-old, I don’t think that’s the best use of your time. I would suggest you stay around the hotel or you spend another day in the parks.


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