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Blizzard Beach Water Park at Disney World

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Blizzard Beach Water Park at Disney World

A chairlift takes sliders up to Mount Gushmore at Blizzard Beach.

©Arthur Levine, 2006. Licensed to About.com.

Overview:

You've gotta love the high-concept backstory: A freak Florida snowstorm prompted Walt Disney World to build a ski resort. After the snow melted (duh!), the resort repurposed the ski slopes into water slides.

The Alpine themeing is great, and there are subtle and not-so-subtle references to the park's ski resort past throughout Blizzard Beach. Amid all the cheerful goofiness, there are some real thrills, however. Summit Plummet, which is among the world's tallest and fastest water slides, is also one of the most terrifying (in a good way, though) attractions anywhere.

The focal point of Blizzard Beach is Mount Gushmore. An actual ski lift takes guests up to its 90-foot peak. (The line for the chairlift can get quite long; there's an optional walkway to reach the peak as well.) From the top of the mountain, guests can access a number of slides, including Teamboat Springs, an incredibly long family raft ride; the Toboggan Racers, an eight-lane mat-racing slide; and the Slush Gusher, a speed slide with dips. The speed slide to end all speed slides, however, is Summit Plummet. It is a terrorizing, exhilarating hoot.

Unlike Typhoon Lagoon's laid-back, tropical vibe, Blizzard Beach has a more in-your-face, daredevil personality. Like the Toboggan Racers, the Downhill Double Dipper is a racing attraction that stokes competitiveness. Even a pair of smaller slides in the park's Ski Patrol area promote racing. The area also offers a t-bar on a zip line that kids can ride before dropping into a pool of water.

Amid all of the thrills, there are plenty of attractions for younger kids as well. Tike's Peak has a slew of milder activities, including some pint-sized tube and body slides.

Allow the better part of a day to fully enjoy all Blizzard Beach has to offer. Cross Country Creek, which flows around the perimeter of the park in a never-ending circle, could keep guests entertained for hours. And the Melt Away Bay wave pool also offers a great way to comfortably while away in the Florida heat.

After a day at Blizzard Beach, you may want to check out the incredibly charming and creative Winter Summerland next door. It continues the goofy hot/cold theme and is among the best miniature golf courses I've ever experienced.

Location and Phone:

At Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida
(407) 939-6244

Admission Policy and Operating Calendar:

Requires separate admission. Included in "Water Park Fun & More" option of Walt Disney World's Magic Your Way ticket program or can be pruchased a la carte. The vendor, Best of Orlando, offers Blizzard Beach tickets at a slight discount. Buy direct.

Open year-round, 7 days a week. Does close annually for maintenance in the winter.

Park Features:

Wild speed slide, lazy river, wave pool, mat racing slide, tube slides, body slides, family raft ride, interactive water play areas for younger kids.

Tips:

  • During peak seasons such as Christmas or Easter and especially on sweltering days, get to the park early, as Blizzard Beach can often reach capacity and shut its gates.
  • During the summer, when the park is open into the evening, consider planning a late afternoon visit. Folks who arrived in the morning are typically leaving, and the park could be less crowded.

See the Park:

Disney World Trip Planning Resources:

For restaurants, theme park tickets, hotel, and other info, go to the Walt Disney World main page.

Official Web Site:

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