If you plan to visit a water park during your time at Walt Disney World, you may only have time for one of Disney’s two water parks during your packed vacation schedule. If that’s the case, do you opt for the tropical paradise of Typhoon Lagoon, or the ice-cold thrills of Blizzard Beach? Both parks offer a refreshing antidote to the heat during the warmest months of the year, but which one is ideal for your vacation needs and wants?

Typhoon Lagoon

If you find yourself a castaway on the stormy shores of Typhoon Lagoon, you won’t be in a hurry to build a raft and escape. You’ll be far too busy swimming, drifting lazily down a calm river, snorkeling with sharks, or catching waves in the wave pool. Here is a look at some of the features that make this water park stand out.

The Amazing Shark Reef

One of the most exceptional experiences at Typhoon Lagoon is the opportunity to go snorkeling at Shark Reef with a variety of fish, including harmless sharks and sting rays. The water at the reef if refreshingly cool, and the animal encounters are thrilling for snorkelers of all ages.

Disney has two unique water parks for your swimming fun.

Disney has two unique water parks for your swimming fun.

Another highlight is the Crush-n-Gusher water coaster that takes you on a inner tube ride up and down hills and around corners. It’s just like a real roller coaster, only much more refreshing!

Of the two water parks, Typhoon Lagoon also boasts a more exciting wave pool. Its pool is able to generate impressive six-foot waves – big enough to offer most visitors a major thrill. If just jumping and diving in the waves isn’t enough excitement, you might consider taking surfing lessons from an expert instructor at the park.

Both water parks offer similar fast-food dining and alcoholic beverage options, but Typhoon Lagoon’s bars are a much closer to the pools – important for parents who want to enjoy a beverage while keeping an eye on their kids.

Blizzard Beach

Overall, the theme of Blizzard Beach’s melting ski resort is more creative and original than the tropical shipwreck theme at Typhoon Lagoon. Theme is king at Disney, and the fun design of this water park is a great reason to visit. However, Blizzard Beach has more than just a fun theme in its favor.

Great Slides

If Typhoon Lagoon has clear wave-pool superiority, Blizzard Beach is equally superior when it comes to thrill rides. Slusher Gusher is an enormous slide featuring two bumps that actually send you briefly soaring into the air. And Summit Plummet is one of the most exciting rides, not just at the water parks, but at the entire Walt Disney World Resort. If a near-vertical drop from 120-feet high sounds like your idea of fun, then Blizzard Beach is for you.

Family Fun

In addition to thrill rides, Blizzard Beach also offers some great family-friendly rides. Teamboat Springs is a raft adventure for six people that even small kids can enjoy, and Toboggan Racers is a slide that allows up to eight people to race each other to the bottom.

Another area where Blizzard Beach pulls ahead is shaded seating areas. It’s important to have a place to retreat from the sun and store your belongings during your water park fun, but they can be hard to find at Typhoon Lagoon. It may not seem like a big deal, but after several hours of water-logged fun in the sun, you will realize the importance of a shady retreat.