In addition to the four theme parks, Disney has two water parks: Blizzard Beach andTyphoon Lagoon. Each water park has a different theming, unique attractions, and is really fun!

Let’s take a look at ten things you should know before visiting Blizzard Beach:

10. Get familiar with the theming

All of the Disney Parks, hotels, and even shopping districts have back-stories, but the story behind Blizzard Beach is one of the most unique. It goes like this: A freak blizzard hit Central Florida, so a ski resort was built.  But the Florida sunshine returned, the snow melted, turning the ski runs into water slides and the snow drifts into pools.

Don’t forget to look for the Ice Gator who is an integral part of the park’s story. It’s said that the idea to transition the ski resort into a water park came to the owners when they saw a frosty blue gator sliding down the ski runs. Perhaps the best place to get a glimpse of this funny character is at the Beach Haus.

The Ice Gator is a kind of mascot for Blizzard Beach.

The Ice Gator is a kind of mascot for Blizzard Beach.

9. Water Park Tickets

Disney is currently offering a 1-day Water Park Ticket that allows guests to hop between Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon. You can also purchase a Water Parks Annual Pass that gives you unlimited access to the water parks or a Premium Annual Passport that allows you unlimited access to both water parks and all four theme parks.

8. Be prepared for Mount Gushmore

Mount Gushmore is the huge hill at the center of the park where you’ll find many of Blizzard Beach’s best water slides. The slides are organized into slopes just like a ski resort, and there are several slides off of each slope.

You can take the chairlift up to the peak of the mountain, or you can trek up the paths and stairs. If you plan to walk, know that you’ll get a good workout! You might find yourself taking the chairlift by the end of the day!

7. Do Summit Plummet First

Summit Plummet is one of the tallest and fastest free-fall water slides in the world. It’s crazy! At 12 stories high and with a very steep slope, you’ll go down very fast.  You will have a hard time seeing where you’re going since water flies everywhere.  This slide attracts huge lines for those over 48”, so try to get there first thing in the morning when lines are often shorter than later in the day.  Also, be sure you are up for this extreme adventure.  I like fast rides, and I was honestly frightened when I rode it!

6. Know what to bring and what not to bring

Sunglasses, sunscreen, and water shoes are an absolute must. Protecting yourself from the intense Florida sun is critical even if you are used to it. The sun reflects off of the water and the white snow caps, so forgetting the sunglasses means you’ll be squinting much of the day. Parents should lather up the little ones with sunscreen and do the same for themselves. Also, the concrete pathways often get very hot, so water shoes can protect your feet from the heat and from anything harmful that might be on the ground.

You’ll also probably want to bring your own towels. Although guests can rent towels for $2 a pop, you can’t take them with you and this means you might have a chilly, wet bus ride back to your hotel.

Regarding what not to bring, all Disney parks exclude all alcoholic beverages and anything in a glass container. You’ll also be turned away from or asked to change before riding any of the water slides if there is any exposed metal on your swimming suit. What’s more, if you plan to do any of the larger slides like Summit Plummet, you’ll want- ahem- “maximum coverage.”

5. Invest in an Underwater Camera

In addition to the items mentioned above, you might want to invest in an underwater camera. Too many people leave Disney’s water parks with very few photos to document their memories because it’s nearly impossible to use a phone camera or a traditional camera with so much water around. You’ll probably do best to buy the camera before you arrive, but if you forget you can purchase one on property. Just remember that everything is more expensive at Disney!

4. Take the kids to Tike’s Peak and Ski Patrol Training Camp

If you’re visiting with young kids, don’t miss Tike’s Peak and Ski Patrol Training Camp.

Tike’s Peak is specially designed for kids under 48” and features mini slides and wading pools.

School-aged children will love Ski Patrol Training Camp’s larger slides, zip line, and obstacle course with floating icebergs.

Blizzard Beach has something for the whole family!

Blizzard Beach has something for the whole family!

3. Can’t miss attractions

Cross Country Creek is a great attraction for the whole family. Blizzard Beach’s lazy river is both relaxing and entertaining with a leaky snow machine, the Ice Gator’s house that spews water from the chimney, and even a dark cave where icy water drips through. Grab an ice-blue tube at one of the river’s seven entrances and exits and take a trip around the park or easily move from one part of the park to another.

You should also try the chairlift, which takes guests to the top of Mount Gushmore, at least once. Disney didn’t leave any detail out, and they even put skis on the bottom of the chairs. The chairlift offers incredible aerial views of the park, but the lines can get pretty long. Here’s a hint: the singles line often moves much faster, so if you don’t mind potentially being split up, consider taking this line!

2. Dining

Most of the dining at Blizzard Beach is a little limited.  Actual meals average $15 for items like hot dogs, burgers, and flatbreads. Consider eating a larger meal before you go and snacking while in the park. Speaking of snacking, be sure to try the mini donuts with white chocolate, chocolate, or raspberry dipping sauce. They are terrific, and they’ll keep you full and give you a boost to keep sliding!

1. Bring your Competitive Disney Side

The Purple Slope off of Mount Gushmore allows you to compete with family, friends, or even strangers for the best time on a slide. Most of these slides are side-by-side and have clocks at the bottom to reveal your time. You just might find yourself riding over and over again to beat your personal best or someone in your family! On Toboggan Racers, sliders hop on a foam mat and ride it to the bottom. The Downhill Double is a tube slide on a 50-foot hill! Both are tons of fun!

Are you a fan of Blizzard Beach?  Any tips?
Leave your comments below.