Which Waterpark is better for our family?

I’m driving myself crazy trying to pick the “best” waterpark for our family, between Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon. When I feel like I’ve chosen, I read something new.

Random thoughts and details:

  • Our group is DW, DD8, and myself.
  • DD8 is a weak swimmer.
  • I think that I like the theming of Typhoon Lagoon better.
  • The slides at BB are often referred to as more thrilling… not a selling feature for us.
  • Conversely, the wave pool at TL seems too overwhelming for DD8’s swimming skills… and I don’t think she’d be able to do the Shark Reef thing either (too bad).
  • Wave pool might seem like a minor detail, but DD8 has been to a waterpark in our area (such as they are), and has fond memories of the (presumably gentle) wave pool there.
  • We’re a tight group, no interest in splitting off from each other. And similarly, when I read about the kiddie areas in BB and parents letting their kids go as they find a shady spot to chillax… don’t see us doing that. We want to all be doing activities together.

It kind of feels like neither park is “quite right”. I read a review somewhere online that said essentially that BB and TL would make one really awesome waterpark if you could mash them together, but individually each seem to be lacking something. What do you guys recommend for us, based on the deets above?

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If your daughter is a weeks swimmer then I would recommend BB - wave pool at TL will be far too strong, whereas the one at BB will be perfect. Kids play area is better at BB - you can go in with your daughter. In terms of rides suitable for a 8 year old I don’t think there is much to choose between the parks. You can just skip the thrill rides at both parks…


I totally agree with the above - if your daughter wants to play in the wave pool, avoid Typhoon Lagoon as the waves are STRONG.

I like both parks, but do agree with your assessment of the theming - I much prefer the lush planting at Typhoon Lagoon, especially when floating in the lazy river. I also love the Crush n Gusher inner tube slides there - they are really fun, and you can ride together, so your daughter and you might be happier with that.

Also agree that the kids play area is much better at Blizzard beach - the family raft ride is much better/longer too.

Oh dear, I’m no help! You’ll have fun whichever one you choose :grinning:

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Ellen, lol, that in a nutshell is my dilemma! I think that you’ve captured that both have drawbacks and positives for our circumstances, but that there is no “right or wrong” choice.

Also, regarding the family raft ride… from watching YouTube videos, the BB one is much longer, but the TL one looks nicer with the tropical theming. To me, the BB one kinda looks almost sterile?

With the TL wave pool, some sites seem to say that there is a schedule, and that the big waves every 90 seconds alternate with periods of no big waves. That might solve our wave pool problem, if there are 30 minute (or longer?) blocks where they cool it with the big waves. Is that accurate? Can anyone speak to this?

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I looked at a photo on another site (Kenny’s). The “Surf Report” chalkboard shows 90 minute blocks of “surf wave” alternating with 30 minute blocks of “bobbing wave.” It does not say how often the big waves happen (like your mention of “big waves every 90 seconds”) within that 90 minute block of surf waves. That was from a year ago, but I would expect something similar. It lists the start and stop times for each of the blocks, which would be very helpful for trying to hit the bobbing waves.

Your post had me fact-checking, in case I was confusing the 90 minute blocks with waves every 90 seconds. I found the “waves every 90 seconds” confirmed on the Wikipedia page and elsewhere.

So if we hit the wave pool at the right time, that would go a long way to easing my mind on TL. Of course, it would then need to be rigidly planned, rather than spontaneous… it would be annoying to be ready to hit the wave pool, but for the 90 minute tsunami to just be beginning. 90 minutes is a long time to wait.

Are you committed to only Disney Water parks? you might like Aquatica, if you are considering offsite locations. They have a normal wave pool there. theming is not as good as disney, but my kids (8 and 11 – strong swimmers) prefer it. They also have a giant water playground there that is great for weak swimmers.

We are committed, just in that we aren’t renting a car, we are staying on sight, and can take the Disney Transportation.

From a purely personal point of view, I prefer Typhoon Lagoon. I like the flow of the whole place. Love the lazy river.
Regarding the wave pool, there’s nothing to say that you have to go all the way into it. I cannot swim and I do not put my head underwater but I feel pretty comfortable going about hip deep into the wave pools. So, they can still be enjoyed without feeling like you have to be neck deep.

I guess the issue with the theming of the raft rides, is just an extension of the same issue throughout the parks. I kind of feel like BB is kind of sterile and ‘concretey’ throughout. Theming aside, I found the family raft ride at TL to be super short and disappointing!

Not sure about the cycle times for the wave pools - I avoid them!

One thing about the wave pool, it is more like a beach at the ocean (with a zero depth entry) than a concrete pool with only 3ft+ depth. The waves die out/settle down as they get close to the shore. Even if you are there during the bigger wave times, you can minimize their effect. They aren’t 6-ft the entire distance. It’s neat just to wade in the shallow water, less than knee-deep, and feel the push-pull effect of the waves. (I think it’s neat, but then I live far from any beach)

When is your trip? Did you decide? I’m having the same issues you are. I have a 7 yo girl that can swim fairly well and a 15 year old that is a great swimmer…decisions, decisions…

We’re leaving this Sunday, planning on going to Typhoon Lagoon on Tuesday. We’ve decided on Typhoon Lagoon, based on it’s positives as discussed in this thread. Also, seeing as Blizzard Beach’s two main slides are down (and who knows what their status will be Tuesday), I imagine that this will create extra wait times on all the other slides at that park. Mind, it will probably mean that many will avoid BB for that same reason, making TL busier… poor timing.

Please let me know your thoughts when you return.

Have a great trip.

As planned, we did TL this past Tuesday (May 10). Great choice, great experience. Some thoughts:

  1. Bring watershoes. Some of the slides don’t let you wear them, and you have to hold them as you ride, so we left them behind with DW who wasn’t riding… but only ONCE. The stairs got so hot that it was torture walking up to the slides with bare feet. I happily wore the shoes up and held on during the slides the rest of the day.

  2. In a couple of threads, I expressed misgivings about the Tidal Pool overwhelming my DD8… mainly because I had read this sentiment repeatedly throughout the interwebs. I need not have worried, and quite frankly I don’t understand how this was ever a complaint from anyone who has actually attended this park. The wave pool is designed with sections protected from the brunt of the waves, so if you have weak swimmers there is still always a place for them to be safe… I mean as long as you don’t plan to send your two-year-old into the heart of the storm. And for me, I had a blast getting right into the belly of the beast.

  3. This park is just beautiful. More than a youtube video can communicate.

  4. The food was blah.

  5. Be there for rope drop.