The story of Typhoon Lagoon goes a little something like this… there was a hurricane so massive that it carried the ocean waves, surf boards, and even a shrimp boat all the way into Central Florida, so an opportunistic gator decided to make lemonade out of the situation and open a waterpark.
Of course it’s silly to think of hurricanes blowing shrimp boats this far inland. But it’s still a great story for a water park. This is Dad’s Favorite water park. PERIOD. Anywhere, anytime. Check it out!
Typhoon Lagoon is Disney’s second water park at Walt Disney World (the first was River Country, which closed in 2001 and the third is Blizzard Beach which is pretty cool… get it?). It’s home to one of the biggest outdoor wave pools in the world, and is the second most visited waterpark in the world (the REAL world, not the Disney World!). Lagoona Gator is its mascot.
Typhoon Lagoon is a Disney park, so or course there has to be a “mountain.” Here, everything revolves around the park’s focal point: Mount Mayday. From the Surf Pool to Humunga Kowabunga, Mount Mayday is the center of all the fun you can find at this super themed water park.
Miss Tilly is the name of the boat at the top of Mount Mayday. It’s a shrimp boat, or so the legend goes. Miss Tilly was caught in the freak storm and hurled to the top of the Mount Mayday. Now, every 30 minutes, Miss Tilly toots her horn and launches a geyser of water into the air. Pretty neat.
Silly Miss Tilly, (I just made that up, like it?) is officially (or not) registered as being from Safen Sound Florida. Silly Miss Tilly from Safen Sound, Florida.
Sometimes Disney is too cute.
The Surf Pool
The Surf Pool. Hey Disney, can’t you come up with a better name? The Surf Pool. Yes, I know that guests can actually surf in the Surf Pool (really! keep reading), but the name is too bland. Shouldn’t it be Pipeline Bay or Crash ‘n’ Burn Shoals or something cute like that? Everything in this park has a silly name. Oh, well.
The Surf Pool is Typhoon Lagoon’s wave pool. And, dude, let me tell you, there are some big waves. (Not Tsunami big, but knock you down and undertow you in big.)
The Surf Pool at Typhoon Lagoon is massive. It measures almost 2.5 acres and holds almost 3 million gallons of water. Every 90 seconds a 5 to 6 foot wave is released. Smaller “bobbing” waves keep the water moving between the big ones.
CAUTION: When Miss Tilly’s whistle blows – “Take small children (and large adults too) by the hand and hold on tight!”
Want to learn to surf? (Isn’t that a Beach Boys song? No?) You’re in luck. Disney has branched out and gone into the surfing business.
On selected days, before Typhoon Lagoon opens you can attend Surf School. Oddly enough Disney calls the program “Learn to Surf Like a Pro”. It’s $190 per person and includes a continental breakfast plus digital photography. Surf boards are provided.
You can also book a Private Surf Session for up to 25 people – the 3 hour event is for experienced surfers – you’ll get 100 waves to ride! Prices vary on this.
You can get more information on either option to hang ten by calling (407) WDW-SURF (cool phone number, right?).
Typhoon Lagoon’s Castaway Creek is the perfect lazy river (in Dad’s opinion, and Dad is always right). It meanders aimlessly arpund the park at the perfect speed on its 2100 foot journey. There are 5 entrances and exits where you can get in and out of Castaway Creek. It takes about 30 minutes to make the complete circuit.
The 3-4 foot deep Creek flows through waterfalls and cooling mists. The theming and foliage around Castaway Creek is incredible and tropical. It’s a great way to relax. (That’s why it’s called a Lazy River.)
The Sandy White Beach
Tucked back in a remote area of the park is a tropical oasis. Disney calls this area Sandy White Beach (very creative). The Sandy White Beach is filled with palm trees and (shock!) white sand beaches. There are hammocks and lawn chairs all around. This is a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the park.
The Sandy White Beach area is not a good place to set up shop for active families. It’s tucked away from most of the action, which makes it perfect for an afternoon nap on the beach (Dad’s favorite beach activity).
Water slides are the main attractions at most water parks and Typhoon Lagoon has some great slides. There are thrill slides for older kids and adults, plus family slides for everyone to enjoy.
- Crush ‘n’ Gusher – Crush ‘n’ Gusher is a roller coaster type raft slide. There are three different slides: Banana Blaster, Coconut Crusher, and Pineapple Plunger. Each slide has hairpin turns, steep drops and uphill climbs.
- Miss Adventure Falls – This is a family raft slide for up to 4 guests. You board at the bottom and take a conveyor right to the top of the attraction (past a cool animatronic parrot who’s part of the story) before splish splashing your way down.
- Humunga Kowabunga – This is the Granddaddy of super-fast water slides. Drop 5 stories almost straight down on this 214 foot thrill ride. Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention it’s in the dark. There are 3 side-by-side slides where families or friends can race to the bottom. (If they have the guts.)
- Storm Slides – The Storm Slides are a trio of fast paced body slides the wind through caves and waterfalls. There are 3 different slides, Jib Jammer, Stern Burner, and Rudder Buster. Try them out.
- Gangplank Falls – is a family inner-tube slide for up to 4 people. The slide is located near the Keelhaul and Mayday Falls slides on Mount Mayday.
- Keelhaul Falls – A whitewater inner tube ride down the scenic, palm-lined part of Mount Mayday. This is a single rider slide.
- Mayday Falls – Mayday Falls is the wildest of the “Falls slides.” Hold on to your hats.
For the Smaller Guests
Ketchakiddie Creek (who thinks up these names?), is the watery playground for younger set. Guests here must be under 48 inches tall or be accompanied by someone who is. There are 10 different activities for the younger set which includes slides, waterfalls, and a mini-rapids ride.
Ketchakiddie Creek is the prefect area for little ones. There are plenty of things to keep them busy all day long. You can hear cheerful music playing as the kiddos enjoy splashing around.
Another hit with the little ones is the opportunity to meet Lilo and Stich at Typhoon Lagoon. Other than breakfast at ‘Ohana, this is the only place you’ll see our favorite Hawaiian duo together.
Food and Stuff
If you need something while you’re at Typhoon Lagoon, Disney probably has a shop where you can buy it. There are lockers for rent, there are towels for rent, there are 3 shops where you can buy all kinds of sunscreen, swim paraphernalia and much more.
Fast-food and ice cream are available at various locations around the park. Think burgers, sandwiches, fish, and more. There’s even a sundae so big it’s served in a sand pail with a shovel. Give that to your kids for lunch and earn some serious Dad (or Mom) points.
You need to stay hydrated too, so you can purchase a refillable mug (different than your resort refillable mug) to use throughout the day here. There are lots of refill stations around the park.
If you’re worried about having shade, a secure spot to leave your towels, or finding a chair – Disney has you covered with some premium (and pricy) options. Rent a Getaway Glen Umbrella (2 loungers, 2 chairs, a table, some towels and an umbrella in a special-access area for up to 4 guests) or a Beachcomber Shack (a cabana for up to 6 guests with lots of nice amenities) to make your day really special. Call (407) WDW-PLAY to book in advance.
Let’s go to Typhoon Lagoon! Yes, let’s go. It’s one of the best things at Disney World. All you have to do to get your reservations started is to go over and let Dad’s partners at Destinations to Travel help you set things up.
Dad’s Destinations to Travel page
Dad’s Bottom Line
Typhoon Lagoon is Dad’s favorite water park anywhere. It’s the perfect mix of thrill and laziness.