Walt Disney World has more than enough fun activities and places for visitors to enjoy, but when you’re short on time, it’s important to be able to gauge which attractions can be skipped. Here are six things to consider when you’re thinking about visiting one of Disney’s two major water parks!
6) No one seems to remember the water parks. When you get back from a vacation, people will definitely ask you how it was—and most of their questions will be about the four major parks and your resort. People never seem to consider the water parks as important parts of Disney; try not to forget that Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon can actually be pretty fun, but don’t go too far out of your way to experience them. It is completely expected that you should mark out your calendar with specific days for the Animal Kingdom and its companions—but that same amount of effort is not quite as critical for the water parks.
5) The wave pools can be pretty uncomfortable. Yes, the waves are fun, and the pool’s size means that you can determine your own wave size, staying near the shoreline or going up as close as safely possible. However, hitting other people can be almost unavoidable when the pool is crowded; with everyone tumbling backward from the waves, and some people diving directly into them, things can get slightly dangerous, especially at Typhoon Lagoon’s Surf Pool. Not to mention, hitting the fake sand feels a bit like hitting rock! If you go on a crowded day, you may want to stay in the shallow part and prepare for some skinned knees.
4) Disney magic is not quite as in-your-face at the water parks. If you’ve had enough of Mickey Mouse—which is extremely doubtful—then a water park will be a nice break from all of those characters and movie themes. Disney characters can still be found at Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon to some extent, but the tradition and spectacle of the four major parks will definitely seem to outshine these areas. If, like most people, you can never get enough of the Disney magic, then the water parks might not necessarily be worth a visit.
3) Germs are hard to avoid at a water park. Sanitation is high on Disney’s list of priorities, but it’s practically impossible to completely sanitize communal swimming areas. If germs are something that makes you seriously uncomfortable, you probably avoid water parks in general anyway, so don’t start going out of your comfort zone just because you think you have to visit every single Disney location! If you do decide to risk the germs for the water rides, then Disney is probably the cleanest place to do so.
2) Water parks can be very crowded. Unfortunately, the very reason for a water park’s appeal in Florida can also be its downfall. On a particularly hot day, all you’ll want is some cold water and refreshment—but so will everyone else! Waiting in long lines with a lot of dripping strangers is an experience that you can get at pretty much every water park in the world—so don’t spend your special Disney days on such a commonplace pastime. Instead, swim with some sharks at Typhoon Lagoon (see #1), brave your own resort’s crowded pool, or try one of the wet rides like the Kali River Rapids!
1) Shark Reef is definitely worth your time. With all of these negatives, it might seem as if the water parks are a no-go, but swimming with sharks and tropical fish is one magical experience! This opportunity can be found at Typhoon Lagoon, and as a once-in-a-lifetime chance to swim with sharks in a relatively safe environment, it should not be missed. Like Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon may have the aforementioned negatives, but these sharks completely justify the visit, even if it’s the only activity that you do there before leaving! You don’t even need to look under the water through your goggles: just a quick crossing will give you bragging rights. If being in the water with sharks is completely terrifying to you, go into the slightly submerged ship that is in the lagoon: you can watch your friends do the swimming, and still see the beautiful fish!
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In short, Walt Disney World’s water parks can be skipped if need be—unless you want to visit Shark Reef. However, Disney parks all have something to offer visitors, and just because water parks are not on the top of your list does not mean that you should completely disregard them as unimportant attractions! Visit them if you have the extra time–and if they’re not too crowded; you may be very glad that you did!
BONUS TIP: Consider planning and booking your next Disney trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can trust like Mickey Travels. They’ll help you get the best price for your vacation, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius!