You can download a map, but it really isn't worth the time or trouble since you won't be carrying one in your pocket while at a water park. Plus there are tons of signs with directions posted everywhere.
Typhoon Lagoon is the first water park . . . well, let me rephrase that. They used to have a water park, River Country by Fort Wilderness campground, that was set in the lake . . . erm, health hazards and alligators moving back into the lake closed it down, which also means the resort 'beaches' are shut down and you will not allow you to wade in the water!
Back to Typhoon Lagoon.
Out of the two water parks this is my favorite. There are 3 body slides, 3 speed slides, 3 inner tube rides, a surf pool with monster typhoon waves every 15 minutes, a lazy river, a large kiddie area, AND the Crush 'n' Gusher (story--destroyed sugar cane mill).
Of course, we head for the Crush 'n' Gusher as soon as we enter the park. There are three different slides to choose from, but basically they are all 'water roller coasters', with jets of water pushing you up the hills.
Again, we only hit the water parks for a half day, usually get out of there when it starts getting crowded after lunch.
The benefit of going to Typhoon Lagoon vs. Blizzard Beach is that it's virtually right across the street from Downtown Disney. There are tons of shops and restaurants here. The area goes from Disney Quest, a movie theater, Cirque de Soleil on one end, through Pleasure Island (a variety of clubs, including the Adventurers Club is my favorite as the 'heads' come to life), and down to the Marketplace. There are a variety of Disney-oriented type shops (Pooh store) to the Lego store, Ghirardelli chocolate, etc. Take your time wandering through the Marketplace.
Oh, and plan on spending lots and lots of money at this store . . .
It's a monstrous store and you will find tons of things you will desperately 'need'. Just saying.
Blizzard Beach is closer to Animal Kingdom than any other park, and it looks exactly like you would expect a ski resort to look . . . if it were melting! And that is the theme of the water park--a freak snowstorm hitting Florida.
There is one monster speed slide, 2 smaller speed slides, 2 slides with riding mats (toboggan races--straight and curvy), family raft ride (AWESOME view at the top of the ride), a lazy river (remember: melting ice theme! You have been warned) and a bobbing wave pool (can use inner tubes to float on). There's also a large kiddie area AND one for Pre-teens (For example: walk across floating icebergs using a rope to help balance, body slides for shorter people).
Hints & Suggestions:
- Water shoes are fine and dandy, EXCEPT you will not be allowed to wear them on any ride--mainly the Crush 'n' Gusher. So don't even bother wasting suitcase room, unless you have itty-bitty kiddos with soft feet.
- The same goes for sunglasses. You have to remove them before going down the slides. We just got to the point of leaving them with our towels at a spot where we parked our stuff.
- There are no elevators/escalators to the tops of the slides. Remember you will have to WALK UP all those freaking steps. You have been warned.
- Both water parks are very unique. If you have time, then visit both of them.
- These two water parks are not the only two in Orlando. Wet and Wild has been featured on Travel Channel's Water Parks for some of their slides, but it doesn't have the 'quaint' themes like Disney.
- I know you might want to find 'deals' with the various Disney items, but you would be sadly mistaken. There are no deals, unless they are discontinuing an item. If you see it, buy it. No matter where you are, because not every store has every item. Some stores have specific merchandise. For example: the Disney Villains store in Disney Hollywood studios has merchandise you will NOT find anywhere else.
Hope this blog helps!
Tomorrow, I'll be blogging about one of Universal Florida parks.