Disney’s Blizzard Beach: Make A Splash On Your Next Holiday
If you’re planning on visiting Walt Disney World and are looking to fill your itinerary with fun in the sun, Disney’s Blizzard Beach should be on your list! Blizzard Beach is a thrilling waterpark with a fun twist. As the name would suggest, Blizzard Beach is themed like a snow ski resort! You might not even realize this park is in sunny Florida from photos! Keep reading to learn more about Blizzard Beach, its rides, food options, and more!
According to Disney legend, Blizzard Beach resulted from a freak snowstorm in Orlando in 1977. Disney then built a ski resort to take advantage of the fun of playing in the snow. Of course, the wintry fun only lasted so long, and the snow started to melt. The operators were going to jump ship and abandon the idea of a Floridian ski resort until they heard yelling from the top of the mountain. Suddenly, a blue alligator slid down the mountain and landed in the newly melted snow. The ski resort operators saw the parks’ potential to become a thrilling waterpark, so Blizzard Beach was created. The ski slopes turned into water slides, snowbanks turned into wave pools, and frozen creeks became lazy rivers!
Of course, the truth is that this fun water park was opened in 1995. As with everything Disney does, the Imagineers wanted to make this park unique and stand out from the existing Typhoon Lagoon waterpark. What could be more opposite of a tropical oasis than a snow-covered ski resort? The idea of a ski resort in Florida is so whimsical, and Disney pulled it off flawlessly. Around every corner of Disney’s Blizzard Beach, you find delightfully-themed details that make you feel like you’re wandering through a ski resort. From the high ski jump to the ski lifts that take you up the hill, the atmosphere of Blizzard Beach is incredible!
Image Courtesy of Disney’s Blizzard Beach
What To Know Before You Go!
Before heading to Blizzard Beach for the day, there are a few main things to know. Besides bringing sunscreen and towels, here are the essential details you should be familiar with!
Disney’s Blizzard Beach Ticket Prices
As of late 2021, tickets for Blizzard Beach start at $69 for a one-day pass. (One-day passes to Universal Orlando’s Volcano Bay begin at $80, in case you were wondering how prices compared.) There are special prices for members of Disney Vacation Club and for Annual Passholders, so check Disney’s site before buying tickets. There are also options to include admission to the Disney waterparks on your theme park tickets with Park Hopper Plus. Park Hopper Plus is the only theme park ticket option providing water park access.
*Note, Disney sometimes offers an afternoon ticket option. It’s not currently on offer but when it is it’s a discounted ticket that allows you enter after 3pm.
Blizzard Beach Hours
The hours of Blizzard Beach change seasonally, so be sure to do a little research before your holiday! The waterpark is open pretty much year-round unless a cold snap hits Orlando. In that case, the park will close based on the daily weather. The water at the park is always heated, so it’s enjoyable to visit even when the temperature dips below scorching hot! Also important to note that thunderstorms are common in Orlando, especially in the summer. The waterparks will close when there is lightning in the area. However, it always re-opens when the storm has passed.
Blizzard Beach Location
Blizzard Beach is located between Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. It’s super easy to navigate to the park, especially if you’re staying on Disney property. If you’re staying at a Disney resort, hop on a bus, and you’ll be at Blizzard Beach in no time. The only two Disney resorts that offer direct transportation to the park are Coronado Springs and All-Star Resorts. If you’re staying at any other resort on the property, you’ll have to transfer buses at Animal Kingdom. Parking at the waterpark is free, which is great if you’re staying off Disney property and have a rental car!
Disney’s Blizzard Beach Map
Image Courtesy of Disney’s Blizzard Beach
When To Arrive
Unlike the other Disney parks, there aren’t park reservations for the waterparks. This is why it’s essential to arrive at Blizzard Beach early! The waterparks often hit capacity during the hot summer, so come as early as possible! You can guarantee admission and secure beach chairs for your family.
Reserved Premium Seating Areas
Private cabanas are available for rent as well. Blizzard Beach has two premium seating options: “Polar Patios” and “Lodge Umbrellas.” The Polar Patios will cost you about $300 for the day and accommodate up to 6 guests. These areas include towels, seating, a locker, refillable mugs, and a cooler full of water. Some attendants will take your food order and give you recommendations for the park. Lodge Umbrellas are under $100 and are shaded seating areas for up to 4 guests. As this is the cheaper option, there aren’t as many perks as renting a Polar Patio. Lodge Umbrellas do come with towels, however. Lockers are also available for rent if you don’t need the whole private seating area but want a safe place to keep your belongings.
Blizzard Beach Rides
There are seven waterslide rides at Blizzard Beach. The slides range from being kid-friendly to extremely thrilling. The slides are broken up into three areas called slopes. This stays in theme with the park being a ski resort and is an easy way to locate the rides within the park.
Green Slope Slides
You’ll find Summit Plummet, Slush Gushers, and Teamboat Springs on the Green Slope.
Summit Plummet is one of the tallest waterslides in the world, at 12 stories tall. From the peak of the slide, you can enjoy 360-degree angles of Walt Disney World. This slide is certainly not for the faint of heart! Summit Plummet resembles a ski jump and is the centerpiece ride at Blizzard Beach. This slide has a height requirement of 48 inches.
Image Courtesy of Disney’s Blizzard Beach
Slush Gushers is similar to Summit Plummet but not quite as intense. This is still a pretty extreme slide that promises high speeds. This slide has two humps, so it’s not as fast as Summit Plummet. This slide has a height requirement of 48 inches.
Teamboat Springs is a family raft ride that takes up to six passengers through 1,200 feet of winding whitewater rapids. This is an excellent option for kids of all ages!
Purple Slope Slides
The slides on the Purple Slope include Toboggan Racers, Snow Stormers, and Downhill Double Dipper.
Toboggan Racers is a fun slide and an added element of friendly competition. Race face-first on a mat down these slopes! Up to eight racers can slide at once, which means the whole family can compete at once!
Snow Stormers is another mat slide with no height requirement. This slide zigzags down the slopes and is high-speed enough for the whole family to enjoy.
Downhill Double Dipper is another one of Blizzard Beach’s race-based slides. This time, two racers zip down a mostly-enclosed slide. This ride is short but super fun!
Red Slope Slides
Runoff Rapids is seemingly the only ride on the Red Slope, but it’s actually made up of three slides. Each is a single-rider tube slide that twists and turns down the slope. Two slides are open, and one is fully enclosed so it can get dark there! These slides are some of the longest at Blizzard Beach!
Wave Pool and Other Fun
The waterslides aren’t the only fun thing about Blizzard Beach! Guests will also love the laid-back lazy river, the exciting wave pool, the unique ski lift, and more!
Cross Country Creek is the park’s lazy river. You’ll float around the park, cutting through Mount Gushmore and past Ice Gator’s cabin. There are also fun elements that will splash guests, including the melting snow-making machine. It takes about thirty minutes to float the whole river, but there are seven places to enter and exit throughout.
Image Courtesy of Disney’s Blizzard Beach
According to Disney’s Blizzard Beach storyline, Melt-Away Bay Wave Pool was created by the ice that melted off Mount Gushmore. This wave pool is a bit less intense than the wave pool at Typhoon Lagoon. The waves are smaller so that the whole family can spend hours here without worries.
The Chairlift at Blizzard Beach is not unique but also practical. The lift carries guests up the mountain, saving them the long trip up the stairs. This is the element that solidifies the ski resort theming at Blizzard Beach.
Ski Patrol Training Camp is a fun area designed specifically for pre-teens. This area includes water obstacles at the Thin Ice Training Course and a zip line called Fahrenheit Drops. Some smaller slides are in this area called Frozen Pipe Springs, Cool Runners, and Snow Falls.
Tike’s Peak play area is for the little ones in your travel party. This area is for kids under 48 inches and includes smaller versions of the park’s popular rides. Parental supervision is required at all times in this area.
Food Options at Disney’s Blizzard Beach
There are many restaurants, and food stands at Blizzard Beach that is conveniently located around the park. Whether you’re looking for a full meal or just a quick stand, there are tasty options for every appetite. There is one quick-service restaurant, three smaller quick-service food stands, two snack stands, two Joffrey’s coffee stands, and two bars. Some of these stands are seasonal and are not open outside of the busy season, so check what’s available before visiting!
Lottawatta Lodge is the main quick-service option at Blizzard Beach. There is plenty of seating here, so it’s the perfect spot if you’re looking to take a break from the hot sun. There are some great vegetarian and vegan options here, so everyone in your travel party should find something good to eat!
Cooling Hut, Warming Hut, and Avalunch are the quick-service food stand at Blizzard Beach. These are the spots where you can grab a quick snack or entree and then return to your beach chairs to enjoy.
Frostbite Freddy’s and the Polar Pub is where adults can grab a refreshing alcoholic beverage. These spots specialize in frozen cocktails and cold beer.
There are also a few ice cream and dessert stands around the park for when you’re in the mood for a sweet treat.
Resorts Near Disney’s Blizzard Beach
Since Blizzard Beach is on Disney property, many beautiful resorts are nearby! Some of the closest resorts to the waterpark are DVC resorts. This means that a stay at a luxury resort is just minutes away! These resorts include Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Beach Club Resort, and Riviera Resorts.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is one of the unique resorts on Disney property. I mean, where else are you going to see giraffes grazing right outside your window? Seeing the wildlife roaming around the savannah at Animal Kingdom Lodge makes a stay there worthwhile. In addition to the fantastic sights, there are also some incredible dining options at AKL. Jiko is one of the most popular restaurants on Disney property and offers an unbelievable menu. There are options unique to any other Disney restaurant, and the menu allows guests to try something new from authentic African cuisine! Of course, the most important thing about a resort is the guest rooms, which do not disappoint. Aside from seeing animals from your private balcony, Animal Kingdom’s DVC Villas are spacious enough for the whole family. These luxury villas also include full kitchens and laundry units.
Disney’s Beach Club Resort
Disney’s Beach Club Resort is just a six-minute drive from Blizzard Beach. This DVC resort is conveniently located near the waterpark and just a short walk away from EPCOT! The resort’s proximity to EPCOT’s World Showcase means the Skyliner is just a short walk away. The Skyliner can take you to various alternatives, but most importantly, it can take you to Hollywood Studios! Beach Club Resort has a quaint New England charm and luxury accommodations. The resort’s pool is also one of the best on Disney property! Stormalong Bay is a 3-acre pool area complete with a sand-bottom pool and one of the highest hotel pool waterslides at Disney World. There is even a lazy river! So, even if you only visit Blizzard Beach once on your holiday, you’ll still feel like you’re at a waterpark at the Beach Club Resort!
Disney’s Riviera Resort
The Riviera Resort is the newest of the Disney Vacation Club resorts. This beautiful resort offers the feeling of the European Riviera and has a more laid-back feel than many other DVC resorts. The Riviera Resort is a stop on the Skyliner, so getting to EPCOT and Hollywood Studios is super easy! The resort’s central location also means you can potentially catch views of the fireworks shows at the Disney parks! Another spot to get amazing views at the Riviera Resort is from Topolino’s Terrace. This restaurant is on the resort’s top floor, so while enjoying delicious Italian cuisine, you’ll also get incredible views. We recommended heading to Topolino’s Terrace right before the sun goes down. You can grab a drink at the bar and enjoy it on the terrace at sunset. It’s one of the best views at a Disney resort!
Disney has the cleanest water parks in Florida; they are immaculate! Affordable with annual pass options, Blizzard Beach is the perfect way to enjoy Disney and the Florida sun! Your kids will love it, and you will enjoy sitting on the beach as the kids play.
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Nikki Webster is a travel writer who covers how to travel while grinding a day job without breaking the bank. Nikki is always in search of off-the-beaten-track experiences and unique stays. She is particularly fond of Florida and writes extensively about the state. She flies around 60,000 miles annually and has visited 74 countries, 50 states, and six continents. You can read all about her travels at www.britonthemove.com or follow along on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.