[ Disney Vacation Planner
|At A Glance
||One of Disney's excellent
water parks, and often regarded as the best of the three.
Glass containers are banned from the park. Time required -
1 half day or more
Typhoon Lagoon (TL) is one of Disney's three excellent water
parks, the other two of course being Blizzard Beach and River
Country. It is themed in a tropical island setting of the Placid
Palms Resort, now severly damaged following a tropic typhoon that
has swept the island. The park contains all of the types of activities
you would expect to find at a water park--slides, pools, a slow
river--plus others you will find nowhere else, including a surf
pool and a saltwater artifical coral reef pool stocked with real
tropical fish that you can snorkel through.
Generally Typhoon Lagoon is often regarded as the most picturesque
of the three water parks, looking little like typical water parks
that have slides with exposed superstructures and wave pools that
look like giant concrete tubs.
Typhoon Lagoon may not have the most, fastest or highest slides,
but at 2.5 areas in size, it does have the largest surf pool,
with waves up to six feet high that sits at the base of a 100
foot high manmade watershed mountain and is surrounded by a sandy
beach and a lush tropical forest.
On first entering Typhoon Lagoon you walk along a short path
up a slight hill past an old beach patrol wagon and some live
macaws. As you reach the top of the rise you catch your first
glimpse of the former Placid Palms Resort, with its storm-damaged
thatched-roof buildings coursing along the palm-lined pathways
that meander off to your left and right.
Taking the path to the right, you pass by Singapore Sal's Beachwear,
Gifts & Sundries, the whole front wall of which appears to
have been blown away by the typhoon that "recently"
passed through these parts. Turning left and passing by the High
'N Dry towel and locker hut, you cross a small wooden footbridge
that crosses a lazily flowing stream flowing through the tropical
Over the bridge, a large area of clear blue water unfolds before
you. The waters gently lapping the white sandy beaches that stretch
around three sides of the lagoon and play host to towering palms,
thatched umbrellas and countless gleaming white lounge chairs.
Every minute or two large waves roll into the lagoon.
At the far end of the lagoon, rising up above a massive timber
retaining wall, is Mt. Mayday. Stranded on the mountain's summit
is Miss Tilly, one the shrimp boats out of Safen Sound, FL that
was caught in the great storm. The streams that flow down the
mountain cause a 50-foot geyser of water to regularly erupt from
Miss Tilly's smokestack, sounding the old boat's foghorn in the
Along the slopes of Mt. Mayday, which gradually taper off to
the left and right, there are a number of twisting mountain streams
which--due to their unusually smooth "lava-rock" beds
and steady, gentle flowing water--are just ideal for sliding down.
Typhoon Lagoon is pretty much open all year round, although it
does have a short period of closure for a month or so during the
winter period for refurbishment. The park does get very crowded
during the summer peak season. In the cooler months, all of the
nearly 3 million gallons of water at the park are heated. The
park will typically be closed for about a month during the winter--check
for exact dates by calling (407)824-4321.
The best time of the week to visit Typhoon Lagoon is generally
on a weekday, towards the start of the week. Later in the week,
Typhoon Lagoon tends to attract people who spend the beginning
of the week at the major parks. Local residents tend to keep the
park busy during the weekends.
The Typhoon Lagoon surf pool is the centerpiece of the water
park, with waves up to 6 feet high crashing onto the shores of
the lagoon. The waves originate at the base of Mt. Mayday and
then speed along the deep outer lagoon which is enclosed on three
sides by timber retaining walls that hold back the volcanic mountain
slopes. The waves break just as they clear the walls, at which
point the water is six feet deep.
The surf fans out into the sea-shell shaped shallow part of the
lagoon until it rolls up onto the beach, which has real sand extending
down to the water line. The waves alternate between surf waves
that come at 90 second intervals and continuous, gently-bobbing
Originally the wave cycle alternated every hour, but recently
the tide has turned in favor of surf, with a 90 minute surf/30
minute bobbing cycle. There is a small chalkboard at the edge
of the beach near the front of the park on which the day's wave
schedule is posted.
Most water parks have a river that encircles the park and Typhoon
Lagoon stays in keeping with the trend through Castaway Creek
which gently carries you through nearly a half-mile of tropical
splendor. There are plenty of entry/exit points all around the
creek, so it is easy to hop in or out. Each entry/exit point is
marked by a pictoral sign, a shark identifies the entry near Shark
Reef, for example.
The creek passes through distinctly different settings: tropical
forest, dense rainforest, a cavernous tunnel through Mt. Mayday
that is guarded by a waterfall you must pass through, open sunny
areas and a shady, rocky gorge with a rope footbridge high overhead.
There is also various items of storm-tossed wreckage, both along
the shores and floating in the water. You can swim, walk or float
in one of the many inner tubes--including some of the two-person
variety--that endlessly circulate.
Castaway Creek usually get very crowded in the early afternoon,
so it's best to ride the creek in the morning (if you are not
a slide person) or late in the afternoon, when you will practically
have the creek all to yourself. Since the creek flows right the
way around the park, it can be used as a slow, but pleasant, way
to commute from one part of the park to another.
Humunga Kowabunga is a six-story speed slide.
Shark Reef is one of the most unusual water park attractions
you will ever come across. You will be outfitted with a face mask,
snorkel and fins. (No extra charge!) You pass around the reef
and along a rock cliff wall. At the entry point, you will be given
instructions on how to use the mask and snorkel. Then its into
the chilly salt water to ogle the tropical fish including small
harmless, but real live sharks.
Unfortunately, you're unlikely to be able to spend much time
enjoying the reef, and will probably be required to swim straight
across the 60 foot pool--and out. Anyone wanting to see the sights,
but not swim with sharks can view the goings-on from the portholes
of an old, upside-down freighter that conveniently sunk right
in the middle of the pool.
You may want to consider investing in a small single-use underwater
cameras to use while in the reef area. They are widely available,
costing a few dollars.
The "Jib Jammer", "Stern Burner", and "Rudder
Buster" each have some unique flavor to them (the center
one, I can't remember the name, has a pitch black tunnel in the
middle of the run). Each of them deposit their riders to a common
pool at the base. Try them sitting and laying down...but beware,
once you lay down, it's pretty tough to get back up.
White Water Tube Rides
At the entrance to each of these slides you collect an inner
tube or raft and carry it up the climb to the top of the ride
Keelhaul Falls, a tube ride, is the tamest of the three, and
is usually the one with the shortest line. Gang Plank Falls is
higher, longer and wider, which nicely accomodates the family-sized
rafts that ply these waters. Mayday falls is the highest and wildest,
sending you careening down a wild river.
It's not at all uncommon for the rider to be dashed against the
walls of the path...and deposited into the bottom pool with the
inner tube trailing behind (or leading the way).
This childrens area on the left side of the park is intended
for the younger set. It features bubbling fountains, a few small
water slides and raft rides (very small) and a shallow wading
pool area. Please note that children under age 10 should be accompanied
at all times by an adult throughout the park.
About $24 for adults, $18 for kids 3-9 years old. Lockers cost
$3, plus a $2 key deposit. Large lockers cost $5,plus a $2 key
Food / Drink:
Lunch is available at "Typhoon Tilly's" and "Leaning
Palms". Beware of the curly fries they are served with a
strong spicy flavouring.
Directions to Typhoon Lagoon
From I-4: Take Exit 26, Epcot Center Drive and proceed one mile
to Buena Vista Drive. Take the first ramp, turning right onto
Buena Vista Drive. The entrance to Typhoon Lagoon ss a very short
distance along Buena Vista Drive on the right.
From US 192: Enter WDW via the maingate entrance on 192 (World
Drive) and proceed two miles to Buena Vista Drive, heading towards
the EPCOT resorts. Proceed along Buena Vista Drive for two miles.
The entrance to Typhoon Lagoon is on the right, a very short distance
after you pass Epcot Center Drive.
From the Hotel Plaza/Disney Institute/SR 535 area: Proceed along
Hotel Plaza Boulevard towards the Disney Village Marketplace.
At the Disney Village Marketplace, turn left onto Buena Vista
Drive. Drive completely past Pleasure Island and the AMC Theater
(on the right). The entrance to Typhoon Lagoon will be a short
distance further along on the left.
From the SR535/SR536 area: Take SR536 for two miles towards WDW,
at which point it crosses I-4 and becomes Epcot Center Drive.
Proceed one mile to Buena Vista Drive. Take the first ramp, turning
right onto Buena Vista Drive. The entrance to Typhoon Lagoon is
a very short distance along Buena Vista Drive on the right.
From Disney onsite hotels the easiest way to get to Typhoon Lagoon
is to make use of Disney's bus system.
The direct telephone number to Typhoon Lagoon is (407) 560-4141.