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Last revised Sun, 20-May-2007 18:47
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Typhoon Lagoon

[ 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 foliage--Castaway Creek.

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 process.

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.


Typhoon Lagoon

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 waves.

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.

Castaway Creek

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.

Humonga Kowabunga

Humunga Kowabunga is a six-story speed slide.

Shark Reef

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.

Storm Slides

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 with you.

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).

Ketchakiddie Creek

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 deposit.

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.



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