Disney · Omnibus · Trivia

WDW for the Single Guy: an experiment, Part 24 (The Water Parks)

TL Beach Water ParkBlizzard Beach water park

[DISCLAIMER: The following was originally written by Jerry Skids back in 2009. He is a big Disney fan. He has his own WDW-themed podcast, which you can find here, or here. This is 100% Jerry’s words, completely unedited, out of respect to Jerry. Exception – I removed some 2009 pop culture references.  If you are confused by any of the acronyms, check out the previous posts. My comments are listed in [ ] – anything in ( ) are all Jerry’s words. I have not fact-checked any of this information. Obviously some things have definitely changed since 2009, especially prices, and should be used for comparative purposes only, as many, many attractions have come and gone since the time this was written. However, that does not invalidate his suggestions one iota. This is still useful, and I think this is so amazing, that I want to share his knowledge and wisdom. Thank you Jerry! Posted with his permission. – Editor]

WDW for the Single Guy: an experiment

Part 24 

 

The Water Parks

Note: Rating water rides is tough because they are all very similar. Please take rating with a grain of salt unless it is in the “A” – “A+” range.

TYPHOON LAGOON

In 1989, while Eisner was creating MGM Studios and Pleasure Island, he was also installing this crazy water park right across the street where Downtown Disney would be. River Country (we’ll talk about that in the extinct attractions section) was so popular that the Imagineers couldn’t wait to throw in another aquatic adventure at WDW. Here’s the story: A quaint and quiet town was located across Pleasure Island (Mr. Merryweather Pleasure’s old home was here), until a Psychotic typhoon came along and destroyed everything, leaving all the houses and vehicles underwater. It also stranded a shrimp boat (called the Miss Tiny), which is perched atop Mt. Mayday. So when Disney acquired Pleasure Island, they decided to turn this area of destruction into a water park, where guests can climb Mt. Mayday and slide down into pools below. Also, if you look around, you can  find artifacts from the Adventurer’s Club, fireworks that belonged to Mr. Pleasure, and other cool things that blew across the street from Pleasure Island during the mythological typhoon.

Guests enter through a misty rain forest and emerge in a ramshackle tropical town. One may wonder where all the dead people went. These are the attractions I can remember. If I miss some, sorry.

Typhoon Lagoon Water Park map

Crush ‘N’ Gusher {A+} (Very good romantical* experience) (*I know it’s not a word)
This is considered a water roller coaster. There are 3 slides to choose from: the Banana Blaster; Coconut Crusher; and Pineapple Plunger. (They are about 410′ – 420′ long). It’s a wild ride through a tropical fruit plant! LOL! You go down in tubes (by yourself or one other person) – (good for dates) – consisting of a series of flumes and spillways. It really does feel like a rollercoaster ride! Very innovative and extremely kick ass!

Humunga Kowabunga {A} – This speed slide used to be the best slide here before Crush ‘N’ Gusher was built in 2005 – 2006. You hit about 30 MPH, plus you are dropped 214 feet in the dark. If you are claustrophobic, then you may wanna sit this one out. Even if you love water rides and don’t ever freak out… this one may get you a bit nervous — especially since you never know whether you are coming to any sort of end. Since it is fairly fast, I must tell you to encourage your girl to wear a one-piece unless you want other people staring at her sweater cows when they pop out.

Keelhaul Falls {B+} – Your very own whitewater raft. It’s fun, but you’ve seen better. This is very fast.

Gangplank Falls {B} – Multi-person whitewater raft ride. You’ve seen this at every water park. This is no different.

Mayday Falls {A-} – Okay, this one is nuts! You go down in a single person tube, but you have to literally fight the currents to stay on it! Just like the other two “falls” rides, this is located on top of Mt. Mayday, and filters you into the pool at the bottom.

Storm Slides {B} – These 3 slides are body slides that corkscrew around and through Mt. Mayday. They are very standard, but still extremely fun if you like water slides.

Castaway Creek {A-} – Every water park needs a lazy river and this one is no exception. This amazingly scenic half mile river takes you through rainforests and hidden grottos in a serene tropical setting. Just lay back and let the currents take you away — or try to get soaked by the many obstacles and traps along the way. It’s nice and warm. Go ahead, try it out.

Ketchakiddee Creek {F} {really N/A} – Yeah, I’m not lying. That’s the name of it. I give it an “F” because it’s a stupid toddler section (48″ or under). So what’s the point of even rating it? This [blog] is for single guys, college dudes, and the like. So… next!

Shark Reef {C} – This is free for the most part, but there are certain things you have to pay for. Let’s start free. They give you fins, mask, snorkel, and wetsuit vest to don in the creepy wooden building by the diving pool. No forms or money involved at all. Shower and report to the snorkel instructor, who will brief you on what to do. Then you swim about 60′ to the other side of the saltwater pool, checking out colorful tropical fish, rays, and very small leopard and hammerhead sharks. You can also view the maritime community from the underwater viewing chamber if you don’t want to do all that stuff. This is open at all times of the day and requires no setup.
Also, for $20 per half hour ($15 per other people in the group), you can sign up for the Surface Air Snorkeling – which is a scuba-like pursuit, with a tank, regulator, and vest. It’s not really worth it since you can do DiveQuest in Epcot (see “tours” section). Why a “C”? Because it could take forever for very little payoff. Unless you go 1st thing in the morning and no later than 11:00 AM, the crowds are going to be insane. You end up waiting longer than the experience normally takes. In the morning, it takes about 5 – 10 minutes to shower, get dressed, and complete the training. In the afternoon, it could take about an hour. DO NOT go after 11 AM or you’ll waste your day at this place. You could ride all 3 slides in Crush ‘N’ Gusher AND Storm Slides twice in the time it would take to get ready for Shark Reef in the afternoon. Also, don’t be surprised if the people outweigh the fish the later it gets in the day.

Surf Pool {A- } – So, many, many, many water parks have wave pools. But Typhoon Lagoon has a “Surf Pool.” Especially for you East Coasters, you will experience waves larger than you have in the ocean! A wave is shoved out every 90 seconds, and guess what? This is the largest inland surf facility in the entire world, with waves up to six feet high! If you swim like ¾ to the front, you will get the best part of the wave! Plus it won’t slam you down like in the ocean. The most annoying part is that the aftermath collects lots of guests in one spot… so you’ll probably crash into lots of people. This is fun if you really like to swim. Also, they offer special mornings in the summer (6:45 – 10:00 AM) before park opening surfing lessons with a real surfboard. The good thing is that the majority of the people are first-timer surfers. The bad news is that it’s $140 person. Yikes. I’ve heard it’s definitely a great way to learn to surf without putting yourself in too much danger — oh yeah, I would lock up your jewelry, watches, and make sure your pockets are empty, because the surf pool tend to take these things away from you with its crazy magical force.

Food: {B-}

It is what it is. Regular burgers and such. Chicken fingers. You know….

Shopping

Forgot your bathing suit? Nose Plug? Goggles? Whatever? You can get it all right here. Also, they have sunscreen, sunglasses, T-shirts, and other Typhoon Lagoon merch.


BLIZZARD BEACH

Blizzard Beach water park map

Opened in 1995, this park has been rated by Travel Channel and MANY magazines as the #1 Water Park in the WORLD! (Except for 2003, when it was #2). Here’s the story: A crazy entrepreneur tried to open a ski resort in Florida one unusually cold winter – but of course the moron didn’t realize the snow was going to melt very soon. So, the snow melted, the palm trees grew back, and all that remained of the ski resort was its Alpine Lodge, the ski lifts, and the freakin’ mountain. The ski slopes were now running water slopes, and the bobsled runs looked like slides. “I’M RUINED,” the man shouted until he saw a bluish alligator (obviously blue from the cold, sliding down the side of the mountain). That’s when he smiled and had the best idea. He would reopen the ski resort as a water park called Blizzard Beach! The Mountain: Mt. Gushmore.

Guests catch the thaw (icicles drip and patches of snow still remain) of this phenomenon. Also, the melting snow has formed a lagoon fed by gushing mountain streams (this is the wave pool). The theming here is amazing! Sometimes even better than attractions in the four main parks and ALL of Disneyland, CA. The attention to detail is flawless.Let me go over some of the best attractions:

Summit Plummet {A+} – This is the longest speed slide in the entire world! It’s a 120-foot free fall at 60 MPH!! Said to be the fastest and best that any water park lover has been on, this is definitely no picnic in the park. After making it on top of Mt. Gushmore, you get explicit instructions of how to lay, and you’re shoved quickly down the steepest drop you’ve ever had. From far away, it looks like you aren’t even supported and that you drop into the pool below, but that is not the case. WARNING: if women do not wear a one piece, your tits will be all over the place and on guys’ cameras since it’s common knowledge that this is the ultimate “get you naked ride.” I warn you now. Also, watch out for atomic wedgies. Clench your cheeks; I promise you that it’s the right… and only move. Try not to bring anything on it cus it will come loose + fly out. Use your locker! This is like jumping out a 12-story window during a heavy rainfall. That sound good? Yeah, I thought so.

Slush Gusher {A+} – The choice you make once you get to Summit Plummet and realize how freaky it is. This one, right next to it on the mountain is just as exciting, but in a different way. This one is a an undulating 90-foot double humped slide that careens you down parallel to Summit Plummet. Still, don’t forget that this will pull of your woman’s two-piece. Extremely fun.

Teamboat Springs {A} – More fun with a full raft, this whitewater adventure is very long and extremely entertaining. It’s cool when it’s just you and your girl (you can fingerfuck her all you want – cameras wouldn’t pick it up at the speed you’re going), but it’s a lot more exhilarating and the raft is much faster with more people on it. Go with strangers, it will be a hoot! This is also located on top of Mt. Gushmore, next to the other two, so you can imagine how long this whitewater trip will take. It’s a lot of fun!

Runoff Rapids {A-} – On the backside of Mt. Gushmore, these 3 corkscrew tube slides shoot down and intersect with each other. The center one is for solo rides, the one on the left is enclosed, and the right is open – (the left and right are for 2 or 3-person tubes.) The more people in the tube, the faster you will go. If you’re not claustrophobic, try the closed tube, but the open ones make you feel a lot saner. In the closed one, you’ll feel like you’re being flushed down a toilet. Use your body to lean into the curves and you fly down into the pool at the end of the ride… there’s a 75% chance you’ll flip and dunk at the end.

Chair Lift {B} -So, it’s not technically a ride, but it is pretty cool. You take the lift up to the top of Mt. Gushmore so you can ride Summit Plummet, Slush Gusher, or Teamboat Springs. You could take the stairs (which is sometimes quicker), but this clever lift puts you right in the action… plus it’s a LOT of stairs! You could go up just for the view. Only 2 people to a lift, but you can wait on the singles line if it’s crowded and board quicker with parties of odd numbers.

Toboggan Racers {A+} – This is not an extremely thrilling ride, but it is extremely fun!! You race on your belly on this mat down a flume. It’s got 8 lanes. It’s never really too crowded, so as long as you don’t mind climbing up over and over again, this is a LOT of fun! Hint: Pick up the mat in front to make it go faster and of course shift your weight forward.

Snow Stormers {A-} – Same as Toboggan Racers, but faster and no racing. Plus,, this empties into a pool.

Downhill Double Dipper {A+} – Side-by-side undulating slides. Compete against your friends and enemies at about 25 MPH through water curtains and free falls! IT’s like a crazy fun version of a regular slide. Plus, you’re timed! The winner gets no prize, but of course it’s fun! It’s a slightly rough ride, but worth it. This, along with Summit Plummet + Slush Gusher, you must be 48″ or over to ride.

Cross Country Creek {A+} – Best lazy river I’ve ever been to. The theming is spectacular! You travel through ice caves, melted catacombs, and other strange obstacles, including the floating house of Ice Gator (the mascot – remember? The blue alligator the owner saw sliding down Mt. Gushmore.) The best thing is… the dripping water is COLD!! It should be! It’s from melted ice. Very nice on a hot day. Very, very nice river.

Melt-Away Bay {C-} – It’s a wave pool. Nothing special. Gentle bobbing waves and stuff….I dunno… whatever. I guess you need some kinda pool here, right?

Tike’s Peak – Who cares? [For kids > 48″, obviously]

Ski Patrol Training Camp – Another silly kids’ area – it trains them for the big rides.

Food {A}

The only reason it’s different here is because of the best innovation ever! These little mini sugar donuts with 3 dipping sauces — the white chocolate is the best — plus it fits the theming of Blizzard Beach. Otherwise, burgers, fries, etc.

Shopping

Same as Typhoon Lagoon, but with Blizzard Beach + Ice Gator merch as well. This includes collector’s mugs and the “I survived Summit Plummet” T-shirt.

The Garbage Pail

At both Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach, (Happy Landings + I.C. Expeditions, respectively), they sell heaven in a bucket. Just layers upon layers of chocolate + vanilla + chocolate-vanilla swirl ice cream, covered in chocolate syrup, hot fudge, caramel sauce, whipped cream , strawberry sauce, crushed walnuts, and Mickey-shaped sprinkles served in a toy sand bucket with a shovel or two to eat it with. The one at Typhoon Lagoon is superior because it has the most toppings. It’s the only time I’ll say that Typhoon Lagoon is superior to Blizzard Beach, because otherwise it wouldn’t be. Eat…this… amazing…ice cream….

TIPS + TOURING ADVICE for Water Parks

  1. Typhoon Lagoon Vs. Blizzard Beach: Showdown – Blizzard Beach has better slides, is way better themed, has a better lazy river, more rides, longer whitewater, a ski lift, enclosed tubes, and those mini-donuts. Typhoon Lagoon has an awesome surf pool, shark reef, and the only coaster water slide. Blizzard Beach’s rides can give you bruises (Summit Plummet) and the place no shade + hot concrete. Although, I suggest you wear flip-flops or something… barefoot is hardly sanitary – even at WDW, where it’s constantly clean. Although, it’s a fact that you have to take ’em off to climb to the top of the slides. Blizzard Beach only has one place to eat, so the lines get REALLY long (but there’s a bunch of snack huts.) Regardless, Blizzard Beach is voted [the] #1 water park for a reason. It’s the best! It has the #1 fastest speed slide ever, and the number of rides = shorter wait times! So I’ll say it once… ICE GATOR RULES, AND SO DOES BLIZZARD BEACH!!!!
  2. Avoid lines! The slowest days to go are Mondays and Fridays. Honestly, the weekends are fairly slow because the guests are at the other parks! DO NO GO ON WEDNESDAYS OR THURSDAYS! You will regret it! Also, realize that water parks close when they reach capacity. On Summer days, capacity can be reached by 11 AM! An hour after the park opens! So get there EARLY! (also, after 2PM, it calms down)
  3. Try arriving after a storm. You will be the ONLY people there. It’s so fucking awesome.
  4. If you can skip the lockers, you’ll be the first ones on the slides. It’s not tough to go from your WDW resort to BB or TL with nothing but money in a special water park tube around your neck or arm so it doesn’t get wet or loose. While everyone is renting lockers, you’ll already have been on a bunch of slides! FUN!
  5. There are picnic areas in the park, so you are permitted to bring a water cooler w/ a picnic lunch, as long as there are no glass containers or alcohol with you.
  6. Try to arrive an hour before opening if you can. It’ll be worth it.
  7. Remember: The Animal Kingdom bus stops at Blizzard Beach as well, and the Downtown Disney bus stops at Typhoon Lagoon as well. The order depends on what time it is.
  8. Wear a bathing suit under your shorts and a T-shirt. That way, you won’t need to use your locker. Wear shoes, but if you want, you can get reef runners — these can be worn in and out of the water. Also, make sure there is no metal buttons on your bathing suit, or you shall not ride the big slides.
  9. Bring a towel, suntan lotion, and money… actually fuck the lotion. Put it on before you go.
  10. Buy the special Blizzard Beach money holder for ($5) because it holds credit cards, cash, and coins– and resort IDs +passes. It’s waterproof, and it has an elastic that goes around your neck or arm that will not come loose on slides. Worth the money… although you can get a $1 version at Wal-Mart if you plan ahead.
  11. If you don’t have tickets and water parks aren’t on your plan, get them at least 45 minutes prior.
  12. Tickets cost $39 for Blizzard Beach, $42 for Typhoon Lagoon. Why [is the latter more expensive]? I dunno.
  13. Lockers cost $10 for small, and $12 for large. You get $5 back when you return the key. The rental procedure is slow and annoying, and guests are constantly rushing like douches. I really recommend you try to NOT get one… but it’s up to you.
  14. Lines: Body slides and others have huge lines because of the intervals between riders according to safety guidelines. I recommend doing all the slides first, do the rest, then go back after 2PM and try again.
  15. If the lines becomes ridiculous, just head for the surf or wave pool or the lazy rivers until it goes down again.
  16. During bad weather, the park closes, but if you come back after the storm is over, you will have the park to yourself. Needed to repeat that for you.

And By The Way…

Wet ‘N Wild and Aquatica (Seaworld’s water parks) are very nearly identical and also kinda fun: Wet N Wild has Disco H2O – a four person raft that careens downa long tube into a 70s nightclub, w/ lights, music, and a disco ball. It’s fairly frantic. / BrainWash – drops 6 stories vertically into a funnel in a 2 – 4 man tube. / The Surge – I dunno, some sort of 4-man spinning water ride up a wall. / Black Hole – very famous ride that starts where The Surge ends. You MUST have 2 riders for this. You are completely in the dark with a little bit of green track lighting — the ride is just claustrophobic + nuts and quiet. / their lazy river is REALLY fast! Kinda odd. / Oh, and there’s wakeboarding.
Aquatica (by SeaWorld) has the Dolphin Plunge – a corkscrew ramp through a totally dark tube that blasts you through a clear tube at the end where you are surrounded by dolphins you can’t see cos you’re going too fast. / That Bowl Ride – You are spit into an open toilet bowl thing where you fly around like a roulette wheel ball. / Lazy River 1 – you go around that toilet bowl ride and then float through a plexiglass tunnel with a bunch of exotic tropical fish around you. / Lazy River 2 – faster and longer, but not much to see.

So that’s that. Go get wet. Or get your chick wet. Then fuck her on Teamboat Springs. Then again on Summit Plummet (although that will most definitely cause death — but it’s worth it, right? I mean, her top will fly off anyway!!)

 

NEXT UP …. ⇒ [???]
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