To Buy or Not Buy: Tickets to Disney’s Water Parks

Nothing sounds better on a steamy, summer day than being doused by cool, refreshing water.  Disney offers many such opportunities with two water parks on their property: Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon. Since guests must pay for admittance to either of these parks, is a day at one of these aquatic sites worth the additional fee?

Let’s first take a look at the expense involved.  A single adult ticket to either Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon is about $52; a child’s ticket is $44.  These tickets may be purchased upon arrival at the water park, providing flexibility while on vacation in case of rain or a change in plans.  Because the tickets have not been purchased in advance, the decision to buy or not buy can easily be changed at a moment’s notice.

Disney offers a “Water Parks Fun and More” option for $55 per person, regardless of age, to add to the base Magic Your Way tickets.  With this option, guests gain admittance based on the number of days of their MYW tickets to both water parks, Disney Quest, the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, and Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course.  The price is exceptional for all that is offered.

Nonetheless, a couple of factors must be considered.  If you only have time for one day at a water park, the “and more” is left unused and the additional money spent for the option is wasted.  In the case of our family, that would be a mere $23, yet $23 that could be spent on souvenirs.

Of course, our sons would love to check out Disney Quest, one part of the World we have yet to explore.  However, another reason exists for not purchasing this option.  We often travel with our parents, and our oldest son is listed in their room.  To add the “Water Parks Fun and More” option, either our oldest would have to be excluded or his grandparents included.  The grandparents have no desire to spend the extra money on water slides or video games, and our oldest is not content to be left out – and we would not want to exclude him.  Therefore, the best option for us is to simply purchase our tickets at the gate.

While the price of a water park may be within budget, other factors should be acknowledged.  A primary consideration for parents is their child’s age and maturity.  Some children are frightened by water.  In this case, spending money on one of these parks would be unwise.  Another factor to consider is the child’s swimming ability and size.  While Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon both offer designated areas for young kids, a family may not experience the whole joy of the park with swimming limitations and height restrictions in place.

With exciting water slides comes the trek the reach the peak.  An unexpected aspect of a day at a water park is the constant climbing up in order to enjoy the ride down.  Guests unable to make the consistent hikes, and who would be dissatisfied with only the lazy river and wave pool, may prefer not spending time and money on tickets to one of these parks.

Visitors should also consider the length of vacation time.  A week’s worth of rides, shows, and activities can be found in the four amusement parks alone.  First time guests to the World will want to fully experience the magic by devoting most of their time to Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom.  However, returning guests who have lengthened their vacation to include plenty of opportunities to explore the four parks, spend time at the pool, and perhaps even shop a little at Downtown Disney, should consider adding a trip to either Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon.

When deciding whether to buy or not buy tickets to one of Disney’s water parks, we choose to buy tickets to Blizzard Beach… but only on our sixth trip in as many years.  Our vacation spanned ten days, and our three sons had become competent swimmers and fearless adventurers, tackling the largest slides without hesitation.

We will be returning to the World soon for a ten day vacation and have chosen to once again visit a water park.  Our parents are traveling with us, enabling us to stay at a value resort rather than being forced to upgrade to a moderate.  We determined this opportunity to save money on a resort as the prime time to visit Typhoon Lagoon.

Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon?  That will have to be another blog post.  Stay tuned!

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