Walt Disney World’s Blizzard Beach Reopens This Weekend
If you haven’t heard of Blizzard Beach yet, add it to your Orlando bucket list. While tourists don’t typically visit Florida for snow-capped mountains, Mount Gushmore offers a unique theme for the thrills Orlando certainly is famous for. Only here can you visit a ski resort amidst tropical landscaping and Caribbean tunes.
The Story Behind Blizzard Beach
Legend has it there was a freak snowstorm at the park’s very location on January 11, 1977. Due to this supposed storm, Floridians quickly built a ski lift and laid the foundation for the resort around the snow. But alas, the snow turned into slush in the Florida sun and continues to melt to this very day. The newly established ski resort became waterlogged, but instead of abandoning the establishment, investors witnessed the park’s potential as a roaring blue alligator slid down the mountain and landed with a joyous splash. The Florida-style beach chair lifts, with beach umbrellas and all, now take visitors up the mountain not to ski, but to water slide. And the blue gator? He was hired as the park’s mascot, naturally!
Just like you would expect at a ski slope, you can choose different colored paths down the mountain that guides new and experienced visitors.
This is where you find the park’s flagship attraction, the Summit Plummet, one of the tallest and fastest waterslides in the world. Starting with a 120 ft. near-vertical drop, it accelerates brave thrill-seekers up to 65 mph. An optional 90 ft. tall water slide, the Slush Gusher, reaches up to 35 mph. For something family-friendly, go white-water rafting at Teamboat Springs past a twisting river of rushing waterfalls.
Here you can race down the Downhill Double Dipper, side-by-side racing tube slides. Lie on your tummy and go down one of three flumes on a mat at Snow Stormers, or, the Toboggan Racers, an 8-lane water slide option using the same mat-and-tummy technique.
The Runoff Rapids is a multi-slide attraction of differing water slides with innertubes. Two of the slides are open and one is enclosed, and they take you down twisting and turning flumes.
Beyond the Slopes
All that constantly melting snow has to go somewhere. Enjoy the Melt-Away Bay wave pool at the base of Mount Gushmore, or travel down the Cross Country Creek lazy river. The Ski Patrol Training Camp is for pre-teens and contains the Leisure Pool and the Fahrenheit Drops that rope drop kids into an 8.5 ft. deep pool. You end up in the same pool via Freezin’ Pipe Springs body slide, and the wide-open inner tube slide, Cool Runners, also feeds from the perpetually melting snow at the park. Tike’s Peak was created for kids under 48 inches with scaled-down versions of the Blizzard Beach attractions.
Where to go for Frostbites
Have a light Avalunch for a snack, or visit Frostbite Freddie’s Bar. The Lottawatta Lodge offers covered outdoor seating, and the Polar Pub is a full bar for adults. I. C. Expeditions offers ice-cream and other desserts, and the Cooling Hut, light snacks, and refreshments.
Other Water Park Knowables
Pick-up fancy gifts at the Shade Shack, like jewelry and pearls, or visit the main merchandise store, The Beach Haus, or Snowless Joe’s for lockers, towels, lifejackets, souvenirs, swimwear, footwear, etc.
Retire in comfort after your aquatic adventures at a private rental vacation home in the nearby area. Give our reservations team a call for great recommendations that fit your needs.