I recently was able to spend the day with my 3 year old daughter for a father-daughter day at Typhoon Lagoon. With height-requirements on many of the slides at the water park preventing her from riding the ride and other rides she could ride on that I needed to use my best-judgement on, we were able to have a fun-filled day of activities at Typhoon Lagoon Water Park at Disney World.
Ketchakiddee Creek Childrens Area
We started the day setting up at the children’s section of the park called Ketchakiddee Creek just beyond the wave pool on the left side of the park. There are a lot of great activities for toddlers to spend the day playing with here and we spent 1 to 2 hours of our time throughout the day in this area of the park.
There are four small slides that have just enough water to have the kids slide down very quickly but safely. A small attraction that was a favorite for my toddler was the pretend fire-hoses flowing with water in the area. We had a great time taking turns with the hose shouting back and forth, “Don’t splash me”. I would partially cover the hose with my hand to splash the water for a long distance that my child thought was great and mimicked me.
Another children’s attraction in this section are the water cannons that features an area where kids can take aim and send water splashing against other kids. The water shoots towards and from a pretend boat and forts (see picture above). The kids in this area control the cannons and have a great time aiming and splashing each other.
Immediately to the right is a small inner tube attraction for children that you can keep an eye on them as they float down the very-mild ride (see video below). My daughter rode this ride about 12-15 consecutive times until I told her it was time to move on.
Wave Pool and Slides
The wave pool is the focal point of the entire park. Throughout the day, Typhoon Lagoon sends larger surf waves barreling towards you that can be pretty intense even for adults. We hung out in the shallower part of the wave pool in about 4 feet of water. When a wave would come, I would face forward with my daughter until the very last second when the wave hit and then I would turn around. Note that I was hanging on very tightly so that she wouldn’t get splashed away from the wave. Caution that the current here can be very strong and you should always be within an arms length with your child here. Also, instead of the wave crashing through you at impact, you can also jump up at the time of impact to help lessen the amount of time you are under water.
Just off the side of the wave pool are two slides geared towards toddlers that end in a shallow pool of water. If your child knows how to hold their breath for several seconds but are not yet ready for the bigger slides, this is a great area to take them. Again, my daughter went on these slides 15-20 times consecutively until I told her it was time to go.
Swimming at Crush and Gusher
Crush and Gusher is one of Typhoon Lagoon’s most recent additions. With the current in the wave pool very strong for children and the lazy river too deep, Disney added a general swimming area attached to the drop-off point for the Crush and Gusher ride that is ideal for toddler to practice their swimming. The shallow area of water is a zero-entry pool that ranges from one to three feet of water. My daughter was able to stand at any time that she wanted to but could lunge forward and practice her swimming.
Castaway Creek Lazy River
The lazy river was the least favorite attraction for my daughter as she needed to stay still in her inner tube the entire time. As anyone with a toddler already knows, they don’t like to stay still for anything. I helped make the ride down the river more fun for her by spinning her inner tube at times just enough to make her a little bit dizzy. She also enjoyed a section of the ride that is themed similar to a rain forest that gets very misty with misters.
Gang Plank Falls Family Inner tube ride
The most popular attraction at Typhoon Lagoon with the longest line is the family inner tube ride called Gang Plank Falls. Gang Plank Falls seats up to four riders and consists of a white water rafting type course that can send your inner tube spinning with waterfalls splashing and getting individuals riders wet. This ride is more fun for the parents than for the children and is the only actual ride that you can experience with your toddler at Typhoon Lagoon. After a couple of rides, my daughter was ready to do something different.
As stated, Gang Plank Falls can get upwards to an hour wait during peak times. If you plan on staying at the water park until closing time, this line gets a lot shorter later on in the day.
This ride is shorter, slower, and more wet than it’s sister ride at Blizzard Beach called Teamboat Springs. My daughter and I prefer Teamboat Springs over Gang Plank Falls.
Lilo and Stitch Meet and Greet and Other activities
Other adventures we experienced during the day was walking on the overlook bridge that is high up above the lazy river and sways mildly. Over by the snorkeling area, you can take your toddlers picture behind the giant sharks teeth exhibition. On busier days during the summer Lilo and Stitch are available by the locker rentals for autographs and pictures but neither looked to be around during the slower month of November when we visited.
Typhoon Lagoon during Thanksgiving and Christmas
As stated, we attended Typhoon Lagoon in November during the weekend before Thanksgiving when the crowds were very soft but the temperature’s high for the day was 80 degrees. During the week of Christmas of 2011, Orlando has had highs in the 80’s for most of the week.
During the holidays, the water parks are not the first attraction that comes to mind for visitors and locals alike but they can make for a fun day when you catch those common winter days in Orlando when the highs are in the 70’s and 80’s. Instead of complaining about how hot it is leading up the Christmas, just enjoy it that you live in Orlando and head over to Typhoon Lagoon. The lines are soft, the pools are heated, and the weather is great.
Click Here to view our recommendations for water park annual passes in Orlando including Typhoon Lagoon with additional videos of the parks.
Click Here to read our story of a father-daughter date night at Downtown Disney.
Typhoon Lagoon Map