Blizzard Beach is back at Walt Disney World next month

October 20, 2023, 12:47 PM · It's time again for the water park switch at Walt Disney World.

Disney announced today that its Blizzard Beach water park will reopen for guests on November 6. Located between Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom, Blizzard Beach is themed to the demise of "Florida's first ski resort" after it was ill-advisedly opened following a freak snowstorm in the, uh, recent past. All the snow is melting down those ski runs now, so hey... water slides!

Ever since reopening after the lockdowns, Disney World has been opening just one of its two water parks at a time. So if Blizzard Beach is opening, that means it's time for Typhoon Lagoon to close. The Disney Springs-area water park's final day before its annual refurbishment will be November 5.

Disney now is offering a Water Park Season Pass for $84.14, which allows for unlimited daily admission to Walt Disney World's open water park, without reservations or blockout dates, through May 24, 2024. That's just about $6 more than the cost of an unrestricted one-day water park ticket.

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Replies (7)

October 20, 2023 at 2:47 PM

I wonder if the alternating operations is more of a function of staffing/convenience, or if demand for Disney Water Parks has waned with the recent improvements to WDW resort pools and the existence of Volcano Bay (and a lesser extent Aquatica, Discovery Cove, and other off-site resort pools/water parks). With pandemic restrictions pretty much gone this past summer, did Typhoon Lagoon ever reach capacity or was there ever enough demand for Disney to consider opening Blizzard Beach to better balance the crowds?

Personally, with Shark Reef closing a few years ago at Typhoon Lagoon, the 2 water parks have become pretty ubiquitous. Each park has one or 2 unique attractions (Summit Plummet and the Chair Lift at BB and Crush 'n Gusher and Surf School at TL), but none of those are enough of a draw to justify visiting both water parks during a single visit to WDW. So if having one water park open at a time, even during the summer, is enough to meet demand, why does Disney continue to toggle operations? It's probably slightly more efficient to be able to close the entire park to perform routine maintenance, but does it really save that much versus operating one park and closing attractions as needed for maintenance?

Ultimately, does it make sense for Disney to continue to try to keep both water parks, or should WDW eventually consolidate into 1 larger water park?

October 20, 2023 at 3:11 PM

Haven't been to either of these parks recently, but I think the pass deal answers the question about demand. And yeah, that eventually raises the question asking whether Disney is better off closing one park and plussing the other or just playing this switcheroo indefinitely.

October 20, 2023 at 3:33 PM

Disney essentially offering a $6 option to plus admission into a season pass is very telling. It's the type of thing that smaller operators do because they are making their money on parking, food, and beverages. I never thought I'd see the day that a Disney Park, even if it is a waterpark, would be offering a season pass for cheaper than a season pass at Noah's Ark in the Wisconsin Dells or Lost Island in Iowa. I think Robert is right, closing one park and plussing the remaining park seems like a good option.

There has always been a finite demand for waterparks in the Orlando area going back to the 90's with Wet 'n Wild, Watermania, and the Disney parks. Today, there is the Volcano Bay, Aquatica, Disney's parks, and the new waterpark at the Margaritaville resort that is open to the public. (Ironically, very near the original location of Watermania.)

October 20, 2023 at 7:09 PM

I feel like if Disney wants to advertise that they have two waterparks, then as a year-round destination with year-round waterpark operation it is their responsibility to provide two waterparks for a majority of the year. If they can't do that any longer for whatever reason, it's probably time for them to retire one in order to focus on operating the other full-time. Personally, I've never visited either one because they both look like well themed but outdated parks that don't offer anything without a superior version at Aquatica or Volcano Bay, so as someone who doesn't stay on site they just don't seem worth the cost. However, if Disney were to modernize one of them, it might become a competitive option worth considering rather than simply defaulting to the alternatives.

October 21, 2023 at 7:16 AM

Aquatica has a good selection of attractions, but their operations are trash. You spend most of your day waiting in line for food or roasting in the sun on a slide tower.

Volcano Bay is genuinely nice, but a hassle to get to (mass arrival, park and ride a bus.) And on busy days, Tapu Tapu.

Typhoon Lagoon / Blizzard Beach (while not as modern) are much, MUCH easier to quickly arrive, chill and enjoy the day. And if coming across I-4 East to arrive, getting off at Disney vs. going all the way to SW/Uni seals the deal for this weary traveler.

October 21, 2023 at 11:59 AM

I still miss River Country.

October 21, 2023 at 4:26 PM

I can remember swimming in the seven seas lagoon. Before kids started getting eaten by the Disney gators.

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