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Blizzard Beach...a history. - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Water Parks

Disney opened Typhoon Lagoon in 1985 as a sister park to the rather more homespun (and now defunct) River Country.

Despite the extra capacity that this second water park created the public were still hungry for more and on high days and holidays you had to arrive very early indeed to get into either.

So a third water park was called for and duly openend in 1995 (we went that year and marvelled at this innovative park)

If Typhoon Lagoon was built on 50 acres of Disney owned land then Blizzard Beach had to go one better and at 64 acres, it did.

Also just as its sister park had a back story so did this new park. What they ended up doing was taking the Typhoon Lagoon inspiration and stand it on its head.

The second park had taken the theming of a tropical island so this one was planned to be like an alpine ski resort.

The back story was that a freak snow storm had hit the area and a ski resort was built. When the sub tropical sun had melted all the snow, they were left with redundant attraction til they spotted an alligator surfing down a dry snow slope (as you do) And thus Blizzard Beach was born.

Central to the planning of this new water park was Mount Gushmore and I guess we have to thank the Disney corporation for bringing a mountain to the country that thinks a gentle hill should be called Mt Dora!

The Blizzard Beach mountain is 90 feet and is indeed the third highest point in the whole of Florida.

From this mountain was planned several colour coded water rides and this colour coding sure makes navigation easier.

One of these runs is the second highest water ride in the world and measures 120 feet and allows you to go at speeds of more than 60 miles an hour. I bet the SECOND highest hurts the Disney pride and that if and when you can safely beat the 1st placed ride they will do so?

They put in a 3000 feet lazy river here and the unique selling point for this is the melting snow that drips on you as you meander slowly through a tunnel.

Nowadays this park still attracts somewhat under 2 million visitors a year and up to the point of writing remains open during the 2 months that Typhoon Lagoon is closed.

Blizzard Beach is off Lake Buena Vista Drive and the zip (post) code is 32830

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