By Guest Blogger Liliane Opsomer, co-author of the “Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids”
It is easy to have a blast at Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach as both Disney Water Parks are perfect for a hot summer day. Teens will love showing off going down Summit Plummet at Blizzard Beach, and the entire family will enjoy snorkeling Shark Reef at Typhoon Lagoon. The best part, however, in both parks is that there is plenty of play area for little tykes. My all time favorite is Tike’s Peak at Blizzard Beach. Slides, pop-up water jets and sandboxes provide fun for even the most timid toddler.
Splash pads are becoming more and more the norm throughout the Kingdom of the Mouse. By definition, they are water attractions geared toward little children enjoying themselves splashing around in water that drains right away into the ground. The play area, most of the time, is soft and cushioned to avoid injuries. When I recently asked a Disney PR representative if there was a list of splash pads, I was told, “they are everywhere.” So I went on a fact-finding mission.
Indeed, pretty much every hotel I checked out had a splash pad, most of them near the pool area, and an Alice in Wonderland-themed splash area is currently under construction at the Grand Floridian. The splash pad at the Kidani Village at the Animal Kingdom Lodge stands out, and the Geyser that erupts every hour, on the hour at Ft. Wilderness is a sight to behold, but the splash area at the new Big Blue Pool at the Art of Animation resort just tops them all!
At the Magic Kingdom, the best place to get wet is at Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station in the Storybook Circus section of Fantasyland, which opened June 15. It offers a great relief from the heat and will make your child not want to leave this area. But, be aware: They will get wet! And it won’t just be the kids in the splash pad; parents trying to retrieve their reluctant toddler will also get their fill of water and mist blowing in the wind.
There is a splash pad located by Mission Space and Test Track in Future World in Epcot and another one at Innoventions. Again, if you let the kids enjoy themselves, they will get wet!
At Disney Hollywood Studios, beware of the super soaker water gun inside the “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” Movie Set Adventure. This 52-foot-long leaking water hose has the potential to spray the kids enough to warrant a change of clothes.
Splash pads in the parks are a good way for kids to let off steam, but plan ahead, bring towels and an extra change of clothes. Most of all, make sure that the shoes stay dry. There is no better recipe for blisters than walking in wet sneakers! Also, too much fun in the sun isn’t a good thing; make sure everybody drinks lots of fluids and slap on the sunscreen.
And if you thought that a shopping trip to Downtown Disney would keep you dry, think again. At Downtown Disney, two splash pads attract children like magnets from morning till late night, keeping me wondering when Disney will roll out a splash pad at the airport. Just kidding, of course.
Related: Orlando Water Parks At a Glance
Liliane Opsomer is the co-author of the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids. Find her on Facebook.