Peanut Adventures, Issue 22 (Blizzard Beach)
*WDW invited us to try out Blizzard Beach gratis. We received dining cards. All opinions here are my own.*
Y'all... I'm not a water parks person. I used to be. As a kid I LIVED for Wet N Wild and all the slides (Black Hole 4 Lyfe), but now? I pretty much just want to lie in the lazy river all day. Which I can do in the privacy of my own pool without worrying about my summer swimsuit body (something I haven't had for 20 years if I'm being honest). Still, when WDW reached out and offered us tickets to Blizzard Beach that happened to also be the last day of D's summer vacation? I didn't hesitate. D is a much stronger swimmer and more comfortable in the water since our long ago Aquatica adventure.
Blizzard Beach's hours that day were 10am-5pm. We arrived just after 10, and I was immediately struck by two things: the parking lot is very small and you don't have to pay to park. I took both as good signs. We checked in to grab our tickets, met up with our friends (Cierra and Zoey), and headed into the park.
I'm a locker person at water parks, but as long as you don't pack any valuables at all, you could easily get away with leaving a beach bag with your change of clothes at one of the MANY lawn chairs scattered around the park (another plus side: there's no shortage of chairs around Blizzard Beach). I also went ahead and popped for a water proof IPhone case since I couldn't come up with any other way for me to cover this day for the website. I'm happy to say the cheap case did its job, and it looks like my phone is no worse for wear. If anything it was really fun to be able to get videos and photos going down water slides and following D under the water.
D was pretty stoked to wear her new Moana bikini. Check out that theme park sock tan that I'm just as guilty of rocking! One of Blizzard Beach's assets could also be considered a slight detriment, depending on your own personal tastes...
That "immersive" quality Mr. Dukes references can also make it a little difficult to get your bearings in the park. With that said Disney is pretty good about having maps set up at regular intervals for visitors. Once we'd gotten our lockers and picked out some chairs near the wave pool (Meltaway Bay), our first attraction was to hop onto the ski lift to get up to the top of the "peak" where several water slides are hosted. There was almost no line, and the park was definitely not busy at all (this was also within an hour of park open).
The girls were way too small for the "thrill" slides, but we were able to walk right on to the 6-seater raft ride.
This slide was the biggest hit with D. This thing moves pretty fast, and it's surprisingly long (I think I overheard someone saying it's the longest raft ride at any water park? I wouldn't be surprised).
We discovered upon exiting the raft that the map was pointing us to a pathway up the mountain to try out one of the individual inner tube rides.
Don't be fooled by this photo, D promptly handed the tube over to me. Then I got to awkwardly haul both up about 5 billion steps to the water slide. You'll notice D has on a life vest, which we kept on her throughout the day. She's a decent swimmer, but for my own comfort on slides such as this when I wasn't with her, it was great to have Disney provide these. Speaking of a solo slide, I may have been slightly concerned about D being able to load herself into the giant tube and get herself down the slide, but the life guard monitoring the top of the slide was happy to help her with all that since I went down first to wait for her.
After a quick dip in the lazy river (we actually used the lazy river to get around the park a few times rather than walking on that sizzling cement in bare feet- recommend comfy water shoes BTW), we wandered up to the first food spot we saw to pick out our meals. This place offered rice bowls, flatbread pizzas (but not for a kid's meal), chicken strips, burgers, etc. Y'all know I'm a huge fan of kids' meals even for adults (both for value and the fact that it's plenty of food). But the food at Blizzard Beach is definitely on the more expensive side of quick service, most of the kids' meals were around $10, when they're usually around $8 in the other parks.
D got chicken strips and I got the rice bowl. The kids' meals do come with those buckets and shovels for the beach, which I thought was a nice touch. My beef bowl was perfectly decent, and had a surprising variety of vegetables for a theme park.
Everybody knows there's no better way to digest food than with a trip into the wave pool. We topped off our lunches with the much lauded fresh mini doughnuts (I fully endorse these especially with the raspberry dipping sauce).
Took another ride on the lazy river. There are a variety of floatation options, including regular single and double occupancy inner tubes, kid-sized inner tubes that don't have the hole in the middle, noodles, and these amazing little loungers.
These lounge tubes were mind-blowing, basically the perfect way to enjoy a lazy river. Where have they been all my life?
After one more ride down the raft slide, we had to call it a day. D found the massive bathrooms with changing stalls quite novel.
Mr Dukes is absolutely right: if you want a relaxing escape, Blizzard Beach is a very immersive way to do that. Crowds and lines were manageable, plenty of seating and relaxation options, plus it's impressively quiet for a water park.