Typhoon Lagoon Introduction
Like a surfside playground left behind by a "great storm" for modern-day Swiss Family Robinsons, Typhoon Lagoon -- with its breaking waves, saltwater snorkeling pool and gushing water surges -- ushers in a new generation of water adventures for Walt Disney World guests.
Located near Downtown Disney West Side, the 61-acre Typhoon Lagoon includes several major features:
- the first-ever water coaster thrill ride attraction in Central Florida, Crush 'n' Gusher;
- a man-made watershed mountain with eight twisting-and-turning water slides and roaring streams; and
- a two-and-one-half acre wave-making lagoon with surfing-size waves.
In a Typhoon Lagoon exclusive, guests come face-to-face with all the colorful creatures of the Caribbean when they snorkel in Shark Reef, a saltwater pool presented by NAUI (National Association of Underwater Instructors). The park also features a water playground for children, sunny beaches and lazy streams surrounding a 95-foot mountain. The water-entertainment area takes its theme from a legend of romance and danger evident with Miss Tilly, the wrecked shrimp boat storm-stranded on the mountain peak.
Upon entering Typhoon Lagoon, guests find themselves in a ramshackle, tin-roofed island village landscaped with cargo, surfboards and other marine wreckage left by the great storm.
Towering behind the lagoon is Mt. Mayday, "landscaped" with a number of thrill-and-spill water slides. Topping the mountain is a shipwrecked shrimp boat (Miss Tilly out of Safen Sound, Fla.), left dangling crazily 95 feet in the air by the force of the legendary typhoon.
In addition to the mountain, with its water-smoothed rock flumes and other rideable waterways, the mythical cataclysm left behind the surfing lagoon -- twice the size of a football field and large enough to encompass an ocean liner. The lagoon also boasts one of the world's largest artificially created waves for body surfing.
Circling the lagoon is Castaway Creek, a meandering, 2,100-foot stream. Guests of all ages hop onto inner tubes for a relaxing tour that takes them through a misty rain forest and a hidden grotto, providing a spectacular view of Typhoon Lagoon and its many activities.
Just on the opposite side of the surfing lagoon is Crush 'n' Gusher, a water coaster thrill ride weaving among the washed-out remains (so the story goes) of a dilapidated fruit packing plant. Three out-of-control wash spill ways with torrents of gushing water propel the most daring of raft riders on an extreme gravity defying adventure up and down twisting caverns that lead to the tranquil waters of Hideaway Bay.
Ketchakiddee Creek is a water playground adjacent to Mt. Mayday. Geysers, fountains, bubblers, slides, three interactive water boats and a pint-sized white-water rafting adventure cater to young children and families.
The aquatic world of the Caribbean comes alive in Shark Reef, a 362,000-gallon saltwater pool where snorkelers swim fin-to-fin with exotic marine life including butterfly fish, French angels, tangs, groupers and even nurse sharks. Other guests have the opportunity to watch snorkelers through the underwater portholes of a wrecked ship in the center of the reef.
Nearby, Hammerhead Fred's Dive Shop provides necessary underwater equipment for Shark Reef, including wet suits, masks and snorkels. Changing areas, lockers, showers and a picnic area are nearby.
Two restaurants, Typhoon Tilly's and Leaning Palms, serve up everything from specialty sandwiches and salads to cookies and ice cream in waffle cones.
Typhoon Lagoon is open daily. Hours vary, with extended hours during summer months.
The Legend of Typhoon Lagoon
For as long as anyone could remember, the quaint thatch-roofed village had nestled along the shores of the sparkling lagoon, in the shadows of a great volcanic mountain. Then came the 20th century with its cruise ships, and tourists and the Placid Palms Resort... a special little place for lucky vacationers each year.
The great storm, however, changed everything... an unrelenting typhoon catching a small fleet of ships by surprise, and tossing them about like toy boats for one terrifying hour. But in the storm's wake was left a remarkable scene.
A surfboard had penetrated completely through a huge tree. A small boat had blown through the roof of one building. A great buoy had crashed through the roof of still another. The Placid Palms Resort was now the Leaning Palms, almost ready to topple over at any moment. A small harbour had been cut off from the sea, trapping an overturned boat and thousands of colorful fish, uh... plus a few sharks along the way. Nothing, however, topped the sight of the shrimp boat, "Miss Tilly," impaled precariously on the peak of the great volcanic mountain. To this day, the mountain tries vainly to dislodge its unwelcome burden with an enormous geyser of water every half hour.
Well, what nature has done is a little redecorating. The inhabitants were left with the most extraordinary assortment of waterfalls, rapids, pools, surf and all around wetness the world has ever seen. The once sleepy resort had been turned into Typhoon Lagoon.