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Doing Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park with a Toddler

Doing Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park with a Toddler | CosmosMariners.com

Since we were headed to Florida for the Superior Small Lodging Blogger Road Trip (#sslbloggerroadtrip), Landon and I decided to get a head start on our visit to the Sunshine State and leave two dates earlier than we needed.

The reasoning?

We wanted to cram in a trip to one of the Disney water parks before we arrived at our first FSSLA stop in Pass-a-Grille on Sunday. 

So, last Friday, I picked up Landon from work and we made the 7+ hour drive down to Orlando. I'd found us a cheap place to stay for two nights, and we rolled into the hotel around midnight on Saturday. All of us headed immediately to bed so we could be fresh and ready for a fun day at Blizzard Beach later that day. 

From the moment that she woke up, Britton, my almost-two-year-old, kept chirping, "Water park? Water park!" 

That should have been our first indication that she was about to have the most epic time EVER.

Blizzard Beach didn't open until 10 AM, so we had several leisurely hours in which to get ready (because when you travel with a toddler, you get up early enough to catch the first round of breakfast with the retirement crowd). 

As soon as we arrived onsite, Britton immediately found a castle to admire at the nearby Winter Summerland putt-putt golf course. After she went to Disney World with my parents the week before last (while I was on St. Simons Island), she's been on the lookout for castles.

It's Disney World, after all. You have to take a picture with a castle. It's a rule.

Doing Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park with a Toddler | CosmosMariners.com

We took a picture, bought our tickets, and starting lathering up with sunscreens. It's worth mentioning that we each got $5 off the regular admission ticket price since the end of April is considered off-season. Ten bucks total might not seem like much, but I'll take what I can get at Disney World. (Britton was free since she was under 3.)

Doing Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park with a Toddler | CosmosMariners.com

Landon and I weren't sure what she was going to think about the water park since the most water she's ever experienced were a few tidal pools at the beach last year and our garden tub at home. We headed to Tike's Peak to test out her reaction, and we were very prepared to sit in the shallow splash pool all day if she hated the slides. 

We shouldn't have worried since it was love at first splash for Britton. Landon went with her on the open slide, and this was the face we got:

Doing Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park with a Toddler | CosmosMariners.com
That's pure glee there, folks. Landon, on the other hand, looks a bit concerned with life.
Clearly, she wasn't having ANY fun!

Things only got more fun from there on out as she tested out the other slides in Tike's Peak.

Her first time on the tube slide:

And then that time when she decided that going down another slide the regular way was boring:

By the end of the day, she even jumped on Teamboat Springs (one of the regular rides), took a turn on the lazy river--in her own tube, no less--and tried to swim in the big wave pool (I use the term "swim" loosely as it was mostly me trying not to let her drown as she told me, "No hands, Mama! NO HANDS! BABY SWIM!").

Doing Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park with a Toddler | CosmosMariners.com
Happiness is a toddler in a swim tube.
The park stayed open until 5 PM, but the three of us only made it until 3. I'm not sure who was more exhausted at the end of it, Britton or us grown-ups!

Tips for visiting a Disney water park with a toddler: 
Don't worry about getting there early. The park doesn't open until the stroke of 10, and, unlike the other non-water Disney parks, there's no fun show to start the day. You'll just wait out in the hot sun without any tree cover if you get there early. Plan to arrive around 10:10 or 10:15. You'll still be able to breeze into the park and grab a few chairs.

Grab a life vest if your child can't swim. Blizzard Beach provides free life vests in a variety of sizes for kids who aren't confident in the water. Look for the racks around the park--people are constantly bringing them back throughout the day, so if you don't get one in the morning, just keep an eye out.

Prepare to get to know Tike's Peak very, very well. Britton liked the park, but she LOVED Tike's Peak, the children's area. There are three longer slides, four short slides, and a large splash pool with a waterfall. As an added bonus, Tike's Peak is very close to the Lotta Watta Lodge (the main food area), lockers, and the lazy rivers. 

Slowly introduce the slides. Not every kid loves the water like Britton, and your child may need to build up a little confidence before hopping on one of the bigger slides within Tike's Peak. Try splashing in the main kiddie pool or watching the other kids come down the slides as a way to ease him or her into the fun. Plus, there are very, very short slides (two to three feet long) at the top of Tike's Peak if your little one wants to sample the fun before committing to the longer kiddie slides.

Doing Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park with a Toddler | CosmosMariners.com

Try out a few of the other rides in the park if you have an adventurous little one. You could happily spend the entire day in Tike's Peak with your toddler. However, if your child is comfortable in the water, see if he or she would like going into Melt-Away Bay, the park's big wave pool. You can also ride the Chairlift (for kids over 32" tall) for a fun perspective on the entire park.  Cross Country Creek, the park's lazy river, allows the smaller kiddie tubes, so you can go 'round the river together. For very adventurous ones, take the entire family on Teamboat Springs, but be prepared to help your toddler hold onto the straps.

Have you ever tried a Disney water park with your toddler? Do your kids love or hate water parks?

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