Do you have a Walt Disney World trip planned for the winter and are finding yourself wondering: are the Disney water parks open in the winter? Still want to experience the elaborately themed water parks with fun slides, wave pools, lazy rivers and more despite the season? If you are looking to answer that question, then this article is for you!
Both of the Disney water parks, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon, are open in the winter and the water is heated to a comfortable 81 degrees fahrenheit. In the winter the water parks alternate annual maintenance periods and one will be closed while the other remains open; usually from 10am – 5pm.
Visiting the Disney water parks in the winter can still be just as fun in the summer, and may have it’s own unique advantages as well. Keep reading for all of the details on how to plan an enjoyable and worthwhile winter water park trip to Disney’s Blizzard Beach or Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon.
Disney Water Parks Winter Maintenance Closures
Disney does take advantage of the lower amounts of water park visitors in the winter to close one of the two water parks for annual maintenance on a rotating schedule. So while Blizzard Beach is closed for maintenance, Typhoon Lagoon will be open instead, and vice versa. In previous years I have found that Blizzard Beach usually undergoes maintenance first, followed by Typhoon Lagoon later on in the winter. Blizzard Beach usually closes in the fall and reopens around the new year. Typhoon Lagoon usually closes shortly after the new year and reopens in early spring.
Heated Pools and Slides
At all of the Disney water parks, and also the Disney resort hotels, the pools are heated year round to about 80 degrees fahrenheit. This helps to maintain a comfortable swimming temperature in both the winter and the hot summers. The water slides at the water parks, and at the resorts, are also heated just like the pools are. This means you do not have to worry about being too cold in the water during your winter water park trip!
Some of the slides at Blizzard Beach and at Typhoon Lagoon do have height requirements. Before you plan a trip to the water parks in the winter, make sure that it will be worth it! I have researched and compiled all of the information that you need about the height requirements at the water park in this separate post at this link: Click here.
Winter Schedule And Hours Of The Water Parks
In many of the recent years, Blizzard Beach is usually the first park to undergo its scheduled winter maintenance while Typhoon Lagoon remains open. Blizzard Beach typically closes around late October and reopens around early January. Typhoon Lagoon remains open while Blizzard beach is closed at the beginning of the winter. Then Typhoon Lagoon closes around early January to start its own maintenance. Typhoon Lagoon later reopens typically around mid March.
In the winter season both Disney water parks have limited hours. Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon are usually open from 10am until 5pm during the winter. The hours can vary based on when in the winter you are travelling. Therefore, it is important to check the My Disney Experience App (or with a Disney cast member) for the most updated park hours information.
How To Get To The Disney Water Parks In The Winter
Because there are less people going to Disney water parks in the winter, there are also less Disney busses going there as well. This means you will need to plan out how you are going to get to the water park a bit more so than if you were going to the Magic Kingdom. There are a few ways to get to the water parks and each can be viable options. What you choose will depend on your budget, your available time, and access to a personal vehicle.
Onsite Disney Bus Transportation
Disney transportation is the most accessible (and cheapest) option if you are staying on property at a Disney resort. However, it will probably also be the longest travel time from your resort to the water park. The onsite Disney busses might stop at other resorts on the way to the water park. The extra stops will increase your overall travel time.
The biggest con of Disney transportation to the water parks in the winter is the possibility of needing to transfer busses. Many resorts will not have busses that go directly to the water parks in the winter. That means you will need to make a transfer at Disney Springs or some other transportation hub. The transfer location can change from day to day. So make sure to follow the signs (which will be well marked) to get to your desired water park. If you get confused or lost, just ask the nearest Disney transportation cast member for help.
Minnie Van, Taxi, or Rideshare
If you did not drive your own vehicle to Walt Disney World, then a Disney Minnie Van, taxi, or rideshare is probably going to be your most convenient option for transportation to the water parks in the winter. The Minnie Van will be more costly than the taxi or rideshare, However, it does offer up to two complimentary forward or rear facing car seats for kids. The access to car seats makes the Minnie Van the best choice in this category for families with young kids.
Taxi or rideshare are both pretty comparable to each other in terms of service. Both options will take you right to the water park front gates, just like the Minnie Van. Your resort can arrange a taxi for you, or you can call a rideshare on your smartphone. Even though you have to pay for these transportation options, I think it is well worth the convenience and time savings in getting to the water park.
Driving Your Own Vehicle
If you drove to your Walt Disney World vacation then you’re in luck. Driving your own vehicle to the water park will definitely be your best option. This will be the quickest (and the almost the cheapest) way to get to the water parks. It is free to park at the Disney water parks, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon, for all guests. Especially in the winter, driving your own car will save you time and a headache.
Why It Is Worth It To Go The Disney Water Parks In The Winter
Are you the type of person who thinks 70 degrees fahrenheit is hot? Do you proudly wear shorts on the first 40 degree day of the year during winter back home? If you are not afraid of some “cooler” temperatures, you will have a fantastic time at the Disney water parks open in the winter.
It’s great to visit in the winter because there are very minimal crowds at the Disney water parks. Most slides are a walk-on (meaning no wait!). There is also plenty of room to swim freely in the wave pools or lazy rivers. You will find shorter lines all around from the water park attractions, to dining options, bathrooms and locker rooms. With such low crowds you will most likely accomplish everything on your to-do list!
Make Sure to Check Ahead For Weather Closures:
Florida weather can be tricky in the winter. I have been to Walt Disney World in November where it was in the 40s. It was so cold we bought mittens and extra jackets to keep warm in the theme parks. But, I have also been in December when it was 80 degrees fahrenheit and I was more than happy to jump into the nearest swimming pool. With that in mind, it is important to check the weather in advance of your trip. I also recommend checking a day or two before you plan to visit the water park too.
Where To Check For Weather Closures
While it is normal for Disney water parks open in the winter to be operating in temperatures of around 60 degrees fahrenheit or lower, occasionally Disney may close them if it gets too cold. For example, Typhoon Lagoon closed in November 2018 due to temperature forecasts in the 50s.
Cold snaps like this are still rare in Orlando. However, if the weather looks questionable to you, double check with someone at Disney before heading out. You can check which Disney water park is open in the winter, and when, on the My Disney Experience App on your phone. Or you can ask a Disney cast member for more information. Doing so saves you the wasted travel time of arriving to a water park that may be closed due to cooler weather.