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Photo TR: Disney's Typhoon Lagoon


BeemerBoy
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On a recent trip back home to Florida, Shannon and I hit up Typhoon Lagoon. This was a first for her, and oddly only the second visit for myself, with the only other one in 1991. So needless to say, I was anxious to get back and check out the one major installation since the park's opening over twenty years ago.

 

While the age old debate over which is better will obviously continue (Blizzard Beach vs. Typhoon Lagoon), to me, it shouldn't even be a question. One's not really any better than the other, they're just different. If you're leaning towards thrills, visit BB. If you like some thrills mixed with a more leisurely atmosphere, head to Typhoon Lagoon.

 

I will say that adding the master blaster slides to TL DOES make a difference though. While they're not the lengthiest slides in the world, all three certainly deliver really fun rides, with plenty of airtime!

 

Anyway, we arrived about 15 minutes prior to opening (10am), and there were about 20 cars in the lot! Because of this we were able to get almost all of the attractions done, including about 5 runs on Crushin 'n' Gusher, and a fifteen minute picture run around the park before we broke for lunch around one o'clock.

 

And speaking of that picture run by yours truly, let me just say this. I decided to bring my digital with me to get most of the out-of-the-water shots, and brought one of those disposable waterproof cameras for the in-water shots. With that said, FUJI Film SUCKS. Seriously, I took a Kodak waterproof disposable with me in 1991, and most of those shots came out just as good, if not better than the present day stuff!! So kids, today's lesson....stick with Kodak.

 

I'll quit yapping, and get on with the pics. If you're debating which park to visit on an upcoming trip, I hope this report helps in some way, shape, or form. Enjoy!

 

Shark Reef

Crush 'n' Gusher

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The park, as seen by Google Earth.

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Important note: Even if, like us, you pick a time of the year with minimal crowds, arrive early, and grab a lounge chair on the beach right away if that's your thing. As the park begins to fill up, the beach chairs become a hot commodity.

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Prices as of 9-9-10.

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It's not always that a Wildcat or a Cane willingly poses with a gator. Cherish this picture.

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You can buy an "all day" souvenir mug here for $10.75.

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I don't recall how many of these there were throughout the park, so let's just say I remember close to a handful of them scattered around.

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And this is how it works. Simple stuff, really.

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Here's that view, circa 1991.

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And here it is today, in 2010. Little different, no?

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A closer look at the park's center point....the massive wave pool, and "Miss Tilly," sitting atop the highest peak.

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Honestly, I'm not sure how much these cost.

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But here's what they look like.

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We rented a large locker for $15, and upon returning the key, we were offered a choice between a souvenir travel mug, or the $5 deposit refunded. I have enough cups to drink from, thanks.

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This is where they bury lost children, with cleverly placed plastic beach toy headstones.

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These work pretty well.

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*Dislcaimer* To avoid any awkward moments (or ignorant questions), this picture was snapped just as an attendant finished clearing out the space, and confirming to me that NO ONE was in there. Thank you.

Disney water parks provide pretty good shower and changing areas.

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This is the main gift shop near the entrance to the park, and alongside the lockers and dressing room. You purchase your locker, and return your key in here.

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Mini Donuts! I didn't have any, but they sure smelled great.

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The most important information on this board is the wave times.

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And this clock, which can be seen from much of the park, is a great way to plan your wave pool visits.

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As you enter the main portion of the park to your right, this is the first of about 4 areas where you can enter/exit the lazy river.

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The Leaning Palms Restaurant. Counter service, with burgers, beer, pizza, etc.

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The lazy river passes by some outside seating near the restaurant.

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Typhoon Lagoon, can be a little tricky to navigate for the first timer, so there is plenty of signage around the park.

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Interactive theming example: the props on the railing can be turned to direct the spray towards passengers on the lazy river.

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More theming. And who doesn't love more theming?

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And now on to our KidTums portion of the show. ;)

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These kiddie tubes were priceless.

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A couple of their faces as they reached the rapids section were hilarious!

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All in all, I think TL has a pretty good kiddie area.

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This is one of two single rider tube slides. Unfortunately, it's also really lame.

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This is the longest slide in the park, and definitely a thousand times better than Keelhaul Falls.

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I didn't grab many actual slide pictures of these two, so a general queue pic will have to suffice.

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Wait, here's a POV of one of them, circa 1991.

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A small snack shack located near the tube slides. I think there's a drink refill station here.

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You can also buy small bottles of cheap wine here, among other things.

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And the last of the tube slides in Gangplank Falls, the family raft ride. This one was probably my favorite of the three slides in this area.

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See, she's enjoying it at this point. We won't mention the scrape she got from my toenail when the raft suddenly, and unexpectedly clipped the wall and sent my foot into her back. Ahh, good times. :(

 

There's much more to come. Stay tuned!

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Nice report of a park that doesn't get much attention, actually. For some reason I thought this park had closed, but I realized that it was River Country.

 

The WDW water parks aren't included on the Park Hopper tickets, are they? But is there a Park Hopper just for water parks?

 

Eric

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Nice report of a park that doesn't get much attention, actually. For some reason I thought this park had closed, but I realized that it was River Country.

 

The WDW water parks aren't included on the Park Hopper tickets, are they? But is there a Park Hopper just for water parks?

 

Eric

 

 

Park Hoppers can be purchased with or without water parks included. Of course, including the water parks costs a little more.

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There is a Water Parks and more option, I think it's $52 to add to your tickets and you get 1 admission per day of your tickets (so a 7 day ticket is good for 7 admissions), the admissions also work for Disney Quest, Wide World of Sports and possibly 1 other thing.

 

Nice pictures, I have never been to Typhoon Lagoon but it looks better than Blizzard Beach to me.

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Thanks, guys.

 

By the way, it rained for about 10 minutes that day. During the rain shower, I heard countless people say something to the effect of, "Maybe we should leave. Those clouds don't look like they're going anywhere anytime soon."

 

Hot Tip: those people are foolish. Don't be like them.

 

Moving right along.....

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A look at the wave pool before heading to the other side for the body slides.

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From here, you can continue along the lazy river, or.....

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....TAKE THE TUNNEL.

 

Okay, I guess they're both technically tunnels, but, um, yeah.....anyway.

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Tunnel (by foot).

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Oh yeah, you could also take that bridge. And besides catapult, helicopter, and jetpack, I'm pretty sure that covers all the ways you can get to the other side.

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See? Bridge.

 

 

 

You're not looking at the bridge, are you?

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And finally, the other side of the wave pool.

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The park has plenty of more "secluded" areas to set up camp besides the main wave pool area.

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Looking back at "Miss Tilly," and the location of the park's speed slides.

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This is the nearest exit to the body slides area of the park.

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The name for the park's top thrill slides.

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I'm not sure when the changes were made, but there were originally only two slides, and they were both uncovered, as seen here. (1991)

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Somewhere along the line, they switched to three identical enclosed slides. While obviously not as jaw dropping as Summit Plummet at Blizzard Beach, I think they're still rather fun.

And look how much the foliage has filled in over the years! I love how lush and tropical this place is.

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Again, 1991.

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2010.

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1991.

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And 2010. My apologies for the apparent blurriness caused by water over the lens. Or maybe the camera just really does suck that bad?

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Next up were the Storm Slides - three traditional body slides.

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The queue up to the top had a couple of these nice touches along the way.

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Theming!

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As with Humunga Cowabunga, at the top, you get a good view of Miss Tilly.

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It also provides a nice view overlooking the wave pool towards the front of the park.

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Anyway, back to the slides.

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I LOVED this system with the universal traffic light thing. Somehow it actually worked REALLY well. It slightly renewed my faith in human behavior.......briefly anyway.

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This was the middle one. It was our favorite of the three.

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This picture is there for dramatic effect. Pretend it's the most amazing water slide in the world, and the picture works better. Trust me.

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Well, they're no longer cutting edge, but for what it's worth, I think they're still pretty fun.

 

 

Up next: Shark Reef!

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I much, much, much prefer TL over BB. We had the FL resident 2 Parks after 2 deal, one year. I think we went to BB once, and TL the rest of the time. The kiddie area is far superior at TL, IMO. And I'll never go on Summit Plummet, so Crushin' Gusher FTW!

 

Christian and Rhiannon LOVED that little tube ride in the kiddie area!

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I found typhoon lagoon to be a much more enjoyable day than Blizzard beach. While I like Blizzard Beach's attractions and slides a bit better its such a haul to get to the top of that mountain that for every slide that it feels like you spend the whole day walking (and waiting in line). Plus Typhoon Lagoons monstrous wave pool, and the snorkel exhibit are pretty unique.

I think both Disney water parks could use another major slide or 2. My problem with water parks in Orlando (and everywhere else really) is that every time I visit I have one of 2 experiences; on a crowded day your spend your entire day waiting in line (all water slides are relatively low capacity), and on a slow day you you can ride every slide multiple times within about 3 hours and basically conquer the park and be bored the rest of the day. The solution to both problems is more attractions. Wet n Wild is by far my favorite water park in Orlando. I think their collection of slides is far superior, and while it lacks atmosphere and theming, I can ride and re ride their slides all day and not get bored, and they have enough attractions that on a busy day the lines don't get that bad.

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TL is still my favorite water park...and I don't much care for water parks. I think it's the fact that you can find a nice quiet spot and not really even know that you're in a park. I love the snorkel tank as well.

 

And, that was a lovely shot of the suspension bridge.

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Like others have said, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach are both amazing but in very different ways.

 

When I visit Typhoon Lagoon I feel like I've been transported to some sort of tropical island with a few slides hidden amongst the lush vegetation and pools.

 

Blizzard Beach is much more about rides and slides.

 

It totally depends on what mood I'm in which I prefer.

 

Maureen, I'm intrigued by your preference for the TL kids area over Blizzard Beach as from my experience and readings it seems people usually feel the other way around. I've never visited TL with KT though so I'll have to give it a shot!

 

Scott, the water cameras are getting worse. We've stopped getting them know when we go to water parks. You'd really think by now they would have improved the technology but I'm convinced the disposible waterproof cameras we're still buying are from the 90's and have just been kept in storage all this time! Also, I'm surprised to hear you like their family raft ride. It barely qualifies as a slide it's sooooo short. The two tube slides near the family ride used to be INSANE!!! Then they put trim brakes on them and they're pointless now.

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Normally when I head to Orlando, TL is the only water park open so I have been there 3 times and to BB only once. It is hard to judge one over the other, but I just love that tropical, relaxed feeling you get at TL. I also think that Crush 'N' Gusher and Shark Reef make up for the lack of crazy slides at TL.

 

Really enjoying this trip report! I know it is a pain to do this at water parks, but it is appreciated!

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Normally when I head to Orlando, TL is the only water park open so I have been there 3 times and to BB only once. It is hard to judge one over the other, but I just love that tropical, relaxed feeling you get at TL. I also think that Crush 'N' Gusher and Shark Reef make up for the lack of crazy slides at TL.

 

Really enjoying this trip report! I know it is a pain to do this at water parks, but it is appreciated!

 

I really think that is the biggest thing that governs why people like Typhoon over Blizzard. They came to Florida for palm trees, beaches, and a tropical vibe... to escape the snow/mountains of the north.

 

Apart from a larger/surf wave pool and the snorkeling area, Blizzard IMO trumps TL in every other way. Better kids areas (two for a good range of ages and abilities vs one for the smaller kids at TL) a longer lazy river, more slides for the whole family, a family slide that is like 2 minutes long, and more thrilling slides that are taller than most roller coasters in Orlando.

 

As for the TR... I don't appreciate the hate on Keelhaul falls... Mayday is bumpy and bangs the crap outta ya. Keel is pretty fun when you intentionally throw your weight around before the big corkscrew. You can get spinning very fast if you're not careful doing so.

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Thanks for the comments, and compliments, everyone. It's definitely appreciated!

 

And, that was a lovely shot of the suspension bridge.

Yeah, I really admire the engineering and design of it.

 

Scott, the water cameras are getting worse. We've stopped getting them know when we go to water parks. You'd really think by now they would have improved the technology but I'm convinced the disposible waterproof cameras we're still buying are from the 90's and have just been kept in storage all this time!

I'm SO glad I'm not alone on this one. By the time I firmly decided to tackle this report, I didn't have enough time to order a proper underwater case for my digital, so I figured 27 shots in a simple disposable would suffice. I'm still amazed at how poor they turned out.

 

Also, I'm surprised to hear you like their family raft ride. It barely qualifies as a slide it's sooooo short. The two tube slides near the family ride used to be INSANE!!! Then they put trim brakes on them and they're pointless now.

You know, while we were standing in line I made the comment to Shan, "It's like 20 years later, but I think I remember these being pretty decent slides." Thank you for confirming that! But yeah, they're both pretty pointless now. Walking down Keelhaul would have been more thrilling. I think that's why I enjoyed the family raft ride more though. It may be short, but it was somehow more fun than the single tubes. Maybe the water cannon effects and waterfall helped?

 

I know it is a pain to do this at water parks, but it is appreciated!

Definitely! I debated a while before deciding to tackle it. The light crowds, and decent weather helped make it easier. It's like a gift to Larry, and the Index.

Anyway, glad you've enjoyed it thus far!

 

As for the TR... I don't appreciate the hate on Keelhaul falls

Sorry. I can't help that it almost put me to sleep. Crushin 'n' Gusher made up for it in a HUGE way though!

 

 

 

Maureen - You'll never go on Summit Plummet?!?!?! Are you sure we're related?

 

On with the show....

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Shark Reef!!

 

I hope this section of the report receives the Consumer Reports "Dave stamp of approval."

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Theming.

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Supposedly, you can purchase an upcharge Surface Air Snorkeling experience here for $20 per half hour. It was obviously not available to us today. Not that we needed it anyway.

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Mega Shark and Piranha 3D not included. :(

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Noted....

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....and Noted.

 

Also, the sharks here have overbites.

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You enter here, grab your mask and snorkle, and wander around the back towards the grouping area.

A comment overheard on this day: "Do you clean all the gear?"

The answer, had it been me working there: "Yes ma'am. We run each mask through the toilet water in the back room. You're good to go."

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After a quick rundown of rules, you step in, freeze your nuts off for a few seconds, dip your head underwater to check your mask, and you're off!

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It's a smooth, leisurely float from one side of the tank to the other. Since you're not allowed to kick or dive below the surface, you just use your hands to slowly propel you.

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This picture was taken with one of those cameras in 1991.

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Under the EXACT same conditions, this picture was taken 19 years later.

 

It does contain a shark though, which makes up for the lack of photo quality.

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Here you can see the bridge which extends out from the underwater viewing area.

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When you're finished, drop your gear and exit stage left.

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And speaking of that underwater viewing area....

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...it's right down this way.

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I'm having flashbacks of 20K.

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As crowds were light, they only had one side of the tank open this day. This was not it.

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Photo op.

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Cleverness.

 

 

Thanks for viewing, and stay tuned. We'll finish up with Crush 'n' Gusher in the next segment!

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Great in-depth trip report Scott! Man I really need to get around to the Disney parks...only been to Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom and that was 12 years ago...

 

It was nice to meet you guys for a while down here...hope to see you around! Can't wait to see the final part.

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I remember Visiting Orlando in 2003 when I was very young! I swam with the sharks and it was great! I kept towards the side of the Ship though which was quite cool. Disney really thought out the park as its great but they could have more slides.

Also I rode Crush n Gusher once with a three man tube. My first Master Blaster!! I prefer Blizzard Beach to Typhoon Lagoon though but they are Both Amazing!

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Elissa - the two main things that I prefer about TL kids' area over BB are 1.) TL has a lot more shade (BB hurts my eyes, it's so freaking bright,) and 2.) I can keep an eye on all three kids at the same time, at TL. Obviously, this isn't as much of an issue with only one child, but as one person trying to keep track of two school-aged kids and a toddler in a water park, I loved that all three could have fun in the same area, and I could see pretty much the entire area from a central location. This way, one of us could stay with the kids, while the other went out on the slides. At BB, it was a lot harder for us to take turns, because it took both of us to keep an eye on all three of them. One of us would have to stay with Charlotte, while the other watched the bigger kids. BB just seemed like a lot more work, for us. We couldn't relax and enjoy it.

 

It would probably be different for us, now that Christian and Rhiannon are a bit older, and would probably venture out beyond the kids' area with us. When we had the passes, two years ago, though, they didn't want to leave the kids' area. They are a lot more adventurous, now. I'll always prefer the TL theming, though.

 

Scott - speed slides tend to hurt/bruise my spine, and I don't appreciate the wedgie factor!

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^^I totally understand now that you explain it. BB has what I would consider three separate kids areas. The tween area over to one side, the kids area to another, and the toddler area above the kids area. Even though they're all near each other there's no way you could watch kids in all three areas.

 

The brightness and lack of shade has always been an issue for me at BB, but I get it, it's themeing! I just always make sure to keep my sunglasses attached to me as you need them with all that white reflecting the sun.

 

We'll have to all go sometime as KT loves the family raft ride there and could convince your kids to do it too! Plus the lazy river there is awesome as well.

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