Florida’s Highest Peak
is said that Blizzard Beach was created when a freak snowstorm hit the highest
peak in Florida. A ski lodge, with all the trimmings, was created – and voila
– Florida’s answer to winter fun was born. But as the Florida sun beat down on
the snow-capped mountain, the snow began to melt and run down Mt. Gushmore. The
rest is history.
the theme parks around Orlando, Blizzard Beach was a welcome respite. It felt
like home. Snow capped mountains, icicles, snowmen, chairlift, slalom gates, and
floating icebergs, ahhhh winter in a bathing suit, what could be better than that?
Well for one thing
– the thrill factor. Blizzard Beach has lots of that. Mt. Gushmore, at 120’ high,
has got the world’s tallest, fastest, longest, free fall speed slide, the Summit
Plummet. And it’s fast. Ask any of the kids lined up for the thrill. My family
preferred the somewhat slower (?) Slush Gusher body slide and the Snow Stormers,
a slalom gate slide with lots of turns. Big fun.
Taking a break
from all that adrenaline, we headed to Cross Country Creek, a lazy float on one
of the longest “rivers” around the park. It gave us a chance to check out all
of the rides, get cooled down, and come up with a strategy. The lines were getting
longer and with kids of various ages it was time to come up with a plan. We took
out the trail map (really) and outlined day:
Big Kids and
Fearless Adults: Mt. Gushmore for sure, Toboggan Racers, Snow Stormers – with
a break for a frozen ice – and then meet back at Melt Away Bay, the one acre wave
pool of melting snow.
Blizzard Beach Ski Patrol Training Camp with its ropes, swings and floating
icebergs, makes for a great place for Mom and Dad to park it for some lounge time.
The T-Bar drop was especially appealing. Meet back at Melt Away Bay.
Kids: Tike’s Peak with its snow castle and mellow slides is the perfect spot
for toddlers. They can go on their own and spend some down time splashing amid
the numerous fountains. Lots of lounge chairs here too. Meet back at Melt Away
at Melt Away Bay for some wave time. Then it’s on to a chair lift ride to the
top for Teamboat Springs, the world’s largest family raft ride down a twisting
course. Even the toddlers will like it. One big raft for everyone! Smile for the
camera - they’ll get you on film.
has the usual well thought out Disney appeal. We loved the ski resort signs, puns
and all of the melting ice along walkways for burning bare feet. There were several
places for an affordable lunch, many covered with umbrellas to keep out the heat.
As a matter of fact, there was lots of shade, with many parents taking advantage
of it for sleeping babies and tired tots. Park personnel were courteous and informative
– there was even a trail map for directions!
Arrive early, as the park can get crowded. Bring lots of sunscreen, water and
1801 West Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830.
There are literally hundreds of motels, hotels and rental homes around Orlando.
If you are planning to stay for a while we recommend renting a house or villa.
Prices start as low as $59 a night and you get a full kitchen, bedrooms, washing
machine, and all that stuff we hate to leave behind.
For more info