Make a Splash at Disney

From swimming to boating to dining by the water, here's the ultimate guide to finding water during your Walt Disney World vacation.
Annette Thompson
Make a Splash at Disney
Splash Mountain's 87-foot 40-mph drop thrills Magic Kingdom visitors.

It's hot in July, and it seems even hotter at the big theme parks. That doesn't mean you can't enjoy them though. How so? Chill out with a little H2 Oh! With more than 850 acres of lakes, 66 miles of canals, two water parks, and more than 60 swimming pools, Walt Disney World offers a cool-down option wherever you roam. We've plunged into every bit of water we could find to bring you the best activities, tastes of the sea, boat rides, and even pools. Come along, and jump in--the water's great.

Where To Find Water in Walt Disney World Parks
Each of Disney's four theme parks treats you to water rides and surprising deluges. Head to one of those spots when you need a refreshing break. (Tip: If you're wearing heavy cotton clothing, plan your wet adventures for late in the day so you can go back to your room and change. Or bring extra clothes, and stow them in a locker, located at each of the park entrances.)

Magic Kingdom: Here, you'll find the most variety. Go to Splash Mountain for a log flume journey. It ends with a memorable 87-foot, 40-mph drop--if you're in the front car, you will get soaked; if you're in the back car, expect a damp seat and arms. Other attractions, such as the Jungle Cruise and Pirates of the Caribbean, simply float across the water. Tots squeal at the squirts of water they encounter while walking across Donald's Boat in Mickey's Toontown Fair.

Animal Kingdom: The most thrilling water ride in all the theme parks is the Kali River Rapids. As the 12-seat circular raft twirls and bumps down the white-water current, water sometimes gushes in on the raft floors, on the seats, and even over your head. Expect to get wet.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Take a break from the thrill rides, and hop on the Backlot Tour. Sit on the left side of the tram to feel the splash during the flash flood extravaganza. Cool mist refreshes guests at the stage show "Voyage of The Little Mermaid." It mixes cascading water and an intense lightning storm into its story line.

Epcot: Take little kids to the plaza surrounding Journey Into Imagination With Figment to play in the fountains. Concrete planters spout streams of water that jump willy-nilly between them. For a silly boat ride, climb aboard a Viking-inspired ship at the Maelstrom in the Norway pavilion. A cool boat for stealing a kiss from your sweetie floats along El Rio Del Tiempo in the Mexico pavilion, which traverses pre-Columbian and Spanish Colonial history as well as modern life in Mexico.

The water parks: When it's too hot to wear anything but your swimsuit, drop in on Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach. The best times to go: when the gates open, generally around 10 a.m.; after 3 p.m., when the throngs start thinning out; or after a good rain shower. Typhoon Lagoon, a tropical-inspired venue with a fabulous wave pool, offers more of a family setting with both thrilling and calm rides. Blizzard Beach, themed as a ski resort, maintains its reputation as a thrill-seeker's paradise with extreme slides (admission to either water park: $48.99 including tax adults, $42.60 including tax plus tax ages 3-9).