The theme for Blizzard Beach is a ski lodge that melted away, so there are icicles, snowmen, and Christmas themes all around! Christmas and Frozen music are the most popular songs played here, with the Christmas music being given a surf remix. Central to the park is the ski lift that carries you up to the entrances of 2 body slides and 1 family tube ride. I bought a disposable waterproof camera for the trip, so all the pictures you see here are from before and after all our water activities! I'll have to scan in my photos when I have them developed!
This is a cute photo op right when you enter (you can click any picture to see it larger).
Now, let's talk about Ice Gator for a minute. He is featured prominently throughout the park. He is adorable. He looks like blue Goofy minus the nose and ears. I was very excited to see this character! But when I asked a cast member where we could meet him, he said there IS NO ICE GATOR CHARACTER!! 😱 So how do you explain THIS:
Not to mention the various family photos with him on a quick Google image search!! Even though I'm now 33, characters are still one of my favorite things about Disney! The cast member said the characters who DO come out only do so in the summer anyway (which makes tourist sense but not temperature sense). But what about Ice Gator?
He made his big break...
The ski lift was adorable but a little scary because it lifts up almost vertically just before letting you off and you start to wonder how exactly it is carrying the weight of itself and 3 people...
The tubes are cute because they're "snow tubes" and the lazy river is as perfect as a lazy river can be (except for the occasional "ice runoff" waterfalls you glide underneath, somehow more slowly than your normal tube pace).
I don't like freefalls, so I didn't go down Slush Gusher or Summit Plummet (like Kim did), but I did go down Teamboat Springs with a bunch of strangers twice! It's a large tube fit for 6, minimum of 4 people, and you careen down twisting turns--it's not too scary (a 2 year old rode with us the first trip down)--perfect for me!
I did NOT enjoy Downhill Double Dipper. It's a tube ride race against whoever you came with (it worked out for everyone ahead of us, so I don't know if they make you race whoever is on the opposite side, even if you didn't come with them) down a chute, you plane off, and then go down another chute. Having loved the chutes and tube ride, Crush 'n' Gusher from Typhoon Lagoon, I thought it would be another not-so-scary ride. (Of course I got nervous when I heard the not-amused screams of people who went down before me.)
First, Kim and I were all queued up in our tubes with our feet on the board that releases you down, when the cast member controlling the release instructed us to get out. Let me stop right here and explain how impossible a task this seems. There is a current of water from the loading pool all around you, guiding your tube to the chute. There is nothing to grab onto. So I had to reach out my fingertips to the tunnel walls next to me and try to push myself backwards. I eventually had to throw my legs over the side to basically fall off the tube, and the tube capsized and hit my head, and I somehow hurt my elbow on the tube handle, as well as my pride!! This long line behind us saw the whole thing.
There was no explanation as to why we had to get out, but in almost 5 seconds we had to get back in! So of course I was even more nervous, and then I felt that awful drop sensation, knowing I was about to do it one more time. My whole body was shaking as I careened down into the pool. I'm lucky there wasn't a "fun photo" taken at the end. But if big drops are your thing, then I definitely recommend Downhill Double Dipper.
Here's a cute fountain that's also kind of sad: a snow family watching their cute baby with mouse ears on. The sad thing is they're constantly dripping, which means they're melting... which is not actually happening but the idea is so sad! The effect is cool but... yeah. Cute and sad.
Anyhow, we survived. We then met my brothers at Disney Springs where I got myself a birthday button which I highly recommend--go to the visitor's center there or at any park or hotel to get a pin for whatever you're celebrating. People will wish you happies or congratulations all day!