Surfing at Typhoon Lagoon!
Have you ever wanted to learn to surf? Have a fear of sharks? Disney has you covered. Instead of going to an ocean, you can learn to surf in Disney World’s wave pool at Typhoon Lagoon. If you think the waves aren’t big enough, that’s because they aren’t during normal park hours. Instead, Disney has you come when the park is closed and cranks the wave pool up to surf-mode for this unique experience.
Disney currently offers two types of surfing experiences. The private surf session accommodates up to 25 guests and you can choose from a before the park opens (morning) or after park close (night). The benefits of the private surf session are that you get control. You can choose the music, wave intensity, and wave direction. You can also choose within your group the order and when someone takes a turn. These choices are not possible with the second option.
Jeff and I did the “Learn to Surf Like a Pro” option. When we reserved this experience, there were only morning times available. This option can have up to 12 guests, meaning that you will probably be with some strangers. The Learn to Surf option is also much more focused on first-timers.
Should Adults Do This?
It depends. While we thought that this experience was really unique and fun, it is not a normal Disney experience. What we mean is that the only Disney-specific aspect about this experience is the fact that it takes place inside a Disney World water park. If you are looking for a Disney World tour or something more Disney-focused to do, we would recommend checking out these activities first. (Top 3 Tours
We recommend surfing at Typhoon Lagoon for those adults that are active and looking for a challenge. Surfing at Typhoon Lagoon is the only time Jeff and I have surfed. It was challenging, but we both managed to stand up on the board by the end of the session. Go to our Things to Be Aware of section below for more details about the physical and mental challenges that go along with this experience.
If you have surfed before, we are not sure you would get a ton from the “Learn to Surf Like a Pro” option. This experience is definitely intended for a beginner-level participants. If you are into surfing, and can afford the private surf session, that would be a better option because you get to choose the types of waves and intensity of your experience.
If you have always wanted to take surf lessons and are looking for a unique environment to do so, then we definitely recommend Surfing at Typhoon Lagoon. The added bonus is there aren’t any sharks or other sea creatures to worry about.
The private surf sessions, which accommodates up to 25 guests, has both morning and evening options available. Pricing currently ranges from $1,100 to $2,100. If you have a large group, this is the option you should go with.
The “Learn to Surf Like a Pro” option currently costs $190 per person. Your reservation also includes a light continental breakfast and photos. The breakfast and photos are newer additions and were not included when we did the surfing experience.
What to Expect
Jeff and I did the “Learn to Surf Like a Pro” option, which takes place before park open. The experience lasts approximately two and a half hours. With this option, you will have to arrange your own transportation to get to the entrance of Typhoon Lagoon because the busses don’t run early enough to get you there on time. When the event is over, busses should be running to get back to a Disney park or Disney hotel. The morning surfing takes place very early. When we did it, we arrived at Typhoon Lagoon at 5am.
Disney provides the surf boards, towels, and any other equipment needed. Participants should wear a bathing suit. We recommend females wear a shirt and shorts over a bikini or one piece suit. With the waves, it is definitely easy to lose your top or bottoms.
Cast members will meet you at the front of the park and walk you through Typhoon Lagoon to the wave pool. The experience begins with 20-30 minutes of instructions about surfing basics. The cast members will then have you practice your form on land, so you know what to do when you get in the water.
Once it is time to give it a try, the cast members will line everyone up outside of the deep end of the pool. They will often split couples up so that you have a chance to watch each other surf. (If you are back to back, one person will always miss the other because they will be walking back from their turn.) You then get into the water and surf. They had two people surf at a time during out experience.
When in the water, the cast members will queue you and try to help you be as successful as possible. After your turn, you will collect your surfboard at the end of the wave pool and walk with it back to the line. This sounds simple, but in reality it is pretty tiring and a bit of a walk. The process wasn’t too bad for Jeff, but Sara is pretty short so the board was a bit awkward and heavy to carry.
The number of turns you have depends on the number of people in attendance that day. We both felt that we got more than enough tries at it, somewhere between 8 and 10 runs each.
The new experience includes breakfast. This wasn’t part of surfing when we did it, but we think in theory it is a nice addition. It would be cool to have breakfast in the park with just your group. Another new addition is the inclusion of photos. As you may have noticed from our post, this was not included when we did it. We would love to have some better quality photos from the experience, so think this is a great addition.
Your surfing experience does not include entrance to Typhoon Lagoon for the day. If you do not have a waterpark ticket, the cast members will lead you out of Typhoon Lagoon at the end of the event.
Things to Be Aware Of
One big thing to be aware of is that this activity is a workout. It can also be a bit rough on your body. When we did this experience, there were a couple of older children, but it was mostly adults. You are given a full size surf board and you are responsible for carrying it throughout the experience. This means that after you surf a wave and are at the end of the wave pool, you then pick up the board and walk it back to the line at the other end of the pool. Then you wait for your next turn to get in the water and repeat.
While carrying the board is tiring, the actual surfing is also physically difficult. You may get thrown around a bit. If you are not at least moderately physically active, we would not recommend this activity.
In addition to the physical challenges, learning to surf was also a mental challenge. We are both reasonably competitive and really wanted to stand up on the surf board before we left. This requires not getting frustrated and being willing to learn from the instructors and your mistakes. This is extra challenging if you are not a morning person and doing the before sunrise session.
You may not get to surf as much as you initially expect. While the cast members doing the lesson are great and extremely efficient, you are limited in how many runs you make by the amount of time for the event and the number of people participating. We were happy with the number of times we got to surf during our event and were pretty tired by the time it ended. But when you hear you take 8 to 10 runs, it may not seem like a lot at first.
Our Overall Recommendation
If you want to learn to surf, this is the ideal option. The cast members are great and it is a controlled environment. No sea creatures and perfectly timed and sized waves. It is also really fun to be in the water park when no one else is there.
With that being said, if you have not done many Disney tours and extra events, then we have other tours we would recommend first. Also, if you are not physically active, you may want to pass on this event. If you give it a try, please be sure to let us know your thoughts!
Information About Booking and Prices Can Be Found Here:
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