06 June 2017

Cruise Through the Grotto

When you think about Cross Country Creek at Blizzard Beach, aka the lazy river, you’re mostly focused on relaxing, letting your stresses melt away, and maybe how you can nudge a friend or loved one underneath one of the icy cold runoff streams running off at the entrance to the ice cave. Of course, the outbreak of laughter and seeking of revenge dunking can occupy a bit of the time as guests make their way through the ice cave. In those instances guests may miss some telling artwork near both the entrance and exits of the cave.

Cave paintings, though they look more like carvings, let us know that while the snow storm that caused the creation of Blizzard Beach, it is far from the first time it has happened in this corner of Walt Disney World. Looking at the cave paintings near the cave’s exit, again a high shenanigans area, there are a series of figures enjoying the mix of sun and snow. Multiple people can be seen downhill skiing, others can be seen taking advantage of the waves, while still other figures clearly are enjoying basking in the warm rays of the Florida sun. Even the most recent examples of cave paintings around the world date back at least 5,500 years, so clearly there is a pattern of snow on Mount Gushmore.

The cave drawing near the entrance of the ice cave, however, tells an even more interesting tale. In this primitive piece of artwork both people and alligators can be seen running from a hairy figure. Surrounded by mountains and what appear to be large drifts of snow, the figure bears a striking resemblance to a yeti. While there is a yeti that resides just down the road from Blizzard Beach, the water park on the meltdown was opened three years before Disney’s Animal Kingdom and a full 11 years ahead of Expedition Everest. While the connection can’t totally be ruled out, it safe to safe that this abominable snowman may have more in common with Florida’s famous skunk ape than the yeti of Serka Zong.

No matter how you interpret the stories present in Cross Country Creek’s ice cave, there is no doubt that there is a tale trying to be told here. Of course, considering where guests are and how rich Blizzard Beach is with stories, one could be forgiven for overlooking this vignette while trying to soak a fellow traveler. Just keep an eye out for the grumpy looking snowman, he does not look like he wants to be a part of any antics!

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