21 July 2017

Gentle Waves Become Big Kahunas

Typhoon Lagoon is not Walt Disney World’s original water park, but it definitely upped the stakes in the water park game. Since the park’s opening in 1989, one of the marquee attractions at Typhoon Lagoon is its namesake experience, the Typhoon Lagoon. This wave maker is a work of art, but so is the environment it was built into.

Here in the earliest days of the construction process we can see quite a bit of detail on the rockwork at the of Mount Mayday, the beginnings of Humunga Kowabunga, the Storm Slides, and even the dig-out of Typhoon Lagoon itself. It also offers a nice shot of 1980s EPCOT Center in the distance, but that’s beside the point. That sheer point not quite in the lagoon is going to be critical to the design of the attraction, but let’s jump ahead about a year to see some progress.

Landscaping is coming along, the mountain’s rockwork is almost complete, the Storm Slides, Humunga Kowabunga, and Castaway Creek are coming along nicely, and the Miss Tilly has replaced the flag atop Mount Mayday. In terms of the wave lagoon, all of the main walls are up and you can see the chambered heart of the attraction. Should we talk about what makes Typhoon Lagoon tick now?

Water park attraction designers at Barr and Wray were tasked with the job of coming up with the greatest wave machine ever, and they came up with the Surfking Wave Machine. It can create five to six foot waves, perfect for body surfing, every minute and a half seconds, or eight foot surfing waves in approximate two minutes. There are four pumps that fill the 12 funnel-shaped tanks in that brief amount of time. Each tank has a door at its bottom that weighs one ton and they are pulled down to empty the reservoirs in a matter of seconds. The opening of these doors are so precise that they are actually timed to create break right and break left waves.

The Typhoon Lagoon is 12,500 cubic feet, which equates to about 2,750,000 gallons of water. However, for those of you looking to simply bob around in the surf and not feel the full effect of all that water, you know that Typhoon Lagoon has you covered there as well. The Bobbing Wave as it is called on information boards throughout the park doesn’t actually use this state of the art system. Instead, the Surfking Wave Machine was outfitted with a standard pneumatic machine that can churn out constant four foot diamond pattern waves. Perfect for splashing, playing, or relaxing.

It may not be the king of the water parks any longer, but there is an argument to be made for Typhoon Lagoon to retain its thrown, and it still offers up plenty to draw guests in. The Typhoon Lagoon wave pool is one of the highlights of any visit to this tropical paradise on the mend. It is willing to be exactly what guests need, whether they're looking to hang ten or just hang out!

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