Wednesday’s post on rain was inspired by an unusually rainy December day here in Chicagoland. Today, I’m going to talk about a more seasonally appropriate form of precipitation: snow. While you may not associate snow with the Florida climate, there are a surprising number of snow references in Walt Disney World—there’s even an entire park themed after it! With one exception, I’m going to focus on depictions of snow that are there year-round, since including holiday decorations would be rather difficult and would make this list significantly longer.
So, here are
six seven eight things to do in Walt Disney World if you love snow.
1. Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park
While water is now the main attraction at Blizzard Beach, the official Disney backstory (from their website) is that it was once all about snow: “After a freak snow storm blanketed Florida in white, a ski resort sprang up with slalom courses, toboggan slides and iceberg walkways. When the weather shifted back to hot, the whole resort started to melt. What to do?” Build a water park, of course!
The snow theme is carried out in the attraction names (Ski Patrol Training Camp, Melt-Away Bay), types of attractions (chair lift, toboggan slides), right down to the menu items (Brrr-everages, blizzard dogs). I don’t have any photos to illustrate, though, because while I’ve been to Blizzard Beach several times (and I prefer it over the other water park, Typhoon Lagoon), I don’t carry my camera in the water parks.
2. Disney’s Winter Summerland Miniature Golf Course
Near Blizzard Beach is this Santa-themed mini golf course. Actually, it’s two courses—the Snow Course and the Sand Course—but we know which one you snow-lovers will choose. The backstory (again from the Disney website) is that Santa saw the snow in Blizzard Beach and decided to build a vacation spot for his elves nearby. Some of the elves liked the snow, but others preferred the newfound Florida sun, so they ended up building two camps, with a golf course in each. Unfortunately, I’ve yet to golf there, but I hope to one day when I’m on a longer trip and can afford to take the time out of the Parks.
3. The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights
While the first two items on this list feature hard plasticky depictions of snow, The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights is your chance to actually get snowed on in Walt Disney World. I do have to qualify that this experience is seasonal (this year it’s November 10, 2011–January 7, 2012), but I listed it because it’s included with admission to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This is in contrast to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, during which it snows on Main Street, U.S.A., but that costs $60+ to attend.
4. Expedition Everest
What’s a trip to Animal Kingdom without an expedition up this snow-capped mountain? It’s inhabited by the fierce Yeti, also known as the Abominable Snowman. This is my favorite roller coaster in Walt Disney World. I love the theming and the part where you go backwards!
5. Lake Tahoe scene in Soarin’
OK, admit it. Who doesn’t laugh every single time that guy falls in the ski scene in Soarin’? It’s a brief scene and it’s on video, but I’m counting it as a depiction of snow. (I’m thinking there might also be snow in some shots in the China, Canada, and France films in World Showcase, but I’m not bothering to count those, only this one. Because it’s hilarious.)
6. Polar bear scene in Maelstrom
You can see another depiction of snow in Epcot in Maelstrom. After you survive your near-plummet over the falls, your boat takes you backwards through a snowy scene with two polar bears representing the far north of Norway. The mural in the loading area also has a fair amount of snow in it.
7. Woolly mammoth scene in Spaceship Earth
I totally forgot about this one until the roommate mentioned it! The first scene of Spaceship Earth is a group of men is hunting a woolly mammoth in snowy conditions.
8. Snowman outside of It’s a Wonderful Shop
I keep on thinking of more snow references! There’s a snowman outside of It’s a Wonderful Shop, the Christmas shop in Hollywood Studios. It’s on New York Street, not far from The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights.
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Your snow-themed day in Walt Disney World should begin, logically enough, in Blizzard Beach, followed by a round of mini golf on the snow course at Winter Summerland. Enjoy taking lots of photos juxtaposing the snowy scenes with your Florida attire. Then, I’d suggest heading to Animal Kingdom, since it closes earlier than the other parks. Brave an encounter with the Yeti, and then take a bus to Epcot to experience Soarin’, Maelstrom, and Spaceship Earth. Then, head to Hollywood Studios for an evening snowfall on the Streets of America, stopping off for a quick photo with the snowman.
So who else is dreaming of a white Christmas?