Just Florida Things - Disney's Typhoon Lagoon - Shark Reef Snorkeling Adventure
On account of where I worked at the time, I had two tickets to Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon, and so, on one perpetual-summer Saturday, we braved the tourist hordes. As dreaded, our fun was not immediate. In high tourist season, the first water slide we went to go on had a 45 minute wait! Fortuitously, after only 10 minutes in line, one of Florida's infamous downpours started, the slide closed, and we were spared another 35 minutes. The park cleared out almost immediately, tourist families grumbling about their rained out day and moving on to other, drier adventures. Not us! I had lived in Florida long enough by then to be relatively confident the storm wouldn't last and, seeing as how we were already in swimsuits and there was no sign of lightning, we wandered around the park while we waited it out. Eventually, we came upon the Shark Reef Snorkeling Adventure...
The basic gist of the experience is that you get to snorkel across a tank with non-aggressive, mostly bottom-dwelling sharks that is fairly close to their natural environment. And by this I mean… it's cold! Now, if you're a thrill seeker, you probably won't get your adrenaline jolt here, but please reference the name of this site. We aren't exactly the kind of people who jump out of airplanes for fun! Yet, anyway.
I have never knowingly been in the water in close proximity to sharks before, but with this being a Disney adventure, I felt relatively assured of safety – I mean, probably millions of people, children included, have swam across this reasonably-sized tank without issue! When the storm let up, Justin and I were second in line behind a nice looking family. Mom, dad, children all made it across without issue. Okay – here we go!
First fail: my mask has a leak. Second fail: I apparently don’t know how to breathe with a snorkel mask on (I have since learned, in the safety of our pool). Third fail: as I stop on the giant rock in the middle of the tank to save myself, placed there I’m sure for small children, not fully functioning fairly fit adults, I watch Justin continue merrily (or scaredly) onward. Cue the scene from ‘Finding Nemo’ where the Turtle goes “First, find your exit buddy. Do you have your exit buddy?” No, because he has left me to fend for myself under the watchful eye of a lifeguard who seems to think I’m not in dire need of assistance. Fourth fail: while sharks are one of my favorite animals, I am justifiably afraid of being eaten by them.
With bright blue tangs providing decorative atmosphere while the sharks ‘circled’ me below (probably entirely uninterested in my spluttering above them), I managed to skedaddle the rest of the way across the tank, heart skipping a few beats and unfortunately missing most of the scenery beneath me on account of my mask. No harm, no foul and I would do this again if we go back, but while we still laugh about this story, I have lost some confidence in having Justin on my zombie apocalypse team. I can see it now: “Not me, eat her!” *swims away*
Hope you enjoyed this short story, albeit only part of our adventures at the park that day. Definitely don’t be discouraged by mention of long lines, rain, or my own… issues… in the snorkeling adventure. To date, Typhoon Lagoon is still one of our favorite water parks, and we’ve been to quite a few. To give you an idea, before we had the idea for this blog, we considered starting one called the Water Park Gurus (we still might!)
What do you think of our adventure? Have your own story to tell of your time at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon? Anyone have a story (and pictures!) of your own 'swimming with sharks' adventure? Tell us in the comments!
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