Off the Beaten Path: Surfing at Walt Disney World®
by Erin Sforza -- Member of the MouseEarVacations.com Team
When traveling to the Walt Disney World® Resort, many people focus on making sure they have the ultimate experience that maximizes every second of the time they have which for most means that the parks and attractions take priority. Days are scheduled to include splitting groups to snag as many fast passes as possible to make certain that all major attractions are experienced, while trying to make as much time to squeeze in Disney's wonderful shows and dining experiences. Although there are some guests that seem to be able to strike a balance with the "active" pursuit of Disney magic and vacation relaxation, most guests miss out on some of the resort's most unique attractions.
One such attraction is Craig Carroll's Cocoa Beach Surf School, located at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park. Having had no experience at all surfing, my husband and I decided our honeymoon was an opportunity to experience an attraction that is rarely highlighted at the Walt Disney World® Resort, and that many people had no idea was available. For two and a half hours before the park opens, a small group of guests (ages 8 and up) can learn the basics of surfing with surf that regenerates every 90 seconds. I can assure you, the experience does not disappoint! Craig and his instructors are some of the best in the sport, and were able to assist every guest in catching at least one wave where they were able to stand up on their boards. We started out with land based instruction and then headed into the pool for the "real thing". Each time a guest hits the water, there were two waves, one larger than the other, so you were able to choose which one made you more comfortable. In fact the whole experience seemed geared toward comfort, as the guests were never forced to participate, and were always encouraged to work within their own personal comfort zone. The waves in Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park wave pool gradually increased over the two-hour session until they reached 6 feet! After the lesson concluded, we were given participation certificates, and had the opportunity to take a couple of photos with our instructors, which was a thrill considering how well known and respected Craig Carroll is in the surfing community.
If you think the Craig Carroll Cocoa Beach Surf School is just the kind of Disney magic your family is looking for, the class can be booked by calling (407) WDW-SURF. Spectators are welcome, so be sure to bring a cheering section (or your personal photographer!). The class includes 2 professional instructors for the 12-person class, soft sided surf boards for use during the lesson, 30 minutes of land based instruction and 2 hours of surf time in Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park wave pool. Park admission is required to stay in the park after the lesson.
Remember to contact your MouseEarVacations.com® Travel Agent to book your next Walt Disney World® vacation package!