There’s No Stinkin’ Ocean!
To paraphrase one of the great movie quotes of all time, “Ocean? There’s no ocean. We don’t got no ocean. We don’t need no stinkin’ ocean!” The voice, of course would be that of a distinctly Hispanic-sounding Donald Duck and he’d be speaking in reference to surfing classes offered at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
In fact, land-locked Orlando is 90 miles from the nearest ocean. But that didn’t deter the creative Imagineers from finding a way to offer guests a unique opportunity to shoot the curls right on Disney property.
On Monday, Tuesday and Friday mornings at 6:45 (during the peak summer months of June through August, lessons are also offered on Thursdays and all start times are moved up to 5:45), Disney allows up to a dozen pre-registered guests to come into the giant wave pool at Typhoon Lagoon and take surfing lessons.
The $140 price tag buys you two hours of highly personalized, in-the-water class time with three certified instructors. Disney provides all the necessary gear (bringing your own surfboards is not permitted) but will not provide transportation to the park (classes start long before Disney Transportation starts its service day.)
Students get a guaranteed surfing-sized wave in the 70-80 degree temperature-controlled pool about every 95 seconds. Due to the nature of this special experience, Disney does ask that guests who try it be very strong swimmers. They also require you to sign a waiver, releasing them from liability.
Thanks in large part to the very small class sizes, it’s not unusual for classes to fill up 30 days or more in advance so definitely plan accordingly and make your reservations early. Disney reservations specialists will take your credit card information when you register but you still must bring your card with you as you won’t be charged until the morning of the lesson, when you’re filling out the waivers and other safety forms.
Be warned there is a 24 hour cancellation policy and if you don’t show up you will be charged for the full price of the lesson. They will also ask for contact information when you make your reservations in the event that inclement weather or some other unforeseen circumstance forces a lesson cancellation.
Spectators are welcome (and can even get in free!) so if others in your traveling party want to come along but don’t necessarily want to hang ten, they can just come and watch or take pictures of you wiping out.
To sign up for surfing classes, call (407)WDW-PLAY (407-939-7529) and follow the menu prompts. The helpful reservations experts will answer any questions you might have, give you all the necessary warnings, then take your information and sign you up.
More experienced surfers might prefer a private surf party experience where waves can be kicked into high gear. They can even be shaped to suit your special requests! For information or to book what Disney calls its “Private 100 Wave Surf Event”, call (407)WDW-SURF (407-939-7873).