September 20, 2016 Update: Shark Reef is Closing!!
According to management at Typhoon Lagoon, Shark Reef will be closing for good on October 3, 2016!
Shark Reef allows guests to snorkel through an unheated, saltwater reef populated with stingrays, bonnethead sharks, leopard sharks and colorful tropical fish. It has been a staple of the park since it opened back in 1989.
The hefty maintenance and upkeep cost of the exhibit are the reasons behind the closing. The exhibit has been rumored to close for several years now, but with a new, large investment (the just announced Miss Fortune Falls, a family raft ride) coming into the park, now seems like the opportune moment for Disney to do so.
So, your last day to swim with the fishes is October 2, 2016!
This year, Disney is switching it around and Blizzard Beach is closing in October for its annual refurbishment (reopening 12/25/16), followed then by Typhoon Lagoon closing for a slightly longer period than normal to complete Miss Fortune Falls, the new family raft ride and also move all of Shark Reef over to Epcot. It will reopen around March 12, 2017, depending on construction.
During our DCP Program:
The day before Typhoon Lagoon closed in October 2014, it was rumored – again – that Shark Reef was being closed for good and the marine life would be moved over to the Living Seas at Epcot.
Well, Typhoon Lagoon reopened right on schedule on January 5, 2015…and Shark Reef was still a part of it! 🙂
Our Adventures at Shark Reef
We went to Shark Reef because Elly wanted to swim across it. I was too scared so Elly went by herself and I took pictures for her. I didn’t want to go in because I heard the water was freezing and I was already cold from floating in the lazy river water!
Elly floated across the coral reef and got out, saying that it was amazing and that I had to do it! But, I held off and we went and got some food instead. We both got the kids hot dogs with a side of fries and applesauce. We always try to order off the kids menu because it is cheaper and you get more to eat!
Then, we walked back to the Shark Reef because I was feeling brave! We got our complimentary diving mask and snorkel and got in line. You start out on a rocky ledge and you have to try floating in the cold saltwater in front of a lifeguard before you swim past the drop off.
The drop off is almost 20 feet down and you just slowly float along the surface of the water all the way across the pool, trying not to kick and splash.
It was a little scary because it was so deep but I am a good swimmer, so I wasn’t too nervous.
The weather was so perfect, high 80s with some clouds. We definitely had a blast today! I wish we had been doing this more because it is a lot more relaxing than spending the day walking around the Parks.
I can’t wait to come back on my next day off! 🙂
Two Girls and a Mouse Tale
by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins
Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???
We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.
We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney. Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.
Book link on Amazon.com: Two Girls and a Mouse Tale