When it comes to theme park theming, Typhoon Lagoon has some of the best. I love it, despite never having been. There’s just something so obviously right about the art direction. Of course you call a water park with a big wave machine ‘Typhoon Lagoon’, of course you make it look like a seaside town that’s been wrecked by a storm, of course you shoot a surfboard through a tree, put a tractor on a roof and impale a bloody big shrimp boat on a mountain.
That iconic boat, ‘Miss Tilly’, precariously balanced above the park, echos Noah’s Ark and the Mary Celeste. It’s a perfect idea perfectly executed. Other parks might settle for a flat cutout or, more likely, not bother at all. Not Disney though, they build a massive fake mountain, a massive fake boat and shoot a massive geyser of water from her funnel every half hour while her bell tolls. I think it’s a remarkable piece of work that makes a pretty-good water park somewhere truly magical.
For more, Jeff Kober writes a mean Ode to Typhoon Lagoon on USA today.