Good Monday morning, everyone! Please welcome back our wonderful assistant Tiffany! Tiffany is a college student studying film production. She has pretty much grown up at Walt Disney World, since her dad is a 30+ year veteran cast member, and she is a great help here at Magical Mouse Schoolhouse. Today, Tiffany shares her memories of swimming with the sharks at Typhoon Lagoon. Sure looks like fun!
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It’s been a long time since I’ve last been to Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon water park. However I still remember swimming through the freezing water, the colorful schools of tropical fish, the gigantic but graceful stingrays, and of course the sharks. Not only is Typhoon Lagoon uniquely themed and another fine example of Disney Imagineering magic, but it offers the Shark Reef which is a safe way to explore life under the sea. A sunken tanker surrounds an unforgettable experience.
I was young when I journeyed across the water with my dad to explore the sea life. The first step was picking up the necessary equipment, a mask, a snorkel, and a lifejacket. After I suited up, a cast member soon instructed my dad and me on the rules that we were to follow while in the water. It was surprising to learn that we were not allowed to use our feet to swim but only our hands for safety reasons. It was soon our turn and after slipping my feet into the water I soon realized how cold it was. It felt like I was stepping into a huge bowl of ice-cubed water. The water in the rest of the park is heated to a cozy 80 degrees yearround, but the critters in the Shark Reef need much lower temps to thrive. It took a while to get used to but my excitement replaced the cold. Making sure my goggles fit perfectly and the snorkel was snug in my mouth I took the plunge.
My first thought was wow. All of the colorful native salt water fish swum around without taking any notice of me. I was visiting their world enjoying watching their daily life through my goggles. The hustle and bustle of their swimming was like the city, never stopping and so busy. What I had only seen on TV was now a reality in front of my eyes. Rainbows of tropical fish were right under me. My second thought was a bit of intimidation from the sight of sharks that were also swimming underneath me. But they never looked up as I continued on my journey. Propelling myself forward with only my hands I floated on the surface taking in a sight normally seen by professional scuba divers. As I reached the ending of the large pool I finally was able to stand on my feet once again. Reluctant to leave I lifted myself out of the water to return the gear that was loaned to me for this experience.
Even though I was young, the memory of swimming with real tropical fish and sharks is still etched in my memory forever. As soon as I exited the attraction I could finally say I swam with sharks. It was a wonderful experience and one of my favorite Disney memories. Disney Typhoon Lagoon makes it possible to swim with tropical sea life safely without all the years of scuba classes.
(1) Learn what it takes to be a professional scuba diver. Learn the equipment used and how divers can tell how far down they are in the water.
(2) Find out the food chain in life under the sea. How does one fish affect another? How would life be affected if there were no sharks?
SCHOOL SUBJECT: Marine biology
SKILL LEVEL: Middle Grades
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