One attraction at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon will have you swimming with the fishes…literally! Disney park designers go out of their way to create unique Guest experiences, and Typhoon Lagoon’s Shark Reef is certainly no exception.
Stop by Fred’s Dive Shop and put on a mask and snorkel (free with park admission). Then, slip into the icy waters of the Shark Reef for an adventure you won’t soon forget. In this 362,000-gallon saltwater pool, you can swim among such tropical marine species as butterfly fish, French angels, tangs, and groupers. You’ll also see coral and plant life surrounding a colorful sunken tanker. But, of course, that’s not the most adrenalin-filled part. You’re also joined by nurse, leopard, and bonnethead sharks! Now, before you freak out, those are all passive, friendly varieties of sharks, and they’re quite used to sharing their space with people. In fact, they’re probably as curious about the alien swimmers in their midst as you are of them!
In classic Disney fashion, the attraction truly immerses Guests into another world—one which they may never otherwise experience. You can tell by the description from our assistant Tiffany the impact Shark Reef can have: My first thought was wow…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.
Swimmers longing for more excitement may rent SAS (Supplied Air Snorkeling) tank systems at an additional charge. Those less venturesome can peer “under the sea” through underwater portholes of the wrecked ship.
In the wild, some creatures in the Shark Reef might eat their tank mates. Utilize this lesson plan from the Smithsonian Institution education program to study El Niño effects on weather, ecosystems and the food chain. Students will practice scientific inquiry and utilize computer and internet skills to organize information and process data.
SCHOOL SUBJECT: Marine Biology
SKILL LEVEL: High School
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