The park opened on April 1, 1995 and was the third WDW water park after River Country and Typhoon Lagoon. The theme of the park is the "Disney legend" of a freak snowstorm in the area, leading to the construction of Florida's first ski resort. Naturally, the snow didn't last long, leaving behind a collection of waterlogged but snow-less ski jumps and chair lifts. The failed resort was in the process of closing for good when an alligator was seen sliding down a flume and splashing into a pool of water, screaming "Yahoo!" Thus the "ski resort" was reborn as a water park, with the alligator (named "Ice Gator") as mascot.
The majority of the major attractions at the park are hosted atop of Mount Gushmore, an artificial hill with an elevation of , making it the fifth highest point in Florida. Mount Gushmore is split into three colored slopes to aid guests navigating around the park: Green, Red and Purple.
The "Mountain" also serves to hide the park's pipes.
All water areas are heated (at approximately 80 degrees Fahrenheit) with the exception of the melting snow in the ice cave of Cross Country Creek.
Summit Plummet is the flagship attraction at 120 feet (36 m) tall, it is also the world's tallest and fastest free-fall body slide. Riders can sometimes, depending on their position and physiology, reach speeds of up to 55 miles per hour (about 89 km/h). This slide has been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records for being the highest free fall slide in the world. There is a minimum height requirement of 48" (122 cm).
Teamboat Springs is the world's longest "family white-water raft ride" at 1,400 feet (426 m) long. This attraction sends guests down a twisting series of rushing waterfalls. Water Park guests sit in large blue rubber rafts, which can hold a minimum of 4 and maximum of 6 persons, equipped with handles to hold on while the gushing water takes you down the slide. No infants and other Health Restrictions are advised.
Slush Gusher is a tall, 250-feet (76 m) long snow-banked mountain gully body slide attraction that reaches speeds up to 35 miles per hour (56 km/h). It has two places where it almost levels off, only to drop back down again. As such, it is one of only a few water slides where "air time" is achieved. If you want to reach maximum air, raise your crossed-legs just before you reach the second hump and keep straight.
Downhill Double Dipper is one of the world's only side-by-side racing slides. It is located next to Snow Stormers on Mount Gushmore. This adrenaline pumping attraction's slides are high and are long. Guests travel up to speeds of on these twin inner tube runs as they race past internationally recognized ski racing graphic elements and flags. Time clocks count-off each downhill heat and the runs are outfitted with automated audio equipment that signals the start of each race. Also, it is one of the few racing slides where pushoff speed is not a factor, as gates hold back riders until it is time for the race to begin. This attraction has a minimum height requirement of 48" (122 cm).
Snow Stormers is a "mat slide" consisting of three flumes (350 feet long) between Downhill Double Dipper and Toboggan Racers on Mount Gushmore. The attraction descends from the top of the mountain and follows a switchback course through ski-type slalom gates. Guests lay on their stomach on the toboggan style mat as they ride down the flumes. Mat pickup at the top of attraction (Shares Mat Conveyor with Toboggan Racers)
Toboggan Racers is an 8-lane, water slide next to Snow Stormers on Mount Gushmore. The attraction sends guests racing over exhilarating dips as they descend the "snow" slope along the side of Mount Gushmore. Guests lay on their stomach on the toboggan style mat as they race to the finish line. Mat pickup at the top (Shares mat conveyor with Snow Stormers).
Runoff Rapids is a inner tube run featuring two open and one enclosed tube slides. This attraction careens guests down twisting, turning flumes, passing through corrugated steel pipes. Tubes available at the bottom of the attraction. The Red slope stairs are the only way to access this attraction.
The Cross Country Creek is a slow-moving water attraction commonly known as a "lazy river," that travels around the perimeter of the water park. The attraction carries floating guests (in inner tubes) through a bone-chilling ice cave. Once inside the mysterious cave, guests will be splashed with the "melting" ice from overhead. There are 7 entrances and exits located throughout the park for this attraction, and any of these locations guests may pick up tubes and leave them as they exit the creek. The journey takes between twenty and thirty minutes to complete depending on crowd levels.
Ski Patrol is an area for pre-teenage children.
Tike's Peak features gentle slides designed to resemble scaled down versions of attractions at Blizzard Beach. Also included is a snow-castle fountain play area with pop (water) jets. Picnic benches also provided. Footwear is suggested due to hot pavement. The attraction is limited to children under 48" (122 cm).
The Chairlift carries up to 3 guests over the craggy face of Mount Gushmore, from its base at the beach, to its summit. The chairs carrying guests feature wooden-bench seats, colorful overhead umbrellas and snow skis on their underside. The Chairlift was converted from ski-resort to beach-resort use after a freak snowstorm hit Florida and soon after melted forming the perfect site for a water park. This is a one-way ride to the top of Mount Gushmore providing access to most attractions depending on the number of guests present in the park. A Gondola is also provided for disabled guests to access the top of Mount Gushmore. Requirements: Minimum height requirement of 32" (81 cm), 48" (122 cm) to ride alone.
Coolers are allowed in the waterparks. The only restricted items are glass and alcohol.