Shark Reef at Typhoon Lagoon

Explore Life Under the Sea on Your Disney Vacation

Wave pool at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon
Wikimedia Commons/Jack Miller

Boasting a variety of sea creatures, including live sharks and rays, Shark Reef is one of the most innovative and unique attractions offered by any Disney theme park. Located in Typhoon Lagoon, Shark Reef offers guests a chance to don snorkels and masks and get an up-close look at real sea life.

Guests of all ages can experience Shark Reef, but good swimming skills are a must. While the saltwater will increase buoyancy, the Reef is 10 feet deep and must be crossed by swimming.

Attraction Overview

Guests stop by the dive shack to receive complimentary snorkels and masks, then head to the showers. After a quick fitting session and snorkel instruction, guests proceed to the main tank. After donning the equipment, swimmers slip into the chilled waters of Shark Reef for a quick review of the rules and are then allowed to begin.

Guests swim across the reef at their own pace, and no diving is allowed. Strong swimmers will cross the tank with ease, but others may need to rest at the halfway point. There is a submerged rock platform to rest on and make adjustments to your equipment at the halfway point.

Lifeguards are on-hand if you have trouble, and are quick to offer assistance. Your journey concludes when you arrive at the stone steps. After leaving the reef, you will be instructed to shower and return the equipment before heading off to your next adventure.

Weak Swimmers Beware

Kids, teens, animal lovers and strong swimmers of all ages. The view simply can't be beaten, and this attraction will be interesting to anyone who has ever snorkeled or wants to learn.

  • If you have any doubt about your ability to swim, or your child's abilities, request a life vest before enjoying Shark Reef. Life vests are available at the snorkel and goggle distribution point.
  • To keep the animals healthy, the water in Shark Reef is cold. Expect a bit of a chill when you first hit the water.
  • Listen to all instructions, and follow all rules, for your own safety, and the safety of others in your party.

Visitor Tips and Advice

  • Be sure to swim slowly, even if you are a strong swimmer. The silence and beauty of the reef are worth exploring at a leisurely pace, and you have a better chance of spotting a shark or stingray if you take your time.
  • If you are a moderately good swimmer, request a life vest. You will be able to enjoy all of the features of Shark Reef without concentrating on your swimming technique.
  • Can't get enough of life under the sea? Don't miss the Coral Reef restaurant, or the Seas with Nemo and Friends, located in Epcot.

As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary services for review purposes. While it has not influenced this review, believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. 

Edited by Dawn Henthorn, Florida Travel Expert

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