Did you know that along with fantastic attractions, shopping and restaurants, Disney World is also home to many, many playgrounds? These are great low key stops for children to enjoy on a pretty hectic vacation. Take a look!
Hollywood Studios – On my children’s first trip to Walt Disney World, we joined the crowd entering the Studio Backlot Tour. Well, it took one water cannon and my older son panicked and we left the attraction. While walking away we happened upon the “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” Movie Set Adventure. I’d been to Disney many times in the past (heck, I even worked there one summer) and had never taken a second glance at this attraction. It was fantastic! My kids loved this giant themed playground with huge blades of grass, bugs and even a huge spider web to climb through.
Animal Kingdom – Our next discovery was the Boneyard over at Disney World’s Animal Kingdom. This mega playground has huge slides, climbing areas and a sand pit where kids can dig for dinosaur bones and parents can take a breather for a few minutes.
Magic Kingdom – New, since our last trip, is the Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station at the Magic Kindgom in the new Storybook Circus area in Fantasyland. This circus train (from Dumbo!) features animals that spray kids with water. It’s not a traditional playground, but is definitely a good place for parents to relax while the kids get soaked. Conveniently, there is a cart nearby that sells water shoes and towels.
If you don’t want the kids to get soaked, there is also a great new play area inside the new tents by the Dumbo attraction. This area is called an “interactive queue” that allows kids to play, climb and jump (and again, parents to relax) while waiting for your turn to ride Dumbo. No need to stand in an endless line!
The Magic Kingdom also has a small (tiny) play area called the Laughing Place near Splash Mountain for parents to entertain small children while older guests traveling with them can enjoy Splash Mountain. Since my children, my husband and I are all frankly too chicken to go on Splash Mountain, we’ve had no need to check out this area.
Tom Sawyer Island and Swiss Family Treehouse are also both to amazing playgrounds. You can climb and explore the jungle in the tree house and run through the rugged terrain on the island.
Epcot – Unfortunately Epcot does not have a large themed playground. There is a small playground after the Mission Space attraction for smaller kids to enjoy and there are often smaller play areas that pop up during the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival.
Resorts – There are also great playgrounds at many of the resorts at Walt Disney World from all of the value All Star resorts to the deluxe Contemporary resort. You can find them at:
- All-Star Movies Resort
- All-Star Music Resort
- All-Star Sports Resort
- Animal Kingdom Resort
- Art of Animation Resort
- BoardWalk Inn Resort
- Caribbean Beach Resort
- Contemporary Resort
- Coronado Springs Resort
- Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
- Old Key West Resort
- Polynesian Resort
- Pop Century Resort
- Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter
- Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
- Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
- Swan and Dolphin
- Wilderness Lodge
Disney’s newest resort, the Art of Animation has a Lion King theme elephant graveyard playground (opening in August 2012) and a Finding Nemo theme coral reef playground. We can’t wait to check those out on our next trip!
There are great play options all around Disney World. Sometimes kids just need a simple place to run around and let off some steam after waiting in lines. And sometimes grown-ups need a chance to sit down after waiting in lines!
Have you enjoyed any of these playgrounds? Do you know any hidden playgrounds on the Disney property?