If you’ve never been to Walt Disney World before then you might not know about playgrounds in Disney. No, we’re not talking about the playgrounds at the resorts, which by the way, each Walt Disney World Resort does actually offer one or more playgrounds for children. No, we’re talking actual playgrounds in the parks for kids to play!
Why Bother With Playgrounds in Disney
Disney is a magical place for both the young and the young at heart, but while you are dying from all that walking, those stroller-bound children have never-ending supplies of energy. Plus, since the parks are so crowded with strangers, they are probably walking and running much less than usual because we want them to stick close to us.
Playgrounds give them a chance to get those wild wiggles out and for us parents to recharge on a bench with an ice coffee.
Where to Find Disney World Playgrounds
Playgrounds in Disney World aren’t exactly laid out like your neighborhood playset. Each playground has to match the theme and the area that it’s in. But you can be sure that it will be fun, it will be safe, and it will help tire out your kids.
Tiana’s Bayou Adventure (Formerly “The Laughing Place” at Splash Mountain)
Located by the exit of the former Splash Mountain was “The Laughing Place” play set. This fun play center was small but mighty. Kids would always be crawling all over this little Briar Patch-themed playset.
Disney has not released what the new name of the playset will be to match Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, but we are sure the kids are going to enjoy it just as much! We just hope that there are character statues or maybe even an Evangeline scavenger hunt!
Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station
Over by the railroad station in the Silly Circus area of New Fantasyland is an actual splash pad for kids. This area definitely has mixed reviews from moms. On one hand, it helps cool off kids on hot days, especially ones who aren’t used to the Florida heat, but on the other hand it means you have to have multiple sets of clothes for each kid… And that just sounds like work.
This Magic Kingdom splash pad area is only operating on the hottest days in the middle of the day and doesn’t encompass a large area, so you can easily divert your kids away from the water play if necessary. If you don’t mind a little wet fun, be sure to bring those moisture-wicking clothes, crocs, and have a great time!
The Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station is located right next to the train station themed restrooms for easy changing area space.
Come one, come all to see the amazing flying elephant in the most amazing playground in all of Walt Disney World! Once you hop in line to ride the simple but classic Dumbo ride you’ll actually wait your turn inside of a massive circus-themed play area. This is a full-size jungle gym with something for everyone.
PRO-TIP: Whenever it looks like the skies are going to open up for a massive rain we always run to Dumbo and stay in the play area until the rain passes. There is no rush to leave the play area, either! Each guest is given a buzzer upon entry, but if your buzzer goes off signaling your turn and your kiddo isn’t quite ready yet, you can just let the Cast Member know and play the day away! Just know that there are no bathrooms here…
ImageWorks – The “What If” Labs
EPCOT has always been about expanding your mind and creativity to create new ideas and ways to live. The Imagination Building has been a part of that vision from the very beginning. While it has had many changes and makeovers through the years, one thing is the same – It takes just a spark of imagination to create something great!
The “What If” Labs is a creative play space that uses the entire body to make sounds, visual arts, and more. You can either enter this area from the side of the Imagination Building or you can simply ride the Journey into Imagination with Figment and play in the “What If” Labs after you get off the ride.
Disney Junior Dance Party
We’re cheating a little bit here, we know, but while this attraction may not be a playground, it is a designated space for smaller children to get up, dance, spin, and jump around. The Disney Junior Dance Party is like a mini night club for kids that is visited by their favorite Disney Junior characters like Vampirina, Doc McStuffins, Mickey Mouse, and Timon…?
We don’t know why they have Timon, but he has some pretty good moves.
The DJ will play lots of kid-friendly songs and teach kids new dance moves throughout this 20 minute attraction.
Bonus: The dance party ends with bubbles. Lots and lots of bubbles. Kids love bubbles. Win.
Listen up! The Boneyard is not only the coolest playground in Walt Disney World, it is also the single coolest playground I have ever seen, and as a mother of 3 and a giant kid myself, I have seen some playgrounds. There are slides everywhere you look, things to climbs, places to go, and when you need to catch your breath, there is a gigantic sandbox with a mammoth skeleton buried, just waiting for tiny archeologists to dig him up!
This sand area is loaded with tiny buckets, shovels, and brushes, all of the basic tools to make a great discovery. There are only 2 major drawbacks from The Boneyard:
- While there is only one way in/out, it is easy to “lose” your kids because there are a gazillion slides. There are Cast Members throughout the play area and 2 Cast Members that man the entrance so no kids can enter or leave without an adult.
- Your kids will not want to leave. Brace yourselves. You are going to be frustrated because you brought your kids to Walt Disney World, not just a playground… But really, didn’t we bring them to Disney to have fun and make memories? My tip – Go to your must-dos in Animal Kingdom before the playground, and then of course, bribery. Dino-bite Snacks serves up gigantic cookie ice cream sandwiches which are a great bargaining chip to get them out. You’re welcome.
With Disney Springs being labeled as a “shopping district” you don’t really think about play areas. In the lower portion of the Marketplace next to Once Upon A Toy, there is a fun little splash pad for kids to play in while mom is shopping or enjoying a nice frosé.
In addition to the small splash pad, Disney Springs also has a small carousel and a cute ride-on train for children. What makes this extra fun is that the train that the children ride on in Disney Springs is similar in size to one that Walt Disney ran in his backyard!
FUN FACT: Every Disney Park across the globe has some form of a train to pay respects to the man who started it all, Walt Disney. He loved trains because they were both simple and complex machinery that was ever-evolving. Some even ponder if Walt Disney started Disneyland just so he would have a place to play with his big trains!
Playgrounds at Walt Disney World Resorts
All major Disney World Resorts feature a classic, safe, and engaging play area for kids ages 2-12 to run free and go a little wild.
All resort area playgrounds feature climbing structures, slides, swings, tunnels, and soft ground for their protection. What makes Disney resort playgrounds so much fun is even there the imagineers helped to keep the story going. Many of the playgrounds actually match the resort theme!
We love how the beach-themed resorts like Disney’s Old Key West playground features light pastel colors and has a sandbed. The Wilderness Lodge playground has astro turf grass and faux wood accents. The playgrounds at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and the Villas feature faux thatched roofs, rope bridges, and other African accents. By far our absolute favorite playground themed item is found at the Port Orleans Riverside Resort. This playground actually has a wooden paddle wheel like what would be found on an old steamboat floatin’ down the Mississippi.
You can find playgrounds at the following resorts:
- Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort
- Disney’s All-Star Music Resort
- Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House
- Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
- Disney’s Boardwalk Inn
- Disney’s Boardwalk Villas
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
- Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
- Disney’s Fort Wilderness & Campground
- Disney’s Old Key West Resort
- Disney’s Pop Century Resort
- Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter
- Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
- Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
- Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel
I am a mother of three that has refused to grow up. Adulting is for the birds, so I go to Disney World every chance I get for that magical escape from reality. I believe that Haunted Mansion is the best ride in all of the Disney Parks, and I am fervently in team Happily Ever After for fireworks spectaculars, (sorry, not sorry, Enchanted). Finally, I hope I never grow tired of skipping down Main Street, USA, and my dream come true would be “friends with” the Fairy Godmother in my old age.
Need More Help Planning Your Vacation?
A travel agent is an essential resource when planning a vacation. Reach out to Magical Travel and they will make sure your vacation is pure magic and no stress! Their services are 100% FREE to you!