While there are plenty of ways to play at Walt Disney World, sometimes the kids want to stick with the classics: slides, swings, and monkey bars, and tired parents are more than happy to find a shady bench nearby while their kids play. Luckily you’ll find lots of playgrounds at the resorts and even in the theme parks. Here are our top ten play areas at Walt Disney World:
- Riverside Resort Playground – Most Disney resort hotels have a playground, and at Port Orleans Riverside it’s located right next to the pool area on Ol’ Man Island. There are slides, a climbing feature, and even a perfectly-themed wheel like the life-size water wheel outside the Riverside Mill food court.
- The Laughing Place– This simple but charming play area is located in the shade just next to Splash Mountain at the Magic Kingdom. It’s designed for smaller children and can get crowded, but it looks like one of the houses from the ride, as if Brer Rabbit might come out the front door at any moment!
- Hakuna Matata Playground – Tucked in the foliage near the Uzima Pool at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort is a playground that looks like a mini version of Jambo House. It’s got thatch-roof towers and plenty of slides. Timon and Pumbaa would love it here.
- Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station – Casey Jr., the brightly colored locomotive, is pulling a train full of animals through Storybook Circus in the Magic Kingdom. His new play area lets kids have some wet fun with spraying water features and cool mist. Just keep your cameras dry!
- Explorer’s Playground at the Dig Site – If Indiana Jones designed a playground, this would be it. Behind the Mayan temple and Lost City of Cibola pool at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort you’ll find a sprawling play area with a sand pit, serpent slide, spider web climbing wall, jungle gym, and a giant head statue.
- Space Base in Mission: SPACE Advanced Training Lab – While the older members in the party are blasting off to Mars at Epcot, the younger members can stay entertained in the tubes and slides of this indoor, air-conditioned playground. Cut through the gift shop to find this area. There’s also an interactive Mission Space Race game to participate in and plenty of video game consoles.
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant Play Area – One reason not to get a Fastpass+ for Dumbo the Flying Elephant is so that your little one will have time to enjoy the play area under the big top. There’s a circus ring, climbing net, slide, and lots of interactive features – all in the air conditioning. You’ll receive a pager to hold your place in line and notify you when it’s time to ride Dumbo!
- The Boneyard – One of the largest play areas at Disney World is located in Dinoland USA at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The Boneyard Fossil Fun Site is perfect for budding paleontologists with dinosaur bones and dig sites everywhere. You can step on t-rex footprints to hear a roar or play a tune on some musical dino ribs. While it’s got great theming and kids love this area, there’s not a lot of shade or seating for the adults.
- Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Playground – Many young kids won’t be familiar with the old Disney movie Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, but they’ll still enjoy the larger-than-life play area at Hollywood Studios. Kids can get lost in the dark ant tunnels or towering spider web, slide down a film strip, and hop through oversized blades of grass. Don’t forget to get a photo riding on the back of the giant ant! Update: Recently closed to make way for expansion of the Star Wars Land area of the park.
- Tom Sawyer Island – This Magic Kingdom attraction isn’t just a playground; it’s a whole island kids love to explore. Catch the raft from Frontierland and discover the barrel bridge, caves, Fort Langhorn, Tom’s half whitewashed fence and more. Come with plenty of energy to chase after the little ones and try to avoid the hottest part of the day. There are shady paths, but there’s no air conditioning on the island.
So, what is your favorite Walt Disney World play area?