Best Playgrounds & Play Areas at Disney World
Traveling to Walt Disney World with toddlers is lots of fun but too much structure in your plans can lead to cranky kids. One of the best ways we curb toddler tantrums is giving them free time to run and play. After being strapped in a stroller and spending lots of time waiting in lines, kids need to burn off some extra energy. Disney World has several play areas built specifically for little ones. Here is my list of the best playgrounds and play areas at Disney World.
Read my Disney World Tips with Toddlers for more help planning your trip
Dumbo Play Area Magic Kingdom
One of our favorite play areas at Magic Kingdom is in the Dumbo ride line queue. As part of your wait time for the ride, you’re granted entry into a circus themed played area. There is a small circus ring for kids age 3 and under with bench seating all the way around the circle. There is a larger play area with multiple levels, slides and nets for children 4 and up. The best part about this area is it is all indoors and Air Conditioned. If you book a FastPass+ for Dumbo you will have to forfeit your place in line to play. We will stop in to play even if we don’t end up riding Dumbo. This section also closes at dark, even though the ride still operates so keep that in mind when planning your day.
Casey Jr Splash n Soak Station at Magic Kingdom
Not all play areas at Disney World are dry. During the warmer months, this splash pad area is a great way for little ones to cool off, just make sure you have a spare change or clothes. This circus themed train is full of animals and water spouts all over. This play area is located near the Dumbo attraction and the Barnstormer rollercoaster. There are also bathrooms right by which make it easy for changing after.
Splash Mountain Play Area at Magic Kingdom
At the entrance of Splash Mountain, there is an adorable little play area for kids. While not Air Conditioned, this space does have shade and fans. It’s not very large but offers a great space for little ones to play and get their energy out. If you need somewhere in Frontierland, be sure to check out the toddler play area under Splash Mountain.
Toddler Area Magic Kingdom
Our other favorite place to play at Magic Kingdom isn’t really a playground but rather just an open area to relax. Located off of Main Street not far from Cinderella’s Castle is a fenced in astroturf area known as the ‘hub grass’. These spots are perfect to grab a snack, sit back and let little ones run around. If timed right, you can even watch the castle show or the parade from this area too.
Bo Peep’s Playground (formerly Ralph Breaks the Internet Playground Epcot)
Formerly the Ralph Breaks the Internet Playground Epcot, this is now Bo Peep’s Playground. It was originally installed for the Food and Wine Festival last year. I’m not sure how long the playground will remain since normally festival playgrounds at Epcot are temporary. It does have a toddler area, older kid play space, soft ground, lots of seating for parents and shade.
Space Base Epcot
Space Base is an awesome indoor play area in Epcot located at the exit of Mission Space. This area reminds me of an old school Chuck E. Cheese type playground with lots of tunnels and levels. It is all space themed and has a ground level area for toddlers with higher levels for older kids. This is a great place to wait if you want to do Parent Swap for the ride or if you want a way to escape the heat or rain.
Animal Kingdom Playground (The Boneyard)
Animal Kingdom has The Boneyard which is one of our favorite play areas at Disney World. This outdoor playground has Dinosaur bones, slides, stairs and lots of things to climb on. The whole play area resembles a dinosaur dig site. There is even a shaded dig area with shovels, buckets and dinosaur bones to unearth. My 4 year old LOVES this playground, so we make sure to play here on every visit. It can be pretty hot during summer months so I recommend going early in the morning or in the evening before the park closes at dusk to stay cool.
Is there a Hollywood Studios Play Area?
Unfortunately, there is not a formal play area in Hollywood Studios. When my girls need to run around, we head to Star Wars Launch Bay. There are several props with light up buttons that my kids find fun and plenty of space to walk around. While it’s not a play area, I highly recommend the Disney Junior Dance Party for little ones. The show is very interactive and encourages the kids to get up and dance throughout.
Is there a playground at Disney Springs?
Another great question! Unfortunately there is not a dedicated “playground” at Disney Springs either. The Lego Store offers lego play tables (some with bigger blocks suitable for toddler hands). Near the Bibbiddi Bobbidid Boutique, there is a big circle area that they typically have dance parties at. This is perfect for kids and usually includes Cast Members with balls, hula hoops and other fun props to encourage the kids to come out and play. There are also rides at Disney Springs which cost a few dollars to ride including a little kids train and a carousel.
Playgrounds at Disney Resorts
If you’re staying at a Disney Resort on your vacation, I highly recommend checking out the playground area at your resort. I also suggest building in a day just to explore your resort, swim in the pool or let your kiddo have some free play. Multiple park days can be overwhelming and tiring, especially for toddlers. Having a ‘down’ day to relax will help keep your family energized and excited for more fun in the parks.
Our favorite resort with little kids is Art of Animation. The Finding Nemo themed splash pad and playground are both lots of fun and perfect for toddlers. Here is a list of other Disney Resorts that have playgrounds:
- All-Star Movies, Music and Sports Resorts
- Animal Kingdom Lodge
- Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House
- Art of Animation Resort
- BoardWalk Inn
- BoardWalk Villas
- Caribbean Beach Resort
- Coronado Springs Resort
- Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
- Old Key West Resort
- Pop Century Resort
- Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter
- Port Orleans Resort – Riverside
- Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
- Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Hotel (playground is on the dolphin side)
Best Play Areas at Disney World with Toddlers
In closing, having a place for little ones to burn off some extra energy can help save you from a future meltdown. Traveling to Walt Disney World with toddlers is lots of fun but too much structure can lead to burn out for young kids. We always try to visit at least one of these play areas each day to give my kids time to burn off some extra energy. I hope you find my list of the best playgrounds and play areas at Disney World helpful in planning your next Disney World vacation.