Where Can I Wear My Kids Out at Disney World?
A trip to Disney World can be packed full of exciting experiences, but for children there can be several things, like waiting in lines, sitting through shows, and sitting down to eat, that can leave them with lots of pent-up energy. I have found that it is best to take advantage of a few times throughout the day to just let the kids be kids and play, with no agenda.
Disney does a great job of anticipating these moments and providing children a place to run off that extra energy. Here are 10 of my favorites:
- Tom Sawyer Island – The slow pace and less crowded Tom Sawyer Island is the perfect place for children to run, climb, crawl, and explore! They can cross the barrel bridge, explore the fort to find the secret escape through the caves, and investigate a tree fort. If you go to the island early your kids have a chance of finding one of the hidden whitewash brushes, which just might get them something special if they turn it in to a cast member (hint hint).
- The Laughing Place Play Area – This is a hidden gem that is tucked away near Splash Mountain (off to the right of the entrance). This is the perfect place for a parent and child to wait while waiting for the Rider Swap parent to return. It is for children under 40 inches tall and includes a few play buildings and slides. It is completely shaded (being under the train station) and a great place to cool off while your little ones play.
- Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station – This circus themed splash pad is located in Storybook Circus near the train station (back past Dumbo). This is where to go when its hot and your kids are bursting full of energy. They can run and play through the spraying and misting water. WARNINGS: Children can get soaked here and there are a lot of ways to exit this area so if your children are little you really need to watch so you know where they are going.
- Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It! Street Party – A few times throughout the day in front of Cinderella Castle your kids and you can have a dance party with some of your favorite characters. The party lasts for 35 minutes and if your children love music and love to dance they will get a huge kick out of this experience. This is outdoors and will cancel if raining, and you will want to check your Times Guide so you don’t miss out.
- The Boneyard – The playground at Animal Kingdom is amazing! This is a large play area with slides for all sizes, areas to climb, explore, and dig for dinosaur bones. There is something for kids of all ages in this area. It is a big area and my kids are quick so it can be tough to keep an eye on more than one kid at once, BUT there is only one entrance/exit with a cast member guarding it so your kids will not escape from you.
- Rafiki’s Planet Watch – This might not be the first thing that jumps to mind when looking for a way for your kids to use up some extra energy, but it definitely works! There is a somewhat long (5 minute) walk when you get off the train and at the end of the road is a petting zoo. My girls always have a great time running around to pet the animals and it’s a great way to tire their little legs.
- Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set – Do you remember this movie? This is a play area where everything is oversized and your kids will feel like they are right from the movie. My girls loved this play area! There are slides and tunnels and so many areas to explore that are from ordinary everyday objects, just from the perspective of being shrunk down. This is another great play area with one entrance/exit so little ones won’t easily escape.
- The Seas with Nemo & Friends – This is a great aquarium inside of Epcot for kids to explore and let loose. There are tons to things to keep their attention, without making them sit in one place. They can check out the fish, sharks, dolphins, manatees, and some fun teaching activities, as well as pose with Bruce from Finding Nemo! If your kids are ready to sit a little, they will also get a kick out of Turtle Talk with Crush.
- Epcot Splash Pads – there are a few splash pads scattered throughout Epcot. These are great places to let your kids run and play and burn that extra energy. I have also found it’s a great way to let my children interact with other kids at Disney. Just remember, they will get wet!
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant – What child can visit Magic Kingdom and not ride on Dumbo? The new expansion to Fantasyland brought an incredible Big Top play area that is great for tiring out your kids and giving adults (and children) a needed break from the hot Florida sun, all while waiting to ride the famous ride. The entire play area is indoors and air-conditioned! There are smaller climbers for toddlers where parents can sit close and watch, and there are larger climbers and slides for older children. While you wait you are given a restaurant-style buzzer to let you know when it’s your turn on the ride, or you can choose to stay and play awhile longer.
As I mentioned, these are just a few of the areas to tire your kids out at Disney World, and we didn’t even mention the waterparks or a trip around Epcot’s World Showcase!
We have also been able to find a quiet spot off to the side in each park to let our girls do a little running and when they were smaller take a break from the stroller. Besides these areas, there are playgrounds and pools at every Disney World resort hotel. If you are staying on Disney property with children I highly recommend taking a midday break and letting them nap, run, play, and swim and the resort.
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