There are a few GREAT play areas for kids and toddlers at the Walt Disney World parks where your kiddos can burn off some energy with no line. Waiting in lines can be tough for toddlers, and visiting the play areas can be a great way to let them unwind, and in some cases, cool off!
Disney’s Magic Kingdom
The Laughin Place is a great toddler play area
The Laughin Place is one of the best play areas for kids or toddlers at Disney World because it allows your little ones to take a break from the lines at Magic Kingdom. Find it near the exit of Splash Mountain. This small, shady, soft-floored outdoor play area has no wait and accommodates kids 2-12. This is a great place to blow off some steam or just wait for older riders who are going on Splash Mountain, whether you are using the Rider Switch option or just going for the play area alone!
Tom Sawyer’s Island is another great place for kids to burn off energy
The play structure on Tom Sawyer’s Island is another great place to take a break. It is a short raft ride away. Board near the entrance to Big Thunder Mountain in Frontierland. You will cross the Rivers of America to find a large, wooded play area. There may be a wait for a raft, but there is no wait to get onto the island and into the play area once you have crossed.
There is only one way on and off the island, the raft, so you can let older kids run around a bit. We recommend taking your toddler to the Tom Sawyer’s Scavenge Fort play area, which is pictured.
Pro Tip – Every morning, Cast Members (employees) hide a few paintbrushes on Tom Sawyer’s Island. If you find one, you get a free FastPass to Big Thunder Mountain or Splash Mountain. These are both highly sought-after rides, so this is a great bonus if you can swing it. Tom Sawyer’s Island opens later than the rest of the park, but plan to arrive at island opening if finding a paintbrush is your motivation.
The standby line for Dumbo the Flying Elephant has a wonderful circus-themed play area
There is a great play area for kids and toddlers in the standby line for Dumbo the Flying Elephant for ages 2-8. Don’t be afraid to ride Dumbo on standby if your kiddo needs to burn off some energy after standing still in lines in you don’t have a FastPass! You will get a pager that will tell you when you need to report back to line.
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh also has a whimsical play area your toddler won’t want to leave
There is another fun, interactive queue for one of the more popular Fantasyland must-dos with toddlers while you wait to board your honeypot through the Hundred Acre Woods. You can play in Rabbit’s garden, push bees through hives on a fun track, and perhaps best of all, direct digital honey oozing down the walls of the line. I had to tear my kiddos away from playing with the honey to get them to continue to advance in line, including my infant!
Space Base is an indoor play area at the end of MISSION:Space for toddlers and kids aged 2-12
There is an air conditioned three-story play structure with only one exit located at the end of MISSION:Space ride. Just enter through the gift shop at the exit to the ride. You do not have to be tall enough (or old enough) to ride MISSION: Space to use this great play area at Disney. Oh, and you CAN roll a stroller in! This is a great area to play while you wait for other riders or do a Rider Switch, or just go there for the play area alone. It’s worth it, especially to get out of the sun! I recommend bringing socks if your kiddo is wearing shoes without them.
The Seas with Nemo and Friends Play Area
There is a small air-conditioned play area located in the Seas with Nemo and Friends. Go in the double doors on the left side of the building to find it.
During the Flower and Garden Festival (spring) and Food and Wine Fest (fall) there is a playground that is set up near the entrance to the World Showcase. It varies significantly from year to year, but might be a fun diversion if you want to wear out your toddlers and kids before throwing them in the stroller to ride around Epcot. This might just allow you to enjoy the Food and Wine or Flower Festival uninterrupted for a few minutes. No guarantees…
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
This is not a play area to go to if you need to cool down, but it can be a great place to get out some energy and not have to wait in a line. It sits on over half an acre of land in the middle of Animal Kingdom and features slides, caves, climbing areas, a ropes course, and even an archeological dig where your little mouse can unearth dinosaur bones. It IS sandy, so expect to dust off your kiddos when they are done playing. Also, ensure that they take some breaks in the shade and rehydrate if it is hot on the day you visit. Furthermore, it can be difficult to keep your eyes on your kiddo the entire time, although there is only one entrance and exit.