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Best Splash Pads at Walt Disney World Resorts

Best Splash Pads at Walt Disney World Resorts

Having fun in the water is a high priority for many kids. At Disney World, that often means heading to the resort pools. But where can the little ones play without having to swim? Enter the Aquatic Play Areas and Splash Pads.

Many Walt Disney World resorts – 13 in fact – have a separate play area near the pools where little ones can play and splash in the water without being in a pool.

Read on for the Best Splash Pads at Walt Disney World Resorts:

What are Aquatic Play Areas and Splash Pads?

During recent resort refurbishments, Disney has added Aquatic Play Areas and Splash Pads to many of the resort pool recreation areas. These take the place of the old-style “baby pools” lots of us of a certain age grew up with.

While Aquatic Play Areas and Splash Pads are similar, there are a few differences.

View of two slides at Aquatic Play Area at Grand Floridian
  • Aquatic Play Areas are often themed, and look like a playground with water features. They have a slide or two. Usually a water dumping feature is part of the structure. Officially, only children 48 inches or shorter are allowed to play on the Aquatic Play Area.
Splash area at Saratoga Springs High Rocks area
  • Splash Pads are simpler than an Aquatic Play Area. They may have a few bubbling jets and/or some sprayers, but they aren’t over-the-top themed.

Top picks for water play areas

Uwanja Camp at Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village

The water play area at Uwanja Camp is huge! It has three distinct areas and they are all connected and designed to appeal to different ages.

Aquatic Play Area at Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani

The Observation Station is for little ones, with an Aquatic Play Area that is a hybrid playground and splash zone.

Splash and Spray area at Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani

Departure Zone has water buckets that dump and sprayers older kids can control and the third area, Base Camp, levels up the action with water cannons.

What we love about Uwanja Camp

  • It’s large and very rarely crowded
  • There are plenty of lounge chairs for the adults
  • The area has lots of shade
  • Guests staying at either Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House or Kidani Village are welcome
  • Restrooms and the pool bar are close by
  • Not too far away is an animal viewing overlook – not something you can get anywhere else!

S’il Vous Play at Riviera Resort

One of the newest water play areas, S’il Vous Play is good for both toddlers and younger elementary aged children.

Aquatic Play Area at Riviera Resort

What we love about S’il Vous Play

  • The area is completely fenced in
  • The slides are fun for older kids, but accessible for littler ones
  • There’s not a big water dumping feature
  • The jets are around it like a Splash Pad, but the structure is an Aquatic Play Area
  • The main pool, food, and restrooms are close by
  • The area has some shade

Doubloon Lagoon Water Play Area at Port Orleans French Quarter

If you are looking for a compact resort in the Moderate category with a great play area, Port Orleans French Quarter checks those boxes. The Doubloon Lagoon Water Play Area was revamped to incorporate both a slide and Splash Pad features.

View of Aquatic Play Area at Port Orleans French Quarter with hotel in the bathroom

What we love about Doubloon Lagoon Water Play Area

  • Most variety of any water play area at a Moderate resort
  • Appeals to both little ones and older kids
  • Close to the main pool, pool bar, and restrooms
  • It’s fenced in
  • Guests of either Port Orleans French Quarter or Port Orleans Riverside are welcome to use it

Kiki Tikis Splash Play at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

The Polynesian’s pools are a big draw to one of the original Walt Disney World Resorts. Kiki Tikis Splash Play is designed specifically to fit into the vibe of the resort. It’s a popular place, so be prepared to have lots of people sharing this space.

Aquatic Play Area at Polynesian Resort

Kiki Tikis Splash Play

  • It’s right next to the Lava Pool and the quick service Capt. Cook’s
  • The area is themed well
  • There’s quite a bit of action, including a small bridge little ones can walk across

Runners Up

There several other resorts with Aquatic Play Areas little ones enjoy.

Aquatic Play area at Saratoga Springs Paddock area

Saratoga Springs

This sprawling resort has three featured areas in addition to several pools. Guests staying here can try out the Aquatic Play Area at the Paddock Pool, water play area with sprays at jets near the Grandstand Pool, and Donald Duck play area with bubbling jets near the High Rock Spring feature pool.

Splash Pad area at Saratoga Springs Grandstand Area

Grand Floridian

Guests of the Grand Floridian can play on this whimsical Aquatic Play Area near the Beach Pool. The monorail provides an only-in-Disney-world view. But keep your eyes out for the Mad Hatter’s hat’s surprise!

Water pouring into hat at Grand Floridan's Aquatic Play Area

Copper Creek Springs Kiddie Pool – Wilderness Lodge

Another pool area with a beautiful view is at the Wilderness Lodge. Guests can play and watch for the nearby Fire Rock Geyser to blow.

Aquatic Play Area at Wilderness Lodge Resort

Caribbean Beach

The pirate-themed Aquatic Play Area at Caribbean Beach is tucked away next to the Fuentes del Morro Feature Pool.

Pirate themed Aquatic Play Area at Carribbean Beach Resort

Meadow Water Play area – Fort Wilderness

The Meadow Water Play area has been plussed at Fort Wilderness to now include a slide and multiple fountains.

Entrance to the Meadow Swimmin' Pool at Fort Wilderness

Splash Pads catering to the youngest travelers

Several Disney resorts have less elaborate water areas that may be more appealing to the toddlers and younger children in the party.

Art of Animation

Very cute theming combined with a small footprint makes this an easy Splash Pad experience to supervise. Just be aware that there’s not much shade.

Splash area at Art of Animation

Contemporary and Bay Lake tower

These deluxe sister resorts both can use this straightforward, yet fun, Splash Pad. Bonus, it’s near the main pool and food options.

Splash area at Contemporary Resort

All Star Movies

The only All Star Resort to have a water play area specifically for babies and toddlers, the bubbling jets and more traditional baby pool give an option for the littlest ones to play.

Splash area at All Star Music Resort

Pop Century

Just behind the Hippy Dippy Pool in the 60’s section is a little area of jets just for little ones.

Splash area at Pop Century Resort

FAQs

What about Stormalong Bay?

Stormalong Bay, the expansive pool complex at Beach and Yacht Club Resorts, often is ranked as the best pool on Disney property. However, while it does have a sandy area that little ones often gravitate to, and also has a small slide near the entrance to the big slide, it does not have a Splash Pad or Aquatic Play Area similar to the ones we highlighted.

The resort pool area is going through a six-month long refurbishment the first half of 2025. No plans on what will exactly happen during that refurbishment have been announced.

Can my older child play with my younger one even if they are taller than 48 inches?

The rules on the Aquatic Play Area signs all state that the area is for the enjoyment of children shorter than 48 inches. However, in practice, taller children who are playing appropriately are rarely asked to leave.

Can I use the Splash Pad or Aquatic Play Area if I’m not staying at the resort?

No, these areas follow the same pool rules and guidelines and are only open to the guests staying at that particular resort.

When are the Splash Pads or Aquatic Play Areas open?

These water play areas follow the same open and closing times as the feature pools.

Is the water in these areas heated?

No. While the pools at Disney resorts are heated, the Splash Pads and Aquatic Play Areas are not.

Are there lifeguards at the Splash Pads?

Yes and No. Usually, lifeguards will be supervising at the Aquatic Play Areas. The smaller Splash Pads do not have lifeguards present.

Are there water play areas in the Disney parks?

Yes, Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station in Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom, Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana in World Nature in Epcot, Liquid Layer Water Play Area in World Discovery in Epcot, Ketchakiddee Creek at Typhoon Lagoon, and Tike’s Peak at Blizzard Beach.

For the in-park water areas, you might want to come prepared with a change of clothes and shoes for your little splasher.

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What are your favorite water play areas at Disney World? Let us know in the comments.

Kevin G.

Tuesday 25th of June 2024

Are these water play areas busy all the time? Wondering about the best time to go to avoid crowds.

Heather Thomas

Tuesday 25th of June 2024

The LEAST busy time of the day will be right after it opens, so if you have a late-start day for the parks, hitting the pool first is a great option! Middle of the day (when people are taking breaks from the parks) tend to be busier, as does the late afternoon early evening.

Marc J.

Tuesday 25th of June 2024

Uwanja Camp looks awesome Definitely adding it to our must-visit list. Great recommendations!

Jennifer L.

Tuesday 25th of June 2024

Doubloon Lagoon is the best. My kids could spend hours there. Good to see it get some love here.

Raj P.

Tuesday 25th of June 2024

Is there a big difference in the splash areas in terms of age groups? Got both a toddler and a tween and wondering if they can both have fun.

Heather Thomas

Tuesday 25th of June 2024

There is a height maximum of 48" for the aquatic play areas, so just something to keep in mind. In my experience, my tween preferred the pool to the splash areas because there were way more kids their age hanging out there than around the splash areas.

Chelsea K.

Tuesday 25th of June 2024

Raj, they usually have sections for different ages so both your kids can enjoy!

Liz M.

Tuesday 25th of June 2024

Kiki Tikis Splash Play is a lifesaver. The kiddos love it and it gives us parents a moment to relax. Well, sort of relax!