Kids love running around and playing in the water, especially in the summer heat. Lucky for you, Orlando theme parks offer fun and unique play areas designed specifically for this purpose! With everything from spraying geysers to bucket dumps to squirting characters, not only are these play areas a great way for kids to burn off some of that extra energy, but it also gives grown-ups a chance to sit down and relax during a long day at the parks. Here's our list of the best splash and play areas in Orlando.
1. Casey Jr. Splash 'N' Soak at Disney's Magic Kingdom
Tucked away in the back corner of the park, behind the Dumbo ride in Fantasyland, is this train station-themed water play zone. This circus train, inspired by the Walt Disney film Dumbo, is filled with whimsical animal characters that spray water from every direction. There are monkeys with water hoses and spray bottles, elephants that squirt from their trunks and even spitting camels. Usually the animals will spray water one at a time, but every few minutes they all start going crazy and splash together creating a barrage of water that's sure to soak every kid in the area.
2. Camp Jurassic at Universal's Islands of Adventure
This dino-themed play area across from the Jurassic Park River Adventure is filled with all kinds of fun things, including slides, nets, suspension bridges and even hidden caves. But it's the water cannons and squirting fountains that will help cool off your little explorers on a hot day. Children can engage in a battle with their friends from two sets of water cannons near the dinosaur containment paddocks. One set of sprayers are from the dinosaur's point of view, squirting their poisonous venom (water), while the other group are firing water rifles from the raised game warden station above. It's a battle of dinosaurs versus humans where everyone gets wet!
3. Curious George Goes to Town at Universal Studios Florida
The mischievous little monkey has turned the whole town upside-down in this wonderful water playground. The cartoony buildings are overflowing with water everywhere you look. Kids can pull down various levers, push colorful buttons and pump hoses to find all kinds of crazy ways to splash and spray water in every direction. This area is perfect for all ages and even has a special zone just for toddlers to play and spray in. Look out for the big bucket dumps for the quickest way to get soaked! Between the splashes you can head to the back of the zone for your chance to play in the Ball Factory. There you can throw, launch and play with thousands of soft foam balls.
4. Shamu's Happy Harbor at SeaWorld Orlando
This kid’s area is packed with kiddie rides, a family coaster and climbing nets and slides. The Water Works area, near the front of Happy Harbor, is the perfect spot for cooling off at SeaWorld Orlando. It features buckets that fill up and pour down, water sprayers, fountains, and even water guns that anyone can use. This water play area is perfect for all ages even including the littlest in your group. Toddlers will love running through the fountains that spray up from the ground while older kids can play with the water pistols. It's splish-splashy fun for everyone.
5. Jungala and Sesame Street at Busch Gardens Tampa
After checking out the tigers and orangutans in Jungala, you and your family can explore the multi-story climbing nets of Treetop Trails and all of the water fountains and splash zones below. Kids of all ages can run through the fountains and get soaked from the animal-themed sprayers. Smaller children might also like Bert & Ernie’s Watering Hole at the Sesame Street Safari of Fun. This water adventure area is a little kid's dream with bubbling geysers, spraying jets, dumping buckets and more. Plus, it's a great place to meet your favorite Sesame Street characters like Elmo and Big Bird.
[Photos courtesy of: Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa]