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Theme Park Alternative: 10+ Playgrounds Near Walt Disney World

Fear not, weary travelers! Just beyond the theme park gates lie hidden gems – a vibrant, free, and fantastic network of playgrounds, each a wonderland in its own right. Ditch the lines and crowds, swap souvenir hats for sandcastles, and discover the joy of unbridled playground adventures, where smiles come in every size and imaginations soar without a ticket.

Get some energy out at these local playgrounds near Walt Disney World and the attractions area of Orlando. Each one is free to visit and open to the public.

If you’re looking for more free ideas, check out these free things to do in Orlando with kids.

Playgrounds near Walt Disney World

1. Lakeside Village Park 

10820 Village Lake Road, Windermere
Distance from theme parks: 8 minutes from Disney; 25 minutes from Universal Orlando Resort
FREE

Lakeside Village Park is located on the shore of Lake Spar and offers two fenced-in playgrounds. The two playground structures, one for 2 to 5-year-olds and one for 5 to 12-year-olds, both are covered with a shade sail.

playground with shade Lakeside Village Park Near Disney - orangecountyfl.net
Lakeside Village Park orangecountyflnet

The playgrounds include slides, climbing structures, ramps for running, stepping stools, and interactive sensory stations with music and sounds. There is also a covered pavilion with two picnic tables.

Parenting Pro-tip: There are no restrooms at this facility.

Discover more playgrounds with shade in Orlando.

2. West Beach Park

9227 Winter Garden Vineland Rd, Orlando
Distance from theme parks: 10 minutes from Disney; 20-25 minutes from Universal Orlando Resort
FREE

West Beach Park is a small gem located on Lake Sheen on the Butler Chain of Lakes. The park offers two shaded playgrounds, including a tot lot for 2 to 5-year-old children.

The park also has two sand volleyball courts, picnic pavilions, and restrooms.

3. Chapin Station and Neighborhood Park

501 Crown Point Cross Rd, Winter Garden, FL 34787
30 minutes from Walt Disney World, 20 minutes from Universal Orlando

Winter Garden is full of charm and is one of the best neighborhoods in Orlando for families. Chapin Station is one of the best playgrounds near Disney. There are two large play structures, one for younger kids and one for ages 5-12.

Chapin Station Winter Garden Playground and Statues of young kids on bikes
Chapin Station Winter Garden image by Dani Meyering

Plus there is a small sand pit for little tykes to enjoy and a tranquil butterfly garden. Best of all there is plenty of shade and seating.

Restrooms and water bottle refill stations make Chapin Station a very convenient playground.

4. Summerlake Park 

15570 Porter Road, Winter Garden
Distance from theme parks: 10 minutes from Disney; 25-30 minutes from Universal Orlando Resort
FREE

The park includes a picnic pavilion, outdoor exercise equipment, a walking path, picnic tables, grills, and playgrounds. Two playground structures, one for 2 to 5-year-olds and one for 5 to 12-year-olds, both utilize a safety surface and are covered with a shade sail.

Parenting Pro-tip: With the park’s proximity to Magic Kingdom, the park also features a small raised area for fireworks viewing. This is great for times when your family would like to enjoy the fireworks without a park ticket.

5. Celebration Lakeside Park 

631 Sycamore St, Celebration
Distance from theme parks: 15 minutes from Disney; 20-25 minutes from Universal Orlando Resort
FREE

This park located in Downtown Celebration, features a fenced-in playground connected to a path that circles the town’s three main lakes. There is also a small splash zone, a small area with rocking chairs to sit and enjoy the water, and plenty of dining options nearby.

Parenting Pro-tip: Parking nearby requires a parking decal, so try to park along the streets of downtown or residential areas to avoid any issues. 

Attractions Area Playgrounds

6. Shadow Bay Park

5100 Turkey Lake Rd, Orlando
Distance from theme parks: 10 minutes from Universal Orlando Resort; 30 minutes from Disney
FREE

Shadow Bay Park is a rare slice of habitat and a refuge for endangered species. The park has two playgrounds with nature trails. A variety of recreational opportunities are popular at this park including tennis, pickleball, basketball, and fishing are also available.

The park is connected to the Lake Cane Tennis Center so there is plenty of parking available.

7. Bill Frederick Park

3401 S Hiawassee Rd, Orlando
Distance from theme parks: 15 minutes from Universal Orlando Resort; 25-30 minutes from Disney
$5 entry fee per vehicle (keep your receipt for re-entry the same day)

image of large playground at Bill Frederick Park
Bill Frederick Park Image by Dani Meyering

Just four miles down the road from Universal Orlando Resort is Turkey Lake, and the park that sits on the shore is Bill Frederick Park. Explore 187 acres and loads of recreational options. This popular park is host to countless events throughout the year. Enjoy boating, fishing, picnic facilities, trails, and playgrounds.

Image of playground and trees at Bill Frederick Park
Bill Frederick Park Image by Dani Meyering

8. Dr. P. Phillips Community Park

8249 Buenavista Woods Blvd, Orlando
Distance from theme parks: 20 minutes from Universal Orlando Resort; 20 minutes from Disney
FREE

Splash the afternoon away at this colorful splash pad. The array of water structures is sure to please your kids. And the regular playground area and hiking trails are great for drying off before getting in the car.

9. Palmer Park

216 Pine St, Windermere
Distance from theme parks: 20 minutes from Universal Orlando Resort; 25 minutes from Disney
FREE

This park is a hidden gem! They have 2 playgrounds for different age groups with slides, see-saws, and swings. Plenty of parking and green space for playing.

Parenting Pro-tip: There are no restrooms at this facility.

10. Kissimmee Lakefront Park

201 Lakeview Drive, Kissimmee
Distance from theme parks: 30 minutes from Universal Orlando Resort; 30 minutes from Disney
FREE

The lakefront setting adds to the charm of this park. Besides an awesome nature-themed splash pad your family is sure to love the large playground and snack bar.

Parenting Pro-tip: There is a similar park in the area also called Lakefront Park, but this one is in St. Cloud. You’ll find another splash pad at this Lakefront Park in St. Cloud. It is a little older and is beach-themed, with a small water slide for smaller tykes.

11. Shingle Creek Regional Park – Bass Road

925 South Bass Road, Kissimmee
Distance from theme parks: 30 minutes from Universal Orlando Resort; 25 minutes from Disney
FREE

This 40-acre park provides the surrounding neighborhoods the opportunity to immerse in nature, while enjoying passive recreational opportunities. The park includes a playground, a pavilion with picnic tables, and a walking trail.

Tips and Information

  • Dress comfortably, with closed-toed shoes.Performance material, often geared towards fishers, breathes well and provides SPF protection.
  • Bring water and stay hydrated.
  • Pack a few snacks so you can take your time.
author avatar
Meghan Roth

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