Tonight a brand-new Character Experience opens at Disney’s Contemporary Resort with the Pixar Play Zone. Located on the resort’s 4th floor (where the arcade was located), the new location offers a multi-hour experience for children age 4-12 allowing parents & guardians an evening sans younger members.
Pixar Play Zone opens at 5 p.m. each evening while their scheduled activity periods begin at 6 p.m. and the fun concludes at 10:30 p.m. Throughout the evening, your children can opt into the organized activities or enjoy the arcade games, crafts or toys available. Dinner and snack are also provided.
At check-in, you’ll be presented with the location’s menu and food choices are made. Then the children will proceed to the Monsters Inc zone handwashing area. Kids will immediately recognize the oversized canisters and Monsters logo alongside the child height sinks. Then they’ll travel past Boo’s door where you’ll find lots of cubbies to store a jacket, etc. to the large open space. In the middle of this space is a giant video screen that serves as a gathering point for select activities. For our sneak peek, Space Ranger Colleen Armstrong led us in a special Jr. Space Ranger training session. She taught us various space ranger poses and then she would call them out in random order while we tried to follow along and take the correct pose. After impressing her with our efforts, we took the Space Ranger oath, which concludes appropriately, “To infinity and beyond!”
Space Ranger training is among four activities currently programmed for each evening. Woody’s Round-up is a similar activity hosted by Woody and Jesse but exploring the world of cowboys & cowgirls and concluding with a sing-along.
Another activity of the Pixar Play Zone is the Radiator Springs Racetrack with a colorful Radiator Springs as its backdrop where the kids can build their own racecars (Duplo blocks) and challenge their new or soon-to-be friends on the soapbox derby style straight track.
And the evening concludes with an Incredibles Super Dance Party hosted by Mr. and Mrs. Incredible where kids can learn the superhero shuffle.
The offerings and design at the Pixar Play Zone will be familiar to any Disney fans whose children have experienced Disney Cruise Line’s Oceaneer Club. And as with the Oceaneer Club, kids can join in on the organized fun or have their own fun. In addition to the evening’s activities Pixar’s Play Zone has a variety of crafting opportunities as well with coloring pages, a suncatcher type coloring activity and others all featuring characters from the world of Pixar, and reminiscent of Pizza Planet, there’s also an arcade. The games are all free play and the team selected games that encourage interaction with others such as head to head challenges like skeeball, Hoops or Fast and the Furious, active play such as Surfers or Alpine Racer and for the younger set they even have the arcade game Super Big Rig which offers smaller kids the chance “drive” with a seat big enough for two so they can invite a friend to play along.
Wandering the Pixar Play Zone, I spotted an easel hosting poster with a story of Woody waiting for various adjectives, verbs, nouns, etc to be filled in “Mad Libs” style as well as a bean bag toss featuring Emperor Zurg. There’s also a collection of toys, playsets, etc. in an area themed to Bonnie’s room. Our tour guide shared the story from a recent evening where a couple of girls spent most of the evening creating all sorts of stories and adventures together as they played with the Cinderella Castle playset.
Over and over throughout our brief sneak peek at the new location, our guide — show director Tony Giordano — highlighted stories of friendship and fun that reflected the memory making we expect from Disney experiences. Clearly the team behind this endeavor is seeking to bring an experience beyond simply Disney-themed childcare to Walt Disney World. They want your child to leave with their own special memory of the time spent. So if you’ve been putting off that romantic dinner for two at California Grill or evening strolls and drinks at Disney Springs or Epcot you can now step out as a couple knowing that your children will be having their own memorable experience at Pixar Play Zone.
Call 407 824 KIDS (5437) to reserve a space. $65 plus tax per child. Availability is limited and reservations are strongly recommended.