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Pooh’s Playful Spot
 
“Let your little ones enjoy this large play area with tree trunk tunnels, whimsical water fountains, a honey pot to climb into and slides to ride! Here, parents can sit down, relax and watch their kids play in Pooh’s world.”  — Walt Disney World website, 2009
Pooh’s Playful Spot at Magic Kingdom Park

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2009

It’s said that Walt Disney was inspired to create Disneyland while sitting on a bench watching his young daughters ride the Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round. Walt wanted a park filled with things the whole family could enjoy together.


But, even in Walt’s park, some attractions would be for a limited age group. The King Arthur Carrousel, with 72 leaping horses, was essentially a better version of the Griffith Park ride. The Midget Autopia was for children too small for the other Autopia rides.

At Yester Magic Kingdom, there’s an attraction designed just for 2-to-5-year-olds—with benches for their parents. It’s Pooh’s Playful Spot.

Pooh’s Playful Spot at Magic Kingdom Park

Photo by Allen Huffman, 2006

Hundred Acre Wood

Pooh’s Playful Spot at Magic Kingdom Park

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2009

Crawl-through tree trunks and tree trunk slides

Pooh’s Playful Spot at Magic Kingdom Park

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2009

Honey—or “hunny”—pots with spilled honey (yellow surface)

Pooh’s Playful Spot at Magic Kingdom Park

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2009

Floody Place with spurting fountains

Pooh’s Playful Spot at Magic Kingdom Park

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2009

Pooh’s house in and behind a large tree

Pooh’s Playful Spot at Magic Kingdom Park

Photo by Allen Huffman, 2006

Piglet “upstairs”

Pooh’s Playful Spot at Magic Kingdom Park

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2009

Somewhat weathered Piglet, after a few years of leaning out from the tree

Pooh’s Playful Spot at Magic Kingdom Park

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2009

Name above the door

You might wonder about the name above the door. It’s from the book, Winnie-the-Pooh, by A.A. Milne:

Once upon a time, a very long time ago now, about last Friday, Winnie-the-Pooh lived in a forest all by himself under the name of Sanders.

(“What does ‘under the name’ mean?” asked Christopher Robin. “It means he had the name over the door in gold letters, and lived under it.”

“Winnie-the-Pooh wasn’t quite sure,” said Christopher Robin.

“Now I am,” said a growly voice.

“Then I will go on,” said I.)

Pooh’s Playful Spot at Magic Kingdom Park

Photo by Allen Huffman, 2006

Wobbly spelling

Pooh’s Playful Spot at Magic Kingdom Park

Photo by Allen Huffman, 2006

More Wobbly spelling

Once again, the book provides the answer:

“Because my spelling is Wobbly. It’s good spelling but it Wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places.”

Pooh’s Playful Spot at Magic Kingdom Park

Photo by Allen Huffman, 2006

Pooh’s house, attached to the base of the tree

Pooh’s Playful Spot at Magic Kingdom Park

Photo by Allen Huffman, 2006

Inside

Pooh’s Playful Spot at Magic Kingdom Park

Photo by Allen Huffman, 2006

What’s on the beam above the arch?

Pooh’s Playful Spot at Magic Kingdom Park

Photo by Allen Huffman, 2006

Captain Nemo’s submarine, the Nautilus!

Pooh’s Playful Spot at Magic Kingdom Park

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2009

Good night, Pooh.

Pooh’s Playful Spot isn’t for everybody—but for its target guests, it might just be the second best attraction in the whole park.

The best attraction, of course, is anyplace in the park with a family of ducks. Quack, quack.


Pooh’s Playful Spot opened at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World on September 1, 2005.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea at Magic Kingdom Park

Photo by Werner Weiss, 1983

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

The site of the playground had originally been part of the lagoon for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (October 14, 1971 to September 5, 1994), the Florida counterpart of Disneyland’s Submarine Voyage. After the ride closed—“for repairs,” until it became clear it would never reopen—the lagoon sat idle for ten years before being removed and filled in.

As the replacement for one the park’s biggest E Ticket attractions, Pooh’s Playful Spot was exceedingly modest. It served its purpose—a place for 2-to-5-year-olds to release energy under the eyes of their parents. There was good design work. And it probably generated some merchandise sales at the nearby Pooh’s Thotful Shop.

Pooh’s Playful Spot did not last five years. It closed permanently April 11, 2010.

The next attraction on the site would be much more elaborate.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom Park

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2016

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, a family roller coaster with a dazzling show scene, officially opened May 28, 2014.

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh at Magic Kingdom Park

Photo by Allen Huffman, 2006

Original façade of The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh at Magic Kingdom Park

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2016

Newer façade of The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

Part of Pooh’s Playful Spot lives on. About a month after the playground closed, Disney brought in a crane to move the impressive 120-ton tree a short distance to become part of a new exterior for The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.

The ride lost its old tournament tent façade and traditional Fantasyland queue. Its noisy interactive queue is either fun or annoying, depending on your point of view.


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Updated March 24, 2017.