If you’re going to Orlando, you probably already know about all the theme park options. Disney, Universal, and Sea World are huge vacation destinations that draw large crowds to Orlando each year. But sometimes you need a break from the theme parks, and you might be looking for things to do on your day off. The Crayola Experience in Orlando is a great option for families with young children. (Check out their website here).
(You may also want to read 13 Easy Day Trips from Orlando to Enhance Your Disney Vacation)
We’ve been living in Florida for almost 4 years now, and had never had a chance to visit the Crayola Experience. In fact, we lived in the Twin Cities in Minnesota for 5 years before that, which is near another Crayola Experience location in the Mall of America, and had never been to that one, either!
Since we knew we would be in Orlando for a few days checking out the Coco Key Water Resort, we decided to add on the Crayola Experience and make it the most kid-friendly weekend we could. I’m going to share a guide to the massive attraction along with a few tips for visiting with young children.
Disclosure: We received 2 free media tickets to review the Crayola Experience in Orlando. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission off sales made through these links at no extra cost to you.
CRAYOLA EXPERIENCE ORLANDO GUIDE FOR FAMILIES
PLANNING YOUR VISIT TO CRAYOLA EXPERIENCE ORLANDO
Crayola Experience Orlando is located at the Florida Mall:
8001 South Orange Blossom Trail
Orlando, Florida 32809
It is open Monday - Friday from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., then on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.
I would recommend arriving right when the Crayola Experience opens at 10 a.m. You’ll beat the crowds and get a chance to do some of the more exciting exhibits before there is a huge line.
You cannot bring food into the Crayola Experience, so make sure to have a snack before you go. You can also buy food at Cafe Crayola if you want to eat lunch there. It’s fairly inexpensive, and they have plenty of kid-friendly food options.
HOW LONG DOES THE CRAYOLA EXPERIENCE TAKE?
I would set aside bare minimum 2 hours. It will probably end up taking closer to 3 or 4 hours if you want to really get your money’s worth and do everything there is to do.
WHAT IS THERE TO DO AT THE CRAYOLA EXPERIENCE?
The Crayola Experience was FULL of fun things to do for kids, and we adults even found ourselves getting excited about some of the exhibits and attractions. Buying your tickets and the gift shop are on the first floor, and all of the attractions are located upstairs.
WRAP IT UP
Right when you enter the 2nd floor, you’ll see the wrap it up station. We didn’t do it right away because we saw it required you to use the tokens you received when you bought your tickets, and we weren’t sure if we would need the tokens for other things.
It turns out we didn’t. Unless you want to buy modeling clay or paint to do some of the art projects, you won’t need your tokens for anything else.
Wrap It Up is a station where kids can pick their favorite crayon color and pick a name for their crayon, then print out their very own wrapper. They can then go to the wrapping station and either hand-wrap their crayon or use the handy machine.
My husband and I got in on the fun, too, picking fun crayon names and trying different colors.
SILLY SELFIE STATION
The Silly Selfie Station is a bank of computers that take your picture, and you can add hats, beards, glasses, lipstick, crazy hair, and more to make your selfie, well, silly! Your picture then shows up on the wall, and our kids were absolutely giddy to find their crazy pictures floating around on the screen. There’s even an option to email the photos to yourself to remember your day.
What would the Crayola Experience be without a chance to color? There are thousands of crayons available to kids at the coloring station, but my kids still found a way to fight over specific crayons.
There are lots of coloring pages to choose from, too! This area is perfect for toddlers and young kids to take a little break from all the excitement and craziness.
COLOR PLAYGROUND AND TODDLER TOWN
There are two playgrounds within the Crayola Experience Orlando. One is for bigger kids and the other is specifically for toddlers. We split up and let the older kids play on the Color Playground while my husband watched our 1-year-old climb around Toddler Town.
It was honestly one of their favorite parts of the day, and they kept begging to go back to it when we were done, which made me laugh because we can go to a free park with a playground literally ANYtime. I wanted them to participate in more of the unique Crayola experiences, so I forced them to move on.
What a mean mom.
MELT & MOLD
This activity really stood out to my kids (even more than the playground), and they couldn’t stop talking about it for the rest of the day. In the Melt & Mold section, staff members help kids put a crayon into the melting machine where they choose what shape they want to mold the wax into: a ring, a shark, a car, or a seahorse).
They get to keep their newly formed crayon, and I showed them at home how they could actually still color with it if they wanted. My daughter chose a ring (no surprise there), and my son originally chose a shark, but dropped it literally seconds after the employee handed the finished product to him. He went back later to get a car and ended up being very happy with his choice.
This is another section that requires a little bit of help from the employees. Kids again get help putting their crayon in a melting machine, but this time the melting wax is used to make art. They put a circular piece of paper into the bottom of the machine where it spins and catches the dripping wax to form a lovely pattern on the page.
MELTED WAX PAINTING
I found the Melted Wax Painting exhibit to be really cool, as did my 5-year-old daughter, but this area might not be for younger kids. You get to work with pens that are literally heating up a crayon so that you’re painting with the wet melting wax.
The pens are a little warm (as you can imagine), and my 3-year-old is extra sensitive to things like sound, temperatures, and crowds, so of course he didn’t like the feel of the warm pen. I did the painting for him as he directed me what colors he wanted to use.
My 5-year-old daughter, on the other hand, could have done this activity all day, and had the time of her life creating a melted wax masterpiece.
This was one of the best spots for our toddler! Basically kids stand in front of a large screen where colors are pouring down. They show up on the screen and the rain moves around them so it looks like they are being soaked with color. It’s adorable, and actually holds their attention for a few minutes.
I’m going to be really honest…the Adventure Lab made me feel dumb. We did our adventure together as a family, and you get a tablet that asks you to complete 3 challenges. Now I’m assuming this is meant for grade school aged kids to complete, so you wouldn’t think the challenges would be that difficult. But once we saw our 3- and 5-year-old struggling to get anywhere, we assumed the lab was meant for older kids and decided to jump in and help.
You guys. We are two adults in our 30s with college degrees, one a teacher and the other a former teacher turned writer, and we could NOT figure out how to complete these challenges. And they’re timed. It was very stressful.
We did get a good laugh out of it though.
Color Magic is an activity where kids color a picture, then scan it onto a computer where it comes to life. My kids talked about it nonstop, but that’s all I could tell you about it since I was in charge of chasing our toddler around at the time. It looked pretty cool, though!
BE A STAR
Kids can pose in front of a green screen, get their picture taken, and have it made into a coloring page with a background of their choice! You then have the option to print it out. I think this station was one of my favorites, and my kids loved trying out all their different poses.
There are a few more stations we didn’t get to during our time there, but I quickly realized that you could spend an entire day in the Crayola Experience and never run our of things to do! We decided to keep our visit on the shorter side since we have a very active toddler.
For other families with toddlers: our stayed surprisingly engaged for a lot of the time we were there. You can do or modify a lot of activities to help them get involved. If your toddler is not quite as crazy as ours, you could easily stay for the recommended 3-4 hours.
MORE TIPS FOR THE CRAYOLA EXPERIENCE
ARRIVE EARLY OR LATE
I know I already stated this in the opening section, but I truly think it bears repeating. When we arrived shortly after 10 on a Saturday, the crowds were sparse and we pretty much had our pick of activities and machines.
When we were getting ready to leave closer to 1 in the afternoon, the place was hopping and there were families everywhere. It got louder (obviously) and we had to wait a little longer for certain activities. I can’t imagine arriving at that time! It would be so overwhelming.
The other option would be to arrive later in the afternoon as the crowds are starting too thin. Maybe do lunch and let the kids do their afternoon nap or quiet time, then head over to the Crayola Experience.
Don’t just sit scrolling on your phone. I know…it’s very tempting when you’re in a kid-centric environment. But I thought a lot of the activities were really interesting and I loved being able to talk about them with my kids later. Show them you’re interested! Also, you paid for your ticket so make the most of it!
BUY AN ANNUAL PASS
As I was looking up the prices online, I noticed that an annual pass is just a few dollars more than a one day pass. You might not get to everything in one day, so if you know you’re going to be back in the Orlando area at some point, it’s totally worth it to buy the annual pass.
BRING CASH AND CHANGE
To participate in the art stations, you can either use the coins you receive at the beginning to get supplies, or you can pay 50 cents. Our kids didn’t seem too committed to doing the art projects, and I knew we had a lot to fit in that day, so we didn’t bother doing it. If we ever go back, though, I will definitely be ready with some spare change!
I hope this was helpful as you plan your trip to Orlando and decided what to include during your time there. Out kids had the time of their life at the Crayola Experience and can’t wait to go back! This is definitely something you can do with young kids and toddlers, so I highly recommend adding it to your Orlando schedule.
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