Looking for a stress-free, low cost wonderful afternoon near Disney? Celebration fits the bill.
Celebration is Disney's charming anywhere USA town that was built from the ground up in the mid-80's. People came from all over the country to be in a lottery just for the chance to purchase a home in the town. The idea (a dream of Walt's) was that this would be a place where children could ride their bikes safely, a bit of a utopia. Disney is no longer involved but Celebration thrives as a gorgeous town with a lovely lake-front city center and golf course. It's quite large with its own high school.
For children, there is a wonderful outdoor fountain to play in (like the one at the Marketplace but smaller), a lakefront walk (great for strollers), good casual restaurants with outdoor seating and a fun bakery. You can grab a latte at Starbucks or relax on their outdoor patio before you stroll the shops on the main street.
There is a large Columbia restaurant in Celebration. A very popular standby based in Ybor city in Tampa, you can enjoy a leisurely Spanish-Cuban meal here... It's fun and different, kid friendly. Great for large groups.
Celebration dresses up for the holidays and has "snow" once a week. It's a kind of soap bubble concoction that comes down on cue to absolutely enchant the kids. Drive around and look at the lights in the neighborhoods... it's magical!