Disney With Special Needs: Taking a Break at the Disney Parks

Walt Disney World is a busy place so if you are traveling with someone with special needs it is always nice to know a couple of calm areas to take much needed breaks. When we travel to the parks with my brother (he has autism) just taking a few breaks throughout the day really helped keep him going. So, here are some calm areas that can be enjoyed at the Walt Disney World parks anytime of the year.

Magic Kingdom

Strolling down Main Street U.S.A., it is easy to overlook the little street off to the right nestled in between Uptown Jewelers and Crystal Arts. It leads to a seating area with a couple tables and chairs. It is located only feet from busy Main Street, but it is actually quite quiet. I was able to video chat with my family once while sitting there. It’s a great area to take a break because you are still immersed in the Disney atmosphere, but just in a more secluded area. There are also a couple Disney touches on the little street, you can faintly hear the sound of a piano playing and someone singing.  It is also shaded which is really nice on those extremely hot days in the Florida sunshine. Some other calm areas located in Magic Kingdom include:

  • The upstairs of the Columbia Harbor House restaurant located in Liberty Square. It’s a great place to grab lunch, upstairs overlooks the Haunted Mansion and it has air conditioning.
  • The Tangled area located by It’s a Small World. It has restrooms, seating, water fountains and places to charge your electronic devices.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom is the largest out of the four main parks, but it does supply its guest with areas of shade with tropical trees and plenty of spots to enjoy the air conditioning. Some areas to keep in mind while visiting Animal Kingdom are:

  • By the attraction Dinosaur located in DinoLand U.S.A., there are a couple different refreshment carts serving drinks and frozen treats. There are also shaded areas and places to sit down.
  • Maharajah Jungle Trek in the Asia part of Animal Kingdom. It has trails you can walk through, it’s usually very peaceful and it’s nicely shaded. You see different types of animals including the Asian tiger. It’s great if you want to keep moving, but want a more serene atmosphere.
  • The Wildlife Express Train located in the Africa part of Animal Kingdom. It is a train ride, so you are off your feet for a little while. You get a backstage glance at the animals and some animal care facilities.


Walking around the world can seem daunting, but Epcot has some places that are great for resting and still enjoying the culture. Between the Morocco pavilion and the France pavilion there is an open area with grass. It is located right by a restroom and overlooks the water. It’s a great place to lie down or just sit down for a while. Other calm areas in Epcot are:

  • The area behind the shops in the England pavilion when the bands are not playing. They are some benches, and some areas are shaded.
  • The terrace located in the Japan pavilion. It has nice seating, a calming atmosphere and has a great view of the water.
  • Innoventions East and West located by the Electric Umbrella in Future World. It has air conditioning, has some low key activities that you can participate in and it has seating.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios has its share of thrill rides, but it also some areas where you can take a rest and still feel like you are a part of the movies.

  • The Great Movie Ride is an excellent low key attraction. It’s air conditioned, you journey through the movies and you get to sit down for a while. It does contain some loud parts, so be cautioned.
  • The Writer’s Stop which is located by the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant. It is a calm spot and also has delicious carrot cake cookies.
  • ABC Commissary can also be a nice spot to relax usually: depending on the time of day, the best times would be early morning or late in the afternoon. They have a nice selection of food, they have plenty of seating, it is air conditioned and movie props you can look at.

So no matter what parks you are visiting on your vacation it is possible to find areas that don’t really take you away from the Disney experience, but let you relax while still having the magic Disney always delivers.

Do you have a special calm area you have found in the parks that you enjoy?

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Paige was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida. Her frequent family trips to Walt Disney World started her Disney obsession and sparked her dream to be a cast member. Paige’s dream came true when she participated in the Disney College Program in 2012. She worked at Casey’s Corner, The Plaza Ice Cream Parlor and the Main Street Bakery. Paige shares, “I love to live by Walt’s words, ‘All your dreams can come true if you have the courage to pursue them.'”

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