Finding peace and quiet at Walt Disney World….sounds like “mission impossible” doesn’t it? Disney is many things, but for the majority of the day, the busy-ness and excitement of the resorts and theme parks create an energy….and the noise level to go along with it….that is the complete opposite of peaceful, or quiet.
Still, there are times during your Disney vacation, when that is just what you are going to need. You may have little ones that just won’t nap with distractions. Perhaps you are the one that wants a quiet place to relax and unwind for a few minutes. Or maybe you just want to sit and relax in a nice cool place and get out of the sun. Whatever the reason, this is something that everyone will go looking for at one point on their trip. Where do you go?
Now if you are a Disney resort guest, you have the benefit of going back to your hotel for a few hours: taking that much-needed afternoon pool or nap-break can do wonders to recharge everyone’s battery.
But what if going back to your hotel is just not convenient? You may not be staying on Disney property. Or you may have limited park time, and don’t want to waste several hours traveling to your hotel and back again? Or, like us on New Years Eve day, the parks were very crowded, and we just did not want to take the chance of leaving and possibly not getting back in?
The good news is, there are lots of places in or near the parks where you can do just that. Following are some of our favorites:
- Hall of Presidents in Magic Kingdom. Admit it, you already thought of this. I know for many, this is the ultimate snooze location, whether you need one or not. But all kidding aside, this is a great place to relax for 10-15 minutes: it’s dark, it’s relatively quiet, it’s cool when you need a break from the Florida sun and heat, and if you nod off for a few minutes, who will really notice?
- Tom Sawyer Island in Magic Kingdom. This is a great place, because so few people actually take the time to go here! Perhaps not the perfect place in the middle of the summer, when you may want to go inside somewhere, but for most of the year, the quiet shady spots here are just what you need to rest and unwind for a while.
- Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover in Magic Kingdom. This is also outside, so also may not be the perfect solution when it’s brutally hot, but this has the advantage of moving (meaning it has a breeze). The movement is also perfect for those who find that motion turns them into Rip Van Winkle in an instant. Trust me: this one really works.
- The American Adventure in Epcot. Cool in the summer, warm in the winter? Check. Dry when it’s raining? Check. Dark inside? Check. Fifteen minutes or so? Check. Comfy seats? Oh yeah. This has all the prerequisites. Just do yourself a favor: Go here sometimes when you’re NOT tired too, because this is an amazing show that shouldn’t *always* be slept through….
- The Impresssions de France movie in Epcot. See #1.
- The Writer’s Stop in Hollywood Studios. Comfy seats in a quiet secluded part of the park on the Streets of America, make this one of my current new favorites. The only problem is the coffee and snacks….caffeine and sugar won’t necessarily help you snooze. But you can relax with a good book, and that’s a nice break too.
- Many trails in Animal Kingdom like the Discovery Island and Pangani Forest Exploration Trail can provide a natural and quiet respite from the hustle and bustle of the parks. Find a shady bench and put your feet up for a bit, while you watch for wildlife….oh and there are animals too.
- The monorail is not exactly *in* the parks, but is right outside, and you have the added movement which can put folks right to sleep. While this won’t be effective necessarily at the busiest times of the day, or during peak/holiday seasons, when the crowds are lighter and it’s the middle of the afternoon…you may be privileged to get a car pretty much to yourself. And if not, it’s still nice to get off your feet and enjoy the view.
- Boats are the favorite of many, for relaxing transportation, as well as potentially a place to catch 40 winks. Disney loves their boats: There are the Friendship boats that go around World Showcase, between Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and the resorts in that area, as well as the boats that travel between the Magic Kingdom and the surrounding resorts. Then there are the Ferry Boats that travel from Magic Kingdom to the Transportation and Ticket Center and back again. Fun yes…but relaxing too, and a very picturesque way to rest for a bit.
- Resort hotel lobbies may be one of my favorite places to unwind for a bit. Yes, to visit you need to leave the parks, but the deluxe resorts that are near Magic Kingdom and Epcot/Hollywood Studios are right next door, and well worth making a visit. They are each unique, beautiful, and offer many lovely and quiet benches, cushy sofas, comfy rocking chairs….and even hammocks. Consider dinner at one of these resorts, and head on over an hour early to relax first…it’s the perfect start to a great evening.
These are, of course, just a few: there are countless wonderful places for you or your little ones to take a nap or just sit and do nothing. I would love to hear about your special little places where you relax for a bit….if you feel like sharing your secret!