By Disney Diva
This morning I got a great question from Martha that read:
“Hello. I am a fellow Disney lover and have been blessed to have gone to WDW many times throughout my 25 years of life. I just discovered your blog, love it, and have learned many things now that I’m a new mom. I agree with you 100% about the mid-day breaks, however will find it hard to go back to my resort because it will be about 15/20 mins away. Do you have any other suggestions for me who will not benefit from a back-to-resort-break (being that my 2 yr old naps for about 2 hrs +/- plus the 1hr total drive to and from)? perhaps some nice napping spots in the parks? I’ve always been able to last all day with a few min breaks and never really paid attention for convenient resting spots for tots. Thanks so much and i cant wait to hear from you! “ – Martha
First off, thanks for reading Tips from the Disney Diva! I’m so glad you are enjoying it and are learning some new things! I hope you’ll share the tips and the blog with your friends and family.
So in regards to your question Martha, when your kid starts making a face like this: And its too far to go back to your off-property resort, you need some quiet places to just relax and let the little one “sleep off” the over-stimulation. So Diva husband and I have compiled a list of what we think are the BEST places to nap/chill at Disney World.
We’ve ranked our favorites in each park.
Luckily Magic Kingdom has tons of little spots to escape to. You wouldn’t think so, but you have to know where to look. Our top in-park spots are:
1. Tom Sawyer Island: Plenty of shade, benches, & even rocking chairs. Its fairly remote and very few people head over there. There is a trail to what use to be Aunt Polly’s ice cream shoppe that has tons of tables still at it and its away from everything. Potential downsides: If the Liberty Belle Steamboat blows its horn it may startle your little one. No air- conditioning.
2. Inside waiting area for Hall of Presidents: You don’t have to go into the show unless you want to, but its very mild and relaxing too. Great air-conditioning and very few people travel through there, but if they do they are usually older and more respectful of not being loud while you’re little one’s trying to sleep. You can also ask a cast member if you can sit in the back and just sit through multiple shows, usually they don’t care. Plenty of places to sit in the lobby and in the show itself. Potential downsides: a loud group COULD potentially come through and the room echoes a bit.
3. Walkway between Castle and Liberty Square: If you are coming out of Fantasyland just before you go through the castle turn right. Usually Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother is doing her meet and greet. As you go down the walkway there are many shaded benches and, of course, BEAUTIFUL views of the castle for you. Very few people take this walkway. Potential downsides: Fireworks happen at the castle show, so if you’re going to nap there make sure that the show is not going to interrupt the nap. Also they’ve got a new Move it, shake it, celebrate it show that comes near there that can get loud. There is a pavilion next to the Sleepy Hollow (aka the funnel cake store) that is shaded and has many tables to sit at.
4. Carousel of Progress: Before you get on it ask a cast member if you can sit through multiple shows while your child naps. Its pitch black, the show is very relaxing, and its got great air-conditioning. Potential Downsides: if you’re watching multiple shows people could be coming down your row in order to exit and make you move, very irritating. Also, if your kid doesn’t fall asleep and has a melt-down its hard for them to stop the show and you to make a graceful exit.
5. Liberty Square behind Christmas Shoppe: There are a few little niches around Liberty square where you can relax on a bench. Potential downsides: Tiana’s meet and greet show can now make this area a little loud, but if you hit it just right its very relaxing and shaded. There is also a smoking area back there.
I personally like to ride the People-mover, aka Tomorrowland Transit Authority, over and over again, but Diva Dad disagrees that it’s a good spot. I like it because you can get a nice breeze. He says its too “jerky” and the gas-fume smell from the Tomorrowland Speedway keeps you from relaxing.
Also, if you can get in there (sometimes its blocked off) there are tables BETWEEN the Pecos Bill and Tortuga restaurants that are COMPLETELY QUIET, dark, and air-conditioned. I suggest going in the Tortuga side as the Pecos Bill “seat police” are completely out of control. (Read more at: http://tipsfromthedisneydiva.blogspot.com/2011/04/beware-seat-police.html
TOP TIP SO PAY ATTENTION:
If your kid takes “SERIOUS” naps, like 2+ hour ones, you don’t need a place to sit for a while, you need a get-away! Many people do not know that you can leave the park and go to one of the resorts to relax EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT STAYING THERE!!! The Deluxe Resorts & Vacation Club locations have amazing lobbies and many little niches you can get away in to relax. It is 100% OK for you to go and soak up the quiet and air-conditioning at any of these resorts.
Magic Kingdom CLOSEST RESORT HOP: Get on the boat to Wilderness Lodge, walk to the Disney Vacation Club wing and there is a room called the Railroad room. It is the BEST, most quiet nook, we’ve ever found. There are many comfy chairs for you and it is air-conditioned and dead quiet during the day. You don’t have to be staying there to get in there. Just ask someone where the room is and they’ll point you in that direction.
Wilderness Lodge lobby has some great couches and rocking chairs to enjoy and I’m sure there are places in the Polynesian & Grand Floridian, we’ve just never “squatted” there. Contemporary has too much “echo” for me.
1. American Pavilion waiting area & show: Like the Hall of Presidents, the American Pavilion has a great air-conditioned waiting area and has a show with MANY MANY rows of seating. The show is longer than the Hall of Presidents, even less crowded, and you can potentially sit through multiple shows. Again, ask a cast member if you can sit there. Potential Downsides: Noisy group?
2. France – Go all the way to the shop in the back and turn left there are some small tables and air-conditioning, get coffee & snack from the patisserie! Potential Downsides: The kid-cot is in there, but I don’t think its used all that often.
3. Japanese Gardens: shaded and quiet if you can find a spot to sit. Potential downsides: loud groups coming through to do the Kim Possible Adventure.
4. Canada- O’Canada film: This film shows in the “round” and the movie is on all sides of you. The air-conditioning is nice and its fine for you to sit on the floor. Again, you’d have to ask a cast-member if its ok for you to sit there through a few shows. Potential Downsides: I’ve only been nauseated 2x ever at Disney World. When Mission Space only had one operating mode and sitting through the O’Canada show. Makes you wanna puke, eh?
5. Back area of Imagination between the ride and the shop. Rarely explored by families there are a few little areas you can squat if need be.Potential downside: could have a rowdy group come through.
CLOSEST RESORT HOP: Walk (or ride the boat) out of the International Gateway Beach Club. They have a great Lobby that is air-conditioned, has many couches to relax in. Again you NEVER have to be staying at a resort to enjoy their lobbies and restaurants.
1. Conservation Station: It is very remote and most likely people would leave you alone out there. The rocking motion of the train to get you out there might help your little one to “conk-out”. Potential Downsides: Its possible a loud group could come through.
2. Dinosaur Trails: Right in front of the Dinosaur Ride there are trails with benches. They’re in the shade and very few people realize that they are there. Good place to escape. Potential Downsides: Its pouring rain.
3. Walkway where stroller parking happens for Nemo. Yeah, that’s pretty self-explanatory. There is actually an area that is at the BOTTOM of the Nemo area (where the show lets out), near the bathrooms, where you can relax for a while. Potential Downsides: The show lets out and a bazillion people interrupt your nap.
We honestly don’t know a lot of places in Animal Kingdom because we don’t nap on Animal Kingdom days. We always do a full day at AK and a “relax night” at the resort because the park closes early. However there are MANY little covered areas on the walkway between Africa and Asia to relax if you can get there before someone else. And areas around the tree of life to relax.
CLOSEST RESORT HOP: Animal Kingdom Lodge is dark and has a great places to sit for hours in their lobby. Their restaurant, Jiko, is not open for lunch and has a very cool waiting area that is extremely remote with some benches and chairs to relax in.
1. Back-lot Express: Right beside the Honey I shrunk the kids playground there is a restaurant, Back-lot express, that as far as we’ve seen, never has people at it. Its covered and pretty quiet and has many tables to sit at and relax. Potential Downsides: The restaurant is actually open for once, but its doubtful.
2. Starring Rolls: Besides the yummy pastries, Starring Rolls has some good outdoor tables with umbrellas that could provide some shade and it’s a little bit off the beaten path. Potential Downsides: its busier in the morning
3. Going past Toy Story Mania and up a bit on the left there is a bench that is always in the shade that may be good. Potential Downsides: People being loud waiting in the EXTREMELY LONG queue for Toy Story Mania.
4. Animation Courtyard: between the character greetings and the gift shop there are some rooms with Oscars and stuff like that. Its quiet, but I’m having a hard time remembering if there is seating as I usually just jet through there. You have to go around through the character greetings, cant go through the gift shop any more.
5. The waiting area for Backlot Tour is also covered and usually gets a good breeze. Don’t go to the show though, its horrible. haha Potential downside: loud groups coming through.
Hollywood studios is the WORST park for napping in WDW in my opinion. There’s not enough shade and concrete for miles. If it were up to me and it was HWS day I’d resort-hop.
CLOSEST RESORT HOP: Get on the boat and whichever resort it stops at first (Boardwalk, Yacht or Beach) get off the boat and go enjoy their quiet (air-conditioned) lobby!
Right after I finished my article I remembered an article I read by Bill at Mouse Junkies about his favorite benches at WDW. You might want to check it out http://mousejunkies.com/thats-just-weird/walt-disney-world-from-your-butt/ It’s a great blog!!
So there’s my top resting spots Martha, but I’m sure my readers have MANY MORE. IF you have a great spot to share with Tips from the Disney Diva readers PLEASE COMMENT and share with the WHOLLLLLLEEE class!!!
Whew, after writing all that I need a nap myself!