When you are going from rope drop to park close at Walt Disney World, it can be a real challenge to your endurance. This can be especially true for kids. Younger children can nap in a stroller or even at a mid-day reprieve back at your resort. But what do you do about kids that are a little bit older? They still need a break to recharge during the day, so they do not have a meltdown. Here is what we do:
*Table service restaurants – This is our #1 option. Make advanced dining reservations for at lease one table service meal- ideally, for lunch. This allows you about an hour or so to sit in the air conditioning and relax for a bit. Besides, everyone must eat, right? My kids know the drill by now. My younger daughter will even take a power nap while waiting on our food. One year, she missed seeing the Beast at Be Our Guest because she needed her beauty sleep.
*Rides – There are several rides that give you a place to sit for a good amount of time. I schedule these rides back-to-back to give my kiddos some much needed down time without taking them away from all the “action” of the parks. Here are my favorite go-to’s:
1) Magic Kingdom – Carousel of Progress, Tomorrowland Transit Authority People Mover, Hall of Presidents, “it’s a small world”, Mickey’s PhilharMagic, ride a train around the park on the Walt Disney World Railroad & Liberty Square Riverboat.
2) EPCOT – Spaceship Earth, The Seas with Nemo and Friends, Frozen Ever After, Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros, Living with the Land, Turtle Talk With Crush, Impressions de France (France Pavilion) & any entertainment on the stage in the World Showcase across from the American Pavilion.
3) Hollywood Studios – Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage, Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, For The First Time In Forever – A Frozen Sing-A-Long Celebration, Muppet*Vision 3D & Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy.
4) Animal Kingdom – The Animation Experience, Na’vi River Journey, Festival of the Lion King, Finding Nemo – The Musical, Up! A Great Bird Adventure, It’s Tough To Be A Bug, & Kilimanjaro Safaris.
*Quiet Spots – There are several out-of-the-way areas to sit and relax (and people watch) for a few minutes, or casually stroll around.
1) Magic Kingdom – the garden areas in front of Cinderella Castle (also known as the hub), the area around the Baby Care Center & behind the Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe.
2) EPCOT – KidCot areas in the World Showcase, United Kingdom, Japan and Canada Pavilions all have garden areas off the beaten path, American Heritage Gallery, the little hideaway set apart in Morocco, just behind Tangerine Cafe. If you head up the steps to the right-hand side of the Canada Pavilion Trading Post, you will find yourself at a location in the Canada pavilion where few other guests venture. Nothing much is up here, apart from a waterfall trail and some benches.
3) Hollywood Studios – Outside of the Tower of Terror exit, at the end of the street of Pixar Place (it can be fairly quiet most times), The Baby Care Center areas, the courtyard by PizzeRizzo, all around Echo Lake & Walt Disney Presents.
4) Animal Kingdom – walking Discovery Island Trails around the Tree of Life, tucked away to the left of the Dinosaur ride entrance, a little known trail- Cretaceous Trail- offers a quiet area with shade and benches, situated around Discovery River is plenty of shaded, quiet seating with stunning views of the Tree of Life. And the waterfront space near the Flights of Wonder Caravan Stage in Asia is a great spot.
5) Transportation – All the Friendship Boats and ferries are super relaxing, and the Skyliner and monorail are also good for a little down time. You can always just take a round-trip!
*Disney Resorts – Any of the monorail resorts are good options for taking a break in the lobbies, or getting a drink or snack from the quick service restaurants. From EPCOT, take the International Gateway Entrance/Exit to the Boardwalk. Also check out the beach areas of Beach & Yacht Club Resorts around Crescent Lake. From Hollywood Studios, take a boat to the Boardwalk resorts and from Animal Kingdom, take a bus to Animal Kingdom Lodge.
There are so many others places to relax and give your kids some much needed down-time. If you would like all our best tips and tricks for YOUR next Disney or Universal vacation, we’re here to help! All of our travel planners can help you have the most magical vacation ever! Use the form below to get started!
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About the Author
Jill Reich is a founding member of the Middle of the Magic Travel Parent Panel. She is a mom of 2 girls, 16 & 13 years old, and her goal is to build relationships with families to cultivate a lifetime of shared magical memories.