The heat and humidity in Florida can be draining. Combine that with walking, and possibly pushing strollers, and your day at the park can be down right exhausting. These factors, among others, are why many Walt Disney World park goers decide to take mid-day breaks. Returning to the hotel for a mid-day rest is a popular choice especially when the parks are open late at night. But, depending on what park you are visiting, and what hotel you are staying at, this trip back to the hotel can take a long time. This is why I suggest an alternative. Try taking a break from the action within the parks without hiking all the way back to the resort. I’ll bet those of you that are budget-minded efficiency folks or traveling with small children will really want to see this.
So, here is how I broke it down: I listed my personal favorite places in each park to find peace and quiet followed by the best shows/rides in each park on which to take a snooze. Finally, I gave an overall rating of how easy it is to take a mid-day break in each park.
Being that Disney's Animal Kingdom was the fourth, and most recent park constructed at Walt Disney World, it will also be the fourth and last article in this series. In this article I had to think outside the box. Thinking of great places to take naps on in the Magic Kingdom and EPCOT was easy for me, but this park was especially difficult to find small tranquil locations in. Hopefully this article can help you and your family find rides or locations to take a snooze on, or a quick break in to prevent you from having to hike all the way back to your resort.
If you are interested here are the three other articles of this series, which focus on where to take breaks within the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Best Places To Find Peace, Quiet, And Smaller Crowds:
Outdoor Seating For Restaurantosaurus
Personally this is my favorite spot to take a break within Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Located outside of Restaurantosaurus, or to the left of Dino-Bite Snacks is a small seating area. Completely covered, this area will protect you from the hot sun and the inevitable rain. Even during the peak lunch hours I have always found it easy to find seating in this area. Tuck back almost behind Restaurantosaurus this seating area is typically quieter than most of the park.
The only downside I have about this area is that there can be a lot of birds back there. Most of the birds are looking for food, and I highly suggest not feeding them. For every one bird you feed ten come in its place. If you can brave these birds this might be the best place to take a break within Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Discovery Island Trails
Surrounding the Tree of Life these trails could be the perfect place to take a nice slow walk. In fact even the official Disney’s Animal Kingdom park map defines this spot as a "tranquil location." With large plant growth these trails are mostly shaded, which is a huge plus in Disney’s Animal Kingdom that always to be hotter than most parks. Certain sections of these trails are not very crowded, and finding a bench in the shade is usually fairly easy. The downside to this spot is that it isn’t tucked away like many of the other tranquil locations that I have listed. Because it isn’t as tucked away there will be a slow flow of traffic that passes by.
Small Path Outside Of Dinosaur
For nonsmokers I will let it be known that this is a smoking section, but it typically is not very full. Located on to the right of the Dinosaur attraction there is a small shaded path. While this might not be the best place for children to take a break it could be a great place for people who are tolerant of a little smoke. If you feel uncomfortable near the smoke this pathway is large enough to spread out as much as you need.
Baby Care Center
Just like I stated in the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios articles, if you have small children the Baby Care Center could be a great place to sneak away. This area is great for families with small children that need to get away from the overstimulating features of the park.
Best Shows/Rides To Take A Snooze On:
Before I say anything, let me acknowledge that many guests love all these rides and shows, and that in no way am I saying they should just be used to take naps on. In fact, I highly suggest watching them awake, but in fairness to those who want to find a place to sleep here are my suggestions:
Flights Of Wonder
For those looking to take a snooze in Disney’s Animal Kingdom the Flights Of Wonder show is probably your best option. With no loud special effects and calming narration this show might allow even light sleepers to doze off. Shaded by an overhang this show is darker and cooler than the rest of the park. At times birds do fly over the crowd, but it shouldn’t wake anyone sleeping. I suggest sitting to the side so that you don’t offend the cast members that are narrating the show. Occasionally the audience will cheer to the tricks that the birds respond to, but the clapping is typically a soft “golf” clap that shouldn’t wake anyone trying to take a nap.
This is where Disney’s Animal Kingdom is lacking for families who like to take mid-day breaks. There are very limited choices when you are trying to take a snooze. The Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, and even Disney’s Hollywood Studios all have shows that are worthy for sleeping in, but this is where Disney’s Animal Kingdom has limited options. Besides Flights of Wonder the only other shows are It’s Tough to be a Bug, Festival of the Lion King, and Finding Nemo – The Musical. Unfortunately while all of these shows are great to experience none of them are great to try and sleep through. I almost considered the Finding Nemo – The Musical if you choose to sit all the way in the back, and for some deep sleepers this might still work, but overall the noise from the show will most likely keep everyone awake.
The great use of music and lighting in all of these shows makes for great entertainment, but if you are looking to take a nap these shows aren’t what you’re looking for.
Through this entire series of articles I have typically listed 3 shows and/or rides to sleep on for each park, but for Disney’s Animal Kingdom even with thinking creatively, it is hard to list many attractions as good places for snoozing.
Mid-Day Break Rating For Disney’s Animal Kingdom: D
Similarly to Disney’s Hollywood Studios I have rated Disney’s Animal Kingdom as a D. This is can be a very hard park to stay in if you need to take a nap or even a quick break. With limited options Disney’s Animal Kingdom might require you and your family to return to your hotel if you need a true break. Disney’s Animal Kingdom notoriously runs very hot. This leaves the adults sweaty and the children tired. This combination begs for taking a nice quiet break but with Disney’s Animal Kingdom there are severely limited options. Sadly I had to give Disney’s Animal Kingdom a low grade. This is no reflection on the park in general, but simply how easily guests can take a break or a quick snooze in the park.
This is the last park, and the last article in the series. Thank you to everyone who has read all four articles. If this is the first article you have seen, and you are interested in where to take mid-day breaks in the other three parks you can find those article here:
1) Magic Kingdom
3) Disney’s Hollywood Studios