As the second article of a four part series, this article will look at the best places to take breaks or quick catnaps in EPCOT! If you are interested in the original article, which focuses on where to take breaks within the Magic Kingdom you can find it here.
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 to take a snooze on. Finally, I gave an overall rating of how easy it is to take a mid-day break in each park.
Best Places To Find Peace, Quiet, And Smaller Crowds:
Lobby of The American Adventure
If you like the quietness of a museum, then the lobby of The American Adventure is a perfect place for you to take a break. Additionally the lobby is air-conditioned which is a huge factor in picking a place to find respite. The Voices of Liberty can draw a crowd, and before The American Adventure show is about to begin, the crowds start to build up, but for most of the day the lobby is a nice, cool, and quiet place to escape.
Koi Pond in the Japan Pavilion
If you and your family are looking to find tranquility then the Koi Pond in the Japan Pavilion is what you are looking for. While it’s not as quiet as some of the other locations I’ve listed it does have a water feature that can mesmerize you. The Koi Ponds are calm enough to let your family take a break, yet are interesting enough to not bore those members of the group who aren’t ready to slow down.
Gardens in the United Kingdom Pavilion
The gardens in the United Kingdom Pavilion are tucked away and out of the stream of traffic. With plenty of benches, the gardens of the United Kingdom Pavilion could be the perfect place for you and your family to sneak away from the crowds. Additionally the gardens are beautiful which add to the serenity. Occasionally the cover band the British Revolution will cause the gardens to become crowded and loud, but most of the time I highly suggest the gardens in the United Kingdom as a great place to get away from the racket.
Fountain Area in the Moroccan Pavilion
This is one of my personal favorites. Located on the left side of the Moroccan Pavilion this area features two small benches, and a small fountain. There is little foot traffic in this area, which will allow you and your family to break away from the crowds. When the rest of the park can seem overstimulating, the simple noise of the dribbling fountain in this little area helps to separate from you and your family from the commotion.
Baby Care Center
Just like I stated in the Magic Kingdom article, if you have small children the Baby Care Center could be a great place to sneak away. Located just beyond Future World, the Baby Care Center is in the Odyssey Center. Additionally the music surrounding the Baby Care Center is softer than anywhere else in EPCOT, which helps to create a calming atmosphere. The Baby Care Centers are found in all four parks, so, this suggestion works in more than just EPCOT.
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 exclusively 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:
Impressions de France
The combination of soothing classical music, comfortable chairs, and a dimly lit theatre makes Impressions de France a great place to take a snooze. This perfect combination might make having only about 18 minutes to sleep not long enough. The narrator of Impressions de France does a great job continuing the calmness that is consistent with the rest of the film. At times the classical music does pick up and might wake light sleepers, but for most this should be an easy show to stay sleeping throughout. Again this is no knock on this film as I suggest to watch it awake as well.
Universe of Energy/Ellen's Energy Adventure
The Universe of Energy, home of Ellen's Energy Adventure, allows you to take the longest nap you could possible take on any Walt Disney World attraction. At a whopping 45 minutes long this ride allows you with more than enough time to snooze. When the parks aren’t as crowded there is even room to sprawl out on Ellen's Energy Adventure! The biggest downside is that it can be a loud attraction - between the big bang and erupting volcanoes, Ellen's Energy Adventure won’t allow light sleepers any peace and quiet.
As an all-time classic Walt Disney World attraction, Spaceship Earth understandably has to be experienced awake, but with its relaxing narration and slow moving ride vehicles it can be a great place for a catnap. The biggest downside is that the seats can be uncomfortable, so unless you have a shoulder to lean on this might not be the best place to get relaxed enough to sleep.
Mid-Day Break Rating For EPCOT: A-
I have rated EPCOT at an A- because I believe it might be the best Walt Disney World park to sneak away from the crowds. There are plenty of great places to find peace and quiet in EPCOT even beyond what I have listed. The only thing that keeps me from giving EPCOT an A or an A+ is that a large portion of the best spots to take a nap or just sneak away from the crowds largely favor World Showcase, and that Future World lacks many of the great tranquil places that World Showcase is so ample with. Stay tuned for the next installment of mid-day breaks in the park: Disney’s Hollywood Studios!
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