Disney World is more crowded than ever with the 50th anniversary celebration plus people finally feeling ready to travel again. We love seeing things beginning to return to normal, but the crowds can be hard to manage.
We are both moms of older kids AND babies. The struggle is real sometimes (all the time) and we have found ourselves needing an escape on numerous occasions. But there are many reasons you may find yourself needing to get away from the masses at Disney World. Anxiety, headache, over stimulation, napping child, the list goes on. So where do you go when the crowds become overwhelming?? Can you still enjoy your vacation? Can everyone in the family of ALL ages still have a good time?
The answer is YES!! If you know where to go.
So let’s break it down.
Definitely the most congested of the parks, but there are several quiet places to decompress. The baby care center at every park is a good place to start. Be sure to read our earlier post on breastfeeding at Disney World that highlights the benefits of the baby care centers. Magic Kingdom’s center is located next to first aid beside Crystal Palace restaurant.
Go to Liberty Square. There is a quiet spot often unoccupied behind Ye Olde Christmas Shop. You’ll find a few benches and tables in this area, and hardly any people. We have seen cast members taking their breaks here, so clearly it is typically a good spot for a rest from the grind.
Tom Sawyer Island is a nice getaway location to let your kids have some freedom to run around unencumbered by the crowded walkways. Take a short raft ride to the island, but be sure to check operating hours (island often opens around 11am and closes around 5pm) and know you cannot bring a stroller.
If you’d prefer to sit somewhere, but not miss out then perhaps a riverboat cruise is a good choice. Board near the haunted house at Liberty Square. Cruises typically run every 20-30 minutes.
Also, keep in mind as the day goes on, we also find near the front entrance to the park can be much quieter. We like the restrooms here as well if you are in need.
Annnnd finally, when the train reopens (hopefully soon!) then you can also consider boarding and taking a ride away from the congestion. The train is a fun experience, and a welcome respite for tired feet.
Epcot has many pockets where you can catch a break from the crowds. Our current favorite is the walkway between Test Track and World Showcase. Specifically, the Odyssey Pavilion that houses Eats at the Epcot Experience. This is a quick service counter restaurant with lots of INDOOR seating. Take advantage even if you aren’t hungry. Good spot to cool down. The bathrooms near here are also usually much less crowded.
The Epcot baby care center is a short walk from Eats at Epcot Experience. Just keep heading toward Mexico and you’ll find it on your left beside First Aid.
Over on the other side of Epcot, the World Celebration section has Imagination with Figment and a Disney Pixar short show next to one another. This area has several pockets of breathable space, but our favorite is close to the Pixar show in between showings. By Figment is also a good restroom.
In the World Showcase we recommend the international gateway near the back entrance to the theme park. If you’re confused just keep walking toward the skyliner station, you can’t miss it.
Lastly, similar to the River boat cruise at MK, you can take a boat ride. There are several locations to board in the world showcase (near entry, Germany, and Morocco). The difference is you can actually use the boat transportation to get from one side to the other, or simply enjoy the ride.
Hollywood is tricky. We’ve found ourselves overwhelmed in Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Story Land on occasion. When the big kids are riding Slinky Dog, we’ve pushed the stroller over to a meandering exit path for Toy Story Mania. People will be exiting the ride here, but it is usually a slow trickle and the path is wide.
Backlot Express quick service restaurant on the other side of Galaxy's Edge has tons of seating. You can easily find a table over here and take a few moments for yourself or calm an over-stimulated child.
On the other side of the park down Sunset Blvd, we like the tables at Sunset Ranch Market. We have even nursed comfortably in this location at a back table facing away from the street.
The baby care center is more inconveniently located at Hollywood, right at the front entrance. But this is also a good place to keep in mind if you desperately need to escape the heat or have a struggling little one.
The baby care center at AK is on Discovery Island close to Africa. Centrally located and always a good escape haven.
We also really like the path between Pandora and Africa. We have found some peace and quiet with a napping child in the stroller close to Festival of the Lion King.
In Asia, the exit to Kali River Rapids is a good spot. You also have a great view of the Gibbons romping around overhead.
In Dinoland USA, the far corner by the service exit and bathroom is our favorite spot to do circles with the stroller and a sleepy baby inside. Do not make our mistake of walking through the carnival area. There are many bells and alarms that seem to sound at the most inopportune times.
Remember, the baby care centers are not only for babies. You can absolutely utilize these facilities even if your children are older. You can also find ibuprofen and Tylenol at most merchandise stores. Go straight to the check out counter and ask a cast member.
Have you found any good quiet spots at the Walt Disney World Parks? Any tips to getaway from the crowds for a bit? Share your favorites down below!