Visiting Disney World is the stuff family vacations are made of, but isn’t for the faint at heart. Orlando is not exactly known for its temperate weather and quiet shoulder season when tourism dips. Instead, its theme parks like Disney World see millions of tourists a year. In 2015, the Magic Kingdom alone saw 20.5 million visitors.
Heat, long days and too many people aren’t necessarily a peaceful experience for little ones, especially ones prone to meltdowns. Whether your child is on the spectrum or simply needs quiet time to recharge, you can factor in quiet time at each of Disney’s theme parks with a little planning. Here are five places to find some peace and quiet at Disney World on your next vacation.
Take advantage of Tom Sawyer Island’s relatively low profile status at the Magic Kingdom in Orlando. It features trails, playgrounds, picnic areas and shady benches you can get to by boat from Frontierland. It’s the perfect place for a stroller nap, quiet walk or just to get away from the bustle of the Kingdom.
And here’s a fun fact: Tom Sawyer’s Island first opened in Disneyland and was the only attraction designed by Walt Disney himself. They later recreated it in the Orlando location and Tokyo Disneyland.
Hollywood Studios is all about action-packed movie thrills, and entertainment and its quiet spots are almost non-existent. And some of its only quieter spots like Magic of Disney Animation, closed to make way for new attractions. However, The Voyage of Little Mermaid at Hollywood Studios is not only a fun show but is in a dark, air-conditioned theater where younger kids can snooze while older kids take in the show.
But if you truly need it get away from all of the noise at Hollywood Studios, your options are a stroller walk and nap or hopping a ferry boat to one of the Disney Resorts on the Epcot side. You can still enjoy the lobbies or take a quiet walk along the waterfront.
Animal Kingdom is not exactly known for its cool and tranquil shady spots. It’s an enchanting but extremely hot place to visit and you really feel like you’re exploring Africa on a hot day. The Wildlife Express Train at Animal Kingdom is the perfect way to rest and cool off with kids while still taking in some of the sights at the park. You’ll see behind-the-scenes in Harambe, Africa, while the kids snooze. Ride it a few times if you can and rest up for another adventure.
Epcot has a reputation for being a quieter park than the rest of Disney World’s properties but still gets packed, especially during festivals and around the new Frozen ride. Situated in Epcot’s Canada Pavilion, Victoria Gardens features a totally charming walkway of gorgeous rolling hills, waterways and flowers. Look for a nearby bench or just take a slow walk with a stroller and enjoy the relative quiet.
A nice, air-conditioned boat ride cruising along the Rivers of America is the perfect place for kids to feel the thrill of being on the water without all the bustle. Grab a quiet spot on the Liberty Belle at the Magic Kingdom and rest along a scenic half-mile adventure on a steam-powered paddle wheeler. There is also a Tiana’s Riverboat Party-Ice Cream Social and Parade Viewing with a reserved viewing of the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade. Depending on your child’s need for quiet, this could be a pro or con.
With cooler weather and fall colors on its way, it’s time to plan your fall family travels. Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort PA Wilds in Mansfield is the perfect destination, and with both scary and not-so-scary events, kids and parents alike can celebrate the festive season with trick-or-treating, fall crafts, fun with the Yogi Bear characters and more.
As the only major U.S. airline to own a flight school, United Airlines already hit a major milestone, and now the carrier celebrates another important — and historic — step as the inaugural class of United Aviate Academy pilots graduates, leading the next generation of aviators. The 51 students in the graduating class were majority, at 80 percent, women and people of color — another stride toward United’s goal of training 5,000 new pilots by 2030 with half women or POC.
Oktoberfest is not all about beer. Although beer does play a major role, many of these German-themed fall festivals include activities fun for the whole family. You don’t need to travel to Munich to enjoy the oom-pah bands, lively dances, colorful Bavarian dress and traditional German foods; you can find them in almost all regions of the United States this October. Here are some good choices for families:
Rome is a city full of musts for visitors. You must visit the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps. And the list goes on, all the way down to trying gelato. No trip to Rome would be complete without the obligatory sweet treat, and for good reason. Gelato is delicious, refreshing and it comes in every flavor you can imagine. But while you can find it just about everywhere you turn in the Eternal City, it’s important to know not all gelatos are created equal. The city is brimming with fakes, and once you know how to tell the difference, not only will you see the fake stuff everywhere, but you will also refuse to settle for less than authentic.
United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.
Looking for a unique, fun and educational activity for the kids during your next family travels? Well, Kidzania has you covered. Located in Dallas, Texas, this city is not only built for kids but also run by kids. It’s unlike any other entertainment parks; in Kidzania, kids learn useful knowledge, skills and experiences, all while having the chance to be independent.