Naps are absolutely essential to a successful day at Walt Disney World. Human bodies are not designed to survive the high temperatures and treacherous treks through a Disney park. Unfortunately, whether it’s the timing of a reservation or the location of your hotel, it may not be possible to leave the park for your break. Lucky for you, I’ve done the strenuous research to discover the single best attraction in each park for a nap. My recommendations are based on the following criteria:
- Comfort of Seating: It’s impossible to fall asleep if you can’t get in a comfortable position.
- Length of Show: A 2-minute nap will not cut it when you need rest.
- Temperature of Location: The point is to get out of the Florida sun. Naps are time to cool off.
- Level of Noise and Light: If you fall asleep, you don’t want to be jerked awake by noise and bright lights.
Magic Kingdom Winner: Hall of Presidents
Hall of Presidents is famous for its napping accommodations. Unofficial Guide readers report it as their go-to spot for cranky kids—and adults—to relax. The location scores high in all napping qualifications.
Comfort of Seating: The expansive theater holds 700 guests in padded folding chairs. The theater usually is not full, so you have a little more elbow room, though there are still the arms between chairs which prevent you from resting your head on your neighbor (hopefully someone you know).
Length of Show: The show lasts 23 minutes, plenty of time to fit in a power nap.
Temperature of Location: The theater is chilled to almost frigid temperatures, and the lack of crowds prevents increased temperatures from body heat.
Level of Light and Noise: Morgan Freeman’s soothing baritone narration accompanied by colonial music seem purposefully designed as a lullaby. His dulcet tones are what give the Hall of Presidents an edge over fellow nap favorite Carousel of Progress. The volume is loud enough to be heard through the theater, but not so loud as to be disturbing. The theater remains fairly dark throughout the entire performance.
Honorable Mention: Carousel of Progress
Some people may find the rotation relaxing, but I find the starting and stopping more jarring than calming. The ride length is also slightly shorter than Hall of Presidents, at 21 minutes.
Epcot Winner: Ellen’s Energy Adventure
This attraction is my favorite nap location. You’ll often find me stretched out before a walk around World Showcase.
Comfort of Seating: The seats are not padded, but the large capacity and long benches mean you can select your own bench to lay down across. Just make your hands, arms, feet, and legs are inside the vehicle at all times.
Length of Show: The length of this show makes this attraction a top nap location. The 37-minute show is long enough to fall into a deep, drooling sleep, as those who have ridden with me can attest.
Temperature of Location: The attraction is air conditioned. I often find the dinosaur scene to be rather humid, but that may just be the jungle theming.
Level of Light and Noise: The dinosaur scene is rather loud, so I recommend waiting until after that scene to fall asleep during the radio broadcast scene, where it is dark and quiet. Moving throughout the scenes, sometimes the film gets brighter and louder. Luckily, the loudest noise is at the very end of the attraction.
Honorable Mention: The American Adventure
The American Adventure is a good alternative if you find yourself in World Showcase when the need for a nap strikes. The show is a solid 29 minutes long, and the theater provides padded seats and air conditioning.
Hollywood Studios Winner: One Man’s Dream
Hollywood Studios is light on nap locations. Most of the shows are outdoors—no air conditioning—and does not have many slow-moving attractions.
Comfort of Seating: Like Hall of Presidents, the room has padded folding chairs and the theater is rarely full.
Length of Show: The movie is shorter than the ideal nap time, clocking in at only 15 minutes.
Temperature: The film portion is located in an air conditioned theater.
Level of Light and Noise: The film’s narration by Julie Andrews is soothing and relaxing. The only loud noise you may encounter is my sobbing over the beautiful legacy of Walt Disney.
Honorable Mention: Voyage of the Little Mermaid
Grab a seat in the back row to enjoy the intense air conditioning. The attraction is just a little too short for a solid nap at only 17 minutes, and there are flashing lights and loud music.
Animal Kingdom Winner: Finding Nemo: The Musical
Animal Kingdom has precisely one attraction that could possibly be used for a nap, and even that is not a great option. But when sleep calls, head to Finding Nemo: The Musical.
Comfort of Seating: The seating in the theater is wooden benches, and generally everyone is packed in like sardines (pun very much intended). Hopefully you’re close with the people next to you for maximum comfort.
Length of Show: The long length of the show is the main factor that makes this show the best nap option in Animal Kingdom. The show is 35 minutes long.
Temperature: The area is air conditioned but the large number of people in the theater warms the area up.
Level of Light and Noise: It is a full-blown musical, so the music is rather loud, but the theater itself is dark and there are not many bright lights in the show.
Honorable Mention: Rafiki’s Planet Watch Train
The attraction is outdoors and the ride is short, but usually there are empty benches available for lounging.
The most important thing to remember while napping in the park is to be respectful of any performers, Cast Members, and other guests. If you keep those things in mind, it’s sweet dreams. Where’s your favorite Disney World nap location?
Disclaimer: While I am a Cast Member, this article is based on my own experience and does not necessarily reflect the policies of the Walt Disney Company.