There’s no denying that the Walt Disney World Resort is a very popular vacation destination for many Guests, which, in turn, can lead to heavy crowds at nearly all times of the year. While crowds are just a part of a Disney vacation, they can become overwhelming and Guests might find themselves looking for quiet spots to escape the chaos. These “secret” quiet spots aren’t necessarily true secrets, so much as overlooked areas throughout the four Disney Parks that are hidden in plain sight.
Guests who find themselves in need of an escape from the crowds in the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, or Disney’s Animal Kingdom should definitely plan on checking out these quiet spots for a few moments of peace at the Walt Disney World Resort.
Tom Sawyer Island
One of the best examples of a secret quiet spot hidden in plain sight within the Disney Parks is Tom Sawyer Island in the Magic Kingdom. This wonderful spot can be found in the middle of the Rivers of America in Frontierland and is accessible only by rafts that ferry Guests back and forth from a dock not far from the Country Bear Jamboree. Tom Sawyer Island is always quiet and offers up some amazing spots to sit and take in beautiful views of the Liberty Square Riverboat, Frontierland, and Liberty Square, in addition to fun areas to explore including spooky caves, Fort Langhorn, bobbing barrel bridges, and more.
Discovery Island Trails
Discovery Island in Disney’s Animal Kingdom is always bustling thanks to popular locations like Flame Tree Barbecue, Tiffins Restaurant, Discovery Trading Company, Adventurers Outpost, and photo spots for the Tree of Life. Guests looking to enjoy the lush beauty of Discovery Island while escaping the crowds can head to the Discovery Island Trails, an often overlooked area of winding pathways that bring them up close to the roots of the Tree of Life for the chance to relax. The entrance to the Discovery Island Trails can be found opposite Pizzafari, and those who take the time to wander will find new details and even some animal habitats to enjoy without heavy crowds.
The Voyage of the Little Mermaid Queue
While most of the experiences in Disney’s Hollywood Studios have reopened following the COVID closures, The Voyage of the Little Mermaid show in the Animation Courtyard remains shuttered. The show is absolutely missed by Guests, however, the large queue now offers up an incredibly quiet place to avoid the crowds and relax for a few moments. Featuring shade, bench seating, and the chance to escape the crowds moving to and from nearby Toy Story Land, the queue of Voyage of the Little Mermaid is just steps off the beaten path, but a perfect place to relax.
Imagination Pavilion Fountains
Everyone loves Figment and enjoying a ride on Journey into Imagination with Figment while spending time in EPCOT’s World Nature neighborhood, but many miss a wonderful quiet spot just steps away. To the left of the large glass pyramid that houses Figment’s attraction is a ramp that winds up towards the top of the Imagination Pavilion, where Guests will stumble upon a series of unique fountains where the water leaps and jumps overheard in a whimsical pattern. Not only are the fountains entertaining to watch, Guests can also enjoy a unique view of Spaceship Earth without the crowds that can regularly be found on the path below.
The quick-service restaurants of the Magic Kingdom are typically always crowded, especially during normal meal times, but one location that is open seasonally offers up a great place to avoid the crowds and relax. The Tomorrowland Terrace is an open-air quick-service restaurant nestled between The Plaza Restaurant on Main Street, U.S.A., and the main walkway into Tomorrowland that is only open during very crowded times of the year and on select nights for ticketed Dessert Parties. During the day, the Tomorrowland Terrace is a fantastic quiet place just steps from the crowds to grab a seat, relax in the shade, and soak up some stunning views of Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom.
Maharajah Jungle Trek
Disney’s Animal Kingdom is home to many popular attractions, but one that often goes overlooked is the Maharajah Jungle Trek in the Asia area of the Disney Park, not far from the exit of Kali River Rapids. This self-guided walking trail offers up quiet areas where Guests can wander and enjoy lush vegetation, animal habitats, and even amazingly detailed palace ruins in the Royal Forest of Anandapur. With plenty of benches in the shade and very low crowds, the Maharajah Jungle Trek is the perfect “secret” spot hiding in plain sight!
Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail
A second self-guided walking trail in Disney’s Animal Kingdom offers Guests an additional place to escape the crowds. Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail can be found in the Africa area of the Disney Park near the exit of Kilimanjaro Safaris and welcomes Guests to wander through quiet and winding pathways that are rarely ever busy. In addition to several buildings and areas along the way, Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail ends with a stunning gorilla habitat featuring rolling green hills, lush vegetation, and flowing waterfalls where Guests can enjoy viewing the gentle giants with very few crowds.
BaseLine Tap House Patio
BaseLine Tap House in Disney’s Hollywood Studios is a very popular quick-service location in the Grand Avenue area of the Disney Park that serves up a limited menu of small bites and beer and wine selections from California on tap. While the location is very busy after opening each day, its outdoor patio is a great spot to avoid the crowds and relax for a few during the morning hours. The patio features picnic tables with bench seating and several high tops, all shaded by umbrellas with gentle breezes from overhead fans. BaseLine Tap House is the perfect “secret” spot right in the middle of the action to kick back and avoid the crowds during the mornings in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Sunset Boulevard Patio
Another dining location where Guests can enjoy some peace and quiet from the crowds before opening can be found on Sunset Boulevard in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Near the end of the street near The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith are several quick-service locations with outdoor ordering counters, including Rosie’s All-American Café, Fairfax Fare, and Hollywood Scoops. Behind these locations is a very large open-air patio with plenty of seating that is very quiet and relaxing in the morning hours before lunch is served. Guests looking to enjoy the ambiance of Sunset Boulevard without the busy crowds should definitely plan on spending some time on this lovely patio.
Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Café 2nd Floor
Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Café in Frontierland in the Magic Kingdom is a very popular and busy quick-service location that is open each day for lunch and dinner. The main dining area features several different rooms where Guests can enjoy their Southwestern-inspired meals, and it can be hard to find a table on very crowded days in the Disney Park. What most Guests don’t realize is that there is a “secret” upstairs dining area in Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Café that features several tables overlooking Frontierland below that is rarely ever crowded and a great place for a quiet meal.