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How to Beat the Holiday Crowds at Disney World

We are headed into the holidays, meaning it is the busiest time of the year at Walt Disney World. Looking to get a break from the crowds? We curated a list of the best places in the parks to get some space and recharge.


Main Street USA
Credit: Disney

Center Street on Main Street USA

A quaint, often missed street on the right side of Main Street USA. There are a handful of tables plus plenty of chairs and shade. Enjoy some people-watching and the fun theming of this corner of the park! It’s a perfect spot to enjoy a coffee and a pastry from the Main Street Bakery.

Tomorrowland Terrace

There is never-ending seating over in this corner of Magic Kingdom, plus a pair of hidden restrooms! There is shade, great seating, plus a gorgeous view of Cinderella Castle over the water. You honestly can’t get much better than that! This area is blocked off in the later afternoon for the dessert party, so make sure you soak in the quiet beforehand.

Second floor of restaurants

A handful of the quick service restaurants at Magic Kingdom have seating on the second floor. Most people don’t bother to walk up the steps, so the upstairs area is usually much quieter. Pinoccio Village Haus and Columbia Harbour House have this as an option.

Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Café has an upper section – there are no stairs, but there is a ramp. Grab your food, walk past all of the seating, and before the exit there is a ramp on your left. Much quieter!

Country Bear Jamboree
Credit: Disney

Carousel of Progress, Country Bear Jamboree, Hall of Presidents, Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room

When Magic Kingdom gets busy, head to the less-popular attractions. While these are all classics (and some of my favorites) they don’t see as much foot traffic as maybe Space Mountain or Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. And the extra plus is that they are all air conditioned! Sit down, get out of the heat and the crowds, and enjoy a great show!


Sunshine Seasons

Another quick service restaurant tip – don’t sit down at the tables closest to the registers. Those areas are highly trafficked and feel busy and stressful at times. Keep walking to the edge of the seating areas. At Sunshine Seasons, pay for your food and walk all the way to the right. Next to the Living with the Land queue are tables that are hardly ever utilized. A great place to take a break from the crowds!

The Seas Epcot

The Seas with Nemo & Friends

This attraction is one of the most efficient attractions in the park, and is often overlooked. This queue has great air conditioning and is very dark, making it a great respite from the crowds. It exits into The Seas Pavilion which is another place that does not tend to get overcrowded. There are great educational pieces, air conditioning, and a shop. You can even see dolphins and manatees!

EPCOT China Pavilion
EPCOT China Pavilion

Movies in the World Showcase

Did you know a handful of the countries surrounding World Showcase show films? They are fun, educational, and a great way to spend some time in the dark air conditioning.

Reflections of China
Canada Far & Wide in Circle-Vision 360
Impressions de France / Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along*

*The Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along is a recent addition. The sing-along plays from park-open until 6:00 p.m. The shows from 6:30 p.m. through park close are the original movie, Impressions de France. Be sure to keep an eye on MyDisneyExperience for updated times.

Katusura Grill – Outdoor Seating

The Japan pavilion just brings so much zen to a day exploring EPCOT. There is a hidden quick service restaurant that has some outdoor seating by a water feature. There is some great shade, and I hardly see this area crowded. A great little corner to get away! (Plus the restaurant serves some decent sushi!)



Located over in the quietest corner of the park, this quick service restaurant is a great place to escape. Head upstairs and even go out to the outdoor patio! There is even a dance floor with some amazing music up there if you want to get your groove on.

Muppets Vision 3D

Muppet Vision 3D

Another one of those not-as-frequented attractions, but definitely underrated. If you need any more reason to go, Statler and Waldorf are on POINT. They really are what makes the show.  Keep an eye out for a hidden Jim Henson! Hint: he is portrayed in a muppet form.

Star Wars Launch Bay

There isn’t much of a seating area here, but this is definitely a great place to get away from the busy parts of the park! A handful of Star Wars characters meet in this area (Kylo Ren, Darth Vader, Chewbaca) but there isn’t much else. But the air conditioning here is great!


Flame Tree BBQ seating

Go just past the registers at this quick service location and keep walking down the ramps. Go as low and close to the water as you can. There are less people here with great shade! Bring your own lunch or snacks to the park? This is a great spot to picnic!

Tree of life at Disney's Animal Kingdom Park

Discovery Island Trail

This is honestly one of my favorite spots in Animal Kingdom, and isn’t the easiest to find. Find the exit sign for It’s Tough to be a Bug and walk through it. This trail goes right up against the backside of the Tree of Life. There is a ton of shade, and this is a great way to cut across to Africa from Dinoland. The pathway dumps you out close to Creature Comforts (aka Starbucks).

Rafiki’s Planet Watch & Conservation Station

Hop on the train and head over to Rafiki’s Planet Watch! There are so many hidden gems back here. A petting zoo, animation classes, and even some educational displays from vets! If you have good timing, you can oversee a procedure on one of the animals!

Where do you go to get away from the crowds?

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