Today I bring to you another Top 5 post, aka what I write when I don’t have any other ideas! I’m half kidding there haha. If you have followed me for a LONG time, you’ll know that back in the day I had a blog all about my Disney College Program. That blog is now back in the archives and not public anymore, but once upon a time I wrote a pretty popular post about my favorite Walt Disney World rides to take a nap on.
That list contained some amazing nap spots, but since the time I wrote it some of the attractions in question have been closed, some rankings have changed, and it’s just overall in need of an update. So today I’m bringing you my list of favorite places to take a quick break and catch some Zs in the midst of a crazy Disney day!
The criteria for a good nap ride are as follows:
- slow moving as to not jolt you awake
- relatively comfortable seats – ideally you would be able to curl up, recline, or lay down fully but RIP Universe of Energy 💔
- medium to long in duration, so you can get a good length nap in
- contained in a dark environment for uninterrupted slumber
- indoors to allow for A/C
- not too loud so you can rest peacefully
First I need to give a special mention to the best nap ride that has ever existed, but is no longer with us:
Universe of Energy was a top tier nap ride…45 minutes of dark, air conditioned relaxation time, and ride vehicles as big as a house! You could fully lay down on the seats…honestly how is anything else supposed to compete with this? When I went on this for the last time before it closed I realized that I did not remember most of the ride because I spent most of my previous trips sleeping. It used to be a tradition for me to go to Ellen’s every year for my birthday and take a nap, but unfortunately that had to end this year 💔
RIP Universe of Energy/Ellen’s Energy Adventure – 1982-2017
But anyway…we won’t dwell on the past. Here’s some of my favorite places to stop for a snooze at Walt Disney World:
- Epcot – Future World
- 15 minutes
- Semi-hard bench seats
- Slow moving ride with quiet spoken narration and music
The original nap ride. When I was on my college program this was my go-to before I discovered Ellen and it remains one of my favorites. That part at the end where you’re in the dark with the blue lights all around might as well be some kind of hypnosis for me. One time our ride vehicle paused in that room and I had a delicious little power nap – that was the nap that sparked my desire to find the best nap rides out there. The seats could be more comfortable but it’s a decent length, good darkness level, and entirely contained in the glorious A/C. A true classic.
Carousel of Progress
- Magic Kingdom – Tomorrowland
- 21 minutes
- Soft individual seats with good leg room
- Rotating theater with 4 easy-to-sleep-through scenes
This is my go-to in Magic Kingdom. The huge capacity means there’s never a line, even on busy days, and the comfortable seats allow you to get snoozing right away. It’s all in the dark and nicely air conditioned, and I find that the slow movement of the rotating theatre really help to lull you to sleep nicely. I love this attraction on a day where I’m wide awake, but it makes an even better refuge for a little nap – as long as you don’t mind humming the theme song when you wake up.
The American Adventure
- Epcot – World Showcase
- 28 minutes
- Cushy individual seats and you’ll probably have the whole theatre to yourself
- Stationary theatre with spoken dialogue and pleasant music
This is an attraction that I only recently began to fully appreciate, but it definitely belongs on this list because I actually have never fully watched it without falling asleep lol. It ticks off all the criteria on our list – cushy seats (the WDW website touts “plush velvet seats”), air conditioned, total darkness, super long…and I’ve never seen the theatre more than half full myself. It’s also a perfect stopping point for your eating/drinking around the world adventure since it’s halfway through the World Showcase. If you need a quick break from the weather or maybe just the rest of your party…this is a good place to do it.
- Hollywood Studios – Grand Avenue
- 15 minutes
- Very comfortable seats in a large theatre (easy to hide in the back)
- 3D show with Muppety dialogue and plenty of bad jokes
This may be my only pick in Hollywood Studios but that’s because
Hollywood Studios only has 4 rides it’s one of the all time greats. On my first trip together with my friends Sarah and Ana, we took an AMAZING nap here…like, mouth open, drooling, leaned over in the seat nap. It was glorious. MuppetVision is a great one because it has comfy seats as usual and is pretty empty most of the time. I also like that you can just take off your 3D glasses to give yourself a mesmerizing and sleep-inducing view of the screen. The best part though is that if you do happen to wake up from your slumber, you’ll be in the middle of a hilarious show full of Muppety friends. It’s not hard to quickly fall asleep (especially if you’re sitting in the back) to the sound of Kermit’s dulcet tones.
Impressions de France
- Epcot – World Showcase
- 18 minutes
- Squishy (if a bit old) seats in a big theatre with lots of room to spread out from other tourists
- Beautiful music, a little bit of narration, and scenes of France to lull you to sleep
If you read my Dogs at WDW post (why do I write so many pointless posts about Walt Disney World hahaha) you’ll already know that I love LOVE Impressions de France…but not only is it one of my favorite Epcot attractions, it’s also one of my favorite nap rides. It’s great because it’s almost all just music, and it really helps you get to sleep like a gentle lullaby. Not to repeat myself here haha but it’s also usually empty and with great comfortable seats. I do like to watch this one rather than use it as a nap spot usually, but I’ve definitely napped here before and I know I will again in the future.
Honorable mention goes to the PeopleMover – it’s a good resting ride but not as much a nap ride due to how fast it moves, and the fact that it’s partially outdoors. Good for a nice spin around MK and still one of my favorites, but not the best nap ride (though still worth a mention here).
I also wanted to mention some rides that may look deceptively good for napping, but you actually want to avoid….
- While Impressions de France makes for a great nap, avoid O Canada and Reflections of China because you actually have to STAND in those! They’re 360 films so it’s meant to be in a room where you can stand and turn around. Not to say they aren’t great films because they ARE, but just not great for napping!
- Finding Nemo the Musical might be nice if you’re sitting in the back, but in the front seats you actually have people running down the aisles which can make for an unpleasant awakening. Also despite the fact that it’s super long and in the dark – those seats are just REALLY uncomfortable and not suitable for sleeping!
- Don’t even think about napping at It’s Tough to Be a Bug, because there is no part of being stabbed in the back by a hornet that says “peaceful naptime” to me!!!!
Finally, notice that Epcot has the most rides on this list…and remember that Epcot is my favorite park…things make a bit more sense now right? Of course my favorite park has the most nap rides ❤
But that’s all I have for today! I know there are other rides that are good for napping out there – what are some of your favorites? I hope you enjoyed this post and thank you for reading as always 🙂