Child Sleeping
  • Aug 6, 2023
    Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    I am looking for suggestions of places or activites for an hour or two of calming/slowing down/resting for my 5-year-old who becomes overwhelmed/tired (but doesn't nap) in the middle of the day.

    Greetings, Friend! Thanks for trusting planDisney with this question and I think you've come to the right place. A mid-day break is always on my preferred itinerary for a day in Disneyland Resort, and I, too, have a 5-year old whose strong-willed resistance to naps often wrinkles my plans!  

    I'm happy to share my favorite tips for how we navigate a slower pace in the middle of a high-energy day in the Disneyland Resort theme parks. 

    • Take a full-circle ride around Disneyland Park on the Disneyland Railroad. This scenic (and educational) journey around the park lasts about 18 minutes and you may enter or exit at any of the four stations: Main Street, U.S.A., New Orleans Square, Mickey's Toontown, and Tomorrowland. If you board and stay on for back-to-back trips, you'll have over a half-hour of rest time!
    • Another slow-paced attraction is "it's a small world," in Fantasyland. I once timed it at 16 minutes because my husband wanted to know the longest time he could stay in an air-conditioned attraction! If your little one won't be overstimulated by the music and movement, this is another family favorite that can help everyone slow down, at least for a bit!
    • We also love to visit the Main Street Cinema to watch classic short films like Steamboat Willie and Traffic Troubles. Again, this is climate-controlled and there's something deeply nostalgic about Walt Disney's original cartoons that makes this a must-visit spot for us in the middle of the day. 
    • Over in Disney California Adventure Park, don't miss the Animation Building which contains a number of different interactive spaces, including the Animation Academy where Guests can learn to draw a beloved Disney character, the Sorcerer's Workshop, and the main lobby where you can sit and watch scenes from your favorite Disney films in a 360-degree panorama. This is one of my favorite mid-day destinations and I find that we can easily spend a good hour there resting our feet and taking in the ambience!
    • If you walk toward Grizzly Peak and face the Eureka water wheel (which helps load ride vehicles for the Grizzly River Run attraction), turn to the right and walk down the path behind the attraction. It's a fairly hidden, less-traveled walkway surrounded by the sounds of the waterfall and almost peaceful enough that you might forget you're in a theme park! 
    • Speaking of peaceful vibes, I love the majestic lobby of Disney's Grand Californian Hotel and Spa which frequently features a live pianist playing classical Disney tunes and a cozy hearth fireplace with rocking chairs that would calm any restless soul! You don't need to be a Guest of the hotel to enjoy the lobby, plus it is near one of the best quick service locations in my opinion, GCH Craftsman Grill if you need a quick snack or something to hydrate. 
    I hope this was a helpful inventory of restful locations to spend your mid-day break! If we can help with any other recommendations, please feel welcome to call on us again here at planDisney.

    Wishing you Wondrous Journeys,
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Meet the Panelist: Tishra, Washington

From my casita to yours, welcome to planDisney! I'm Tishra, a Spanish-speaking Colombian American living in the Pacific Northwest. I'm a college professor, a happy wife, and a mom to two little girls who hold magic in their hearts as much as their parents do! Our family believes in celebrating every milestone, from life's biggest moments to all the details in between. If you want to commemorate something special with a Disneyland Resort vacation, I'm here to help you out in English or Spanish. Learn More About Tishra

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