Disney World can be OVERWHELMING.
Thousands of people, lots of noise, long lines for most things, and lots of panicky families trying to create magical memories…sometimes it’s a little too much. So what do you do when the chaos gets the best of you and you start to feel anxious in the middle of your vacation? Well, recently we’ve shared some of our favorite hidden spots to visit in Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, or Hollywood Studios when the anxiety gets to be too much, but now we’re heading to Animal Kingdom!
Trails Around the Park
First up, let’s talk about the trails around the park! Sometimes all you need to calm down is a peaceful walk, and if that’s what it takes, Animal Kingdom has you covered. Our favorite spot for a bit of alone time is probably the Discovery Island Trails, also known as the Tree of Life Trails. They surround the park’s massive icon, and usually, they’re a lot less crowded than other areas of the park.
You can enter behind the tree near the bridge to Africa or across from Adventurer’s Outpost (where you meet Mickey and Minnie). Or, you can get up close to the front of the icon by visiting the Tree of Life garden, which has entrances near Pizzafari and across from Discovery Trading Company. While you’re wandering through the trails, make sure to take a look at the many amazing carvings on the tree — there are over 400 animals depicted!
There are also some pretty spectacular animal trails in Africa and Asia if you’re interested in exploring the wildlife. The Maharajah Jungle Trek and the Gorilla Falls Trail are both filled with live animal habitats and while they might get busy in certain spots (like in front of the gorilla habitat!) there are often quiet little nooks where you can watch the animals peacefully.
Finally, we have to mention the “secret” pathway that runs from Africa to Asia. This little walkway provides a breakaway from the main road complete with a quiet bridge, a seating area, and hardly any people!
If you get the chance to go “off the beaten path” we definitely recommend it.
Besides all the hidden pathways, Animal Kingdom is known for having its fair share of random seating areas. There are multiple of these spots along the Discovery River (namely in the Asia section of the park) where you can pull up a chair and watch the flotillas go by. As a bonus, many of them are located next to snack stands, so you can grab a treat beforehand!
And remember that seating area we mentioned on the walkway between Africa and Asia? That’s a great go-to spot when you need to get away. There are a few tables underneath an awning, and they even have fans to cool you off. This spot is located close to Caravan Road in Asia.
It’s not ideal in the summertime when it’s scorchingly hot outside, but the Discovery River Amphitheater is another great place to get away. There are plenty of seats, so you can avoid other guests if you’d like, and currently, there’s not a daytime show happening in the theater…so you’ll get some peace and quiet.
As an added bonus, the flotillas come through the amphitheater, so you’ll get a great view of the characters.
Restaurant Quiet Spots
If you’re looking for a place to dine AND relax, there are a few great options at Animal Kingdom. Restaurantosaurus may not seem very chill, but we’ve definitely been there a few times when some of the dining rooms were straight-up EMPTY. Just head all the way to the back and you might find a table that’s nice and quiet. (Plus, the tables inside the Airstream are super cool!)
Another great place to head when Disney World gets to be too much is Flame Tree Barbecue. This restaurant has multiple outdoor seating pavilions, and usually, a few of them are somewhat empty. Just keep in mind that we’ve occasionally run into some pesky food-stealing birds here. So if birds make you more anxious, you might want to avoid this one.
But our favorite place to dine when we’re feeling anxious? Nomad Lounge. Nomad Lounge is the ultimate relaxing dining experience, maybe in all of Disney World. You can eat inside or outside on the patio, and you’ll get to sit in comfy chairs and choose from a menu of small plates and fancy drinks.
The views are spectacular, the food is delicious, and it has been so calm here in the past that we’ve sometimes been tempted to fall asleep in our seats.
Pandora — The World of Avatar
Okay, before you write this one off — hear us out. We know that Pandora is an incredibly popular land, but it can also be peaceful and serene. You just have to find the right spot.
First of all, don’t go near the rides or restaurants, but instead, stick to the small pathways in the middle of the land. There you’ll find hidden details that you may not have noticed before, and you’ll get to avoid the crowds while still experiencing the beauty of Pandora.
When the crowds have died down a bit toward the end of the day, Pandora is absolutely STUNNING to explore at night. The bioluminescence is unlike anything else in Disney World.
Finally, we have to talk about the first land you visit when you enter Animal Kingdom — The Oasis. Most people just walk straight through here on their way to Discovery Island, where you can find more excitement with rides, attractions, shopping, and dining. But the Oasis is littered with fun animal exhibits and small nooks where you can enjoy a quiet moment to yourself.
When it’s the middle of the day and guests aren’t running in and out of the park as much, you’ll find that this land gets a little quieter. During that time, we encourage you to explore the pathways, watch the waterfall, and try and find the “hidden” rope bridge. It’s an under appreciated gem of the park.
So there you go — the best places to visit in Animal Kingdom when your anxiety is through the roof. It definitely happens to the best of us, and that’s why we’ve put together these guides. We want you to be set up for success during your vacation!
Make sure to check out the rest of our anxiety guides for the theme parks, and stay tuned to DFB for all the best tips for your upcoming trip. We’ve got expert advice to share with you for your vacation!
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What’s your go-to quiet place in Animal Kingdom? Tell us in the comments!
The post 5 Places to Escape in Animal Kingdom When Your Anxiety Is Through the Roof first appeared on the disney food blog.