Top 12 Quiet Places in Epcot for Children with Autism
As luck would have it, we are experts at finding quiet areas in each of the theme parks at Walt Disney World resort. Read on for our Top 12 Quiet Places in Epcot for Children with Autism.
Our son with autism absolutely adores having a place to go when the crowds get noisy or he gets overstimulated in Walt Disney World. However, any family will benefit from these tips. Every kid occasionally gets overwhelmed and tired in the hot, busy parks.
With autism, it is especially important to take a break away from the sensory overload of crowds and heat. Traveling already changes the routine. Giving back some time for decompressing has always improved our vacations!
If you are a Type A trip planner and loathe the idea of an unscheduled break, never fear. When an unplanned break arises, one parent will wait with the children, and the other will run with Magicband in hand to score a new time on the Disability Access Service pass.
While visiting Walt Disney World with a child with sensory needs or autism may seem overwhelming, we find it to be our favorite travel destination! Epcot is a huge park, full of entertainment and giant buildings. If you know where to look, you can score a little quiet space of your own. We will walk you through the places we have found over the years.
12. International Gateway
For anyone staying at the Boardwalk or the Yacht & Beach Club, entering the park from the rear is a lifesaver. The entrance on the International Gateway is less crowded and typically shaded from the hot Florida sun. Even if you are not entering that way, the International Gateway is relatively quiet compared to the rest of the “world.”
However, the International Gateway is a mainstay for character meet and greets. Consider this if you are hoping to help your child relax. If you are coming from the United Kingdom, head towards France. The International gateway is to the right before the bridge!
Honorable Mention: The Skyliner
If the gateway is packed, keep walking down the hill. You’ll need to leave the park for this option, but I promise that it’s worth it, as long as your child is not scared of heights! After leaving the park, head towards the Skyliner station on your right side. I promise that you can’t miss it, there are authentic gondolas in the sky. You can hop in and ride to the Caribbean Beach resort.
You may have to share the gondola with other families. However, if my son is having a troublesome time in close quarters, I ask for a little Disney magic. If you decide that you want to continue, you have the option to head to the Art of Animation or Pop Century Resorts or Disney Hollywood Studios. We usually just turn around and head back.
The key to this being a relaxing break from the park is to explain it carefully to our son and explain exactly when we will return to the park. If your son sucks up data as ours does, here are some stats:
- The ride from Epcot to the Caribbean Beach Resort station is 11 minutes each way.
- The Skyliner has a turning station that it continues through
- It continues through the new Riviera Resort before arriving at the Caribbean Beach Resort
11. Baby Care Center
The First Aid department is part of the Odyssey Center building next to Test Track. Unsure where Odyssey Center is? It straddles Future World, where it connects with World Showcase by Mexico.
As you walk next to the building, you will see both the First Aid center and Baby Care centers. The areas within are ideal for children in crisis because of the quiet spaces, over-the-counter medication, and other necessities for small children.
However, we usually sit on the bench outside of the Baby Care Center. Our son prefers to avoid the odor of dirty diapers permeating the space!
10. Future World East: The Former Location of Ellen’s Energy Adventure
This area off towards Ellen’s Energy Adventure (and the new Guardian of the Galaxy ride) is pretty low-key.
There is a Joffrey’s coffee cart for parents who are also overwhelmed and exhausted. Whatever you do, get the seasonal cold brew. It hasn’t let me down yet!
9. Imagination pavilion
If you are heading to that brightly colored pyramid, you have two options.
- Shift to the left of the pavilion toward the fountains where the theater lets out. Other than the times where the shows let out, this is peaceful and away from the crowd.
- You can also head to the right outside of the Figment ride. The only drawback? There’s not much shade. However, there is a restroom nearby.
8. The Living Seas
If things have escalated, and you or your little person need a moment to decompress, any quiet area will do. Go to the area outside of the Living Seas. While you can see crowds nearby, you can head away from the Living Seas entrance and towards the opening of the Coral Reef Restaurant, which is a bit quieter than the rest of that bustling area.
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What quiet spaces does Walt Disney World’s Epcot World Showcase offer?
The main attraction in Mexico is the large pyramid that houses the boat ride, San Angel Inn, and the stores and kiosks for shopping. When you enter World Showcase, it’s hard to take your eyes off that magnificent temple.
Keep walking past that structure until you pass the stroller parking. There is an open area to the left near the backstage gate. As long as Donald Duck is not greeting fans, this is a great quiet place to regroup after switching gears.
Germany is located between Outpost and Italy. Once in Germany, head towards Glaskunst. What’s Glaskunst, you ask? That’s the open area shop of glassware in the Germany pavilion of Epcot. There is a lovely garden area nearby.
The only issue? Pairing an emotional child with glassware is the perfect storm. Make sure you walk far around the glass shop!
If you’re looking for tranquility, walk into the Canada pavilion and head through a garden towards the castle restaurant, Le Cellier. Keep walking because the entire grounds of Canda have quiet spots that you can relax. However, our favorite spot is when we venture beside the waterfall by the theater. The rhythmic sound and cool mist are incredibly soothing. It is the perfect place to relax. My children have run and screamed here with only minimal disdain from the public. Kidding (kinda!)
Morocco has a large number of places to escape the crowd.
- Head towards the left in Morocco, you will enter a building with a wooden door. When you continue, you will cross an atrium that is cool and quiet (even in the hot summer months). If you hit this gorgeous tiled planter with a tree in it, turn left. You will see the door. Look at my children’s pose for photos, Morocco, or not!
- Keep walking to the very back of the Morocco pavilion. There is a covered space that is very quiet and cool near the table service restaurant, Restaurant Marrakesh. If you head this way, avoid the shops and incense.
If you head to the right of the path where we are pictured, there is a perfume store. Continue to the right of the store, and you will find a quiet area to relax.
We used to love to see Impressions de France. With the new updates to the area, this may eliminate this area as one of the best quiet spaces.
2. United Kingdom
Find your way to the middle of the pavilion across from the pub. Keep walking until you reach the garden area. Avoid any shows and characters and keep going to the rear.
There is a shaded hedge maze that looks like it popped out of a children’s novel. (We’re looking at you, Through the Looking Glass!) The labyrinth is only waist-high, so it’s enjoyable for all ages. The entire area has a gazebo, and it is tranquil (not that my children understand tranquility). My kiddos love to chase each other through this space while creating vivid stories.
Funn fact: my three-year-old daughter often is the knight saving her hapless older brother. There is nothing more valuable than family in these Walt Disney memories
1. Italian gardens
With your back to the gorgeous Italian pavilion (and the tall sculpture), walk away from the bustling spirit of Italia. When you head towards the water, you will see one of my favorite areas in all of World Showcase. Grab your smartphone or your tourist Dad camera and start snaping- I promise you this is also instagram worthy!
As you approach, you will cross a gorgeous bridge. The lagoon is complete with gondolas. This luxurious retreat resembles the canals of Venice. Also, send a grown-up to snag a glass of wine. There is a wine shop directly to the right of that skyscraper sculpted man! What’s not to love?
Runner-Up Quiet Restaurants with Last Minute ADRs
While the 180-day windows for reservations at Walt Disney World make snagging your last minute reservation difficult, you have options! We can almost always snag Nine Dragons in the China Pavilion. While the cuisine is nothing to write home about, it is Chinese food that won’t break the bank (relatively speaking- you’re in Disney!). Better yet, you’re in a serene, air-conditioned space.
Top 12 Quiet Places in Epcot for Children with Autism
This collection of the top 12 quiet places in Epcot for children with autism has helped our family immensely. Our children need to have a chance to reduce stimuli, decompress, and refresh their overwhelmed brains. Our whole family enjoys our frequent breaks to promote a better overall mood.
Where in Epcot do you go to hide from the chaos?
If you are interested in quiet places to retreat to in the other Walt Disney World parks, keep reading!