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QUIET PLACES at Disney Parks in California

Updated: Nov 3, 2023

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Let's face it, when we plan a trip to Disneyland, we always have this vision of an overcrowded park full of rude visitors and non-stop walking. The loud attractions, food and over-stimulated children running around unsupervised also come into mind and make us cringe with displeasure. While this may prove true on certain occasions and some days, it's not always as crazy and anxiety-filled as we think it is. Pass-holders usually have chill-out sessions where walking slow and taking the time to enjoy the park take precedence over rushing from attraction to attraction with many fastpasses in hand. Passholder or not, everyone should be able to find a quiet, shady place to rest or have lunch or to just sit and enjoy the day.


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Main Street Opera House

The Main Street Opera House is considered to be the oldest building in the Park, even though it wasn't originally the Opera House; it served as the Park's lumber mill until roughly 1961. From 1963–1964, The Opera House served as the “Mickey Mouse Club Headquarters.” Young guests could sign-up and receive an official membership card. The Disneyland Story Presenting Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln is a two part show which begins with a condensed version of how Disneyland came to be and is hosted by Donald Duck and Steve Martin (who worked at Disneyland in his younger days). You can rest while enjoying the presentation then venture around the room to take in small-scale models of several Disneyland Park attractions, and of artifacts attributing to President Lincoln. This is the transition to the Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln presentation which is an informative narrative about our 16th president. Usually, a few guests attend each show so you'll have some much-needed rest. You will also find a scale model of Disneyland Park as it looked on opening day, July 17, 1955, a carousel horse from the Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round, rare illustrations, artifacts, artwork and models of attractions, behind-the-scenes photos of Walt Disney and the short film Disneyland: The First 50 Magical Years, a nostalgic look at the park

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Main Street Cinema

Walt Disney opened Main Street Cinema on July 17, 1955. The Main Street Cinema is a small movie theater located on Main Street, U.S.A. at Disneyland. He wanted to show films from a bygone era to young people and also renew fond memories for older people who had seen the films before. The theater plays Disney shorts on six different screens while a recorded musical accompaniment plays. Five of the six shorts are played without sound; these shorts are changed from time to time. The sixth short is always Mickey Mouse's 1928 cartoon classic Steamboat Willie. Main Street Cinema is a great location to take a break especially if you have little guests with you.

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Disneyland Railroad

Take a ride on the Disneyland Railroad and do the "Grand Circle Tour" which takes you all the way around the park and back to where you started. When you first step into the park, walk up the stairs and start your trip at the Main Street entrance. There is ample seating on this balcony looking down into Main Street USA. Take in the scenery and people watch or head in to the station and admire all the artifacts about the railroad, the station and the trains themselves. Once the train arrives, you have your choice of "holiday" cars (side facing) or "excursion" cars (front facing). Enjoy the ride and take in the scenery while you relax on board the narrated train ride. There are four stations, Main Street USA, New Orleans Square station, Toon Town station and Tomorrowland station. The wait time for the Disneyland Railroad is as follows: if there is 1 train running: 20 minutes, 2 trains running: 10 minutes, 3 trains running: 5 minutes.

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Mint Julep Bar (New Orleans Square)

If you arrive at the park in the morning, head straight to the Mint Julep Bar in New Orleans Square. You can order some Mickey beignets with a delicious hot coffee and can easily picture yourself within the streets of New Orleans. Revel in the sweet smell of the beignets, the hiss of the steam engine as it rolls into the nearby station, and the sight of the majestic Mark Twain steamship sailing along the Rivers of America. This is a peaceful time to experience Disneyland waking up.

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Harbour Galley Seating

Across the attraction exit of the Haunted Mansion is Harbour Galley, a lesser-known quick-service eatery which serves up a seafood menu. Behind this eatery is a meandering path with a few spots to sit and embrace the quiet solitude at the edge of Rivers of America. You might have to wait for a seat but it's worth it. The Sailing Ship Columbia is parked here in the morning before it starts its voyage around the Rivers of America-it's so close, you can "almost" touch it. Beyond the quiet, hidden seating area, there is a bridge where you can view guests on the Splash Mountain attraction after the "drop." If you keep walking down the path, you will come upon the beginning of Critter Country with Pooh's Corner and Splash Mountain to your left and one of the entrances to Galaxy's Edge to your right.

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Hungry Bear Restaurant

Hungry Bear restaurant is another quick service restaurant serving up barbecue, burgers, sandwiches and desserts. This establishment has ample seating upstairs and downstairs. If you walk all the way to the back of the seating area, there is a covered section in the back that is quiet and sometimes secluded. The Disneyland Railroad trains pass by and you can choose to wave to the engineers and guests on the trains. There is also seating downstairs and is usually hidden and shaded and mostly secluded with the exception of the guests using the hidden restroom. There is also a path that leads to an entrance to Galaxy's edge which is somewhat secluded and quiet in the morning. A cup of coffee makes great company while sitting here enjoying the view of the Mark Twain, the Sailing Ship Columbia or the canoes going by on the river.

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Tom Sawyer’s Island

If you really want a place to relax, heading across Rivers of America to Tom Sawyer's Island is a great journey to make. Once you arrive to this island, you will find plenty of walking trails and caves to explore and benches to sit and enjoy the quiet. This is also a great place to come in the afternoons when the parks are hot and crowded, giving everyone in the group a much need get-away.


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Grizzly Peak Pass

If the mountains and trees call you, then Grizzly Peak is your go-to location. If you've only taken a wet trip down Grizzly River Run and then dashed off to the next fast-pass station, you've missed out on a beautiful overlook. Next time, hike the short trail behind the attraction queue and you'll see gushing waterfalls and native evergreen trees. You'll be transported directly to California's Sierra Nevada Mountains.

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Redwood Creek Challenge Trail

Across from Grizzly River Run is Redwood Creek Challenge Trail. Although this location may indicate masses of smaller guests, it really is a pleasant rest stop during your adventure. Redwood Creek Challenge is a place to recharge your energy while younger visitors expel theirs. There are plenty of benches to just sit and absorb the view of the idyllic redwoods or listen to the trickling of the small creek or grab a map and follow the animal tracks dotting the criss-crossing trails.

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Disney Animation Building

The Disney Animation building in Disney's California Adventure has a large selection of things to do and enjoy-all inside a nice and air conditioned building. In the lobby you can watch videos and still images of the creative process of animation. You can visit the Sorcerer's Workshop and create your own animation in the Magic Mirror Realm. You can uncover your ‘inner Disney' in the Beast's Library. Or you can cruise over for a live chat with Crush-the turtle from Finding Nemo. You can also learn how to draw your own Disney character at the Animation Academy. The vast size of this building offers plenty of space for everyone in a quiet and cool place.

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Grand Californian Hotel Lobby

Although the focus is mainly on the Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Parks, these are not-to-miss places to rest and relax. White Water Snacks is open to all guests, not just hotel visitors. It is also located near the hotel entrance/exit into Disney California Adventure. This eatery is a hidden gem because it's quiet with plenty of menu options for everyone.

Inside the hotel, the Great Hall Lobby is also a peaceful and welcoming environment. The lobby is filled with comfortable couches that invite you to rest your weary feet. You can even grab a drink from nearby Hearthstone Lounge and relax in front of the larger-than-life fireplace. It's a perfect end to a Disney-filled day.

Edited By: Ryder Lazo

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