Theme Parking is a sport — if you have kids, it’s often a contact one. As such, it requires revitalization and recuperation. Certain tactics to stay in top form during your marathon through the parks include bringing snacks, staying hydrated, and, most importantly, napping.
For a while I’ve been planning on ranking my favorite places in Walt Disney World to catch a snooze, but today I read Touring Plan’s “The Art of the Walt Disney World Nap,” and it pretty much covered the topic in more detail than I ever could. Check it out, these people are masters of napping.
What they didn’t mention were the few attractions that can seductively pull you in with the prospect of pulling a twenty minute Rip Van Winkle, and then keep you uncomfortably awake and cranky through an attraction you might not have cared much about in the first place — and I speak from experience. Here’s my list of places to avoid if you desire a successful slumber.
The Voyage of the Little Mermaid
This show is the worst, nap-wise. Because it is so close to being the perfect napping spot. First, they cool you off in the bizarre but elaborately decorated show-less pre show room, and then you settle into the comfortable, cushiony seats of the auditorium. There is a soothing backdrop of clear skies over a blue ocean. The ceiling’s sparkly lights emulate a starry night sky. My eyes drift shut as the opening notes to one of my favorite scores lullabies me to sleep…
And then they pelt you with water.
Why? Theoretically, I guess, it’s supposed to make you feel like you’re going under water. Which is dumb. Spraying water on me doesn’t make me think we’ve gone underwater. It makes me think I wanna punch the guy who just sprayed me with water.
It would be forgivable if they then left you in peace to sleep after the initial wave. But no. They have to splash you again when Ursula goes all “Kraken” on us and tries to take over the ocean. And I had just dried off after the last one! I’ve already cooled off from the AC, this brings me no pleasure!
I get it, Disney, you’re trying to engage all our senses and make us feel ‘a part of their world’ (read that in Ariel’s voice, please). But I have the dark light puppets and the half naked fish lady onstage; I’ve already suspended my disbelief. I’m with you for the ride, Disney, there is no need to throw water at me!
It’s Tough to Be a Bug
After tiring your feet from all the nature trails in Animal Kingdom, It’s Tough to Be a Bug can seem like the perfect opportunity to fall sleep inside of a tree — just like Tinker Bell!
But It’s Tough to Be a Bug will allow no such thing. This is a mean show for nap-seekers. When it’s not scaring the daylights out of small children and causing them to cry in your ear, it’s pelting you with foul bug odors, poking your back with air jets, aggressively spraying fog at you, making loud noises that are not at all conducive to sleep, and, yes, splashing you with water.
It’s a cool show to see the first few times, but those desiring a respite from the hustle of the park will be most aggrieved.
Note: Don’t try to nap in Festival of the Lion King, either. Besides the fact that the seats are bleacher-style and not comfortable enough to sleep, that show is just way to cool to sleep through.
I hate this show.
I know certain collaborators of this site will disagree with me, but I feel it is outdated and dumb. [Big Bro’s Note: So are you. ZING.]
I wouldn’t mind so much if I could just ignore the thing and study the back of my eyelids for its 17 minute running time. But, no. Cue “4D” special effects that keep me awake such as the ceaseless air jets that cause an unpleasant “whip” sensation on the back of my legs, the jolting of the seats, and, of course, the spraying of the water.
PSA to all 3D Shows Everywhere: The “I’m sneezing on the audience” gag is not cute. It’s gross. I know it’s not really snot, but the implication still isn’t pleasant. Actually, the water gag in general is not impressing anyone. It doesn’t take a technological marvel to spray people with water. I can do it, and I’m an English major. It’s not cool, it’s annoying. So stop it!
[Big Bro’s Note: What are you, a cat? Yeesh, it’s just water.]
Sounds Dangerous/ABC Sound Studio
This attraction isn’t technically around anymore, but I’ll include it because I’m sure they will use it for a new show without changing the set-up of the theater. And the theater is the reason this place is an ineffectual napping location. At first glance, Sounds Dangerous seemed perfect for Nap City: a theater whose show is completely in the dark? AND NO WATER!? Super win.
But here’s the kicker: the seats are painfully uncomfortable. The chairs are oddly small and weirdly lumpy. I spent most of the show adjusting and swapping seats just trying to find a moderately comfortable position (luckily there was no one else in the theater–wonder why it closed?). Anyway, when this theater does reopen with its new attraction, make sure you’re seeing it for the show and not the nap.
Mickey’s Philharmagic and Muppets 3D
There is nothing wrong with these two theaters, but if you nap through attractions as marvelous as these then you have lost out on true magic and I have nothing for you but pity.
If all else fails, and you need a napping spot, you can always improvise.
[Big Bro’s Note: Guess how I’m waking you up tomorrow:]