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7 Easy Hacks to Wake the Heck Up at Walt Disney World

6. Eat smart

Noodle Salad from Jungle Navigation Skipper Canteen

Image: Jett Farrell-Vega (@mykingdomforamouse Instagram)

The standard fare most guests consume at Walt Disney World basically make a sleeping potion—funnel cakes, turkey legs, ice cream, so much cheese… It’s no wonder most of us want to pass out in a sunbeam half-way through the day. Dairy, heavy sugars, fried foods, and fatty, salty proteins are more likely to tire you out than wake you up.

While part of the fun of a Walt Disney World vacation is indulging in some decadent foods, try to keep things balanced. Disney has more healthy options for guests to eat than ever before. Eat foods that give you sustainable energy and boost the metabolism. At Animal Kingdom, instead of loading up on cheese at Pizzafari, have a grain-veggie-protein bowl at Satul’i Canteen. At Magic Kingdom, instead of downing hot dogs at Casey’s Corner, try some of the balanced and zesty plates at Jungle Navigation Co. Skipper Canteen or a Greek Salad from Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, things get a little more challenging, but even the Sci-Fi Dine in Theater offers some veggie-full entrees. Epcot is the easiest place to eat healthy, with great options at Sunshine Seasons in the Land, Japanese bowls at Katsura Grill, and Mediterranean at Spice Road Table and Tangierine Café.

Also, instead of relying on Disney to keep you going with snacks, bring your own! Beef jerky, baked chips, apples, and peanut butter are all great choices, particularly if you have kids.

7. Take a nap!

Sleeping lion

Image: Rennett Stowe, Flickr (license)

In the end, your body needs sleep, and giving it sleep is the best solution. If you don’t have an afternoon to spare chilling at the resort, make time for a quick nap, even at Walt Disney World!

Experts recommend arriving at the parks at opening gate then taking a mid-day break. This gives you some time to rest and the kids some time to settle when crowds start getting craziest and lines the longest. If you’re staying on Walt Disney World property, this can prove pretty easy—just head back to the hotel and enjoy a nap! Don’t cave if the kids are fussy about leaving. Your little ones may need a nap too, and they can also watch some of Disney’s hilarious cartoons back in the room if they just won’t sleep. Come back to the parks later after you’ve refreshed.

If you don’t have a resort room, there are still ways to catch some rest. You can find a quiet place in Walt Disney World to at least settle, rest your eyes, or meditate—at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Star Wars Launch Bay is a great choice. At Magic Kingdom, Tom Sawyer Island is great, as is the upstairs of Columbia Harbour House. At Epcot, we love the gardens of World Showcase and the courtyards of Morocco, and at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the Discovery Island trails are very quiet. If you have a partner who is awake, head onto slightly-longer dark ride like Spaceship Earth, Living with the Land, or the PeopleMover. Have them wake you up when the ride is over.

Even if you don’t have a room, there are places to catch a rest at Walt Disney World’s resorts. We love the hammocks around the Swan and Dolphin, and the Boardwalk Inn also has a great lobby and resting area (some of the chairs are less-than-comfy but others are better). The beaches of the Polynesian and Grand Floridian have some great spots where you can slip in a nap, as do the lobbies of Wilderness Lodge and Animal Kingdom Lodge. For an ideal power nap, aim for 20 minutes of sleep. Anything longer will leave you groggy. At that point, you’re better off heading to your resort and taking a full 90-minute nap to match a sleep cycle.

So what other ways do you use to wake the heck up at Walt Disney World?

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