Throwing Shade! Best Places To Find Shade In Walt Disney World’s Parks

The weather in Central Florida can range from absolutely beautiful to extremely hot and humid depending on the time of year, and all guests who visit Walt Disney World are sure to feel the effects of the sun throughout their vacations. With long days spent exploring the Disney Parks and the majority of that time spent outdoors in direct sun, it is no wonder that guests might quickly feel overheated and exhausted, leading to cranky moments. While lots of guests enjoy heading back to their Disney Resort to enjoy some time in the air conditioning or cooling off in the pool, another great way to beat the heat in the parks is by stopping in a shady spot and enjoying  few moments to kick back and cool off before continuing to enjoy the day. Thankfully, each of the four Disney Parks features many shade spots for guests to relax in. Here are the best places to find shade while enjoying the four parks of Walt Disney World.


1. Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover

The Magic Kingdom is home to many attractions that feature outdoor portions, including one in Tomorrowland that offers the perfect combination of shade and relaxation that guests love it. The Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover is situated in the heart of the land and brings guests on a tour of the area from above, offering glimpses of pathways, Cinderella Castle, and other attractions like Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. The Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover is open air, but entirely covered by a roof structure, making it the perfect opportunity to kick back in the shade, enjoy the breeze, and take in the sights of Tomorrowland.

2. Tom Sawyer Island

Also found in the Magic Kingdom is an often overlooked area that offers unique adventures as well as lots of shady quiet spots. Tom Sawyer Island is found in the middle of the Rivers of America in Frontierland and can be reached by rustic rafts. The island features caves, bridges, and a fort to explore in addition to lots of quiet and shady corners and areas where guests can sit down, enjoy the sights, and relax before exploring more of the Magic Kingdom.

3. Tortuga Tavern

One of the most popular attractions in the Magic Kingdom is Pirates of the Caribbean in Adventureland which is located next to a large plaza that is always bustling with guests. Across the courtyard is Tortuga Tavern, a quick service location that is typically open during the busy seasons. Regardless of whether the dining location is open or not, there is a covered outdoor patio that offers guests the chance to sit in the shade, people watch, and relax before setting sail on Pirates of the Caribbean.


4. La Cantina de San Angel

World Showcase in Epcot is also extremely popular with guests who love to explore each pavilion and feel as though they have traveled around the world enjoying culture, cuisine, and more. The Mexico Pavilion is a favorite of many guests who love to stop at La Cantina de San Angel to enjoy a quick bite. This quick service location is situated on the shores of World Showcase Lagoon and features an open air dining patio with gorgeous views, shady seating, and pleasant breezes from the water.

5. Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge

Disney’s Hollywood Studios is home to many thrilling and live attractions that guests absolutely love, but there are also several shady places to beat the heat that guests love. The Hollywood Brown Derby is found at the end of Hollywood Boulevard and offers a full service meal inside, but guests also love to enjoy the Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge which is an outdoor patio featuring comfortable tables covered by large umbrellas. Guests who sit at one of the tables can enjoy small bites and delicious cocktails while relaxing in the shade and checking out the crowds who pass by on Hollywood Boulevard.

6. BaseLine Tap House

Another great place to kick back with a beverage and small bite in Disney’s Hollywood Studios can be found on Grand Avenue across from Star Tours – The Adventure Continues. BaseLine Tap House features a small indoor area in addition to a large outdoor patio that offers picnic tables covered with large umbrellas and cooled by large oscillating fans. Guests can relax in the shade and enjoy a delicious bite to eat or a beverage on tap directly from California at this relaxing location.

7. Kilimanjaro Safaris

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is by far the hottest of all four Disney Parks thanks to the majority of its experiences being located outdoors. Guests who are looking to beat the heat with some shade while still enjoying an attraction can head to the Africa section of the park and Kilimanjaro Safaris. The attraction brings guests on an authentic safari filled with amazing animals, and while it is completely outdoors, guests can enjoyed the shady queue and continue to enjoy the shade in a covered but open-air safari vehicles.

8. Flame Tree Barbecue

Another great location to enjoy the shade in Disney’s Animal Kingdom can be found at a quick service restaurant on Discovery Island. Flame Tree Barbecue is open daily for lunch and dinner and serves up mouthwatering barbecue options that guests absolutely love indulging in. After ordering at the counters, guests can enjoy their meals on a covered back patio that offers shade, breeze, and beautiful views of Expedition Everest across the water.

9. Maharajah Jungle Trek

The Asia section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom is home to several popular attractions including the Maharajah Jungle Trek, an outdoor self-guided walking tour. The adventure brings guests into the Anadapur Royal Forest where they can enjoy habitats of several animals including Asian Tigers who reign over ancient temple ruins. Throughout the entirety of the Maharajah Jungle Trek, there are plenty of shady and quiet corners for guests to relax in and enjoy the ambiance before continuing their experience.

About Caitlin Kane

Caitlin Kane first started visiting Walt Disney World when she was two years old, and despite spending most of that trip quarantined with the chicken pox she managed to fall in love with the place. Visiting WDW every year since, she especially loves learning all about the history and small details of the parks and eating/drinking her way through the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival each fall. When she's not in Disney, Caitlin lives in New York and spends her time counting down the days to her next trip.