Walt Disney World Resort is renowned for its highly themed attractions, restaurants, and resorts that offer guests an escape to another time, another place. They have been discussed in a variety of places both online and in travel books. But I’m here to shed light on some particular places within the Parks that often receive little attention, yet are worthy of a pause and respect. The places you are bound to visit at least a few times during your daily stay — the Disney restrooms. And they certainly show their DisneySide as well!
Ah, yes, let us take a brief visual tour of three of the Disney Parks (Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Epcot, and the Magic Kingdom) and their magical thrones suitable for princes or princesses. Unfortunately I did not make a recent trip to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, so “spare me a square” for leaving it out. Please note: No one was harmed nor was anyone’s privacy threatened as I took the following photographs for this field report. I, on the other hand, might have been slightly embarrassed.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
I love how Disney takes an actual place and improves upon it. Go to the real Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, and I challenge you to find a restroom with more theming and nearly as clean as those seen at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. In addition, the picture on the far left will let you imagine you’re on a real Hollywood soundstage. It’s true Disney magic. For all the people traveling in and out of these entryways, the Cast Members do a fabulous job at ensuring your visit is pleasant on both the eyes and nose.
Where else can you feel like you are in a bathroom from the future or have taken a passport to experience facilities in a different country? Nowhere else but Epcot.
This is a restroom of the future. Or our idealized vision of the future, circa ‘82. The companion restrooms of the future are unisex and feature toilets that self-flush. A little understated by Disney standards, but perhaps this is what awaits us in a world that continues on after the ’80s.
DIStracted Tip: If you have a child who fears he or she will be flushed down the drain with those loud self-flushing toilets (from “the future”), bring some small sticky notes to cover the sensor. Peel off once you are ready to flush.
Another restroom outside Spaceship Earth beckons you to the future. I will admit to being a tad bit disappointed with the restroom in the China Pavilion (located inside the Lotus Blossom Cafe). Washrooms in the Germany Pavilion do not disappoint from the outside, and if you are lucky, you just might meet Snow White nearby. (But not inside. Definitely not inside.)
I was impressed while standing outside the “toilet” (Brits don’t say “bathroom” when there’s no bath) at the England Pavilion. Quaint bricks give it that British charm, luring you inside for your quick little break to the loo. Though it’s so clean inside that even Mary Poppins would approve, somehow it looks like most of the other restrooms in Epcot World Showcase.
From outside the Morocco Pavilion, the restroom is the very example of Disney’s high standards in theming. Located near a bazaar, it blends in seamlessly and is so true to the environment that I could almost picture the squat toilets inside. Sadly, the inside didn’t have the same theming. Blue and white tiles must have been on sale in the Orlando area at some time as they are found in nearly all Epcot restrooms. Still, Morocco’s facilities are clean, well stocked, and will meet your needs.
Before we leave Epcot, a special shout out to the restrooms inside Akershus Royal Banquet Hall at the Norway Pavilion. Even the door signs were memorable.
Magic Kingdom Park
I end my overview of the Disney Park bathrooms at Magic Kingdom Park. It is here we have the crème de la crème of restroom experiences, but I’ll save the very best for last.
Above (left to right), I have captured a glimpse of the restrooms that await you on Main Street U.S.A. and the five lands of the Magic Kingdom: Adventureland, Frontierland, Liberty Square (no chamber pots!), Fantasyland, and Tomorrowland. Some of these facilities are so well themed, they could almost require a Fastpass+. (Actually, that would be helpful when running inside a restroom with a toddler who has to go now.) The only bathroom that left me disappointed was that in Tomorrowland. Again, it looks awfully like 1982. I would at least expect toilets that offer a variety of services (heated seats, anyone?) as I’ve heard can be found in restrooms in Japan. Mr. Tom Morrow would probably appreciate such amenities.
DIStracted Tip: For those of you with little ones, be sure to check out the Baby Care Centers located in the Disney Parks. They’re a perfect retreat for you and your child with comfortable air-conditioned seating. They offer chilled water, toddler-sized toilets, and nursing rooms.
I was pleasantly impressed with the lavatories on Tom Sawyer Island. If Disney wanted to truly reflect the time period, they could have provided earth closets (look them up) for our necessary needs, but I’m glad they forwent accuracy to provide facilities of the modern era. For those who cannot wait to make the journey across to the mainland on a log raft, you’ll find restrooms in Fort Langhorn. The ladies are provided with a lovely powder room while the men have a suitable water closet. And for those looking for an afternoon nap? Well, there’s a spot nearby, but as you can see in the photograph above, it was already occupied when I visited the area. Maybe you’ll be more fortunate.
Another beautiful place to go can be found in Storybook Circus at New Fantasyland. Enjoy the facilities before hopping on a steam train to tour the rest of the park. While inside, take note of the two stripes on the floor. Then upon exiting, stop and look back at the building. These stripes are a continuation of the railroad tracks that originate from the Casey Jr. Splash ‘n’ Soak Station, and the building is the barn for the trains.
And I conclude with the most beautiful restroom of all, Fantasyland’s Rapunzel restroom area. It’s a place that ensures you’ll have the “Best.Day.Ever.” Gorgeous and quaint from the outside, I am happy to report that the theme continues inside as well. (At least for the ladies room. Sorry, I didn’t risk taking photos inside the men’s washroom.) Rapunzel must have sneaked down from her tower when Mother Gothel was away to paint the beautiful murals inside the ladies’ room. Many people find inspiration while on the throne and I can assure you, this place is no different. You’ll leave singing, “I have a dream. I have a dream …”
And there you have it. Perhaps one of the first comprehensive reviews of restrooms at three of the four parks found at Walt Disney World Resort! I hope you’ll find this blog post invaluable as you plan a future trip to the Parks. One thing’s for sure, you’ll always find a clean restroom waiting for you when on property.
P.S. This may or may not be an April Fool’s Day posting. I’ll let you decide.