This post covers the top toilets at Walt Disney World. This list is a combination of great hidden away locations, top-notch restrooms, and a couple of bathrooms that make the list because they are flat out bizarre. Picking a favorite restroom is like choosing a favorite child, so it has been tough to narrow this list to 10, but against all odds, I’ve done it.
When Disney Blogstorians (because that will totally be a thing) document the history of the bizarre phenomenon of sites like this one, today will live in infamy as the date this site jumped the shark. I’ve actually wanted to do this post for a while, but I’ve avoided it because, well…it’s weird. That is, until the Tangled Toilets opened a couple of years ago, and every blog had like 38 posts on them. All bets were off at that point.
Truthfully, I don’t know why I’ve shied away from this topic. Just think, there’s probably some dude sitting in a forgotten corner of the Imagineering offices with the title of “Potty Show Design, Tiling & Technical Director” who takes his work very seriously, yet is the butt of jokes. Good sir, your day is finally here. You can now do a celebratory fist-pump and regale your family with this blog’s praise of your fine work. I can only hope my great investigative journalism shining a light on your work helps earn this blog its first (of many) Peabody Awards…
While this might seem like a tough topic to tackle, I’ve had a mental list of the top toilets at Walt Disney World for years. Maybe decades. The hard part was the photos. I’ll bet most of you reading this have never taken photos of a restroom. Why would you? Until compiling this, I hadn’t either. As such, you probably don’t know about restroom photography decorum.
First and foremost, you never take a photo when another person is in the restroom, especially if they cannot see you. Can you imagine sitting in there–alone–and hearing someone waltz in, fire off a series of photos, and then rush out? That pricey once in a lifetime Walt Disney World trip just got even more expensive due to the years of therapy after it.
Unfortunately, the difficulty presented by capturing all of these restrooms empty is why we don’t have photos for each. I’m not just going to repeatedly duck in and out of various Walt Disney World restrooms to see if there’s anyone in there. That wouldn’t be fun to explain to security when they inevitably showed up to see what the heck I was doing loitering in restrooms. I do some weird stuff for the sake of blog posts, but that’s a bridge too far.
You might notice the updated parenthetical above, and be thinking, “why on earth does a post about toilets at Walt Disney World need an update?!” Well, a lot has changed on the toilet tech front since this was first published over three years ago. At a toilet expo in Beijing last year, Bill Gates proclaimed that we are “on the cusp of a sanitation revolution” (to thunderous applause); smart toilets and health monitoring (think Baymax but for your butt) are hopefully coming soon to Tomorrowland and Future World.
Moreover, several new lands have debuted at Walt Disney World, each with unique restrooms. These include Pandora – World of Avatar, Toy Story Land, and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Unfortunately, none of these make the list. The restrooms in Avatar and Star Wars Lands are a bit too utilitarian and industrial for my liking, and the (men’s) Toy Story Land restrooms are among the worst at Walt Disney World. By mistake, all of the urinals were installed at child’s level, with predictably bad ‘cleanliness consequences.’ (I’m not kidding.)
We’ve also lost some of the best restrooms at Walt Disney World. Due to the massive overhaul of Future World in Epcot, Innoventions and several other areas have closed. This is a huge blow for the gloriously-weird early 1990s restrooms (pictured above), and right after their moment of fame as their doppelgänger was featured as the Starcourt Mall restrooms in Stranger Things Season 3!
While the restrooms on this list are my favorites at Walt Disney World, it’s tough to take a topic like this too seriously, so…uh…enjoy, I guess?
Arendelle/Norway – The only recent addition to make the list is the expanded area of the Norway pavilion in Epcot that is, essentially, the Kingdom of Arendelle. This area is home to Anna & Elsa’s Royal Sommerhus, the Wandering Reindeer gift shop, and some of the nicest, most modern, and thematically charming restrooms in all of Walt Disney World.
Of the new entries, honorable mention to the restrooms–err, “refreshers” in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. They’re a bit grungy for my liking, but the background music ‘radio’ feed is fun and these restrooms are the best place to hear it.
Hollywood Brown Derby – Flush like the stars, in the restroom that is a beacon for the show business elite. These restrooms are located just inside the side entrance to the Hollywood Brown Derby, making them easy options even if you’re not dining at the restaurant.
The two upsides here are that they are rarely crowded and well-themed, making them far and away the best options in a landscape of dull restrooms at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Mexico – Despite the restroom situation being pretty deplorable in World Showcase, there are some gems. These include the ones up and outside Katsura Grill in Japan, ones back by International Gateway, and the unheralded ones in the World Showplace pavilion, created to flush in the new millennium.
Of all of these, though, my favorite is the restrooms inside San Angel Inn. Classy, rarely crowded, and the most convenient spot if you’re in urgent need after spending some time at La Cava del Tequila, these are a beacon of light in the darkness that is the World Showcase restrooms.
American Adventure – Modern Americans use the restrooms more than our forefathers in 1982. Or, so you would think if you strolled through the World Showcase and found small restroom after small restroom, all of which are insufficient for demand, especially in the era of “Drinking Around the World.”
Teddy Roosevelt once offered words of motivation to those toiling in the quest to find a restroom in Epcot: “courage is not having the strength to go on; it is going on when you don’t have the strength.” These sage words gave former Epcot VP Jam MacPhee a spark of inspiration, and he used them as his motivation for adding new restrooms to American Adventure. Easily the largest set of restrooms in World Showcase, these toilets embody the American Dream.
Trail’s End & Pioneer Hall – If you’ve ever been in the men’s restroom here, you know exactly why it made the list. That. Mural. I assume (and hope, quite frankly) that this is some sort of twisted inside joke among the Imagineers added clandestinely during construction, and by the time someone in management caught this thing, it was already too late to change it.
Whatever the reason for this inexplicable mural, it is glorious. Sorry, ladies, but from what I understand, you don’t have the national treasure that is this mural in your restroom. Our friend Adam recreated this mural in a brilliant piece of performance art, but I don’t think the internet is ready for that photo yet, so here’s a celebratory group photo of my crew in there following the Walt Disney World Marathon.
Deluxe Resorts – Only commoners should be forced to subject themselves to using paper towel to dry their hands, a truism Disney recognizes when stocking the Deluxe Resort public restrooms with cloth towels for hand-drying. In general, the public restrooms at these resorts are small, but well appointed (often with floor-length, wood doors for the stalls), with nicer soap than their counterparts in the parks. I’m not even kidding.
If I had to pick favorites, I’d choose the restrooms outside of Citricos and Victoria & Albert’s, the hallway near Belle Vue Lounge in BoardWalk Inn, and the lobby level of the Contemporary. With the unwashed masses tracking their muddy boots all over the floor, I guess the parks simply can’t do nicer restrooms? 😉
Tangled Toilets – The opening of the Tangled Toilets paved the way for bathroom blogging, and for that, I think we can all rejoice. There was some initial outrage over the hype about these restrooms, but that was entirely the result of over-coverage by bloggers rather than actual hype by Disney. Sadly, there was no “grand opening” for the restrooms nor a press release.
Irrespective of all that, the restrooms are nice. While they do draw significant crowds due to their location at the boundary between Fantasyland and Liberty Square, they can easily meet demand thanks to their huge size. Other favorites in Magic Kingdom include those in the old Tomorrowland Skyway building (near Carousel of Progress), Tomorrowland Terrace, and tucked away in Caribbean Plaza north of Pirates of the Caribbean.
Restaurantosaurus – I know what you’re thinking: “but Tom, isn’t all of Dino-rama just one giant toilet?” Figuratively, yes. However, I would caution you against treating it as such, because security might disagree with that assessment. Being the newest of the parks, Animal Kingdom was constructed after Walt Disney World had really exploded in popularity, so the park built restrooms in light of modern attendance numbers.
As a result, you don’t really need “hidden gem” restrooms here, as the park does a much better job–on the whole–of meeting restroom demand. There are some colorful locations up in Discovery Island and my second-favorite location is the restrooms in Harambe Village, but the Restaurantosaurus ones are personal favorites.
Journey Into Imagination – This restroom was the inspiration for doing this list in the first place. My absolute favorite restrooms at Walt Disney World. These are on the far right front side of the Imagination Pavilion, and they are never crowded. That’s one selling point, but the even bigger one for a Disney geek like me is that they are one of the last vestiges of EPCOT Center, playing the Journey into Imagination pavilion’s original 1983 background music loop.
While the rest of the pavilion got new music in the late 1990s, these restrooms were strangely forgotten–or intentionally spared so we fans could enjoy this wonderful loop. No comment as to whether I’ve ever spent ~15 minutes in here solely to enjoy the full loop. The video above is a small clip–the entire time I stood there in fear that someone would walk in, because that would’ve been a fun one to explain. YOU’RE WELCOME, AMERICA.
BONUS: Cinderella Castle Suite – Okay, so this one features a royal throne that none of us will ever be able to sit upon (there’s literally a “Show Ready” sign on it, letting you know it’s not for use among us peasants), but we’d be remiss if we didn’t at least mention it here.
You can see more in our Cinderella Castle Suite PhotoTour, but this is unquestionably the most memorable bathroom in all of Walt Disney World. If given the chance, I could spend hours photographing it’s ornate and lavish details–and that bathtub! Wow.
Normally, I avoid speculating as to what Walt Disney would think, but in this case, it goes without saying that Mr. Disney would totally agree with this list of the best bathrooms at Walt Disney World. As he so often said, “if you can dream it, you can do it.” 😉
Everyone has their favorites, so what is your favorite bathroom at Walt Disney World? Any location with particularly exceptional theming? Better than average TP? Great music? Low crowds? Share your wisdom on this urgent matter in the comments below!