Those of you who have been know; those of you who have not-listen up! A vacation to Walt Disney World is tiring! It’s the best kind of tired and it is 100% worth the tiredness! The sights, sounds, the walking, the food! Really, it’s one of my most favorite places to go to get away. But, you still need some downtime while you are there, especially in the parks. The Walt Disney World Resort Hotels are GREAT places to take a break! But, I wanted to share with you a list of my favorite places INSIDE the parks to take a break. When your feet get tired, you eat too much, or you just need a quiet place to regroup before the next adventure….these spots are sure to give you the rest you need. And, they will probably give you an even greater appreciation for the magic that is Walt Disney World.
· Center Street-never heard of it? When you are walking toward the castle, Center Street is off to your right, just off Main Street. It’s a small street with some great details to enjoy. And believe it or not, it is usually very quiet. If you enjoy people watching, it’s a great spot to sit, drink a coffee, and watch the people coming and going. It’s also a great place to meet up with family if you get separated or decide to go do different things.
· Swiss Family Treehouse (Adventureland) – While this does get a bit crowded sometimes, there are many times, especially in the evenings, when you can climb to the top and have it pretty much to yourself. There are some great views from up here and it is fun to be up above everyone else and enjoy the view. It’s a bit of a climb to get to the top and there aren’t places to sit, but there is a lot to see on the way and the top feels peaceful. This isn’t just for kids, so take the family up and enjoy your own time in the treehouse.
· PeopleMover (Tomorrowland) – This retro ride hardly ever has a wait. It’s a slow moving ride, perfect for all ages, and you get to sit! When you are getting tired and cranky, hop on the PeopleMover!
· It’s a Small World (Fantasyland) – The happiest cruise that ever sailed! If the song annoys you, maybe scratch this one off the list. But, like the people mover, it’s a longer ride and you get to sit. There is a lot to see and it can be relaxing. It’s not for everyone (as far as feeling relaxing) but if you are nostalgic like me, you will enjoy it as a nice break from the walking fast and tired feet.
· Rocking Chairs (Frontierland) – This is my new favorite spot! It’s a great place to wait for your family members to ride Splash Mountain. If you are facing the Splash Mountain entrance, walk to the right (toward the area where the riders come off the ride) and look to the right. There is a small quiet area with some rocking chairs (it’s covered which is great for when the rain comes) and there is rarely anyone there. It’s one of those places I never noticed in all the times I had been there until I needed a place to sit and wait. Now, I just might consider it a must do! Grab a snack, sit in the rocking chairs, and regroup for the rest of the day’s adventures.
· The Writer’s Stop (Streets of America) – Right around the corner from Sci-Fi Diner is a little known coffee shop. It’s also a book shop and is such a nice place to relax. Grab a cup of coffee, and peruse through some unique book selections. You will feel miles away from the hustle and bustle of the park. And the caffeine will help with your energy!
· Animation Academy (Animation Courtyard) – This is one of my VERY favorite things to do in all of Walt Disney World. You get to spend about 20-30 minutes in a free animation class with an actual Disney Animator! I am not an artist at all and each time I have done it I have been amazed and what I am able to do. It is fun, and you get to sit (In the air conditioning) plus you have a free souvenir to take home with you. Read more in my blog all about the Animation Academy.
· The Great Movie Ride (Hollywood Boulevard) – Another classic ride is the Great Movie Ride. It is 22 minutes of putting you right into the scenes of your favorite movies. The cast members are also immersed into each story as you go through the history of some of the greatest movies of our time. Sit back and enjoy!
· Flametree BBQ (Discovery Island) – This is one of the BEST Quick Service locations ANYWHERE at the Walt Disney World Resort. If you are on the dining plan, it’s an amazing deal. Walk up and order and then head to the left and down, down, down the path. Most people sit at the tables that are seen right away from the main path. If you keep walking, there are some covered tables right on the water. The view is spectacular and it’s usually much less crowded-even quiet. A great place to take a break. Note: If you have a fear of birds, this might not be the best spot as many of them wander close to the tables. They are used to people and I’ve never seen them be bothersome.
· Kilimanjaro Safaris (Africa) – This one is great for all ages and it’s different every time! It’s a bit bumpy so it’s not as relaxing as sitting on a bench by the water-but you get to take a break from walking (each ride is about 25 minutes) and you see some amazing African animals wandering around right in front of you. Not to be missed-and definitely one to do multiple times!
· Pangani Forest Exploration Trail (Africa) – You won’t get to sit the whole time but you will get a quiet break from the busyness and the crowds. It’s a tropical rainforest and you will see gorillas, hippos, birds, and more! Plus there are plenty of places to sit and take a break. Many people don’t even know the trails are there!
· Spaceship Earth (Future World) – About 15 minutes of relaxation and learning! This is one of our favorites. Very retro, always something new to see. And the video/animation is really fun (especially at the end). A great way to take a break if your feet need a rest.
· Ellen’s Energy Adventure (Future World) – at 45 Minutes long this is one of the best places to rest your feet. Take a journey through time and learn a little bit on the way!
· The American Adventure (World Showcase) – This 30 minute show combines screen and animatronics on a unique stage to tell the story of America. I must admit I have fallen asleep in this one before….so it’s obviously a great place to take a break! It’s air-conditioned and the seats are quite comfortable. But it also really is a good show and will leaving you singing along!
· World Showcase- Nearly every country’s pavilion has a quiet place to sit and enjoy the scenery (grab a snack first to really take a break! Some of my favorites are the gardens in the UK, wandering around Morocco, the quiet area by the red bridge in Japan, and the beautiful overlook in Canada. There are also quite a few shows to enjoy that will get you inside and out of the heat or the rain.
There are countless other places nestled away in each park that others have found to be relaxing and
quiet (er). For those of you with little ones, don’t forget about the Baby Care Centers located in each park. These are complimentary and include private nursing rooms with rocking chairs, changing areas, a kitchen with microwaves and sinks, a room with table, chairs, couch, and television, and a small shop for the essentials that you may need (diapers, formula etc). PERFECT spots for those with babies to take a break.
So, next time you find yourself tired, with achy feet, and needing to take a break from the hustle and bustle, find one of these (or your own spot). I know you will be refreshed, ready for the rest of the day. And, you will probably end up feeling even more connected and enchanted with this wonderful place we all love!
Aleshia Sokoloski, Travel Planner affiliated with Travel with the Magic
Specializing in Universal Resorts and Disney Vacations including Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Adventures by Disney, and Disney Cruise Line.