As wonderful as Disney is, it can be quite overwhelming and sometimes downright exhausting. I think it’s important to not go crazy on vacation and end up not enjoying it. This is a list of some secret spots around Disney property that are great for taking it easy and relaxing during your trip.
9. China Pavilion Garden
The China Pavilion is stunning in itself and it immediately draws you in. But as you make a beeline for the fun movie, you pass a hidden oasis. The garden around the pavilion is a wonderful place to relax. Inside the garden there are zodiac topiaries and several benches in the shade. Walking the Epcot march can be pretty draining, so grab a peach oolong tea from the Lotus Blossom Café and enjoy the peace.
8. Back Paths of Animal Kingdom
I think Animal Kingdom is probably the most relaxing park on property, despite it being so hot sometimes. While most people flock to the safari or Everest, I like to sneak away to the semi-hidden paths along the way. I love to take a break and hang out with the otters by their tank or try to find the sleepy, old tortoise in his enclosure. These little areas are so quiet and great to relax. I also love the spots overlooking the water in Asia. It’s so relaxing to grab a coffee and find a table in the shade to unwind while admiring the amazing details of the park.
7. Flame Tree BBQ
We’ve already established that Animal Kingdom is pretty great, but I love this spot in particular. Flame Tree BBQ, by Discovery Island, has a great lunch menu that we take advantage of often. But I really love Flame Tree because of its seating. Once you get your food, you wander down some paths to get to seating by the water. If you don’t go during rush hour, this can be extremely relaxing. I love to spot turtles in the water and watch Everest while enjoying a pulled pork sandwich!
6. The Walking Path Between Fort Wilderness and Wilderness Lodge
Fort Wilderness is kind of an oasis from the rest of Disney property to begin with. But even the wilderness has its own relaxing spots. Between the Fort and Lodge is a direct walking path. It can be incredibly peaceful to take a trip to clear your head or just have a moment of beautiful serenity.
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5. Polynesian Beach
Disney and white sand? It doesn’t get much better than that. In the back of the Polynesian Resort, there’s a large (though smaller now, thanks to DVC) sandy beach, with boats and the occasional duck. The area is fairly quiet, especially if you catch it at the right time. I usually enjoy this spot when watching Magic Kingdom’s Happily Ever After. Please heed all signage and barriers and stay away from the waters edge.
4. Taking the Resort Boat
I love the monorail as much as the next guy, but it’s not exactly relaxing unless you can grab a seat against a window. The resort boats, however, are. Departing from Magic Kingdom and making their way to the Polynesian, Grand Floridian, Fort Wilderness and Wilderness Lodge, the small fleet of resort boats make for a really relaxing ride. They’re never as busy as the monorail or even the ferry, so things are never hectic. Being out on the water is so peaceful and a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of the parks.
3. Animal Kingdom Lodge Savanna
I think that the lobby of this gorgeous resort it pretty relaxing, too, but the savanna definitely trumps it. Past the outdoor fire pit and pool is the giant grassland that truly is the heart of the resort. There are lookout spots all around the animals that give information and prime views. It’s usually fairly quiet and always has the most amazing sights. I love to go to Kidani Village to watch a family of giraffes saunter around their home while sitting in rocking chairs by the fire pit after a meal at Jiko.
2. Walk Around Port Orleans Riverside
This is a secret spot I wasn’t aware of until quite recently. This resort is unlike any other on property. Its layout is what makes or breaks it for me. The individual mansions and magnolia trees lining the river give this resort a luxurious Southern feel. It is remarkably quiet along the line of mansions; you can’t even hear the pool or boat from across the way. I was so at peace as I meandered over the bridge and into the Louisiana Bayou, smelling the wafting magnolia blossoms and listening to mockingbirds sing sweet songs.
1. The Grand Floridian Lobby
I just love the Grand Floridian. Everything about it makes me feel like a princess and helps me relax. I’ve only stayed at this beautiful resort once, but I try to stop by to see it whenever I can. Its Victorian style and elegance exudes leisure. I love the striking detail around the lobby, like the giant birdcage, fresh flowers, and floral carpeting. Above all, I adore the pianist that gracefully plays in his tuxedo for the guests and the scent of fresh soaps that wafts around the building.