Huh? Relax at Walt Disney World?
No, seriously. It’s the best. Instead of running ourselves ragged and subsequently dragging screaming or sleeping kids around the park at all hours of the day and night, we have learned that the best plan of attack is to take things slow. You’ll learn that about us if you stick around here, but I’ll start as clear as possible. Sometimes, even (especially?) with kids, some of your best memories will be made not while running from mountain to mountain in the Magic Kingdom, but while hanging out, taking in everything around you.
So without further ado, and in no particular order, some of my favorite places to relax in the Magic Kingdom–
- “Gazebo” area in Adventureland at the Magic Kingdom. If you enter Adventureland directly from Main Street USA, you’ll find this place tucked in between buildings on your right, just after Aloha Isle. Grab a Dole Whip and sit here for a quick recharge.
- Stone benches in Agrabah Bazaar. Just past the aforementioned spot in Adventureland is another hidden gem. Off of the shop is a covered walkway with family-sized round, stone seating areas. Admittedly this area has been getting more crowded, but if you can grab a spot it’s a nice secluded area to sit and take in the sounds of Adventureland without the busyness. And maybe eat a Dole Whip.
- the new Tangled-themed rest area in Fantasyland. For now, it seems there is never anyone there. It’s quiet enough to take a breather but close enough to the action to take in the atmosphere. Bonus points given, of course, for easy access to outlets. No more scouring restaurant floors and under tables! Ok, fine. Less scouring floors and under tables. Hey, a girl’s gotta charge her phone.
- Tom Sawyer Island. This one works best for relaxing as adults, I think, because kids can’t resist exploring the island. My husband and I have had many a game of checkers in the quiet, seclusion of the island, though.
- Rocking Chairs inside the Briar Patch store outside of Splash Mountain. There are only a couple so they’re tough to secure, but I’ve grabbed a handful of quick catnaps here, especially while waiting for some of our party to ride. It’s plenty quiet, even, for a baby in a stroller to nap.
- Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe. Ok, WDW Vets, hear me out on this one. During mealtimes this place is horrendous – not the food, by any means (we love it!), just the crowds. Avoid it at all costs if your goal is relaxation. But during the off times, this is a great spot to duck in and hang out in the lower dining area. Kids enjoy watching (or even dancing to) Sonny Eclipse’s set, it’s air-conditioned for those hot months, and there are plenty of places to sit. I almost didn’t include this one because when it’s the busy it’s the antithesis of relaxing, but we have found ourselves here a number of times for a little downtime and always enjoy it.
- Baby Care Centers. This isn’t relaxing in the same sense – but it’s my most practical piece of advice for anyone with small kids. Even if nobody needs a diaper change or a nursing session, don’t overlook these rooms in each of the four parks. They’re air-conditioned, staffed with friendly cast members, full of toys and coloring pages and a break for over-stimulated kids (and their grown-ups!).
- Hall of Presidents and Carousel of Progress. While some people joke about taking naps in these two attractions, I really like both – especially the latter. That said, they really are quiet, cool places where you’re captive and “forced” to sit and relax for a short while. Sleep if you want, but you might also just enjoy the attractions and come out rested on the other side!
There are so many more, if you take the time to look around as you’re rushing from place to place. Did I leave your favorite spot off the list? Share in the comments below!