Walt Disney World: 13 Best Places to Rest in the Parks | Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World

Imagine you are walking through one of the Walt Disney World parks on a hot day – or maybe it’s not so hot (there are a few months where that is true!) but the crowds are heavy.  You get on a few rides, you take in a stage show, and now you need to take a breather.  Where do you go to cool down or to just get a minute to sit, recharge, and get (some) quiet before heading back out for more fun?  Here is a list of some of our favorite spots to refresh while in the Walt Disney World parks.

Places to Rest in Walt Disney World Parks

  1. Tomorrowland Transit Authority (PeopleMover); Magic Kingdom – This has got to be one of the top places to take a seat and take a breath.  There is typically only a short line for this attraction which makes it an easy go-to when you need a break but still want to feel like you are experiencing the park.  Countless children have fallen asleep on this ride and probably a few adults too.  This is one of our favorite ways to take a break at the Magic Kingdom.
  2. Spaceship Earth; Epcot – Our love for this attraction runs deep.  It is a slow-moving ride through the history of man and technology.  The narration is soothing, yet interesting.  The lighting is low and calming.  It’s the perfect place to just sit and let your head chill while not having to deal with the noise of crowds. This ride does sometimes have a line, but the line can be deceiving.  The ride is constantly moving so it moves the  line pretty quickly.  This is a definite must-do if you’re at Epcot looking for a breather.
  3. ABC Commissary; Hollywood Studios –  This restaurant has always been a favorite place to stop and cool off or to take cover when it’s raining.  It is pretty large, so you’ll rarely have to fight for seating.  There are also TV’s where you can watch clips of the popular shows currently airing on ABC.  It’s also situated at an in-between point from the front of the park to the back, so it’s a perfect midway stopping point.
  1. Carousel of Progress; Magic Kingdom – This is another great attraction that never has a long line.  Plus you get to go inside and sit on comfy seats.  You could actually take a short nap in there, but why would you want to?  We never get tired of watching this attraction’s family venture through time while singing about it! This ride is especially great on those unbearably hot days and you just need to get some sweet A/C.
  2. O Canada!; Epcot – This is a Circle-Vision 360 movie where you learn all about Canada with Martin Short. The downfall with this one is that there is no seating, but you do get to soak in some A/C and take a break from the crowds for a bit.  Another upside – there is never a line for this.
  3. Walt Disney Presents; Hollywood Studios – If you are looking to find a quiet setting to just mosey rather than a ride, this is the place.  Here you can walk at your own pace through an air-conditioned building while viewing the timeline of Walt’s life and artifacts from the rise of the Disney franchise.  Crowds are usually low here, so it can be a nice little escape in between attractions.
  1. The Hall of Presidents; Magic Kingdom – This attraction is in an auditorium which means comfy seats and air conditioning. There’s a bonus with this one because you’re basically sitting in a movie theater.  Everyone is quiet, it’s dark, and it’s the perfect temperature.  You can get a solid nap in here or just chill out and recharge. And bonus! You might learn a little while you’re in there!
  2. The Seas with Nemo & Friends; Epcot – Another great place to relax, especially with all of the underwater scenes.  Another slow moving ride which gives you time to rest and just take it all in.  Or you can just close your eyes and listen to the characters sing about the “Big Blue World”.  Once you exit the ride, you can go chill and watch the dolphins swim around while you recharge!
  3. Finding Nemo The Musical; Animal Kingdom – This is an adorable and visually stunning musical version of the Finding Nemo story.  It is held in a large auditorium with seats which makes it a great place to sit down, cool off, and rest while taking in a great show!
  4. Old Innoventions Building; Epcot – If you are really just looking for a cool place to sit and people watch, the old Innoventions building is the place for you.  There are tables and chairs to sit and eat a snack plus there are pretty comfy couches to sit and relax while you listen to the greatest theme park music on loop.  There are also charging stations on the side of the couches!
  1. Upstairs at Pinocchio Village Haus; Magic Kingdom – We recently discovered this little gem.  If you are grabbing a bite to eat and don’t want to squeeze into a tiny table downstairs, check to see if the upstairs is open here. There are some tables inside, but there are also tables outside and people rarely use them.  Now if you are looking to cool off and it’s the middle of July, don’t go sit out there.  But if it is a cooler day in October or November and you desire to have some peace and breathing room, scope this spot out. It gives you a chance to stare at the back of Cinderella’s Castle and people watch while taking a break.
  2. Star Wars Launch Bay; Hollywood Studios – While this area won’t necessarily give you a break from the crowds, it will get you out of the outdoor elements. The nice thing about this spot is there are Stormtroopers walking around and interacting with guests, meet and greets with Chewbacca and Kylo Ren, and pretty neat Star Wars props and art to check out!
  3. The American Adventure; Epcot – This show has a similar feel to the Hall of Presidents except the show runs almost 30 minutes.  You could easily get a solid 20 minute nap in and the seats are pretty comfortable too!  Now, we actually suggest watching this show because the animatronics are pretty great and the show is really well done.  Either way, it’s a really nice way to get off your feet while experiencing a bit of classic Epcot.

These are our favorite resting spots in Walt Disney World.  Do you have one we didn’t list?  Comment below!

Walt Disney World Parks Information

Want to learn more about the Walt Disney World Parks?  Check out our information pages here:  Disney Parks

For the latest Walt Disney World news and tips, check out our other Disney blog posts:  Disney Blog Posts

For Walt Disney World ticket information, visit the official Walt Disney World page:  Walt Disney World Parks

Don’t see one of your favorite Walt Disney World spots on the list above?  Comment below with yours!

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6 Romantic Date Ideas at Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World

Romance at Walt Disney World

Many people think Walt Disney World is just for kids or family trips, but they are wrong!  There are plenty of romantic things to do at Walt Disney World.  To help you plan for an upcoming anniversary or maybe you want to plan a special date night (Valentine’s Day is just around the corner!), here is our list of the top romantic things to do at Disney.

1. Dinner at Epcot

Epcot

There are so many restaurants to choose from in the World Showcase at Epcot!  The great thing about such a large choice is that you can choose one that suits what you and your significant other like.  The tough thing about so many choices is trying to narrow down which restaurant is the best choice.

Our top choice is Le Cellier in Canada.  The food is wonderful and the atmosphere caters to romanticism.  Other great choices include:

  • San Angel Inn Restaurante in the Mexico Pavilion
  • Les Chefs de France or Monsieur Paul (more expensive) in the France Pavilion
  • Tokyo Dining in the Japan Pavilion (perfect if you make ADR during Illuminations and request a window seat or stick around after dinner and view the fireworks from the balcony in front of the restaurant)

2. Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride

Walt Disney World
Photo Credit: AreteStock http://aretestock.deviantart.com/art/Riverside-Recreation-12-103978091

Talk about romance!  You can take a beautiful, cozy horse-drawn carriage ride through the beautiful sites created by Walt Disney World.  You can choose from two sites:  Disney’s Fort Wilderness or Disney’s Port Orleans – Riverside.

Fort Wilderness will give you a relaxing ride through lush setting of trees while the Port Orleans carriage ride takes you along the Sassagoula River.

For more information, click/tap here to go to the official Disney website.

3. Resort Restaurants

California Grill Theme Park Guru

There are a ton of Disney resort restaurants to choose from for a perfect date night, but there are two that we highly suggest – especially for a Valentine’s Day date night:

  • California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort – one of our favorite dining experiences and a romantic, upscale choice.  The food and service are fabulous and the views of the Seven Seas Lagoon and the Magic Kingdom are breathtaking.  If you make your reservation for a time during the happily ever after Fireworks, request a window seat.  If you don’t get a window seat or if you finish dining before happily ever after, you are allowed to go out to the terrace on top of the resort to view the show.  The show music is piped into the restaurant and onto the terrace which provides for a truly magical and romantic evening!
  • Victoria & Albert’s at the Grand Floridian – this one requires planning and budgeting, as this restaurant is the most expensive restaurant on property.  There are seven courses, so this option is an experience and date night in itself.  It has held the Five Diamond Award since 2000 which makes this dining experience sought after.  For a more intimate experience you can choose to dine in Queen Victoria’s Room which only has 4 tables.  For a lavish dining experience, book the only table at the Chef’s Table.

4. Fireworks

Fireworks at the Magic Kingdom are synonymous with romance.  Countless couples have become engaged beneath the park’s fireworks show.  There are a few different ways to take in these amazing fireworks while romancing your boo:

  • On the Polynesian Village resort Beach – what’s more romantic than sitting on a beach set to make you feel like you’re in the South Pacific?  With tiki torches lighting the paths behind you, relax on the quiet beach of the Polynesian and take in a perfect view of happily ever after.  The music is piped over to the beach, so you don’t miss a thing.  The sight of the fireworks reflecting off of Seven Seas Lagoon is an added bonus!
  • Dessert Party at the Magic Kingdom – viewing happily ever after from inside the Magic Kingdom is always the best because you’re so close to the action but when looking for some romance, you don’t want to be squeezed on Main Street next to that family of four with a fussy baby.  To get a little breathing room, feel like a VIP, and experience some delicious desserts with your honey – book a Dessert Party!  You’ll have a designated spot to view the fireworks that doesn’t involve having to sit on the curb of Main Street for an hour beforehand!  Click/tap here to learn more about the Dessert Party and to book yours!
  • Magic Kingdom Fireworks Cruise – this option is for when you want to go all out!  You can rent a pontoon boat or you can go big by reserving the Grand 1 Yacht!  All options have the music playing on the boat and the views are breathtaking!  This boat tour isn’t completely private, you’ll have a guide driving the boat, but it’s a nice escape from the crowds to catch happily ever after.  Click/tap here to learn more about these cruises.  
Walt Disney World
Grand 1 Yacht

5. Pontoon Boat Picnic

Walt Disney World

So maybe you liked our previous suggestion about renting a fireworks cruise, but you don’t like the idea of having a guide on board.  We get you, romance requires alone time.

Another option, which we LOVE, is to rent a pontoon boat during the day for an ultra romantic day date!  You can pack a picnic basket (no alcohol allowed) and then take the wheel to enjoy time together on the water.  You can rent pontoon boats from any of the Deluxe Resorts and we suggest renting from these:  Contemporary, Grand Floridian, or Polynesian Village.

6. BoardWalk at Night

Walt Disney World

The sight of the BoardWalk at night is amazing.  It immediately puts you into a romantic mood.  The lights, the sights, the sounds!  We love this option as a cheaper way to spend the evening since it costs nothing to go to the BoardWalk.

You can stroll around the entire BoardWalk, stop off for something sweet at the BoardWalk Bakery, or for something really indulgent head over to Beaches & Cream for an amazing ice cream treat!  You can also go dancing together at the Atlantic Dance Hall and if you time it right, you may be able to take in IllumiNations in Epcot without having to enter the park!

That completes our list!  There are many more romantic places and experiences at Disney that we did not include here, but here are a few honorable mentions:

  • Relax in the Grand Floridian Lobby while the Grand Floridian Society Orchestra provides soothing and magical background music.  Maybe you’ll get the urge to sweep your love up and dance a bit!
  • If you are staying at a Disney resort, you can arrange a surprise delivery of flowers, chocolates, or gifts right to your room!
  • Surrey Bikes around BoardWalk can be a fun activity that allows time for bonding and laughter!  A great date idea!

Did we miss one of your favorites?  Comment down below!


		  
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Theme Park Essentials: Strollers

disney stroller

Theme Park Essentials

We’ve all seen it:  the sea of strollers parked at Magic Kingdom.  While they can be a burden, they are a necessity when traveling with young kids to the Disney parks.  To ensure a stress-free trip, it’s best to know which kind of stroller will work for your needs. That’s why this installment of our Theme Park Essentials is covering Strollers.  The parks get crowded and hot  so you’ll want to make sure you have the right stroller for your trip.




1) Umbrella Stroller

We highly suggest a simple umbrella stroller.  There a few reasons these are great.  First, they easily fold up – which is huge especially when travelling to Walt Disney World.  At some point during your trip you will probably take a tram or a bus to your destination and you’ll need to fold up your stroller quickly and easily.  Second, umbrella strollers are typically cheaper than a more deluxe stroller.  Third, these strollers are easier to transport if you are flying.  Many people opt to rent strollers rather than bring their own when flying – which is a great option – but having a great umbrella stroller that you can just check for your flight and then have for your whole trip could save you money.

Here is one we highly suggest based on how easily it folds up.  Plus it only weighs 9 pounds!  If you are flying to Disney, you could either use this as a carry-on or pack it in a checked bag!  The only downside is the wheels are not as great as a jogging stroller.  However, the convenience of this stroller definitely makes up for it!  The link to Amazon below has all of the details plus check out the video below of the stroller folding up!

If you’d rather go for something less expensive, something that will just help get from point A to point B, this adorable Disney stroller is a great example of an easy to close stroller that will keep your little one from tiring out too quickly!

2) Deluxe Stroller

These types of strollers are obviously going to give you more for your money.  You get more storage, a comfortable seat, better handling, and better shading.  These are all factors that can improve your child’s and your experience in the park. If you’re going to bring a deluxe stroller, you want to keep in mind that you’ll need it to close easily.  These strollers are also great because they allow you to easily navigate the parks, even when it’s crowded.  These strollers allow you to take turns or get up and down curbs with minimal effort.  That’s important when you’re trying to squeeze through a crowd of people on Main Street U.S.A.

I can tell you from personal experience, I recently used this stroller for a day at Disney with my 8-year-old niece.  This stroller held up perfectly even though she’s older, the handling was beautiful, and she was able to have a morning at Epcot and an evening at Magic Kingdom with no meltdowns!  We even made it to fireworks after a long, hot day!  This stroller was a life-saver, so don’t overlook this option even for your older kids.  You’ll get more out of your day!




3) Double Strollers

When you’re traveling with multiple kids, double strollers are a great idea.  There are some great options for double strollers out there – we suggest using something of higher quality so your back isn’t killing you by the end of the day.  We also need to put a note of caution regarding triple strollers – don’t do it!  Double strollers are still somewhat easy to navigate through the parks but once you get into triple and beyond, the struggle begins.  Triple strollers that are three wide (side by side) get too wide to be able to easily get around the parks and crowds.  Triple strollers that are three long (one in front of the other) are just a disaster in the parks.  Most of them are not able to turn easily and just create frustration and sore muscles for the parent!

4) Stroller Accessories

No matter which stroller you choose to bring, we cannot stress enough the importance of keeping your child cool and out of the sun.  Orlando summers are HOT.  There are plenty of great accessories out there to enhance your stroller such as stroller fans, covers, and cooling pads.  Below are a few examples:

Stroller Sun Cover – click picture for more info!

Stroller Fan – click picture for more info!

Stroller Liner to keep cool – click picture for more info!





Have you found a great stroller to use while in the parks?  
Tell us about it below!

Be sure to check out our Theme Park Essentials:  Top Portable Fans post!

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New Updates to FastPass+ on the My Disney Experience App

My Disney Experience

It’s time to rejoice!  Disney has finally released some much needed updates to their My Disney Experience app with the updates specifically aimed at FastPass+.

With the latest app update, you are now able to add a fourth FastPass+ selection right on your phone!  Before the update, you were required to visit a FastPass+ kiosk if you wanted to add an additional attraction after using your three booked FastPasses.  For a system that is supposed to promote efficiency, having to go find a kiosk in the park and then wait in line to add an additional FastPass was not efficient.

Disney has also updated the process for booking FastPasses.  Previously, Disney would give you four different plans to choose from based on your preferred attractions.  You were not able to select specific times and you had to select three FastPasses.  That has all changed.  Now you can book less than three FastPasses for a day and you can also select a specific time.  See the screenshot below:

FastPass+

Make sure that you have the latest version of the My Disney Experience app before making your next FastPass selections!

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Theme Park Guru Quick Tips: Disney’s Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom

Here is our next installment of Theme Park Guru Quick Tips!

This month we’re giving you some great tips for your visit to the Magic Kingdom!




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The Confession of a Disney Fanatic – I Never Watched the Parade

Festival of Fantasy

Hey everyone, Jen here.  So let’s start this out by making something known:  I am a Disney fanatic.  I have vacationed at Walt Disney World basically since birth (sometimes staying on property for two weeks at a time) and married my best friend there in 2009.  I live and breathe Disney.  Now that we’ve established that, I have a confession to make.  Growing up and even into my adult years, I never watched the Magic Kingdom parade.

If I was in the Magic Kingdom at 3:00, you’d find me far away from the parade route.  This was instilled in me at a young age by my very theme park-efficient dad.  It’s not that we didn’t like the parade, it was that we knew our time could be better spent hitting rides while the wait times were shorter due to the parade drawing crowds away from the rides.  This is a basic theme park tip that many people consider when trying to maximize their time in the park and for us it was a no-brainer.

As I got older, the parade did start to intrigue me but still I resisted and used that time to maximize what we like to call our “Rides Per Minute”.  All of that changed on March 9, 2014.




This was the day the new Magic Kingdom parade, Festival of Fantasy, made its debut.  This parade was clearly different.  There was so much hype around it, I couldn’t resist any longer.  I gave in and finally took the time to watch this parade.  After experiencing the parade, I can honestly say that for the first time I actually felt my time was better spent sitting on the curb of Main Street waiting an hour just to experience it than riding a few extra rides.

Everything about Festival of Fantasy is magical:  the characters, the costumes, the floats, the music.  It brings the Magic Kingdom to life every day and makes adults really feel like kids again.  Don’t believe me?  Check out these pics:

 

I will say that here at TPG we still do advise guests who do not desire to see the parade or those who have been able to experience it already to use that time to experience the rides, however I strongly feel that you should at least take the time to see this parade once during your visit.

Want to see video of Festival of Fantasy or just want to relive the magic of this parade?  Check out our full parade video below:

Which Magic Kingdom parade is your favorite?  Tell us below!  Is anyone else like me and never took the time to watch the parade?

 

 

 

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Epcot’s Flower & Garden Festival Highlights




Flower & Garden Festival 2016

The 22nd Flower & Garden Festival at Disney’s Epcot is in full swing!  There are some beautiful topiaries to check out and some delicious food to try out this year!  Below are some of the amazing topiaries on display this year:




 

Flower & Garden Festival Merchandise

There is also a great selection of Flower & Garden Festival Merchandise this year – especially in the Festival Center.  Here are a few pictures of the available merchandise this year:




Flower & Garden Festival Treats

There are plenty of food options to try this year at the Flower & Garden Festival.  Here are just a few of the amazing treats you can try:

Flower and Garden Festival
Pineapple Soft Serve and Violet Frozen Lemonade




Will you be heading to the Flower & Garden Festival this year?  Be sure to check out the Garden Rocks Concert lineup here – concerts happening each weekend!

Want to be prepared before heading to Epcot?  Head over to our Epcot page to read our tips and info for the park!

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Disney’s Frozen Ride at Epcot Update

Disney's Frozen

Disney’s Frozen Ride

Here is our latest update Disney’s Frozen Ride at Epcot!  There have been some improvements, but not as much as we had hoped – apparently due to a problem at the construction site.  Check out our video for more details!

 

Be sure to check out our other videos by heading to our Media Page!




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Theme Park Essentials: Top 5 Portable Fans

fans

Theme Park Essentials

It’s that time of year again when we start to put away the winter boots and break out the flip flops!  While it’s exciting, it also means we’re heading into the “sweaty season”.  That’s why this installment of our Theme Park Essentials is covering Portable Fans. Orlando gets hot, really hot.  If you are planning a Spring Break trip or a Summer Vacation trip – we highly suggest you grab one of the fans below! We promise, you’ll be glad you did when you’re standing on Main Street waiting for the parade and you’re 5-10 degrees cooler than the sweaty guy next to you!




1) Handheld Fan

A small handheld fan is a great option to help fight the heat and humidity while waiting in line!  A little rechargeable fan like this one can be a vacation-saver!  Typically one that costs a little more should have more longevity and a nice feature with this fan is that it can be recharged with a USB cable!  There are many USB charging stations throughout the Disney parks, so you’ll be covered!

(Click picture for details)

2) Misting Fan

This is where you get the ultimate cool!  Adding the water mist to your fan will help you achieve coolation much quicker!  Fans like this one are nice because they are sleek, can easily fit into luggage and backpacks, and can be recharged with a USB cable.

(Click picture for details)




3) Stroller Fan

We can’t stress enough the importance of having a stroller fan.  Orlando gets hot and you don’t want your children to get dehydrated or worse while trying to enjoy the parks.  There are many options out there, you can go for something more expensive that should last a while or something less expensive just to cover your trip.  Here are two great options:

 (Click picture for details)

4) Fans for the Whole Family/Group

These types of fans are a great option if you’re heading to the parks with a large group or several young children who will want their own fan.  These fans are no fuss, take 1 AA battery, and provide an easy way to get cool.  They are inexpensive and small, making them great for travel and theme park use.

(Click picture for details)

5) Aromatic Fan

Ever been waiting in line in a confined space on a hot day?  Didn’t you wish you had a Febreze bottle with you to clear the air of the fresh tourist sweat smell?  Fans like this one solve that problem!  Not only does this fan give you a delightful breeze, there is also a compartment to fill with your favorite aroma to be disbursed in those dire situations!  This item is theme park gold!

(Click picture for details)

 




Have you found a great fan to use while in the parks?  Tell us about it below!

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