Springtime can get pretty crazy, right? Some of my Mousekefriends and I refer to the Spring rush as “May-cember”, because it can feel more stressful than the Winter holidays. But, now that the craziness of May-cember has come to an end and we begin to slowly settle into Summer, we thought it would be a good time to take a deep breath and stop and smell the roses at Disney. We want to talk about all the places at Disney where you can just have a little break. But first…
Where better to stop and smell the roses than at the Enchanted Rose at the Grand Floridian?
The atmosphere at Enchanted Rose is somehow swanky yet provincial at the same time. It’s elegant yet comfortable. Regal yet relaxed. And there’s so much to look at….and even more to taste. They serve some delicious snacks and beverage, but we really want to try the Lavender Fog.
It’s made with Gin, Creme de Violette, English Breakfast Tea, vanilla and cream and is served in a champagne coupe with a lavender sprig garnish.
It sounds like something you should be sipping in the lavender fields in Provence.
If you can pull yourself away from the tranquil scents of lavender, let’s now focus on the roses. There are so many quiet nooks to explore in all of Walt Disney World. Here are some of our favorite places to stop and smell the roses at Disney.
I love to sit in front of the fireplace in the great lobby at Wilderness Lodge. Somehow that massive and impressive lobby melts away, and I find myself relaxing on a cozy living room couch with my coffee.
Polynesian Village Resort
At Polynesian Village Resort, I enjoy walking along the marina with my coffee in the morning. But I especially love spending an evening on one of the swinging benches on the walking path toward the Grand Floridian. Surprisingly, there are hardly ever people here, and it’s a great place to see the MK fireworks in the distance.
Animal Kingdom Lodge
Animal Kingdom Lodge offers countless quiet places and areas to explore. The entire resort lends itself to slowing down and appreciating what’s around you. Cozy nooks overlook the Savannah throughout Jambo House and Kidani Village. See which animals you can spy after dusk with complimentary night vision goggles.
Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground
Much like Animal Kingdom Lodge, Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground is a vacation unto itself. It offers horseback riding, archery lessons, fishing, kayak and canoe rentals, a campfire sing-along (check website for current offerings). You could stay here and never have to visit one of the theme parks. It’s a full service campground, but don’t worry. You don’t have to camp. You can stay in a cabin, or glamp in your tricked out Winnebago.
Port Orleans - Riverside
No list of serene resorts would be complete without Port Orleans – Riverside. While both Riverside and French Quarter are stunning and a charming bridge connects. the two, I have to give the edge to Riverside. You can stroll the grounds and wend your way from a grand Southern mansion at Magnolia Bend to the charming cajun cottages at Alligator Bayou.
Magic Kingdom offers a variety of places to stop and smell the roses at Disney. There are quiet places like the little side street off of Main Street where you can almost always find an empty bistro table for a quick break. And if you listen, you can hear voice lessons from the windows above.
Several rides and attractions provide relaxing ways to get off your feet. We love the Peoplemover, Carousel of Progress, the Enchanted Tiki Room, and the Hall of Presidents, especially of you could use a 22 minute nap.
Also abundant at Magic Kingdom are places where you can let your littles run around and use up some energy. Tom Sawyer Island has rocks to climb, caves to explore, and lots of shade. The area in front of the Tangled Toilets provides chairs and charging stations as well as an area where kids can search for hidden Paschales.
But one of the best places to stop and smell then roses at Disney is the Fantasyland Train Station. We hope when it reopens we will again see a few tables up on the platform. It’s a perfect spot to have a picnic lunch as train riders pass and you admire the view of Main Street and Cinderella Castle in the distance.
Hollywood Studios offers relatively few shady places to rest, but can’t be discounted when it comes to details to notice. Fans of Walt, aspiring animators, and Disney history buffs love poring over the details on display at Walt Disney Presents….and it’s air conditioned in there.
The most detailed area by far is Batu in Star War’s Galaxy’s Edge. The entire land is an homage to the movie franchise with unique features and artifacts wherever you turn, even in the ride queues. You can even use the Play Disney app to translate the local language on the land’s signs.
The entire Animal Kingdom Theme Park lends itself to a more leisurely vibe. It seems like it was made remind us to stop and smell the roses at Disney.
Just wander the Maharaja Jungle Trek or Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail. Walk around and notice all the animals. Learn about them from the Wilderness Guides as you become a Wilderness Explorer.
Stop and play the African Drums in Harambe and then have lunch along the water in the quiet shaded seating at Flame Tree Barbecue.
Stop and really look at the Tree of Life. The closer you inspect, the more you see. it’s especially magnificent at night.
Also spectacular at night is the bridge from Africa to Pandora. It glistens in the twilight and transports you. You definitely want to take your time here.
While sipping and tasting around the World Showcase, you can help but stop and smell the roses at Disney. Each country offers it’s own brand of paradise with so much to discover. MousekeMom favorites include: the Fez House in Morocco, the gardens in the UK, the waterfall in Canada, and the serene seating outside Katsura Grill in Japan to name a few. We expect the newest expansion to France will be added to this list soon.
Whether you are a rope-dropping thrill-seeker or a scheduled show-catcher, we encourage you to make the time to stop and smell the roses at Disney. With so much to see and do, it’s so easy to get caught up in your own FOMO, but the reality is, you actually end up missing out on a lot of the really good stuff if you don’t take a breather (and a good look around) every once in a while.
For more tips and ideas on how to stop and smell the roses at Disney, be sure to listen to this week’s podcast episode. We’d love to hear your ideas too, so please comment below!!
The MousekeMoms, Lori, Jennifer and Juliana, are experienced Disney moms who dole out valuable, honest, no holds barred information on their weekly podcast to help you plan your Disneyland, Walt Disney World or Disney Cruise Line vacation.
After all, Disney moms know best! And they are the best at planning your Disney vacations as the proud agents and owners of Kingdom and Cruise Travel- where vacation wishes come true.
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