At Epcot there are many places to relax, but here are a few of my favorites:
1. The American Adventure pavilion – First of all, it’s air conditioned, as are many of my suggestions. There’s also beautiful artwork on the walls and performances by the talented Voices of Liberty several times a day. Here’s a tip for listening to Voices of Liberty. The group only faces one direction, so as you enter the rotunda, you’re going to want to sit on the right side facing the left. You’ll see those guests “in the know” sitting on the floor right up to the red terrazzo circle – that’s the best place to hear the group. After you listen to Voices, you can go upstairs and relax in the nice cool, dark theater for a 30 minute show telling the story of our nation’s history featuring audio animatronics, film and music.
2. Another cool, dark theater is in the France pavilion where you can enjoy an 18-minute film, Impressions de France, showcasing the country’s beautiful scenery. Stop in Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie on your way out for a delicious pastry.
3. Although it’s not air conditioned, the outdoor courtyard in the back of the United Kingdom pavilion is a lovely garden in which to sit and rest your legs for a bit. If it’s quiet you’re seeking, avoid this place later in the day when British Revolution performs several times in the late afternoon and evening. The tribute band featuring the music of British rock bands gets the crowd going with favorites from groups like The Rolling Stones, The Who, Queen and more.
4. A gentle boat ride through the greenhouses in Epcot’s Land pavilion, Living With The Land shows you high-tech horticulture in the “living laboratories”. Some of the produce and seafood grown here is actually used in some of The Land’s restaurants.
5. Disney’s Animal Kingdom features two of the best shows on property – Festival of the Lion King and Finding Nemo: The Musical. Watching a show in an air conditioned theatre is an obvious way to cool off, but if you don’t want the stimulation of a show, try taking the Wildlife Express Train from Harambe, Africa to Rafiki’s Planet Watch. The peaceful, 7-minute ride takes you behind the scenes and along the way you’ll see some of the veterinary facilities where the animals are housed.
Over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios you’ll find one of my favorite places to take a break and have a beverage:
6. Tune-In Lounge – This “cocktail lounge” is the waiting area for the 50’s Prime Time Café restaurant, but if you stop in at non-peak meal times, you can grab a seat at the bar for a refreshing drink. You can even order a milkshake at the bar…try the PB&J shake – you can specify if you want it made with chocolate or vanilla ice cream – it’s so rich that you may want to split it with someone!
7. Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream is an overlooked attraction, but you can stroll through the exhibits at your own pace. It features over 400 artifacts such as one-of-a-kind animation art, paintings, storyboards, photos, models, props, costumes and more. At the end of the gallery tour you can watch a 15-minute film about Walt Disney’s life and career hosted by Julie Andrews.
Magic Kingdom may be the busiest park with more attractions than the other parks, but there are still a few good places to rest and relax.
8. The Hall of Presidents is a nice air conditioned theater featuring audio animatronic figures of all of our nation’s Presidents. Several of the Presidents will speak, including Abraham Lincoln giving the Gettysburg Address. The Hall is closed for several months of refurbishment every time a new President is elected.
9. The Tomorrowland Transit Authority People Mover is a relaxing 10-minute ride around Tomorrowland, taking you behind the scenes of some of the area’s attractions. Sit back and enjoy the view of guests below you as you glide on the track above Tomorrowland.
There are certainly more places to rest and relax including the Baby Care Centers in all 4 parks where you can change, feed or nurse your little one. If you’d like to get out of Magic Kingdom or Epcot for a bit, you can always take a ride on The Monorail.
10. The Monorail has two routes. The first route connects the Magic Kingdom with three resorts: The Contemporary, Polynesian Village and The Grand Floridian, as well as the Transportation & Ticket Center (TTC) -- adjacent to Magic Kingdom parking. The second route has two stops: the TTC and Epcot. Going from Magic Kingdom to Epcot, you would change monorails at the TTC. You can get off the monorail at any of the three resorts and check out the shops, get a bite to eat, or simply relax in the lobby.
Do you have a favorite place to chill when you’re at the parks? Let me know!