Walt Disney World — My Top 5 places to relax

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Planning and taking a trip to Walt Disney World is one of the best vacation destinations that you can make, in my opinion.  There is so much to do at Walt Disney World, everything from experiencing the awesome roller coasters, to checking out all of the incredible talent on display in the stage shows, movies, and parades, to just picking some of your favorite attractions and riding them over and over and over again!

But, for me, some of the best reasons to take a Walt Disney vacation is to enjoy all of the rich details that the parks provide, and to take time to enjoy the things that exist in Walt Disney World that you can’t find a FastPass for, or don’t have wait times of 30 minutes or longer.  So today, this post is focused on my top five places to relax at Walt Disney World.

For some of you, planning and taking your Disney vacation is such that when you get there, all you want to do is go all out, commando style, if you will, and go from park opening to closing, riding every ride, catching everything you can non-stop.  I’m not like that, though; oh sure, there are certainly moments when we go out for quite a spell, focused on riding this popular ride and that popular ride, but for me, I truly love the way I can be in the middle of thousands of people, and still find ways to slow down and smell the roses.  My list isn’t in any particular order, because where I am at a particular moment will dictate which of these favorite I choose.  I hope you enjoy!

1) First on my list is a favorite place of mine, the top of the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse.  I know that a choice like this seems quite odd, but it always amazes me every time I take the time to enjoy this leisurely climb up the big tree that serves as this attraction, and when I am up there, I can almost always take a great picture of something in the Magic Kingdom.  During this climb, I caught a shot of this building — anyone recognize it?

Space Mountain as seen from Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse

2) One of my favorite things to do anywhere, not just at Walt Disney World, is to take photographs.  However, when I am on vacation at Disney World, a lot of my view is seen through that of my viewfinder on my camera!  I am always looking for that shot that I will be able to look at for years to come, and instantly be transformed back into the memory of when that shot was taken.  One of my favorite subjects to photograph is the beautiful architecture of the buildings, and also couple that with the incredible foliage that you will find at the Magic Kingdom.  So, to make a long story short, I really enjoy relaxing with my camera, near the hub, looking at some of the incredible foliage and buildings, such as this one, taken in August, 2009:

The Crystal Palace

3) One place that I think gets overlooked a bit — at least by most — is over at Epcot, in the Germany Pavilion.  If you haven’t explored it much, you might want to take a few minutes to examine all of the incredible details that you can find in the miniature train layout that they have there.  I love trains, and that train set is awesome.  Did you know that they decorate the train set throughout the year with various things that pertain to whichever special event they are hosting at the time?  Here is a picture that I like showing part of the town.

The village on the Germany Pavilion Train layout

4) Another favorite location of mine is the Canada Pavilion!  As you may have seen on a post I wrote for Chip & Company, the Canada Pavilion is home to some great things to explore, including the gardens there.  I really enjoy taking extra time to check out the beautiful scenery of that pavilion!

The gardens over at Canada Pavilion

5) Perhaps one of the most relaxing things I can do at the Magic Kingdom is to take a train ride.  No, not this train:

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Rather, the train that I really enjoy taking a relaxing ride on is this train:

The Roger E. Broggie Locomotive on the Walt Disney World Railroad

To me, there is just something nostalgic, relaxing, turn of the century about riding on the authentic steam trains that travel around the Magic Kingdom.  If Cindy and Sophie would let me, I’d probably ride on the train for two or three laps before getting off.  Perhaps part of the reason I like it so much is because we don’t ride on the train all that often.  Maybe it’s because I love trains.  Maybe it’s because of the grandeur of those classic steam engines, and the beautiful detailing that accompanies them.  Or maybe it’s for none of these reasons — perhaps it’s just because I have an old soul, as someone once told me.  Whatever the reason, I love riding the train around the Magic Kingdom, and it never gets old.

 

Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort Pool

You know, I could go on for hours about all the relaxing things that I like to do.  I thought I was going to write about relaxing at the pool over at Bay Lake Tower (or whichever resort we happen to be staying at), but that didn’t make my top five.  Although, the pool at BLT is awesome — if you haven’t seen it, here it is as taken from our balcony when we were there last month.

I also thought that I was going to include the incredible shows that you can watch at the parks, including Mickey’s PhilharMagic over at Magic Kingdom, Finding Nemo: The Musical over at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Beauty and the Beast — Live on Stage over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  Those shows are awesome, and still relaxing because you are able to take a load off after a long day of walking to all the incredible rides you have ridden.  But they didn’t make the list either this time.

In the end, I guess what really matters to me is that you can find probably a thousand different places to relax at the Walt Disney World Resort.  While I have listed my top five relaxation points, there are many more that I didn’t include.  Tell me, where are your favorite relaxation places at Walt Disney World?

Revue Winnie the Pooh

Hi, I’m Sophie. I’m a new reporter of my dad Mike. Today I’m writing my first revue on the new movie “Winnie the Pooh”. It’s about a bear named Winnie the Pooh or Pooh for short. And Eeyore has lost his tail and then Pooh discovered a note that said: “gon ott bissy back soon (C.R.).” Then all the animals thought Christopher Robin was kidnapped by a backson, so they set up a trap and Pooh fell for it. And so that isn’t all the events and there are a lot of funny events in the movie… (like the part when all the animals go brain dead.) You see owl flew out of the pit, not realizing what he was doing (neither did the other animals) after giving a speech he jumped back into the pit. The animals stared at him then said “Owl what a spectacular speech that was!”

Overall, I recommend you go see this movie!

Magical Blogorail Red: Traversing Disney by Bus

Welcome to those of you joining me from A Disney Mom’s Thoughts and those of you who have just hopped aboard. I am the 4th stop on our Magical Blogorail.With Walt Disney World being such a huge resort, it is imperative that there be adequate transportation methods to get around to all of the different resorts, parks, water parks, and restaurants.  For this month, the Magical Blogorail Red line is going to focus on Disney World transportation methods.  As for me, I am going to talk about getting around Disney by bus.  So hop aboard (gentlemen, please give up your seat to ladies, children, and elderly passengers as needed) and enjoy the ride!

Until our last vacation, we had always stayed at a Moderate resort; first Coronado Springs over near Animal Kingdom, and then Port Orleans French Quarter later on.  Because of the proximity of the resorts, and the fact that they are not Monorail resorts, we rode the buses quite a bit — especially because our family car, Casper the Caliber, was on vacation also and told us to leave her alone so she could relax!

All in all, the buses at Walt Disney World are handled quite well by Disney Transportation, and rarely are there any issues with the buses, at least in my experiences.  As with many things regarding Disney, it is extremely important that you remember that, first and foremost, you are on vacation!  As such, the key operative word is relax.  While it may at times seem like the bus is never going to get there to take you to Animal Kingdom, that’s not actually the case.  Most of the time buses arrive every twenty minutes or so.  So sit down — if there is a seat available — open up your iPhone (or similar smartphone device), connect to My Dreams of Disney, and read my blog posts while you wait!  The twenty minutes will be up before you know it.  One word to the wise, though.  Don’t get so engrossed in reading my posts that you forget to check the buses as they arrive to see if they are going to your destination!

One thing to keep in mind is that the buses can get quite busy, especially during early morning and late evening hours.  With the change that Walt Disney World is implementing regarding Monorail hours for Extra Magic Hours, it is quite possible that the buses may get even more busy.  As a result, it will be even more crucial that you exercise some patience when you are waiting in line.  Remember, the bus drivers and other Cast Members can’t help it if the bus is all filled up before you get on the bus.

Another thing to keep in mind is that bus loading is handled first for handicap persons or those that have a scooter that they need loaded.  In cases where this happens, the bus driver will release the passengers that are currently on the bus first, then he will close the front doors, open the rear doors, load the scooter or wheelchair, and then open the front doors to load the rest of the passengers.

Again, please exercise your patience while this happens.  If you find that difficult to do, may I make a suggestion?  Think about how you would feel if you required such a device to enjoy your visit to Walt Disney World, and think about how you would feel if other people were giving you a hard time because you needed that.  Remember, it’s their vacation also.

Walt Disney World is one of the busiest vacation destinations anywhere.  Since that is the case, it is not entirely uncommon for their to be slight delays when it comes to moving people from one place to another.  However, the Cast Members at Walt Disney World are second to none, and will do all that they can to move us, the Guests, from one location to the next with as minimal a fuss as possible.

I have two last stories to pass along before I pass you along to our next stop on the Magical Blogorail.  Both of them happened during our last vacation, one to my niece and her boyfriend, and the other to us as we were returning to our resort.

First, when my niece and her boyfriend were coming to meet us at Hollywood Studios, they waited for over an hour for a bus to arrive to take them to the park.  It was so bad that my niece, who normally is very mild-mannered, got upset and mentioned her displeasure to the Cast Members where they were.  They immediately issued them two family fast passes, for the size of our party (nine members), for any of the rides that they wanted to use them on.  We used both of them to ride the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster twice at the end of the day.

The second story was when we were leaving Hollywood Studios to get to the Contemporary resort.  It was about 10PM, and we had been shopping on our way out, so there was no one in line with us.  A bus arrived, and when we got on, he asked us where we were headed.  When we told him Bay Lake Towers, he took us directly there, and didn’t stop at any of the other stops that he would normally have stopped at.

In both cases, Disney gave it’s Cast Members the leeway to do what they needed to do to make a Guest happy, and delivered the kind of Disney Magic that we are used to seeing with Walt Disney World.

The Disney Transportation people have done a good job over the years in perfecting the different transportation methods to help their Guests reach the destinations that they are looking to get to.  While no system is perfect, the Disney Cast Members do their best to make sure that any delays are as short as possible.  In fact, I heard a rumor yesterday on a podcast I listen to that mentioned that Disney is possibly looking at putting cameras in the bus stops that would allow Disney Transportation to be able to see at a moments notice when a bus stop needs additional buses.  Think about how cool that would be!

Thank you for joining me today.  Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is A World View.

 

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:
2nd Stop ~ WDW Backstage
Final Stop ~ A World View

The Next My Dreams of Disney Contest!

One of the gifts from my next contest!

Hello everyone!

I wanted to report in to everyone right now from my room at Bay Lake Towers!  We are having a great vacation, and I wanted to take a moment and tell you about the next contest on My Dreams of Disney!  For this contest, I’m looking for two sets of followers to increase — my Twitter followers, and my Facebook followers!  If you are not a fan yet of my Facebook page, head on over there now and “Like” the page!  Likewise, if you do not yet follow me on Twitter, head on over there and Follow me!  It’s quick, it’s easy, and each follow and like is an entry in the contest!  For a bonus entry, follow me by email!  It’s an easy way to get all of the posts from My Dreams of Disney, plus get entered into the contest.  Oh, by the way, what is the prize for this contest?  How about two of the special edition 40th Anniversary of the Magic Kingdom Disney Pins?

Thanks everyone, and good luck!  If you already like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter, than you are already entered!  Take the final step and follow us by email!