At Disney World? Take Five! Best Places to Relax

Sometimes, in spite of our best plans and intentions, we want to go, go, go! to see and do all there is at Walt Disney World, but reality kicks in. Be it in the form of a run-of-the-mill meltdown, overheating, overeating, too little sleep, sore feet – the list is long – something interferes with our momentum. ‘S Okay though! Disney World knows and Disney World understands! We need options! No matter the situation – you can cool off, calm down, take a load off, or nap!

At Disney World? Take Five! Best Places to Relax

In the Parks…RM-Hall-of-Presidents

Hall of Presidents – While I love this attraction, I get that it is definitely thrill-less. Let Morgan Freeman’s narration lull you into a state of relaxation. Little ones (and you) can easily nap during this nearly 23-minute show in Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square. The seats are comfy!RM-Ellen-and-Bill-Nye

Ellen’s Energy Adventure – Rumor has it that this outdated and underappreciated attraction is on the chopping block in the near future, so take advantage while you can of this glorious 40-minutes of air-conditioned prime napping opportunity! I’m not kidding – yours truly has snoozed (often involuntarily) on every visit. Once Ellen’s gone, we’ll have to take 5 at Epcot in the France Pavilion’s movie theater and chill during Impressions de France for 18 minutes of calming music and scenery.RM-Voyage-of-the-Little-Mermaid

Voyage of the Little Mermaid – This 17-minute show in Disney’s Hollywood Studios seems a lot longer when you’re in the theater. It’s wonderfully dark and cool, the story’s familiar and without anything unexpected. Tired feet, full belly, cranky offspring – no matter the ailment, Ariel and her adventures are soothing.

Finding Nemo The Musical – A whopping 40-minutes long, this attraction in Disney’s Animal Kingdom provides a wonderful opportunity to escape from what is arguably Disney’s hottest park. While this show does revisit Nemo’s familiar story, it does so in a unique way, by adding musical numbers. Details here. I’ve not been a huge fan, but certainly appreciate the prime rest and relaxation opportunity afforded in this little oasis set between Asia and Dinoland U.S.A.

Outside the Parks…Disney-Friendship-Boat

Take the Boat!  If transportation from points A to B by water is an option, choose it! Go from Magic Kingdom to Wilderness Lodge, grab the boat from Disney’s Hollywood Studios to the Epcot area, set sail from Disney Springs to and from the Port Orleans resorts…doesn’t matter where you’re going, a boat-ride is the ultimate in relaxation!  Personally, I’ll hop aboard the Liberty Belle in Magic Kingdom just for the scenery and to escape from the crowds.

Now it’s your turn! What is your most favorite place to take 5 at Walt Disney World?



Walt Disney World – Feeling Patriotic

RM-Flag-Main-StreetSummertime makes me feel patriotic.  I suppose it’s because of the holiday palooza of Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day – all great occasions to celebrate being in the good old U.S. of A.  When we visit Walt Disney World during the summer, I’m much more focused on the special events and attractions that make me feel patriotic – and there are plenty to choose from!

Walt Disney World – Feeling Patriotic

Hall of Presidents – While I might not visit this attraction in Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square every time I’m at Disney World, I do love this attraction in the summer.  It’s cool inside and the building’s lobby is full of Americana – my favorite of which is the articles of clothing from First Ladies.  RM-Hall-of-Presidents-DressSome people find the attraction a great place to catch a nap, but I’m more inclined to sit close-ish to the stage so I can watch the subtle movements of the presidents.  The animatronics are phenomenal!  One president may have the floor, but while he’s speaking, the other presidents are shifting, nodding – actively listening.  I love that!!!RM-Hall-of-Presidents

The Flag Retreat – If you’ve never seen this ceremony on Magic Kingdom’s Main Street U.S.A., you’ve got to make time.  As the flag is lowered at the end of the day, guests are treated to a wonderful, patriotic few moments.  My full review is here and I cannot recommend this enough.Flag+Lowering

Voices of Liberty – Inside the American Adventure Pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase is (to me) the most underappreciated musical entertainment in all of Walt Disney World.  Making time to hear this highly talented a cappella group perform should be in everyone’s touring plan at least once – preferably during the summer months.  Enter the pavilion and marvel at the dome’s acoustics!  This is the way to listen to our favorite patriotic songs!!! (Full review here.)Voices-of-Liberty

The American Adventure – This is both a pavilion and an attraction!  Before or after you catch a performance of the Voices of Liberty, you can spend 30 minutes enjoying a journey through our nation’s history hosted by Ben Franklin and Mark Twain.  Sure, some people find this a cool, dark, relaxing place to grab a nap, but if you can stay awake, this attraction is a great source of patriotic inspiration.

Your turn!  Where do you feel patriotic at Walt Disney World?



The Hall of Presidents – Give it a Chance


The Hall of Presidents – Give it a Chance

I think the Hall of Presidents in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom gets a bad rap.  Sure, there’s the fact that it’s not a ride – there is in fact no spinning, twirling, climbing, or thrilling drops.  It might even smell a little bit educational and you know what?  When most folks go on vacation, the last thing they want to do is be educated.  History is boring, right?  Patriotism is for old people maybe.  Politics is a bad word.  Whatever the reason, the Hall of Presidents isn’t all that popular unless it’s an extremely warm day and you’re looking for a quiet place to nap.  Not me, though.  I actually like the Hall of Presidents – I love history, I love the animatronics, and I love knowing that Walt Disney would have loved it too.

Located in Liberty Square, the Hall of Presidents (modeled after Independence Hall) is an original Magic Kingdom attraction and opened on October 1, 1971.  Obviously, since there have been seven additional presidents since Richard Nixon was in office, the attraction has changed quite a bit over the years.  My fascination with the experience starts right when I walk through the door into the theater’s lobby.

The Great Seal of the United States is front and center.  That’s pretty awesome, but the perimeter of the room is what interests me the most.  The paintings are cool, the artifacts are interesting, but I love the first ladies’ dress displays.RM-Hall-of-Presidents-DressRM-Hall-of-Presidents-Dress2RM-Hall-of-Presidents-Dress-Laura-Bush

I can’t help it – I love fashion and I think seeing different styles worn by first ladies like Laura Bush makes the imagined historical figures seem more real.  If I arrive early enough, I take a long, slow stroll around the lobby to take it all in before entering the theater.RM-Hall-of-Presidents-Lincoln

Morgan Freeman could read the phone book to me and I’d gladly listen to every name and number.  The fact that Mr. Freeman is the narrator of the show in the Hall of Presidents makes it perfect.  The show’s use of multimedia effects holds my interest.  I really enjoy sitting close enough to study the details on each presidential figure.RM-Hall-of-Presidents-Lincoln-AnimatronicHonest Abe just floors me!  And gives me goose bumps.  I’m sappy, sentimental, and get all puffed up with patriotism during that show!

I don’t have to visit the Hall of Presidents on every vacation at Walt Disney World, but I’d be devastated if it ever closed.  Many people feel the American Adventure in Epcot is the better “American” attraction – and I’ll agree that Epcot’s show is also excellent, just not exactly the same.  RM-Hall-of-Presidents-The-PresidentsWalt Disney had the idea for bringing American Presidents to life in animatronic form – he knew the impact that could have!  Seeing our founding fathers and those that followed all together in one place makes quite an impression.  At least to me.

What about you?  Are you a fan of the Hall of Presidents or not so much.  If you’ve never seen it or it’s been a long time since you’ve experienced it – are you willing to give it a chance?

Walt Disney World – Lots of Love for Liberty Square

The Liberty Bell in Walt Disney World's Liberty SquareSo much goodness can be found in a very special little corner of Magic Kingdom – Liberty Square!  I like to approach this section of the park through Fantasyland to fully enjoy this carefully crafted walk through time.  Don’t know what I mean?  Liberty Square is the symbolic beginning of these United States of America!  As you walk towards and through Frontierland, you move through history!

Let’s go back in time to Colonial America.  Check the buildings’ architecture, style, and colors and you’ll be transported back to a time when there were, in this country, just 13 colonies struggling for liberty – thus the name of today’s focus!  Don’t miss the Liberty Bell (reproduction) and the stockade for some great photo ops!  A humble little area with only a very few attractions and eateries, the Magic Kingdom and Walt Disney World would certainly not be the same without it.

Lots of Love for Liberty Square

The Liberty Belle is a beauty!  This paddlewheel boat is graceful and majestic and offers guests a relaxing way to enjoy the Rivers of America.  While I prefer to enjoy her beauty from the shore Hall of Presidents / Walt Disney Worldrather than aboard her decks – there’s no denying how impressive this riverboat is in all her whitewashed glory.

The Hall of Presidents – Don’t be ashamed if you’re a fan!  Go ahead, hold your head up with pride.  You’re not a stuffy, geeky brainiac – you’ve got a great appreciation for a unique and very “Disney” experience.  In New York at the 1964 World’s Fair, Walt Disney’s Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln first appeared in the Illinois Pavilion.  Once Disney had Honest Abe – the very first animatronic human – the rest of the presidents were not far behind.  A virtual haul of presidents!  (Don’t hurt yourself)

Walt Disney World's Haunted MansionHaunted Mansion – Don’t tell me this doesn’t rank in your top 10 favorite Disney attractions.  Either I won’t believe you or I’ll have to stop being your friend.  This ride’s got it ALL!  Great sound and special effects, perfect balance of fun and creepy/scary-ness, awesome ride vehicles, great music – what more could a Disney fan ask for?

What’s YOUR favorite thing about Liberty Square?