Often times we talk about taking time to stop and take in the story around you. The details that are up down and all around which lead to guests experiencing a more cohesive story. However, that’s not the only reason to stop rushing from place to place. Sometimes there are other things to enjoy in between the rush to see all of the restaurants and attractions that a well worth the investment of time, you simply have to stop and enjoy them. We not even talking about the resorts, we’re going to keep ourselves solely contained to the parks. So, here are a few of our favorite ways to spend time in the parks.
World Showcase – We’re starting big, huh? Seriously though aside from The American Adventure and Frozen Ever After, or La Cava del Tequila and L’Artisan des Glace (not that we don’t love all of these things!), there is a whole lot of the world to be discovered in World Showcase. Think of the variety of musical, comedy, or street performance acts that populate almost every single pavilion around the lagoon. From the drums in Japan, the mariachi in Mexico, the acrobatics present in China and France, and these are just the tip of the ice. Consider also that there are galleries in a majority of the country pavilions, and now you’ve put two pieces together that are critical for the success of World Showcase: edutainment and air conditioning. For my part, I could and have spent hours in the back corner of Japan or France, tucked away in the shade, relaxing, taking in the ambient music, and watching the World Showcase go by. There are a lot worse ways to spend an afternoon, I guarantee you that!
Animal Watching – Is there anything better than taking a seat and watching some of the most interesting or majestic creatures in the world meander through their day. Okay, so they don’t put a bench right in front of the tigers on the Maharajah Jungle Trek or by the lowland gorillas of the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail. There are, however, places within Disney’s Animal Kingdom where you can take a seat and get in some quality time with the animals. In fact, it is the reason that many of the animal habitats are placed near or along thoroughfares, walking an animal trail is great, but that means you have to actively seek them out. In Disney’s Animal Kingdom, many times you will happen upon them in between attractions. Even if you are on the trail, don’t rush from enclosure to enclosure. Stop and observe, ask questions if an expert happens to be there. I promise you, short of hogging an entire window to see the tigers all to yourself, if you sit back and remain in one place for a little while you will see and learn more than you ever thought you could, and no one will ask you to move or become perturbed.
The Neon Hour – There is something to be said for World Showcase, Tomorrowland, or the whole of Disney’s Animal Kingdom at night. They are spectacular, but that’s not the time I’m looking for right now. The hour I’m thinking of is that perfect twilight time, between the sun setting and night falling. It is the absolute perfect time to stake out a bench on Hollywood Boulevard and watch the neon of the signs begin to glow. I don’t know what it is about that time, but it is the perfect time to take in the atmosphere of old Hollywood.
Checkers – I’m going to play it straight with you, this photograph right here was the inspiration for writing this article. Checkers can be found in a multitude of locations around the Magic Kingdom. It is present on Main Street, U.S.A. in front of The Chapeau, and over in Frontierland by the Shootin’ Arcade, down by the Rivers of America in Miner’s Cove, and on Tom Sawyer’s Island at Huck’s Landing. Heck, it can even be found over at Fort Wilderness, but we’re not talking about resorts today, right? Seriously, is there any activity that is more reminiscent of our youths, more likely to bring on that competitive spirit and sense of fun, than a game of checkers? You can even use it to your itinerary’s advantage, pick two people in your party and let the game decide who gets to pick what the group does next. Or just relax and have a round robin tournament with your whole group!
This is a topic we’ve revisited once or twice, but it is worth remembering. When you come to Walt Disney World there is a lot to do. So much so, that many people never actually get to do even half of the options that are available to them. Taking the time to enjoy where you are and the world around you is a big part of why people choose to vacation at Walt Disney World. It’s up to you how you spend your time, but remember that you are on vacation, so take some time to smell the rose! Or watch the neon! Or play a game of checkers! I’m certain you’ll be happy that you did.