It's a great irony, isn't it? We work all year to save money and earn vacation time. We toil away each day, picturing that glorious trip where our time is ours, and all we have to worry about is relaxation. We choose to visit Walt Disney World – The Vacation Kingdom – as a way of kicking back and forgetting our problems.
Yet, like clockwork, around 72 hours into your vacation, you'll hit The Wall.
Some power through, going full Clark Griswold and thinking to themselves, “I've spent so much money on this trip, and taken so much time off, I will have fun! I will! I will have so much freaking fun!” Then, come the end of their trip, they say those familiar words we've all heard way too much:
“I need a vacation from my vacation.”
But here's the thing: If you take some time during your Walt Disney World vacation to sneak off to a quiet spot and leave your worries where they were, you'll find Disney can be just as peaceful as any other trip. You just have to know where to look.
So, with that in mind, the next time you find yourself at Walt Disney World and you think you need to get away from it all, keep these five spots in mind. They can be the brief respite from the stress of your vacation – which, of course, is the brief respite from the stress of your daily life. Funny how that works.
1. Crew's Cup Lounge, Yacht Club Resort
I sing the praises of the Crew's Cup Lounge as much as I can, because this little tucked away gem is as close to Disney bar perfection as you can find. It may lack the flashiness of Trader Sam's or Jock Lindsays. It may not have the same gorgeous view of Mizner's Lounge. It may not feature pineapples and backscratchers like the Tambu Lounge.
But on a hot summer afternoon, when you've spent hours and hours waiting for Soarin' Around the World or Frozen Ever After, the only thing on your mind will be the dark, cozy booths, the relaxed atmosphere, and the legitimately tasty food.
Crew's Cup Lounge is more straightforward than the modern Disney bar, but it is no less welcoming and comfortable. It's rarely full, meaning the hectic energy that drives most of Walt Disney World is missing here, and its proximity to The Yachtsman Steakhouse means the crowd tends to be a bit older, more mature, and less antsy. Plus, finding a table is usually pretty easy, meaning you can take at least one meal off from the stress of Disney dining.
Ultimately, this handsome bar let's you turn your brain off, enjoy some delicious food or drink, and recharge your batteries – just in time to head back into Epcot for that Mission: Space Fastpass you've got. (Pro-tip: the air sickness bags are real).
2. Bellevue Lounge, Boardwalk Inn
The Grand Floridian Resort and the Boardwalk Inn are essentially twins separated at birth. While the Grand Floridian wound up living a life of luxury and ostentatious class, the Boardwalk found its way to the upper class through a bit of wit, guile, and elbow grease. The Grand Floridian may have a piano player or a small orchestra, but the Boardwalk has carnival barkers and street magicians. They're both glamorous, but one feels a bit more down-to-Earth.
And so, since the Grand Floridian has the deliciously elegant Mizner's Lounge, the Boardwalk must have its own rendition on the classy hotel bar. Only, for the Boardwalk, elegance isn't quite as important as familiarity.
That's the conceit of the Bellevue Lounge, located just to the side of the resort's lobby.
Honestly, the Bellevue Lounge isn't so much a bar as it is a room, but it's a really relaxing room, which earns it a spot on this list. Modeled after a 1930s sitting room, the lounge is outfitted with pieces of early 20th century popular culture – everything from books to art to knickknacks. The chairs and sofas are unforgettably comfortable, making it a perfect place for a late-afternoon retreat from the nearby parks. Just grab a board game, a drink, and some friends and you'll feel ready to go in no-time.