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The 8 Best Places to Catch Your Breath at Disney

Sitting in a lobby

Image: DisneyMany of Disney’s resorts are much more laid back than you’d expect. Over the years, the company has offloaded hotel check-in thanks to emerging technologies. With a Magic Band or smartphone in hand, you don’t need to visit the lobby to unlock your hotel room door or learn your room number, for that matter.

The pleasant offshoot of this change is that several lobbies are quite relaxing. I'd include Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, Disney's Beach Club Resort, and the Polynesian near the top. For the optimal experience, you should visit Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, where the theming embraces tranquility. The architecture mimics the style of lodges at national parks, with a multi-story chimney as the star of the open area. When you sit for a spell in this lobby, you'll feel at one with nature even though you're inside.

Staring at the castle

Image: DisneyOne of the most incongruous places at Magic Kingdom is the area directly across from Cinderella Castle. It’s a garden, at least according to its name. The Main Street Plaza Gardens section of Main Street, U.S.A. is one of those quiet spots hidden in plain sight.

While park visitors are single-mindedly walking toward their destinations, Disney experts sit calmly in the garden and people-watch. The smartest among them pack a picnic or grab some to-go food via Mobile Ordering. It's a beautiful spot to appreciate the majesty of Cinderella Castle. Photography enthusiasts and illustrators, in particular, love it here. They can take pictures or draw the castle in an unexpectedly tranquil environment.

Travel to Mexico or France or…

Image: DisneyThe easiest park to catch your breath is unquestionably Epcot. The back half of the park is the World Showcase. It is comprised of 11 different pavilions, each of which includes an indoor area. When you need a break from the chaos, walk into one of these buildings. You’ll find spectacular architecture, a comfortable environment on a cold/hot day, and lots of seating.

My favorite two pavilions for much-needed breaks are Mexico and France. The Mexico pavilion is an open space with shopping stands and art exhibits that all feature breathtaking artistry. At the France pavilion, you’ll find a recreation of the Eiffel Tower. It builds the illusion that you’re visiting Paris. You can grab an espresso and sit on one of the benches or possibly even the side of a fountain. Out of all the pavilions at the World Showcase, I find it the best for escapist fantasy. My problems wash away when I sit here.

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