Home » Let’s Melt Away Some Stress with a Tour of the Most Peaceful Places at Walt Disney World

Let’s Melt Away Some Stress with a Tour of the Most Peaceful Places at Walt Disney World

One very helpful technique for dealing with stress and anxiety is getting grounded by focusing on something familiar and calming. Let’s do some of that right now by taking a little journey together to the Most Magical Place on Earth—specifically, to eight of the most peaceful places you’ll find in Walt Disney World.

(It can be helpful to throw on a little music for this read—this Spa Treatment playlist on Spotify is a good option, as is this one of relaxing Disney songs).

1. The Tomorrowland PeopleMover (Magic Kingdom)

Video: YouTube, User: 4K WDW

What is it about the PeopleMover that makes it so wonderfully relaxing?

By all rights, the PeopleMover doesn’t look like any sort of oasis away from Magic Kingdom craziness. With the Astro Orbiter spinning above and Tomorrowland crowds below, it’s actually very easy for visitors with a frantic eye to miss it entirely—yet a whole new world awaits on those swift little blue trams.

Maybe it’s the sweeping views of Tomorrowland and Cinderella Castles that make the PeopleMover so entrancing, or the way it lift you above the hustle below to sit back, relax, and enjoy the view. Maybe it’s the PeopleMover’s uniquely smooth magnetic propulsion system which casts a cooling breeze against your face as you ride. Maybe it’s those strangely-calming tunnels full of visions of an Asimov and Bradbury future that didn’t quite come to be or even passing unseen through Space Mountain.

There’s a reason the PeopleMover remains so many Disney fans’ favorite ride, and it definitely has something to do with the fact it’s one of the most peaceful places in the Most Magical Place on Earth…

2. The World Showcase gardens (Epcot)

Video: YouTube, User: MousePlanet.com

Epcot is seriously special. There truly is no other park in the world quite like it—a celebration of discovery, diversity, innovation, and human spirit.

It’s such a unique park that Epcot can often throw off visitors who are used to jumping from one ride to another. A visit to Epcot is just as much about exploration as it is about rides, and nowhere is that more apparent than in World Showcase. While World Showcase has plenty to offer the fleet-footed traveler in its restaurants, shops, performances, and attractions, for those who are willing to slow down, surprising havens of tranquility await.

Gardens are an integral part of World Showcase’s beauty, and three stand out above the rest. The first doesn’t take visitors too far off the main path—the reflecting pool of China. Located immediately outside the entrance to the Reflections of China theater, this lily-pad garden may be small but offers unparalleled serenity. A small walking path allows guests to explore the edges of the mossy pond, an ode to greenery that contrasts richly with the vibrant reds and blues of the theater.

Our second stop takes us further around the lagoon, up stone steps to Japan’s Katsura Grill. Immediately outside of the restaurant sits one of World Showcase’s most peaceful gardens—a koi pond surrounding by bonsai, azaleas, and trickling waterfalls. Perhaps you choose to settle on the red bridge to watch the fish, or you choose instead to find a bench to drink some warm green tea while taking in the serene beauty of rocks, trees, and water woven into living art.

Finally, no tour of the gardens of World Showcase is complete without a stroll into the Canada pavilion. Based on the spectacular Butchart Gardens of Victoria Island, a carpet of brilliantly-colored flowers meets a shimmering blue pool beneath a towering. The Hotel du Canada, based on Ottawa’s Chateau Laurier, completes the view for one of the most gorgeous landscapes in Walt Disney World. Stay as long as you like…

3. The courtyards of Morocco (Epcot)

Video: YouTube, User: ThemeParkHD

We can’t depart Epcot without one more stop on our journey, and it’s proof that you don’t necessarily need flowers or ponds to find a peaceful spot in Walt Disney World.

Morocco might be one of the most unique pavilions in World Showcase. There’s something uniquely enticing about it as you approach—a wondrous realm of sandy towers, colored glass, and winding streets.

Past its looming arches, the Morocco pavilion holds a world all its own—an entrancing market full of silken scarves, rich spices, and bronzeware gives way to winding streets and quiet corners. I’ve enjoyed some of my favorite moments at Walt Disney World sitting just beyond Restaurant Marrakesh, eating a falafel plate and listening to the nearby fountain trickle as the sun set over the towers. The pavilion is full of havens like this. Just short walk down the road, the courtyard of Fez House offers a similar rest spot surrounded by tile mosaics, glass lanterns, and intricately-carved wooden balconies.

Whether you wander through Morocco’s wondrous shops, linger in its museum, or just enjoy a mint tea by the lagoon, there is possibly no more enchanting place in Epcot.

4. Maharajah Jungle Trek (Disney’s Animal Kingdom)

Video: YouTube, User: ThemeParkHD

All of Animal Kingdom’s walking trails offer an element of serenity, but one stands out from the rest. Located in a quiet corner of the Asia section a bit beyond Kali River Rapids, the Maharajah Jungle Trek draws guests on a journey into the entrancing beauty of the jungles of south Asia.

A winding trail leads guests into a realm of gentle flying foxes, roaming tigers, and grazing deer. Guests can linger inside the aviary to take in over 50 species of colorful birds, where golden pheasants and Victoria crowned pigeons explore the forest floor while Asian weaver birds flutter about competing for nesting materials (you can meet their African cousins on the Gorilla Falls Trail as well).

The resident animals are only half the beauty here. Local Florida wildlife like lizards, butterflies, cardinals, and owls call this refuge home as well. We once saw a massive fledgling barred owl learning how to use his wings along the ruins path. In short, when you next visit the Maharajah Jungle Trek, take your time—find a bench and wait to see what mysteries this beautiful place reveals. You’ll see something different every time.

5. The hidden dock on Tom Sawyer Island (Magic Kingdom)

Set apart from the bustle of Frontierland, Tom Sawyer Island doesn’t seem at first like much to look at. After all, it doesn’t offer any rides, and any visit here requires an investment of time to wait for a raft to shuttle you across the Rivers of America to its mysterious docks.

This investment is well worth it. Tom Sawyer Island is probably one of the most underrated attractions in Walt Disney World.

We’ve written before about the island’s surprisingly-creepy caves, forts, and barrel bridges, but the real beauty of Tom Sawyer Island is found in its peaceful corners. For a place that touts Mystery Mines and play trails, the island is surprisingly calming, and there are so many places to just sit back and enjoy a few minutes of quiet.

Our favorite spot on the island is a little out of the way—so much so that most visitors miss it entirely. A little ways past Fort Langhorn, if you continue alone the island’s edge, you eventually reach a dock with a few rocking chairs. There’s a sort of unspoken code about this spot—if no one is making noise, you don’t either. Across the river, Big Thunder Mountain looms, guest shouting in delight as they wheel through its tracks on runaway mine trains. Despite the noise from the mountain, there’s something incongruously calm about the spot. It’s an amazing place to get a few pictures, enjoy a picnic, or just sit and think.

It’s not always possible to find it unoccupied, but if you do, you might just feel like the luckiest person in the Magic Kingdom…

6. The World of Pandora on a quiet night (Disney’s Animal Kingdom)

Catching Animal Kingdom’s World of Pandora on a less-busy night can seem quite a challenge—after all, it’s one of the biggest attractions in the park. If you manage it, however, you may just be treated to one of the most entrancing shows in Walt Disney World.

The World of Pandora is stunningly beautiful at night. You don’t have to care a thing for Avatar or even step foot onto a ride—the whole place glows with otherworldly beauty, hypnotizing the eyes wherever you look. High above, floating mountains shimmer with bio-luminescent flora. All around, trees, flowers, moss, and mysterious animals glow with fluorescent light. The planet’s jungle calls with the sounds of life all around, and haunting melodies encourage guests to linger long as you wish.

While Pandora is certainly enchanting during the day, at night the outpost buildings and science-fiction bunkers disappear into this explosion of color and light. It’s well worth it to forget the rush for the next ride and just take it all in.

7. Senses Spa (Disney’s Saratoga Springs and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resorts)

On the best of days, a Disney vacation can be stressful. Long walks leave feet and shoulders aching and managing all of the moving parts of a family trip can quickly rattle the calm you were hoping to enjoy. If this is often your situation, this hidden gem could prove a game changer on your next vacation.

Senses Spa, located at both Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, specializes in melting stress away. Both spas invite guests into a hidden oasis of relaxation lounges, steam rooms, spa tubs, and pampering. I recently had the pleasure of visiting the Saratoga Springs spa with my husband, and we can’t wait to go back. Both spas offer a wide range of relaxing services including facials, body treatments, manicures, pedicures, and of course, massages—I recommend the warm stone massage in particular to soothe away muscle tension.

Both spas offer guests all-day access to the spa amenities with any treatment (excluding salon appointments—manicures work though!) as well as a free glass of wine or hot tea after your treatment. The Grand Floridian Spa offers a slightly more intimate setting with separate men’s and women’s relaxation lounges while the Saratoga Springs Spa offers a few extra amenities (like a eucalyptus-infused steam room) with a co-ed lounge. Oh, and if normal spa locker rooms stress you out, Senses Spa has the advantage of being a keep-your-bathing-suit on sort of spa—they offer services for well-behaved kids too.

8. The beaches and walking paths

Sometimes, we all just need to take a peaceful walk…

Disney’s resorts are full of winding paths and hidden coves where guests can get away from the noise and just breathe. At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, this could mean a stroll around the resort savannah, pausing at your leisure to watch the animals graze. At the Epcot resorts, guests can enjoy a quiet walk around the lagoon or in between Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. A consistent favorite among guests is the nature trail in between Fort Wilderness and Wilderness Lodge. On this beautiful path, guests can take in Florida’s natural charm with frequent visits from local birds, rabbits, lizards, and even deer.

After your walk, you can’t go wrong with a little downtime on one of Disney’s resort beaches—our favorites are at The Polynesian Resort, The Yacht and Beach Club, and the Swan and Dolphin. Find yourself a swing, a hammock, or deck chair to lay back and let the stress melt away. These are great spots to catch an evening sunset or even to watch the fireworks paint the sky.

It might be a little while before we can all get back to Disney parks, but from Theme Park Tourist we want to give this encouragement—it will be all right. The sun still rises. Take a breath, find your feet, and we’ll all face tomorrow together, one day at a time.

Enjoy this article? Keep reading to hear about the 6 Times Our Readers Totally Changed this Writer’s Mind or find out the 7 Surprising Things People Still Believe About Walt Disney World. Thank you for supporting Theme Park Tourist!