7 of Our Favorite Disney Resort Hideaways
One of the great “off the beaten path” things to do at Walt Disney World is to explore all of the resorts. From breathtaking lobbies to world-class dining, each resort has something special to offer. But each resort has so much more to offer, and we thought we’d have some fun and share some of those “out of the way” areas that we love to visit. So let’s hop on that monorail and head to our first stop…
1. The Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
While we can’t get enough of those beautifully crafted stained-glass domes in the ceiling of the Victorian-themed lobby, our favorite “relaxing” spot can be found out by Narcoossee’s. While the interior of the restaurant is elegantly appointed, we love to wonder out to the wrap-around deck and gaze out across the tranquil waters of Seven Seas Lagoon. The refreshing breeze in your face, the gentle lapping of the waves against the dock…this is one of those places where you can truly feel like you’re a thousand miles away from the hustle and bustle of the crowds!
2. The Polynesian Village Resort
From Victorian splendor to a tropical hideaway, the Polynesian takes you away to an exotic island retreat (complete with Dole Whips!). While the main lobby is filled with wonderful details (including a great Hidden Mickey on the floor as you walk in!), there are plenty of tranquil pathways and hidden treasures to be found as you explore the many trails winding throughout the resort. See if you can find the various fountains, exotic statues, and the Strangler Fig tree!
3. Contemporary Resort
The Contemporary is home to one of the great “secret” relaxing spots in all of Disney, the Convention level…just one escalator flight down from the Grand Canyon concourse on the 4th floor. This area is rarely busy (unless you wander down on the rare occasion when a large convention is assembling), and it’s filled with wonderful seating areas and places to relax. Grab a snack from the Contempo Café, head down the escalator, and find a comfy couch! You can relax with your family, explore the entire floor, and get yourself rested and ready for an evening of fun over at the Magic Kingdom or Epcot (just a short monorail ride away!)
4. The Wilderness Lodge
I thought I was the only one that loved this area, but it turns out I’m not alone! As you arrive back at the Lodge via the launch boats, you can enter the resort near Roaring Fork. Here you’ll find a gently sloping corridor leading up to the main lobby. I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about this hallway that I just adore. Perhaps it’s the Lodge music playing in the background, or the aroma of the fireplace (and barbecued goodies at Whispering Canyon) filling the air. Perhaps it’s that rustic, timber frame décor, or even that wonderful blast of air conditioning you get when you open the door (most welcome on a sunny Florida afternoon!). Whatever it is, it just screams “home” to me!
5. The Beach Club
The Solarium at the Beach Club is a wonderful place to relax. Tucked away near the Marketplace, this area is filled with comfy seating and breezy seaside décor. Take a moment to look at the paintings lining the entry hall, you’ll find lots of clever Hidden Mickeys!
6. The Yacht Club
An oft-overlooked area of the Yacht Club is actually just a few steps from the lobby. However, since most people take the lobby elevators to the upper floors, many folks don’t take the time to wander up the grand staircase in the corner. If you do, you’ll find a small sitting area that’s surprisingly out of the way, and it also gives you a great view of the lobby. Take the time to examine all of the nautical knick knacks in the bookcases, there’s lots of things to discover! Oh, and do take a moment to look at the giant globe in the lobby. See if you can find the elusive blue Hidden Mickey in the southern oceans!
7. The BoardWalk Inn
While you may think of this resort as being right in the heart of the BoardWalk itself (with many rooms overlooking the festive happenings taking place on the shores of Crescent Lake), there are some wonderful “out of the way” areas to explore that seem miles away from the carnival atmosphere of the BoardWalk. Just a short walk out of the back of the resort rakes you to this beautiful courtyard, complete with a grand staircase, lush gardens, and charming cottages. It’s a wonderful place to explore and relax…and to rest up before you head out to the BoardWalk for an evening of entertainment (or a ride on a tandem surrey bike!).