/ Monday, March 4th, 2013

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Top Ten Places to Stop and Smell the Roses in Walt Disney World


Hello and welcome to The WDW Radio Show – Your Walt Disney World Information Station. I am your host, Lou Mongello, and this is show #314 for the week of March 3, 2013.

I’m here to help you have the best possible Disney vacation experience, and bring you some Disney magic to to wherever you by talking about the things that make us happy about Walt Disney World on this podcast, as well as my videos, blog, live broadcasts, events, trivia books, CDs and more. You can find it all at WDWRadio.com.

This week, I want to try and enhance your Walt Disney World experience and visit by telling you to not ride the attractions, see the shows, or run to grab your next FASTPASS. Instead, I’m going to try and help you appreciate the parks for some of the true joys hiding in plain sight as we share with you our Top Ten Places to Stop and Smell the Roses in Walt Disney World. From hidden pathways to quiet places, from simple pleasures to charming vistas, we’re going to help you see the Disney parks and resorts possibly as a whole new world.

I’ll have the answer to our last Walt Disney World Trivia Question of the Week, and pose a new challenge for your chance to win a Disney prize package.

Stay tuned for more WDW Radio event and meet information before playing some of your voicemails at the end of the show. So sit back, relax, and enjoy this week’s episode of the WDW Radio Show.

Thanks for listening! Be sure to tune in next week!

– Lou Mongello

Information and Links from This Week’s Show

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Where is YOUR favorite place to stop and smell the roses in Walt Disney World?? Leave your answer in the comments section below!

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25 thoughts on “WDW Radio Show #314 – Top Ten Places to Stop and Smell the Roses in Walt Disney World”

  1. Lisa Peck says:

    We love Coronado Springs! Moderate resort, awesome deal. Restaurant offers the only buffet options as counter services on the property. Beautiful grounds, awesome pools & hot tub. Such fun events @ the pool including movies on giant screen, trivia contests & marshmallow roasts. It’s truly our favorite! And their suites are awesome!

  2. Maggie Crocker says:

    I Just love the Gardens at the Polynesian, from the torches, palms and water fountains. It is so relaxing and just such a wonderful atmosphere. The beach is great, plus you get the view of Magic Kingdom. It is our favorite place to go

  3. Todd from Texas says:

    My top 4 places to stop and smell the roses at Walt Disney World:

    4. Relaxing looking over the beach at Bay Lake prior to seating at the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Review.

    3. Just inside the International Gateway Entrance after Future World opens but before World Showcase opens.

    2. By the lake in front of the Beach Club at sunrise.

    1. On Main Street at the Magic Kingdom before it opens (when you have early breakfast reservations at Cinderella’s Royal Table.)

    Honorable Mention: any of the boat rides as a means of transportation. Great chance to reflect on what you’ve done so far.

  4. Pierce says:

    My wife and I love the China Pavilion. From the museum with the Terracotta Warriors to hearing the echo standing in the center of the dome in the Temple of Heaven (which we learned from Lou’s hidden gems of Epcot episode). It is amazing to be in that space, see everybody just looking at the amazing architecture, stand in the middle and speak and then see everybody else try it out. Our favorite part of the pavilion, however, is the garden outside of Reflections of China. It is tucked away to the side and not many people seem to make it back there. It’s a great place to take a breather and recharge before continuing through the World Showcase.

  5. Matt says:

    Our favorite place to sit and relax or “smell the roses” is down the side street off mainstreet, the name is escaping me right now. We love to get an icecream or a snack from the bakery and go all the way back there and sit and enjoy the sounds. You are far enough away from the noise of main street and you can hear the sounds of the singing and dance lessons going on in one of the upstairs studios.

  6. Lucille Salzer says:

    There are a few places my husband and I love to go and stop and just relax. One of which is at Epcot, “The Seasons” we love to grab lunch early a Sandwich & Salad we share and just sit and relax there. Another wonderful place is at AK Lodge we grab lunch from “The Mara” and sit by one of the areas out back and relax and enjoy the beautiful trees etc. The Polynesian Resort is another wonderful place to grab a quick lunch and sit outside and enjoy the music and beautiful Trees and Beach there. 🙂 Have a Lovely Magical Day. Lucille (Tinkerchelli)

  7. Jamie Hecker says:

    It’s not in the parks, but my favorite spot for a relaxing moment is an early morning stroll along the Sassagoula, along the Port Orleans French Quarter resort.

  8. Nick says:

    5) Barefoot Pool Bar: Sitting on the beach waiting for the fireworks while my 3 boys are watching the movie by the pool.

    4) Contemporary Lobby near check in desk. I love letting my kids watch the cartoons in the lobby by the check in desk. They love the 50’s,60’s cartoons.

    3) Sitting by Gertie the Dinosour at dusk while eating an ice cream. I’ve been doing it since 1989.

    2) Laying in Hammock on Swan Beach while looking at Dolphin. I’ve been doing this since 2000. Only recently have I had a new #1.

    1) Riding boat from Port Orleans Riverside to and from Downtown Disney after dark. The view of the Treehouses are awesome. The boat captain will be my job in 30 years, when I retire. This is my favorite thing to do at WDW. I just happen to be “Smelling the Roses” while I’m in the process!!

  9. Chuck says:

    My last trip, May 2012, my son was sick for a day and I went to the Magic Kingdom alone…I had the chance to just wonder around and check things out…I got a Citrus Swirl, followed the path to Frontierland, found a nice rocking chair outside the pin store and just sat there and people watched for about an hour!!!

  10. Jason says:

    Loved this podcast Lou! As a father of small children I find myself searching for “Stop and smell the roses” locations while they nap in the stroller.

    1. We regularly visit the Drinkwallah landing early in the morning with a coffee and chocolate chip muffin from the Royal Anandupur Tea Company. Great shade and excellent theming!

    2. I agree with Tim on the Imagination Pavillion. I like to sit up the ramp and to the left of the entrance to Captain EO. There is a quiet area with benches and a small fountain. From there you can sit and watch people play with the jumping fountains and see the monorails passing by.

    3. In Magic Kingdom, to the left of the Pirates of the Carribean entrance is an alley. Down the alley there are benches that back up to the ride queue. From there you can here the queue music, feel the cool A/C pumping out of the building, and people watch in Adventureland.

  11. Brian says:

    When I need a break from the crowds I like to go across to Tom Sawyer’s Island and walk around and watch the riverboat go by.

  12. Jo says:

    5) The small seating area behind Sleepy Hollow Refreshments in Liberty Square. You can’t see the parades from there but it’s still nice to hide away for a funnel cake.

    4) Aunt Polly’s Dockside Inn on Tom Sawyer’s Island. I like sitting in the rocking chair and looking out at the Haunted Mansion and waving to people on the Liberty Bell ferry boat as it passes by.

    3) The Writer’s Stop at Hollywood Studios. Grab a coffee, sit on the sofa and watch some TV or peruse a book or magazine.

    2) There is a dock just across from the Flights of Wonder Show at Animal Kingdom. There are only a few tables and chairs but it never seems to be full because its a bit hidden by greenery. There is usually some Asian-inspired meditation-like music piped in and the view of the Tree of Life is gorgeous.

    1) The boardwalk at The Boardwalk Inn at sunset. As the sun goes down, the lights of the Boardwalk come up. The Yacht Club and Beach Club look beautiful in the distance and the Friendship boats glide across the lake. Have a corn dog from one of the vendors or grab an ice cream cone from the sweet shop. Stick around for musicians and magicians that perform randomly.

  13. Scott & TIna says:

    Our favorite Stop and Smell the Roses spot is the porch of Crockett’s Tavern at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground. Grab a rocking chair and just sit and relax. Mid-afternoon is a good time for this since you do not have the crowd gathering for the Hoop-de-Doo and many people are in the parks.

  14. mickeymatt says:

    I have a few:

    1)Sleepy Hollow in Liberty Square. Great place to just sit and relax (and eat a waffle breakfast sandwich).
    2)I’m glad Lou mentioned Drinkwalla because we discovered it last visit to Animal Kingdom!
    3)When your legs are tired and its time to exit the park, go to the Town Square Theatre and there is a porch right by the exit under the train station. Grab a seat in a rocking chair and listen to the main street back ground music and watch everybody rush to stand in line for buses, monorails, and ferries!

  15. Craig Hargrove says:

    Our favorite “Stop and Smell the roses” spot is on top of the Wilderness Lodge. We have had the chance to be the Flag Family of the day on two occasions. There is nothing like the view from on top of the Lodge. All the major icons from the parks look beautiful, and you can watch the monorail and ferry boats as they start the morning rounds. It is a very special experience to raise our Nation’s flag and to recite the pledge of allegiance as a family.

  16. Benjo says:

    I’m a life-long WDW fan, and I was lucky enough to get down to the parks just about every other year growing up. I was able to get my wife hooked on Disney when we were still dating in college. We took a trip with my parents to the World as a graduation gift. She hadn’t been since she was 9 years old, and it was amazing to see her fall in love all over again with the parks that I loved so much.

    After that time, we had made lots of trips down to WDW and had gone “commando” style; getting to the parks at 8 am and staying out until 2 am and getting in as many rides as humanly possible in a day.

    In 2007, our first daughter was born. On the first trip we took her to the World, I can remember my parents telling us that “you’ll need to slow down and enjoy it now.” I remember being frustrated on that first trip as parents, as we could no longer get in 9 Tower of Terror rides in one day.

    On one of the final days of that trip, we went to Epcot, my favorite park, and went straight to for Soarin’ FastPasses, and any Disney fan would. After navigating the cattle herd with our stroller and getting our FP’s, our daughter was crying and hungry. We decided to get some breakfast from Seasons.

    As we sat there with our food first thing in the morning, my wife and I realized how serene and peaceful it was to relax in Seasons with some breakfast, and just people watch. It was a real turning point for us as parents, as we realized that we do really need to “slow down and enjoy it.”

    It was in that moment of stopping to smell the roses in Seasons that my whole viewpoint of vacationing in WDW changed. I no longer try to speed through the parks, but try to take this very special time away from work and the busyness of life to enjoy the time with my kids, slow down, and soak in the wonderful experience that is Walt Disney World.

  17. Mike says:

    Hiya Lou! The first place that sprang to mind, even before listening to the podcast, was the Maharajah Jungle Trek. There were a few times during the show when the concept of “getting lost” in Animal Kingdom was mentioned. Well, where else can you get lost and become totally absorbed by events, but in a great story? The main mantra of what WDW offers its guests is, above all, STORY! Nowhere else in all the parks & resorts does the idea of a completely immersive story come alive more than in the Maharajah. The theming and detailing are so rich, it really becomes a transporting experience. Not only do you feel like you’re in India, you feel as though you’ve stepped off the page of a Kipling story, expecting to see Baloo & Mowgli strolling from behind that ruined temple up ahead. With Animal Kingdom being the most recent park to have opened, you can tell the Imagineers have really honed their art at delivering story, and the Maharajah Jungle Trek nails it perfectly.

  18. Mine is a little different, but it’s Ellen’s Energy Adventure. It really is a marvelous attraction and I really appreciate all the ‘moving parts’ and the story.

  19. There are so many little things to do that almost out weigh actually riding attractions or watching shows. I believe the more chances you get to visit a Disney park the more of these types of getaways you discover.

    5) When staying at the Beach Club I enjoy an early morning stroll to the Boardwalk Bakery for a coffee croissant. Complete the round trip while you enjoy a delicious breakfast.

    4) Grab a milkshake (you’ll needs a spoon to consume) from Min & Bill’s Dockside Diner, find an empty bench around Echo Lake and watch the people rush by.

    3) Take the long way from Splash Mountain to Liberty Square. The path along the river is seldom crowded and full of great views.

    2) Morocco. Just go explore. It is an amazing place.

    1) Literally smell the roses. The rose garden in the Magic Kingdom and the gardens near the Imagination Pavilion. Great photographic opportunities at both locations.

  20. Tena says:

    My favorite place to stop and smell the “roses” is at the ice cream shop at MK as the park is closing. I love to see all the tired/happy faces as they leave the park (and thankful that they are going to wait in line for the boat/bus/monorail/tram and I’m not going to!). After a while, the crowds die down and you can experience an almost vacant Main Street all lit up, you can hear the old time music, reflect on the experiences of the day. Regardless of how tired my family is at the end of a big day at the park, our last stop is the ice cream shop – and maybe we’ll even get some ice cream!

  21. Brent buttrum says:

    My top 5. I believe you can stop and smell the roses right smack in the middle of the action.
    1. Grab a free ice cream sundae(free dining) at auntie gravity’s at MK. Find a seat outside under the futuristic trees with the branches shaped like discs. This is my wife April’s favorite spot. A lot happens around this area.
    2. You have to eat at Flame Tree BBQ at AK. Sit all the way down by the water with an excellent view of Expedition Everest. If you get in line 15 min before opening you might get lucky and be the “opening family.” This is a very restful spot for my family.
    3. At Epcot , one time we were waiting for our reservation at Coral Reef and it was right at sunset. We were sitting outside in the waiting area and it was a really nice spot to reflect on our trip and relax. The monorail track goes right over your head and it was fun guessing when the next one would come by.
    4. HS is a tough one because its usually very busy. We like to get a smoothie(free) down at Rock And Rollercoaster and sit on the rock wall and watch the Amazing amount of people go back and forth thru that area. You can also hear the screams from tower of terror, and maybe a song or two from Beauty and The Beast.
    My honorable mention would be the MK train. We love to ride all the way around.

  22. Kim says:

    Every trip we do a “monorail tour” and stop at each of the monorail resorts spending the most time at the Polynesian and Contemporary. We love just walking around and enjoying the atmosphere!

  23. Mark says:

    Ha Lou,

    Guess I’m in the 1%. Last year I put up a photo post about the sunken patio area across from Yak and Yeti here: http://wdwphotographics.tumblr.com/post/18321744071/yakiandyeti

  24. MelissainSC says:

    Just about any day in the early morning is a wonderful time to look around and just enjoy being in the world. We have always visited during the very busy spring break time so those moments when there are not lots of people around are precious and lovely. Last time my favorite moments were on the walk from our room at the Carribean Beach to the Custom House for coffee early in the morning (or a drink/food run late in the evening). Stopped one morning to get a picture of the lovely sunrise and resort buildings reflected in the lake. Ah… I want to go back now.

  25. Chuck Zitta says:

    I’d have to say one of my favorite places to stop and smell the roses, would be on the TTA People Mover. And even though the vehicle is moving, I’m not. To me, it’s a perfect place to just kick back, relax and take in all that Tomorrowland has to offer. Plus you get a nice view of the hub and castle as well. Last trip down, the attraction stopped for at least ten minutes. The ride vehicle that my older son and I were in just happened to be right in front of the hub area when the attraction stopped. So that was an awesome stop and smell the roses moment for us! One other spot I thoroughly enjoy smelling the roses is Crescent Lake. Love taking an early morning stroll around the lake. Very peaceful.

    Thanks again for another terrific show, Lou, Tim and Special Guest, Daniel!!!