Remember the Calgon commercial, “Calgon Take Me Away…”? It was an advertisement for a bubble bath product that will help take you away from your troubles and forget your problems as you soak in a warm tub. Like the Disney bubble, you were in the cocoon of a warm embrace.
It’s funny, but most of us view a Disney vacation as anything but a time to decompress and be free of tension. Many find a trip to a Disney park as busy, overwhelming, overstimulating and basically the opposite of relaxing. I used to feel this way when my children were younger; taking a vacation to the Disney parks and resorts was exhausting.
I often hear someone return from a Disney vacation and exclaim (let’s all say it together): “I need a vacation from the vacation.” But as I’ve gotten older and my children have grown, I don’t view it that way anymore. I use my Disney trips to escape, unwind and decompress. You too can feel like that Calgon commercial, maybe not for the whole vacation, but good planning ahead of time can definitely make for a less stressful vacation.
Here are five tips on how you can turn your next Disney vacation into a (dare I say it?) relaxing one.
It’s not the wedding, it’s the marriage
A great tip for a happy wedding couple to enjoy their wedding (because it will fly by in the blink of an eye) is to be present and take in the moment. Stop, breathe, look around, and, like a camera, click in your mind what you are seeing. Smell, touch, feel; use all of your senses to take in some moments during the chaos.
The same could be true for a Disney vacation. Stop, breathe, look, and absorb. It’s like meditating right in the middle of a Disney park; actually, it IS meditating in a Disney park! The wedding day – your park day – will fly by, but if you are with Disney for the long haul and have a committed relationship, the marriage will last you forever.
Stay on Property
Many Disney vacationers find staying off property has its advantages. But I find staying at a Disney resort can be advantageous for those who want Disney luxury and escapism as well. Exploring the pools, resting on a double swing overlooking the water, walking on quiet paths, and playing in the game arcade can all be part of resting easy at Disney.
I also feel that having someone else drive me around to be part of a decompressing experience. With my car at home, I find that having someone else do the navigating for me allows me to do less and relax more. Walking on foot and not using my car allows me to have a different experience than I have in my home life where I drive everywhere.
If you’re not staying on property, a visit to some of the Disney resorts is a great way to slow your pace on a busy park day. The views, the shopping, and the food allow me to slow my park race and stop and smell the Alice in Wonderland roses.
Disney isn’t just parks
Disney Cruise Line is a wonderful vacation for decompressing and feeling rejuvenated. If you’re lucky enough to experience Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, you’ll find that it is a piece of peaceful Disney on the edges of beautiful Hawaii. It is the epitome of Disney…Take Me Away…
Sit Down and Eat
Making time to sit down for a meal on a Disney vacation is a great way to stop, relax and decompress. Making conversation, discussing the day’s events, and catching up on my phone without knocking into people is calming. I love revisiting the restaurants that I always love to dine at, but also try some new ones; it’s part of the fun, too.
Part of being less militant in your Disney parks lifestyle is resting and sleeping. Go back to your vacation resort and rest in the daytime, sleep in for a day, go to bed early one night; whatever it takes to wind down and get those hours in will make for a more restful physical and mental state of mind.
Maintaining your physical and mental health while on vacation will, in turn, keep your state of health relaxed and calm. If heading to the gym offers that to you, use the resort gym while on vacation. If taking some time out to be alone is important to you, communicate that need to your vacation party. Keep daily routines (such as medications at certain times) going; consistency is important in daily life routines to keep the calm and carry on!
What are your tips for creating a relaxing atmosphere on a Disney Parks & Resorts vacation? Comment below; we can all use a little TLC, even in the House of Mouse!
Shari Kessler loves the Disunplugged and all things Disney. She has imparted her passion for the parks along with her husband of more than 25 years to their three young adult children. Their family vacations have included Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line and Aulani but their home base is Walt Disney World as she resides from New Jersey. Shari also loves her cats Ricky and Lucy(RIP Lucy 2021). As a former early childhood educator she is now assisting at an animal hospital in NYC. She enjoys the Disunplugged community and hopes her articles connect with the Dis family.
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Thanks for reading!