Best Places to People Watch – Disneyland Edition

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View from the terrazzo at Naples Ristorante

Seasoned Disney-goers know that racing from attraction to attraction, trying to jam in as much as possible in as short a time as possible, is not sustainable for a long vacation. Sure, you want to get your money’s worth, but sometimes what you need is a nice, relaxing break in the middle of a hectic day. A place to put your feet up, refresh yourself, and just watch the crowds go by.

Here are my top places to do that in the Disneyland Resort.



This beautiful open air patio is the perfect place to watch all the goings on in Downtown Disney. Enjoy a glass of wine and some Italian specialties for lunch during a warm, temperate day, or in the cool but not cold evenings. You’ll be able to refresh your spirits, quench your thirst and appetite, and watch the bustling crowds drifting in and out of the Grand Californian and various shops throughout Downtown Disney.


This resort is just steps from Downtown Disney and the two theme parks, so it’s perfect to relax here even if you’re not staying here. Enjoy a roaring fireplace, a live pianist playing Disney tunes, and the glorious California Craftsman architecture. Something about being in the presence of people gleefully checking in to their hotel puts me in a good mood every time.


This Mexican restaurant with plenty of outdoor seating is nestled in Frontierland. Although it’s right in the heart of the park, it feels strangely removed and quiet, even when you can sit right next to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad! So go ahead and enjoy some tasty burritos, salads, and desserts while you watch passengers smile and giggle on the Wild West themed roller coaster.



Buy a glass of wine from the nearby Mendocino Wine Bar and have a seat on this terrace, and gaze down at park goers who are happily visiting Cars Land and the Pacific Wharf. Or take your food from any of the quick service locations in Pacific Wharf and enjoy your meal here. Cast Members from the Pacific Wharf Café encouraged us to do this on our last visit, and we are so glad that we did. Not only did we enjoy a glass of wine to go with our Chicken, Apple and Walnut Salads, but we struck up a conversation with a very nice family who were visiting with their young daughter. A perfect place to relax and recharge before an evening the park!

What are some of your favorite places to people watch at the Disneyland Resort? Let us know by sharing in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter!

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