Spots to Relax at Disney’s California Adventure in 2023

For frequent visitors of Disneyland, it’s no secret that taking a break to rest and recharge is crucial after a long morning of walking and excitement in the park. However, what many may not know is that Disney’s California Adventure (DCA) offers several great spots for visitors to do just that. While Disneyland tends to be busier overall, don’t let that fool you – DCA can get quite busy during peak times as well. Fortunately, there are plenty of places throughout the park where you can take a breather and enjoy some relaxation. Here are the best spots to relax at Disney’s California Adventure!

Spots to Relax Disney's California Adventure

Spots to Relax at Disney’s California Adventure

Paradise Garden

In the rear of the park, there is a covered area named Paradise Garden.  There are food options available but it’s never crowded so we usually find an empty table on the side closest to the Boardwalk games. 

It’s nice to grab a snack or a drink (the Bayside Brews beer/wine cart is nearby) and relax.

Hollywood Pictures Backlot

The Disney California Adventure Hollywood backlot is a fantastic place to unwind and take a break from the excitement of the park. Nestled between the popular Monsters Inc ride and the thrilling Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! attractions, this area provides a serene and peaceful atmosphere. 

I want to note: this area gets crowded at night due to the dance parties or performances on the stage so stick with it during the day. 

Redwood Creek Challenge Trail

In a section of the adventure trail are tables and benches to rest at.  While your kids are running around with Peter Pan, find a seat in the Redwood Creek Challenge seating area. 

There are also benches sprinkled throughout the challenge area that are often empty.

Beneath the Symphony Swings

On the pavilion underneath the Symphony Swings ride is a space that holds benches and overlooks the water.  It’s a great restful place to relax.  When we need a break from the crowds we can almost always find a place to sit and chill. Sometimes this area is the location of AP events but usually, it’s empty. 

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Behind Grizzly Peak 

To the rear of the Grizzly Peak ride, there is a walking path and the trail is usually deserted with a few benches.

Animation Academy

Located in the Hollywood Land section of Disney’s California Adventure, the Animation Academy offers guests a one-of-a-kind opportunity to learn how to draw favorite Disney and Pixar characters from skilled Disney animators. This interactive experience is included with park admission and is open from morning to night. Guests of all artistic abilities and ages can stop by the Animation Academy throughout the day to enjoy 30-minute animation classes that run on a rotating schedule.

During the classes, professional Disney artists provide step-by-step instructions on how to draw characters like Mickey Mouse, Elsa, Woody, and Lightning McQueen. All the necessary supplies, including paper, pencils, and markers, are provided at each table and chair setup.

The animators teach in an engaging way, sharing tips, techniques, and fun facts about the characters as they guide each guest through the drawing process. Participants can take home their own custom Disney artwork at the end!

With its entertaining instructors, air conditioning, and opportunity for guests to take a refreshing break to exercise their creativity, the Animation Academy is a relaxing experience at Disney’s California Adventure that both kids and adults will enjoy

Carthay Circle Lounge

The Carthay Lounge offers an elegant retreat within Disney’s California Adventure. Located above the Carthay Circle Restaurant, this richly decorated lounge evokes the style of 1920s Los Angeles. With its refined atmosphere, the Carthay Lounge is an ideal location to relax and unwind.

The lounge features high-backed leather chairs, mahogany accents, and windows overlooking Buena Vista Street and the park’s iconic Carthay Circle Theater. The menu includes a selection of craft cocktails, beers, and wines, along with appetizer options like charcuterie boards and flatbreads.

From the martinis to the Manhattan, the classic cocktail menu nods to the Jazz Age. In the evenings, musicians perform jazz standards, setting the mood for sophisticated lounging.

From its calm environment to the old-fashioned drinks and snacks, the Carthay Lounge offers many amenities for relaxation. With its rich architectural details modeled after Carthay Circle Theater’s opening night gala, adults can escape in a nostalgic style. The Carthay Lounge provides the perfect refined yet casual atmosphere to take a break and recharge.

Cove Bar

The Cove Bar is an adults-only outdoor lounge located at the entrance to Pixar Pier in Disney’s California Adventure. With its laidback vibe and signature cocktails, it’s become a popular spot for guests 21 and over to unwind.

Guests can sit at one of the many stools or stand at tall tables scattered throughout the outdoor space. The Cove Bar serves a range of cocktails, beer, and wine along with small plates and snacks. Signature drinks not to miss include the Fun Wheel lemonade with vodka or rum and the Red’s Apple Freeze with vodka and strawberry.

Order your drink and relax on the cushy sofas while listening to upbeat music as you overlook the dazzling sights of Paradise Bay.

With its serene setting, artfully crafted cocktails, and upbeat ambiance removed from the bustle of the park, the Cove Bar is an oasis for adults seeking to relax and reset.

Guests rave about the friendly bartenders and praise it as one of the best spots to grab a drink or light meal!

The Magic Key Terrace

The Magic Key Terrace is an exclusive, private lounge area in Disney’s California Adventure only available to Magic Key pass holders and up to 5 guests. Located in the Golden Vine Winery building, it offers a relaxing space with seating, complimentary snacks, and signature beverages for purchase.

Passholders can access the Magic Key Terrace by making a reservation through the Disneyland app or website. Once checked in, they can enjoy lounge seating indoors and outdoors overlooking Buena Vista Street.

Beer, wine, and themed cocktails like the “Magic Mule” can be purchased from the bar. A selection of appetizers like flatbreads, hummus, churros and cheese plates are also available for purchase.

With its exclusive access, comfy seating, and perks like snacks and drinks, the Magic Key Terrace provides a valuable oasis for Magic Key holders. It’s a perfect spot to recharge in a relaxed environment along with up to 5 friends or family.

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