Afternoon break options for those staying offsite

I often see the advice of getting to the parks early and then returning to your hotel room/pool for an afternoon break at peak crowds and heat, and then returning in the evening.
Obviously sound advice, especially for those with younger kids. Our particular situation is kids aged 10+, but at a villa a good drive away so returning there isn’t an option.
But what might be the equivalent for those of us staying offsite, especially if we have a car at our disposal?
There’s a few options I wondered about or found in other posts:

  • Plan for sit down attractions and especially shows with lots of capacity and A/C for mid afternoon
  • Get out to the Boardwalk and DS for something a bit different
  • Head to a waterpark for the afternoon (weather dependent), enjoy the pools, return to the park for the evening (This is the one I’m most curious about)

Thoughts on the above and other strategies would be most welcome!
Thanks everyone.

Water parks are exhausting, I wouldn’t consider that a break at all. We did it on our first trip but never again.

Having a TS lunch can be a nice break if you’re staying in the parks. Going to one of the deluxe resorts for lunch and a look round or just having a sit down in the lobby can be good too.


Oh I like the resort visit idea, thank you. I’d planned doing those as a specific thing at one point but hadn’t considered them as a possible afternoon break activity.
Poly looks like a good option from MK. are there other hotels anyone would suggest, for any of the parks?

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I second the above. We are off property for our weekend trip next week. Using Geyser Point at WL for a mid afternoon early dinner break. Easy get away.

For Animal Kingdom, I’m hoping since it will be a later start and primarily shows and exhibits for the 2.5 yo that we will be okay, but will side trip to AKL if needed.

We are also doing Tiffins ROL package for lunch. So that will provide some quieter downtime.

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The boardwalk is a short walk or boat ride from EPCOT and HS. The lobby is big and there are lots of seating groups where you can lounge and relax for as long as you’d like

you could easily spend a few hours checking out the resort and the snack options there. Belle Vue lounge, Ample Hills

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AKL from AK obviously, there are viewing areas for the animals. All the monorail resorts.

Thank you, these are really useful!
Is AKL walkable from AK?
In fact, probably a good question, which are the easy to get to Deluxe Resorts from the different parks? Whether that’s walking, monorail, or other transport?

No you need to bus to AKL. You can walk to BC/YC/BW from EP or HS, though I’d probably suggest the boat from HS. You can walk to the Contemporary from MK, or get the monorail to any of those 3, or there are boats but I’m not certain where they go to - pretty sure WL is one route and GF another. You can walk to the Poly from the TTC.

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Wonderful, thank you @missoverexcited - these could be good options to have in my pocket if we find ourselves needing a break. Do you know if they all have QS restaurants of some kind (either in them or near) - we won’t end up anywhere that only has TS?

The monorail resorts definitely do, AKL does, I don’t know about the others.

Thank you, I’ll do some more research!

BC/YC has a few non TS options (marketplace (BC), marketplace @ ale & compass (YC), hurricane hannahs at the pool)

boardwalk has the bakery and a pizza window (not recommended ;))

The Grand Floridian is a boat ride or monorail stop away from MK and has a beautiful lobby and really nice grounds to walk around. You can grab a snack or meal at the Gasparilla Grill and sit out bu=y the marina. There is usually live music playing in the lobby and lots of comfy couches to sit and relax.

AKL is also a really nice resort to explore. Obviously much further away but you can hop on a bus directly to AKL from MK and once there, walk the grounds to see the animals, sit in the lobby and explore. Their lobby is really nice with an maxing high ceiling and a lot of interesting African artifacts. They often have activities in the lobby for kids to enjoy as well.

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In case you are considering it, we made the mistake of thinking renting one of those 4 person bikes to ride the crescent lake loop would be a good break. It was fun for sure and we saw all the resorts, but unless you have more than 1 willing peddler, it’s more exhausting than the parks.

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lol, I can picture it now.
Although… I guess that depends if you’re the one doing the peddling :smiley:
I do have two teenagers… no scrap that. I have two teenagers. I’m the one peddling.

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Are you going from RD to close? We usually end our WDW day around dinner time and head offsite for our meal and then back home for private pool time which is incredibly rejuvenating.

My point is just because it works for onsite guests, it might not be practical for you. But if you are going all day, then, yes, some type of break (I’d say a break that included dipping tired feet into a pool) would be beneficial.

We’ve got RD to close in the first couple of days in the park, and then late morning to close the next couple, so we’ll have seen all the park evening events. At that point our priority is early FPPs with or without RD depending on the park (AK likely for FOP).
So, once we’ve seen the night time shows, then no, we might hang around for a them a couple more times (we’ve got a 21 day pass).
In which case your way of doing it sounds like a very good plan for many of our other days. Thank you.
But for the long days (and park hours may well be getting longer in March, 2nd March just went to 11pm!) I do wonder if a lunch time move to get some food offsite and stop by Blizzard Beach, not to do all the slides, but just get some pool time, might be a nice option.

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Just because you CAN do all the slides (as you’re there), doesn’t mean you MUST do all the slides. Or rides in the park. That’s a great way to approach it. If you have the water park tickets, why not use it for a couple of hours to relax. Just remember to do that… relax, if you’re going back to the park later.

Having a car will help, I think. You’ll be able to store your things and you have the freedom to go elsewhere when you want without waiting for buses.

I wholeheartedly agree with this. A year and a half ago we went to BB on a non-park day and stayed in the lazy river the whole time. It was quite relaxing.

Take a bus to POR and ride the boat to Disney Springs. Then go to the AMC Movie Theater and enjoy a film.

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