Afternoon break or no?

Who takes a break in the middle of the day? Some sites suggest a mid day break to get out of heat, get second wind, swim at pool, etc. What are people’s thoughts on this? Also with a hour and 1/2 travel times, how long do people break for? I mean hour and 1/2 both ways plus a tiny 1/2 hour break is 3 and 1/2 hours. Break vs travel time doesn’t seem worth it.

IDK, first timer and trying to wrap my head around navigating this place. Any thoughts, tips or advice welcome.

Staying at Polynesian
5 of us Mom (me) dad GM GP and DD5
Concerned with naps

Are you traveling with kids? Where are you staying that is 1.5 hours away?

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I would plan for breaks but no one says you are FORCED to take them if you feel you can power through while in the moment.

But it’ll be a good idea to have them planned in so you have a buffer in case you do want to take advantage of a break.

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I am in ‘no breaks’ camp.

We would normally plan all the ‘must dos’ for the morning, take TS lunch for some rest and air conditioning, and then stay in the park until tired.

I can see breaks working better if your resort is walking distance to parks or if you are planning to see fireworks on this day.


Hi…I asked this same question in another thread… a lot of people gave great advice!

1.5 hours?! Ate you staying in Tampa?


We typically take a mid day break, BUT:

We get hoppers
We stay at an Epcot area resort negating a LOT of travel time.
We rope drop.

So, typical days could look like this:

Day 1:
Ak 8am. Bus in am, OR Uber. Travel time: 20 minutes.
Bus back to resort after lunch, let’s say 1pm. Travel time, up to 45 min, but typically 25 min.
Pool at resort: 2pm-4pm
Snacks in room/ shower until 5pm.
Walk or boat to HS 15 min.
Use Tier 1 fp obtained by working the system after leaving ak.
Catch shows work system for fp’s until Fantasmic.
Boat back to resort. Late dinner. Bed.

Day 2:
Epcot 8am. 10 minute travel.
Big late lunch
Walk back to Resort - 10 minutes
Walk/boat to DHS - 15 minutes. Use fp obtained by working the system. Star Wars Dessert Party.

Day 3:
HS EMM - walk to HS - 15 minutes
After emm breakfast, bus to MK (30 minutes) for preplanned fp, and as many secondary fp as possible. HEA dessert Party. USe any of the 3 EP resort busses back to EP area.

So, we stay EP area because we LOVE Hollyweird, and it gives us the option to pretty much be able to wind up at Hollyweird whenever we want with minimal travel time to/from the resort whenever we’d like. Epcot, too. Epcot area + Hoppers, FTW! Makes planning simple. We just fit it in like a jigsaw puzzle.

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Where are you staying?
Edited to add…we park hop almost every day so breaks really fit in to our touring style. The first time we went, we didn’t take any breaks and it was great. But as the kids got older and enjoyed swimming and dining, breaks for a swim and nap really fit into our style. It’s really up to your family. I would plan for them and just be ahead of schedule if you found you didn’t need them.

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We don’t break - my family is an amusement park family. So I am rope drop to close by nature.

If Disney is your only real amusement or theme park experience, then I would suggest a break just because your family may might not be used to this kind of travel or touring.

If you are far away from the parks, a great way to take a break from the park is to schedule lunch or early dinner at a neighboring resort. For example head over to Fort Wilderness or Wilderness Lodge from Magic Kingdom. Go to the boardwalk or the beach club from Epcot and Hollywood studios.

Or if you don’t want to leave the park, be strategic in what you plan - for the afternoon, plan a table service meal in the park and go see some of the shows - attractions where you get to sit for a longer period of time.

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I think the 1 1/2 hours is coming from some sort of Disney suggestion for allowing that much time for travel. This is an extreme amount of time and I can’t foresee it possibly taking that long–unless roads are closed, traffic is backed up, and the bus/boat/gondola gets stuck in quicksand. It is better to be safe than sorry, but I still can’t imagine it taking 3 hours for travel time to and from a park if staying anywhere on/near property.

I hadn’t tried breaks until our last trip where delayed/cancelled flights led to us arriving around 3am with EMM and an evening dessert party scheduled the following day. I get crazy Disney adrenaline where my brain is telling me I’m not tired, but my body/feet tend to disagree. This situation forced me to try a break and I will do it again after realizing how much more enjoyable an evening in the park is when you actually have energy. I won’t do it everyday, but can definitely see the benefit if trying to RD and close down the parks.


In July, we did park opening and took breaks due to the heat around 1-2 pm. We had a car, and our timeshare was only 15 mins away. (One afternoon we went to see Endgame for the break) Typically getting dinner outside the park and going back around 6:00 pm. (We only ever stayed until after show/fireworks) It was nice to give the feet a break too.

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2 years ago with a 3 and 4 year old we took breaks this month with a 4 and 6 year old im undecided if we will or not. Our friends don’t break just let kids sleep in strollers. I think it’s totally personal preference. This time we have early dinners so I’m guessing we will start early go to 1-2 go back, rest and get ready for dinner, dinner than decide if we go to another park or to the room. We also have a vehicle which will make this all easier.

I think it depends a lot on what you want to get out of your trip. I’m personally more of the mindset that I want to get as much value out of the parks as I can.

Eight years ago staying at BC with two 5yo and one 4yo, we planned no breaks – which generally worked fine for us. BUT, we missed most of evening shows/fireworks, and I had three very crabby kids at Spirit of Aloha – we left before dinner was served (yes, I’m still bitter about it). We did take a break on our MK day because it was pouring rain and the kids were beginning to melt down, and that worked out really well for us – everyone got a short nap and by the time we made it back to the park the rain had stopped and the crowds had cleared. I recall soldiering through the rain at AK because the travel time was much longer for us, though I believe we finished the park by early afternoon anyway.

That said, this year (and this is our second trip ever – now with two 13yo, one 12yo, and one 5yo) I’ve tried to bake my plans so that we get our must-do attractions in by lunch time (give or take) and then have a “Decision Time” break – where we decide whether to soldier on, go to the hotel for a swim, or hop to another park. I suspect we’ll end up doing a mix of those things. But I have a plan for the entire day in case we decide to stay.

Keep in mind … Break does not mean you have to travel back and forth to your resort. For instance, a sit down Table Service meal at an air conditioned restaurant would server as a break.

The whole concept boils down to Quality or Quantity. Your giving up time you could be spending on a attraction(s) vs making the time you spend on attractions a more pleasant experience.


You can always take a break in the parks…On our last visit in May, we would park yourselves in a quiet air conditioned corner of a restaurant that wasn’t busy in the mid afternoon…We’d have a late lunch and chill. Marrakesh is a good choice in EP.

I felt like this was excessive too, but I read to give yourself hour and 1/2 travel time. My reservations say the same.

So where are you actually staying?

Our usual strategy with kids is to rope drop, stay in the park until sometime around 4 or 5 pm, then head back to the resort for a QS dinner. One of my kids can’t handle late nights, so this works best for us. Generally we all leave together, but sometimes a parent and older kid will head back to the park later. For your group with 4 adults and a 5 year old, I think you have 2 main choices to make. First, are you trying to bring the little one to the evening shows? If so, I’d recommend a break. If not, will everyone stay together? If I was traveling with your party, I’d have the parents (and maybe the grandparents) take turns leaving with the 5 year old on different evenings. Have fun!

My minimum break is 4 hours. I allow an hour each way (walk to bus, wait for bus, ride bus, walk to room) plus 2 hours to rest. I think it’s very much a good idea if you plan to stay for evening shows. If you don’t plan to stay late, then maybe do RD to mid-late afternoon and eat dinner at your resort.

Also, my kids love swimming and doing other things at the hotel as well.

We’re in the take the break camp. Our DD loves to have some afternoon time at the pool (and both Poly pools are great) or a rest in the room and if it’s hot change into fresh clothes before evening plans. We stayed at the Poly last year and never had a long wait for transportation back to the resort in the afternoon, so it felt like the breaks were really worth taking. Our last day we stayed at the park until 4, went back to the resort for pool time and a meal at Captain Cook’s and watched the fireworks on the Poly beach.

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