Afternoon Breaks with Early Bedtime?

Hi All!

I am working on my touring plans for August 31 - September 4 and am trying to figure out if afternoon breaks would be worth it if my DD2 has a bedtime of 7:30/8. No night-time activities for us! I mostly have dinner scheduled around 5 pm each day and then we will be heading back to the hotel (POP) to start the bedtime routine. I can’t help feeling with an early end to the day that afternoon breaks wouldn’t be worth it for us! Last time we went when DD had just turned 1 we skipped the afternoon breaks but by dinner she did get cranky…so I’m torn! We only have 4 park days (1 for each park) so I’d like to make the most of it, within reason. Thoughts?

BTW - you are all seriously awesome… :slight_smile:

I just went with a 2 and 4 yo. It’s not worth the travel back and forth so I blanked on stroller naps. Fortunately DS2 napped everyday in the stroller without a problem and DD4 napped 2 days )she doesn’t always nap anyway). The first day at MK they both napped well so we did one ride after dinner. Otherwise, we also did early dinner and back to room and on HS and AK day we left by 3:30.

You know your kids nap habits so do you think he’ll Stroller nap? They’re so tired they just might any way. I figured mine would possible pass out on the bus and then not nap or just wouldn’t nap at hotel anyway so not with it IMO.

If no nap happens, maybe just power through it and cut day short.

I recommend mostly lunch ADRs in case you do need to go back early. And with a full belly after lunch maybe a stroller nap will happen.

We have never taken breaks with my kids, partly because they haven’t taken naps since an early age. We go to parks early in the morning, focus our plans for morning+afternoon and everything after that is extra. We usually leave the parks before or after dinner. We haven’t bothered to even try and watch the night time shows with them because at that point they are too tired to enjoy it. They saw HEA once and neither one was excited about fireworks, maybe when they are older. If we have someone travelling with us, my wife and I might head back after they are a sleep to catch something.

I think midday breaks will take up more time than they are worth. I agree with the advice to schedule lunch ADRs instead of dinner and then you can bail whenever your DD starts to get cranky.

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We always took them ourselves. But we didn’t always go back in the evening either.

When they are small you have to resign yourself to not being able to do everything. In time you catch up. But I so remember the sadness of not seeing Wishes.

The afternoon break is always a struggle for me also. I have four kids (8, 6, 4 and 3) and have always had one or two that needed naps but not everyone. My littles were almost more inclined to crash in the stroller and nap in the parks than taking a nap back at the resort with 5 other people milling about the room.


It will be super warm and humid when you are there, which may change the nap routine (i.e. your littles may sleep in the stroller when they wouldn’t otherwise just because the air is so close).

I had planned for afternoon break for our longer days but was surprised that my crew was ok with pushing through. They did tap out earlier than dinner, but honestly I don’t think I would have gotten them back into the parks with a break because they wanted to play with the toys we bought, swim, etc. when we got to the hotel.

For the next trip, I am structuring our day roughly as follows (kids will be 5.5 and 2.9 next trip):

  1. rope drop (our as close to it as we can get because #kids) some kid friendly things with hopefully more flexible wait time patterns first thing (Nemo, Jungle Cruise, safari)
  2. later TS breakfast in park
  3. fast pass attractions and must do shows (all kid things- we don’t care about coasters right now) plus less popular things (like Liberty Belle) or planned photo and shopping breaks to give us a buffer in case they see something I didn’t expect
  4. later lunch of snacks or share quick service
  5. then putting some other attractions in the plan that have easy same day passes (Dumbo), high capacity shows and/or things with less waits in general (or putting all country pavilions in Epcot to get an idea of walk times) with the thought that we are ok bailing at any point
  6. dinner plan is mainly quick service so we can be flexible about in park or hotel, with HDDR one night, and one TS at the hotel because we will be there anyway and can bump and cancel if we aren’t feeling it

We aren’t doing nighttime things either… getting kids bathed after the end of a long day just gets to be a lot. The perks of staying in a room where you can see fireworks from the window- kids can be tucked in and you get a show anyway!

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My kids are older, but one has a sleep disorder that means an 8:30 pm bedtime and daily naps. We get there at rope drop, do a TS at lunch, let him nap in shows (too old for a stroller), then head back to the resort when we’re ready. Usually that’s sometime between 3 and 5. We do QS at dinner; less waiting at night when kids are cranky and tired, plus we have the flexibility to eat at either the resort or the park depending what time we head back. On our most recent trip we kept DS out for 2 earlier nighttime shows, ROL at 6:30 and Fantasmic at 8. On those days we either went back to the resort for his nap or spent the morning at the pool and went to the park after his nap.

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