Is there anyone on here that takes afternoon breaks and incorporates those into the touring plan? I’m trying to figure out the way to get the most ‘productive’ park time in. Meaning that we can get on the most rides. I have young kids and am thinking that a break from the parks midday would be a good idea so they don’t burn out.
So - would you say a break from the park say from 1pm to 4pm is a good idea? AND if we do that is it best to do an early dinner directly after say 5pm and then hit the parks for more rides in the last couple of evening hours 7-9pm or is it better to do a later dinner and ride the rides say from 4pm to 7pm?
Incase it matters - we plan to be at the parks for rope drop and we are going late January.
Being out of the parks for a huge chunk of time midday (4-5 hours) makes me nervous because that seems to be a huge amount of time out each day….
We went at the end of Feb this year with our 4 and 2 yos. We had one day at MK and what helped us tremendously was creating two TPs for our MK day - one for the morning and one for the evening.
Our first TP had a time frame from around RD to 1pm. I selected all of the attractions we wanted in Frontierland and Adventureland. We ended up doing all of those attractions before lunch (even went on some twice!) and then did a few from Fantasyland. My kids were showing no signs of crankiness so we ended up staying a bit longer and headed back to the room (BLT) for a nap from approx 230-530.
Our second TP had a timeframe of around 5-closing and consisted of the attractions in Tommorowland and Fantasyland. We got back to MK around 530 but that was fine because we had already done several of our evening TP attractions during the first half of the day. We ate dinner at Cosmic Rays, sat right in front of the castle for the electrical parade, and then quickly swam up stream to watch the fireworks from Times Square - and a painless exit!
We got through all of the attractions on both TPs and then some! It was the perfect day. We selected the slowest walking pace. Since we focused on one half of the park at a time, we didn’t feel overwhelmed. We also used the TP as a guideline and didn’t follow it to a T - it more so helped to show us what rides we wanted to do during each half of the day and how much time it might take.
@TashaM had just done a beautiful trip with her daughter and took an afternoon break everyday. She made a detailed trip report if you would like to read and get some thoughts of first hand experience with afternoon breaks.
It is important to take breaks for the kids. I did not do this with mine, but they held up okay. But now they are 18 & 16 and do not go on “family vacations” anymore.
That’s really helpful. Thank you. I am getting my ADR’s next week so once I have those in place I think it will help me a bit better. I just wasn’t sure what time I should be aiming for with the ADR’s. I’m thinking either early (5pm) and ride the second half of the park from 7pm to 9pm. Or a late dinner (7:30) and ride the second half of the park from 5 - 7. Gosh, I feel like it’s just so much to consider!
I am glad to hear however that you were able to do most, it not all, of what you wanted to do in MK while still taking a lengthy break in the afternoon.
We actually have two days at MK so it sounds like if I stick to the touring plan that I should definitely be able to get it all in? It still boggles my mind that these plans work as well as they do. I guess I"m still a bit of a skeptic……
We left the park after lunch each day and hit the pool, until around 5pm (my kids are older though, so we didn’t do the napping thing.) However, we left during the hottest, busiest part of the day, and since we stayed at BC and used EMH every day, it was perfect. We also did like @egkleinmann suggested and did two separate TP. We actually used the Lines app more than the actual TP, though- we had gotten thru most of the attractions that we wanted earlier in the day, and so we didn’t need the TP guidance as much. The Lines, app, on the other hand…perfect! Oh, Space Mountain only has a 10 min wait? Perfect! We didn’t mind the zigzag across the parks because we had already gotten so much accomplished.
We nap every afternoon on previous trips with DS 6 and DD 7. We will see about this December. But no matter we will leave the park. Arrive daily at RD and tour til around 1-1:30 have lunch and leave. Come back around 6. Napping for around 3 hours b/c of all the excitement and early wake ups. This was our experience last summer and at that time neither were still napping. We were very successful doing this with our TP and seeing everything
Thank you for sharing this. This is exactly what I wanted to hear. So my question is…did you do ADR’s for dinner. What time did you eat dinner? Before you went back to the park at 6:00 or did you do a later dinner??
We went in December, our daughter was a little over a year and a half. She napped in the park in the stroller every day we were there. She’d fall asleep for about an hour or so…
We still went back to the hotel in the afternoon… we didn’t one day and she was miserable by the end of the day.
As far as meals go, we planned for very early breakfasts and later dinners around 7-7:30, since that’s the time we normally eat dinner anyway. Since she was so little, we brought our own stuff for her to munch on during the day. But we ate dinner in the parks - Mama Melrose, Tony’s Town Square, and then one night we did quick service at Pecos Bill’s in MK.
Our last trip in November we left each day to nap. Usually leaving around 12:30/1 and returning about 5. Keep in mind that you have to incorporate travel time in your break. So if we left at 1 we usually weren’t napping until 2 and usually left the resort around 4:30. Which meant nap was only 2 hours at best. It worked for that trip - we hit RD and stayed late (way past usual bed time). This upcoming trip in April I’m planning to hit RD and go till about 4 each day and then go to the resort and rest/pool/etc before hitting the bed early. But I now only have 1 child that naps and she’s a hit or miss napper so I think we’ll be good with this arrangement. I’m only planning 1 day of mid-day breaks so that we can get back later to MK and do all the nighttime things like parade & wishes.
Some days we had ADR and some not . I will say returning at 6 gave us time to get to ADRs and do one ride prior. Otherwise with no ADRs we usually ate on arrival or snacks those Mickey pretzels and ice creams are quite a pull for the kids. You will have a wonderful time.
Commenting before I read the rest of the comments before I forget what I wanted to say…
This is almost EXACTLY what we did (though our kids are a little older. DS17, DD8, DS9) and instead of feeling like we lost out on park time, we were very happy that we took the time to recharge, and ended up closing the parks down. Granted, we didn’t nap- we took the time to hang out at the pool (BC/YC has the BEST pool!!) but the break was just what we needed, we made all our supper reservations for right around 5-530, and then we had a snack just before fireworks. We were exhausted when we fell into bed and all slept very well. This eliminated tired, crabby kids, which made the break well worth it. Also, if you’re leaving the park mid-day, you wouldn’t get as many attractions in anyway, because it’s the busiest part of the day so don’t look at it like you’re losing park time- you might only get in an additional 1-2 attractions anyway!
I guess I struggle with the fact that when you pay so much and travel so far to be there (from Canada). That it’s so hard to imagine leaving the park for three or more hours in the afternoon. I feel like it’s a huge chunk of time to be away…
It is a lot of time away from the parks… but if your kids are anything like mine they won’t be able to handle 8-12 hour days at the park without major meltdowns and attitude. That mid day break is going to go a long way in keeping everyone happy.
You have to keep in mind that the period of time you’ll missing is the when you will get the least amount done at the parks due to the crowd levels in the afternoon. WDW is a huge park - you’re not going to do everything, anyway, so you might as well make sure that what you do is quality and time that you will enjoy. Personally, I would have trouble enjoying even my favorite rides if I toured the parks for 12 hours straight. I also look at it as an opportunity to enjoy the resort I’m staying at.