AK out of park rest

What is a realistic amount time to leave the AK for a midday rest in October? Parks are open 9 - 7pm. Plan on lunch reservations at 12:00 at Rainforest Cafe and then plan to head back to the Contemporary for some downtime with DS6 and DS4. Trying to square up our TP. Thoughts?

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My last response did not post! Let me try again:

If you eat at noon and you are relying on Disney transportation you most likely will get to CR at 2:00. If you just take a two hour break you will not get back to AK until 5:00! Although I think AK hours will be extended it seems like that will not be much time.

I agree with PrincipalTinker, I think AK hours will probably be different. Right now, they are still showing to close at 5 when we’re visiting in November but my assumption is that Rivers of Light will be open by then along with all the other new nighttime offerings, I think the park will be open until at least 9 PM. I could be wrong but that’s my assumption

Hours have been extended until 7pm for October, so I’m assuming that November hours will extend until 7pm as well. I’m hoping that if ROL isn’t squared away by then, they will still offer something like the Jungle Book show in the early evening…or at least the Tree of Life which everyone raves about.

If the park isn’t open longer, maybe Stefanie could consider doing a QS lunch and then coming back to the Rain Forest cafe for dinnertime. That way, you could be out of the park by 12:30 and return around 3:30. Consider taking an uber to cut your travel time down. They’re easy and cheap.

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I’m with @KatySugar - consider leaving AK for lunch.
Alternatively, AK is the only park that we always do without a break (with DSs every year or two since they were 2&4). Especially with a late start (9 am instead of 8 am), we usually go early, finish the highlights by 2-3 pm, back to the hotel and enjoy a peaceful afternoon and evening. This may change with the new evening offerings. Have done a second AK day a few times to catch another show and get some Wilderness Explorer badges.
Our TP usually looks like:

  • KS
  • Adventurers outpost
  • FOLK
  • KRR
  • Lunch
  • Trail (Majarah/Pagani)
  • Nemo
  • Boneyard playground
  • Triceratop spin
    We did Rafiki’s Planetwatch once and our kids found it (very, very) boring, so we’ll never do it again, but some others really love it and wouldn’t miss it.
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I would probably skip the mid-day break. It could take 45 minutes to get from AK to CR then factor in the time it takes for the kids to actually settle down and have down time - then travelling back to the park. That would take 3-4 hours out of your day. We went with DS5 and DD3 earlier this year - arrived when AK opened and stayed until almost 3pm. (That included lunch at Tusker House and touring the park at a very relaxed pace.) If you wanted to see the new nighttime show, maybe start your day late morning and stay until close?


I’ve been having problems with my AK plan too, currently going to RD and have a late lunch at Sanaa at 3pm. Then let my youngest nap in the stroller before the evening entertainment. I’ve also got an 8am Tuskers but unless we can turn it into a DP we probably won’t keep it.

As much as I love midday breaks, if I know I’m going to be headed back to the hotel before 9:00 then I usually will skip it and take advantage of the early night in. If we nap at 2 or 3 then we’re not likely to want to sleep before 10 or 11.

Edit, because I just reread the OP and it’s actually not clear whether you even plan on returning to AK after your downtime… if you’re just going to take the rest of the day off then I’d plan for a little more time in the park (like, later lunch or just return to the park for a couple of hours after you eat) before heading back.