Before 10:30 or after 4:30 (a tongue-in-cheek rant)

Yup :slight_smile: Did it in January/February. 9-1 and 5-9. In cases when a park closed at 8 we would take a shorter break, often going to a nearby resort to have a snack and a nap near the pool :wink: I found closing my eyes for a bit made it much easier to be up at 6:30 every morning for those rope drops!

I’m going to vlog my whole October trip with this strategy, I can share the link after if you like :slight_smile:


I would love to read about your trip! I’m not an expert like so many liners, but we typically do marathon days and if we need a break, we just get a later start and close the park. I’ve never done RD and can’t wait to see how much that increases what we can accomplish in a day. The summer heat is exhausting and I can see where naps would help. In the winter, it seems like it might be easier to take in a show or eat a nice meal as the break. I’ll know for sure after our January trip… we’ve got 4 full park days in a row planned!

I say yes, even with shorter hours. Cut your to-do list a little bit so that you’re enjoying and not “squeezing things in.” If you return at 5, 3 hours is still a lot of time, esp for your second swing at a park that day!

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We don’t like breaks unless we’re going somewhere different in the evening, but we never do full days either. For MK I’d book early FPP and then try to get more, but for the other parks I’d spread them out more, with a nice lunchtime ADR as your break.


Our trip overlaps yours and man did I wrestle with this. I started out with a balls-to-the-wall, morning-to-night, tour-de-force of MK and AK.

Then people told me I was crazy and I should build in a break. So I redid everything with mid-day breaks.

Then I got a mean case of FOMO and cut the break in half to add a few more attractions.

Then I realized that over half of the break would be spent in transit from the middle of the park out to the front, getting transport back to the hotel, and then coming back. So I put the breaks back in.

As it stands now we’re doing a long (3.25 hour or so) break on the MK day, and a slightly shorter break while at AK. Even with the limited operating hours, and even with only 2 days total in the parks. The things that ultimately led to this decision were:

  1. Lots and lots of advice on here and elsewhere saying it’s a good idea

  2. Both my son and I have limited patience for crowds and long waits. Some unstructured time in the middle of the day where we can recharge isn’t “missing out on more stuff”, it’s "investing in being able to fully enjoy the rest of the day"

  3. We want quality of experience over quantity. I’d rather plan fewer things and have the mental energy to enjoy them than drag an exhausted family onto 7DMT at 830pm because galdammit we’ve gotta see everything.

The general pattern I fell into was to RD both parks, have a tightly planned morning, take the break, and leave the afternoons more open for day-of FPs, spontaneous decisions, etc.

If you think your family can power through then more power to you :slight_smile:


Your plan sounds very solid. :smiley:

In my case, we did do a pretty crazy trip in September of 2015, when my son was only 4. Very full TPs everyday for 10 days in a row, long park hours, etc… Except for a pretty bad meltdown at Epcot (red-level crisis in the AM in front of the big ball followed by a nice PM during which he slept for the full world showcase visit LOL), it went really well. This time around, I have purposely built my TPs to be much less full and I will let my son sleep more in the mornings. Combining that to the fact he is now 7 and has much more stamina, I am fairly certain it will go well.

Of course, every family is different and all kids have different needs / personality / etc…But one thing that makes a big difference I think is that we have only one child. I am pretty sure it is MUCH easier for my wife and I to have to deal with only one little ball of Disney World-induced emotions… :wink: