Waiting until after FP day to really get into doing my touring plans - but reading on here that most people take breaks in the afternoon because of heat etc… Are they truly needed? should I plan some into my days? It will be me, DH, DS21 and DD8. Will be our first trip - so not really sure what to expect. Originally was thinking just storming through each day - staying all day at the parks but now, not so sure. What have you all done and why?
Last trip was the first time we ever took afternoon breaks - DH has MS and he needed them. In fact he often needed more than a break but we didn’t know till we got there how badly the heat would affect him. But I digress.
This year he’s not coming, and I’m taking DS14 and my parents. They’ve never done breaks and don’t see the point. I’ve been planning without them, like we’ve always done and yet… I find myself wanting the break. We didn’t nap. We didn’t usually swim. But we did change our sweaty clothes (we go in August). I do have some late starts and early finishes planned, but I think I need some breaks too.
What time of year you goes DEFINITELY has an impact. We went in November 2016. You could have worn a short sleeve shirt during the day (most early mornings were a little on the chilly side) or you could have worn a long sleeve. Jackets really weren’t needed. We sailed on a cruise last year in June out of Port Canaveral and it was so hot that when we got to our hotel in Orlando and my daughters wanted to go to the playground, they were back within about 15 minutes.
if it was me - I would be taking a break mid day if it was in the warmer months, but during the cooler months, I would hold out all day. Your 8 year old daughter may not be able to go all day, especially if it’s many days in a row.
should have stated - we are going 9/28 - 10/5 - so basically the first week of Oct - assuming its still going to be plenty hot? Yes - DD is a factor - not sure how she will hold up especially since we have a few late nights and early mornings with EEMH and EMH
Yes, it should still be fairly hot in the daytime, but it is starting to transition at that time. My advice really if you can is to be flexible. If you are there and everybody wants to stay, then stay. If it is blazing hot and you think a break will help, go back to the room. With the EMH and EEMH, you should have time to get plenty done. Also, the time of year, the parks will be crowded ( like always) but not super crowded. You can probably get most everything in and still take a break.
I know it’s hard to justify “losing out” by taking a break when you’re investing so much money & time into a WDW vacation. However, I’ve worked in theme parks for years. I’ve seen the sad / crying / fussy / TIRED kids being pulled along by their parents. I know you are trying to give them as much fun as they can handle, but a tired child isn’t having fun. Plus, you won’t be either.
My advice is to take a break with DD8. Maybe not everyone has to go back to the hotel. Let DS21 have some solo time or do a parent swap. One adult takes a break with DD8 each day while the other stays out with DS21 – good time to bond solo with each.
I highly recommend taking break midday or ending your day in midafternoon when you have kids below age 12. Also, you can late start a day if you want to be there for fireworks.
Even if you can’t bear the idea of leaving the parks find a restaurant, like Cosmic Ray’s or The Land pavilion, where you can sit indoors with A/C for an hour.
I think it depends what your full plan is. I didn’t plan them with my 2 and 4 yo because we ended our day right after dinner around 6 and a few days ended by 3:30. If you plan on leaving early you might want to power through it. Also depends where you are staying. If relying on buses that can eat a lot of time. If you want to stay in the parks, I’d recommend a long lunch (do ADRS for lunch) followed by an indoor show.
If you don’t take a break, don’t plan anything important late in case you want to bail early. It hit my DH and I harder than we thought. Kids napped in stroller so they were ok.
I second resting at a place like Cosmic Rays. That’s what we did. Or you could just take a monorail ride.
For me, we travel in the summer and it is HOT. I have to have a break or I get too cranky/hot/tired/overwhelmed/etc. Just being able to lie down or change clothes, rest my eyes or take my shoes off… just an hour or two in the hotel is what gives me energy for the evening. I agree with what others are saying, too–if you don’t want to physically leave the park, at least build in some park “down time” via an air conditioned restaurant reservation.
We never do (nor need) breaks but we never RD either. We need to sleep in the AM but after that we’re good till midnight.
I find the transportation does eat up considerable amount of time if you take a break.
We are planning to have an early start on some days and be done by mid-afternoon. On other days we take late start, arrive in the park by lunch time and stay until fireworks.
Your trip is during a potentially rainy time. Taking a break during the afternoon might feel good to change into dryer clothes.
With SWL opening you’ll likely want to take advantage of rope drop.
Breaks make everything about my visits to the parks so much more pleasant. I like the jump on the crowds that you get at rope drop and I like the evening shows and the environment in the parks after the sun goes down. That means I’m going to wake up early and stay up late, so rest has to come somewhere and the middle of the day is the perfect time for that.
I’ll take a short (20-30 minute) nap, shower, change clothes and return refreshed for the evening. What I miss out on is the hottest, busiest part of the day, when lines for attractions and restaurants are at their worst. I do miss out on the afternoon parade, too, but that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.
As far as traveling with kids, every family is different, so I can’t say for sure, but I traveled with a family who insisted their kids didn’t need to take breaks and part of every late afternoon included meltdowns from their tired kids. They even fell asleep during dinner as the trip went on. I also travel somewhat regularly with a relative’s family, whose son refuses to nap, but just getting out of the sun and over-stimulation for a couple hours makes a big difference for them when they take breaks.
thanks all for your replies so far - great info! I think once our FPs are booked will have a better idea of what to do when - especially if we cant get any early in the day - make those late start days - or just taking breaks within the park - we are staying at 1 of the all stars - so trans will be an issue i think.
Last trip we were at AS movies, trip before that was at Wilderness Lodge. In both cases, we thought the transportation was OK, not great and we felt the waste of time was equivalent over the whole trip. It is definitely one of the reasons why our family doesn’t do breaks although the main reason is that we don’t RD. We RDed once and the entire family decided it was not for us.
I cannot speak from experience, as my first trip is in 5 days!!! BUT… from Disney die-hard friends of mine, they have told me that a stroller is a MUST. There are stoller rental companies that will drop off a stroller at your resort, and pick it up at the end of your stay. I shopped around and found a double for $90 for 7 days… totally worth it. My kids are 7 and 4, and it will be a rule that from the minute we enter the parks, they WILL be in the stroller unless they’re on a ride. I know I won’t need breaks, but their little legs tire out quickly, not to mention the extra time it would take to walk to each attraction if I walked at their pace.
We plan RD, then first 3 FP starting at 10am, then a TS lunch. Gives us an air conditioned break and we can decide whether to keep going or take a midday break. DH actually takes more naps than DD did when she was 8 last vacation in 2017 lol. Spent the afternoons at the pool or exploring resorts while he slept. Then go back to the parks at night. I had let DD stay up till 10pm the week before vacation to get her use to later times (no school). Her normal sleep hours are 8pm-4:30am (I work waaay too early) so it helped get her on a more reasonable schedule for Disney. Only 1 night DD and I went without him because he still wanted to zzzz. We have a rental car every time so travel is a bit easier for some parks.
Based on advice from this forum, I’ve made plans for our mornings, and left our afternoons and evenings flexible. The idea is to take a break and quick nap so that we can enjoy both rope drop and evenings, but if that doesn’t work, we have the flexibility to power through the afternoon and call it quits early. It’s kind of up to DS8.
Remember you can also take a break in side the parks in a cool air conditioning restaurant. On our recent WDW trip early this May, we escaped the mid afternoon heat/humidity (remember, it’s really the higher humidity that you feel more than the higher temp) by having a late lunch (2:20-2:45pm) at a sit down restaurant. Often times we had the dining room to ourselves since the lunch crowd had left. We spent 2 hours lounging at The Marrakesh in EP’s Morocco. If I had had a younger kid, she would have been asleep on the padded cushioned bench beside me. We got our strength back after a delicious meal and were able to conquer the rest of EP.
I think those days with EEMH would warrant an afternoon break.