How important are rest days?

Okay…so to all you veteran Disney goers…I know the book is always mentioning taking rest days, etc, but I don’t remember ever doing this as a kid myself. Seems to me that if you don’t go balls to the wall and take snack/dining breaks, that a relatively fit person and kids should be fine.

We are staying off site in a house (because there are 10 of us) with a pool about 2 miles from the parks. So, don’t really want to lose time going/coming in the middle of the day.

Am I delusional? We have a 6-day pass. Planning to do 5 1/2 park days and rest on the day before we drive home. Are we nuts? Going to regret it?

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I’m not doing any but when I go it will just be the DH and I. We enjoy lingering over meals so we have about an hour to hour and a half break twice a day.

I assume people with small kids who need to take naps would be more prone to an afternoon rest time.

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Two part answer…Part 1: we’re taking our adult children and grand kids (first visit for them, ages 4 & 5) the 1st week of December and one of the things we entered in our TP’s are the routine nap-time breaks the kids are used to at home. Parents think this is important and so do we because a miserable child is the last thing you want on a WDW trip. But, I’m sure on day 1, they will be so excited a nap will be the last thing on their mind. By day 3 or 4 the excitement might wear off a bit and nap time takes over…we’ll let you know how that goes.

Part 2: We are in our 60’s from Philly and I and wife go to Disney every 2 years and try to do and see everything at all the parks each visit. We use TP’s exclusively to manage our trip but…you know what…when you need a rest, you gotta have a rest. A rest to us is sitting on a bench, taking in the sights of the park, the people-watching, admiring the details of each of the park…thinking about that next show or snack…20 minutes later, rest over…back to the TP…LOL.

I guess the bottom line is, your kids or your body will tell you if a rest is needed, TP or no TP……

Enjoy your trip.


We usually go 14 days with no rest day or afternoon break, though we don’t always stay until close.

Our most recent trip was very different. DH now has MS and gets tired easily, and we were all sick with heavy colds. I had built in afternoon breaks but we still needed more rest time.


We usually don’t take rest days - but we also don’t go crazy. We will either go early or late or some other combo. We don’t do ALL DAY GO GO GO and that way we have relaxation as well

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We went last fall with kids aged 10, 8, and 8 and went 5 park days in a row. Frankly, a rest day would have been appreciated - we pushed a little too hard. (Still had fun, but we were all EXHAUSTED each night.)

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  • Good points above, do you have any young children or stroller-age people in your group?
  • Mid-day breaks and rest days are two separate things.
  • A rest day in the middle of the week gives you a chance to slow down and recharge from the constant stimulation of the parks. Enjoy the amenities of your rental, maybe go play some mini-golf or shopping at Disney Springs.
  • My family still includes a DS5, so if we were staying onsite, we’d probably still do a mid-day resort rest. But if we were staying off-site like you, we probably would just build in some down time in the middle of the day. Maybe back-to-back rides on the PeopleMover, maybe a visit to the Hall of Presidents or Ellen’s Energy Adventure, sit down to have a snack of fresh fruit or ice cream, anything to rest some legs and minds for a while before heading back into the fray. I agree a mid-day rest at an off-site resort or rental takes a lot of time out of the day.

I would say with kids, at least one rest day is important. When we go (we’re 27 & 28), we don’t take a rest day and we’re exhausted by the time it’s all said and done. We go from park open to park close which makes for a very long day every day (roughly 5 to 6 days each trip) and honestly, we try to schedule at least 1-2 days when we get back before going back to work because we’re so tired. All that long story to say it’s not completely necessary without children or elderly adults but you’ll appreciate your trip more if you at least find some way to not run yourself ragged, whether that be taking a break one day or sleeping in a day or two.

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We stay off site usually, too. No way I’m letting DH out of the parks for a rest. We won’t go back. But, we make RD and then are home for dinner. We’re exhausted and looking forward to some reinvigorating pool time, even if it’s only 15 minutes. We end up in bed early (except me, because I have to finalize all the TPs) and are ready for the next day.

That said, we do 2 days like that and then a sleep in day where we might go to Disney Springs or shopping or just relax. I guess you could do an afternoon and evening at a park for that day, too, but remember to be in bed so you can get up for RD then next day.

When our kids were small, if they needed a nap, it was in the stroller. But they didn’t usually need the nap, because they spent so much time in the stroller and Disney does hype you up.

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Okay. Thanks everyone. We have 5 kids (4 (stroller), 8, 9, 11, 13) and 5 adults (4 of us are in our early 40s and pretty fit) and my Dad who is 70, but is in good health and walks lots.

I think if we don’t just go go go and take time for breaks and relax when at ‘home’, that we will be fine. We are a pretty energetic bunch. :slight_smile:


The first time we went, 3 years ago, our daughter was 4 1/2. The first day, we took a mid-afternoon break and then went back for the Halloween party. She was a bear after we woke her up from that nap and it took a lot of time to get back to the park, etc. so we felt like we didn’t make as much of our party time as we could have. After that didn’t take mid-day breaks and she did fine. This time around, she will be 7 1/2. One thing we are doing differently is the day of the Halloween party, we are going to spend the morning/afternoon at our resort swimming, etc. instead of at a park. Then will head to MK at 4. Also, we have planned for a late start the next day since we will be up late for MNSSHP. Other than that though, we will probably plan to just be on the go. It just seems to work better for us. Every family is different though, just know your limitations and be willing to make adjustments if needed. Good luck!


We are not doing a full day break but over a 9 night trip we have 4 half days. Hopefully it will be enough. Also not open to close peeps.


I am still debating this myself. We are 3 adults (no kids), late 20-early 30s, but out of shape :expressionless: I put together our TPs with 3 out of 8 days having a 4 hour break (we are staying on site), and 1 full day off in the middle at a relaxed pace. Now with RNR and everything else down at HS, we will be done at 4, so I’m debating if we should use the morning of our rest day for shopping at Disney Spings and the evening for just Fantasmic, and then on our HS day instead of waiting around we could hop over to MK at 5ish for a 2nd run at MNNSHP (we will be at MNSSHP the day we arrive but we have to be up at 4 am for our flight so I don’t know how log we will last). But idk how tired we will be.

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We don’t take a complete rest day, but do take a break mid-day to get out of the heat and away from the people. A few hours in a quiet room or at the pool recharges us so that we can do early mornings and late nights. This next trip I am going to have a sleep late day mid trip just so we can recharge a bit. We go 10-11 parks days in a row between Universal and WDW though, for a shorter trip I doubt we would do that. Time of year is important as well, in the winter when park hours are shorter and the temperatures are nice, we don’t need a break at all. But when it is hot, we certainly do. We live in the Northwest, so hot for us is anything above 70 degrees. :wink:


Hey there!

We’re doing 8 days of touring the Walt Disney properties, with a travel day on each end for Disney Springs, etc. We’re also doing MNSSHP, and Universal’s HHN (2 nights) during our stay.

We’re not 100% fit, but as bigger people, we still manage to walk 7k to 10k a day. In the parks, you’ll easily walk 15k to 20k steps a day.

Last year we packed a lot in, and no rest breaks… we were very, very tired. But we never made it to RD, and we didn’t use Touring Plans as we should have… it was a bit of the fly by the seat of your pants, even though I’ve been SO MANY TIMES before. Oh, and it’s hot… really, really hot, even at night. So that sucks the life out of you a bit.

We were tired last year. The heat made it worse. By the end of the trip, we were a little grouchy by end of day, and the feet were just wasted tired. But we never really made it to RD (rope drop), and took our time, did the A/C as much as we could, etc.

THIS YEAR we are planning with TP (yes!), are going to RD, got all of our fast passes in the early morning (so we can try to grab some in the afternoon and/or evening later), and have budgeted in rest time at the resort mid-day. There’s the understanding that rest time MUST happen when we plan on going late into the night (aka - MNSSHP or HHN), and that it is optional when we are just having too much fun… then we’ll just plan some bench and people watching time instead.

I have a feeling with all of the TP planning, RD, and early morning fast passes, that we’ll get to do MORE and still be able to take naps, use our dining plan, etc… with the help of Touring Plans and all of the tips along the way.

Mid-day breaks sound good to me. For anyone staying at a resort property, if you have a rental car, it makes it even easier than waiting for buses, etc.

Hope you have fun! We are going to rent a house off property one of these years we go to see the ears!

~ Imaginette ~

My Mom (in her 70s) comes with us and keeps up. For the last few years, she’s brought her walker with her and that makes all the difference. She doesn’t need it on most normal days at home, but for an all day thing like Disney, it’s a godsend. It gives her stability and a place to sit in the line ups, which saves her back from spasming on her.

Before she was ready to bring a walker, we used to have her push one of our strollers. We even brought one when our kids didn’t need it anymore just for her to push (with her purse as the weight in the seat.) It made a difference for her, because she just had something to stabilize her.

You could also look at renting something for your grandfather. He may not normally need it, but that kind of walking can take it’s toll on a person.

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My answer now in my mid-50s is different than it would have been in my 20s…

On a solo trip, as long as it is in the cool season, I can do 4 RD to closing and beyond days in a row without any afternoon breaks or days off. But I’m pretty wasted by the end. More than that, and I need a break day - or at least a couple of half days to recharge.

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I feel that if every day has a strict agenda and TP and rigid FPP times and ADR times, then after a few days my “vacation” feels like boot camp.
So we always have “rest days”… although they have never been “sit at the pool and do nothing” days. Things we’ve done on rest days: Pirate Cruise from YC/BC, slept in and ended up deciding to go to the parks for a couple hours with NO PLAN, another day we hung at the resort, went to the pool, played in the arcade, went to the playground, back to the pool again, shop in the souvenir shop, and repeat etc etc. We’ve hit DQ on a whim on “rest days”.
For us, a “rest” day is really a nothing-is-planned-lets-do-whatever-you-want-to-do kind of day, with no schedule and no rushing around.
I think your plan is fine, may be even better if you commit to having one day that has NOTHING pre-planned. Let the kids sleep in, when they wake up ask, “what should we do today?”. Maybe make FPP for TSMM or 7DMT for that do, so that if you decide to hit a part you have have a really fun FPP lined up.


On the last “big” trip I did with DW we had 6 full days in the World, with a travel day on either end. We did HS and EP on Mon and Tues, had a rest day, did MK and AK on Thurs and Fri, and ended with a rest day. DW had a 4-day hopper, and I had an AP. On the first rest day we spent most of it at our resort (AKL) and I ran into DHS for a couple of hours to check out the Osborne Lights. On our last day, I had booked a WAT for myself first thing in the AM, then stayed a couple of house after. This was a perfect mix for both of us.


We’re just back from 7 days in the World. While I didn’t program in any “off” days, we did program in a number of breaks (but not every day), and on one day mid-trip we took the morning off and slept in. On another day, we left the park late in the afternoon and lounged around the resort instead of doing a split day and heading back in.

Both were very therapeutic, especially the late morning. Build one in if you can - you won’t regret it.