We learned the hard way. We were on the deluxe dining plan and felt like we needed three meals each day with only one or two signature meals. This time around we got the free regular dining plan and upgraded to deluxe; and plan on having 4 signature meals, and really only two meals a day. DH was concerned last time that he would need to eat more often, so I dutifully scheduled in three meals a day. That was such a mistake. We didn’t have room for all the leftovers. He complained about too much food everywhere (except Coral Reef where they barely gave him any protein). Now I’m planning just morning snack on our way out of the resort or at the park, lunch at the park, break in the afternoon, and dinner ADRs later at night.
The four signature meals I’m aiming for are Artist Pointe, Le Cellier, Jikos, and Tiffins. All of those are new except Tiffins.
If Aneira wants to stay in the park when DH and I rest, we’ll let her do that. She is reticent to do that, and will probably just go swimming at the resort, or walk around the resort (AKL) while take a nap. She’ll be turning 17 during the trip, so I don’t think it would be an issue for her to stay at a park. I won’t force her, though.
So many of us do. When you’ve not been before - or have not been with a particular feature like DDP - or can be hard to anticipate how it will work in real life vs theory. WDW is EXHAUSTING and if you go only once or only once every few years it can be easy to fall into the “must do it all on this once in a lifetime trip” trap. We feel so fortunate to go regularly so that, each time, we find we give more time to slowing down, sleeping in, taking in the details to really savor everything we get to do and worry less about what we’re missing.
Very true. Our first time was in 2004, and the second time was in 2017. Vast differences this time! Back in 2005, I think, we requested the planning DVD from WDW because we were hoping to go again. Never worked out. Anyway, our favorite portion of that planning DVD was Dave who talked a lot about benches, and chairs, and lounging around. It was so funny! We kept the DVDs we ordered, and that was our favorite. We did try to do the resting our last trip, but didn’t succeed. This time I’m scheduling the breaks. Last time we rode the buses a lot, and that always made leaving the park a bit more of a hassle. This time we will be driving our car. No more buses for us!
We do breaks most days. We didn’t do complete rope drop. Most days we targeted being at the parks between 9 and 9:30. But we came from west coast with teenagers, that was about the best we could do. Only MK was open past 9 when we were there. We did til 10 or 10:30 there the first 2 nights. Ended up at either Epcot or HS the next 3 nights, closed at 9, and we were done. Which made it easier to move the next morning.
We’ve not done breaks in the past, as staying off site it always seemed to far to go and get DS and DD back, especially as coming from the UK we are also adjusting to the jetlag so late nights are tough!
This trip coming in August we’ve agreed we won’t do first week (will RD then have food mid morning and a late lunch somewhere air conditioned and then head off for a swim) but will second and third weeks. Now kids are older the cooler evenings seem to be the best time to cover most ground
3 to 4 hours. We stay off site usually and always take our own transportation. I have found that with 3 kids if we don’t do a break it kills the fun later in the day. With the break everyone has a chance to rest and regroup. We have never missed out on any rides, characters or shows as long as we stuck to the TP.
Our breaks are quite early - we tend to leave not long after (early) lunch, maybe around one-ish, and aim to be back in a park for dinner around five. At the moment we don’t stay very late since our four year old wakes up at stupid o’clock in the morning no matter what time she goes to bed… For that reason we rope drop pretty much every day, although DH bails once or twice every trip when he’s “too tired”…!
Occasionally none of us really feel like heading out again after a break. When this happens we just chill at the resort instead, perhaps go to the Community Hall after dinner or just have a movie night.
Well, I’m back from our trip and yes, the 4 hour breaks worked out perfectly. We stayed at POP, so the trip to and from MK was about 20-25 minutes. Which left us about 2.5 hours worth of down time (adding in walking to and from the buses and waiting) at the resort.
Some days we napped. Others we got in the pool for a while. And others, we just cooled down in the room.
On all days but one we went back to MK and closed the park down, then were up the next day for RD at our next park.