We have never done a mid-day break even when kids were little (me, DH, and kids 15, 12, 7, and 6). Always stayed onsite at moderates--6th trip in 10 years. We have also never been between May and September so extreme heat has not been a factor. We typically have 7-8 park days (in October, November, March, or April) so we RD or close most days, sleep in on our Epcot WS day, and sometimes leave at dinner, sometimes stay for fireworks. For those of you who say that mid-day breaks are a must, is it only because of heat and crowds combined? When you get back to resort and swim and relax, do you have enough energy to ride the busses again and go back to the park? Is it actually relaxing or is it just "away from the crowds"? Is 4.5 hours long enough? Are breaks a good idea even with shorter park hours (predicted HS 9-8, AK 9-7, MK 9-9)?
We've never done the mid-day break thing either.
I feel like we are there to be in the parks. So once we are at a park, we stay put until close, usually.
I would say this to you - if you create your TPs and have everything that you want to do on them, and it shows you have 3-4 hours free, then go back to your resort and relax, swim, whatever. But don't miss out on things you want to do at the park to fit in a 3-4 hour trip back to your resort.
If you want to utilize your resorts pool or other ameneties, then plan to do so either after you wake up or after you are done at the park but before bed. The travel time can be a huge time-sink if you're going back and forth. That's one of the reasons I don't like to park-hop either. Too much time wasted traveling.
Touring as an adult with no kids (sometimes DW comes with me), I have never taken a mid-day break. Like you, I only go between the months of Nov and May; the summer heat and humidity would just suck all the fun out of the trip. I almost always eat TS for both lunch and dinner; those 60 min breaks seem to be all that I need.
It's still disgustingly hot and humid at 5pm and 6pm just as it is at Noon or 2pm. If heat & humidity is not your thing, then avoiding summer is your best bet! (i'm directing this to anyone that doesn't like heat & humidity, including myself)
We usually go in early April and while the weather is "nice, low humidity, not hot" to many people, but we live in the Pacific Northwest and so find it pretty darn hot/humid. We tend to go to the park with EMH (open usually 8am), and after lunch we usually take a break. That is when my kids like to swim, or sometimes we just sit in the cold room to relax. Then we all shower again, and head back to the parks for dinner and late park hours. The days we don't take a break, I regret it. But everyone is different, for us a break is needed.
Agreed! I was at a conference in Orlando a couple of years ago in Aug. I had an open night and an AP so I decided to go to EP for a couple of FW rides and dinner in WS. I got there around 5:00, and my shirt was soaked through before I even got through the tap stiles. It was "tolerable" by 9:00 when Illuminations started, but still not pleasant. If I ever doubted the resolution I made 30 years ago to NOT go to WDW in the summer, then that one evening eliminated those doubts.
OBTW - I LIVE in FL...
I have found the mid day breaks to be good for me of late. I travel as 2 adults no children. But i am not usually and early riser so i appreciate the time to slow down and nap. And to also eat outside the park and save some money.
And yes i usually go back for more in the evening.
Park hours will almost always get adjusted as it gets closer. When are you planning on going?
So I am definitely in the camp of taking a mid-day break on most days. I have travelled most recently with our 1 year old, but in the past with just DH and DCousins, we have also taken mid-day breaks. With kids that are older, I think that mid-day breaks become more important and/or easier! If you are able to stay out later, those are prime touring times. We generally like to park hop mid-day as well which doesn't take any extra time if you are already going back to the hotel.
I TOTALLY get the mantra of must.see.everything but the reality is that you can't. Also, you are paying a TON of money to stay at the Disney hotels. Like honestly you could spend almost $100 less per night and get a 2 bedroom condo with your own pool off-site. I want to take advantage of the ambiance and Disney-bubble that we are paying a premium for. Enjoy the pool! Take a carriage ride or rent a bike. Take an actual 1-2 hour nap and then you can stay out super late if you have older kids. I can't wait until my son is old enough for MK after dark!
middle of March
Someone with experience in March will be able to tell you how realistic those hours are.
I've only been to WDW once this past October, and I planned for 2-3 of our 8 days there to have midday breaks, as I wasn't sure how we would like them (3 adults, 20s-30s). I am now planning another trip for this coming October-November, and those breaks will be in my plans every.single.day.
I can't speak for how well they'd work with kids, but for me personally, I want to be there early and go until 1, then go back until 5. Even if I don't really sleep (which we didn't much on those breaks) that time laying down and just doing nothing with no people or noise is a GODSEND. When we headed back to the parks we were refreshed physically and mentally and could stay til closing. Bonus for missing the hottest parts of the day.
The fact that everyone I traveled with and will be traveling with are introverts may skew it toward the must-do side of the scale, but I think once you try it, you'll want to do it most days.
I'm also on Team Midday Break. Get to park at opening, have QS lunch around 1:30, go back to hotel, rest, go to different park at 4 or 4:30. We only take a break for a couple hours. On days that the parks have shorter hours, we like to schedule dinner at close if possible. For example: later this month while we're at HS, it closes at 8pm - we have a 7:55 ADR, so we're not wasting evening park time. (It's also nice to leave the restaurant and have the park practically empty - nice time to take some quick pictures without a thousand people in them.)
For me it's a time to recharge, change clothes and shoes if I want, do laundry, recharge my phone, check over the plan for the next day, etc. Sometimes we've napped, sometimes just veg in the room for a bit. I usually set an alarm on my phone for what time we need to leave to get going again. We always do one park in the morning and a different park in the late afternoon/evening.
Yes change shoes. I try and do that all the time. Another good reason for a break.
Like i said i usually sleep late everyday. But when at disney. At disney i am out before rope drop. Go strong until about 1ish. Take a break and go
Back for a more leisurely time. I feel more relaxed after a break.
Often missing the worst of the heat and crowds and sometimes the afternoon rain.
I used to be an open to close girl. Now i am an open and break girl.
We liked the mid-day breaks. We found the transportation averaged about 1 hour total, so that left 2-3 hours at the resort to have a snack, a rest (DH), swim or play in the play area (DD & me) and sometimes do laundry at the same time.
If you ask my DD what her favorite thing about Florida was, the first thing she says is the pool.
We also did boat rides to resorts for lunch as a break and that was also relaxing.
We have never gone in the summer, but it can be very hot in March or October, when we have gone. We don't do midday breaks out of the park. We also generally do a TS meal, and that break in the AC is what we need. But, we also are not "open to close" people. We keep our days to a reasonable length and manage our energy that way instead of breaks. If we leave the park, no one in my family has the energy to go back.
That's what we have done before---manageable days. We always do open to close last day and stay to park close another day with a late start in Epcot WS but usually RD and then leave for dinner and resort late afternoon.
I think I'm going to schedule one long mid-day break day this trip just to try it out and hopefully swim during daylight. Thanks for the input.
funny, I'm trying break(s) on our upcoming trip for the first time. Will be interesting to see if either of us like it or not!