Midday Breaks or Not

I am trying to work on a potential itinerary in advance of ADR day in less than 2 weeks for our trip Aug 7-14. I found out yesterday that out flight time got changed by the airline so we will be getting in 1 hour earlier and that helps my plans. It will be DH, myself, DD4 and DD5 on the trip.

I have been trying to put our nighttime shows earlier in the week in case there are any cancellations due to weather. On all those days I have nice long break back at the hotel in the afternoon.

On the second half of the trip I am debating if it is better to “push through” and not take a break but leave the parks around 4-5 for the day.

We are planning on taking breaks with lots of table service meals during our stay and neither of my kids have taken naps in over a year and a half at this point.

Obviously I am more than willing to make changes on the fly if the kids are not tolerating a plan but I am wondering if all the time spent going back and forth from the resort is worth it if I don’t need to have late nights in the park.

I am also hoping for 2 EMM on the tail end of the trip if they open up and work with our schedules.

Only you know the limitations of your children. I have heard of several families who go RD to night shows without taking a break at the resort. The first time we went to WDW in 2004, we stayed all day, and also park-hopped until late at night. However, our youngest was 3, and she was in a stroller. The two older ones were 14 and 11.

We have never really done mid-day breaks during any of our trips even staying on property as it just seems like too much travel time and not very relaxing. We try to stagger RD and late nights and do one or the other, although this next trip, we have 2 of our 9 park days planned RD to close! My kids are 17, 14, 9, and 7 now though. We also have never been in the summer so completely different set of circumstances.
I think your plan sounds perfectly reasonable. Smart to put the nighttime shows earlier in the trip. You may also want to consider planning a late night for the last night, as if you are like us, you can soldier through a lot at the end to get every last moment of park fun.


That is where I am having trouble debating. I am not sure going to RD to close would work out too well. I think though that they could probably manage RD to dinner. They tend to do a lot better when we are out and active with their stamina, I am trying to be cautious with expectations

When we took our trio of 4 year olds, we had 6 days in a row in the parks. We went from around opening (usually 9ish) to 4ish most days with no breaks (although we spent lots of time off rides…Tom sawyer island, boneyard, etc.). This was in September of 2011. We only did one night show, and on that day we did 2 pm until fireworks. I should note we did not use strollers, and the only time that was hard was the MK fireworks night, as husband and I could only carry 2/3. They all just wanted to sleep on the ride back to our resort. I would also say I wished we had done 5 park days and had one full rest day in the middle. We had plans for Fantasmic, also, but found after Day One that a lot of the dark stuff and shows were too intense for my kids at that age.

We are not planning on a stroller either. Neither of my girls really ever used one and I know it will be a fight with them. I know we will need a break the first day as out flight is SUPER early but I wish I could predict how they were going to react.

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Because you’ll be going in August, I think midday breaks make sense. We were last in Disney 3 years ago in August, when our kids were 4 and 7. We took midday breaks every day. We were out of the parks at the hottest, most crowded time of day. We all needed that rest break (adults just as much as kids!), because the heat is very draining. We swam if there was enough time, and then aimed for at least 1.5 hours in our (dark,air-conditioned) room, trying to nap, but happy for the rest and lack of stimulation even if reading or otherwise doing quiet activities. We were then able to enjoy some of the nighttime events and activities at the parks. We’re going again in August this year, and planning again to take midday breaks.

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As stated, only you know your family. My kids can handle only one open to close with TS and in park breaks. Other than that we do RD to dinner or lunch to close (or a little before), with RD days at the beginning of the trip and later days towards the end. Mid-day breaks just don’t work for us. My kids do not rest at the resort and they end up more exhausted from waiting and traveling.

Edited to add that we did not do a stroller either.

Once again you know your kids best. If you’re not sure make 2 plans one with breaks and one without once your there you will know what’s best. Another thought would be to make your plans with breaks and if you need them take them if not wing it. I was redoing our MK day and have an hour between dinner and night shows with nothing to do but sit and wait or I could try for fast passes or even look for photo ops. When your plans are done look to see what else can be done and HAVE FUN!!

1-3pm works best for us. Get there for “Rope Drop” and leave around 1. Try and do dining at 3pm, so to avoid the dinner crowd and grab a snack or two during the evening time. We’ve been doing this for years and has never backfired. Heading back next week and will be using the above schedule. Also, make two Touring Plans (1 of them do not “optimize” and the other, with the same rides / attractions, use the optimize). Again, has not done us wrong. Good luck.

I agree a break might be good in August but that’s how we always travel😀My daughter would probably be fine (she never naps on our breaks we use the pool and eat) it’s me that needs a break from the crowds😂 Our first trip the plan I made wasn’t the right one for what my DD5 actually wanted to do but it got us through crowded early evening and then I changed it for the rest of the night using what I learned here😀Have a great trip!

We did 3 park days in a row last January. At least 12 hour days each with no break and we were wiped. And the weather was phenomenal. I can’t imagine doing it in August. We were there in October and it was so hot and I was thankful to take a break in the early afternoon.

However, as other people have already said, you know your kids best! And if you plan smart with indoor breaks and ADRs it could work just fine.

I am always inclined to plan out my days for the most park time possible but then be willing to make cuts if our family needs the extra rest.

Perhaps you should schedule rest periods (even if they are in the park), and if they don’t need the rest, you’ll have extra time to do things you couldn’t fit in. Or create one plan with rests and another plan without. Pushing yourself and your family could backfire. Better to plan on doing less and add in more than the opposite.

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Great minds think alike.:smiley:

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My kids are around that age and, for me, it depends where you are staying. (ETA: We are early risers so always hit rope drop.) When we have stayed at BLT, we have gone to MK until around 2p and then come back around 6/7p for nighttime shows. Conversely, when staying at MK, we would go to the other parks until late afternoon and not return.
Last year (and again this coming Nov! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:) we are staying at Boardwalk. We would visit MK until 3/4p and not return. But we would visit Epcot until after lunch, go back to relax, swim, etc. and then head back to Epcot around 7.
The traveling to/from with littles is exhausting in itself and I do whatever I can to avoid pushing them beyond their limits. I’m happy to say we haven’t really had any meltdowns during our last three trips. This Nov my kids will be 9, 6, and 2 :crossed_fingers::crossed_fingers::crossed_fingers:

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Thanks everyone! I am trying to balance my planning tendencies with going with the flow and now driving everyone crazy.

With ADR day coming up I think I am over analyzing this to figure out ideal dinner times versus anything else.

I think I am on my 3rd or 4th revamp on touring plans. I am also trying to figure out way that I can arrange our plant to make the last day more on the fly and let us decide as a family where to go and what to do.

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We’ve done best with 9-5, earlier if we want to swim. A mid-day break never worked well. It ate up a lot of time and they refused to nap on schedule anyway. So when my youngest was 4 we switched to the 9-5 schedule and it was great. more efficient and kept them on regular bedtime.

We are planning mid day breaks with our 2 and 5yo in late Aug as well. If anything just to get out of the heat and sun. And I want to be able to see more night shows. You could plan your ADR for breakfasts late in the week so if you change your mind and schedule it wont affect your ADRs.

@EMT_16: I saw that you weren’t planning on a stroller and just wanted to add my two cents, for what it’s worth. We just got back from a trip with a 6.5 year old, a 15 year old, and a 20 year old. Our 6.5 yo hasn’t used a stroller in years, I wasn’t sure I wanted to get one, and I didn’t think he’d ride in it if we did. But, after reading some things, I ended up deciding to rent a Keenz wagon just in case I was wrong. Boy was I glad we had it! He willingly rode in it all the time. It helped keep track of him in crowds, and it helped him last as long as we wanted in the parks. Without it we would’ve had to cut our days short for sure. It also meant that we didn’t have to carry stuff around all day or rent a locker. I am so, so glad we rented it!

Just wanted to share! :slight_smile:


Where did you rent your wagon from if you don’t mind we asking? You didn’t have any issues using the wagon in the Disney parks?