Rest Day Ideas

Hi all. I am planning a trip with three days at Disney in March. We are planning to do two days, a rest day, then our last day. I am looking for ideas for something low key to do on our rest day.

We will have a car, so have a lot of flexibility.

I have never done this, so I am probably the worst to be recommending something, but if I were to have a day outside the parks, I would probably visit garden walk (within walking distance to Disneyland). They seem to have some really interesting food options I would like to try. I would also love to go have tea at the Hello Kitty Cafe. It is about a 15 drive from the Disneyland area. Some other options are a beach day, a pool day at your hotel, or explore DTD and the resort hotels (minus PPH). I love to walk the grounds at DLH. You could get a drink at Trader Sam’s too!

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If the tickets you have don’t have restrictions and/or its within your budget to do an extra day at Disney, that would always far & away be my preference. If you do have limitations on budget or blockouts that are giving you that extra day then here are some of the things we look into/have heard of/and some of what we’ve actually done on our rest days:

  • The beach. We’ve done both Huntington and Newport. Huntington was a lot easier to park and walk to the beach, but I grew up going to Newport (my dad’s hangout beach when he was a teen in SoCal) when my parents would take us to SoCal so it’s always a little nostalgic going there. I’ve also looked into Long Beach and want to try it eventually too. I do usually try to entice the kids with things other than the beach first because as much as I love the idea of the beach (the smell and sound and sight of the ocean is always amazing), the actual beach experience is far from relaxing in my stage of life with 4 young-ish kids.

  • If your rest day is the 3rd Sunday of the month then WALT’S BARN | The Carolwood Society. is an option. This is something I always forget about but want to do eventually. It seems like a nice little peek at some Disney treasures/history.

  • Very close to DL is Bowers Museum which in the past has had DL related exhibits and there are even past review here on this forum by others who have loved the short trip out to it to see any DL specific exhibits. Looks like currently and through June there is an exhibit showing the “crown jewels” and jewelry from some Disney/20th Century movies (specifically mentions Princess Diaries & Titanic).

  • If you’re a sports fan Angels Stadium and Honda Center (where the real-life Anaheim Ducks play) are super super close so you could look into if a game is going on on your rest days. We’ve often toyed with the possibility of doing a baseball game at the stadium, but it’s always so hard to pull us away from the parks if we’re not blocked out so we usually choose more park time.

  • And then if it’s a real rest low-key day that you want, the thing we almost always end up doing even after looking into all of the above is a hotel lounge day with Downtown Disney as the main attraction to get out and see sights to keep from going stir crazy. We sleep in, make almost no plans (sometimes if it’s a busier day and/or if we know we want to do a character meal on our down day we will make a restaurant reservation for midday). We lounge at the pool or hang out in the room with screens or card or board games (we have packed card games and we have at least once maybe twice, bought a Disney board game and then later played in the hotel room on a down day). And then once we’re ready to be up and about and/or eat a proper meal (we lightly snack in the room in the morning) we’ll venture to Downtown Disney. Even though I always worry we won’t fill the time and be left with extra time of “we’re so bored!”, we always do seem to spend more than enough time there, especially Lego Store, World of Disney and the Home decor store (forgot what it’s called these days). You can also wander through the lobby/common areas of both the Disneyland Hotel & Grand Californian. And then we pack it in for an early night at the hotel to be well rested for our next/last day (with dinner usually something we bring back to the hotel room from either a Downtown Disney or somewhere close our hotel- we really love the Pizza Press at The Anaheim Hotel so that’s usually our go-to but we’ve more recently discovered that the Denny’s near to DL are really great and cheap with fantastic curbside/takeout process that’s really easy to use so we find ourselves there a lot on our recent trips.

Hope this at least gives you some good ideas & hope your whole trip and rest day are great!

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We used to go to DLR every spring break. Monday was for DL, Tuesday was for DCA, Wednesday was for the beach, and Thursday was for DL. We bought surfing lessons on Groupon a couple of years too. Depending on ages of kids and swimming abilities that could be fun. It’s usually only a couple of hours.

When we were surfing it was usually Newport Beach. For just a beach day I would go to Huntington because as @lolabear_la said the parking is so much easier. If you’re at the state beach there is a fee, however.

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Thank you for all these great ideas! So many things I hadn’t considered/didn’t know about.

It is in the budget to add an extra day, but I have an autoimmune disease that makes me quite fatigued. Like you pointed out in your final point, I’m worried about everyone else being bored and me being too exhausted to entertain.

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I’m currently planning our trip to DLR and bookmarked these two blog posts.

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If tide-pooling is something your group would be interested in I highly recommend Little Corona Del Mar beach. We went for an afternoon in December and it was beautiful and we got to see lots of sea life in the pools.

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I do always worry we’ll all be too bored with zero plans, but with so much stimulation and so much go go go to be in Disney, even my relatively healthy mostly fit and capable family enjoys it when we do us a rest day to just chill. For us it’s seldom, usually forced by a pass blockout or limit to number of day tickets, but the last trip where we did it, I was wildly satisfied and thought that even if we’re not blocked out, on longer trips I should really plan for at least down a morning/afternoon. The last trip where we did a break day we structured it so the break day was right before our last full park day (just like you have it) and it was just what the doctor ordered after a so much already jam-packed park time.

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