Resting strategies

DH felt as tired as the kids on the trip and complained we did too much and I ended up cutting things out.
DS2 did stroller nap everyday. In MK, both days we had scheduled tests, although the 2nd day included BBB and waiting for the parade. MK1 plan was to leave after CP dinner. DH suggested we do a ride after dinner since the kids napped so I snagged a FP for PoC and the we left around 7. AK day arrived for EMH around 8:15(no Pandora RD). Powered through without a break (not including lunch at Tusker) and left park around 3. HS same thing. Powered through with no rest except as ScI-Fi lunch and left a little after 3. Epcot day no real break but just leisurely toured WS for 4 hours then early Akershus dinner at 5. Left 6:15. Last day at MK CRT dinner at 5:25. Left by 7.

Was this too much? DH himself said even if kids are older he wouldn’t want to do more. I know many rest and come back but O feel like once back at the resort we wouldn’t go back. Maybe if we had monorail or skylines access we would.

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My DH needs the nap at the resort more than the kids now. Sometimes we make the kids nap, sometimes I take the kids to the pool while DH naps. But we are a rope drop, afternoon nap, back for evening fun family. He’ll go hard and with the flow, but he gets his nap!

I think what y’all did sounds perfect. Not just going dusk-till-dawn…turning in early in the day…I’m a fan!

This is one of the most difficult things for me about planning a trip. We have to go in June because as the kids get into high school, they are too busy to miss a week. With the heat and afternoon storms, it is best to get to the parks early in the morning. But there are a lot of things we want to see/do at night as well. Our energy level is limited. I know a lot of people handle this with mid-day rests, but we have trouble doing that. Like you mentioned, once we get back to the resort, tired, overheated, and exhausted, none of us really wants to venture back out for Round 2. Last time we visited, I planned a longer trip. I scheduled “daytime” and “nighttime” visits at each of the parks so we would not have to do both in the same day. This time we are including 2 days at Universal, and have a shorter visit, so we are back to marathon days at the Disney parks.

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The midday rest was an integral part of our trip at Christmas. Also, few early mornings. Our DD17 went swimming while DH and I napped, or she stayed in the park. We also arranged a day off from the parks on Christmas Day, which was right in the middle of our stay. It sure made our trip more laid back and doable.


My DS complains when I insist we leave early, but on the rare day that we don’t he complains all the next day about how tired he is. It’s frustrating! I wonder if, in part, your family pushed too hard on day 1 and your husband never really recovered from it.

Our family finds that having a rest day is important. Both of our trips have been 5 park days. On our first we did 3 park days, a rest day, and then 2 more park days. Our second trip we didn’t have an extra day, so our AK day was a short park day. We swam at the hotel and relaxed, not getting to the park until 2 pm. Our first thing was a long character meal, so really we only ran around the park from 4-8.

We don’t go back for evening entertainment every night. We rope drop and leave by 4, breaking up the park time with a TS lunch. Then we go back to the hotel for a while. Two of our kids can handle some later nights and one can’t. So one night I go back to the park with one, and one night he goes with the other. Even at 10 and 15 they can’t handle such long, active days then lots of late nights and early mornings. Well–I should say that the 10 year old can’t. The 15 year old could but chooses not to because he doesn’t want every vacation day to be go, go, go. He likes his down time.

DH and I are planning a short adults only trip in the fall. He’s planning for rope drop to close and insisting we don’t need to waste time back at the hotel mid-day. We’ll see! Let’s just say that I’m going to book our dining and FPs in such a way that we can leave and return if we want to.

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I don’t think that sounds like too much. I do think WDW is just exhausting any way you cut it. I found that my family, including myself, maxes out at a little over a half day. Like RD til 2pm. We will either break at the resort and go back out for dinner/fireworks or make it just a half day (am or pm). We make most of our ADRs for the evening so that will force us to get back out at a certain time. There is definitely a challenge to finding the balance between doing all the things and getting the rest needed to do all those things.

I tend to nap at least on a couple days. Sometimes I just grab 15 minutes or so at certain attractions like AA or CoP. Ellen used for be good for a solid 30 minutes.

Thanks for the reassurances and tips. If we go for any longer I will be sure to schedule a rest day.

Rest days sound good. We’ve done those. On our last trip, we built in rest time by seeing back to back shows in each park or just letting the kid roam. So in HS we did Frozen then Indy for a break. In EP the plan was to watch Pixar shorts but the kid played at the jumping fountains for 20 minutes and then we did LwtL. At AK we did boneyard for 30 minutes then Nemo. MK one day our break was TSI and on the other we did take an afternoon break then went back at night. This helped and other than Pixar it was not planned but we realized in the moment what to do.

We did quite a few shows, boneyard etc. Is more less in terms of days? I’d think more Disney days would be more tiring but maybe with shorter days/rests it’s better.

How is it going in winter when it’s cooler? Does that give you more stamina?

I went with my family (my parents, my husband, my sister and her husband, and our 2 year old niece) in January. We are open to close park people, even the 2 year old, but I think that comes from being park people in general. Disney is not an every year event at all, but we are a roller coaster family so we do open to close at an amusement park at least one or two times each summer.

My dad, DH, and brother-in-law all married in to the madness. So I found that they tend to drag a bit. My dad made an effort to keep up when we were young, but as we got older, he was content to let the crazies go from ride to ride while he found a comfortable bench when needed. My husband feels no need to hold his own and will happily skip out on a ride or activity when he isn’t feeling it (he does ride my favorite because he knows it matters to me).

All of us are big food people, so our breaks are usually nice long meals. This past trip we only did 2 days in 2 parks. I think our future long trip as a big family, I will probably plan a rest day after 2 days. So 2 days on, 1 day off, etc.

I’ll be curious to see how the 2 year old fares as she gets older and out of the stroller. She is a trooper now, napping in the stroller but always waking up to ride. On this last trip she made it through the whole day and only fell asleep in the stroller after HEA. However, she woke up to ride tea cups. Then went back to sleep as we walked to Buzz…and promptly woke up for Buzz. She finally actually fell asleep on people mover. To be fair, though, she was brainwashed at a young age.

I do think that everyone tours differently, and depending on what your non-Disney habits are, that is going to be a factor in what is comfortable for your family. For example, friends of mine are going this summer, and they are just not ride/park people. So I know they will still want to do a lot, but I did not suggest rope drop to fireworks every day for them.

We went in April this year and June the last two years. The difference in temperature and humidity was big for us. During June visits we had to take breaks after lunch and come back later. Even with breaks in June we were tired. In April, we weren’t worn out by the weather at all. So yes, your plan should probably be different depending on the time of year that you visit.

To answer generally: if your party says it’s too much, then it is. It doesn’t matter what the rest of us say, and if you want the trip to be enjoyable for everyone you have to meet them where they are at.

I’m not clear how many kids or how old, but when my son was 2.5, there was no way were were not taking a midday break. They and we could handle about 4 hours of touring before we needed a good solid 4-5 hour break, with plans to return in the evening. And sometimes we didn’t return!

When my son - who is our younges - was 5 or 6 we had our first experience of sort of “powering through” but even then, we started a little later and left by dinner. That said, those days numbered 1 or 2 on that trip, and we mainly continued to tour morning and evening with afternoons set aside for resting/relaxing.

Now that they are tween/teen age we mostly go morning to evening or afternoon through night. This last trip we did take very lengthy midday breaks because we were on monorail and it was a little easier to do. But honestly, they are of the age now where getting up early every day is miserable - so we won’t plan to do it this way again for quite a while

My point is you need to adjust your plans to meet the needs of your party for any given trip. And again if they are saying it’s too much, you need to listen and adapt. You’re never going to get it all in, so you need to prioritize as you go through your planning. I ask my crew to each give me 2 things they MUST do in each park - that amounts to 8 things which feels doable (and sometimes it’s less when their wishes overlap). I build those 8 things into our plan, and add other things noting them as “skippable” or “if time allows”. Doing this makes sure we have done the things that each person most wants to do, but gives us plenty of cushion to bail or adapt if we are too tired/hot/wet/etc to do everything we put on the plan to begin with.

Listen to your crew. That is rule #1


We do something similar in terms of priorities. Everyone in the family ranks the park attractions plus tells me if there’s anything they refuse to do. We do everyone’s first choice (which is 5 things if there’s no overlap), then I determine what else we’ll do by looking at the things that multiple people ranked highly. And like you, I have “extras” in our plans that we’ll do or skip depending on time and mood that day.

On our first trip our 3 kids were between 7 and 12. So even for that one they were able to do some research and come up with priorities. (We bought a kids’ guidebook and had others available to them from the library). If your kids are still stroller age, you’d probably have to pick the priorities for them, but I agree the same strategy would work for not overdoing it.

I think this was true for us. We did 9 park days in a row in February. No rest days but no open-close days either. A few late starts (noonish-close), a few early mornings (8-3) and maybe one full day (8-8) but the weather was perfect. Upper 60-mid 70s most of the time and that makes all the difference between being able to enjoy being out and in the parks for 12 hours versus feeling like you’re going to melt into the pavement.

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I don’t disagree. I need to change something for next time which is why I asked.

I already have our favorites at each park listed.

The only think about February is I want to be able to go in the pool and wear shorts.

Valid. I never did wear shorts but my kids did swim and weren’t shivering or cold. I think they keep the pools pretty warm.