Whether you’re going to Walt Disney World or Disneyland, one thing I always tell people is don’t underestimate the importance of BREAKS.
The importance of taking breaks during a Disney Vacation
Plan for a break day
During a Disney vacation, I like to plan for a break day. Usually, in the middle of our trip, we plan for a “resort day”; where we just stay at the resort and skip the parks. Most resorts have some amazing amenities, including some super fun pools. You’re paying for the resort, you should take advantage of those amenities!
There are also many great dining options inside the Disney Resort hotels. You don’t have to be in the parks just to enjoy delicious foods. Some of the best food I’ve eaten has been at the resorts. Every Disney Resort hotel has a variety of food options. Depending on where you’re staying you might have several scrumptious options! Be sure you give yourself some opportunities to try those places!
Schedule character dining on a break day
Something else to do on your break day is to schedule your character dining. Instead of sacrificing valuable park time, have your character dine when you aren’t in the parks. This way you can still see your Disney besties and not lose out on time that you could be riding Space Mountain. But if you can’t plan for a break day, another idea is to schedule your character dining on your departure day (assuming you can catch a flight later in the day).
Sleep in. You’re on vacation after all!
Another reason to plan for a break day is so you can sleep in. I know not everyone is a rope drop, be at the parks before the sun rises type of vacationer; but I know there is a big portion of us that are. Waking up early every morning on your vacation can cause some members of your family to turn into one of the two Seven Dwarfs, Sleepy or Grumpy. So it’s definitely nice to plan for a break day when you can stay in that nice cozy bed a little longer and everyone wakes up as the more enjoyable Seven Dwarf, Happy.
Plan for a mid-day break
Even if you plan for a break day, a mid-day break has been my go-to piece of advice for years. I understand that if you’re going to Disneyland you may not be there as long and see the point in planning a break day. However, the mid-day break applies for coasts.
It’s also important to keep little ones on their schedule. Being in the parks is a LOT of stimulation. This and early mornings can lead to very exhausted little ones. Trying to keep them in the parks past their afternoon nap just results in a cranky baby and stressed-out parents. Too often I see families who want to get “their money’s worth” and it never goes the way they want it. Meltdowns from both kids and parents happen inside the parks because everyone is tired and maxed out. It’s better to head back to the resort where everyone can relax and take a nap (parents included!). This nap and mid-day break also allows your little one to be able to make it to the end of the night. Versus having to skip the fireworks because someone just isn’t gonna make it.
The afternoon is also when the parks start to fill up. If you are planning on hitting the parks first thing in the morning, odds are you’ve been able to hit some of the top rides with shorter lines. Let everyone else just arriving battle the crowds and long lines. Head back to your resort, nap, grab a bite to eat or swim.
Like I said before, some resorts have some amazing pools. I know for my family relaxing at the pool is a huge element of our vacations. Our kids love to go down the waterslides and swim, while we like to lounge in a chair, soak up some sun and enjoy a beverage. As I said, afternoon/lunchtime the parks start to fill up. Heading to your resort to have lunch is another great way to take advantage of the dining options at your resort and avoid the long quick service lines. This could also be a way to cut down on your food expense. As I’ve said before in my Money Saving Tips post, having groceries sent to your resort is a great way to save during your Disney vacation. Heading back to your resort, you can grab a snack or meal from something you’ve had delivered via Amazon Prime or Instacart.
You’re going to walk… A LOT
Another very necessary reason to take a mid-day break is that you’re going to need it.
Regardless of what coast you’re on. You’re going to walk A LOT. On average, my family walks between 10-13 miles A DAY when we’re at Disney. I’ve seen people at Disneyland walk over 25,000 steps in one day! Especially right now since the trams are down, walking just from the promenade between Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park to one of the parking structures is roughly 3/4 of a mile. So don’t assume that just because Disneyland “only” has two theme parks, you’re not going to walk as much as you would at Walt Disney World, because you will!
During our trips to Walt Disney World, come the third day our feet are feeling it! There isn’t always somewhere to sit in the parks so being able to kick your feet up in your room is totally needed. This is again, another reason why we always head back to the resort for a mid-day break and plan for a break day during our trips. Having a day when we’re not walking 13 miles and taking it easy definitely allows us to be able to keep going the next few days in the parks.
And that about wraps it up. Don’t allow yourself to fall into that downward spiral of Disney exhaustion. Remember it’s completely ok to need a break! Know your limits. You’re never going to be able to see and do it all in one Disney vacation unless you stay for a couple weeks. Don’t think that by leaving the parks for a break you’re having “less” of a vacation. If you’re staying at a Disney Resort hotel, you’ve likely paid a pretty penny to stay there. Make sure you’re getting your money’s worth there too! You’re still going to have a magical time if you spend an extra day at the resort and one less in the parks.
You might even find that you’ll have a better vacation if you take the time to actually slow down and let the magic come to you rather than forcing it.
Spreading magic one post at a timeKristin