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lucifie 09-16-2012 02:18 AM

Nap/rest in the afternoon
This will be our first trip and, while I totally understand the advice I see everywhere about going back to the hotel to rest in the afternoon, I don't see it happening with my kids. I have 4 kids - 9 with special needs, 7, 4 and 2. The 2 year old would be no problem. She'll fall asleep in the stroller, but I just don't envision my other kids being willing to nap or doing it when they're bouncing off the walls with excitement. That's the one thing I'm worried about. It seems like a huge hassle to make our way back to the hotel to have the kids NOT nap, KWIM? We plan on taking things slow. We will come up with a few things each day that we absolutely want to do - maybe have each person choose 1 that they definitely want to do and 1 that they would like to do if we have time and then play it by ear after that. We were thinking that instead of going back to the hotel we could hang out on Tom Sawyer's Island, for example or have a leisurely lunch. We're going in January so the park hours will be a little shorter and we're planning to alternate longer days with shorter days. The tentative plan is MK, then AK, then EP, then HS and on the last day go to whichever park the kids want to go back to (I'm 95% sure they'll pick MK, but you never know).

Are we totally crazy? In theory the afternoon nap is a fabulous idea, but I just don't see it working for my kids. The only way I can think of to force a nap is to get in the car and drive and the 9 year old most likely still wouldn't sleep.

This makes me nervous because I don't want meltdowns from them being overtired, but I'll have a hard time enforcing any kind of rest period.

MistressMerryweather 09-16-2012 02:34 AM

No napping here, either, except for my 1yo and maybe my 3yo. My 7yo and 9yo wouldn't have it.
If we go back to the hotel, the baby will nap, but it's more so the big kids can unwind and relax. They love to swim at the resort almost as much as the parks, but we are going in Sept/Oct, instead of Jan. We did go in December last year and it was plenty warm enough to swim.
I think that anything where they can just run around and "be free" is enough to help them unwind and rest. Tom Sawyer Island in MK, Honey I shrunk the kids playground in HS, the Boneyard in Animal Kingdom and maybe Innoventions or Living Seas in Epcot. :thumbsup2

starsweeper 09-16-2012 10:59 AM

I wholeheartedly agree with naps for kids 3 and under, but if your 2yo will nap in the stroller that may not be a problem for you. The 4yo is the iffy one in my opinion, just depends on how your DC handles it. We took two 3.5yo last time and regretted a day we did not stop for naps. We have two older kids now and two younger kids, so DH and I plan to split up if necessary for him to return with the little ones to the hotel for naps.

Schmeck 09-16-2012 12:45 PM

Depends on how much walking you expect out of all the kids - the 2 yr old in the stroller should be fine, but what about the 4 year old, the 9 year old with special needs? Can they walk all day, and not get exhausted? If you only have 5 days in the parks, you are either going have to do long days or plan not to do a lot of stuff. EPCOT is a 2 day park if you plan to do FW and WS, and it is a long hike around WS.

Deb & Bill 09-16-2012 01:28 PM

I look forward to our Disney trip so I can take an afternoon nap. Both my husband and I do that. And this trip, no kids (our son is in college and fall break was cancelled because they were off for the hurricane). So daily naps for us!!

lucifie 09-16-2012 02:07 PM

I'm planning on bringing the double stroller so the 4 year old can ride in the stroller if he wants to and he and the 7 year old could even take turns, if necessary. We're looking into getting an adaptive stroller for the 9 year old. This summer we went to Dutch Wonderland in PA as sort of a test. It's a much smaller park, of course but they all did fine and only the 2 year old was in the stroller.

We do plan on taking a lot of breaks, just maybe not going all the way back to the hotel.

Maybe it's just me but IMO standing in line is far more exhausting than walking around. I've been watching Touring Plans and the estimated waits don't look too bad, except for a few attractions, so we'll either hit those first thing in the morning or skip them. I've pretty much decided that since we have a limited number of hours each day, there isn't really anything I'm willing to spend huge amounts of time waiting for.

Princess on the Run 09-16-2012 03:13 PM

I'm a strict nap enforcer up until age 5. Every now and again we're in a position where it isn't possible and we make do but I try to not have it happen more than one day at a time. When we were there in Feb for a week, we tried to make sure we got naps every other day and that worked out fine. What I tried to do was pick the nights we were hoping to see fireworks or something to be sure we got naps those days or there would be no way they'd make it that late without melting down. Also, if you have a non-park day, that's an easy one to get in a nap between pools or DTD or whatever.

Between staying up a little later than normal, all the walking and excitement and being outside their normal routine and environment, I think no naps all week would have been too much to ask and we'd have had 3 crabby terrors on our hands which is no fun for anyone. Plus it was nice to go back to the room and relax for a few minutes, grab a snack or whatever and get ready for whatever was next.

With my oldest 7 now, he has some interests in things the other 2 aren't ready for, so sometimes we'll go back to the room and I'll stay in the room while the 2 youngers nap/rest while DH can take DS7 to an arcade or something for some "big boy time." And then I use that time to transfer pictures from my camera, re-charge my camera and phone and have a little mommy break time. ;)

BuzznBelle'smom 09-16-2012 04:09 PM

Well, you're going during low season, so the park hours are much shorter. Breaks become less necessary then. I'm a big fan of "hope for the best, but plan for the worst", so I say, make a plan as if you would take the breaks. In your family's case, it might be good to do what DH and I did--plan to break up after lunch, an done parent take back the kid(s) who need to nap.

I'm going down in Jan., with just my younger two (DD9 and DS6), and don't plan on breaks. However, we also won't be using much of the evening EMHs, either. If you hope to do both morning and evening EMH, then a nap would be more appropriate, IMHO. But, if you hope to have everyone in the parks for 8am rope drop, then staying up until 10-11pm to close down the parks, then a break would be your best bet.

P.S. I never, ever had a kid who would nap in a stroller! Not one of them...

bear_mom 09-16-2012 04:21 PM

Our first trip our dds were 5 and 7 and we have never had gone back to the resort to take a nap. We get up in the morning for rope drop, tour the park at everyone's pace and then do an early dinner (5:30'ish). We are back in to our rooms by 8'ish for showers and bed.

Usually once or twice per trip we will stay up later and see a night show.


shopgirl78 09-16-2012 05:06 PM

I think it depends on the child/situation. In 2009, when I had a 4 and 2 year old, we didn't go back for naps and we swam when we were done for the day. It was all of our first time. However this last trip (March 2012), we'd go back to the hotel mid-day sometimes to nap and/or just take a break from the parks. The kids were SOOOOOO in love with the pool at the Poly and it was hot that they usually requested we go back to swim. One day they were so fussy, we implemented mandatory nap (my 4.5 year old and 2 year old did sleep). That night we went back to the parks since everyone was rested.

quandrea 09-17-2012 12:46 PM

We have twins, 3 and an 8 year old. We always have down time in the afternoon. My dd, 8 wants this as much as the little ones. She loves to swim, explore the resort, do the activities they have there in the afternoon. For her the resort activities are as much fun, if not more, than the parks. She absolutely relishes our off days. So I would suggest to step back and enjoy the down times. You may not see as much, but it's not about how many attractions you ride, it's the overall magical experience. You get this by slowing down. Have fun.

lucifie 09-17-2012 01:32 PM


Originally Posted by BuzznBelle'smom (Post 46176080)
If you hope to do both morning and evening EMH, then a nap would be more appropriate, IMHO. But, if you hope to have everyone in the parks for 8am rope drop, then staying up until 10-11pm to close down the parks, then a break would be your best bet.

I'm not *that* crazy. LOL. We're not doing park hopper, so we would only have the option of one EMH a day. If we do EMH we would probably either have a late morning or early evening, depending on which one is offered that day. And if we stay for evening EMH, we'll start later the next morning.

Mariep26 09-17-2012 01:36 PM

My kids aren't really nappers. We played each day by ear (no ADRs for lunches were booked) and we went back to the hotel on certain days and just sat by the pool. The kids swam a bit and I relaxed with them in the pool. For us, it wasn't so much about napping as much as just slowing down the pace for a few hours before we geared up for evening activities.

Sandi 09-17-2012 01:56 PM

We still do naps (DD is 17) when it makes sense. When she was younger, the naps were most important on those days when I was burning the candle at both ends -- rope drop and evening fireworks/Fantasmic/whatever. If you want to see Wishes, I think a nap is a necessity.


I write a blog about going to Disney with children. One suggestion I make on my site plus to family and friends is a great way to take a rest while at the park is to plan it around the midday parade. MK, HS, and AK all have one. To get a good spot you ideally want to be stake out a spot about an hour before. Bring a blanket and have the kids sit down. Bring some paper, stickers, coloring books, crayons. Have some quiet time. Use it also for a snack.

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