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Old 11-07-2012, 01:59 PM   #1
Earning My Ears
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 23

When staying offsite with young kids do you return in the afternoon?

We're staying at emerald island with our 2 daughters, 2 and 4 yrs old. We're going in early December when the hours are shortened for mk (close at 7, we're not doing MVMCP). I'm wondering how difficult it is to return to the condo and the likely hood of making it back to the park in enough time before closing.

We will be doing 2 magic kingdom days, one Epcot and one animal kingdom and taking a day off in the middle to just hang out and relax.

So what do you do about returning mid-day? Or should we try to power through until they just crash, probably around 3-5:00 then go back and call it a day?
Thanks for any help!
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Old 11-07-2012, 02:11 PM   #2
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It's really going to depend on your kids. I don't know how far that hotel is from the park, so that would also need to be factored in. We tried several times with different kids going back for a mid-day nap when we were onsite and found it was a waste of time - since the kids wouldn't nap!! Even at 2 and 3 years old. (That's three different kids and none would nap). We learned what works best for us is to hit rope drop and go at a faster speed in the morning and then slow down for afternoon. Then we generally pick it up a little if the kids perked up. And then leave when someone starts to act like it's time to leave. We find that's not 2/3, but more like 6. My kids never would nap in the stroller either, but that's an option for some.

I'd try a mix if you're uncertain - like stay as long as they act fine for the first day at a park like AK and then go back and stay back. The second park day, stay and go back for a nap in the middle to see if that works. Since the third day would presumingly be your off-day, it's okay if the kids stay up later the second park day. Then repeat. Keep in mind too that MK doesn't always close at 7pm, just on party days. There's the Main Street Electrical Parade at 7pm and Wishes at 8pm some non-party days. I'd do AK as one of the parks on the leaving early and not coming back day due to the shortest hours. If they nap, the Epcot has Illusions at 9:30.
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Old 11-07-2012, 03:20 PM   #3
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I"ve never stayed off-site...but when we've stayed on-site (with young kids) during January, when the parks close early, we don't leave for a break. Fortunately at the time my youngest slept in the stroller fine and my oldest was fine if she skipped nap. We always kept our plans flexible, though, and were willing to go back if we thought they needed a break.
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Old 11-07-2012, 04:06 PM   #4
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I think with MK closing at 7:00 it would be a waste to have an afternoon break. I would just go as long as the kids could go.
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Old 11-07-2012, 04:17 PM   #5
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We went in late Nov/early December last year, and stayed offsite in Sunset Lakes. We often took afternoon breaks. I would say that for a break shorter than 3 hrs it isn't worth it, but for 3hrs or longer it is easily doable and worth it if your kids are the type that would benefit.

It took us no time at all to get from the parks to Sunset Lakes in our rental car, and Emerald Isle will be even a bit closer. We would often leave WDW at about 2pm, at which point we would be quite tired -that's 5hrs in the parks already. We would then swim, relax and maybe have an early supper at the villa, and come back to whichever park we wanted at 5 or 6pm for the evening (we had parkhoppers).

BTW when MK closes at 7pm for MVMCP, making dinner reservations at the Polynesian and watching the fireworks from the beach is very nice.

Me & DH + DS & DS (both 14)

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Old 11-07-2012, 10:20 PM   #6
Earning My Ears
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We just got back from our first trip. We stayed at WBC and had a rental car. I originally planned to return to the room early afternoon for dd's usual nap and then return to the parks for the late afternoon/early evening. We felt that the back and forth was too much, even though we were fairly close, especially at MK with needing to park at TTC and then getting to MK. We ended up staying at the parks until 2 or 3 PM (getting there for RD at either 8 or 9 AM) and then heading back to the resort, letting dd take a late nap, and then spending the late afternoons at the pool instead.

We also spent 2 days at MK and 1 day at AK, HS, and EP. Both of our MK days were 8 AM - 2 PM. We got to do everything that we wanted to do at MK without any problems during those days and got to do our favorites twice. We also left at lunch to go to CM one of those days. We didn't feel like we got to do everything at AK, HS, or EP, though, but I also have an 8 yo who wanted to do more of the thrill rides that my dd didn't, so that was part of it.

The traveling took more time than I thought. If your kids will be able to tolerate taking a late nap or not taking a nap, or will nap in the stroller in the park, I would do that instead of planning to leave for a nap an then come back.
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