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Old 01-23-2013, 03:10 PM   #1
starjazz
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What is the Minimum Time Out of Park for a Break with Tots?

I'm wondering as I plan if there is a minimum amount of time from leaving the park until we return to allow in my day if we intend to take a break with our 4 and 2 yo?

I've been kind of thinking 4 hours minimum, allowing time to get to our cabin in Fort Wilderness, rest/nap and get back. Is that enough? Too much?

We have a golf cart, so that should conceivably make our travel a bit quicker, no? Can we pull of a successful/fruitful 3 hour break?

I should note that what I'm talking about is for example, its Noon - we start heading for exit - we're back at main gate of MK at 4:00 pm. That would be a 4 hour break.
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:25 PM   #2
got2sammies
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That sounds good to me. Since you are the fort you wont need to wait on busses from MK but to get to other parks you need to ride the bus to the front of the fort to take another bus to the other parks (or ride the boat over and take a bus/monorail fom MK or the contemporary) SO I say about 20/30 minutes each way so hour travel time.. They will need time to relax and unwind before snoozing. Maybe feed them have a cold drink(so another 30 minutes) then a nice nap 1-2hrs. So 4hrs would be right on the money... Heck Im 34 and I need at least a 3-4 hr nap!
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:28 PM   #3
vcgirl925
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For me it would depend on how late the park is open until and if a break is worth it. We never do mid-day breaks. The babies always just slept wherever, in their stroller or on an attraction.
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:32 PM   #4
starjazz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vcgirl925 View Post
For me it would depend on how late the park is open until and if a break is worth it. We never do mid-day breaks. The babies always just slept wherever, in their stroller or on an attraction.
Yeah, our 2 yo will do that. Our 4 yo won't nap anymore though unless she's physically placed into a bed and told to close her eyes and relax. Then, if its a big long day, like these will be, she'll crash.

And when our 2 yo sleeps in the stroller, she might get 45 minutes, but in a quiet bed, she could sleep easy a couple hours.

So, I'm thinking that at least some of the days (we have 5) that we have park passes, a midday break will be necessary to maintain the sanity.
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:36 PM   #5
Diegosmom
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I think 4 hours might be a bit rushed...but doable...but are you just doing a nap or a swim...

Last Jan we didnt really do the mid-day break cause park was not open late but on one day we did...we left DHS a little before1 and came back to the room, changed and hit the pool...we were a bit rushed to leave resort at 5 so we couold get back to see some characters and ridce TSM a few times before it closed at 7...

Also does your 4 year old nap? Mine would only rarely nap so if we tried to take a mid-day nap it would have been horrible... (I am hoping for this june to be able to nap...more for my benefit but not sure that will happen lol)...you could always let your 4 year old swim but then will the 2 year old be mad when they get up...and when my son did take a nap he would sleep for 2 hours so in that case 4 hours wont really be do-able after you take into consideration travel time and wind down time...plus if you are taking the bus we found that we had to wait much longer if we were leaving in afternoon... (In jan took us about hour to get from bus stop at MK to our room at All Star Sports)...
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:42 PM   #6
GenevieveRaqs
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I tend to be a little more go-with-the-flow as far as this is concerned...

We took our DS4 to WDW for his first trip in October. I planned all of our ADRs for lunch time so that if we took a break in the afternoon we didn't have to rush back...or even come back at all. And then we sort of just let him lead the way. If he got cranky after lunch, we went back to the cabin for a rest. If he didn't sleep, we made him lie in bed quietly for an hour before getting up and heading back. If he did sleep, we just let him sleep for as long as he needed. Some days he was fine and didn't need a break, so we just kept going. My advice is to keep it flexible and let your kids' needs guide you on any given day. Planning a specific number of hours for a break would not have worked for me because every day was different.
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:43 PM   #7
Betty Rohrer
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my youngest grandson was 16 months at the time, he would fall asleep on the 20 minute boat ride back to FW, would wake up as we went to golf cart and would not then go back to sleep at the cabin. that makes that 45 mnute stroller nap look better. he would crash as soon as the boat started moving. just somrthing more to think about. it will probabily take about a half hour of down time to make it back to the cabin. did not work for us, hopefully it works better for you.
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:42 AM   #8
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Minimum time = ZERO minutes in my family. My son used to nap in the stroller. On our first trip with him, we tried to time it so we could get back to the hotel, settle down and rest, but this NEVER worked out for us. He would fall asleep on the bus or in the car, then be awake back at the hotel. After a few days, we just let him pass out in the stroller when he got tired. We did some child swap rides while he slept. It worked out great. We have not done an afternoon break time since. This may change on our next trip though. This will be our first summer time trip. We will be spending some time at the pool in the hottest part of the day, then going back to the park later.
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Betty Rohrer
my youngest grandson was 16 months at the time, he would fall asleep on the 20 minute boat ride back to FW, would wake up as we went to golf cart and would not then go back to sleep at the cabin. that makes that 45 mnute stroller nap look better. he would crash as soon as the boat started moving. just somrthing more to think about. it will probabily take about a half hour of down time to make it back to the cabin. did not work for us, hopefully it works better for you.
This is exactly what I was thinking. They are likely to power nap on the boat and en they are just cranky and won't go back to sleep. Better to take a 45min nap than a 10min power nap.

We didn't do breaks because it was pointless. The boys would crash in the stroller when they were tired but they would sleep for hours, they were just so tired from the early mornings and late nights.
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:53 AM   #10
donaldlovesdaisy
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We get to the parks at opening stay until about lunch time (noon) and then hang out at the resort rest and swim and head back to parks around 4/5 depending on dinner plans and how late we plan to stay(EMH). We have always been able to see everything we want and giving my kids who are 5 and 11 a break works wonders. Plus my husband and I need some time to relax by the pool with drinks. I will add though we go for 14 days so it makes touring a lot less stressful and easier but we only go every 2 years so that we can do this.
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:39 AM   #11
starjazz
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Couple of thoughts after reading some of these replies.

1. My double stroller only has one seat big enough to accommodate a nap. The front seat is just a small rider seat. The back seat is the fully recline, nap seat. So both girls (4 & 2) couldn't nap at the same time. Probably not a huge deal, but just thought of that.

2. Maybe just riding around on the ferry for a few round trips is the best idea at break time? 3 trips and I've given them an hour nap. Just a thinker. I've also debated the train and/or people mover to accomplish this task.

Thanks again everyone!
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:03 AM   #12
tzolkin
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Our first two trips we went back to the room and EVERYONE took a nap for several hours (up to 4).

DH and I have never napped in our lives and my older two kids never really did either. Before our first trip I was nervous about going back to the resort for the "baby" (almost 2) to nap and that everyone else was going to be bored. First day, we pulled the curtains, turned off the lights, got into bed, and everyone was out.

I think DH agreed so quickly to a second trip because all he could talk about was how wonderful it would be to get back to Disney to nap.


We go for longer trips (12 days) and at times of year when the park hours are long, so that also factors into it. If we were staying for only a few days, we would be more likely to spend as many hours as possible each day in the parks.

A "normal" day for us was morning EMH and do as many attractions as we possibly could, grab something to eat while heading out of the park (around 11). We would get back to the room and sleep until "whenever" and then head to a different park for a few hours in the evening. I would say our shortest break (from walking out the turnstiles until entering another park) was at least 4 hours, the longer ones probably almost 7 (11am-5/6pm). It really doesn't seem worth the time to get back and forth from the resort if you're only going to be there for less than an hour.


For us, the breaks were well worth it because everyone always enjoyed the park time and we didn't have any meltdowns (child or adult ). Even if we couldn't sleep it would have been nice to get aways from the heat and other people for a few hours. That's why even now that the kids are much older we still head back to the resort for several hours most days.
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:22 AM   #13
LisaTN
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We didn't really do breaks... we made our first park day a short day (departed around 5pm) and put her to bed early. This was an Epcot day.

our second park day was a longer one... and so we ducked into Hall of presidents. the CM didn't make us exit and so we stayed for over an hour and DD3 slept for about an hour and 20 minutes. I just checked my email on my phone, etc and DH left a rode BTMRR.

our third day we did a half day at AK, went to the room for her nap, then headed to DTD for BBB and dinner at Rainforrest Cafe.

And the last day was another MK day, but we knew she could just sleep the next day on the drive... so we did 8am-8pm. She did nap in the stroller in line to see Tinkerbell, which was about 40 minutes... and then she slept again during CoP, so another 20 minutes.
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:32 AM   #14
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We are a napping family. However I think that time of year can play a big role. Our last trip to Disney was in late August and it was very hot and it rained. We got wet despite having ponchos and raingear. It was nice to go back to a dark, air conditioned room. We would get undressed and hang up damp clothes to dry. We all benefitted from getting away from the sun, humidity, rain and noise. My son won't nap in the stroller and my daughter doesn't sleep well in the stroller. I also enjoy the nap and sometimes my husband does too.

Our issue is always escaping the parks at the time we planned. It tends to push everything else back when we leave too late.
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