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Old 11-15-2012, 01:45 PM   #1
BayAreaMom
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Daily Schedule HELP- How to Not Get Exhausted!

Hi
We were at Disney 4 days last week (11/8-11) and I ended the trip feeling incredibly exhausted and like I did a terrible job at managing my schedule each day. I was sleeping about 5-6 hours each night and stayed up way too late.

Here is the setting:
We have two kids: 3.5 & 6.5. They usually go to bed at 9pm and are up at 6:30am. The youngest naps only at preschool M-Fri. She does not nap on the weekends (hasn't for months) and generally goes to bed 1-2 hours early on weekends because of this. She seriously fights napping- in the 24 days she's gone to Disney since she was 2.25 years, she has only napped occasionaly- never in her stroller, and if one parent takes her back to our hotel to nap, it is usally an awfully late nap and that messes up her whole schedule.

We are early morning people. I like to get up and go to the parks and be there right before they open. I absolutely hate sleeping in or moving slowly in the morning. The kids are the same way. Which is why staying up late (past 9 or 10pm) is an issue- we get up around 6:30 or 7 the next day no matter what. We normally are not late night people- I don't like WOC, Fantasmic or fireworks, so missing those is not a big deal at all. However, some rides are really cool in the dark- RSR, BTMRR, etc.

On past trips, our usual experience was for one parent to bring our 3.5 yo back to the hotel early (6 or 7 pm) and get her to bed early (and then the other parent got some "rest time"). The other parent would stay at the park with our 6.5 yo and go on the >40" rides and stay until 8 or 9pm. My 6.5 yo doesn't have an issue staying up that late.

This trip, we wanted to go back to our hotel and eat dinner there. We had friends/family who wanted to do the same and who also wanted to stay at the parks pretty late. I also wanted to shower and change our clothes- rinse the sunscreen off and get warm clothes on.

Sometimes in the past we have also taken a swim break, which I hated- the girls got way too tired playing at HoJo's sprayground, and I just hated missing park time. Some days the kids were just a tired mess if we took the swim break and then tried to return to the park. So basically, if we take a break we want it to be to eat a cheaper dinner at our hotel and change, not to nap/rest/swim. This puts the break around 5-6pm.

This past week our schedule was:
Th: At parks from 1:30-6:30- this was our arrival day- no issues here with schedule.

Fri: At parks 9-4:45, then dinner break from 4:45-6:15, at parks from 6:30-9:30. Got to bed later than desired (10:30pm)

Sat: At parks 9-6, then 8-11pm. DD 3.5 and DH did take a very late nap, from 3-6pm, but this turned out to be negative because it was too late a nap- DD wasn't at all tired at 11pm and we didn't get her to bed until midnight. Awful!

Sun: Up early, but packed up car- at parks from 10-4pm. Then drove home.

On past trips, our usual experience was for one parent to bring DD 3.5 back to the hotel early (6pm) and get her to bed early (and then the other parent got some "rest time"). But the problem with this trip is neither DH or I wanted to take that early shift. We could try and push this later, but then the other parent doesn't get any break at all. We don't want to head back to the hotel for an earlier break- I think the main reason we go back is to eat dinner/change, and I guess we could eat at 4 or 5pm but we usually aren't hungry that early.

Any tips are appreciated- we are heading back MLK weekend, then again in April and June. I can't have more trips where I am just utterly exhuasted like this (even though I know I'm responsible for it and I had a ton of fun!)
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:38 PM   #2
cari12
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What I would do, is not try to pack so much into one day. If the kids normal bed-time is 9:00pm, I would leave the parks around 9:00pm so that they/we were asleep hopefully by 10:00pm. We also took breaks mid-day by going to the Golden Horseshoe for lunch and the show or sitting and watching Alladin or Disney Junior Live. This forced everyone to have a break. Then take your usual dinner break but maybe make it a little longer and just relax for a little while in the hotel (if that's where you went for dinner).This is not a once in a lifetime trip for you so you do not need to ensure you do everything this time so relax and enjoy it more.
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:50 PM   #3
Mommy2PrincessAbby
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I know they fight naps... but I would shift things around if I were you... dd hasn't had a nap since she was 3, and she will at least rest at Disney, if not completely crash... our schedule starts early... up and eating at 6:45 or 7 am... lunch at 11:45, and then back to the hotel. We have quiet time from 1 to 3 or 3:30... in the room, on the bed, in the dark, white noise machine going, no electronics, close your eyes--quiet time.

Now, if an hour goes by and there is no sleeping, you can look at a book for another hour... but it has to be quiet time! Then we go back to the park, dinner around 4:30, rides etc until ~9 and then back to the hotel for bed. This worked when dd was little and we plan on continuing it this trip with her being 8 3/4! Of course, we'll stay a little later in the parks this trip... maybe 10ish. But the key is the 2 solid hours off your feet after lunch. And it has to be early in the afternoon so as not to screw up the evening.
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:51 PM   #4
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Relax! If you're going back to the parks that often, take your time and go with the flow a little bit. Our schedule always starts at rope drop, we go back to the hotel for a break (usually dinner) and we go back to the park at some point. Then we try to get back to the hotel to get the kids to bed at a decent hour. For us it's really that simple.

With young kids there are just too many variables. Consider planning a few things you want to do that day and let the rest just happen. It will be much more magical
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:55 PM   #5
Eclectic Goddess
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My DF and I are adults in good shape, but I think your schedule would wear even us out!

We're early risers, too, and love the park first thing in the morning, but we don't try to stay in the park all day.

I know you said you don't like taking and earlier break, but it's worth trying.

Get up early and hit the park at opening. Go on your favorite rides before the crowds get there. Then, about lunch time, take a break. Not just a sit down lunch break, but a real break back at the hotel. Maybe have some special games for the kids to play during this time that will encourage them to take it easy? My mother always pulled out a new puzzle book or something to get me to lay down, and I was usually asleep a few minutes later.

After a significant rest, hopefully for everyone, go back into the parks for the rest of the afternoon/evening.
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:57 PM   #6
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Agree with the pps that your schedule sounds overly packed. No wonder you were exhausted! We always plan a minimal schedule with young children/senior adults. That way if things are going well and everyone feels fine, we can add a few more things each day. If not, then getting more rest is key to keeping the magic going. After all, who cares how much time you get in the parks if the extra time is miserable? We do the quiet time, too -- usually, once we assure the kids that actually sleeping is not mandatory, but that resting quietly is mandatory (no talking, no TV, no loud toys, and for us, no cell phones or iPads), we get no arguments. And the kids usually fall asleep pretty quickly. The seniors have no problem napping -- lol! Lastly, something that made a huge difference for us: make sure that everyone, young and old, drinks plenty of water throughout the day. It is amazing how dehydrating it can be to be outside at DLR for a day. The dehydration adds to the physical exhaustion -- we call it "Disneyland Hangover." Upping our water intake made a significant, noticeable difference.
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