Maintaining peace w/ the fam & managing fatigue

Discussion in 'DIS Dads' started by JackStraw, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. JackStraw

    JackStraw Earning My Ears

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    Hitting the parks for 5 days with wife and two kids (2.5 and 6.5). First trip for us. Staying at The Poly. Very psyched. Trying to determine how critical it is to go back to hotel for mid-day rest/swim...or not. Because my 2 yr old can nap in the stroller. And the rest of us can park it on a bench as needed. Having not been to DW, I am trying to figure out if it is worth it to head back to the ranch and recharge the batteries. We are going to be at the parks early, but not at rope drop. And I don't anticipate any late nights (except when we get a sitter on one night). Still, I have much more stamina than my wife (although we are both in good shape). I don't want to push her over the edge. Not because I have a huge check list of attractions that we need to tick off. Honestly, I am just happy to be there regardless of what we hit or what we miss. Going in with a very flexible attitude. But when you read these boards, everyone stresses importance of taking a mid-day siesta which does not always work...at least not every day. Any vets out there care to comment
     
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  3. Goofy + 3

    Goofy + 3 <font color=red>DDC 400<br><font color=purple>Reme

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    Some of the guys on here wouldn't go back for a rest in a million years. Depending on your family, that may be fine. I prefer to rest and let the kids recharge. It also depends what time of year you're going. In the heat of the summer, the parks are open late so you can afford to give away a few hours in the middle of the day to rest and come back late for fireworks. But if you do that, I'd suggest you reconsider your plan to not be there at rope drop. You can get a lot done between 9 and 10 or 11 when the parks fill up.
     
  4. AJRitz

    AJRitz DIS DAD #420

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    Here's my take. With two kids under seven, you should plan on taking a mid-afternoon break - for a couple of reasons. First, the best times to be in the theme parks are first thing in the morning and at the end of the night. Why waste their energy/stamina at 2 p.m., when lines are the longest they'll be all day, and risk having them melt down before whatever that evening's Nighttime Spectacular is?

    A few things to keep in mind: 1) Walt Disney World is BIG. You and your kids (well, at least one of them) are going to be doing a LOT of walking; 2) It's Florida. It's hot. With very few exceptions, the heat and humidity will wear you down more than you expect; and (probably most importantly) 3) Whether you check-off every attraction on your list is less important than making sure that each experience is enjoyed to the fullest.

    You're staying at a great resort for convenient returns for breaks. The Poly has direct access to both the Epcot monorail and the Magic Kingdom monorail loop. It also has boat launches across the lagoon to the Magic Kingdom. Even the buses from the other parks aren't bad, partially because the Poly is a relatively small resort.

    I would seriously reconsider the decision not be be in the parks at rope drop. It really is worth it. Assuming that park opens at 9 a.m., the crowd wave builds rapidly between 9 and 11 a.m. If you get to the park at rope drop, you will find yourself able to accomplish more in the first three hours of your park day than you will likely be able to accomplish between Noon and 5 p.m. But that advantage erodes geometrically. Get to the park at 9:30 a.m., and the crowd wave is already in front of you. You're already fighting the lines.

    My general rule is to plan carefully, specifically so that it's easy to throw away the plan if I want to. I would suggest that you plan on taking a break. If it turns out you, your spouse, and your kids don't need it, fine. Skip it. But remember that if you skip it, you're likely giving up the nighttime shows, which are some pretty amazing Disney magic.
     
  5. JackStraw

    JackStraw Earning My Ears

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    Excellent advice, gents. Thank you. We will be there beginning this Sunday. Unfortunately, rope drop at MK is 8am (7am with Extra Magic Hours) so that is pretty much out of the question unless I find a divorce attorney and put him on speed dial:rotfl2: Plus, we have a 7:30 character breakfast one morning so won't get to MK until 9. Can get there by 8:30 another morning. Same deal with HS. Rope drop is 9am at AK -- we can make that happen.

    As for the evenings, I am on the fence. Prefer to have the 2 yr old in bed by 8 which limits us a little bit, especially with the kids wanting to eat dinner at 5:30. Not an issue if we eat at park each night, but problematic if we eat at hotel which we will be doing at least a couple of nights.
     
  6. AirGoofy

    AirGoofy DIS Dad#341

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    My $.02. I am one of the Disney Commandos - we start RD and go to park close, have a game plan, and maximum our time. For the first 3 trips with dds, youngest at 18 months, we did parks early in morning, nap at resort, and then back to parks. One more trip, napping only in the stoller. I dragged them everywhere.

    Then we bought DVC and realized there was a lot more at WDW than just the theme parks. We started going to the parks every other day and enjoying the resort days in between. Now, those park days are from RD to close, but those days at the resort, pool, nice dining, are really fun. We've never stayed at the Poly, but it is a beautiful resort. Have a great trip.
     
  7. mm1971

    mm1971 DIS Veteran

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    We usually head out in the afternoon to take a swim and relax if we go at morning RD. Then we return to the parks in the evening. If we go on later in the morning, we'll usually skip it. We enjoy the evening EMH so on the following mornings either head over later or have a hotel/pool day. Since you don't plan to do any late nights, you may not need the breaks. I would keep any eye on the young ones and play it by ear. If they seem tired, take a break. If not, push on.

    I will say that my kids have always LOVED swimming and the pool is an important part of our vacation for them. We try to spend some time each day swimming.

    Have a great trip.
     
  8. glvsav37

    glvsav37 Mouseketeer

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    IMO and the way we look at WDW trips right now with kids similar in ages to the OP is that this trip is about them, not you (not to insinuate anything about the OP).

    In most parks, you can do the kid friendly rides that would give them max enjoyment in a few hours, and then gauge their stamina and decide to take breaks as needed. Don't schedule too many ADRs in the mid day so you have the flexibility.

    My wife and I realize that the days of riding Space Mountain over and over again are coming, just not now. This leave us time to give the kids the most time to ride their attractions. If we do need a thrill, we look for attractions with single rider lines while the other takes the kids for some ice cream.

    I recommend character dining because IMO, it knocks out 2 birds with one stone—eating, and having interactions with the characters. With the way WDW now houses most of their main char in areas with long lines, having Char meals saves that park time.

    As for parks, I would invest in a park hopper tix and try to get to the other 3 parks (EP, DS and AK) in the AM and then MK at afternoon/night. Given your resort choice (excellent choice BTW, we stay at BLT for this exact reason—convenience), getting back to the park after mid day breaks is a quick skip. Sometimes, a longer trip back from a park in mid day is good b/c the kids may fall asleep on the bus back instead of trying to calm them down in the resort room. Likewise, at the end of the day, when they are at their most tired and cranky, returning to the resort is the shortest it can be vs waiting for bus after bus. The only exception would be for EP where you can grab the monorail back.

    You may want to look into some special items like Wishes Desert party at MK. Yes it is an extra expense, but it will give you and your kids an A+, less crowded place to watch fireworks—sometimes, tight crowds at fireworks time can make kids more antsy. And being it is a secluded, special ticket event, it will give you some extra time to hit attractions vs wasting time staking out a good spot—IMO, Its all about maximizing your park time.

    Reality is, go with the flow, read your kids stamina and patience and be prepared to change plans on a dime. You may not do everything, but what you do get to enjoy together will be magical.

    Have A Blast!!!!

    Edit:
    Just re-read you post (should have done that more carefully before my rant), Seems the OP is ok with not seeing everything, which I think is a good attitude. OP also said its thier first trip. As a family or overall? If it is your 1st trip to the World, beware, it can be very overwhelming once you get there. While now you may be saying you may not need a break, but once there you may find it needed. Plus, A LOT depends on when you are going. I didn't see that in the original post. I really think that is the #1 factor. We go mid summer, so a break is not only recommended, but actually a must. plus the parks are open later, so we can go back when the heat breaks. If you age going off season, and its not so hot/crowded, then you may get by with the stroller nap and ice cream on a bench.
     
  9. Q-man

    Q-man DIS Veteran

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    Rest!

    In addition to the physical drain there is all the mental over stimulation to take a break from. It doesn't have to be a nap, it could be swimming, or leaving to eat at a nearby resort, etc.
     
  10. old lady

    old lady DIS Veteran

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    I agree or go to nearby restaurant.
     
  11. CaoilinnsMom

    CaoilinnsMom Mouseketeer

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    I would say definitely go back to your resort and enjoy. I see it over and over in the parks. Kids melting down, parents fighting, nobody is having a good time. There have been many a time I look around and my daughter and I are the only people I see smiling. A relaxed attitude, and enjoying your vacation and important. Disney or die attitudes, result in grumpy families. Relax some and plan plan plan ahead and you will have a great time.
     
  12. BigTex71

    BigTex71 DIS Dad #536...... Fort Worth, Texas

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    Oops, old thread!
     
  13. Cinderella's Fella

    Cinderella's Fella DIS Dad #215 Maryland, The Land Of Merry!

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