Talk to me about afternoon breaks.. yes or no? why and how long

Minniesgal

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 29, 2013
We rarely spend afternoons in the park. We do rope drop, leave between 1-2pm and go back to the resort, we swim we chill or play mini golf then we get showered and dressed and go out for dinner and only go back to the park after dinner (we don't do park TS we much prefer resort)
 

andiraye

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 24, 2014
We've done both. When we had a 6yo and 3yo we tried to take breaks but the kids were too keyed up to rest so we ended up going from RD to after the fireworks, with a mini break in the parks (rode the railroad in MK, saw some shows in the dark, had an ice cream). Our 3yo fell asleep in the stroller at night.

The following year my parents joined us and THEY needed the break so we altered our plans to spend 3/4 days in the park, either arriving late, leaving at dinner time or taking a midday break.

If we went back without them again I'd probably plan a couple of commando days from RD to close and a couple of more chill days, and some non park days entirely. At the end of it all, I think a mix works best for us.
 

missbrooke06

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 15, 2005
I think your ability to handle humidity is important. My family (whether kids or adults) takes a break. The only time I ever needed it personally was when we went in August and super humid.

I will say the break helps my husband a lot. He's much happier to be up early on vacation when he knows a nap is coming!
 
  • MrsDuck

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 2, 2011
    DH and I never used to take afternoon breaks but now I get too tired to do RD through close... :laughing:

    SO, now we do RD, afternoon break around 12 or 1, then back for dinner and as late as we can make it!
     

    Poppybeach

    Poppybeach
    Joined
    Dec 16, 2015
    We always do an afternoon break. I can't even say we do it simply because we have a 7 yr old....we adults need it too! We do rope drop for parks....leave around 1pm-ish....and then take a pool/nap break and then head to parks for the evening. Often times we also might do a longer day in the parks by a couple of hours and then just do a night at the resort just resting and using the pool. I just don't enjoy my vacation if I'm running from morning until night straight through at the parks. We also always stay on-site and the resorts are lots of fun too so it's nice to spend some time there as well! It's all about what is right for your family.
     

    tzolkin

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 3, 2008
    We have always taken breaks. Probably the biggest factor for us is that we are all introverts.

    Being in a crowded/noisy (plus it's usually hot when we go) park all day is really just too much stimulation and we would all be miserable by the late afternoon. We love the parks, but there is something pretty magical about getting onto an empty (air conditioned) bus, breathing a sigh of relief, and riding back to the resort in silence. We probably don't have to go back to the room for 5 hours like we often do, but some kind of escape (riding the monorail, taking a boat or walking to one of the resorts, etc.) is absolutely necessary for our sanity and enjoyment of the parks.

    Some families thrive on the stimulation and being around lots of people. If that's you, a break may be a boring waste of time.
     

    jeepnjudy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 13, 2009
    We tried a mid-day break once and found it to be a momentum killer. We were much more tired after the break than we normally were.
    This is the same with us. We have kids but the youngest is in a stroller and can sleep anywhere so we press on at a slower pace and enjoy the park for the entire day. We have found a nice TS dinner helps us rejuvenate so we can continue to enjoy our evening.
     
  • ReluctantDisaholic

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 3, 2012
    When we used to go in Jan/Feb/March we didn't do breaks - we were rope drop to close people. Now that we go in August, we find that pool break in the middle of the day helps - we leave the park between 1 & 2 and head back for supper on the 4:30 boat or bus, so not a really long break, just enough to cool off and change clothes.
     

    me_grumpy

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Feb 6, 2005
    We have been in August 3 or more times. 7 full days for parks. Nothing really on travel days.

    When my dd and I traveled at 10 yo or so (alone) the breaks didn't help. I wanted to nap, she did not so then I had to worry about her leaving the room if I fell asleep.

    Right now I have 3 rd planned, with late breakfast/early lunch on 2 days. 2 late starts with lunch plans and 2 days that are pretty free.
     

    cluvsdisney

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 6, 2010
    We kind of lollygag through the parks and whether or not we take a break depends on when we get there. On the rare occasion we do rope drop, we'd be out of the park after lunch then go back to the hotel for a while to nap or sit by the pool or both then head back to a park in the evening. Other times, we'll go later in the morning closer to noon, spend several hours there then head out around 6 or so and have dinner at one of the resorts. I couldn't handle being in the parks for 10-12 hours without getting exhausted which is not how I want to feel on vacation.
     

    preemiemama

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 13, 2009
    We typically go in the summer- June or July- and go for a week. We have always done an afternoon break. The park hours and longer in the summer, and my husband always likes an afternoon nap (even at home- he gets up early and takes a nap in the afternoon). So, we hit rope drop and stay until lunchtime (1-2). Then we go back, he and my son swim and I do laundry, reorganize, whatever. We clean up/nap/head back out to the parks either for or after dinner (5-7 pm). We also always use park hoppers- we enjoy eating in Epcot so will typically eat there and hop to our PM park after (unless that happens to be Epcot…).

    You have to do what works for your family. Afternoon naps are typical for us- and they help us make it until the 11pm or later close times in MK. We also get worn out in the humidity, so it makes sense to go back, relax, and recharge for us. As a PP mentioned, it usually helps us miss those afternoon thunderstorms that pop up as well! If you are NOT afternoon nap people, then it may not be a strategy that benefits you.
     
  • jawa7400

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2013
    When it's just me and DH, we don't typically break. Maybe later in the vacation if we're getting tired. We are a lot less structured when it's just us. On family trips (DD5 and DS3) we must take a break. We are out early and leave after lunch (1pm ish). We nap and rest and are headed back to the park by 5pm. The kids have lots of energy for EMH. We go about once a year so we aren't the "must see everything" type.

    I'd say you need to match whatever your typical schedule is at home. If you are traveling with people who generally rest/nap during the day then you will most certainly need to at WDW.
     

    Dis703

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 24, 2010
    We planned in breaks when the kids needed naps, but sometimes found they did okay without or with napping in the stroller so we'd adjust our plans as we went along. Typically we'd plan on about 3 hours total including travel time. It never took a full hour to get anywhere. Usually it was more like one hour round trip and 2 hours at the resort chilling out.

    DH also needs the break. I could go nonstop but he can't handle it without a bit of a break now and then.

    Some days though we just plan on down time inside the park. Like our AK day because they were only open 9-6 we got there around 9 and planned for less active things after lunch and pushed through until after dinner.
     

    lustergirl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 25, 2005
    <<<always take a break in the afternoon, even on my solo trip. We get too tired out and like to relax a bit. Usually one park in the morning and another one at night.
     

    amylevan

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 31, 2005
    We have always taken breaks. Probably the biggest factor for us is that we are all introverts.

    Being in a crowded/noisy (plus it's usually hot when we go) park all day is really just too much stimulation and we would all be miserable by the late afternoon. We love the parks, but there is something pretty magical about getting onto an empty (air conditioned) bus, breathing a sigh of relief, and riding back to the resort in silence. We probably don't have to go back to the room for 5 hours like we often do, but some kind of escape (riding the monorail, taking a boat or walking to one of the resorts, etc.) is absolutely necessary for our sanity and enjoyment of the parks.

    Some families thrive on the stimulation and being around lots of people. If that's you, a break may be a boring waste of time.
    This. I need chill time. I just do not do well with non-stop stimulation. I'd be ok on a short trip, but we go for 8 days, and I would be done if we tried to do RD to close every day. We don't always nap, although sometimes we do, but the kids love to swim and I am happy to read for a bit by the pool. We are on vacation and I don't want to get home feeling like we need another vacation to recover from the one we were just on.

    There are some families perfectly happy on the constant go, go, go of all day in the parks. We are not.
     

    ajwolfe

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 26, 2005
    We aren't afternoon break people. We don't necessarily aim for RD, but we try to get to a park close to opening and usually close down a park too - always have Park Hoppers. Even when our kids were babies we just found it wasn't necessary for us to take a break every day. The kids may swim once or twice over the course of a trip but they would rather be in the parks than swimming. And for the most part we feel like if we try to rest we lose motivation for the rest of the day so it totally backfires on us. If we get tired in a park we just move a little slower, take in a show or a snack and regroup.
     

    Accident

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 13, 2015
    For us, it's to have a break so we don't really time it or make a plan when or if we're going to do it. Eventually, it just feels like your dragging a little or maybe the afternoon crowd is just making it a little more boring so it's time to take a break. How long depends on when we feel finished and ready to jump back in. We stay long enough and have AP so taking a break that turns into a resort afternoon/evening isn't a big deal.
     

    msmama

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 21, 2009
    I've always found that when we take afternoon breaks we don't get back to the parks. So instead of breaks we do RD to about dinner time and then back to the hotel for the rest of the evening.

    If we want to do a late night, we get a later start. It's not ideal but it's what works for our family.
     

    lustergirl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 25, 2005
    I think your ability to handle humidity is important. My family (whether kids or adults) takes a break. The only time I ever needed it personally was when we went in August and super humid.

    I will say the break helps my husband a lot. He's much happier to be up early on vacation when he knows a nap is coming!
    True: the September heat this past month wore me out.
     

    Disneytam

    disneytam
    Joined
    Sep 14, 2008
    We always plan for an afternoon break. Most mornings see us at rope drop and then a lunch in the park before we head back to our resort around three or so. We take a short nap or a swim at the quiet pool ( it's almost always just us at the pool) and then go to the lounge for appetizer's and a drink at five. It's just my husband and I now and we stay CL at the BWI for the most part. Then we go off to dinner and to another park for the evening. The few times we have stayed in the parks all day we end up tired and cranky. Even when we had children with us we always came back for a break. The resorts are a big part of the vacation to us so we enjoy spending time at them. We don't rent a car so staying at the deluxe resorts is a big help to us as far as travel time is concerned.
     

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