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


We the North! Lets go Raptors!
Mar 29, 2011
We normally go to Disney in August. The heat wipes us out. We need a midday break!. 2 hours at the resort plus travel time. Works out great for us!


Splash Mountain Addict
Aug 6, 2011
I think it's a waste of time and resources to go back to the hotel in the middle of the day... If you need a break, there's plenty of places in the parks to just sit down in the shade/air conditioning and just relax for a while. I guess it works for some people, but for me, I don't see a benefit in taking hours out of the middle of the day. Especially since we live far away, and don't get to go very often.


DIS Veteran
May 3, 2015
Our family are break-takers, and I wouldn't consider going without. But, we ALWAYS go in the summer because we are teachers and our daughter is school-aged. Also, we always get park hoppers. So, it would be ridiculous to think that we could go to MK for 17 hour days without a break in the middle in 95 degree heat. We make it for rope drop, enjoy the relatively empty parks and cooler times until about 1 or 1:30, eat lunch and head back to the hotel to lounge by the pool and chill out in the water. For us, hanging in the Disney pools with the cast members leading parties, etc, is part of the vacation experience. We stay for a couple hours, head back to the room to shower, eat dinner in the resort, and head back to the park around 6:00. We don't fret about travel time, and sometimes even take the ferry ride to the Poly and ride the monorail back for more relaxation time. We're back in the park by 7:00, and by then things have slowed down considerably because of all the families with young kids that head out when their kids get tired. As the evening wears on, the lines get shorter and shorter, we catch Celebrate the Magic and Wishes, maybe the 2nd MSEP, but we can ride lots of rides with little to no wait. We stay til close. So, we have had 10-11 hours in the park with the shortest wait times during the coolest hours and when it typically isn't raining. I think that's plenty of time, especially considering if we were to stay from 2:00-6:30, that's when we'd be spending most our home just waiting in line. I'd rather chill at the pool. On other days, we spend the morning until 1:30 at other parks, and hop to others in the evening, typically the one with EMH. Works great for us. We see illuminations and Fantasmic at least once. We usually ride TofT during the first Fantasmic so there isn't much wait. Breaks are absolutely a part of our routine.
  • Boopuff

    DIS Veteran
    Feb 27, 2015
    We never move in the morning. We get up, swim, get to park, do a few rides, find a nice QS for a late lunch. That becomes our break. Our absolute favorite break spot is the Flame Tree BBQ at AK. Wander way, way back. It's nice and quiet, fun to watch the birds and just relax. Plus DH and SIL can grab a beer there. Although in the blistering heat/humidity of Summer we do find a nice spot to just sit and cool down.


    DIS Veteran
    Aug 12, 2015
    I am not a 'gotta do it all' type when I am on vacation, but our afternoon breaks are 100% heat-motivated. After 11 years of living in a relatively mild climate, I don't do heat & humidity very well anymore. We do whatever park has EMH, leave by 11, get to the resort by noon and either take a swim, nap or just relax in the room. Then we head back to whatever park is open latest or has EMH at about 4:30 and shut the place down. Much easier on my body and my psyche.


    DIS Veteran
    Apr 12, 2014
    When I was younger, I used to rope drop and stay at the parks til closing time but as I got older (now I'm late twenties), I find that I don't need to be there for the whole time to enjoy myself. We still wake up early to eat a nice breakfast at the park or nearby hotel and then go on the rides. I FP the rides we really want to go on (11-1) and then just work other rides in around them. Then we go take a break either back at the hotel or go and eat at a sit-down restaurant somewhere. There are rides at all parks now where I don't even bother going on so that works in my favor!


    DIS Veteran
    Jan 8, 2015
    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.
    This was us on our last trip with the kids too. Our family are early risers so RD is easy, in the evenings the kids are a mess. I'm currently trying to plan our next trip so that we have some nights in the parks and trying to figure out how to get them enough rest to do this since they won't sleep in (even when exhausted) and they don't nap. *sigh*
  • mindeola

    Mad About the Mouse!
    Jan 19, 2011
    It depends. My last trip was this past June and I had no intention of breaking. It was just my sister, my 13 year old niece and myself. My niece got cranky about 2 each day. We ended up going back to our room for about an hour. My sister rested, my niece caught up on social media and I took a shower. We all felt so much better afterwards! We ended up doing that each day.


    DIS Veteran
    Apr 22, 2010
    We do rope drop so our afternoon break would start in the range of 3 PM. Take the bus back to resort, swim or nap/relax, eat dinner at the resort food court then take the bus back to the park.


    Faithful Companion
    May 8, 2009
    We take a mid-day break around 1-2pm. We usually visit in June and this northerner can't take that heat all day long. We drive to the parks so it's really no big deal transportation wise. Plus we always have a full DVC kitchen, so after relaxing most of the time we just prepare a nice dinner in the room. Then we head back to the park. We tend to do evening EMH so depending which park it is, it may still be open for another 5-8 hours when we get back.


    DIS Veteran
    Jan 17, 2008
    We never took the time to take breaks, but we have changed over the past 2 or 3 years. We are typically in Disney in August. We rope drop, usually sit down for lunch or dinner but we also need that afternoon break for a nap. We do rent a car while we are on vacation. I think that makes a huge difference in time. I don't know how much it would be worth it if you had to take a bus back to the resort. That seems to eat up a lot of time. I do have to say that we went back for a 4-day trip last month for F&W. We did not take a break daily because of the time restraint. Everybody was pretty tired at the end of the day. My DD took a friend with her that has never been to Disney before. So we felt we had to squeeze in as much as possible for her to see. We definitely missed those afternoon breaks!!
  • Dvcfan55

    Jun 5, 2014
    For one day, definitely do not attempt an afternoon break. You are looking at spending at least 3 hours out of the park for a break, with at least 1 hour of that travel time. I'd rope drop, get at least 10 attractions completed by noon, have a leisurely lunch, then take it easy the rest of the day. You will get more out of your day, IMO.
    Thanks for the advice! This helps me a lot, I'll plan on staying in the park then and taking it easy after lunch.:earsboy:


    Earning My Ears
    Dec 27, 2015
    We are planning on doing breaks in April, but I also worry we might miss something. We may end up letting my parents take my DD back to the resort for rest while my husband, sister, and I keep going.


    DIS Veteran
    Sep 8, 2010
    We never have taken a break even with young kids. They would take naps in the stroller on occasion.


    "If nothing changed, there'd be no butterflies."
    Jun 22, 2013
    I take an afternoon break but not at my resort. I usually stay at a value resort & am 35 with no kids. So my break is at a resort in close proximity of the park I'm in at the time. When I start at MK that morning, I will take a break for a couple hours at The Poly or WL & visit a lounge or pool bar & relax for a while in the shade or in the lobby or tour the grounds, depending on how hot it is at the time. It works out well for me to get away from the crowds for a bit before heading to the next park for the evening.

    When I'd go with a friend, he would usually go back to the resort & relax for a couple of hours then meet up with me at the next park in the evening. I know that if I did that, I would oversleep & not be motivated to go out again, or I wouldn't be able to sleep & just sit there in the room wasting park time. I'm also not one for swimming or hanging out at the pool.


    DIS Veteran
    Mar 25, 2000
    We like to take breaks to "regroup" and have a snack or do something fun around the resort. Sometimes we're having too much fun just chilling out that we don't return to the parks, that especially happens when we're staying at Fort Wilderness and especially when it is a busy time of year. We love going for Rope Drop then leaving for the day when the crowds are pouring in :)


    Boston Runnah - 2018
    Jul 8, 2014
    We're a 'rope drop' to 'kicking us out of the park because they're closing' husband and wife pair. When we do feel the afternoon drag, we'll either grab a soda and sit in one of the air conditioned restaurants until we feel rested, or find an attraction that involves lots of sitting. Pizzafari at AK is perfect for the soda break, while Carousel of Progress is perfect at MK.


    DIS Veteran
    Dec 6, 2009
    When I travel with my parents and sister, we normal take a break during the day, but we are usually switching parks on those days. If I am solo or with just my sister, we usually park hop and use that as our downtime.


    Jul 31, 2013
    We always leave the parks between 11 and 1. VWL, so boat from MK or buses elsewhere. Our group is usually 10, some rest, some swim, some rent boats. We'll head back to one of the parks for dinner and stay 'til we're tired. The teens will close the parks down. Find out what works for you.


    DIS Veteran
    Mar 8, 2005
    I think everyone is different. We Rope Drop. We get up very early to do that, we drive and we like to be in the parking lot of the park by 8-ish. We stay until 2 or so when the park starts getting crowded, go back to the hotel and rest for a couple of hours, and then back to usually a different park. DS and I need the nap during the middle of the day, DH not so much, but he agrees to it for our sake. If you don't need the down time, then I would say stay in the park.


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