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


DIS Veteran
Dec 14, 2009
We are there for rope drop and usually run out of steam around 3-5pm and return to the resort, but our kids are younger (9,9,5,4). If I want to go out at night with the older two kids, we head back around 1-2pm for a few hours to rest/swim, then the older kids and I go out again around 5-6pm and stay until close. Once all our kids are 7 or older, I think a 2-4 hour break would still be good to rest and recharge for a late evening.


DIS Veteran
Dec 6, 2010
We pretty much stick to hitting the parks around 9. Lunch around noon and heading back to the resort afterwards. Nap and swim time is from approx 2-5. Then we head out for the night around 5:30 ish.

Works for us. Downtime is a must so we don't feel exhausted. It's nice to recharge. :)


Earning My Ears
Feb 6, 2005
Thanks everyone. These are great suggestions. I'm trying to figure out my plans. I think this year we will be trying to add some planned late starts and early nights along with at least on afternoon out of the park break.
  • abinormal

    Jan 23, 2013
    It didn't work for us. We did better sticking to our normal schedule. We did rope drop or close to it, and then left by dinner time so the kids could be in bed by 8. A break was unnecessary.


    DIS Veteran
    Apr 6, 2009
    For my 2011 trip afternoons back at the resort were a must. I was on a medication that just made me incredibly drowsy, and any calorie intake worsened it, high fat/fried food basically put me to sleep at the dining table. So I would struggle to get up for RD, go through the morning in various states of alterness, and by noon back at the resort to get lunch, head back to the room, eat, and then I would nap for 2-ish hours and my mom would read (she packs 10+ books for any vacation). Wake up finally feeling human for the first time all day, and hit the parks until they were empty.


    Type A planner. Type B vacationer.
    Dec 17, 2011
    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 is us too.

    Last trip, our favorite break was a spontaneous decision to check out WL and walk to FW. We had never been, and Mr. Littles was already passed out in my ring sling. We also had great down/nap time in CoP, people mover, and LM ride at MK, walking the trails at AK, and walking between DHS and Epcot.


    Jan 11, 2015
    We always go in June, so the heat factors in with our little ones.

    We usually take a break at MK just because it's open later. Last year we did RD-2pmish, took a break, then came back to the park around 5 when the sun wasn't as intense. Sometimes the kids napped... they usually fell asleep on the bus and were wide awake by the time we got back to our room. Most days we swam then let the kids chill out in the room... just something to get out of that mid-day heat. If we don't take a break, we usually call it an early night, which I hate because I love MK at night!!!

    With EP, HS, and AK, we only had one day at each, so we went all day, but we took a lengthy lunch somewhere nice and cool. We also took in a lot of shows during the hottest part of the day (Ellen was great for a quick snooze in the park!). This year we will probably take a break the day we go to HS too.
  • rymahoney

    DIS Veteran
    Aug 4, 2012
    Breaks are must for us. Keeps me calm and gets the kids rested up for evening. We usually break at 1 or 2 follow up with a first ADR and then head back to a park. We usually do Epcot or MK after the breaks.


    Peter Locke
    Aug 1, 2014
    I am 62 as is my wife. We have Park Hoppers for this very reason. We get to one park in the morning, enjoy that park for about 3-4 hours, head back to the resort and lounge by the pool for about 3-4 hours. Then we head back out to another park for the remainder of the evening. It keeps us refreshed for the whole day and as we go down to WDW every year there really isn't anything on our "must do" list. We are there to enjoy the whole atmosphere of Walt Disney World and just enjoy the fun.


    Jan 15, 2007
    We need a break to last til fire works. We also enjoy going back to the room, freshening up, going to a TS dinner and then the park again at night. We like to avoid the parks at the busiest time in the afternoon. We try to cram it all in during the morning hours, then have a leisurely evening at the parks.


    Faithful Companion
    May 8, 2009
    We don't always make rope drop, but we still usually split by 2pm for some down time and refresh. We go in June so the parks are open late, plenty of time to go back to the park and seize the night. Plus, we always drive everywhere so that makes it getting to and fro easy.

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