Disney World FAQ: Do I need a mid-day break from the parks?


If you’ve been a long time follower of my blog, I’ve always been a supporter of a break in the action during your park days. This stems from a few things – the fact that we most often travel when park hours are more extended in the spring or fall and the fact that we travel fairly often.

Taking a step back from all of this has made me realize that the break is not for everyone. You can have a very functional Disney trip without a mid-day break (especially in the early portion of your trip when you are energized and excited about your experience). Most people do not travel as much as we do, so you want to maximize your time instead of waiting for a bus or other form of transportation to get you back “home” for a break to turn around and come back a few hours later. If you are staying at a deluxe resort with a park right in your backyard, it may be worth taking a break when you are in close proximity to that park (or in the Epcot/Hollywood Studios 2 parks) to keep your legs and family fresh.

So the short answer is NO, you do not NEED a mid-day break from the parks. Is it a nice luxury? Most definitely! it helps avoid that mid-week meltdown when mom and dad are in an evil death stare and you are wondering why you even planned this trip in the first place while someone stomps away in frustration (true story)!

But Melissa, we have a toddler who always naps at home. Won’t he/she be a disaster without a nap? MAYBE! We found out 5 things for toddlers to do in Animal Kingdomthe  hard way when we tried to continue our regular nap routine (which worked well for the previous two trips) that naps can become optional. Go with the flow. If your little Mouseketeer is going strong when you were planning for nap time, ride the wave! Our not yet 3 year old went almost a full 12 hour day in Magic Kingdom (plus pouring rain). Were we running from attraction to attraction every single day? Absolutely not! We spent some down time to get a little bit of relaxation for our tired and wet feet as well as curb her energy on things like TTA Peoplemover and Carousel of Progress (also a nice way to get out of the rain).

So if you want to TRY a full day in the parks, have a mental list of what you can do to rest your feet or your mind for a little bit. This is coming from a little family who shut down the parks 4 out of 5 days (and the 5th we didn’t because we had a dinner reservation outside of the park). Here’s my short list or to remove yourself from the theme parks a little bit.

Magic Kingdom:

  • TTA Peoplemover
  • Carousel of Progress
  • Hall of Presidents
  • Ride a full loop (or 2 or 3 on the Walt Disney World Railroad)
  • Mickey’s Philharmagic
  • Country Bear Jamboree
  • Relax in the hub grass in front of Cinderella’s Castle
  • Scope out the perfect spot for a parade an hour ahead of time (bring a blanket and take turns sitting on the curb – your behind and your knees will thank you)
  • Find a shady spot on Tom Sawyer’s Island and relax with a book or a snack
  • Monorail tour (Contemporary is always noisy so not a great quiet spot), Polynesian’s 1st floor has some comfortable chairs and couches and Grand Floridian has ample space to relax.
  • Hop the boat and relax in the rocking chairs in Wilderness Lodge


  • Epcot ballEnjoy the Fountain of the Nations
  • Spaceship Earth
  • Friendship boats across the water in Epcot (a relaxing ride through World Showcase)
  • Ellen’s Energy Adventure (not the most exciting ride but it’s long!!)
  • The American Adventure – and catch Voices of Liberty before the show! (one of the few shows in World Showcase that is in a theater with seats)
  • Impressions de France (it’s got a more relaxing background than the American Adventure and also has seating!)

Hollywood Studios:

  • Sunset Ranch Market – an area that is being enhanced now!
  • Indiana Jones Stunt Show (outdoor and not the most comfortable seating but it’s a great place to rest your tired feet)
  • Starring Rolls – a great little snack or lunch place (it’s only open until 4 daily) and has a mostly shaded seating area for a little rest
  • The Great Movie Ride (not a quiet experience but a leisurely one with fairly comfortable chairs)
  • Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage (again, not quiet, but benches with backs on them)
  • Muppet Vision 3D
  • Hop a boat to Boardwalk or Yacht Club for a little break!

Animal Kingdom:

  • Finding Nemo: The Musical
  • Wildlife Express Train
  • Jungle Trek or Exploration Trails (a great way to get the kids out of the hustle and bustle of things and perhaps get them to nap)
  • Conservation Station
  • Hop a quick bus to Animal Kingdom Lodge and relax in their comfy chairs in the lobby for an hour!

What are your favorite places to relax or find some peace and quiet while you motor through long days in the theme parks?

A free gift for your Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

A free gift for your Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

Interested in experiencing your own Disney World vacation in 2016?  Please contact me at any time for a free quote. The benefits to using an authorized Disney vacation planner include saving time before and during your vacation with itinerary planning which can help save you hours of standing in line each day. Plus you won’t have to watch for available discounts, research resorts, wake up early for dining reservations, or stay up late for FastPasses. The best part about using a travel planner instead of planning yourself? It’s totally FREE! Plus I’ll take away some of the stress and confusion of planning a Disney vacation (especially if it’s your first one!)It’s also a worry free vacation opportunity. I’ll walk through through all of the steps to the process with a few little insider tips along the way! If you already have your vacation planned and are interested in transferring your vacation, ask me how!

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