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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

How Do You Take A Break When Park Touring?

We can all agree that time does equal money, especially when traveling to the most magical place on earth.  Disney knows this and that is why park hours are extended, seasonal restaurants are opened, and more offerings become available to guests during peak travel periods or when the crowds start to thicken.  So when I was reading an article on Mouseplanet.com the other day about taking time to rest during your Disney vacation can actually make the time=money equation come out in your favor in the long run—click here to read the article.

While this sounds counterintuitive—take time away from park touring to rest to get more out of your Disney vacation—it is actually accurate.  If the husband were standing beside me as I typed this he would be chiming in and saying things like, “Yeah,” and “See, I told you that.”  The premise is that taking time away from the stimulation of the Disney parks during your vacation may prevent meltdowns and tantrums that take up more time and take away the magic later in your Disney vacation; a break is a preventative strategy.

Most Disney travelers have heard of the “go back to your resort in the afternoon to rest, swim, relax, and then come back later” advice.  Even Stacie on your resort TV will tell you to do this.  Part of this advice helps Disney to “thin” the parks during the afternoons when park attendance is at its peak—especially true for the Magic Kingdom.  If Disney can get resort guests to leave for a bit and then come back it is a win, win strategy.  We have never done this, much to the husband’s chagrin.  It is the one travel tip that he has burned to his memory and reminds me of each trip.

What the Mouseplanet.com article did go on to say was that there are more ways to take a break other than the “leave the park and go to your resort in the afternoon” strategy.  For example, guests can take a break in or around the park.  Suggestions were made for taking a monorail ride to a monorail resort for a meal, snack, dessert, and break to browse the resort.  This, we have done!  This works well for guests touring the Magic Kingdom or EPCOT.  If you are touring Hollywood Studios or EPCOT, take a boat launch to the nearby resorts and do the same.  If you find yourself at Animal Kingdom, take the bus to the Animal Kingdom Lodge for a late lunch and animal viewing.

We have found lots of ways to take breaks in the parks—just to get a bit of “down time.”  I define down time as being off my feet and out of the elements—be it wind, rain, or heat.  There are many attractions that can offer “down time” such as the train at Magic Kingdom or the Tomorrowland Transit Authority.  Carousel of Progress, Pirates of the Caribbean, Enchanted Tiki Room, Country Bear Jamboree, Laugh Floor Comedy Club, Hall of Presidents, Haunted Mansion, and It’s a Small World meet both of my criteria.  There are other indoor attractions, such as Peter Pan’s Flight, but waits can be long and take away any of the “down time” benefits.  The in park “down time” is one of the reasons we like Hollywood Studios as we have that feeling there more than any other park.

Another suggestion from the article about taking a break is to plan for a break day or morning.  Taking a break from park touring to chill at your resort or head to Downtown Disney can be refreshing and potentially money saving as guests may not use a day of their theme park tickets.  And, yes, we have done this too, especially on longer trips—6 or more days.  We will plan a break day that may include a character breakfast and visit to Downtown Disney, a trip to a Disney water park, or a round of miniature golf, Disney style, of course.  On our trip in March, we planned a break day that included breakfast at Cape May Café, lunch at Downtown Disney along with shopping and exploring, an afternoon at our resort including chilling by the pool, and an evening at EPCOT with lagoon side seating at Rose & Crown to watch Illuminations.  The thinking was that since we would be staying up a bit later that night, we could sleep in a bit and take it easy during the day.  It worked—see the break does pay off.

We have found the type of park touring break that works for our family.  While the husband would still like to give the afternoon break a try there are some reasons it is still elusive.  Part of the reason is that the “coming back later” means staying up later and that just doesn’t work with mine and the boy’s body clocks.  We are early to bed, early to rise creatures and the husband joins us as he knows the potential benefits of being at rope drop at the parks.  So, we compromise with taking breaks in other ways.

How do you take a break in your park touring?


  1. We are of the 'go back for the afternoon' kind. Usually have lunch at the park around 1pm and then head back after that for a swim and nap. Then we return around 6ish.

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