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Planning for Downtime on Your Vacation

2022 National Plan for Vacation Day

  1. Disney Downtime

    1. My family likes to include several "down days" in our vacation itinerary because there is so much to explore at Walt Disney World Resort outside of the theme parks! We have found that the Disney Resorts Collection hotels offer a wide variety of recreational activities to enjoy. We took my boys fishing for the first time during our trip a few years ago. It was so much fun to sail on Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake with an awesome guide and everyone in the family had a great time. In fact, we found that our little one was quite the angler and our big guy loved catching the live bait in the bait tank. All of the fishing at Walt Disney World Resort is catch-and-release, but be sure to take your camera because your guide will help you get some fantastic photos of your prize catches! ~Crystal B.

    2. While walking might not sound like down time, taking long leisurely walks through Walt Disney World Resort is one of my absolute favorite ways to unwind. The key to this being a relaxing experience for me is to keep the pace slow and have no plan at all! Many people don't realize how many great walking paths there are around Walt Disney World Resort. I love walking around Crescent Lake and between EPCOT and Disney's Hollywood Studios, walking around Disney Skyliner Resorts, and the walkway connecting Magic Kingdom Park to Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa - you can even walk all the way to Disney's Polynesian Village! My favorite part of this type of day is that I always stumble across something new, and the exercise is great too. ~Ryan J.

    3. Our family vacations always include an "off" day from the parks, usually in the middle of the trip. That is our day where we will go and do a character buffet at a resort, and go back and spend time in the pool, and head to Disney Springs for shopping. We do the bulk of our souvenir shopping at World of Disney. We also make a pit stop to The Ganachery and load up on 2-3 boxes of chocolate to take home. We will end our day with dinner at our resort. Last time we did Storybook Dining at Artist Point. ~Frances H.

    4. One of my favorite places at Disneyland Resort to spend a bit of down time is Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Room and the Tangaroa Terrace Tropical Bar & Grill, both of which are right next to one another. On days when it is warm, enjoy the nice breeze outside with a tropical beverage such as the Uh-Oa! for those who love rum or a non-alcoholic option like the Skipper Punch. In the afternoon, you can enjoy a beautiful view of the Disneyland Hotel pool, while in the evenings, if you visit at the right time, you may get the chance to enjoy dinner with live music from local bands. ~Lola E.

    5. Downtime for my family during our vacations to the Walt Disney World Resort means spending some time in the magical wilderness. The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort is always our first choice, because there is so much to do at the resort. We wake up a little later and enjoy breakfast on the front porch then hop in our golf cart for a short ride to activities like horseback riding at Tri-Circle-D Ranch or kayaking at the Fort Wilderness marina. From pools and playgrounds for the kids, to dog parks, there's something for everyone to do! Disney downtime is the best! ~Veronica O.

    6. One of our favorite down-time activities during our Walt Disney World vacations involves our favorite resort transportation, Disney Skyliner. We usually exit the International Gateway in World Showcase at EPCOT to board our gondola and kick up our feet for aerial views of Walt Disney World. If you choose, you can hop off to visit Disney’s Riviera Resort, Disney's Pop Century Resort, Disney's Art of Animation Resort or Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort. While transferring gondolas at Caribbean Beach, grab a latté to enjoy at Joffrey's Coffee before choosing your next destination. Ready for a cocktail or snack, jump off at Disney's Riviera Resort and check out Bar Riva. ~Cindy A.

    7. I love resort downtime. When traveling to Walt Disney World especially, I always like to arrive early to our resort hotel and then have almost nothing planned for that first day. We do not go to the parks or have dining reservations; it is truly our time to relax and enjoy all the theming and amenities the hotel has to offer. After you are all settled in your room and on your way to the pool, be sure to stop by the front desk for the day's activity calendar. We've tie-dyed Mickey shirts, made s'mores by the campfire, and, our absolute favorite, watched many outdoor movies under the stars. Knowing I have all of the excitement of those park days ahead, makes this first night just the most magical of all. ~Tara H.

    8. My dad and I absolutely love heading to Magic Kingdom Park as early as possible and getting as many things as we can done before 1 or 2 PM. After that, right when the Sun has peaked, everybody wants to have lunch, and the heat levels are getting a bit crazy, we like to head out to Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa for a drink at the Enchanted Rose Lounge followed by a quick massage at The Grand Floridian Spa. After that, we're recharged and ready to go back to the magic. ~ Ana Paula

    9. I love spending time at my Disney Vacation Club Resort as much as (if not more than!) spending time in the theme parks. I'm pretty sure that down time has become my favorite time on a Walt Disney World Resort vacation. I love starting each down day with an early morning jog on my Resort's jogging trail and then having a big breakfast at a nearby restaurant to begin our day full of Resort activities and pool time. We seem to spend half of our Walt Disney World Resort vacations at the fantastic, oh-so-fun pools, and for us, the quality of the pool is always judged by the speed of the waterslide! With all of the Resorts' recreation offerings and Resort activities, you can have the most magical, unforgettable vacation without ever even leaving your Resort! ~Mandy D.

    10. With three young kids down time at Walt Disney World Resort is not an option, it’s a necessity! However, it’s a necessity that comes in many enjoyable forms. From sitting in the cool, air-conditioned theater of Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress, to a long midday nap back at the Resort, to more hours spent on the water slides than we planned, down time just means everyone gets a chance to relax in their own way. My favorite memory from our last family vacation was watching the sun set over my babies’ heads as they played and splashed in the jumping water fountains at EPCOT.  While it wasn’t a nap, it was just enough down time for each of them to relax and recharge. ~ Ashley M.

    11. If you are in need of a little mid-day rest on your Disney Cruise, your stateroom is mere steps away from the excitement onboard. You can always request that your stateroom attendant leave the children's beds accessible if you know that they will need a midday nap. A curtain can be drawn to separate the stateroom between those that need a rest and those that are still up for more fun. Order some room service, watch a Disney movie on demand, or take a nap yourself. You'll be refreshed and ready to dive in for whatever adventures await! ~Adrianna H.

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