• On May 19, 2010
    Mary from NC Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    Experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    THX for the previous answers on pins & Phineas & Ferb-it looks like they might be out in 2011!! I know you're a park planning pro, so how much time do you usually spend in the parks per day? Do you go-go-go or take afternoon breaks at the hotel??


    Thanks for writing again, and glad you found my past answers helpful.

    Regarding park time, when I first went to WDW with my wife (pre-kids), we'd typically arrive late and spend most of the day in the parks. We had lots of fun, but also faced some long lines and were exhausted at the end.

    Now that we have kids, I plan more carefully and try to plan for more "down" time. Ideally we arrive at a park ~30 minutes before opening, hit the headliners for the first 2-3 hours and then either get some food or head back to the resort. Ideally we take a 4 hour break, and return to the park to enjoy the evening entertainment.

    I say "ideally" because it doesn't always work. For example, it's hard to take a mid-day break at the Animal Kingdom, because it closes so early. Instead we often just stay until 2 or 3 and then call it a day. Similarly it's hard to take a break at Hollywood Studios as so many of the shows are on set schedules. So, unless we are staying for Fantasmic!, we tend to leave Hollywood Studios late afternoon, and then just enjoy the resort for the rest of the day. 

    But, "ideally", we try to plan afternoon breaks. Sometimes just sitting on a bench, or enjoying a mid-day sit down meal helps substitute for a rest break back at the hotel -- each day can be different, and you sometimes just have to play it by ear.

    If we are visiting for 5 days or more, I also like to try to schedule a rest day, where we sleep in, enjoy the resort, perhaps shop at DownTown Disney, or do something simpler like mini-golf (etc.).

    Whenever we follow this more relaxed approach, we tend to have a much better vacation, and return refreshed and ready to return to "real life."  Sure we aren't able to get as much done, but we know we'll return and other experiences will be waiting for us when we do.

    Hope that helps.
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Meet the Panelist: Bret,

As one of the dads on the panel, I have fun helping all Walt Disney World planners who want a dad’s perspective. Learn More About Bret

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