Top 10 Things to Do When You Want a Break from the WDW Theme Parks

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Let’s face it, it’s hard to spend an entire day in the parks without getting tired or cranky (yes, even us adults get cranky). We always make it a point to leave the parks around lunch and then return in the evenings when we’ve had time to re-group. This allows us to stay refreshed, cool down in those warmer months, and stay in the parks until closing each day. Here is my Top 10 list of things to do when you just need a break from the WDW Theme Parks.

10. Play a game of mini-golf – Yes, it requires you to still be outside and walking, but we really enjoy playing mini-golf at Winter Summerland. Where else can it be 90 degrees outside with Christmas music playing in the background, snow-covered scenery and Santa nearby to greet you? There’s just something about it that somehow makes it feel much cooler than it actually is outside.

9. Catch the boat from Hollywood Studios or Epcot and visit the BoardWalk We’ve made it a tradition to leave Hollywood Studios around 10AM and ride the boat to the BoardWalk area. We then go and visit the BoardWalk Bakery for a cupcake – yes, it’s okay to have cupcakes for breakfast at Disney World…While the BoardWalk area comes alive at night, it’s relatively quiet during the day and makes for great place to have a stroll along the water, enjoy a dessert from the bakery and even visit the other resorts in the Boardwalk area.



8. Visit a Disney Water Park Think lazy river…you don’t have to go and slide down the slides or visit the wave pool. Just grab a tube and hop into the lazy river for a good 30 mins+ of floating and relaxing. Just watch out for those spots where the cold water falls on you…

7. Pin Trading – I don’t think it’s any secret that we love to pin trade and for us, it’s a great way to take a break from the rides and relax. When we decide to leave the parks for the day, we take our time making our way out of the parks and walk through the gift shops to trade pins. The stores are generally less crowded in the middle of the day and cast members typically have time to trade with you.

6. Grab a dessert or snack – Nothing cools you down like one of those yummy ice cream sandwiches made with fresh-baked cookies. Or you may prefer a Dole Whip or Mickey Ice Cream Bar. Of course, we still prefer cupcakes. So grab a snack with the family, find a bench or table and just take the time to recoup some of that lost energy.

5. Visit Downtown Disney While shopping may not seem like relaxing to some, there is so much to see and do at Downtown Disney, so you can easily avoid having to shop if it’s not your thing. You can visit DisneyQuest to play some classic arcade games, grab a yummy lunch or early dinner at one of the many restaurants, or just sit on a bench by the lake to watch the boats come and go. One of our favorite things to do is to catch the boat from Downtown Disney to Port Orleans Resort. The ride is so relaxing and Port Orleans is a beautiful resort to visit (be sure to try the beignets).

4. Catch a show – If you prefer to stay in the parks, catching a show mid-day is a great way to stay cool, rest those feet and for some, take a nap. The Hall of Presidents is a great place to rest…

3. Resort Hop – We absolutely love catching the monorail from Magic Kingdom and visiting all the monorail resorts. From the smell of the Polynesian to the grandeur of the Grand Floridian, just walking into these resorts relaxes you and takes you to another place and time. Take the time to explore the resorts, walk on the beach or just sit in the lobby and people watch.

2. Take a dip in the pool – I’m convinced that Disney World has the best resort pools around. Where else can you swim in a pool shaped like a bowling pin? The best part is that the pools are heated, so you can even enjoy them on those cooler days. While I love to swim, once I get in the pool, I tend to get sleepy, so that sets me up for #1 on this list.

1. Take a nap  I think most adults secretly wish they could still roll out one of those mats like they did in kindergarten and just take a nap in the middle of the day. Ahhh…things we wish we appreciated more as kids. The great thing about being on vacation, especially at Disney World, is that you can take a nap in the middle of the day and not feel guilty about it. And if you have children, then it’s good to give them a break as well, else they may end up taking an early bedtime and missing out on the wonderful parades, fireworks and shows that make Disney magical each evening. And if you’re like me, you’re usually pretty tired after lunch, so why not head back to your resort and get an hour or two of sleep? Your body will thank you…

So there you have it, my Top 10 ways to take a break from the parks. What are some things that your family does to break away from the hustle and bustle of the parks after lunch?

Jenn (30 Posts)

Jennifer made her first trip to Walt Disney World in 2009 with a friend and has been a Disney Addict and passholder ever since. When she's not planning her next trip, Jennifer works in marketing/communications/graphic design for a trade association and is also a professional photographer. Jennifer, her husband and fellow Disney Addict, Eric, and their dog Toby reside in Durham, NC.




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  • lbaxter80

    Two trips ago (last Spring), our oldest two were about DONE around 1pm at MK. We hopped on the monorail to the Contemporary, just to get a change of scenery and some quiet. We wound up getting a peaceful late lunch at Contempo Cafe (there was NObody there). On the ride back to MK, our daughter crashed for a nap in the stroller and our son was ready for round 2.

    I’ve already put the boat ride to/from the Boardwalk on our itinerary for this trip.