Hot take or not, at PTM, we think breaks at Walt Disney World are useful and can drastically improve your trip. This article is a bit of an open letter from one of the most passionate proponents of afternoon breaks at WDW. So, prepare yourself if you’re a rope drop-to-close fan because this opinion piece isn’t holding back.
Let’s get into it!
Flex One: Better Disney Dining
Who doesn’t love a Mickey pretzel, Ronto Wrap, or Dole Whip in the parks? While the iconic snacks cannot be beat, Walt Disney World isn’t exactly killing the sit-down in-park dining game. Sure, there are some exceptions, and things have improved, but the best options take a lot of planning and can still be hit-or-miss.
Meanwhile, Disney dining just outside the theme park gates, on WDW property, is only steps away (via transport or otherwise) and often offers a superior dining experience. There’s nothing better than taking a break at the Grand Floridian Café or Steakhouse 71 if you’re looking to unwind and refuel, and the break will feel more than worth it when you’re dining in airconditioned comfort while drinking ice-cold water!
Flex Two: An Afternoon Swim
Picture it: the temperature outside feels like a sizzling fajita plate, but instead of peppers, it’s your skin. You’re sweating, your inner thighs are starting to get inflamed, and the arches of your feet left the chat 15 minutes ago. Yet you’re still stomping around EPCOT for the ‘vibes’ while feeling utterly devoid of them.
Perhaps it’s time for a swim! Chlorinated pool fan or not, there’s something about a dip that freshens up your energy levels. You’ll have to trust that you’ll get more from bobbing around in the water for an hour than you would from drinking another cocktail outside the Canada pavilion. Besides, many pools offer refreshment options, and it’s much nicer to have a few sips under an umbrella than standing in the mid-afternoon sun!
Flex Three: A Refreshing Shower
Speaking of water, showers can really turn your day around. Sure, rope-dropping Magic Kingdom is a fantastic way to enjoy your faves with manageable crowds. However, once afternoon hits you’ll likely realize that you’re feeling stickier than a melting Premium Mickey Bar. The good news? It’s nothing that an indulgent shower can’t fix!
Instead of trying to squeeze every drop of value out of your Disney tickets, give yourself the time to stretch out and soap up during a break back at your hotel. You’ll be amazed by how much better you’ll feel, and by the spring it adds to your step for the rest of your park day! Talk about a flex.
Flex Four: An Outfit Change
Did you even go to Disney if you didn’t fill up your social feed with OOTDs? Imagine if you could double your look options just by taking a break back at your hotel and switching ‘fits.
In reality, even the cutest outfits will feel less than adorable after a few hours in the parks. Giving yourself time to switch outfits can change the trajectory of your day, no matter your style.
Already got the content you needed in the morning? Great! Head back to the hotel and dress for comfort for the rest of the day. The options are endless when you have a closet full of options at your disposal, and a break is the best way to make that happen.
Flex Five: Cuter Selfies
Sunburnt skin, sunglass tan lines, and dripping beads of hairline sweat aren’t exactly the things cute selfies are made of, are they? While everyone should be packing sunscreen in their bag for touch-ups, that isn’t the same as taking an afternoon break and refreshing your look.
Your selfie game will thank you for taking a little time out of the sun, and your smiles will come much more naturally if you aren’t moments from melting. You’ll end up with pics that you appreciate much more after a break than if you continued to slug on through the day after you reached your limit. Even a tiny break in a hotel lobby can make a significant difference in how you feel, and your selfies will be all the better for it.
Flex Six: Better Vibes
Sometimes the crowds at Walt Disney World can feel a bit aggressive, especially as the day wears on. People need breaks for their sanity, and pushing oneself to do it ‘all’ without including rest is a recipe for a meltdown.
As ticket prices increase, so do frustrations from people looking to get their ‘money’s worth’ from their trip.
The problem is, when you push yourself to go hard day after day without breaks, you’re much more likely to be irritable, and the vibes will be off. What makes Disney special is that it offers fantasy and a way to step into magic. When agitation and tension enter the mix, it changes the feel of the parks for everyone. It’s better to take a break and feel your best than to be unable to appreciate your experience.
Flex Seven: You’ll Smell Fresh
Sorry to say it, but 12 hours straight in the WDW parks without taking a break to refresh isn’t exactly the flex you think it is if you smell more pungent than the fumes from the Tomorrowland Speedway! Hate to say it friends, but we’re in the parks together, and as crowds swell, so do wafting scents, and it’s not all Mickey Waffles and popcorn filling the air.
A quick break back at your hotel, or even a quick ferry ride to air out in the Bay Lake breezes, can make a huge difference. As day turns to night and sweat stains begin to meet like tectonic plates, it’s time to freshen up both for yourself and the people around you. It might not be the most exciting thing for some, but smelling great is a flex, especially when considering the alternative.
Flex Eight: You’ll Last ‘Till Close
Let’s face it—some of the most immaculate Disney magic occurs at night. Incandescent lighting sets the WDW parks aglow, and savvy Disney fans know you can get a ton done in the last hour. However, getting to the end of the night can feel like torture if you’ve been in the parks since they opened. This is where a long afternoon break comes in.
While you might think staying at the park all day is the only way to get everything you enjoy done, Disney days are about so much more than a checklist. While there is no one-size-fits-all way to do the parks, you’re not going to be present if you’re hitting a wall constantly, and giving yourself time to take a break will help you appreciate your day more, and keep you lasting well into the night, too!
Flex Nine: More Meaningful Disney Experiences
Whether you’re visiting Walt Disney World solo, with friends, with your partner, or with family, it’s essential that you make the best memories possible. Burning yourself out isn’t the way to achieve positive memories, and you’ll be shocked by how much you miss when you’re functioning on auto-pilot.
As trite as it sounds, life is meant to be lived, including giving yourself time to smell the roses. Slower, thoughtful, more relaxed Disney trips are an underappreciated flex that’s finally getting the attention it deserves, and we’re more than ready for this new era.
After all, is there a bigger flex than being ready for anything and everything life throws your way? We think not.
Do You Take Breaks?
So, what do you think? To break or not to break, that is the question. Please sound off in the comments and let us know how you like to do Walt Disney World.