A vacation means relaxation and rejuvenation. This is true everywhere but Disney for my family. Disney is our favorite place in the world, but we definitely don’t do a lot of relaxing on our Disney vacations. Our motto while at Disney? “You can sleep at home!”
There’s No Sleeping at Disney
When we are at Walt Disney World, we are up with the birds and awake with the owls. Here are a few advantages to the early mornings and late nights at Walt Disney World.
Extra Magic Hours
If you are staying on Disney property, you have the benefit of Extra Magic Hours (EMH). Each day one of the four parks opens either an hour early or closes three hours late for resort guests. During that time, crowds will be much lighter and wait times can be greatly reduced. Evening EMH at the Magic Kingdom are a favorite of my family. The park clears out significantly after Wishes, and you can enjoy a nearly empty park. We like to arrive right before Wishes and head to Frontierland and work our way toward Tomorrowland. In one night we rode 90% of the attractions (most more than once) at the Magic Kingdom in less than 5 hours. We shut down the Magic Kingdom at 3 a.m. and it remains to this day one of my children’s favorite Disney Memories.
Pre-Park Opening Breakfast Reservations
Guests can enjoy a selection of table service restaurants that open in each park before the park opens! When you book a pre-park opening breakfast reservation, you can: Take a walk down Main Street U.S.A. virtually alone. Take pictures in front of Cinderella Castle with no one in the background. Meet a handful of characters all before most people get through the turnstiles! And, because you have the first seating of the day, you are usually seated quickly and the food is fresh.
The Tusker House Restaurant in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Garden Grill in Epcot, and The Crystal Palace at the Magic Kingdom are some of my personal favorites. After enjoying your early meal, you will still have the benefit of light crowds and low wait times! Just make sure to make your reservations well in advance, since these slots fill up quickly!
We may not sleep a lot on our Disney vacations, but we do enjoy our mid-day breaks. These are especially important in the hotter months of the year! When you get an early start, leaving the park around lunch time and heading back to your resort for a break has several advantages. You will avoid the hottest and the busiest time of day. It will give you and your family some much needed down time, especially if you plan on spending the evening in the parks. You are paying a premium to stay on Disney property, make sure to experience some of the amenities!
Whether you are staying at All-Star Movies or Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney resorts are full of great pools, activities, and dining!
Let’s face it you can’t go-go-go for an entire trip, or at least my family can’t. At least a few days of each trip I try and let my family sleep in a bit. Try as I might, I cannot sleep past 6 a.m. when I am at Disney. The mornings at Disney resorts are extremely peaceful so get some coffee and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. Disney is usually a place where we want to spend our time getting our money’s worth. Taking the time to stop and literally smell the roses is a nice change of pace. Bonus, these early morning walks are also where I have had the opportunity to meet some amazing Cast Members and hear their stories!
Each family’s vacation style is unique, so don’t be afraid to change the rules of your everyday life. Only you know your family and what works for them. If you have a family that likes to sleep in and stay up late, go with the flow. There is no way to experience everything Disney has to offer in a single trip! Make the most out of what your family enjoys!