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Time in resort vs. Park

Marc Levin

Active Member
Original Poster
I’m curious how other people divide their time between their resort and parks.

On my current trip this has been a real challenge as we want to experience the parks but also maximise “pool time” (especially as the weather is so unpredictable). We ended up creating “pool days” were we only consider going into one of the parks (with pre-booked fast passes) if the pool gets closed due to weather.

I’m finding that Disney is very good at keeping you in the parks once you’re there so aiming to spend the morning in the parks and the afternoons in the pool (or similar) invariably ends up not working so well.

Maybe we just need to be more disciplined...
 

Jon81uk

Well-Known Member
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Most of my Disney trips I am in the parks from 9/10am through to fireworks and park close. Last trip we had one day for a lie-in and then did MNSSHP and we had a morning at Typhoon Lagoon followed by Disney Springs and then into DHS for the Star Wars fireworks. Don't really bother with pool time at Disney, although if we really wanted to I could have on that day before we did the Halloween party.

We come to Florida for two weeks and do 10 theme/water parks as well as shopping so when we have paid so much for tickets to parks it feels more worthwhile to do a waterpark instead of the pool.
 

mdcpr

Well-Known Member
We're going for 5 days in November--so it all depends on the weather. I do have one morning of where we are not doing anything, and we will be back at the hotel around 7 pm each day, so there might be some pool time. It is definitely not the focus of the vacation.
 

Minnie Mum

Well-Known Member
Pool time definitely depends on the time of year for us. If we go during the winter, we plan zero pool time, even if the weather isn't cold enough to close them. But we usually visit in spring or fall. Our day usually has us in the park at RD, then return to the resort after lunch. Pool and/or nap, then freshen up and return to the park for dinner and the evening. One or 2 days (out of 10) will be non park days. Our last trip was with our 6 yo grandson, and pool time every afternoon was absolutely mandatory as far as he was concerned.
 

Weather_Lady

Well-Known Member
We like to hit the parks early, which means we're all tuckered out by lunchtime, and I tend to become overwhelmed if I'm in a crowd for too long, so we typically build a 3-hour nap/pool break into every single Disney day after lunch. We rest in our hotel room, visit the pool, maybe take a leisurely stroll around the resort, and don't go back to a park until 4 or 5pm. (We're also from the Northeastern U.S., so there's no such thing as weather that is "too cold to swim" for us.) ;) We've tried to do a mid-vacation day where we just stay at the hotel, but we find that we tend to get too antsy and bored and end up going to a park anyway.

I know some families find the effort of going back to the resort in the middle of the day, and then back to a park, isn't worth the time and trouble, but it has always worked well for us.
 

CLEtoWDW

Well-Known Member
Typically we will take a daily break back at the resort in the afternoon and then head back in for the evening. This is a major reason why I prefer to stay at EPCOT area resorts so if we are at HS or EPCOT we can simply walk back to the resort.
 

BoarderPhreak

Well-Known Member
Personally, I'm there for the parks and activities (e.g. walking the Boardwalk). That is; spend little time at the resort.

With a family, things are a bit more... Relaxed. Especially when it's brutally hot out. For example, last year in July we went back to the resort mid-day to chill in the pool for a while on a couple of days. On our longer stays, we try to have a "resort day" (or two) where we just take a break from the endless walking in the parks; usually around the middle somewhere. On the arrival/departure dates we try to hit up Disney Springs, but it can be hard with flight (more like DME) timing.
 

bigrigross

Well-Known Member
My wife and I usually go about 10 days at a time. We Try to give ourselves a day between each park to relax and enjoy our vacation. We rarely are park commandos where we go from open to close. I like to go to disney springs, hit the pools or even do things outside of Disney on our off park days.
 

ThatMouse

Well-Known Member
We hop around and visit the resorts. I'm not a big public pool guy, but there are other things to do. About half our meals are at resorts. To me the attractions are just something to do while we're at Disney. A lot of people are open to close parks and rides all day long and that is just too much line waiting for me.
 

Queen of the WDW Screne

Well-Known Member
Depends on the length of our vacation.
In the past we would often have pool days where we did not go to the parks at all. We would sleep in, hang by the pool, go to Disney Springs....
In recent years though it has mostly been just my sister and I and we have more of a weekend warrior style where we go on shorter trips and are in the parks from RD to close and then come back and crash.

If we can we will arrive early on check in day and leave late on check out day.
That's how it worked out a couple weeks ago so the first day we went to DS and shopped and then came back and relaxed at the resort.
On the last day we go up and went in the pool at 9am when no one else was in it and then we had time to go back to the room and shower before check out.

When we do go weekend warrior style and have late flight in and early flight out (my sister is a teacher so when we go during the school year and she takes a couple days off work that's how we have to do it) we know there will be zero time just hanging out so we don't bring our swimsuits and we stay at a value resort since all we are doing is sleeping there.
 

CaptainAmerica

Premium Member
I’m curious how other people divide their time between their resort and parks.

On my current trip this has been a real challenge as we want to experience the parks but also maximise “pool time” (especially as the weather is so unpredictable). We ended up creating “pool days” were we only consider going into one of the parks (with pre-booked fast passes) if the pool gets closed due to weather.

I’m finding that Disney is very good at keeping you in the parks once you’re there so aiming to spend the morning in the parks and the afternoons in the pool (or similar) invariably ends up not working so well.

Maybe we just need to be more disciplined...
Park 9am to 1pm
Resort 1pm to 4pm
Park 4pm to 8pm

That's our plan for almost every day. On Sunday, we take the morning off for church. We take two evenings off for TS dinner at a resort (usually Boma or Ohana).

Depending on flight times, our ideal itinerary is 8 nights, for 18 total "half days." The 18 half days break down as follows:
  • 4 Magic Kingdom
  • 3 Epcot
  • 2 Hollywood Studios
  • 3 Animal Kingdom
  • 1 water park (will likely shift to HS once Galaxy's Edge is open)
  • 2 off
  • 1 church
  • 2 travel
 

The Mighty Tim

Well-Known Member
My plan is usually as follows:

* Get up and go to a park for around opening time. Optionally have breakfast at resort first
* Remain in park until lunchtime/early afternoon
* Return to resort to relax/nap/chill
* Go out to another park early evening
* Remain in park until closing
* Return to resort and head to room/bar/food court as appropriate

We have meals when we feel hungry. Not all days follow this pattern as it depends on other activities planned (e.g. FastPasses, ADRs, mini golf, extra magic hours etc). Also, we may head to Disney Springs instead of a park.

We've found this pattern works quite well for us.
 

eliza61nyc

Well-Known Member
We generally go with it's "surface of the sun" hot outside, late August/early September, so there is no way we could go all day in the parks. by the time it's 11 am it's 90 degrees. generally we get to the parks around 9 and we do our fast pass rides, then we head back to our resort for some swim time and maybe lunch. usually this is around 1 pm. then it's stay at the resort until 6.
 

KaliSplash

Well-Known Member
Generally speaking, we are there for the parks, no matter how wonderful the resort. Do have a trip coming up next spring for anniversary that is Very resort oriented. May try to get to Galaxy's Edge early in the morning, but otherwise, we'll be around and about the hotel.

but typically, whether staying at Contemp or All-Stars, we are park people
 

Tom 55

Well-Known Member
When I look at how much a Disney trip is costing me. I want to get the most for my money. Living in NH I can go to the beach when ever I want. I feel the more time I spend in the parks the lower the cost per hour of my Disney trip goes down. I try to minimize the time I am not in a park by staying at resorts that only have 1 bus stop. I only carry my cell phone into park so my trip threw sercurity is almost non stop. I had a problem with my belt buckle setting off metal detector in 2017 when I was at Disneyland. So I now have a carbon fiber belt buckle. Stopped wearing "im celibrating" metal pins. Stopped wearing trading pins on my cap. Use the WDW LINES app to see what rides have less wait times. We go in September when it is a little less crowded. So the only time I spend at resorts is just sleep time. That is when it is just wife and I. When we have the grand kids we have to plan some pool time. Just 30 days till my next trip.
 

Janir

Well-Known Member
We're going for 5 days in November--so it all depends on the weather. I do have one morning of where we are not doing anything, and we will be back at the hotel around 7 pm each day, so there might be some pool time. It is definitely not the focus of the vacation.
Back by 7 each day?! You gotta plan some fireworks time in there!! Back by 7 you almost have to turn right around to go back again to get into MK and then get set up for fireworks! ;-)
 

ppet

Well-Known Member
If we are there for a longer trip(more than 5 days) then we will normally have a little pool/down time most afternoons. We also always do Hoppers so normally we go to our morning park, leave to go back to the resort when it gets too crowded. Then we will head out to dinner and back to our evening park. Works well for us, we get to rope drop the EMH park if desired and then do a late EEMH if offered.
 

mdcpr

Well-Known Member
Back by 7 each day?! You gotta plan some fireworks time in there!! Back by 7 you almost have to turn right around to go back again to get into MK and then get set up for fireworks! ;-)
Not an option for me. I have a special needs child that while he does really well in crowds and waiting in line, he can't handle fireworks. Hopefully we will see the Frozen Holiday show and River of Light since they are early and short, as well as mostly lights and effects.
 
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