As much fun as the Disney theme parks are, they can be exhausting.  Standing in lines for the attractions that you didn’t schedule with Fast Pass, walking around in the Florida heat, and keeping the kids from running into other guests when they’re running around can wear anyone down. To get the most out of your Disney vacation, it is important to take a break.  Here are some down time ideas that keep the Disney experience happy.

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Ah, the exhausting magic of Disney. Photo by Terri Marshall, Globetrotting TravelingGrandmom

Thanks to Allianz for sponsoring this postTraveling Mom received financial compensation from Allianz Global Assistance (AGA Service Company).

If You Want to Maximize Your Disney Experience, Take a Break

On a recent visit to Orlando, my three grandkids and my daughter joined me for an afternoon at Disney’s Magic Kingdom.  Just minutes into the park I heard a mother say to her child, “Mommy has adjusted her attitude back to positive so we can continue our time in the park.” I knew exactly what she meant! We may love the rides, shows, and atmosphere of the Disney parks, but the reality is we need a break every now and then. And as much as we want to pretend the kids and grandkids are little angels, sometimes they aren’t. Sometimes they argue and whine – it’s unavoidable.

We all want to get the most fun possible from our Disney vacation, but it’s important to build in a little time for breaks.  Of course the kids and grandkids aren’t going to want to hear the words “time out,” so it’s important to come up with ideas for breaks that keep the young ones entertained and help you keep your sanity.

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Ready to cool off at a water park. Photo by Terri Marshall, Globetrotting TravelingGrandmom

Try Pairing a Morning at One of the Disney Parks with an Afternoon at a Water Park

Let’s face it, most of the year Florida can be pretty hot and humid. That heat often seems magnified when you’re walking around for hours on the pavement in the theme parks. Why not start the day at a theme park, stop for lunch, then head over to Disney’s Blizzard Beach water park to cool down?

Blizzard Beach is designed to replicate a one-time snow ski resort that has melted into a watery wonderland. Seems fitting because after your morning in the Florida heat, you may melt into a watery wonder yourself.  Zip down the slushy slopes of Mount Gushmore on one of the world’s tallest and fastest water slides. Float down the tranquil river and sunbathe on the white-sand beach. There’s a splash pad with a snow-castle fountain and kid-sized water slides for kids under 48 inches tall. And no need to bring towels, as they are available for rent along with lockers at the Beach Haus on site.

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Spend the afternoon at Splitzville. Photo by Terri Marshall, Globetrotting TravelingGrandmom

Spend the Afternoon with an Indoor Activity

Sometimes an indoor activity is the best way to take a break from the parks…and give your skin a rest from the sun.  At Disney Springs, you can rock-n-roll the day away at Splitsville – a glamorous retro-themed throwback to the Golden Age of Bowling with two floors, 30 bowling lanes, five bars, billiards tables, live music, and dancing.  Located in a 50,000 square foot space, Splitsville is entertainment headquarters.  The kids can keep busy bowling the afternoon away and Grandmom can have a glass of wine.

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Movies on the lawn at Grand Floridan. Photo by Jennifer Acocella

Take Advantage of Resort Amenities

My grandkids live in the Orlando area and have visited Disney many times. But they rarely get to experience the Disney resorts. Once a year I typically stay at one of the resorts and invite the kids to join me. For my youngest grandson, Benjamin, just the idea of being in a hotel is exciting. With pools, slides, restaurants, and themed activities, the Disney resort properties offer excellent options for time away from the theme parks. Take advantage of it and split your time between the parks and the resorts.

If you’ve spent the bigger part of your day exploring one of the parks, consider spending the evening hanging out at your hotel.  For example, the Grand Floridian offers some wonderful nighttime activities minus the crowds in the park.  Roast marshmallows and make s’mores by the campfire, enjoy a movie on the lawn, and watch the fireworks from the dock – beautiful views, no crowds!

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Director of Fun at Wyndham Disney Springs. Photo by Terri Marshall, Globetrotting TravelingGrandmom

Take Advantage of Kid-Focused Fun at Wyndham Disney Springs

How to maximize your Disney fun!Many visitors to Disney opt to stay at non-Disney resort properties to save a little money.  As the closest hotel to Disney Springs, the Wyndham Disney Springs is an excellent alternative. And when it comes to taking a break from the parks, the onsite Director of Fun, Jill Arnold, is a master at keeping the kids engaged – they won’t even realize they are taking a break from Disney.  A former server at the restaurant, Jill was promoted to Director of Fun (best title ever!) after the hotel’s General Manager witnessed her building pyramids out of creamer cups to entertain the kids.  She is creative, imaginative, and committed to keeping the little ones happy and fully entertained.

The hotel also has an Oasis Aquatic Playground featuring a zero entry pool and interactive water features for the kids – including spraying water cannons.  The poolside Oasis Bar and Grill is perfect for lunch and a tropical libation a/k/a the attitude adjuster for grown-ups.