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Why You Need a Restful Resort Day at Disney World With a Toddler

Restful Resort Day at Disney World

Walt Disney World is the ultimate travel destination for all ages, but especially for families with young children. There is so many attractions for them to enjoy, favorite characters to meet, and countless accommodations for any need. In fact, there is so much to do that you will be exhausted at the end of your vacation. Don’t get us wrong, the entire experience is ALWAYS 100% worth it! However, there are ways to avoid the burnout which leads to extreme tiredness and irritation.

There are 2 ways that we ensure we all have the most amazing time both at the beginning and ending of our trip. First, we return to the room for a nap each day to cool off and get off our feet. Secondly, we also plan a day midweek away from the parks to catch up on sleep and take it slower. This results in a much more enjoyable vacation for the adults and the kiddos.

Benefits of a Restful Resort Day at Walt Disney World

Our family’s restful resort day at Walt Disney World has quickly become a favorite our ours. We are always thankful and look forward to the break by the end of our third park day. In fact, knowing we will rest the next day pushes us to finish the third day strong.

Rope drop and early entry are huge advantages when at the Walt Disney World parks. This is when wait times and the temps are the lowest. In order to be the most successful at this, we aim to be at the bus stop and hour and fifteen minutes before Early Entry! That means a very early alarm for everyone, especially mom. Believe me when I tell you that we all sleep in on our resort day! It is so wonderful to allow our body to catch up on the much needed sleep that we have been depriving it of for the last 3 days. Serious naps are typically taken on this day as well as an early bedtime.

While it may seem like we sleep all day, that is most defiantly not the case! There are so many amenities available to you both at your resort (if staying at a WDW resort) and other resorts on property. Many times everyone is so focused on the theme parks they miss all the other amazing amenities at the resorts. They have everything from fine dining, amazing pools, pony riding, fishing tours and so much more! We will go into more details about our favorites below.

Resting our brains is just as important as our bodies. It is so nice to have a day without checking wait times, lightning lane return times, character meet times, ect. Of course, you can do a Disney vacation without doing all of this, but I truly love doing it. However, mentally it can weigh on you, so I do love having a day away from my device to just enjoy everything around me.

Tips for Planning a Resort Day with a Toddler

Now you want a restful resort day at your Walt Disney World resort, but how do you add that into your vacation plans? Due to the availability of nonstop flights on Saturdays for our airport to MCO we are usually there Saturday to Saturday. Ideally there are 3 park days (early entry rope drop and park close) days followed by a restful resort day, and finishing it up with 2 more park days. If you are deciding to do 4 park days rather than 5, I would suggest 2 park days, rest, and then finish with the last 2 parks. When deciding the order for the parks for both myself and my clients, I have to look at a lot of different deciding factors. Need help with your planning? Feel free to reach out, and I would love to help!

The resort day is a great time to schedule in activities that may take a large amount of time, but that can be accomplished outside of the parks. Our top three time consuming activities for a resort day are: character meals, shopping, and watching fireworks! You can see how we spent our most recent restful resort at Walt Disney World on our new YouTube channel!

Character Meals

We absolutely love character meals, but it is no secret that they can take a large amount of time our of your day. A resort day is a great time to turn in a table credit for a chance to hug your favorite Disney characters. There are multiple options around the resorts that offer character dining outside of the parks. You can find a complete list here.

Shopping at Disney Springs

Disney Springs is a free shopping and dining location that you can visit via Disney transportation from any Walt Disney World Resort. Our resort day is when we prefer to get most of our souvenirs. I do not feel rushed while shopping, there is typically less people during the morning, and we do not have to keep up with our purchase round the parks. You can also find many specialty stores from Star Wars, Marvel, Lego, and so much more!

Firework Viewing

Did you know that there are multiple firework viewing areas around Walt Disney World that do not require a park ticket? Not only are they perfect locations for seeing the beautiful fireworks, they will also be playing the show music at these locations. With less people putting their children on their shoulders are raising their phones up on poles everyone can see. There is also a lot less crowds to deal with when leaving the viewing area, and your kiddos can run around and play before, during, and after the show. Our two favorites are at the viewing deck at the Contemporary Resort and the beach area of the Polynesian Resort. Not one, but both of these locations have seats for you to sit and enjoy the fireworks!

Recommended Activities for a Resort Day at Walt Disney World

Amenities at Every WDW Resort

There are many Disney resort amenities that you can enjoy no matter which resort you choose. Take the day to enjoy swimming in the pool at your resort. Most even offer a splash pad/ water play area! You can also find a playground that is great for allowing littles to run off any extra energy while you can provide a watchful eye from a nearby seat. There is also an arcade available for your family to enjoy.

restful resort day at disney world

On our last vacation, we also noticed smaller tables and chairs at many of the resort that offered coloring sheet and crayons. These tables were located in the dining area close to a television playing Mickey cartoons. You can also find Disney movies playing around the lobby with seating for all.

Daily activities are happening on a weekly rotation. Campfires with S’mores kits available, movies under the starts, Mickey tie-dye shirts, and so much more! You can find the schedule of these activities around the pool area, front desk, or in the MDE app. There is so much to do at your resort, you could spend days here enjoying it all! Please note, these differ by resort and time of year. They are ever changing so be sure to check your resort schedule upon arrival.

Special Amenities around WDW Resorts

Each Walt Disney World resort is unique in their own way. Many have special activities that are relevant to their theming for you to partake in. Note: While many of these particular offerings are available to anyone, most require an advance reservation and payment.

Fishing Excursions

Fishing Excursions can be found at many of the WDW resorts. The guided tours are 2 or 4 hours long. The gear needed is included as well as Coca-Cola beverages. Be sure to book your excursion reservation in advance!


Golfing is all around for all ages! Enjoy one of two miniature golf courses or one of three the full size courses. Have you ever golfed at Walt Disney World?

Horse Drawn Carriage Rides

Horse Drawn Carriage Rides can be found at Port Orleans Riverside and Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. Carriage rides are 25 minutes and can fit up to 4 adults or 2 adults and 3 small children. Disney highly suggest advance reservations. However, if you can arrive and ask if there is availability.

Firework Cruises

Firework Cruises are an extravagant ending to any day. While they can be pricy, they are memories that you will never forget with firework views that cannot be beat! Enjoy included snacks and beverages during the cruise. There are cruises available for both Magic Kingdom and EPCOT!

restful resort day at disney world

Starlight Safari

Starlight Safari is something you probably didn’t even know you needed. Trust me, you do! Over at Animal Kingdom Lodge witness the savannas come to life at night with over 30 different species of African wildlife. Guest must be 8 years or older to enjoy this special adventure.

restful resort day at disney world

As you can see here, there is more than enough to do around Walt Disney World outside of the parks. I know that you are spending a lot of money to be there, but save one day of park tickets or add one extra night onto your trip to allow yourself to reset. Your vacation will be much more enjoyable for everyone once you begin to add this restful resort day into your Walt Disney World trip. Be sure to share your favorite resort activity with us on Instagram!

Ready to start planning your magical vacation? This Motivated Mama offers FREE planning when booking with us. Get your vacation countdown started here!

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