Disney World Mid-Day Break: Yes, You Can Leave and Return! Here’s How

When you have a valid park ticket and are scanned into the park, you can come and go as you please all day.  If you want to leave that park and visit another park, an upgrade to a park hopper ticket would be required.  The good news is all day park hopping is back!! The park hopper ticket allows you the freedom to visit any park at any time for maximum flexibility.  My favorite is a quick Skyliner ride from Hollywood Studios to EPCOT.  Want to know what leaving the park could look like for your family? Consider the following… 

Cinderella in the Festival of Fantasy Parade
Cinderella in the Festival of Fantasy Parade

You can hardly believe how lucky you were to have your daughter freshly made up at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and then front row during the parade right in time to wave to Cinderella.  Equally thankful for the sunglasses to hide the joyful tears that followed, as your heart just burst!  The morning was absolutely perfect…until the afternoon nap time tantrum hit.  Heat and exhaustion were  then causing your dream of any nighttime fireworks to become an impossibility.  This does not have to be your story.  Instead after that perfect moment, know your limits and take a break.  Staying in a convenient, on property, resort can repaint this next scene to be anything but that tantrum.  Ideally the next moment you have retreated to your resort and are now sitting on the balcony watching the boats go by,  you are storing all of the little moments of the morning into your core memories.   The little princess is inside her Polynesian Resort room, dreaming of those moments herself.  A well earned nap after rope drop and nonstop fun.  The evening will consist of dining with the princesses in EPCOT and you will make it to fireworks!  Thankfully the convenience of the monorail can handle all of that transportation so there’s no stress of how to pull it off.

I learned the hard lessons for you and now it’s completely doable! I am a mom of 3 little ones and learning to balance them all at Disney was a big mindset readjustment.  The best thing I’ve figured out is a Walt Disney World vacation is a marathon NOT a sprint.  I’m a kid in a candy shop, I want to show them everything and do it all immediately.  Life with kids has its own pace.  Getting up isn’t an issue, we are always early to rise and ready to go go go.  I read the room… before the tantrums and fights, we take full use of our convenient resort and leave for a break.

Exploring the Polynesian Resort
My husband heading for the room… nap time!

Mid-day breaks can be different for everyone.  What works best for us is a good, quiet nap in the room for my husband and youngest.  I’m too excited to rest, so I take the other 2 to the pool for some extra vitamin d and water slide time.  After showers and a good recharge, we are ready for our dining reservations and can keep pushing until the park closes.  I never feel like we are missing out on the fun when we take this time, the park is the hottest and busiest midday.

Your park tickets are good for the day, you can go in and out as many times as you’d like.  If you upgrade to a park hopper ticket, you can even leave the park and head to another park for dinner and a nighttime spectacular.   This is a good way to completely reset after your break as well.  I love to go to Animal Kingdom early in the morning, but often that park will close earlier and we can then enjoy snacking at the latest EPCOT festival that evening instead.  Flexibility can look different for everyone.  I can be as set as I want for the kids to see the Giraffes eating up close, but my kids will for sure be the most excited about the rabbit standing next to it.  Taking the time to notice the bunny or leave for what does excite them, makes the difference in core memory making.

So go ahead, get up early, sleep in, take the breaks or hit the pool and then sit back and enjoy those little moments.  Sometimes the convenience of a close resort and a park hopper ticket can really take the stress out of planning and help you enjoy your trip that much more!!

Blair Hoffpauir

Blair Hoffpauir

Introducing Blair, a dedicated travel professional with a passion for Disney. As a Mother/Baby RN and loving mom to three young children, Blair understands the unique needs of families and brings a nurturing touch to trip planning. Drawing from her own magical Disney experiences and genuine love for organizing and planning, Blair loves crafting unforgettable moments for clients, sprinkled with pure Disney joy.

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