For many families, summertime is the only time to visit Walt Disney World. School is out and it is time to hit the road for a memorable vacation! While Walt Disney World is a popular summer destination, oftentimes young children will begin to melt (or melt-down!) in the heat. So, what is a Mom or Dad to do? I suggest taking an afternoon break from the parks to rest and regain some energy before returning for evening festivities.
Typically, when people hear of taking an afternoon break from the park, they think that they must return to their hotel rooms for a nap. But, this is far from the truth! Just across the Seven Seas Lagoon, you can find a multitude of activities to keep the littlest ones happy, refresh the middles, and give parents a break from the constant excitement of the Magic Kingdom. Continue reading for a breakdown of all the fun options for your little ones.
1.Learn to Hula at the Polynesian
Hop on the monorail and head over to Disney’s Polynesian Resort, where you will find free hula lessons taking place in the lobby. These lessons are held most days and allow the whole family to have a bit of Hawaiian fun. Afterwards, wander out to the Pineapple Lanai for a refreshing dole whip, with a fraction of the line that you’ll find in Adventureland. Mom and Dad, if you hang around for a long enough rest, you can kick back with a drink at Trader Sam’s, before traveling back to the Magic Kingdom for your evening activities.
2. Princess Promenade at the Grand Floridian
If you feel more like Cinderella than Moana, take the boat or the monorail to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort. Sashay into the lobby to find the “surprise” Princess Promenade, which takes place most afternoons. Watch as a Disney Princess and her Prince descend into the lobby by way of the grande staircase. Join in as they waltz along to the beautiful sounds of the orchestra. Then, follow your respite with afternoon tea in the Garden View Tea Room.
3. Boating at the Contemporary
Just a short walk from the gate of the Magic Kingdom, you can hit the water. Rent a motorized boat or book a bass fishing excursion. For a more thrilling adventure, take to the skies and parasail! Families of all ages will enjoy a relaxing ride on a pontoon boat. Those with teenagers may choose to rent the Sea Raycers, which require drivers to be ages 12 and up. Regardless, you’ll cool off in a hurry when you pilot your own vessel around the Seven Seas Lagoon.
Visiting the Magic Kingdom at any time of year is a super special occasion. Make it more memorable by recognizing that you don’t have to go and see and do from the time the park opens to the time the last fireworks burst into the sky. Take a little afternoon rest in order to more fully enjoy early mornings and late nights, especially when you plan to visit in the heat of the summer.
Tips Before You Go:
- Check the resort’s activities guide for times and locations, as these are subject to change.
- Book any dining reservations 180 days in advance, especially Afternoon Tea. The Tea Room is relatively small and you’ll definitely want to plan on getting in.
- If you should plan a trip at Christmas, be sure to visit the holiday displays in all three monorail resorts. While the Polynesian’s display is more subdued, the gingerbread house at the Grand Floridian will blow you away. Don’t forget to seek out the Contemporary’s display, as well. Also made of gingerbread, its whimsical details in the style of Mary Blair is always captivating. You can read about Disney Magic Diva trying to see decorations here, it’s all about timing!
- Again, book your boat rentals as soon as you decide that you might want to rent a boat or take an excursion. But, if you decide to take a boat ride on a whim, certainly check at the marinas. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t see at least a Sea Raycer or two tied up at dock.
- As an extra bonus, all three of these resorts have delightful nooks in which tired families can sit and rest with a cold drink in some relative quiet.