Rest days are the key for many people to have an amazing Florida holiday. Yes, there will be a small percentage of people who prefer not to have rest days - good on you for having so much energy! There are a larger percentage of people who believe that to make the most of their holiday they need to take 3 children under 5 into 3 parks a day for 2 weeks straight. In my experience that will just result in difficult days and eventually needing to take a rest day anyway!
Rest days are super important. I personally don’t go on holiday to come home needing another one. If you’ve never been before a lot of people will tell you this and you might go ahead and add a water park day – that isn’t enough! Depending on the time of year you’ve got a few obstacles to face:-
All year round you could be facing day after day of hot weather. We went in February this year and after standing on Main Street for 10 minutes we were desperate for air conditioning. If you’re going April-October you are pretty much guaranteed very hot weather. If you go in the summer you can add a whole heap of humidity on top of 35 degrees all day. Especially for those of us from cooler climates it can be really sapping.
Park days can be very long days. An open to close in the winter can be 9am-10pm and if you want to catch the nighttime spectaculars you will want to be staying until closing time. In the summer that can easily be 8am -1am. I’m not suggesting you stay all day. I’d actually recommend going 9-1pm and then back to your accommodation for a rest in the afternoon. Then head back to the parks for dinner and the shows. But, even if you do this, it’s a long day and don’t underestimate the time and energy it takes to park up, walk to the tram, get the tram to the entrance/monorail/boat, go through security and through the turnstiles – all before you’re even in the park (and the same in reverse when you leave!)
It’s not just long days in the heat, the amount of steps you do is pretty exhausting. Take a pram for your children – children as old as 6 or 7 are not out of place in a pushchair. On an open until close day you can easily hit 20,000 steps because the sheer scale of the parks is just huge.
Hopefully I’ve got you convinced that you could end up being pretty tired. So how many rest days should you take? The honest answer is it does depend on you. For one group I've planned for they have a member who doesn't have great health so one day in the parks in three is enough – this means over 50% of their holiday were rest days! When myself and my boyfriend went together we do two days in the park, and one day off. We don't have a one size fits all approach - every group (or solo traveller!) is different, so we'll plan a bespoke trip that gets the balance right for you.
My final word on this topic? Rest days aren’t wasted days. Orlando has SO much more to offer than just theme parks and even if it’s a once in a lifetime trip you shouldn’t miss out on the other things Orlando has to offer. For some ideas on how to fill your rest days click here.