Is Planning Downtime at Your Resort Really Worth It?

Successful Walt Disney World Vacations can largely be dependent on proper planning.

Mickey Mouse

With endless options when it comes to dining, FastPass+ Reservations, and more, you can be left totally overwhelmed by it all (not quite ideal for a vacation). On the other end of the spectrum, when trips are overplanned, that can lead to exhaustion, burnouts, and unneeded stress — and missed opportunities for spontaneous fun!

But since you’ve spent your hard earned money to get here and stay at a Walt Disney World resort, is planning downtime at your resort really worth it? Or is it just one more thing you’ve gotta do?

Cozy Cone Pool at Art of Animation Resort

Disney does an excellent job of providing a slew of resort activities all day long at all properties, from their Value resorts to their Deluxe resorts. Whether you plan a day to enjoy those activities largely depends on multiple factors and personal preferences.

Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Campfire Sing-Along

Let’s look at a few questions that arise when exploring this question.

Which level of resort did you spend your money on?

If you paid top dollar to stay at a Deluxe Resort, like Disney’s Grand Floridian, you may want to squeeze all the possible value out of that and spend some time at the resort.

Relax at the Grand Floridian’s Enchanted Rose Lounge

While on the other end of things, if you’re staying at a Value Resort, like Disney’s Pop Century, that may leave more money to splurge on time exploring the parks and other activities, like shopping at Disney Springs.

Splurge at Disney Springs

What does your home resort offer?

The activities range largely based on the level of resort. Guests staying at an All-Star property can enjoy poolside activities throughout the day that include games, dance parties, Movies Under the Stars, and more, plus they’ve all got playgrounds for the kiddos. Meanwhile, guests staying at Deluxe Disney’s Boardwalk can regularly enjoy the main pool complete with an amazing slide, group fitness activities, instructor-led art classes, and the boardwalk promenade at their doorstep with a plethora of entertainment, bars, and dining.

Hang at [email protected]

Additionally, other amenities like top-notch lounges, bars, and restaurants may make staying at your home much more entertaining. Disney’s Polynesian Resort, for example, offers in addition to a stunning pool and slide, multiple dining options and themed lounges, like the tropical inspired Tambu Lounge and interactive tiki bar Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto.

Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto

Even with top notch amenities at your fingertips, it comes down to how you value your hard earned time and money. If you’re in need of some major R&R, then by all means relax; the parks will be there when you’re ready! On the other hand, if this is a once in a lifetime trip, you may want to run the risk of burning yourself out to see all that the Walt Disney World theme parks have to offer.

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Do you prefer some downtime when you are visiting the Walt Disney World resort?

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6 Replies to “Is Planning Downtime at Your Resort Really Worth It?”

  1. Love resort time. We’re DVC members for nearly 20 years, and our home resorts are both special to us – Villas at Wilderness Lodge and Animal Kingdom Lodge. Both resorts offer great amenities and a relaxing atmosphere. We never were “commando” tourists, but now as we age, the crowds become overwhelming and we appreciate the lower key pace at the resort to relax and recharge.

  2. Agree with these points – I will add you should factor in how often you have visited or plan to visit WDW in the future. If you are a WDW veteran, you probably don’t 100% have to hit every single attraction. You can play your fastpasses and enjoy yourself. I personally think staying on property, doing rope drop, then your fast passes -> followed by late lunch, pool & maybe a nap is a great way to take down a day. More so the younger your kids are (if you have them). You can then head back to parks as the sun is setting for some cooler temps and hopefully shorter wait times.

  3. We stay off site (at Windsor Hills) and enjoy just having the odd day relaxing away from the hustle and bustle of the parks.

    It’s a holiday, if you’re going at 100% all the time, where’s the relaxation?

    1. We also stayed at Windsor Hill. Awesome place and location.

      I think it depends on your length of stay and stamina. 10 years ago we planned no resort days for out 8 day trip. Everyday was at a theme park or a water park. We were young and full of energy!

      But now, not so much. Our recent two week trip had several resort days. We knew we didn’t have the stamina anymore and needed a day here and there to rest.

      1. I’ve gotten older and slower and just can’t do open to close at the parks. Loving that afternoon break. Swimming helps me change from West Coast to East Coast time. And each resort has something special, either restaurants or shopping or design that I enjoy exploring, again a nice break from the parks.