How to Do Walt Disney World And Not Return Home Exhausted

Castle Parade Mickey

Walt Disney World is supposed to be the place Where Dreams Come True, and no one dreams of running themselves ragged and leaving exhausted. Yet unfortunately, that’s the reality for a lot of people. If you walk around the parks, you’ll notice many families looking stressed and overwhelmed. I’m here to tell you, it doesn’t have to be that way! Your Disney World vacation can absolutely be just that—a vacation—not just something you feel like you have to endure “for the kids”. Take a look at these practical and perspective-shifting tips to make your trip relaxing and enjoyable for everybody.

1. Stop Worrying About Money

This is the number one tip for a reason—because it seriously makes all the difference. Disney is expensive, y’all. It just is. For most of us who are on a budget, there’s a temptation to try to “get our money’s worth” out of all the dollars we spend on a Disney vacation. But here’s the thing: you’ve saved up and shelled out the cash already. It’s gone. Let it go. (Cue Elsa’s song.) Now it’s time to focus on the experience itself. You’re here with your family to enjoy time together not to get subjective value out of money. I’m not saying “blow your budget”—that’s impractical and irresponsible. I’m simply encouraging you to release yourself from the pressure of making the most of money you’ve already spent. This tiny shift in perspective will help you to relax and enjoy. 

2. Make a Plan

Intentional planning can go a long way in helping you to relax as well. If you’ve got a plan before you arrive, it takes away the need for constant decision making in the moment, which can be exhausting. First, figure out your must-do attractions and the attractions you’d like to get FastPasses for. Then let your FastPass reservations guide your general flow around the park. If you need help with FastPass planning and making a must-do list, take a look at Step 6 in our 6 Step Planning Guide for practical advice. 

3. Don’t Over-Plan

However, even the best laid plans get thwarted by the occasional ride shut down, weather delay, or unexpected long wait time. Your plan cannot account for the variables of rain and crowd size. It also can’t account for those in-the-moment personal preferences and Disney surprises (such as a random character sighting). Allowing yourself to veer from the plan or be flexible within it can save you from the stress that can wear a person out emotionally. Slow down, expect the unexpected, and roll with some spontaneity in order to full live in the moment and enjoy your park day to its fullest. Remember that happiness fuels you physically, so go with what’s making your crew happy, even if it’s not on the plan, and even if that means you can’t “do it all”. 

4. Afternoon Rest

Many groups with young children or older seniors simply cannot go from park opening to park closing without getting physically and emotionally drained. By the time the fireworks roll around, tears of exhaustion may be flowing, and that’s never a formula for magical memories. In order to avoid a meltdown, consider building in a few hours of rest in the afternoon. Head back to your hotel for a little nap to recharge, or simply find a quiet spot in the park to chill for an hour. Put away your phone and map and allow yourself and your group to reenergize for more Disney fun in the evening. Some favorite in-park resting spots are: Tom Sawyer’s Island in Magic Kingdom, any of the multiple shady green spaces in Epcot’s Future World (or an unused corner of Innoventions), the lake area by Indiana Jones in Hollywood Studios, and the paths of Discovery Island in Animal Kingdom. 

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BONUS TIP: Consider planning and booking your next Disney trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can trust like Mickey Travels. They’ll help you get the best Disney travel deal, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius!