Isn’t Disney World just for kids?… haha. NO.
One of the top questions people always ask me – Isn’t Disney World just for kids?
So many people only see Disney World as a children’s theme park for families with young kids. While, yes, it is a wonderful experience for the whole family and your children will make memories that last a lifetime… Disney World is SO much more! It has worked to develop an environment that is inclusive to all families regardless of how they are made, including families without children.
So here are my top tips for traveling to Disney on an adults only trip.
Stay at a Walt Disney World Resort
You will get EMH – extra magic hours, free Disney transportation and phenomenal service. Value resorts are less expensive resorts full of fantastic theming, spectacular pools and vibrant young families. But if you are looking for a more relaxing, quiet feel I suggest you stay at a moderate or deluxe resort. I would look at Port Orleans French Quarter or the Grand Floridian. Walking through the French Quarter resort feels just like being in New Orleans. PLUS, you can get the most delicious beignets in the dining hall. The Grand Floridian has a calm, relaxed and high end feel while sitting minutes from the Magic Kingdom.
Park & Resort Hop
Hakuna Matata your way through Disney – it means no worries! Don’t get stressed. Park too crowded, park hop into another park or explore the amazing resorts on Disney property. I like to start the day at one park for the rides and shows but end the day at Magic Kingdom to catch my favorite firework show! Ride the monorail and visit all the resorts on the loop, especially during the Holidays. I love to see how each park & resort is decorated!
Stay up late
During certain seasons Disney has late night EMH. THEY ARE MY FAVORITE!! That means you can ride Big Thunder Mountain and watch the fireworks at the same time. (Big Thunder Mountain is my favorite ride at night) OR, take a stroll through the park and enjoy the ambiance of the magic in the air.
SO, stay up late – go to the late show, have a late-night snack at Casey’s Corner and avoid the craziness of everyone leaving the park at once. Picture hundreds of tired people all trying to fit through a small exit at one time… NO thank you! Many late nights I have SHUT.It.Down. I have practically had the Magic Kingdom park to myself making it a dream to visit.
Disney After Hours
If you are going to stay up late, you HAVE to try Disney After Hours! This is a special ticketed event that gives you access to Magic Kingdom after the park closes. Disney After Hours gives a limited number of guest access to dozens of unforgettable experiences in Magic Kingdom park! PLUS – you get snacks! Included with the purchase of your ticket you get popcorn, a Mickey bar and a drink; the PERFECT late night snack. There are only a limited number of tickets available for this event so you have to snag these before they are gone!
Disney Springs— Formerly known as Downtown Disney, Disney Springs has really really come to life recently. There are tons of options for entertainment, food, and adult beverages. Check out Raglan Road Irish Pub or Jock Lindsay’s Hangar Bar for some super fun atmosphere. Morimoto Asia and The Boathouse also have some great drinks and appetizers to enjoy late. And you certainly can’t miss House of Blues to get your groove on!
The Boardwalk— As mentioned above, this resort is close to nightlife because it IS the nightlife! Right on the Boardwalk you can find a wide array for restaurants and bars. Flying Fish Cafe has amazing food to fill you up before you head down to Jellyrolls (dueling) piano bar to enjoy some live music and drinks if you’re so inclined. You can also check out AbracaBar where you can take in some magic while you sip on some creative cocktails. If you’re not a drinker, no worries! Munch on an appetizer or order a non-alcoholic beverage while still enjoying the vibe.
Resort Lounges— Take some time to explore some of the moderate and deluxe resorts and check out their lounges. Some of my favorites are Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto at the Polynesian, Territory Lounge at the Wilderness Lodge, River Roost Lounge at Port Orleans Riverside, and Wave at the Contemporary. There are tons more, though!
Be a line jumper – Get through the ride line quicker!?
WHATTT? But hooowww? You can split up and get into the single rider line if you don’t mind filling in the gaps of an odd numbered party. Also pay attention as you move through the queue. Sometimes when you get closer to the front, cast members will call out a number looking for people to fill an empty spot on the ride. I have seen this done during peak summer hours on Seven Dwarves Mine Train, Rockin’ Roller Coaster, Expedition Everest (THE best ride at WDW) and several other popular rides.
If you have flexible hours at work or with your babysitter, go when the kids are in school.
And by that, I mean times during the year when kids are in school. Disney World’s busiest times surround major holidays and “off” days from school. While Disney seems to no longer have an uncrowded season following this trick can definitely help you find a slower paced park experience.
Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner – or in this case steak.
Have your heard of WDW Signature restaurants? Disney has some of the highest ranked restaurants you can find. Narcoossee’s, located at the Grand Floridian, is even a mostly kid free dining establishment. Other adult favorites are Victoria & Alberts, Yachtman’s Steakhouse, and Jiko. There are so many wonderful restaurant options you are certain to experience an unforgettable evening. Whether you are celebrating your honeymoon, baby moon (I promise this is a thing), anniversary, romantic evening or trying to pretend you didn’t just turn thirty . Disney is sure to deliver.
Eat a turkey leg and churro for dinner. Because you’re an adult and you don’t have to explain yourself to anyone.
Drink and travel around the world…
Take the booze cruise around Epcot. Ok – so this isn’t really a thing. It’s just what I called myself as I skip through the World Showcase conquering one county after the other. I HIGHLY recommended you go INSIDE each pavilion at Epcot. Don’t let the snack carts fool you, the best food and drinks are inside each country. UNLESS you find yourself in Epcot during the Holidays or during a festival, DO check out the seasonal carts. These delicious seasonal treats can only be found during that time of the year.
And of course, make sure you are being responsible and keep in mind Disney is a family place. Everyone is there to have a good time. As an added bonus, Epcot usually has a wonderfully entertaining concert series planned around each time of the year.
Undisturbed naps. No kids, no pets, no worries. I like to go back to the room during the crazy Florida heat or that time of day when it seems like every child is simultaneously having a meltdown…. go and nap. Or watch tv, swim in the pool or tour the resort. Disney resorts are full of magic many people overlook. Especially Disney naps under a sparkling head board in a Royal Room at Port Orleans Riverside.
Just Be a Kid Again
While I love doing the previously mentioned activities for adults, every now and then it feels great to just act like a kid! So, put on your Mickey ears (or in my case sparkly Minnie ears that match my outfit), eat ALL the mickey shaped snacks and ride your favorite ride. I think the best times to do this are early in the morning or late at night. You can even get your picture made with your favorite character too. My favorite character to talk to is the Mad Hatter – he is hilarious! My favorite place to find characters is at Epcot. Make sure to pick up a times guide when you enter any of the 4 parks and you will find the time & location of the character experiences at that park.
Add on Extras
There’s a never-ending amount of things for you to do, and if you want to branch out beyond the traditional park days, here are some other adult-only things you can experience:
Spa day— There are three spas you can enjoy at Walt Disney World. The Madara Spa at the Walt Disney World Dolphin, the spa at Saratoga Springs, and the spa at the Grand Floridian. Each one has a different vibe, but all offer days of relaxation from mani/pedis to facials, or massages. And of course, the service at each one is top-notch. Take some time in you trip to relax and pamper yourself!
Golf— There are four golf courses to try out in Walt Disney World– Disney’s Palm, Magnolia, Lake Buena Vista, and Oak Trail golf courses. Each one offers a different experience, but allows you to take some time out of the hustle and bustle of the parks to relax on the links.
Special Tours— If you’re looking to do something structured but unique, check out one of the amazing tours offered by Disney! In EPCOT you can do the Seas Aqua Tour and learn some behind the scenes facts about the Living Seas. You can even SCUBA dive or swim with the dolphins! If you love animals, check out the Backstage Tales tour at Animal Kingdom. The ultimate tour is the Keys to the Kingdom tour where you can learn and see everything you’ve ever wondered about WDW.
So, as you can see I have tons of fun tips and a lot of experience creating a Disney itinerary just for adults. I have worked with all kinds of “adults only” trips including: girls weekend, bachelorette/ bachelor party, honeymoon, baby moon, romantic getaway, or “momma just needs a break” trip. If you want help planning your Disney trip, contact me – I am happy to help!
You can see pictures from my many adults only trips to Disney World on my Instagram account or facebook page. On insta @sleepingbeauty_travels and facebook @disneybysam.
So – now, I want to know… is Disney World really JUST for kids? Let me know what you would want to do at Disney on an Adults only trip.
Looking for information on your next Disney vacation (with or without the kids)? Head HERE so we can chat!