I spent my 50th Birthday at Walt Disney World. Yes, you read that correctly. And I went with three of my girlfriends. And we had a blast! Walt Disney World is truly for kids of all ages! I know it sounds crazy, but an adult only trip to Walt Disney World can be a lot of fun! It just takes a bit planning to pick the right time and book some additional Disney experiences and you can easily adult up the getaway.
When To Visit
Anytime is really a great time to go to Walt Disney World. That said, for an adult only trip, there are a few times to avoid at all costs and a few really great times to plan your trip.
First of all, avoid as much as you can visiting during school breaks. The Christmas holidays, spring break, the week after schools get out, and fall teacher weeks are not when you should plan your visit. Seriously, the parks will be filled with families and very crowded.
The best times to get the full benefits is when there are special events happening. This way you get to experience much more than the normal offerings of the park. Two of our favorites are the Food and Wine Festival and the Flower Show. Both shows offer cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, and other opportunities to sign up for. There are also additional food and drink stands and many of the restaurants offer special menus at Epcot for the festivals and shows.
Where To Stay
Walt Disney World Resorts offer a great diversity of places to stay for every budget and every desire. In fact, they have over 25 unique hotels. You can do it in many ways, which I have done. You can choose to stay on property and take advantage of all the benefits of being so close. But staying on property also comes with rooms that are a bit smaller and lots and lots of families. Or you can choose to stay off property and then get transportation like shuttles to get you to the parks.
If planning your trip around one of the Epcot special events, stay at one of the Walt Disney World Resorts on property like the Beach Club or Four Seasons. If you would prefer a more mid-level priced resort, stay at the Boardwalk. We prefer the concierge or club floors at the resorts as there tends to be less chaos. The other benefits to staying on-site are that certain resorts offer special programs. Animal Kingdom lodge offers a sunrise safari to those who would like to sign up who are on the concierge floor. The Grand Floridian is also another great adult only option especially when you take advantage of the spa.
There are also a big benefits to staying off-site like a big comfy suite at the Waldorf Astoria or Ritz. If you get a big enough suite, your whole crew can stay there and you can dance all night. You can either use the transportation they provide, take an Uber, or the hotels can arrange transportation. I like to book one of these hotels through our travel agent. That way, we are able to get benefits like free breakfasts and $100 towards food, drink, or spa, plus a room upgrade.
The other benefit to the off-site hotels is less kids. I mean we love kids of all ages, but having adult time sometimes means less kids and a little less Mickey over load. At both the Waldorf and the Ritz, you can enjoy a cabana by the pool, a spa afternoon, a wonderful dinner, and a great time in a spacious room, all while enjoying Walt Disney World.
Another gem we found recently was the Hilton at Disney Springs. The rooms are big so you have lots of room to spread out. The added bonus is that it is a short walk to Disney Springs with tons of restaurants and entertainment.
What To Do
There is so much to do at Disney World and multiple parks to choose from. You won't be able to cover it all. You will have to either choose your favorites at the parks along with which parks and go from there. We do, however, have some rides you shouldn't miss.
The Magic Kingdom is where you have to turn back to your inner child and do all the rides. Riding the Tea Cups as an adult it s totally different experience! On the Seven Dwarf Mine Train - sing out loud and sing our song! Splash Mountain in the middle of the day is still the best way to cool down no matter how old you are. Then, you have to do the classic Peter Pan or just decide to hit all of the roller coasters and scream your heads off. Be sure to eat at Casey's and share a foot long hot dog with a friend.
Epcot is my favorite adult park. This is also where the special events are held. We always first do Test Track, where you design your own concept car and then go for a spin. Next, we head over to Soarin' and maybe do it twice. After we ride these classics, we head on back to Countries and spend our day and night eating, drinking, and enjoying the exhibits. We tend to go back to Epcot a few times during our stay for both the rides and drinks around the world. There is nothing wrong with a little bubbly in France in the morning and beer in Germany at noon. Do like the locals, right?
Hollywood Studios is usually the park we spend the least about of time in. We head over to ride Rock 'n Roller Coaster, Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, and then sit and enjoy a meal at the Brown Derby. There are some great shows to catch and other rides as well, but this is the one park, if time does not permit, we skip.
For an all out adult good time, head over to Disney Springs. We like to visit once for the shopping and again for the entertainment. From all of your favorite designers to gifts to bring home and jewelry, you'll find items you might not be able to find other places simply because it is Walt Disney World. There is something for everyone at Disney Springs.
We enjoy booking a table for lunch at one of our favorites like the Polite Pig or Paddlefish. Once we take all our shopping bags back to our hotel room, have a little rest and get dressed for the evening, it is off for some fun. We love to start with a cocktail at any of the bars and enjoy some of the wonderful live entrainment all around Disney Springs. Our favorites for dinner are Morimoto Asia or the Boathouse. Once dinner is complete, the night is yours to enjoy how you like. You can dance, listen to the blues, see a show, go bowling, and so much more!
Our two big pieces of advice are...Plan in advance where you want to have lunch and dinner and make reservations. Also, pre-book tickets for any shows you want to see.
Animal Kingdom is the most overlooked park by adults. I suggest always starting the day on the Avitar ride. It is right now my favorite ride and has everything to do with the thrill of the ride as well as the screams of my girlfriends who rode it for the first time when we were there this past summer. Once you have that under your belt, I have to say just start and ride every ride in Animal Kingdom and be sure to pick a night there that the Animal Kingdom stay open after dark because the rides and sites are entirely new in the dark. One last love we have at Animal Kingdom is the Dole Whip with Rum! Not to be missed.
In addition to all the special events throughout the year at Walt Disney World, there are experiences that happen year-round that are perfect for an adults only trip. We especially love the options that offer before or after-hours park experiences when the crowds are gone. We love having more space, less strollers, and seeing the park from a totally different perspective. Plus, you can step it up a notch with some luxury experiences like these.
Want to see the fireworks, enjoy some bubbly, and savor some sweet desserts...all without the crowds? Then, book a dessert cruise! You have the option to book spaces on a boat or booking the entire boat. Outstanding either way.
In-Park Dessert Parties
We loved celebrating my 50th at an In-Park Dessert Party at the Magic Kingdom. We chose the late dessert party option. We were first seated in a comfy grassy area where we would enjoy the world famous Disney World fireworks. We had purchased some snacks to enjoy before and during the display. When the fireworks were over, we were escorted to the dessert party. There were so many options and the staff were so much fun. A big plus was that leaving the park was a breeze, because there were no crowds.
When traveling with adults to Walt Disney World, the Chef's Table at either Victoria & Albert's, Flying Fish, or at Citricos restaurants are amazing experiences. You will have such fun and taste fabulous dishes. You will be impressed whether you are a foodie or not. The highlight for us at the Chef's Table is the ability to talk directly with the chefs about the kitchen, food, and Disney.
Wild Africa Trek
Whether booking an early morning safari or the Wild Africa Trek, you will not be disappointed. We have enjoyed both. With the pre-park safari, afterwards you'll have breakfast in the park as part of the tour. We also were true kids on the Trek. The Animal Kingdom Trek is one of our favorites by far.
Highway in the Sky Dine-Around
This new addition is one we are looking forward to checking out. Our fiends loved it! This is a progressive dinner and drinks at restaurants around the monorail.
Disney After Hours
This is the way to do Disney! It is the best and we highly recommend it whenever possible! We enjoyed our Disney After Hours at the Magic Kingdom. When the fireworks finished, we put on our passes and enjoyed the rides with no lines, often staying on them for a second and third ride. The added bonus was the treats and we enjoyed them all...Disney Mickey Ice-Cream, Popcorn and, of course, cocktails. We stayed at the park until the minute the After Hours closed.
So, the next time you're planning a girlfriend getaway, a birthday celebration, or an escape with your hubby, think the unlikely... think Walt Disney World.