Disney World Florida is the place where dreams come true. Originally opened in 1965, just a year before Walt Disney’s death, this magical theme park metropolis is a true love story to the Disney empire, encapsulating all the excitement and possibility that Disney’s films have brought to the screen for countless generations. Yet, when most of us consider visiting Disney, we assume that we’ll need to take the kids along to have a good time.
In reality, though, far from being solely a family resort, Disney World offers something for everyone, adults included! Doing Disney childless could actually see you at the cutting edge of a millennial trend that sees just 36.7% of guests bringing kids along for the ride these days. Whether you don’t have kids or are just looking to escape them for a few quiet days (though maybe don’t tell them where you’re headed!) you’re guaranteed to be spoiled for choice in this Florida hotspot, and likely soaked in sun while you get stuck in.
The only difficulty is that, in most instances, planning guides for a Disney adventure consider solely kid-friendly activities. This can leave some questions about what a well-planned adults-only trip looks like to this favorite destination. Here, we’re going to answer those questions in full by considering every aspect of your mature, but equally exciting, Disney visit.
Where should you stay?
While you don’t have anything against kids or their right to enjoy the Disney magic, the chances are that you don’t want to book a hotel like the Art of Animation Resort. These themed options are typically tailored towards kids, and come complete with plenty of screaming excitable children to boot. That’s fine when your kids are among the rabble shouting away, but for single pringles and childless parents, the excitable screeches that accompany kid’s entertainment and visits from much-loved Disney characters could destroy vacation calm altogether. Not to mention that things like themed rooms can feel a little lackluster when there are no children around to appreciate them (unless that’s your thing, in which case go ahead!)
Luckily, a growing trend in adult-only Disney trips is driving a wide range of adult-friendly resorts that, while not always entirely kid-free, certainly don’t inhabit quite the same excitable, and noise-inducing atmospheres. Some hotels that are especially worth considering for a peaceful, adult trip include –
- Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
Commonly voted as Disney’s best adult destination, Saratoga Springs offers next-level luxury in surprisingly close proximity to the park and all its amenities (just a short walk or boat ride.) Despite this, the destination offers unfounded comfort through on-site fitness centers, hot tubs, and even a spa, all nestled between rolling golf courses and one of Disney’s wonderful lakes.
- Disney’s Beach Club Resort
Also much-loved for its proximity to central Disney locations like EPCOT, Disney’s Beach Club Resort is hailed by everyone but offers some special appeal for adults thanks to everything from an on-site health club to nail and hair salons.
- Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
As the oldest Disney resort, the Grand Floridian offers something of the Victorian in its theming and feel, providing live orchestra music, classy dining options, and a full-service spa. Paired with views of Cinderella’s Castle over in Magic Kingdom, this resort will definitely see you putting your feet up in style.
What should you see?
Of course, while it is crucial to choose the best resort for your needs, this is just a stop-gap to what truly matters on this trip – your Disney experience itself. After all, the parks are most likely why you want to visit, and these, too, can be a veritable feast for the adult visitor.
Obviously, to some extent, there is no ‘adult/kid’ differentiation, and every ride in Disney (with few exceptions) offers opportunities of fun for all, especially classics like Space Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean. That said, in keeping with your ‘adult only’ planning, there are some areas that may speak to you more than others. Two parks that are especially likely to catch your attention and interest during your stay include –
Often considered the best theme park for adults across Disneyland, EPCOT’s focus on showcasing different cultures can provide a fun educational element to your day that kids might not fully be able to grasp or enjoy, especially during its year-round cultural food festivals. Culture isn’t the only thing on offer here, either, and EPCOT attractions ranked highly for adult enjoyment include:
- Living with the Land
- Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival
- Test Track
- And more
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Disney’s Hollywood Studios also offers fun for those adults who love the films as much as the rides, offering a closer insight into film production and inner workings, alongside some purely fun rides. Recent additions like Toy Story Land and Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge have especially seen Hollywood Studios rising up the ranks for those looking to get stuck into timeless Disney classics, meaning that this should feature on your must-see list.
The best places to eat
Food plays as much a part in any Disney trip as the parks themselves, and an impressive 160 full-service restaurants across the park ensure that there are dining choices to suit everyone, from fun quick-fire food to fine dining. Themed restaurants like Storytellers Cafe and Tortilla Jo’s are a fun experience worth delving into once during your visit, but the high-energy themed buffets in Storytellers Cafe, especially, might get a little hectic for the standard childless meal out (and trust us, there will be plenty of kids!) Instead, there are some more adult restaurants worth considering to offer some slightly calmer dining experiences. Obviously, it would be impossible to list them all here, but some clear favorites include –
- Mama Melrose’s: Tucked away in Hollywood Studios, this Italian restaurant offers a slightly off-the-beaten-track eating opportunity, taken to the next level by top dishes like shrimp campanelle, cannoli, and calamari.
- Be Our Guest: The French-inspired menu at Animal Kingdom’s Be Our Guest is guaranteed to get adult tastes tingling with dishes such as croque madame, charred octopus and, of course, escargot.
- Monsieur Paul: In keeping with the French theme, EPCOT (considered the best park for adult dining) brings true fine dining to life at Monsieur Paul’s, where crab legs, beef tenderloin, and a range of delicate cakes and pastries are guaranteed to go down a treat.
EPCOT’s various annual food festivals also offer some treats for the senses that adults are guaranteed to enjoy, especially at the dedicated food and wine festival that showcases the best tastes from across 6 continents.
What about a bit of shopping?
If you’re visiting for a week or more, the chances are that you’ll want to break up your theme park days with something a little more relaxing. Few things can be better for that than a day or two of shopping, and Disney World definitely offers some fantastic options there, too. At Disney Springs, especially, 100s of unique shops offer far more than simply Disney apparel (not that there’s anything wrong with that!) In fact, this recently renovated shopping hub includes a range of top brands that adult guests are sure to love, such as –
- American Threads
- Edward Beiner Fine Eyewear
- And more
Of course, this being Disney World, a trip here can also see you enjoying plenty of must-have Disney memories at stores like Disney Style, Wonderful Word of Memories, and Pin Traders among others. And this isn’t even the only shopping opportunity on offer, with each park also including hidden shopping gems worth looking out for!
Not forgetting nightlife
While in-hotel entertainment and early nights are on the cards for most kiddies visiting Disney World, adult vacations often come to life once the sun goes down. Though the only onsite nightclub, Pleasure Island, did close down a few years ago, Disney definitely doesn’t disappoint in this respect either. In fact, with some of the so-called best-themed bars in the world, there’s more than enough here to keep you entertained once the sun goes down and the kids are tucked away.
Obviously, in-resort entertainment isn’t for kids only, and late-night options in key locations like The Boardwalk and Mizner’s Lounge are popular choices for a slightly older crowd. In a more general sense, some top Disney World bars worth keeping an eye out for include –
- Jock Lindsay’s Hangar Bar
- The Edison
- Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar
- And more
Wrapping up your trip
So, there you have it – a guide to Disney World that proves precisely why this is becoming such a hot spot for adult-only stays. Even better, with the vast majority of guests now visiting without kids, these options are only set to keep on growing. And, of course, you no longer have to feel like the odd one out for not having kids by your side. You can just get stuck in, get in touch with your inner innocence, and enjoy a vacation like no other!