Psst…. Excuse me…Yes you! Can you keep a secret? Did you know that Walt Disney World has a hidden side to it that few people know about? Would you believe that adults flock to Walt Disney World by the thousands WITHOUT their children? In fact, it is the number one honeymoon destination in the world! My husband and I honeymooned there many years ago and have since been back sans kiddos eight times! Whether you are looking for a romantic night out, a girl’s weekend or even a solo trip, I’ve got some great ideas for Walt Disney World’s adult visitors. While you are no doubt familiar with its famous attractions, larger than life characters and over the top entertainment, you may not know about some of its most amazing offerings. Walt Disney World has five-star dining, rare wines, PGA golf courses, relaxing massages – all just a magical monorail ride away!
Is it OK to enjoy myself without the kids?
Don’t worry, you won’t get your “World’s Best Parent” title revoked (Far from it)! I am a firm believer that parents need some alone time – whether it be a week away or just a few hours. Of course, folks without children will enjoy Walt Disney World as well!
If you need some time alone without the kids, don’t worry! Walt Disney World Resort hotels offer some amazing kids clubs for children ages three to 12. You don’t have to stay at the resort to use the kids facilities. The Cast Members in charge are highly trained and have tons of fun with the kiddos. In fact, you may not be able to tear your kids away when it is time to go home! If you would rather have a sitter visit your resort hotel room, or even travel with you to the parks, call Kid’s Nite Out at 1-407-828-0920. Disney has collaborated with these folks and come highly recommended!
When to go?
If you prefer to keep your interaction with the younger set as limited as possible, I have a couple of hints. First, avoid Walt Disney World if kids are out of school. This includes ALL holidays and the summer months. If I could pick the perfect time to visit WDW, I would shoot for late fall or early winter. These dates have fabulous weather, low crowds and two of my favorite events: the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. You can typically pick up some great deals at this time as well!
A bed fit for a queen!
Once you’ve set your dates, it is time to pick your resort. Generally speaking, kids are everywhere at Walt Disney World! However, some resorts have a higher adult to child ratio than others. Of the Value Resorts, All Star Music tends to have the fewest number of children – particularly the more remote rooms. Over at the Moderate Resorts, Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter wins hands down! The resort is so quaint and absolutely gorgeous. With horse drawn carriage rides offered nightly, it rivals many Deluxe Resorts. Coronado Springs is a close runner up, with stunning grounds and a fantastic little nightclub, Rix, right off the main lobby!
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort is one of my top picks for adults looking for a romantic getaway! Another great spot for adults can be found at the Yacht and Beach Club Resorts. These sister hotels are within walking distance to Epcot and a short boat ride to Hollywood Studios. They share the BEST pool on Disney property – I have fabulous memories of sipping a tropical beverage while wiggling my toes in the sand. Yes, sand! The resort’s pool, Stormalong Bay, has a sand covered bottom with a lazy river meandering through the middle. Quite honestly, all of the Deluxe Resorts are the ultimate home away from home for adults of all ages!
Do you want fries with that?
No doubt, you can find some of the best burgers, ice cream and hot dogs on the planet at Walt Disney World, but what else? So glad you asked! Even at the quick service restaurants, you can find everything from fish and chips to sushi – and everything in between! If you are looking for a great quick service meal that has a decidedly more adult menu, I highly recommend Wolfgang Puck Express in Downtown Disney. If you are on the Disney Dining Plan, this is a fantastic value, as some of the entrées run around $14- you get a lot of bang for your dining plan buck!
Of course, the truly fabulous meals are those found in the award winning table service restaurants. These restaurants tend to cater to a more adult crowd, particularly at night. One of my absolute favorite restaurants is Jiko – The Cooking Place in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. The food is out of this world and has the service to match. Other wonderful options for adults include California Grill, Restaurant Marrakesh, Narcoossee’s, Artist’s Point, Bistro de Paris, Citricos and the ultimate – Victoria & Albert’s in the Grand Floridian Resort. With only 50 seats, this intimate restaurant offers candle light, roses and even personalized menus. Worth every penny!
In addition to traditional dining, adults also have the opportunity to take advantage of special dining events. Nowhere else on the planet will you have the chance to dine with an Imagineer! On select dates, you can enjoy a wonderful four course meal at either the Hollywood Brown Derby or Flying Fish Café, while chatting up a true Disney expert. Imagine asking all of your questions regarding the design of the parks and having them answered by a person who is right in the middle of the magic! Or if wine is more your thing, I highly suggest the Flying Fish Café’s Chef’s Tasting Wine Dinner. Strolling along the Boardwalk outside would be the ideal way to end the evening!
Wait, there’s more!
As if four major theme parks aren’t enough, please don’t forget the entire “world” outside the “World.” Walt Disney World is also home to two water parks, four golf courses and an entire venue dedicated to entertainment, dining and shopping. But did you know that you can also take in a spectacular performance of a Cirque du Soliel original? Feel the need for speed– I’ve gotcha covered! Why not hop in an exotic car and race down the track at the Richard Petty Speedway? A somewhat slower mode of transportation is also available – Segways! These super cool personal transporters are available for tours at both Epcot and at Fort Wilderness Resort. It’s hard to imagine, but a huge portion of the tours at WDW are only open to guests ages 16 and older. Of course, this is great news for adults who are looking for a little quiet time!
When you are ready to relax, look no further than the spas at Walt Disney World! All of the spas on property are absolutely fabulous and I’m ashamed to admit that I have spent many an hour melting away in the very capable hands of these miracle workers! Private yachts, VIP tour guides, romantic in-room decorations and more are also available for those who are looking for that extra something special. If you can dream it, you can do it at Walt Disney World!
Well, I hope that I have convinced you that Walt Disney World is most assuredly, not just for kids. So what are you waiting for? Grab your honey by the hand and join the millions of adults who will enjoy the most magical place on Earth this year!
– Jackie from Disney’s Moms Panel