Walt Disney World is known as a premier vacation destination for families, but adults without kids can have a blast there as well! From exciting rides to fine dining and entertainment, Disney is an ideal destination for an adults-only vacation. We recommend the following tips to help you get the most out of your adults-only Disney vacation! Do you have other suggestions? Please share them in the comments section below!
1. Drink (or eat) around the world at Epcot
Whether you enjoy beer, wine, or mixed drinks, you must set aside an afternoon or evening of your trip to drink around the world at Epcot Center. Each pavilion in the World Showcase has unique themed beverages for sale at a variety of kiosks, quick-service restaurants, and bars. You can get tequila shots or delicious margaritas in Mexico, sake in Japan, authentic German beers, and even the famous frozen Gran Marnier orange slush in France, among many others! Choose a few that sound most interesting and make your way around World Showcase, exploring the shops and attractions in between drinks. If alcoholic beverages aren’t your thing, you can do a culinary tour instead and sample the delicious treats that each pavilion has to offer!
2. Ride the classics
Remember the rides you loved as a kid? It’s A Small World, Mad Tea Party, etc.? Just because you are grown up doesn’t mean you have to pass on the classic Disney attractions. One of the reasons Disney is so popular is that most of the rides are enjoyable for people of all ages, even the non-thrill rides. So don’t be scared off by thinking something is a “kiddie” attraction – we promise you won’t be the only adults without children in line and you won’t regret taking the time to ride these classics! If you enjoyed Disney World as a kid, it’s a great way to connect with those memories as well!
3. Use the single rider lines
A few of the most exciting rides at Disney World – Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run, Test Track, Expedition Everest, and the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster – have single rider lines. They draw from this line to fill empty spots in the cars, so it typically moves MUCH faster than the standby line. If you don’t mind being in a different car than the other members of your party, then this is a great option for you! If you want to ride together once (for a cool ride photo, or just for the experience), you can always hop in the single rider line for your second go!
4. Enjoy a spa, golf, or shopping day
While the focus at Disney World is on the theme parks, there are plenty of other activities for adults on property. And if you like to have some variety in your vacation, then you should definitely take advantage of these options. Several of the Disney Resorts offer full service spas (the Yacht Club, Saratoga Springs, and Grand Floridian among others) with services that will be sure to help you relax into vacation mode! If you’d rather be active, there are four golf courses on property as well as options for renting watercraft and fishing. Disney Springs offers a great option for those who love to shop, with a great mix of Disney and non-Disney themed stores.
5. Get Park-Hopper tickets
While these are a little more expensive, they give you the option of visiting multiple parks in one day. This means that if you want to spend the day at Animal Kingdom, which often closes earlier than some of the other parks, you can then head to another park for the evening festivities (Happily Ever After, Epcot Forever, Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular, etc.). The great benefit for adults is that it allows you to head to Epcot for dinner several times without having to spend the whole day there. Epcot has the most sit-down dining options of any of the parks, and there are probably a few that you will want to try. Some have a romantic atmosphere (San Angel Inn and Le Cellier among others) so if you’re traveling as a couple you’ll definitely want to check them out!
6. Plan your trip around a festival or concert, and NOT during school breaks
Unless you’re a teacher, it’s likely that you will have flexibility with your travel dates and can avoid school vacations. This will ensure that you’re visiting at lower-volume times of year when hotels are less expensive, lines are shorter, and the experience is generally more enjoyable. You can also plan around a specific festival or event to make the trip even more special. Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival in the fall, Flower and Garden Festival in the spring, Festival of the Holidays in winter, or Festival of Arts in late winter, are great times for adults to visit. They have special events, music, classes, and food and definitely spice up the Epcot experience. You could also plan around a concert at the House of Blues at Disney Springs, which is an intimate venue that often features national acts.
7. Check out the nightlife at the Boardwalk and Disney Springs
Our top pick for nighttime entertainment is Jellyrolls at the Boardwalk. Just a short walk from the International Gateway entrance of Epcot, Jellyrolls is an energetic dueling pianos bar that does not disappoint. Atlantic Dance Hall, Abracadabar, and ESPN Club are other great options at the Boardwalk. Disney Springs has a number of bars to choose from, and Raglan Road is a highlight. It’s modeled after an authentic Irish Pub, with antique bars that were actually imported from Ireland. With indoor and outdoor bar areas and live contemporary and traditional Irish music, it’s a great place to wind down or party!
8. Use a Fastpass+ for a Character Greeting
You may be thinking this sounds silly, and at one point I would have too. But if you haven’t been to the parks in a while, you’ll probably be surprised to find that it is really hard to see or interact with characters without standing in REALLY long lines. Even in the low season, lines for some of the characters can average an hour or more. Character Greetings offer an opportunity for great photos (even for adults!) and the characters really take the time to interact with you to create a memorable experience. This is one of those things that is unique to Disney and a trip just isn’t the same without it. But really, who wants to wait in an hour line with all the tired kids? Use a Fastpass+ for the character greeting that is most appealing to you and you will get to have this memorable experience without the long wait!
9. Take a break in the middle of the day
You will probably see this same advice on lists of tips for families with young kids, but it is just as applicable on an adults only trip! The middle of the afternoon is both the hottest part of the day AND the time when lines are longest. On top of that, many families don’t take the advice, so you can run into some cranky kids who are missing their nap time! Overall, it is not the most pleasant time to be in the parks. It is a great time to relax by the pool, have a late lunch at one of the Disney resorts, or take a nap in your air-conditioned hotel room! A mid-day shower provides a great energy boost so you can enjoy the parks at night. If you stay at one of the Magic Kingdom area resorts (The Contemporary, Grand Floridian, Polynesian, Wilderness Lodge) or Epcot Area Resorts (Yacht and Beach Club, Boardwalk, Swan and Dolphin), it is especially easy to pop over to your hotel for a break in the middle of the day!
10. Take advantage of your free designated driver
If you and your travel partners enjoy drinking, Disney has a lot of fun options for you (see #1 and #7 above). It’s also really easy to plan a Disney vacation where you never need to drive, especially if you are staying in a Disney Resort. Disney offers free transportation between each of its resorts and all of the major attractions, including Disney Springs. This transportation runs pretty late into the night, so even if you want to close down Raglan Road you will have a ride waiting to take you back to your hotel. Staying in the Epcot Resort area (Yacht and Beach Club, Boardwalk, Swan and Dolphin) is also great for adults as you can walk back to your hotel room after enjoying the bars in World Showcase or on the boardwalk.