From the moment I first stepped into the Magic Kingdom as a kid, I was hooked on the thrills and enchantments offered in Disney’s theme parks! In the thirty or so years since then, the magic has never dwindled for me, and my visits to the parks have only increased as I’ve gotten older.
As fate would have it, I have grown up to be a childless millennial, so unless I’m traveling with friends or family who have them, I often visit Walt Disney World with no kids!
When Walt Disney began dreaming of building a theme park, it was to have a place that appealed to both children and adults alike. There may be some folks out there who think that Disney parks are only suitable for those who are traveling with kids, but in my experience, that couldn’t be further from the truth! Whether you’re traveling with youngsters or just those who are young at heart, there is plenty of magic and fun to go around for everyone!
Here are five of my favorite reasons to enjoy a trip to Disney World as an adult without children!
1. TRAVEL DATES & PACKING:
Because it’s a destination for so many families with children, Disney World tends to be busiest at the times of year when kids are out of school. Spring, summer, and winter breaks tend to be some of the most popular, but when you’re traveling without kids, you can choose your travel dates a little more freely. In fact, sometimes, it can be easier to snag vacation time from your workplace when choosing dates that aren’t in high demand for your colleagues with children. This can mean the chance of seeing not only lower crowds, but possibly lower prices!
I may be a single woman without kids, but I am still a notorious over-packer! If I had to pack my own items along with kids’ costumes, swim accessories, toys, and diapers, I can’t even imagine how many suitcases I would be lugging through the airport! Only having to worry about packing for myself and managing a single suitcase during travels is a much easier task and also results in less laundry when returning home!
When it comes time to pack a park bag, I like to travel light, and this can be challenging when you’ve got kids in tow. When you don’t have a stroller and large bag to manage, only carrying the essentials you need for the day, or even not carrying a bag at all, it can be a true weight off your shoulders!
As I’m sure many parents reading will understand, trying to persuade a child who has made up their mind on something isn’t always the easiest thing. If your kiddo has their heart set on riding Dumbo and you try pulling them away from the line so you can make it to your lunch reservation in time, there’s a chance that you experience a less-than-magical meltdown.
When your travel party is made up of adults, switching up your plans can be simpler.
If the weather changes or a ride closes unexpectedly, it’s definitely easier to explain to another grown-up why visiting their favorite attraction or character is no longer possible. Not only that but if members of your adults-only group want to split up and try different things, you can do so without worrying about who’s going to watch the kids!
The amount of walking, lengthy lineups, and long days of a Disney vacation can be challenging for visitors of any age. For a grown-up, however, who is used to getting up early for work and not going to bed until midnight, it’s easier to acclimate your internal clock if you plan a Disney day that’s go-go-go from rope drop until the park closes.
Besides, if you’re traveling without little ones and have a late-night, you can always choose to sleep-in the next day or spend the day lounging by your resort pool instead of rushing back to a park!
When we think of a Disney vacation, typically we imagine rushing around the parks, but this doesn’t have to be the case! Beyond the theme parks, Disney World has a lot to offer, particularly for grown-up visitors!
Some of the DVC resorts are home to world-class spas (these may be temporarily closed during the initial phases of WDW’s reopening plan) and golf courses, which can be a great way to relax while still making magical memories.
I also enjoy the specialty tours when traveling without youngsters, which can otherwise be tricky as some of the tours don’t allow young children.
Spending a day snacking and shopping till I drop at Disney Springs is another way I like to spend some time when traveling without little ones. There are so many stores to explore which are geared to adult shoppers, and we all know that most kids aren’t keen to spend time leisurely browsing boutiques!
4. RESTAURANTS, LOUNGES, & NIGHTLIFE:
If you get hungry while exploring Disney Springs with your group of grown-ups, you’re in luck! There are numerous dining options to choose from, including restaurants such as STK Orlando and Wine Bar George, which are perfect for adult visitors. Live entertainment can also be found at The Edison, Raglan Road, and the House of Blues Music Hall.
Many other resorts also feature world-class dining. California Grill at the Contemporary Resort, Jiko at Animal Kingdom Lodge, and Narcoossee’s at the Grand Floridian are just a few examples of incredible Signature Dining found on property. The Grand Floridian is also home to Victoria & Albert’s, which has been the recipient of the AAA Five Diamond Award since 2000 and is a popular choice for a romantic date night or special occasion celebration.
Did you know that if you search the word “lounge” on the Disney World website, it will provide you with more than 100 results?!
Chances are, you won’t need to leave your resort to raise a glass or enjoy a small bite from a cute and cozy watering hole! The Enchanted Rose at the Grand Floridian is just one example of a fantastic lounge found at a DVC resort.
5. REDISCOVERING THE MAGIC:
This is honestly my favorite reason of them all! As an adult, it can be very easy to get caught up in the chores and responsibilities that life brings your way. For those of us without children of our own, it can be easy to forget that childlike awe, innocence, and need to play. Disney vacations have a great way of shifting our grown-up mindset, reminding us to look for the magic in all situations and to celebrate all that life has to offer!
Whether you’re traveling with children or not, when you visit Walt Disney World, you start to recover the bright-eyed wonder with which you once looked at the world around you. My inner child jumps for joy when I start planning another trip! I can’t wait to pop on my Minnie ears, take silly photos with my favorite characters, and flit from ride to ride without a care in the world! When I return to everyday life afterward, that same inner child is renewed and inspired, reminding me of the balance I need – playing hard is just as important as working hard!
Knowing that I am in for top-notch resorts, dining, entertainment, and service and that I can truly focus on fun, adopting the Hakuna Matata motto for a while are just a few of many reasons I return to Disney year after year. There is no age limit for fun, and as Walt Disney brilliantly said: “Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, dreams are forever.”