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A Grown Up's Guide to Walt Disney World

A Grown Up's Guide to Walt Disney World | CosmosMariners.com

So many people think that Walt Disney World equals a kids' only zone.

But let me assure you: it is not.

You can be a perfectly respectable adult and still enjoy the House of Mouse sans kids (don't they need to go visit Grandma and Pops anyway?). As an adult, I've been to Disney no fewer than eight times without any kids--I just hopped on the parent train 18 months ago--and I've had a fantastic time on all of those trips.

I'm in Disney World, and I can do whatever I want!

How do you carve out some adult space in the place that's a kid's dream come true? It's easy!

1) Take advantage of the school calendar. Fall, winter, and early spring are all great times to visit since the majority of kids will be in school. And if the kids can't come, there won't be any family vacations happening. September, early November, January, February, late April, and early May are all great times to go if you want fewer crowds and less kids around. Just double check when popular fall breaks, winter breaks, and spring breaks occur, or you'll be swarmed by fresh-from-school kids.

2) Stay up past bedtime. Most kids will rise early and hit the sack before the nighttime parade. Crowds start thinning out after the evening show (this will vary on the park), so use that remaining hour or two before the park closes to go for a spin on your favorite ride. If you stay on property, take advantage of the Extra Magic Hours (free for resort guests), which can often extend your fun until the wee hours of the morning. You're an adult--you don't have to worry about your mom getting you up the next morning!

3) Embrace the inner kid. No matter when you visit, there will be children of all ages around you. Accept that there will be tantrums, spilled ice creams, and exhausted princesses at every park. However, having that much youth around you is freeing: they certainly won't judge you if you start dancing at the afternoon parade, tear up at the Wishes fireworks show, or don your very own pirate Mickey ears. Loosen up, wear something you never would back home, take some pictures, and enjoy the magic.

My sister sporting her sparkly Minnie ears in Epcot's Mexico.

4) Hit up Downtown Disney. With restaurants, shops, and shows, Downtown Disney is a great place to enjoy the Disney atmosphere if you don't want to brave the parks. The themed restaurants such as Rainforest Cafe and T-Rex Cafe are full of kitschy, over-the-top fun. While many of the shops have cartoon-focused toys and clothing, you can find some more subtle Disney wear at Tren-D and in the women's and men's sections of World of Disney. Downtown Disney also has plenty of fun date night options including Cirque du Soleil, a bowling alley, and a movie theatre.

5) Use your 21+ privileges. Hands off, kiddos! Enjoy an adult beverage while visiting the World Showcase in Epcot, or sidle on up to one of the bars in Downtown Disney. With craft beers from around the world to your favorite fruity cocktail, Disney's got you covered if you're over 21.

6) Class things up with a visit to one of the high-end dining spots on Disney property. There are plenty of romantic spots for couples who want an incredible dining experience. The Victoria and Albert at the Grand Floridian is a five star restaurant with a prix fixe menu. The Contemporary's California Grill offers gorgeous views of Bay Lake and the Magic Kingdom (book at night for an unforgettable perspective on the fireworks!). Sample traditional African fare at Sanaa (Animal Kingdom Lodge), or learn to hula at the Spirit of Aloha dinner show (Polynesian).

7) Spurge on a fun couples-only extra. Afternoon tea, spa treatments, a round of golf, or a fishing adventure are all activities that you can do with your significant other while at Disney World. And best of all, other than the tea, these are all pre-booked, single party experiences, so you will have time to relax with just the two of you.


Most of these activities would be fun for a sisters' trip, a sorority reunion, a family reunion, or a trip with friends.

Have you visited Walt Disney World (or Disneyland) without your kids?
Orlando Discounted Theme Parks and Attractions - Florida Ticket Station