In the popular Disney boards and fan sites I participate in (yes, that IS a thing), I often see adults asking if it’s “weird” to do Disney without kids.
TLDR: NO. YOU MUST GO TO DISNEY WITHOUT KIDS! I REPEAT: THIS IS A MUST DO!
In short, the answer is absolutely not! In fact, that’s how Marc and I started going to Disney. While he traveled there during his childhood, I didn’t get to experience the magic until he and I planned my first trip when we were 19.
(Does this ruin my reputation? Sheesh. I hope not.)
In fact, out of the double digit trips we’ve taken, only TWO of them have been with Caleigh. Furthermore, since she’s been born, we’ve gone once without her for my 33rd birthday and have a childless trip planned for November #disneywithoutkidsisthebest.
Parents of the year!
Actually, who am I kidding? I don’t feel a single dribble of regret leaving her home with her family and friends while we have 3-4 blissful days reconnecting with ourselves and each other in our favorite place. It makes us better spouses, parents, and people.
Here are my recommendations for the TOP TEN things you can and should do in Disney WITHOUT kids:
Food & Drink:
1. (Starting with the obvious): Drink around the world
I know that every site you visit about traveling to the House of Mouse will tell you this tip and yes, technically it can be done with children in tow, but it’s likely best not to (#nojudgement). In EPCOT, you can sample drinks and snacks from every country’s pavilion. Marc and I prefer to not make dining reservations on EPCOT days without Cal because we slowly meander from one fare to the next. It’s leisurely and only made better when festivals happen:
- 2019 Food and Wine Festival
- EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival
- EPCOT International Festival of the Arts
2. Happy Hour
You might be getting suspicious of my drinking habits, but I’m just clustering like items together, ok?
Ok. And do remember – you’re in the magical land of delicious Disney without kids. Specifically your kids.
And to my delight and surprise, Jellyrolls, located on the BoardWalk, which is a dance club includes a Happy Hour!
So I know this is focused on just one place rather than a wide recommendation, but it’s so worth it. This might be Marc’s favorite place on the earth. This bar is immersive and TINY, meaning you’ll likely need to wait to get it. The baristas dress up, yell, and each signature drink has an “action” that goes with it. Trader Sam is up to no good and if you’re lucky, you’ll be on the other end of some hijinx of his. This is absolutely an adults-only destination and one you’ll remember.
4. Incredible Dining Reservations
If you’re the adult who wants to eat chicken nuggets and hot dogs, this may not be the most exciting for you, but for all the other mamas out there? GIRL. This is for you. Take yourself to a truly special dinner. Disney has amazing restaurants and signature dining. During our couple’s weekend, we ate at Tiffins in Animal Kingdom, which is African, Asian, & Latin Cuisine. We booked a reservation for later in the evening, so we could explore Pandora in the dark, and when I say I had a top three best meal of my life, complete with white wine flight, I MEAN IT. Disney Springs also has great choices. Marc’s favorite is The Boathouse bar that sits on a dock.
5. Utilize the Pool at Off Peak Hours
Instead of chasing your adorable little chubber around the pool and worrying about slipping, drowning, and sunscreen (best picks for 2019 here!), you can order a cocktail, relax, and lay by the pool. Bonus points if you go during less busy times (say nap?) and can listen to the music.
6. Wait in Line
Ok, I know this sounds silly or pointless, but hear me out. Pandora opened in Animal Kingdom around the time of my birthday trip. We were able to snag Fast Passes for Flight of Passage, but not the Na’vi River Journey. As Disney enthusiasts, we watched all of the new blogger videos before arriving and I really wanted to experience both. The wait for Na’vi was 2 hours. BUT we had the luxury of time! So, we waited. Not only were the attraction and queue worth the wait (and it didn’t take 2 hours), but Marc and I were able to chat and laugh and people watch. So, if there is an attraction you want to do without your blessed babes, you can wait in line (without perpetual snacks or counting games either!).
7. FastPass Use
Because you don’t need to use your FPs for your children’s favorite (and most popular) attractions, you can have adult experiences in the parks based on what you like. A novel concept, eh? We tend to actually do far less riding, but what we choose are things Caleigh can’t yet do. Some examples are:
- The Haunted Mansion (a fave!)
- Splash Mountain
- Spaceship Earth
- Test Track
- Tower of Terror
8. Shows & Parades
One of my favorite parts of Walt Disney World is anything live action – stage shows, parades, fireworks, oh my! I love these experiences. Without Cal, I don’t have to worry about how long she’ll be interested or if the room will be too dark or loud. I can melt into every detail.
9. Guided Tours
Disney offers some extra long, extra magic experiences that older children could do, but younger children definitely could not:
- Backstage Magic (Minimum age 10) – Behind the scenes of all the resort and park locations.
- Behind the Seeds (Minimum age 13) – A tour of the greenhouse and farms at Epcot’s Living with the Land Pavilion
- Epcot DiveQuest (Minimum Age 10) – If you’re SCUBA certified, you can tour the coral reef at the Nemo and Friends Pavilion in Epcot
- UnDISCOVERED Future World (Minimum Age 16) – Backstage look at Epcot and Future World in particular
- Sense of Africa (Minimum age 10) – Tour the savanna at Animal Kingdom Lodge, plus enjoy breakfast at Boma
10. Time: Stay Out Late!
And the obvious one – sleep when you want. Actually get to UTILIZE those Extra Magics Hours in the evening and avoid rope drop (unless you like that kind of madness). I feel like we get so much of our trips when we get up at a reasonable hour and then live it up until 1:00am!
One of my favorite things to do is plan my Disney outfits. And while I LOVE planning for the family, I get to spend more energy (and quite honestly money) on what I wear when we go as a couple.
I have a Disney Outfit FREEBIE if you’d like some ideas on how to look cute and be COMFY while in the parks! Check it out here!