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The Advantages of an Adults-Only Trip to Walt Disney World: A Walt Disney World Review

by Jennifer Retzlaff, PassPorter Guest Contributor
Last modified 09-18-2014

When I told people that my husband and I were going to Walt Disney World for our ten-year anniversary, many of them just didn't understand. Disney World without kids? Mickey Mouse, princesses, standing in line? Those things don't make an anniversary trip, they'd tell me. After eight days, seven nights, six great dining experiences, countless rainstorms, and more magical memories than I can count, I can without a doubt say that Disney is an amazing place for an adults-only vacation.

What makes Disney such a great spot for an adult vacation is the flexibility they provide. From resort choices to restaurants and ride selection, an adults-only trip to Disney provides you with variety and flexibility you don't always get when you go with kids. I am here to challenge you to consider an adults-only trip for yourself.

Flexibility in an adults-only trip is encountered right away, when choosing your resort. As adults, we are able to choose from any of the Walt Disney World hotels. Factors such as if the crib will fit, or whether the kids will be able to share a bed no longer matter. Instead, you have the flexibility to choose your resort based on the adults in the party. Love animals? Try Animal Kingdom Lodge. Want to feel like you are at the beach? Look into Caribbean Beach Resort. When my husband and I were determining where we wanted to stay, we focused on bus availability and quick-service meal choices, with a little Disney magic thrown in. After looking at our options, we booked one of the new Royal rooms at Port Orleans Riverside.

Dining reservations were the next area where we found flexibility for our adults-only trip. When we took our kids, our dining reservations were focused around their eating schedule and what characters we could see during the meals. Making dining reservations for adults was completely different. We had the flexibility to eat whenever and whatever we wanted. We had amazing experiences at 'Ohana, Boma, Liberty Tree Tavern, Be Our Guest, and Le Cellier. Each was a unique experience, with different cuisine as well as varied atmospheres. It was also amazing to have a dining experience where it was just the two of us enjoying one another's company.

Many think of fancy food when booking an adults-only vacation, and Disney provides a variety of choices when it comes to elegent dining experiences. From trying sushi at the newly renovated California Grill, where you can watch the fireworks, to a great steak at Le Cellilar or Yachtsman, followed by a stroll together. It wasn't just in the dining reservations where we noticed the added mealtime flexibility. We also experienced this bonus during our quick-service and snacks times. Being able to grab a snack or a quick bite whenever we wanted or needed, added to our flexibility overall. Whether it was a nice, relaxed sit down dinner or a quick meal in front of the castle, we appreciated this magical time together.

As my husband and I started to discuss what we wanted to do while at Disney, we discovered that we had a lot more flexibility when it came to rides, shows, and evening entertainment, too. When traveling with children you have to take into consideration height, fear, and rest times when making plans. We were able to look at rides and shows based on what we liked and wanted to see again. When we traveled with our two kids, we had to make sure we hit all the shows, character greetings, and kid rides, as well as our adult rides, making our planning a little difficult. This time, we didn't have to worry about splitting our time between these different categories, or separating to ride along with the kids-- we had the joy of experiencing the rides just the two of us, together. Although we enjoy riding Splash Mountain with our daughter, one of us had to stay back with the little guy. On our anniversary trip, we enjoyed the whole experience together; from waiting in line, through the anticipation of the ride itself, to the laughs afterwards. Disney also does an amazing job reaching out to adults with evening entertainment such as Harambe Nights at Animal Kingdom, IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party at Epcot, and the Tomorrowland Dessert Party at Magic Kingdom. Outside the main parks there is tons of adult-focused entertainment. You can head over to Downtown Disney (soon to be Disney Springs) for shopping, movies and entertainment. Don't think that it is all princesses, there is so much more that you can see and do at Walt Disney World!

Flexibility was key to our trip this year. I am a planner, and even for our adults-only trip I made laminated itineraries for each day; however, with every good plan comes the need for a little give and take. It rained and poured almost every day. As rides and shows were canceled or closed, we were forced to adjust our plans and move on. Being two adults, there wasn’t much crying, and for the most part we just grabbed extra socks, an umbrella, and rain jackets and kept going. Being this flexible isn’t as easy with kids. They have schedules, and it's harder to explain why Splash Mountain is closed or why they won’t be seeing the princesses in the parade. Instead of meltdowns, we had bonus magical moments, where we discovered hidden gems around the parks. While flexibility is part of every trip, with an adults-only trip your flexibility is centered on what you want to do, instead of your kids' needs.

The best part of an adults-only trip to Walt Disney World, though, is that it gives you the flexibility to be a kid. When we took our kids, I loved watching everything through their eyes. Seeing our daughter light up when she saw Cinderella for the first time, or our son as Tigger hugged him, are memories that will last forever! This trip, however, I was the one lighting up and being excited about things. When I walked in to meet Mickey and he talked to me, I was transferred to a little kid again. It was so exciting! Throughout our trip I showed my Disney side, as I screamed on rides, laughed while we ran through the rain, and cried as the Fantasmic boat sailed by. It was a time for my husband and me to let our inner kids out, and just enjoy all the magic Disney has to offer.

From resort choices to dining reservations and ride options, an adults-only trip provides you with a variety of choices. Disney World is a great place for adults to visit without kids as you have so much entertainment, food, and magic to choose from. I challenge you to try it just once. Who knows? You might want to go back and do it again... just don't tell the kids!

About the Author: Jennifer currently works teaching seventh grade social studies in Iowa. She loves Disney and hopes to return once again in a year, for a large family trip.

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Updated 09-18-2014

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