Walt Disney World (FL)

A Kids-Free GUILT-Free Disney World Vacation

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While Central Florida may be known as the family vacation capital of the world, lots of adults find themselves in the area and wonder – should I visit Walt Disney World? For some, the prospect of visiting theme parks without their children is akin to blasphemy, but it’s time to correct that taboo. Whether a business trip, an adult getaway, or just passing through, there are plenty of reasons for your kids-free Disney trip to be guilt-free, too!

Let’s start with the obvious: If you’re in the area and seeking a fun time, Disney World provides everything from exciting nightlife to fine dining to relaxing experiences, and that’s without ever setting foot in the parks. In fact, TouringPlans blogger Lisa Gilmore recently shared her itinerary for exploring the World outside of the theme parks, giving just a few of her favorite alternate activities. Here are some other reasons you should say YES to Disney World – even if your kids aren’t around.

1) The Business Trip

Kids-Free - relaxing at Stormalong Bay
Stormalong Bay, shared by Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts, is one of the most relaxing pool areas on property.

Amenities in the area make it a popular meeting destination for professionals worldwide. If you make it to Orlando for work, you should also get to play a little, right? Conventions are a great opportunity for adults to converge upon Disney World. Many organizations even offer discounted tickets or special passes for evening activities.

Even if you’re not visiting a theme park, the convention resorts – including Yacht Club Resort, BoardWalk Resort, and Contemporary Resort – are among Disney’s finest, giving coworkers a fun place to wind down after a long day of meetings. Sarah Graffam, another TouringPlans writer, provides some great tips for the convention crowd – of course, we’re always up for a good excuse to spend some time at Disney World!

2) The Getaway

Kids-Free - dinner at California Grill
Party of Two celebrating with California Grill! (Thanks to the Sullivans for sharing their dessert!)

Young parents are among the toughest to convince when it comes to kid-free Disney, but a short trip away as a couple might be the respite you didn’t know you needed! Sure, you’ll miss your own little princess when you walk through Cinderella Castle, but let’s be honest – you flinch at the idea of taking your rambunctious toddler to California Grill for a 9:00 PM dinner. While your little love is cared for back home, you can enjoy a relaxing dinner with the original special someone in your life. Celebrating an anniversary, birthday, or promotion? Even better! Disney knows how to make any occasion special, and this time you get to enjoy dessert without any extra forks poking at your plate. Treat yourself to moments as a couple that are a little more crowded as a family, whether it’s riding an attraction together for the first time without Rider Swap or sharing a romantic dinner. An uninterrupted conversation can be as magical a moment as hugging Mickey Mouse!

3) Just Passing Through

Whether you’re a Disney expert or you only visited once when you were a kid, there is a LOT to do – way more than can be done when you’re just “passing through.” Planning a trip – especially with the new Disney FastPass+ system and My Disney Experience – has become a project that often starts months before your vacation. When traveling with kids, you may find yourself so preoccupied with running from one attraction to another, you forget to experience Disney World in your own way. If you’re in the Orlando area with a day or two to play, it’s just enough time to give you a taste of the magic without the pressure of trying to do it all.

Kids-Free - no crowds in Frontierland
As the crowd rushes from rope drop, you can really appreciate the atmosphere of less crowded areas.

Traveling kid-free gives you a different perspective. You can fall back and let the rope drop crowds race to Space Mountain while you take a leisurely stroll to appreciate a deserted Frontierland. You can catch Festival of Fantasy from wherever you happen to be standing, without worrying if everyone can see over the crowds. You can enjoy Fantasmic! – and also determine that your 4-year-old may not be ready for that snake scene just quite yet.

Bonus: TouringPlans offers guides especially for Adults Only, including different versions depending on what your goal for the day might be. For example, there are a dozen choices for Magic Kingdom alone, taking into account how much time you have to tour, what part of the day you’ll be visiting, and which types of attractions you may be most interested in.

If you’re still not convinced, consider your grown-up Disney World vacation as a scouting mission. Checking out attractions, sampling food, getting a lay of the land – these are all important ways parents can make the best choices for their families in the future. Of course, you’ll be returning with your kids some day, so it only makes sense that you’ve done your research to help make their next visit terrific!

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Kylene Hamulak

Though she lives in Connecticut, Kylene considers "home" to be the land of purple signs leading her to the Magic Kingdom. She is currently training for her first runDisney event - The 2015 Glass Slipper Challenge - while watching Frozen on the treadmill every Saturday morning. Kylene loves storytelling and has been known to frequently suffer from eye sweats when walking down Main Street, watching any fireworks finale, and, especially, hearing the first 7 notes of When You Wish Upon A Star.

7 thoughts on “A Kids-Free GUILT-Free Disney World Vacation

  • And of cours there are all of the behind the scenes tours that can give you a really unique experience that kids may not do. We loved Keys to the Kingdom and can’t wait to do another one.

  • Thanks for all the great feedback! Since we’re a family that rarely travels with young kids, I’ll be doing a follow up about some of the great reasons Disney works for us. I think those of us who travel adults-only get the privilege of experiencing “a whole new world”!

  • Yes, we had lots of fun taking our kids and grandson over the years. But my husband and I started visiting on our own so much that we wound up with annual passes. It is fun to watch a 70 year old man skip his way to the single rider line for his 4th Rockin Roller Coaster ride in an hour! No guilt and no excuses necessary.

  • I love trips without kids. My wife and I don’t have any, but every third trip or so we have family members tagging along with theirs, and while I love the adorable little rug rats, I need a couple of adult only trips in between to recover. I like to travel at my own pace around the parks and eating somewhere I don’t have see chicken nuggets.

  • You forgot my favorite – a “girls” getaway. We’re planning our second long weekend trip with a group of ladies for the Wine & Dine half marathon. You can take advantage of the race/party, the food& wine festival, Osborne lights, and Christmas party. A nighttime schedule most kids could never keep up with!

    • Another vote for a Girls’ getaway location! This will be our 4th year and we actually have two trips planned this year; one for the Expedition Everest 5K and the other for the Wine & Dine Half in November. It’s a completely different type of trip than the ones we take with our kids.

    • I would love this sort of thing. But I do not know anyone as Disney obsessed as I am.


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