This may not be the most popular opinion, but I’m here to say that The Happiest Place on Earth can be even happier sans children. I get it – it feels sacrilegious to go to Disney World without your kids. I worked through my own dose of mom guilt, before I decided there is no shame in my kid-free Disney game.
If the Mouse House is up your alley, it should be a place you take your kids. But it can also make for an awesome adults only trip! We were able to take my son for his fourth birthday, and then again a year later for a work conference with just my hubby.
Here are five reasons why Disney World can be an awesome parents only destination:
Formerly known as Downtown Disney, this entertainment center has gotten a major rehaul in recent years. Complete with restaurants, shopping, music, and more, this area is a great night life spot. It is accessible from resorts- we took the boats from Port Orleans Riverside, which made for a relaxing 20 minute ride- and is also open to guests not staying on site. We had an amazing seafood dinner, walked around, window shopped, and caught some live music. And while there were plenty of children present, this definitely made for a great couples spot. There is plenty of Disney fanfare, but also just makes for a neat night out from the parks.
Schedules (or lack thereof)
With the invention of FastPasses (which are awesome), its possible to now plan your vacation down to the minutes several months in advance. And while there are definitely advantages to these, especially when your children are in tow, there are some perks of not having to stick to strict nap and meal times. Want to change those Fast Passes if you found something else you’d rather do first? No problem when you don’t have to factor in a nap. Don’t feel like eating this minute? You can keep swimming, waiting in line for a ride, or go about your business without someone having a total meltdown. Its your vacation! With so many fun things to do at Disney, being child-free allows you to experience even more of it when you aren’t sticking to a schedule.
Maybe you have one of these offspring who can channel their inner Shakira and sleep whenever, wherever but I do not. Any atmosphere with less than pristine sleeping conditions simply won’t do for my tiny dictator. What’s that mean? He is not one of those kids who will sleep in the stroller with thousands of people around him. And he most definitely won’t get any shuteye with fireworks exploding for 20+ minutes to the soundtrack of Disney’s greatest. Bottom line: there were no firework shows for us when he was with us on our first family Disney trip. However, an adults only trip meant we could stay up at the parks until the whopping hour of 8-9pm and witness the firework displays. Which truly are magical. We were fortunate enough to stay at the Grand Floridian for the second half of our trip, and were able to watch the Fireworks display from the docks, where speakers played the music along with it. Tissue anyone?
Okay, okay, I know this is about Disney World. But if I’m flying to Orlando, I am hitting up Hogsmeade and that’s all there is to it. And while Universal definitely has kid attractions, in general I find it to be geared to an older audience. With more simulation rides, these are definitely more adult oriented. And while many children love Harry Potter (I can hope that is in my future!) I want to channel my inner Hermione and fan girl with my Butterbeer in peace. Bonus: City Walk at Universal also has great night life, again geared more towards adults. Check it out.
Being A Kid Again
It’s true, Disney is the happiest place on earth. I’ve gone with girlfriends, children, and spouse and it’s magical with any company. Where else can you rock scratchy Minnie Ears, pay $9 for a pretzel, walk until you have blisters while sweating to death, and still be happy about it? But something about being there with your significant other makes it even more magical. Nowhere else can you forget the responsibilities of adulthood and bring out your inner kid again like Disney.
There are options for anyone at Disney World. Whether staying on site, off site, golfing, visiting a spa, enjoying fine dining or grazing on park fare, shopping, swimming, or simply relaxing, the options are truly endless at Disney. With – or without- kids in tow. And while there’s something magical about seeing Disney for the first time through your children’s eyes, it can be just as fun without them.