Walt Disney World is sometimes seen as the ultimate vacation destination for families with young children. It’s not just for little kids, though. In fact, Disney has put a lot of careful planning into cultivating the perfect experiences for adults who are traveling solo, bonding with friends, or enjoying a romantic getaway to the land of fairy tales and happily ever after. When planning your adults-only or senior vacation, consider these options to make the most of your child-free trip.
Dining for Adults
High-end signature restaurants provide a special treat for adult visitors. These restaurants will inspire the imagination as much as any of the rides at the theme park.
- Victoria & Albert’s: This fine dining restaurant at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort doesn’t allow children under 10, and guests should dress up to eat here. Its hand-painted dome, elegant décor, and live harpist music, along with diverse menu options, will wow you and your table.
- Be Our Guest: The opulent Be Our Guest restaurant is the first table-service restaurant to serve alcohol in Disney’s Magic Kingdom. Walk in to the Beast’s enchanted castle and dine on French-inspired cuisine.
- Citricos: Located at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, Citricos serves Mediterranean-inspired cuisine and offers an award-winning wine list. The Chef’s Domain dining option is popular, and it allows guests to enjoy a multiple-course dinner with wine pairing by the chef.
Rides for Adults
People of all ages are welcome on most of the rides at Disney World. After all, that was part of the motivation Walt Disney had for creating the original theme park Disneyland. However, adults especially will enjoy these rides.
- The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror: The frequent, thrilling drops and fun storyline are sure to inspire riders, even those who aren’t familiar with the classic TV show "The Twilight Zone." It’s located in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
- Space Mountain: This is a thrill ride with a space theme at the Magic Kingdom. It will capture the imagination of adults and send them on repeat visits.
- Test Track: This ride at Epcot is among the fastest rides at Disney World. It takes riders on a wild ride as they test out a speeding concept car.
World-Class Golf Courses
You don’t have to be an avid golfer to enjoy the fun and affordable golf options at Disney World. These courses are great for first-time golfers who want to give the sport a try while surrounded by mostly adults.
- Disney’s Lake Buena Vista Golf Course: This pristine golf course has hosted many professional golfing events and has been certified by Audubon International as a Cooperative Wildlife Sanctuary, so be sure to look out for wildlife while playing.
- Disney’s Magnolia Golf Course: The Magnolia Golf Course is the longest one available at Disney World. As its name implies, it has an abundance of gorgeous magnolia trees. The 18-hole championship golf course has challenging water hazards, and it is also certified by Audubon International as a Cooperative Wildlife Sanctuary.
- Disney’s Palm Golf Course: This historic 18-hole championship golf course was renovated and redesigned by Arnold Palmer Design Company in 2013. It has water hazards and 59 bunkers, so bring your A-game to the course.
- Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course at the Polynesian Village Resort: Disney’s Village Polynesian Resort offers FootGolf at its Oak Trail, perfect for those who don't know how or don't want to play traditional golf. The well-designed course looks like a typical golf course except that its holes are 21 inches in diameter to accommodate soccer balls. Disney provides the balls, so you just need to come in the proper shoes and attire.
Luxurious spa treatments are taken to a whole new level with Disney’s attention to detail and dedication to making guests happy. These Disney spas provide a quiet oasis for adults, and many of the spa treatments can be customized to fulfill your needs.
- Senses at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort: This spa is the best of the best. From the Victorian-style entranceway with a gorgeous mural to the special treatments and Jacuzzi room, pure relaxation is the name of the game here.
- Mandara Spa at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel: This spa has a Balinese theme, and it combines the best of East-meets-West luxury spa treatments. Guests can enjoy holistic treatments such as massages and body wraps.
Disney World becomes an even more welcoming place for adults during special annual events held at the theme parks.
- Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend: Although families certainly take part in the marathon weekend at Disney world, the longer races are for adults. This event typically includes a 5K race, a 10K race, Goofy’s Race, the Dopey Challenge, and more.
- Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party: Plenty of children will be at this event held multiple times each October, but it is such a fun party that you may want to plan an adults-only vacation around attending one or two Halloween nights.
- Epcot International Food and Wine Festival: This long-running festival celebrates the best in international food and dining with over two dozen international food kiosks and special seminars.
- Epcot International Festival of the Arts: This annual event is an exciting, dynamic festival in celebration of performing arts, visual arts, and the culinary arts. Although you can attend some parts of the festival with regular park admission, some aspects of the festival are ticketed separately.
- Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival: Get the idea that Epcot hosts many special events for adults? This festival is a feast for the eyes each spring. It includes more than 100 topiaries located around the theme park.
Where to Stay
Any of the Disney resorts will offer adults a fun vacation, but some have special amenities that prove irresistible.
- Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort: Arrive to the sound of a live orchestra or piano player as you enter the lobby of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort. The stunning design in the lobby is just one area of the resort that harkens back to the golden era of Palm Beach. Adults can enjoy fine dining and spa treatments at this resort, then take the monorail to the Magic Kingdom.
- Disney’s Port Orleans Resort: With its New Orleans and Mardi Gras themes, the Port Orleans resort sets the scene with cobblestone streets, wrought-iron balconies, and stunning magnolia trees. Much like New Orleans itself, staying here can make you feel like you’re attending a non-stop party.
- Disney’s Yacht Club Resort: This upscale resort that makes you feel as though you are in a New England haven like Martha’s Vineyard. What’s even better is that you can easily walk to Epcot, the most adult-friendly Disney theme park, from here.
Tips for an Adults-Only Visit
- Schedule your trip for the off-season when kids are in school to avoid the most crowded times (and the most kids). As a plus, it will also be cheaper. The only downside is that the slower times mean that the park may not be open as late as it would be during the busiest times of the year.
- Don’t miss the extra magic hours. If you decide to travel during the spring or summer months, you’ll soon discover that afternoons in the parks can be brutally hot. That’s a good time to go for an adult beverage at Disney Springs or go back to your room for a nap. Then come back to the parks and stay late for the extended hours. Families tend to tire out before the extended hours. The park is magical at night, and it can be less crowded the later it gets.
- Keep your eye out for special adults-only pop-up experiences at Disney World. For example, in December 2018, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park hosted an adults-only week. During this time, grown-ups were welcomed to a pop-up Adult Cove where they can enjoy food and specialty adult beverages before riding such attractions as Storm Slides and Castaway Creek.
- Utilize the single rider line. Parents traveling with kids have to, of course, keep an eye on them so cannot take advantage of one of Disney’s little-known time savers. The single rider line allows you to skip what can sometimes be a wait of an hour or more, and go straight to an alternate line where single riders are placed on rides wherever there is extra space on the ride.