What do you think when you hear "Disney World?" For many of us, the overarching thought is, "Disney World is a great place to take the kids. Once. Because we have to."
Well, over at WDW for Grownups, we'd like to argue otherwise. Hundreds of thousands of adults every year, without kids in tow, choose Disney World as their vacation destination of choice. And they can't all be wrong! Disney execs and imagineers work hard to ensure that adults are well catered to throughout Disney World's four theme parks, two water parks, dozens of dining establishments, and over 20 resort hotels. You'd be surprised how much fun the place can be for "grown-ups."
RESORT HOTELS FOR ANY BUDGET
Lots of folks don't even know that Disney World isn't just a day trip. You can easily spend two weeks there without seeing everything they have to offer. So we highly recommend booking a few nights--if not more--in a Disney World resort hotel.
Check out this Disney World Accommodations page for great information and links that will help you decide the perfect hotel for you. You can choose from budget, mid-rate, and luxury hotels, all offering the famous Disney service and perks.
Whether gourmet cuisine, veggie choices, or burgers and fries are your "cup of tea," Disney World offers great options. There are hundreds of eating establishments throughout Disney's 40+ square miles, and you can find them in theme parks, hotels, Downtown Disney, and even the water parks!
Take a look at these resources for Walt Disney World dining information, and check out this information on the Disney World dining plans, which can save you plenty of cash during your trip!One important thing to remember is that Disney restaurants fill up fast, so contact Disney reservations at 407-WDW-DINE up to 90 days in advance of your stay (we suggest you call at least one month in advance, though many of the best restaurants fill up right at that 90-day mark).
Some of our favorite places to dine?
$$$: California Grill at the Contemporary Resort and Citricos at the Grand Floridian Resort;
$$: Le Cellier Steakhouse in Epcot's Canada Pavilion and 'Ohana at the Polynesian Resort;
$: Beaches and Cream at the Yacht and Beach Club Resorts and Casey's Corner on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom.
Don't forget Disney World's famous "character dining," where you can chow down amid the company of some of Disney's most famous characters: Just be careful not to get Goofy's ears all syrup-y...he hates that!
ACTION AND RELAXATION
One of the things we love the most about Disney World is that you can craft a vacation that uniquely suits YOUR lifestyle. Want to lay in a hammock all day drinking Margaritas and catching up on your reading beneath some softly swaying palm trees? No problem. Rather do some parasailing, a little race-car driving, some thrill rides, and finish it off with trying the latest dishes from celebrity chefs like Wolfgang Puck or Cat Cora? Again, no problem! You can get both of those--and anything in between.
For some great ideas on things to do in Disney World outside of the parks, check out this breakdown of events and activities. Some of our favorite things to do are sample international cuisine at the annual Epcot Food and Wine Festival in the fall, party with Mickey Mouse and friends at the Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party seasonal event, spend the afternoon on a boat rented at one of Disney World's marinas, catch an evening movie on the beach at one of Disney's resort hotels, and reserve a personal cruise to watch one of the daily Disney fireworks shows!
AND, OF COURSE, THOSE THEME PARKS
You may think that theme parks just aren't for you--long lines, kids (and parents) losing their tempers, heat and humidity, huge crowds, and high prices just aren't your bag.
Those aren't my bag, either. In fact, if that was what I was in for when visiting Disney World, I'd grab the first plane ticket anywhere but Orlando! But, the truth is, with just a little bit of planning and knowledge, you can avoid most of those pitfalls.
Visit our When to Go and What to Bring page for good resources on the best times of the year to visit Disney World. Luckily, grown-ups heading to Disney World without kids aren't subject to the school holidays, which is when most of the crowds and scorching hot weather coincide! Instead, consider visiting during the late fall and winter, when temperatures are temperate and crowds are minimal.
Also, check out our definitive guide to Avoiding Crowds at Walt Disney World. It's short, sweet, and tells you just about everything you need to know on that topic.
SO...YOU READY TO TRY IT OUT?
We really think you should. Some other good resources you might enjoy are these Walt Disney World for Grownups Articles, which cover topics like the best places to relax with a drink in Disney World, how to "work remotely" from Disney World (something we've had to work into the balance many times--everyone's got to take a conference call now and again, right?), and what exactly you would do at Disney World without your kids!
Finally, once you're ready to begin planning your trip, we've gathered a few more of our favorite resources from the wealth of Disney websites on the internet: Planning Resources to help you with budgeting and discounts, tickets, etc.; and Planning Tools to make everything go smoothly.
We love our trips to Disney World and hope you'll enjoy yours. Be sure to visit our user forums, where we have some great conversations going on about Disney World. If you have questions or want some input on your trip, you're sure to find a bunch of nice folks willing to help.