Wednesday, June 18, 2014

101 Walt Disney World Tips For a Disney Vacation for Adults

101 Walt Disney World Tips For Adults

Going on a Disney World trip without kids? Or maybe you'll be on a Disney World trip and need some alone adult time? Honeymoon? There are plenty of guests at Walt Disney World that are completely child-free. Here are some tips for a Disney vacation for Adults. {ALSO- here are 101 MORE tips, when you're done. :)}

[For our videos from our trips to Disney, check out our YouTube channel. For more tips for Disney World and Disney cruise line, check out our full blog. Onward to the tips!]

Planning 

1. The best time to go for lower cost and crowds is early December (CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS!) and January-February (other than holidays).
2. Avoid times when kids are out of school.
3. There is a Flower and Garden festival in Spring at Epcot. The weather is generally still mild and very nice and the festival itself is beautiful.
4. There is a Food and Wine Festival in Fall at Epcot, and it’s delicious- although it can be crowded on the weekends due to locals. If you visit during this time, plan on your F&W fest day to be during the week.
5. Budget more on food and drink than you'd expect. Adults like their food and drink, and it's expensive at Disney World. No chicken nuggets, please. [Some good food recommendations here.]
6. Budget for souvenirs. You will find adult souvenirs that you want. It's not all fake ears and plush toys.
7. Stay on site to take advantage of the Extra Magic Hours. There are often parks open fairly late that kids just won't be able to stay up for. (We've been there until 1 AM before and the parks were still open a few more hours!)
8. Parking is free for resort guests in all the parks, so if you rent a car you don't have to worry about parking costs.
9. You don’t have to rent a car if you fly in, but it makes your transportation time shorter.
10. You get free transportation from the airport via Magical Express, if you choose not to rent a car.
11. There is free transportation from resorts to the parks including buses, boats, and the monorail. 
12. It WILL rain and there is no way around it, but late fall through winter has the lowest rain averages. (See a month by month packing guide with average temperatures and precipitation here.)
13. Disney has an app that tracks all of your vacation information, including reservations, FastPass+ times, and Dining Reservations called My Disney Experience. It also has all park info like hours, parade times, character times, and wait times. It’s is the best resource for planning and while in the park.
14. Pack a travel phone charger. They have charging stations in the park, but it's easiest to carry it with you and charge while you wait in line. This one is our favorite. You'll be using your phone plenty for photos and social media- because how can you not share the beauty of Disney World?

Lodging 

15. Wilderness Lodge is a great resort for adults that enjoy an outdoorsy feel.
16. So is Grand Floridian, for a very classical elegance. Grand Floridian is the "classiest" resort on property and some people are put off by it. Even if you don't stay there- the resort is absolutely beautiful and you should try to stop by for a meal or just some photos of the lobby.
17. The Contemporary is great if you like a more modern approach, with less of the theming that is heavily present in other resorts.
 18. The Polynesian is perfect for a truly unique experience. It's laid back, with beautiful grounds and beautiful beach. It also has excellent dining options.
19. If you want to go with the “Moderate” resorts, Port Orleans-Riverside is quiet and serene.
20. Coronado Springs has a great food court.
 21. If you feel value is most important and don’t mind kid-centric theming, Pop Century is your best bet. It will leave you feeling a bit nostalgic, as well. [UPDATE! Art of Animation standard room is now the best option, but it's often booked. See a review of the room here. If you can't get into AoA, Pop Century is next on the list. The Art of Animation has a fantastic food court- and if you end up at Pop Century- you can walk over to AoA and dine there easily enough.]
22. All on site hotels have pools. Take some time to relax, maybe for an afternoon nap.
23. There is usually a main pool that will be busy and have lots of kids.
24. There are usually quieter pools at the resorts that are a little smaller and have no slides. They're generally less crowded.

101 Walt Disney World Tips For Adults

Food & Drink

25. Schedule a character breakfast if you plan to skip character lines. You'll want at least one picture with Mickey, I promise.
26. Tusker House in Animal Kingdom is a great character breakfast that is less busy than Chef Mickey's and has some interesting food choices. It's our favorite.
27. You can get a cup of free ice water at any quick service location. No need to lug around a water bottle. It's a full size drink cup as well, not a tiny plastic cup that last three seconds like most places :).
28. Get a Dole Whip. Just do it. Don't do that mix of vanilla and pineapple- that's weird. Just stick to pineapple.
29. Take a half day and tour the World Showcase for great food and drinks.
30. Eat dinner at Cape May Cafe if you love seafood. They have a "clam bake" dinner with ALL OF THE CRAB LEGS. If you're not into seafood- don't go here.
31. The Cape May Cafe character breakfast is also a great option and is generally pretty easy to get into- even last minute.
32. Disney World now has Starbucks, so you don't have to skip out on your morning latte. There is one open in all of the parks and Downtown Disney.
33. Epcot’s best counter service lunch spot is Sunshine Seasons.They have an enormous amount of choices and you and each person in your party can get a different type of food like a salad or asian noodles. It's all really fresh. They have good desserts as well.
34. Magic Kingdom’s best counter service lunch spot is Columbia Harbour House. They have good seafood options and is better than the general burger/chicken nuggets choices.
35. You’ll want to reserve a table service restaurant for lunch in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, their quick service locations aren't great.
36. Sci Fi Dine In Theater is a great spot for your DHS lunch.
37. So is Prime Time 50s Café.
38. Animal Kingdom’s best food is Flame Tree BBQ. Like, legit BBQ. They recently got rid of coleslaw and replaced it with a delicious cornbread, too. It just gets better each time I go! (P.S. See a good list of places to eat in each park here.)





101 Walt Disney World Tips For Adults

Drink. Because a Disney Vacation for Adults May Require Wine.

39. Epcot is the park with the most places that service wine, beer, and alcohol.
40. The nicer table service restaurants at pretty much all hotels and parks have some type of wine, beer, or alcohol.
41. There is a tequila bar at Coronado Springs.
42. Sci Fi Dine in Theater in Hollywood Studios serves “adult” milkshakes, and so does 50’s Prime Time Café.
43. If you’re a big drinker, partythroughtheparks.com is a great resource with very specific outlines of where to get your favorite drinks.

101 Walt Disney World Tips For Adults

Parks 

44. Disney’s Hollywood Studios has the best thrill rides. But with recent closures- this will likely be a half day park.
45. Don’t miss the Tower of Terror.
46. Don’t miss the Rock-n-Roller Coaster.
47. Toy Story Mania is a fun and competitive, even more so for adults, but the lines are very long. (If you can't get FastPass+ for Toy Story Mania and the line is just too long, the Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin in Magic Kingdom is a very similar concept and might serve as a good stand in.)
48. You’ll need a FastPass+ for Toy Story Mania, and it falls in the same tier as Rock-n-Roller Coaster so you will have to stand in regular stand by line for one.
49. Epcot has thought provoking attractions if you want to work your brain a bit and learn something interesting. I particularly like Living with the Land.
50. Don’t miss Soarin’. It's breathtaking.
51. You’ll want FastPass+ for Soarin’. The lines for this attraction are crazy long. If you can't get one, then go to the park at opening and head straight to Soarin'.
52. The food grown and featured in Living with the Land is cooked and served at Garden Grill and Sunshine Seasons.
53. Don’t miss Spaceship Earth. It's not a thrill or anything, but it's a classic and it's pretty cool to think you're inside that thing that is such an iconic structure.
54. Animal Kingdom has shorter hours than the other parks because it closes when it’s dark, so don't wait until late in the day and expect to see the whole park.
55. Don’t miss the Kilimanjaro Safari. If it's drizzly in the morning- that is prime time to go! You're covered on the ride and the animals tend to be out and active during that time.
56. Don’t miss Finding Nemo the Musical. It's a longer one (45 minutes) but it's a very well put together production with amazing singing and acting.
57. You’ll want FastPass+ for Finding Nemo the Musical. The line for this is all outside with no shade so you wont get a break until you enter the theater.
58. Don’t miss Expedition Everest. It's the best roller coaster in any of the parks.
59. You’ll want FastPass+ for Expedition Everest. It's the main draw for Animal Kingdom, so the lines can get long. It will almost always be the longest wait time in the entire park.
60. Don’t discount Magic Kingdom as kiddie center. There are plenty of great rides and attractions that adults love.
61. Space Mountain is amazing. Don't miss it!
62. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is great. Even better to ride at night :). You get great views of the park.
63. The new Seven Dwarves Mine Train is a must. The back is faster than the front if you want more speed and swing! [You'll need a Fastpass+]
64. You can ride a ton of rides with shorter lines during the fireworks show if you're not a fan of fireworks or if you've seen it on a prior night.
65. Go to Ariel’s grotto and sit and chat with her. She’s not your typical princess and you’ll have a crazy fun few minutes.
66. Don’t forget the vintage rides, like It’s a Small World. They're a nice relaxation/visual attractions. They usually have lower wait times.
67. Or Peter Pan’s Flight. But this generally has a long wait time.
68. If you're visiting the parks during fall or Christmas, you really must go to one of the hard ticketed special event parties. They are amazing and have special characters, meet and greets, shows, fireworks, and parades. It truly is worth the price.

101 Walt Disney World Tips For Adults

Downtown Disney 

69. Definitely visit Downtown Disney. [Soon to be Disney Springs.] Plan to do it during a weekday, as it is very busy on weekends because it is open to the public.
70. Plan for a good amount of travel time for Downtown Disney, it takes longer than you’d expect. Parking and bus stops are both insanely busy, particularly during current construction.
71. The Cirque de Soleil La Nouba show is fantastic. Buy your tickets in advance for La Nouba and save off of gate price.
72. There is a revitalization going on currently at Downtown Disney and there are new restaurants and shops opening up very frequently. If you've been before it's still worth the trip down there.
73. There is a Christmas shop in Downtown Disney that sells Christmas merch year-round. No matter what time of year it is, planning for Christmas decorations isn't a bad idea.
74. The gift shop inside T-Rex restaurant sells some black ponchos that are super sturdy. This might suit you better than bright yellow Mickey or clear Mickey.
75. Stop by the Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop for dessert.
76. The World of Disney will have the most selection of souvenirs.

101 Walt Disney World Tips For Adults

Other Attractions + Fun

77. If you want some Spa time, there are plenty of options. There is a spa at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort called Senses. There is also a Senses spa at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort. There are locations for spa services at most moderate and deluxe hotels.
78. There is a nightly water light parade on the lagoon. You can see it from the Polynesian, Wilderness Lodge, Magic Kingdom boat ramp, The Grand Floridian, and Fort Wilderness Campground.
79. If you're celebrating any type of special occasion, get a button at your resort front desk or concierge. You'll get some "Happy Birthday" or "Happy Anniversary" shouts throughout the day from Cast Members and guests alike. It's pretty fun and you might even get a free cupcake.
80. There is a walkway between Epcot area resorts and Disney's Hollywood Studios that's pretty fun. It's a little bit of a walk but will probably be faster than using Disney Transportation buses during busy times, and it gives you a chance to see some cool resorts you may not have seen otherwise.
81. The beach at the Polynesian is wonderful for viewing the fireworks.
82. The Ticket and Transportation Center has the most amazing views of the fireworks, even better than the parks, some say. Particularly if there are special shows that have perimeter fireworks.
83. Riding on the monorail can be fun to go through parks and resorts if you need a break from walking.
84. Resort hopping is a blast, especially at Christmas time. The lobbies of the deluxe resorts are ALL outstanding, no matter the time of year.
85. For a fun quick fix, visit Club Cool in Epcot for free samples of various sodas around the world. Have a loved one try the Beverly, and video it. :)
86. Go check out the Savanna at the Animal Kingdom Lodge for some animal viewing in a quieter area.
87. If you have a sports fan in your party, visit the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex.
88. Disney’s BoardWalk is a great spot for dining and shopping. There is adult entertainment like a dance hall and dueling pianos. You can play classic arcade games and you can rent Surrey Bikes. It's quite picturesque, as well.
89. Flying Fish Café at Disney’s Boardwalk is extremely well reviewed, but hard to get into.
90.  If you’re feeling adventurous, try the Kitchen Sink at nearby Beaches and Cream Soda Shop at the Beach Club Resort.
91. The Photopass photographers will take photos with your cameras for free along with their cameras. Even if you purchase the Photopass Memory Maker, having that immediate shot on your phone to post on social media is pretty great, too. :) (PS they might also take selfies of themselves, so check your camera roll.)
92. The rides don't necessarily close when the parks close. The ENTRANCE to the line closes when the parks close. If you enter a line one minute before park closes and the line is 60 minutes, you will be able to stand in the line until you ride. It's also a good way to get some empty park photos after you're done.
93. There is a barber shop inside Magic Kingdom that is a great spot for a haircut, if you're interested. It's a fun experience and a lot of people take their kids. There are just as many adults as well, and they sprinkle you with pixie dust afterwards.

Souvenirs/Shopping

94. Don’t get the standard “Walt Disney World 20XX” t-shirt or tote bag. Disney has some creative and unique souvenirs.
95. This is a weirdly odd tip, but a personal one. I've been to Disney World more than 10 times in my life and I never got any ears. I did it because when I put them on, they kind of squeezed my head a bit and I assumed they would give me a headache. On my last trip, I decided I would just stretch it out and figure out a way to wear them because I was pretty tired of not having them. They stretched out in about five minutes and didn't hurt my head at all. So I didn't get them all those years for nothing!  They have kid sized and adult sized so if you think they'll be too small- they likely wont be.
96. Don’t forget some type of photo album. I get a small one every trip.
97. If you’re going for the ears, go for the classic ear hat with an embroidered name on it. Or if you want something with a little more sparkle, there are a ton of variations of Minnie ears with sequins and they're all very cute.
98. If you're on your honeymoon, then get the bride and/or groom ears. (Or bride and bride, or groom and groom.) Also don't forget to get a honeymoon button :).
99. There is a Walmart very near Walt Disney World with an ABUNDANCE of great souvenirs for literally half the price. If you have a car, I recommend going there.
100. If you see something you really like, buy it. There are many locations throughout Disney World that have very specific items that you might not see anywhere else.

Unrelated Category/Most Important: 

101. Wear Comfortable Shoes. If you want to look super cute, buy super cute COMFORTABLE shoes. [Comprehensive packing list for all months here.]

Don't forget to check out 101 MORE Disney World tips here!

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1 comment

  1. These tips are not good as per my concern i always wonder how beautiful Disney Princesses my little princess wants to be like them

    ReplyDelete

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