If you’re worried that you might feel self-conscious visiting Walt Disney World without children in tow, you can give yourself permission to relax. Seriously, it’s not possible to walk more than a few feet on Disney World property without seeing seniors, baby-boomers, and honeymooners (many of them wearing mouse ears, Goofy hats, or princess crowns) – without kids of any description. And enjoying the parks perhaps more than the harried parents of young ones – who are distracted with un-magical toddler meltdowns, grumpy teenager angst, and all that comes in between. And don’t hesitate to get in line to meet Disney characters – you will by no means be the only adults with no little ones. The characters seem to really enjoy the chance to interact with groups of grown-ups. They’re saving their wittiest quips for you – which would go over the heads of the littles.
The most obvious form of grown-up fun takes place in Disney’s many and highly themed bars and lounges. You can sip an African wine in the subdued ambiance of the shadowy Victoria Falls Lounge at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. You can dance through the doors of the adults-only Atlantic Dance Hall on the Boardwalk where you’ll reconnect with favorites from the ’80s and ’90s. Like the Dance Hall, nearby Jellyrolls, a piano bar featuring sing-alongs, is for ages 21 and older. More piano magic takes place at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside resort where YeHaa Bob Jackson rules at the River Roost Lounge. Another lounge location with outstanding entertainment value is Trader Sam’s (of Jungle Cruise fame) Grog Grotto and Tiki Bar at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. Order an “Uh Oa” or a Krakatoa and the Grog Grotto will come alive with tiki magic – including erupting volcanoes and an awakened Polynesian goddess. Just be sure to arrive early to secure your spot in this island paradise.
Many of the upscale dining experiences at Disney World are best savored by adults only. The Grand Floridian’s AAA Five Diamond Victoria & Albert’s is the epitome of Victorian elegance – the perfect location for an anniversary dinner. At Disney Springs Morimoto Asia, kids might say “ewwww” when presented with the Sushi and Sashimi Pagoda from the imagination of Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto – but grown-ups will enjoy every bite.
The Highway in the Sky Dine Around is another experience that is ideal for adults. You can cuddle up with your true love on a monorail gliding from one Magic Kingdom resort to the next – where the two of you will enjoy a five-course meal and cocktails – you can toast each other as the fireworks go off outside your monorail window.
At Epcot, the Food & Wine Festival menus are planned with grown-ups in mind — from the delicious cocktails to exotic desserts and savories. (How about a Lump Crab Cake with Napa Cabbage Slaw and Avocado Lemongrass Cream followed by a Liquid Nitro Chocolate-Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey-Caramel dessert?) Epcot’s table service restaurants offer exotic gourmet choices all year round. Mexico’s La Cava del Tequila serves more than 100 different tequilas as well as specialty margaritas and tapas in a cozy cave-like space. Every pavilion around World Showcase Lagoon offers tempting libations.
A visit to a Disney spa can be another pampering option for grown-ups. There are two Senses spas – one at the Grand Floridian and another at Saratoga Springs. These full-service spas will allow you to invigorate mind and body in atmospheres with subdued lighting and relaxing music. Start with a Rose Renewal facial, followed by an aromatherapy massage. Many of the other deluxe resorts have health clubs and exercise rooms.
A round of golf might be the exercise of choice for many adult visitors to Disney World, and there are four beautiful locations to choose from – all kept in the pink of perfection by Arnold Palmer Golf Management. The highlight for golfers who visit Disney’s Magnolia Golf Course is the par 3 No. 6 hole which features a one-of-a-kind Mickey-shaped sand bunker. By 2018, golfers will find the same iconic Mickey bunker on hole No. 8 on the Disney’s Palm Golf Course, No. 12 on Disney’s Lake Buena Vista Golf Course, and No. 9 on Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course sometime!
Indoors or outdoors, upscale or casual, there are grown-up options for every taste across the Walt Disney World property!