An adults only trip to Disney World? Yes please!
When my husband and I planned for our very first solo trip together (even our honeymoon had my parents and little brother along) we weren’t sure where to go and what to do. We really wanted to make it special but, as creatures of habit, we didn’t want to do anything too unfamiliar. We had just taken the kids to Orlando for Christmas and they couldn’t be any less impressed. On our final day at Disney World, the kids opted to stay at the hotel and sleep while we took advantage of Extra Magic Hours. We had a blast just the two of us and decided that would be our vacation. So, how was it? In a word, amazing. A vacation at Disney World, however, has its own challenges whether with children or without. In the last year we’ve been three times and I think we’ve got a good spread of information on where and when to go and how to get the most out of your vacation.
Let’s talk in general what worked, what didn’t, and what we’d do different. In subsequent posts we’ll talk specifics.
Celebration buttons get you a lot of attention
So, can you have fun at Disney World without kids? (Isn’t that weird?)
Yes you can and no it isn’t. We saw plenty of couples doing the same as us: celebrating being together in the happiest place on Earth. Plenty of newlyweds, anniversaries, birthdays or maybe just folks sharing their love of all things Disney. For us, there were moments where we felt guilty (that is, until we saw a child melting down and we secretly high-fived each other) but we had to remind ourselves that it was ok to be there without our kids. The vacation felt completely different when we were only catering to each other versus having to worry that one child didn’t want to do one thing while the other was bored or they both ganged up on us to get out of doing something we wanted to do. Or the times they wanted to do things we weren’t up for. We were doing Disney at our own pace and not theirs.
Victoria and Albert’s would’ve been lost on them
Because we were going at our own pace, we were also able to see more of the parks and from different perspectives. With our kids, it was always trying to get from point A to point B, trying to make all those Fastpass and dining reservations while also keeping everyone’s energy level up. I wasn’t sure how much exploring they wanted to do (or could do as we went during the holidays) so it was always sticking to the itinerary. That last point is more on me then the kids and perhaps I didn’t give them enough credit. Just noticing their body language and cries of “we just want to hang out at the pool!” made me think maybe they didn’t want to be as adventurous.
Appreciating the details
It must have been so easy getting around just the two of you
Yes and no. This is where we get into to nitty gritty of what works and what doesn’t whether you have kids or not. A lot of what it comes down to is where you’re staying and how you’re getting around. Staying on property (Disney owned resorts) allows you access to the Disney on-site transportation. Depending on which resort you’re staying, this can be a great service or it can be very frustrating. When we stayed with our kids at Pop Century, Disney’s Value Resort, we drove down to Orlando from New Jersey. Though we had our own car we rarely used it and utilized the the bus system. This time around, since it was just the two of us, we flew into Orlando and used Disney’s Magical Express, the free bus transfer from the airport to our resort. Because we were trying to make the time special we upgraded to the moderate Resort Port Orleans Riverside. The resort was absolutely beautiful and definitely felt like you were whisked away to another time and place. With that being said, if I was going to only rely on the Disney’s transportation, I would not stay at that resort again.
Due to its size, there are four internal bus stops within the resort. This Resort also shares a bus with its sister resort French Quarter from Animal Kingdom and Disney Springs, the shopping and entertainment center (of note, there is a boat that goes to and from Disney Springs to the two resorts but that’s weather permitting.) This made coming into and leaving the parks more of a chore. We were the third stop so depending on how busy the day was we might not get on and when we did it didn’t mean we’d always have a seat. Pop Century has a dedicated bus and dedicated bus spots to individual parks. The only downside is the bus stop isn’t sheltered like it is at Port Orleans. Though it definitely felt like a motel with Disney branding, I would definitely consider staying at Pop Century again. The amount of time we spent at the resort was so little it really was kind of a waste. That being said, I would consider French Quarter. Personally I just thought the aesthetic of New Orleans streets and the smaller size appealed to us more. We actually spent more time in their food court then in our own (beignets!!!) and even when the buses were shared FQ was the first stop. There were times we just got out and walked between resorts. The real issue when determining where to stay is cost and how much time your actually spending there.
How was the weather? I hear it gets hot
We’ve gone during spring break, Christmas and we just back from our June trip. Of the three times my favorite for weather was April. It wasn’t oppressively hot but warm enough for the pool and not as many afternoon showers so less downtime for the rides. Christmas was nice but it gets cool especially later in the evening so if you’re not expecting it it’s a shock.
For our June trip we did get caught in the rain but got used to it as the thunderstorms came like clockwork between 2-5. As mentioned above, Disney stops all boat transportation during storms (the only boat I saw during a super was the main ferry from the ticket and transportation hub to Magic Kingdom.) Because we were alone it really wasn’t a big deal but with kids I think it would have worried me they were getting wet. For them I’m sure it wouldn’t have mattered.
With rain come rainbows!
So, did you feel guilty leaving the kids at home?
Absolutely, and at the same time I feel relieved. There were many times I thought “oh, my son would’ve liked this” or “my daughter would’ve got a kick out of that” but then I had to remind myself that we were just there with them during Christmas and, while they did have a good time, there were says they would’ve targeted just hung out by the pool. We spoke with them everyday while we were gone and though they said they wished they were with us, when I ask them now if they’d want to go back they shrug. I guess my kids aren’t Disney kids ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
We missed our children, but for every meltdown we saw other parents enduring we secretly have each other a high five. Disney can be super frustrating between the weather, the long lines and just trying to get from one place to another. I commend all those parents who do it with younger children. Even with my teenager and preteen there were days that were rough (one doesn’t want to get on a ride, the other is permanently attached to his phone.) Disney is definitely made for families but if your a Disney fan(atic) with kids but you have the ability to it alone, don’t short yourself the opportunity.
I’m planning for the next trip and yes we will take the kids. For all their complaining it was awesome to see my daughter’s eyes light up during the fireworks and my son get all fanboy on Tigger. At least my husband and I will have had this one time.