OL 062: The Adult Side of Walt Disney World
The Adult side of Walt Disney World provides some entertainment and activities primarily for adults. There's nothing wrong with taking some time away from the kids, as long as you made sure they're covered. We'll discuss some reasons why you may want to consider some adult time at Walt Disney World.
Planning for the Adult Side of Walt Disney World
If you're thinking that Walt Disney World is just a place to get It's a Small World stuck in your head, think again. You can get fine dining, concerts, great cocktails and more designed to create a great experience for adults. The big question is how to take advantage of all that Disney offers for adults without giving your kids the short end of the stick.
If you don't have kids, every trip to Walt Disney World is an adult trip. For families, it may take a bit of planning to see how you can have some adult time while on vacation. There are really two options here:
- Head to Walt Disney World without your kids
- Plan for some child care while you plan for adult time
Should You Travel to Walt Disney World Without Your Kids?
If this is what you need in your life right now, then the answer is definitely a Yes. Parenting is an enormous responsibility, and you're a better parent when you have some adult time. It doesn't mean that you don't love your children or don't want them to have fun. It just means that you need to recharge so you can be a better parent.
That said, be prepared for some push-back from your kids. We don't advocate lying to your children about your plans. If you do, then you can't share photos or bring home presents from Walt Disney World without letting the cat out of the bag.
Be honest, and find something else for the kids to do that's fun, entertaining and keeps their mind off the fact that you're doing something without them. When I was a kid, I spent a week or more every summer at camp with my Boy Scout troop. Never once did I consider what my parents were doing because I was having a blast on my trip.
Can You Get Safe Childcare at Walt Disney World?
Absolutely. Disney knows that parents need their time, and offer both in-room babysitting and children's activity centers to allow you some time for your own entertainment. Here are some of the offerings from Disney's web site about child care.
Independent childcare provider Kid’s Nite Out offers one-to-one babysitting in the comfort of your Walt Disney World Resort hotel room. Arts and crafts, reading and playing games are among the fun-filled activities for children 6 months to 12 years of age.
Children's Activity Centers are delightfully themed, supervised play spaces where kids 3-to-12 years of age can watch movies, play games, draw, dine and make new friends.
Located at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels, Children's Activity Centers include:
- Simba’s Cubhouse at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
- Sandcastle Club at Disney Beach Club Resort
- Lilo's Playhouse at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort
- Camp Dolphin at Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel
Adult Experiences at Walt Disney World
The adult side of Walt Disney World really gives you a couple of options. You can go to the parks and do all of the traditional things without the kids. As parents, we naturally put a priority on our children's desires and showing them a good time. That may mean sacrificing some of the things you want to do because it may not be appropriate for a child, even inside the park.
Without the kids, you can prioritize the events and attractions that you want to visit. Maybe it doesn't make sense to go on Space Mountain with a toddler (you know that height restriction), but you can definitely space out without the kids.
Some activities may not appeal to kids. Walt Disney World offers plenty of opportunities for fine dining, cocktails, concerts and shows, golf and other events. Sometimes children under a certain age aren't allowed, such as at a restaurant like Victoria and Alberts. In other cases, your kids just may not have any interest in playing a round of golf or seeing Pat Benetar perform at the House of Blues.
A visit to Senses Spa at Walt Disney World may not excite the kids. They do offer some Kid Services for those aged 4-12, but this may be an experience where you want to have some relaxation with other adults.
Other activities perhaps more interesting to adults than kids include some of the tours like Keys to the Kingdom or Behind the Seeds. These tours are perfectly safe for children and some may really enjoy it. On the other hand, some kids may think it feels like a school trip and they'd rather be in the Haunted Mansion.
Something we don't see happening with kids are things like Drinking Around the World at Epcot, or taking the Monorail Crawl to bars along the monorail resorts. Those are adult activities that won't have any appeal for your children.
Sometimes You Need an Emotional Break
We love kids, but there are times when you just need a break from them. Not because they're misbehaving but because you have to be on guard to watch out for their needs, their safety, and their desires. Going to a pool with your child is very different than going to the pool as an adult. You can't really rest and lie in the sun when you have to keep an eye on your child in a pool or water park.
Families have diverse ideas about what may be fun and entertaining, or even just interesting. When we talk about the adult side of Walt Disney World, the meaning will be somewhat different for each family.
Walt Disney World has all the features you could expect of a modern resort, from family friendly attractions to bars and restaurants more suited to adults. Taking a trip to Walt Disney World as part of an adults only group changes how you experience the resort and parks. It can be more relaxing or more intense than a family trip.
So don't be afraid to take advantage of the adult side of Walt Disney World. There are some great experiences waiting for you.