(Closed) Anyone been to Disney World as an adult?

posted 8 years ago in Travel
Post # 17
1613 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I live here, and go multiple times a year. We’ve also stayed at the polynesian (spelling???) resort…its amazing because their restaurant gives you an incredible view of the castle, and is surrounded by windows from floor to ceiling so you can watch the fireworks every night from there!!! But there’s no hot tub, only in the rooms…so that was a bummer! One of the awesome things about disney is that they take care of everything! I’ve gone before for almost a week and we used the car once for a cigarette run….they shuttle you everywhere you need to go, so you won’t need a rental car, and there’s kid friendly stuff to do all around you! They’ll also shuttle you to downtown disney and I highly reccomend going and seeing cirque du soleil La Nouba…its my favorite of them all, and I’ve seen mystiere, drallion, delirium…& all of the FL ones! The only thing you might need a rental for is to go see the beach if that interests you, in which case, New Smyrna Beach, (off Flagler Ave.—trust me, moms lived here since I was 9)! My cousin comes to visit every year with her kids, and they always stay at the main disney hotel…I forget what its called but I know everything is white…I wanna say the Swan, but I’m not sure…she’s due back soon! But that place is super clean and beautiful!!! I don’t think its expensve at all, but I live here and that gives you alot of perks! It can be done reasonably though! Good Luck & Have fun!!! 

Post # 18
11163 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

We just got back last month as we went to WDW for our honeymoon. We spent 9 days there and that was plenty to see all the parks and pretty much do everything.

For me personally Epcot was my favorite closely followed by the Magic Kingdom and then the Animal Kingdom. I didn’t much care for the Hollywood Studios but to each their own. We did not visit any waterparks.

We stayed at the Walt Disney World Swan hotel (booked through Expedia). We got a wicked deal, free dining credts and a complimentary upgrade to a killer King suite. That particular hotel has direct access via boat to Hollywood Studios and Epcot (so easy to use) and direct access via a shuttle to the other two parks.

A few things I learned:

-Dinner reservations are demanded not suggested. We walked into half empty restuarants only to be turned away simply because we did not have reservations.

-The Disney Dining Plan does NOT save everyone money. It depends on how you eat, how often, and what types of restaurants you enjoy. We calculated it and the dining plans would have only covered half of our trip because of the higher end restaurants we enjoy and the cost of the upgraded dining plan would have been more than what we actually spent.

-Decide what park is most important to you and book your hotel accordingly. For us Epcot was important (top of the list) so we booked a hotel that had simple access. For Magic Kingdom opting for a boat accessible or monorail accesible hotel will save you nearly two hours every day in transportation.

-Make great use of the Magic Hours. For guests that stay within the resorts they are given magic hours to which the certain park for that day is open certain hours and only resort guests can visit during that time. However, go to any other park on those days and only visit the magic hour parks during magic hours. IN other words if the Magic Kingdowm is open from midnight to 3 am tomorrow go to any other park besides the MK until midnight. For some reason those magic hour parks are much more busy during the entire day making lines longer.

We had a great time and it was a very relaxing trip. ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 19
2899 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I loooooved Disney World as an adult. My parents wanted to take a family vacation there a few years ago and I was horrified, but agreed to go because, hey, free vacation, right? I wound up loving it so much that I went back twice more on my own.

Disboards.com is definitely a good source for planning tips! You should definitely make dining reservations in advance if you want to eat at the fancier places on property. (I really loved Citricos at the Grand Floridian.) All three times I went, we got the dining plan, which gives you a certain number of meals and snacks per day. It’s nice because you don’t have to worry about how much you’re spending at each meal – you just use a “credit.” The food is shockingly good at Disney – or at least, it can be. Some of the restaurants are just outstanding.

I really love rollercoasters, so the rides were totally the best part. Space Mountain and Splash Mountain at the Magic Kingdom, Test Track at EPCOT and Expedition Everest at the Animal Kingdon are all great. I also really loved EPCOT – they have a ride that takes you through a working greenhouse with all kinds of new food-growing technology, an aquarium with manatees and a bunch of different “internatonal” pavilions – you can shop in a replica of a Japanese grocery store or eat Italian food in a piazza. Kind of amazing.

I think the best part is letting yourself get really into it. You can eat a giant cupcake or go on a ride ten times in a row – it’s like being a kid again, in a way. But better.

If you can swing it, stay at one of the monorail resorts – the Polynesian, Grand Floridian or Contemporary. It’s really really nice being able to leave your room and be at the Magic Kingdom in ten minutes. The other resorts tend to be a bus ride away, and it can be a drag sitting through a half hour bus ride at the end of a long day.

Post # 20
166 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Yes, I always do all the planning but you have to be up for A LOT of research.  I scour the WDW message boards among others because many others have some great tips on getting reduces hotel rates and other discounts.  If you rent a car, try hotwire or priceline. Another website to look into is mousesavers.com.  Lots of tips.  They also give some local ticket sellers (local to orlando) to buy park tickets for a reduced rate.  I did this and they were mailed to me.  No problems whatsoever.   

Post # 21
213 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Fiance and I went for the first time in our late 20s. We stayed at one of the budget resorts and loved every minute of it. The first time we stayed for 8 days/7 nights and got a deal where three nights were free.

The only planning we did was figure out which parks to go to each day. Some have longer hours on certain days. We slept in most days and took naps in the afternoon and went back to the parks that stayed open later each day. We had park hopper passes that allowed us to go wherever we wanted.

I’d recommend going in October during the Food and Wine festival which is supposed to be fantastic and with kids back in school it’ll be less busy. We’ve gone the end of May which was pretty light and the middle of September which was light as well.

We always stayed on resort because it’s so easy to hop on a bus and go wherever. Plus we’d always get food at the food court when we got back late. Rooms at budget resorts go for $60 to $90 a night. Tickets are around $100 now I think plus add on options like park hopper or water parks. As far as food goes, it can be as expensive or as cheap as you want. We brought food for breakfast to eat and the food portions were kinda large so we split some things. I think we probably spent about $30 to $40 at most for food for the both of us each day. Seems the deal they’ve been running lately is for free dining, which is a good deal if you don’t want to worry about food costs. They give you lots of food with the meal plans.

Our favorite parks were Epcot and the Magic Kingdom. Animal Kingdom seemed crowded but we liked a lot of the attractions there. I recommend the pineapple Dole Whips at Magic Kingdom and the raspberry lemonade slushes. We also liked the pizza at the resort and the burger toppings bar at Cosmic Rays in Magic Kingdom.

It’s much easier to get around without kids, so I’d go at least once without if you think you’ll likely go once you have kids.

Post # 22
1074 posts
Bumble bee

Yes! I love going to Disney parks still, and it’s a ton of fun as an adult too. My SO and I are going next year to Disneyland and making a big trip out of it. We’re doing a lot of “adult” stuff like staying at the nice hotel and going to nice restaraunts because we think this will be our only trip with just the two of us until our future children are full grown. Here are some of my tips:

-Book early. It gives you time to save and make reservations. 

-Stay on property if you can. At WDW the proximity makes a huge difference. Staying at a hotel with a monorail line would be ideal as far as I’m concerned.

-Don’t bother with the dining plan. To me it’s just way too much food and I felt like for what we ended up paying it didn’t really save us anything. If you go during the right times of the year it’s wrapped into a hotel stay, which would help save!

-Get a subscription to touringplans.com. They have a crowd calendar so you can book at less busy times of the year and a smartphone app that gives you waiting times for rides. It’s only around $15.00 for a year and totally worth the time it will save you.

Feel free to PM me if you have any questions!

Post # 23
325 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013 - Piney River Ranch

I LOVE Disney World!  I went for the first time when I was 3 and then not again until I was 25ish.  I had a BLAST as an adult.  We stayed at Port Orleans Riverside resort on WDW property and we were there for 7 days over 4th of July.  It was a long trip so we got to go to the parks more than once and we also ventured to the WDW waterparks.  It was a blast.  I’ll advise against the meal plan because you just don’t use it all.  I didn’t have it and got along fine.  Some other people who were with us got the meal plan and ended up wasting a lot of it.

I went again about 6 months after that on a general Orlando vacation.  We stayed in a condo off WDW property and had a rental car.  It was a shorter trip and we spread our time out between Disney World, Universal and Sea World.  Definitely wish I had more than one day at WDW for that trip, but we hit up Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios that time around, I believe.

I just went this past February as well for a long weekend (Friday-Tuesday).  We stayed in Downtown Disney at the Holiday Inn (my fiance gets rewards there for work and we stayed for free).  It was a nice hotel and they had free shuttles to the parks.  Still had just as much fun as I did the first time I went as an adult.  It was my fiance’s first time going to WDW since high school and he was unsure he’d have fun.  He had a blast as well!

Must sees:

Magic Kingdom – Cinderella’s Castle (duh) and the Wishes fireworks show;  Space Mountain (seriously went on that about 10 times in a row in February);  Buzz Lightyear;  Stitch’s Great Escape

Hollywood Studios – Toy Story Ride;  Tower of Terror;  50’s Prime Time Cafe (food)

Animal Kingdom – Safari ride;  It’s Tough to be a Bug;  Dinosaur!;  Everest

Epcot – Mission to Mars;  Soarin’;  World Showcase;  Biergarten restaurant


AH!  Too many things to see and do.  Definitely plan what days you want to go to what parks based on their hours.  If you stay at a WDW resort you get extra magic hours (hours the parks are open just for people staying on their property).  Usually either an hour earlier or an hour later than the general public can enter.

I’m a Disney freak so if you have any specific questions, feel free to PM me!

Post # 24
1597 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I’ve been to Disney once as a 12 year old, once as a 14 year old, and once as a 16 year old.

So… never as an “adult,” but I feel as though I’ve been enough times to give it a fair assessment.

I would LOVE to go back as an adult!!!

Seriously, the place IS magical. It sounds stupid to say it, and you won’t understand it until you’re there, but it is. lol.

There are a TON of things that couples can do and believe me this is one place that knows how to treat their guests, especially if you stay at one of their resorts. The best part is, you have a zillion different options for hotels, meal plans, etc. based on your personalities and budget.

Yes, there are a lot of children there, but it’s not quite the horror story some people  make it out to be. (my Future Mother-In-Law refuses to go because she said she was on a flight to Orlando once and it was filled with screaming, crying bratty children who were all Disney World bound. When I think of my 3 visits, I do NOT think of miserable children what so ever).

Yes, it can be crowded, but if you do your research you can figure out what time of year is the “slowest.” You can also get things like fast passes or reserved meals if you take the time to research stuff like that and, for some things, spend a little extra cash.

Personally I would not go in the summer because school is not in session. Therefore there will be a TON more people and it would be WAY WAY WAY too hot. I was there in April twice and the highs were in the low 90’s. I was also there in December and while it was in the 70’s and 80’s during the day, it was in the 50’s at night. Disney is GORGEOUS when it’s decorated for Christmas. Seriously, it’s like you stepped into the pages of a book.

One thing I have to stress is to MANAGE YOUR TIME. There is SO much to see and do it is literally impossible to do it all unless you’re there for, like, a month. Do research on the rides, shows, entertainment, and even restaurants before you go so you can plan as much as you can. Everyone’s wants are going to be different based on personalities, so I would make a list, even though that sounds kind of formal. But I think it’s better to have a “sort of plan” than no plan so you don’t waste your time waiting in line for stuff that you might not be into. (not that every attraction isn’t cool, but if you love thrill rides and hate cutesy stuff, you obviously don’t want to stand in line for It’s a Small World for 2 hours and then miss Tower of Terror or something).  

Overall, I think everyone who has a chance to go should go. I’ve only met one person in my entire life who didn’t like it there.

Every time I’ve left, I’ve cried. Yes, I’m a sentimental dork, but if you cry when you leave a vacation, I’d say it’s an awesome destination. 

Post # 25
883 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2012


Post # 26
997 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

It was fun, but I was surprised to learn that if you hug one of the characters they might say some not so appropriate things!

Post # 27
11324 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

I’m going for the first time next month! It is kind of funny because WDW has always been a little bit of a sore spot between my husband and I. It was actually our first big fight! He grew up going to Disney every year and l-o-v-e-s it. When he said early in our relationship he’d love to take me there, and I said no thanks… fight ensued. I have never had any desire whatsoever to go there. Mostly because I don’t like kids much (so why be around so many of them) and because it is SO FREAKING EXPENSIVE that if I’m spending that much I would much much rather go some place cooler like a foreign country. 

But I digress. Long story short, we’re going in September but we’re only spending 2 days in the parks. My husband loves epcot and animal kingdom so that is where we will spend most of our time. He said there is basically nothing he cares about in Magic Kingdom except that the fireworks are kind of cool so we are only going to go for those one night but not really sightsee around the park. 

We are staying at Coronado Springs. It is a “moderate” hotel. We didn’t want to stay in a budget hotel because budget = more kids = cranky wife. 

I guess my main concern was that we’d run out of stuff to do/be bored. I don’t want to see any characters and my husband hates rides so I knew we wouldn’t do any of those… and when I asked him what else there is to do at Disney he just always tells me about the food and I’m like…… ok well we need to do SOMETHING between all the eating though…? lol.

But now that we’ve booked this trip and I’ve looked into it more I am actually getting excited about it. I think that Epcot will be kind of cool to see all the “worlds” and I like animals so animal kingdom will be cool I guess. I still dont’ really understand what you DO there, but I guess I’ll find out. My feeling is that I will probably come away from this trip with a greater appreciation for going to Disney as an adult (revised from my previous opinion that I don’t understand why anyone goes there without a kid)… but probably still not think it is worth the money. But I’m keeping an open mind so we’ll see ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 28
9129 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

View original reply
@mrsSonthebeach:  I agree.  Drinking Around the World at Epcot is a true Floridian experience, especially during Food & Wine Festival.  This is THE adult activity at the parks since this park tends to have a higher adult to child ratio than the other parks IMO.  Thankfully it seems that they leave up a lot of the kiosks during the rest of the year (sadly they don’t serve all of the amazing food that’s served during the festival yearround.)

As far as what to do in between eating and drinking at Epcot, there are some great rides and attractions that you can’t miss.

Spaceship Earth was redesigned and everyone really seems to enjoy it.  The boat ride in The Land is a can’t miss; it’s a tour through Epcot’s greenhouses (you can opt for an additional fee-based tour called Behind the Seeds as well; it’s a very informative tour and years ago I saw the Tilapia farms on this tour before Tilapia became a popular fish.)  Imagination brought back the Captain EO show (i.e. Michael Jackson).  Mission Space is grerat if you don’t get motion sickness but I heard they did add an option that has made it less puke inducing.  I believe that Test Track is getting a redesign right now but if it’s reopened when you come down make sure to check it out because the resdesign is supposed to make it more interactive.  The Living Seas had a redesign with new clamshell transports to Finding Nemo’s world under the sea; interesting although it still feels a bit dated to me (there manatees, cuttlefish, and beluga whales on display.)

In the World Showcase there are two excellent rides, Tres Caballeros boat ride in Mexico and Maelstrom in Norway.  Of the two, Maelstrom is the best but Tres Caballeros is a nice way to get out of the heat for a little while since it’s in the step pyramid and air conditioned.  Also the American Presidents show is pretty well regarded (I usually listen to the singers in the front hall and duck out before they move you into the auditorium for the show.)  They also do numerous concerts throughout the year across from the Great American Experience (we’re seeing Sugar Ray during the Eat to the Beat concert series.)

Check out allears.net for the diehard Disney fans that can keep you up to date on the parks and provide you with reviews on rides and restaurants throughout the parks.  Have fun!

Post # 29
2353 posts
Buzzing bee

I went when I was 3, which I don’t remember at all, of course, and then as an adult 12 years ago (when I was 28). I really loved it – much more than I expected to. Fun to be able to drink at Epcot. Animal Kingdom was my favorite – I loved that whole park. 

We stayed at the French Quarter, which I loved.

Post # 30
872 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I am reading all of this with great interest.  Like the poster above. WDW has caused fights for us.  I hate kids.  He on the other hand claims WDW is the BEST PLACE IN THE WORLD.  

I am not much into rides or Disney characters at all, so I’m also wondering what exactly is there that will make this OMG, IT’S SO AWESOME for me.

Any ideas?

We’re not terribly worried about the money – we can’t fly there from here so we’ll save money by having to automatically drive and we get the military discounted tickets.  I’m more concerned about having fun.

ETA: Regarding Epcot, what makes it better than just taking the money and going overseas for real?  Not being snarky – really curious.

Post # 31
427 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I went for the very first time last month, I’m 28.  I had the greatest time! I also grew up loving Disney movies so even though I’m an “adult” seeing the characters were exciting for me ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m not a big ride fan, at least, I hate roller coasters, but I still found plenty to do.  My favortie part was just seeing all the little details they put into everything.  My brother has the Disney Vacation Club, so we stayed at Kidani Village, it was absolutely beautiful! And Sanaa restaurant was soooo good! While I was there I checked out a few of the other resorts and just seeing those alone were really impressive. I haven’t really gone anywhere, we never went on vacations when I was little, so for me it was a big deal going.

-Magic Kingdom is definitely kids oriented but I would say was my favorite.  Because when you think Disney, you think Magic Kingdom.  The lights show at night was jaw dropping! We had my niece and nephew with us so we stopped at the dance party they have where the characters come in, cutest thing ever!!!

– Most adults would like Hollywood Studios the most, but other than Fantasmic I really didn’t care for it too much.  Lines are ridiculously long and they have a lot more thrill rides, I’m boring ๐Ÿ™‚ But they have the Art Studio where an artist teaches you how to draw a Disney character, I think the whole group liked that the most.

– I sadly didn’t get to see too much of the Animal Kingdom because it poured out that day.  The tree was really neat to see and the bird show, but that’s about all I was able to do.

– Epcot was a lot of fun.  Like everyone else, drinking around the world is fun but be careful because the stuff will hit you before you know it ๐Ÿ™‚ The beer in Germany was my favorite because it was ice cold.  Also had a really good green tea sake cocktail in Japan and a really expensive but good margarita in Mexico.  The little shops are fun to go into and each country has some kind of show they put on. We stayed for the extended magic hours one night and the place was pretty empty, guess because there were passing showers.  The four of us had a boat to ourselves on Maelstrom which was pretty funny.

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