I’ve traveled to Disney Parks at all stages of my life. As a kid, I was fortunate enough to grow up in South Florida and travel to Walt Disney World annually. In college, I spent Spring Break at Disney World escaping the cold northern winters. I went to grad school in Los Angeles and went to Disneyland with friends a few times. And then as a parent, I not only took my kids to Disney World but also started cruising on Disney Cruise Line when my younger daughter turned 3.
So I get it – Disney Parks and Disney Cruise Line are perfect for kids. Children are entranced by everything and there is a vicarious sense of magic that parents absorb just by watching their kids experience all the special things that Disney vacations offer.
But there comes a time when adults start to wonder if their vacation would be a little different if they didn’t have to go on Dumbo ten times, go back to the resort for naptime, or only eat at places that offer pizza and chicken nuggets.
When my husband and I went on the Magic without our girls last fall (our first vacation EVER without the kids), we got a lot of questions about why adults would ever want to go on a Disney cruise without kids. Well, there are plenty of reasons! And adults should never feel guilty or feel like they must justify themselves for wanting to go to what some people consider a place for kids.
Here are 5 reasons why I think adulting at Disney is amazing:
- You Can Save Money
Back in 2018, Walt Disney World introduced the notion of dynamic ticket pricing (where tickets vary in price based on demand) and they have always had “seasonal” pricing for their resorts, with rack rates varying based on time of year. Food prices even go up during busy holiday seasons.
On Disney Cruise Line, prices also vary based on demand. And the difference between the same cruise booked in, say, early November or mid-February versus the summer or Christmas can be staggering – we’re talking thousands of dollars difference in price.
It’s no mystery that the higher prices coincide with school holidays. So if you can travel to Disney World or on a Disney cruise when kids are in school, you will definitely save money (sorry, teachers!).
You Can Beat the Crowds
This goes hand in hand with my point above. Crowds at both the parks and the cruise lines are much higher when school is out. Of course, school isn’t the only consideration – there are also RunDisney and other events that will bring higher crowds.
But if you are an adult traveling to Disney solo or with another adult, you can check reputable crowd calendars (my favorite is Touring Plans) and pick your vacation dates accordingly.
I’ve always said that an uncrowded weekday at Disney is worth about three crowded weekend days. With proper FastPass+ planning, an adults-only trip could potentially pack a whole lot of fun into a few short days.
- You Will (Usually) Have Better Weather
As I said at the beginning, I’m from Florida, and I have lived there off and on throughout my adult life. So believe me when I say that if you have any choice at all, you won’t want to be at Walt Disney World in the summer. It is truly miserable. The temperature and humidity are horrendous and it rains *every* afternoon.
Southern California weather tends to be more bearable year-round, but when we traveled to Disneyland last August, we experienced freak hot temperatures in the 90s combined with bad air quality from local wildfires.
Summer is also peak hurricane season. This is more of an east coast concern, but it affects both Walt Disney World and Disney Cruise Line. During the summer, cruises are potentially disrupted or even canceled by storms and the parks have also seen their share of hurricane closures and damage.
Again, if you can choose a time to visit Disney without having to worry about school breaks, you can choose a time when the weather is milder and more pleasant. My favorite times to visit weather-wise are late January/early February (which also coincides with my favorite event, the Festival of the Arts), early November (as long as it doesn’t coincide with Jersey Week or Veterans Day), or early December before the school break. The same times hold true with the cruise line.
- You Can Go at Your Own Pace
While kids aren’t the only ones who take naps, it’s a lot easier to plan an itinerary when only adults are involved. Plus, if you are in a group of adults and one of you wants to head back to the resort to swim or rest, then it’s not a big deal to split up.
- You Can Try New Experiences
Want to try drinking around the world at Epcot? Want to stay up late to watch the fireworks? Want to try out all the interesting nightspots like La Cava del Tequila, Nomad Lounge or Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto? There are also plenty of adult-oriented venues at Disney Springs: the Edison, House of Blues, Jock Lindsay’s Hangar Bar, Homecomin’, and many more. And don’t get me started about the nightclubs on the Disney Cruise Line – they are phenomenal and worthy of an entire article of their own!
Even if you don’t drink alcohol, there are plenty of experiences at Disney World and on the Disney Cruise Line that are more geared toward adults than children. The Eat to the Beat concerts at the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, certain shows at the Parks (like Epcot’s British Revolution), the performers at the Boardwalk, Irish music at Raglan Road, cooking demonstrations at the Food and Wine Festival, trivia contests on the cruise line – these are all things that do not necessarily appeal to my kids, but that I would personally love to see.
While traveling with family is great, taking a Disney vacation without kids opens a whole new world for adults. I highly recommend it, and don’t let anyone else guilt you into thinking that there is anything wrong with it!
Want FREE help planning your Disney trips? Contact Patricia at All for Dreams Travel for a quote and tons of tips for making the most of your vacation, whether it’s with or without kids!
**Feature Image courtesy of Disney Magic Diva