Many guests think of Disney World as a place for families and kids. But there are plenty of activities geared to adults, and adults who are kids at heart! Just ask my clients Dee, a 40 something mom, and Angela, her 80 year old mother, who left the rest of the family behind to celebrate Angela’s 80th birthday with a very special mother-daughter trip to Disney World. Having vacationed at Disney World as a family the previous year with her husband and sons, Dee knew she wanted to experience some of the “girlie” stuff and who to better share that with but her mom!
What’s a good time of year to visit when it’s just adults? Avoiding summer, spring break, and major holidays will keep the crowds lower. Great times for adults to visit are during Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival, an event designed FOR adults (held from mid Sep. to mid Nov.), during Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival (held from early March to mid May, but to really avoid crowds, avoid mid March to mid April), early December when the parks and hotels are decorated for Christmas, and January to February (the least expensive time of year to visit, and the lowest crowds). Since missing school isn’t an issue, Dee and Angela had plenty of months to choose from. Living in the north, they chose early March. That allowed them to get away from the cold weather, visit when Orlando isn’t too hot or too chilly, and visit when crowds and airfare are reasonable.
Which hotel is a good fit for adults? Disney World has great hotel choices in the moderate and deluxe categories. These categories offer table service dining and cocktails, queen and king size beds, additional amenities and activities not found at value resorts, as well as spas and concierge level rooms at some resorts. Concierge level rooms (known as club level rooms at Disney World) are available at deluxe resorts and offer the same comfortable rooms you may be familiar with, but guests receive personalized concierge service, private check in, and a private lounge with continental breakfast, midday snacks, and evening wine, hors d’oeuvres, cordials, and desserts. Our mother-daughter travelers chose a preferred location room close to transportation and the lobby at Caribbean Beach Resort due to its newly updated rooms, tropical feel of the resort, and boat to Disney Springs.
What types of activities appeal to the ladies when they leave the boys at home? The Afternoon Tea at the Garden View Tea Room at the Grand Floridian is an elegant way to relax after a busy day in the theme parks! Guests will tour the globe as they sip from a collection of international teas while indulging in a delightful selection of sandwiches, scones, pastries and other delicacies. And beginning at 3:00 PM each day, guests enjoy the atmosphere within the lobby as music begins to play—courtesy of the Grand Floridian piano player or a rousing rendition from a live band.
And what lady doesn’t want to dine in a castle? Angela proved you’re never too old to be a princess by celebrating her 80th birthday with lunch at Cinderella’s Royal Table inside the castle in the Magic Kingdom. Cinderella makes your acquaintance in the majestic Grand Hall, before you ascend a spiral staircase to the banquet hall above. (A gilded elevator is also available to transport you to the festivities.) Then, dine in a storybook setting surrounded by soaring stone archways, majestic medieval flags and spectacular stained-glass windows overlooking Fantasyland. During your time inside the castle, visit with classic Disney Princesses. Due to the popularity of this restaurant, reservations are strongly recommended 180 days in advance.
I don’t know a woman who doesn’t have an occasional sweet tooth! When you combine fabulous desserts with a fantastic view of fireworks, the result is Wishes Dessert Party at Tomorrowland Terrace in the Magic Kingdom, another perfect combination for a mother-daughter activity. Guests delight in themed desserts prepared daily by our pastry chef, as well as a variety of seasonal fruits and cheeses. As the first fireworks burst beyond the castle’s soaring spires and fill the night sky with enchantment, you can toast the end of an unforgettable day with sparkling cider or other beverages. Beginning October 1, 2016, guests can also choose from Wishes Dessert Party with Plaza Garden Viewing.
While Afternoon Tea, Cinderella’s Royal Table, and Wishes Dessert Party are all wonderful experiences for moms and daughters to enjoy together, unlike Dee and her mom, I DON’T recommend doing them all on the same day! But if you do, you can hit the fitness center and spa the next day to work off some of those calories. Fitness centers are located at Coronado Springs Resort and all deluxe and deluxe villa resorts. Full service spas are located at The Grand Floridian and Saratoga Springs Resort. Note that fitness centers may be used by guests staying at the hotel where one is located, while any guest can pay to use services of the spas.
If indoor exercise isn’t your thing, you can always challenge mom to a run or bike ride on one of the many trails in Disney World, or rent a Sea Racer and speed around Bay Lake, Seven Seas Lagoon, or one of the other many bodies of water throughout Disney World.
When Dee and Angela wanted to be entertained but just sit back at the same time, they headed over to Disney Springs for La Nouba, the Cirque Du Soleil show. This captivating show artfully blends vibrant music and whimsical characters with daring acrobatics and dazzling choreography. And when you run out of ideas for a mother daughter good time, you only need to visit the rest of Disney Springs where you can shop til you drop, dine at a wide assortment of restaurants, and be entertained at places like House of Blues, Raglan Road, AMC Movies, or Splitsville Luxury Lanes.
Disney’s Boardwalk, a quarter-mile promenade of exquisite dining, unique shops and exciting nightlife, also offers adult oriented entertainment. Jellyrolls is a lively piano bar for guests over 21 with dueling pianos and audience sing-alongs. At the ESPN Club you can watch your favorite team on the big screens while enjoying your favorite beer and pub food, and just maybe catch an interview with celebrity athletes taking place right inside the club. And if you want to dance the night away, try out Atlantic Dance Hall, a hoppin’ nightclub for guests over 21 that plays the hottest songs from the ‘80s, ‘90s and today.
With so many exciting things for adults to do at Disney World, don’t you want to grab your mom, daughter, sister or girlfriends, and have as much fun as Dee and her mom? Many of activities covered in this article work well for couples, too. So leave the kids at home and contact a Castle Dreams Travel Vacation Planner to start planning your “girls only” or “adults only” vacation. You can always bring the kids next time!