Ah, Walt Disney World: have you ever been? When was the last time you visited?
Before 2018, the last time I went to Disney World was when I was 18. I probably went about four times as a kid/teenager, and I loved it. However, I never had the opportunity to visit the park as a real adult. The kind folks at Walt Disney World invited a few influencers to enjoy the park and see how magical Disney World for adults without kids (or AWOKs, as we were nicknamed!) is, Spoiler alert: I had the time of my life, and am counting down the days until I can go back!
So, how do you have the time of your life at Walt Disney World when you’re an adult? Here’s the low down on where I stayed, the best attractions in Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom, and some insider tips to make your Disney World for adults experience more VIP! I’ll be sharing my recap & tips for Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Disney Springs in a separate post.
DISNEY WORLD FOR ADULTS
Where to Stay: Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
First things first: where should you stay during your Disney for adults experience? If you’re flying into Orlando and don’t want to rent a car, I would suggest staying at one of the Disney resorts. Disney’s Magical Express makes your transport from the airport to your resort super easy.
Before your trip, you’re mailed luggage tags to place on your checked luggage. After you put these tags on your bags, you don’t even have to wait at baggage claim at the airport: they will transport your bags directly from the plane to your hotel! After that, you’ll hop on the shuttle, and then you’ll be transported to your Disney resort of choice.
We stayed at Disney’s Grand Floridian and Spa, and it was one of the most stunning hotels I’ve ever been in. It was incredibly sophisticated, the customer service was top notch, and the resort had incredible views of Magic Kingdom’s Cinderella Castle (we could see the nightly fireworks from our balcony if we wanted to!)
The amenities at this hotel were incredible: there were two pools, a spa, gym, 24-hour dining court, multiple restaurants on site, and more. You could get to the park quickly via the complimentary Monorail and bus transportation as well, and with our Disney MagicBands, we were able to unlock our room, gain park admission, pay for meals around the hotel and park, and all of our park FastPasses were loaded onto it.
Disney World For Adults: Things to Do in Magic Kingdom
If you’re visiting Walt Disney World for the first time, you have to start off at Magic Kingdom. It’s quintessential Disney, and probably one of the most charming places I’ve ever been to in my entire life!
- Eats: If you enjoy taking photos of your food, you’re in for a treat at Magic Kingdom. Along Main Street, there’s rose gold cupcakes, mac n’ cheese hot dogs, Mickey Mouse pretzels, ice cream with the classic Mickey ears and more! Who can pass up food that’s picture perfect?
- The Rides: If you’re going to get a FastPass+ for any ride in Magic Kingdom, get it for Space Mountain. I rode this for the first time at age 5, and it’s still super exciting for me now that I’m in my late twenties! I’d also stop by the Mad Tea Party (hello, adorable teacups!) and the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
- Fireworks Dessert Party: If you haven’t been to Magic Kingdom before, they have an incredible fireworks show every night. You can watch the show like a VIP by getting tickets to the Fireworks Dessert Party. You get to enjoy a buffet of snacks, and watch the fireworks comfortably from the Tomorrowland Terrace — win/win!
Disney World For Adults: Things to Do in Animal Kingdom
Animal Kingdom was one of my favorite parks as a kid, and it did not disappoint as an adult. Here are some of my favorite things about this park:
- Pandora – The World of Avatar: The Pandora world opened up in Animal Kingdom last year, so this was entirely new to me. It was one of the most visually stunning Disney experiences I’ve had to date — which is saying a lot! While you’re in Pandora, I’d highly recommend the Avatar Flight of Passage the Na’vi River Journey rides. Grab a Pandora-inspired lunch at Satu’li Canteen afterward!
- Kilimanjaro Safaris: Are you an animal lover? Enjoy Disney’s open-air safari and view animals in their natural habitat. Pro tip: you can also visit the safari at night to see nocturnal animals as well.
- Rides: As I mentioned above, you have to check out the virtual reality ride, Avatar Flight of Passage. It was probably the most fun I’ve had in a long time! I also loved some of the classic rides — Everest and Dinosaur.