When you think of Orlando’s Disney World parks, you might think of your favorite childhood movie, Mickey Mouse. Or maybe a trip to Orlando you took as a kid. However, planning a trip to Disney for adults is now easier (and more fun!) than ever before. Disney is constantly improving its atmosphere and activities, making the parks better and better for adults with each addition.
With its food and wine festivals and new rides, Disney is a perfect getaway for adults. You can now buy and consume alcohol in all four of the parks as well—a big change from a few years ago!
Orlando is also home to all the Universal theme parks, which are full of thrilling roller coasters and incredible nightlife. There’s a lot to Disney World in Orlando, and here are some of the top appeals for adults.
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The Best Disney World Theme Parks for Adults
Disney World has six theme parks in total, including two water parks. Below are the best ones for adults so you’ll be sure to find something you’ll love.
Epcot is the best place in Disney for adults because of the many festivals they have going on year-round. The most popular events are the Food & Wine Festival running from July to November, and the International Flower & Garden Festival, from March to July.
During the Food & Wine Festival, you can visit restaurants and booths from over 100 countries. Try the food, wine, and cocktails from all over the world crafted by professional chefs. The Flower & Garden Festival has displays of flowers and sculptures from all over the world. Sometimes the creators are even there, and you can ask them about their work!
Disney’s Hollywood Studios is best known for the Twilight Zone’s Tower of Terror and the Rockin’ Roller Coaster with Aerosmith. Both rides are pretty intense, making them perfect Disney attractions for adults. Hollywood Studios is also home to Star Wars Galaxy Edge, which is incredible even if you aren’t a die-hard Star Wars fan.
There’s an amazing cantina in Star Wars Galaxy Edge with some of the best cocktails in Orlando. They’re all Star Wars themed, of course.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a great park for adults because it has safaris, cantinas, and Expedition Everest. The most popular attraction is the Kilimanjaro Safaris, where you can see giraffes, lions, and zebras. Ride in an open-air car and experience a real African safari.
After seeing the animals and riding on the rides, head to one of the bars. The park has Thirsty River Bar, Satu’li Bar, and Dawa Bar. So, there are plenty to choose from.
Animal Kingdom also has several nighttime safari options where you can see all the animals while sampling African cuisine, beer, and wine. It’s a fun and unique experience not to be missed.
Disney’s Magic Kingdom is by far the most kid-friendly park, but adults at Disney can still find plenty of things to do. There are a few faster-paced rides such as Space Mountain, Haunted Mansion, and Thunder Mountain. The Magic Kingdom Park is also one of the best choices if some people in your group prefer slower rides or shows.
Main Street also has the best gift shops, including luxury items and designer Disney clothing stores. Head to Magic Kingdom close to opening time for shorter ride wait times and smaller crowds. The park also has fireworks, parades, and numerous shows every day.
Disney Park Tickets
Pricing has changed significantly over the years. Disney no longer issues tickets for specific parks. Instead, they issue tickets by the day. So, if you want to visit 3 parks, you will buy a 3-day pass. This means you can only visit one park each day. You can’t park hop unless you add on the Park Hopper Option for an additional fee.
There’s also not a flat rate for tickets anymore. Ticket prices vary by the day and time of the year. You will need to check the price calendar when you buy tickets. Generally, tickets are never less than $109 and do not rise above $189 for one-day tickets.
The more days you add on, the less expensive your price will be per day. For example, 4-day tickets usually range between $103 to $189 per day. It can get a little confusing so check out their website to get what you should expect to pay.
Prices can always change during peak season and according to park capacity. It’s a good idea to always get your tickets early!
The Best Disney World Resorts for Adults
Any hotel in the Disney World Resort area will be more expensive than a typical Orlando hotel. However, they provide access to the parks and surrounding activities that is unbeatable. You can also use the complimentary park buses once you’re at the resort, saving you transportation and parking money.
Here are the best Disney Hotels for Adults:
Budget—Fort Wilderness Resort has many options for staying near Disney that are more budget-friendly. They have campsites where you can set up your own tent and supplies. They also have fully equipped campsites for those who don’t bring their own gear. Cabins are also available for rent and can sleep up to 6 people. In your free time, you can head to the pool or rent a golf cart to explore the area.
Mid-range—Yacht Club Resort is within walking distance to Epcot and a short boat ride to Hollywood Studios. It is also one of the top-rated dog-friendly hotels in the Disney World Resort area, so go ahead and bring your pet! There’s a huge pool and lagoon perfect for exploring and swimming if you want a day or two away from the parks.
Luxury– Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is one of the closest resorts to all the parks. They have complimentary trams and buses to take you to all the park destinations. There are four restaurants in the hotel and also a cocktail bar. If you’re looking to relax in the Florida sun, the Grand Floridian also has an amazing pool with a water slide.
The Best Restaurants in Disney World for Adults
The Boathouse is an amazing restaurant inside Disney Springs. This place is huge and the menu is even larger! Reservations are definitely recommended as it’s a tourist and local favorite. Come hungry and try all of the seafood galore. Some of the best choices are the lobster roll, the shrimp boil, and the shrimp & andouille mac & cheese.
Tiffins is right inside Animal Kingdom and features some of Orlando’s best Indian and South African cuisine. The best plates are the charred octopus and butter chicken. Try the passion fruit tapioca cream for dessert.
Topolino’s Terrace is located in Disney’s Riviera Resort. They have an incredible breakfast and dinner menu featuring a beautiful rooftop view of Disney World. Disney characters also come around at certain times for pictures. Try the winter pumpkin ravioli or the braised lamb shank. The house fromage board is also amazing for an appetizer.
Nomad Lounge is inside the Animal Kingdom park. While it does have some amazing small bites, most people pop in for the cocktail part of the menu. Try the Sinaloa sangria with the impossible sliders or the spice trader classic with the spiced-tuna bowl. Kids are welcome in the cocktail bar, but you’ll mostly be surrounded by fellow adults!
Disney is also home to some pretty amazing nightlife. Most places are at Disney Springs or on Disney’s Boardwalk. They are open until the early hours of the morning, giving you ample time to drink and spend time with friends.
House of Blues is one of the most popular spots and is located in Disney Springs. The venue is huge and has different music in every area of the building. The main room is usually reserved for big-name artists and tickets need to be bought in advance. The other areas are perfect for a laid-back night out, and no reservations are required.
They have a large food and drink menu, as well as a full bar. Grab a drink and listen to musicians perform all different genres of songs from country to indie to acoustic.
Atlantic Dance Hall is the best place to go if you want a night of drinks and dancing. They play music from the ’80s every night until 2 a.m. You have to be 21 or older to enter the dance hall so you can be sure it’s adults only!
Other Disney World Activities for Adults
There are several Disney activities for adults that are not theme park-related. If you need a day to wind down away from the parks, check out some of the options below.
Disney’s Lake Buena Vista Golf Course is stunning. Featuring an 18-hole course in a classic country club style, it’s a perfect place to test your skills. The course is also full of beautiful lakes and forests. They have all the equipment you need for rent if you didn’t bring your own.
Senses is an incredible spa with locations at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort. You don’t have to be staying at either resort to use the spa, just make a reservation ahead of time. Their services include massage therapies, facial treatments, and body wraps.
Other Orlando Theme Park Favorites for Adults
While Disney parks are by far the most popular, Orlando also has Universal Studios. Universal is separated into three different sections. One is a water park that is mostly for kids, but the other two parks are some of the best amusement parks in Florida.
Universal’s Islands of Adventure
If you want rollercoasters and a day full of adrenaline, Islands of Adventure is the place to go. It’s home to The Incredible Hulk roller coaster, Jurassic Park, and many other intense rides. It also has Diagon Alley from Harry Potter. Sip a Butterbeer and ride three different Harry Potter-themed rides.
Islands of Adventure is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. during the week and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on the weekends. It is located at Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL, 32819. Tickets start at $149 but can increase during peak season. You can buy tickets here.
Several years ago, Universal Studios used to be all shows and entertainment. Now they have several rides for adults and more adult-humored shows as well. Take a ride on Revenge of the Mummy or the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit. Check out the Fear Factor Live show and the Blues Brothers show as well. You can also ride the Hogwarts Express train from one park to the other.
Universal Studios is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends. It is located at 6000 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL, 32819. Tickets start at $149 for one day and increase depending on the time of year. You can buy tickets here.
When to Go to Orlando’s Theme Parks
All of Disney park tickets will be cheaper in off-season months. This is usually September through early November and February through mid-April. The end of November, December, and January are often expensive because the weather is nice and people have more vacation time.
June and July can also be more expensive and are very hot in Florida. If you go during off-season months, you have fewer wait times for rides. Restaurant Disney World reservations in the park will also be more widely available. You always have a better chance of having time to do everything you want if you don’t go during peak season.
How to Get to Orlando’s Theme Parks
Orlando International Airport (MCO) is a large airport with countless domestic and international airlines. Disney’s theme parks are located in Lake Buena Vista which is about a 20-minute drive from the airport.
If you are staying at a Disney World Resort and only plan to eat and drink at places nearby, renting a car is not absolutely necessary. Buses can be taken almost anywhere in Disney World and you can always use Uber if you plan to venture outside of the surrounding area a few times. You can check with your hotel ahead of time to see where their buses go to and if you will be able to use it for all your destinations.
How to Get Around Orlando’s Theme Parks
Once you are in the Disney World Resort area, there is an extensive bus system that takes you from your accommodation to any of the parks. You can also take the Walt Disney World Monorail System from Epcot to Magic Kingdom. Several hotels can also be reached with the monorail.
You can also go from one park to the next with the bus system. Once you exit any of the parks, you will see signs for the bus stops and bus routes. They’re very easy to follow. At your hotel, you can always ask the reception desk any questions about getting around by bus.
Disney World Isn’t Just for Kids
Experiencing Disney as an adult will be different than if you visited the parks as a child. All of the magic is still there, and this time you’ll have more freedom when it comes to shows and rides. With the amazing nightlife, theme parks, and other activities, you can be sure choosing Disney for your next adult vacation is a great choice.
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