When I got back from Disney, I was speaking with someone at work who just came back from a trip there a week before me. "How old are your kids?" she asked. "Oh! I don't have any! It was a grown-up vacation."
Disney World doesn't necessarily spring to mind as a great spot for a grown-up family vacation, but it was so awesome. When you're an adult, you have a realistic sense of time, which makes waiting in lines way more pleasant. 50 minute wait? Hey, it's better than being at work!
We didn't have any of that let down at the end. Old favorites were fondly revisited (that's It's Small World above), and newer rides seemed so flashy and cool (hello, Aerosmith roller coaster and Test Track!).
Disney is a vacation you can certainly figure out on your own, but here are a few tips and tricks we discovered along the way.
- This wait time app was crazy helpful (and free!). It lets you see how long the wait is at the most popular rides without walking across the park to check. It's maintained by users, so when we remembered, we'd add in our own wait times once we finished rides. Disney makes you want to be helpful person :)
- The fireworks show at Magic Kingdom occurs every night, and it was one of the most magical things we did all week. I'm a totally sucker for fireworks, but a light show on the castle? A live Tinker Bell floating over the park? Classic Disney songs playing in time with the fireworks? It doesn't get any better!
- Have a sit-down lunch. During previous trips as a kid, I remember us rushing around all day, trying to cram in as much as possible. This time, we would do a few rides in the morning, then stop somewhere for lunch. The price point wasn't significantly higher at the restaurants compared to the kiosks, the food was surprisingly good, and we all got to have a beer in the middle of the day. Yay for being a grown-up!
- Take a few days off from the parks. After much research, we decided to golf at Falcons Fire during our visit. It was a lovely course, fairly reasonable, and the staff were amazingly kind and helpful. We also went into Celebration twice - Disney's version of a New England town. Kind of weird, but, eh. Just go with it! It was really cute, and had a handful of good restaurants (we went here on our last night, and loved it!). As fun as it is to visit the parks, exploring new territory is quite delightful, too.
- Lastly, when we were prepping for this trip, I kept mentioning old favorite rides to Peter, like the Tiki Room and the Carousel of Progress. He looked at me like I was nuts! He had never even heard of those rides. We now have a debate going if his family was weird for not going on these, or if mine was weird for loving them so much. Weight in below, if you'd like (though I have a sinking feeling that I was the weird one!).
Have I convinced you that Disney World is a worthy grown-up vacation destination?! You'll have so much fun, I promise!