Disney Parks have a strong reputation as a dream family vacation destination. With familiar characters and child-friendly experiences, many assume the parks are ONLY intended for kids and families – and they would be wrong!
If you’re thinking of traveling to the Walt Disney World Resort and find yourself childless, never fear. Round up your friends, “Disney Adults” or otherwise, and try these unique activities. There’s sure to be something for everyone, whether they’re looking for high-octane thrill rides, exciting nightlife, or a relaxing day of pampering.
The Best Rides for Adults in Disney World
TRON Lightcycle / Run
Although this Magic Kingdom attraction doesn’t open until April, Disney already promises it to be the fastest roller coaster in any Disney Park worldwide, clocking in at approximately 60 miles per hour. Any thrillseekers in your group won’t want to miss this brand new adventure into the Grid to race against some dangerous programs on unique bicycle-like ride vehicles.
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
This ride is a thrill-seeker’s classic. Located in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, this attraction takes you into the world of The Twilight Zone, where, for tonight’s episode, you are the star. The rickety elevator of the Hollywood Tower Hotel takes you to the top – and then drops you in a randomized sequence, so each ride is a new one—the maximum drop clocks in at a hair-raising 131 feet.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
Disney World’s newest coaster in EPCOT will leave your group not remembering which way is up. This thrilling and smooth spinning coaster has you joining the ranks of the Guardians of the Galaxy to save the universe on an epic flight through space- of course, set to a randomized song from Peter Quill’s Awesome Mix. This is, in this writer’s opinion, one of the best attractions at Disney World right now, and it will have your group shouting “Again!” at its conclusion.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
Remember how I said Cosmic Rewind was one of the best rides in Disney World? Well, this is THE best ride in Disney World. Although not as thrilling as the previously mentioned rides (this trackless ride’s motion is relatively tame), it is a must-see for its theming, immersion, special effects, and sense of adventure. Located in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, this ride will please Star Wars fans and newbies alike.
The Best Restaurants for Adults in Disney World
Located at the top of Disney’s Contemporary Resort, with a stunning view of the Magic Kingdom, California Grill is a beautiful spot for celebrating a birthday, an anniversary, or just the fact that you’re in Disney World. Known for its sushi, the delicious prix-fixe menu also offers fresh seafood, steak, chicken, and more. Pro-tip: try to book your meal during the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom for a spectacular dining experience.
If you have adventurous eaters or friends who want to try something new in your group, Sanaa is the place for you. Located at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Sanaa features an African/Indian-inspired menu and a beautiful dining room that overlooks a savannah filled with zebras, giraffes, and more. Do NOT miss the famous bread service – you’ll thank us later.
While it’s hard to pick a bad restaurant at EPCOT, look no further than Le Cellier if you’re looking to splurge. This refined steakhouse in the Canada pavilion is lauded as one of Disney’s best restaurants, and for a good reason. The famous Filet Mignon is to die for, and you can’t miss the poutine or the Cheddar Cheese Soup.
Big River Grille & Brewing Works
Located in Disney’s Boardwalk Resort, this often-slept-on restaurant is the only working brewpub in Walt Disney World and will surely satisfy the beer lovers in your group. This location offers a rotating selection of craft beers, and ciders brewed onsite alongside classic pub fare, and you can even ask to sample beers before you buy.
The Best Bars in Disney World for Adults
Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto
So, this writer may be a little biased and have an unhealthy obsession with this place – but it’s for a good reason. Located inside Disney’s Polynesian Resort, this secluded, interactive tiki bar offers a night your friends will never forget. Hijinks ensue inside Trader Sam’s, with delicious tiki drinks causing different effects to the bar and waitstaff. You’ll have a blast – just be careful not to anger the tiki goddess Uh-Oa when you order her drink because “when you mess with Polynesia, the tiki gods’ll squeeze ya!”
Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar
A day out shopping at Disney Springs is an excellent activity for a group of adults, and a visit to this Indiana Jones-themed bar best caps it. This airplane-hangar-turned-dive bar offers a wide range of delicious cocktails and appetizers on a beautiful waterfront outpost, giving you a fantastic view of Disney Springs. Try the Air Pirate’s Cargo Loaded Pretzel, which is basically a charcuterie board on top of a giant pretzel – what’s not to like?
For the Star Wars fans in your group (or anyone who likes a good drink and fun atmosphere), check out Oga’s Cantina in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Experience one of the galaxy’s most infamous watering holes and enjoy unique drinks like the mouth-numbing (literally) Fuzzy Tauntaun or the smoking Bespin Fizz. While you drink, enjoy tunes by the famous DJ R-3X, who fans of the original Star Tours attraction may recognize.
La Cava del Tequila
Located inside the Mexico pavilion in EPCOT, this hidden gem offers some of the most unique drinks you can get at the Park. Sample over 200 tequilas on their own or in a specialty cocktail, and snack on chips and guacamole as you do. This is an excellent spot for tequila lovers or anyone who likes a well-crafted drink.
The Best Experiences for Adults in Disney World
An often-slept-on spot, Jellyrolls at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort is a fantastic night out. This lively dueling piano bar features delicious craft cocktails but, more importantly, supremely entertaining live music. The pianists here cannot be stumped and take audience requests all night, causing raucous sing-alongs that everyone will enjoy.
Monorail & Skyliner Bar Crawl
Want to sample more than the bars mentioned above? Try resort-hopping with a Monorail or Skyliner bar crawl. This self-guided hack was created by Disney Guests who realized the convenient resort-to-resort transportation that the Monorail and Skyliner offer means you can try multiple bars in one night. They are choose-your-own-adventure, more or less, but here’s a basic roadmap.
- Monorail Bar Crawl: Start at the Enchanted Rose Lounge (Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa), then to the Steakhouse 71 Lounge (Disney’s Contemporary Resort), and finish at Tambu Lounge (Disney’s Polynesian Resort). Bonus: stop at California Grill or ‘Ohana for dinner, or make an extra stop at Trader Sam’s.
- Skyliner Bar Crawl: Start at Bar Riva (Disney’s Riviera Resort), then to Banana Cabana (Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort), then to The Drop Off (Disney’s Art of Animation Resort), and finally the Petals Pool Bar (Disney’s Pop Century Resort). Bonus: Start and finish your night with a drink at EPCOT and Hollywood Studios, respectively.
There’s now a festival happening for almost the entire year at EPCOT, and they’re an excellent opportunity for sampling food and drinks, seeing exclusive entertainment, and more. See live Broadway singers at the Festival of the Arts (January-February), experience EPCOT in bloom at the Flower & Garden Festival (March-July), savor international cuisine at the Food & Wine Festival (July-November) and celebrate the season at the Festival of the Holidays (November-December).
Are you looking for something a bit more relaxing, away from the action? Try an afternoon at one of Disney World’s spas. There are two, one in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and Mandara Spa in the Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel. The spas offer massages, body treatments, facials, manicures, pedicures, hair treatments, salon services, and more. And if you’ve just done all the roller coaster-riding, bar-hopping, and nighttime partying described in this article, you may need a massage by the end of the week.
So there is a tiny sampling of what Disney World offers for adults and how you can have fun with your adult friends. But remember – the best way to have fun in Walt Disney World is by doing what you want to do. There’s no shame in doing things considered “for kids” if you’re having fun. So whether that means refined cocktails and live music or Mickey bars and Teacups, enjoy it!