Parents Trade Mickey for Margs: Disney World Sans Kids

in Walt Disney World

Disney Adults in monochrome

Credit: Inside the Magic

A vacation at the Walt Disney World Resort is often a magical time for families and guests of all ages, but traveling in a large group can have its perks and pitfalls. Disney will always be the home of childhood magic, but sometimes mom and dad need to have some fun too.

A family of four looks at their phone while visiting Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World.
Credit: Disney

If you’re anything like this writer, you’ll undoubtedly have been subjected to an onslaught of marketing from the Walt Disney Company that repeatedly shows families and children enjoying all the fun the Disney parks offer. That’s okay; they are Disney’s primary audience, after all. However, this image only tells part of the story.

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Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and the rest of the parks were designed with families in mind. However, there are other audiences they want to reach. In her recent post on r/WaltDisneyWorld, one potential guest battles “mom guilt” over leaving her kids behind and missing out on her own magical experience in the process.

Ditching the Kids for Disney World

Two kids cry at Cinderella Castle
Credit: Inside the Magic

Family vacations to Disney World often result in a whole host of core memories made by all those involved. That’s all well and good, but Disney has more experiences and venues catered to an adult audience than some might know. Although the term “Disney Adult” might send a red flag up for some people, they do know how to get the most out of their trips to the parks.

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Reddit user u/carissaluvsya shares in the post below how an upcoming girls’ trip to Walt Disney World has her absolutely torn with guilt. The user writes,

“This September, my two girlfriends and I will be going to Disney on a “moms-only” trip and leaving our kids and husbands behind. We got a killer deal for a Grand Floridian Club level room, and I was totally stoked at first, but now I’ve been feeling sort of guilty about going.”

“My kids have been to Disney multiple times and we have a trip planned for this year as a family as well, but I still feel guilty. We do very nice trips and stay on property, but not GF Club level nice, and I don’t think I could/would ever spend that kind of money on a family trip.”

“I keep thinking my kids are going to be mad that mommy went to Disney and didn’t take them or that mommy got to stay somewhere that is never an option for them. Am I being way irrational about this and is the mom guilt just getting to me?”

We’re not saying this user is wrong for feeling this way, but many other Disney fans united to sway her over to the magical side. Although many share the same motif of getting over the unneeded guilt trip, a few users take the time to share the importance of enjoying the parks with a new set of eyes.

Three adult women in front of Epcot.
Credit: Disney

To put it bluntly, traveling with children often forces parents to miss out on some seriously overlooked Disney magic. While the beloved theme park is home to Mickey Mouse and his animated entourage, there is so much more to experience than just what you see in the commercials.

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In the comments, u/jbug671 aptly writes,

“Nope. Get over the mom guilt and treat yourself! Buy them gifts! I’ve been on three trips post-kid and no kid. Twice with hubby and once solo. There’s a different pace to the day when there’s no kids to consider. First trip we stayed at the Polynesian, and did it up! Trader Sam’s, drinks and fun at EPCOT, luau, etc., all at our pace. Our daughter was salty about it but got over it when we used the rebound offer to take her 11 months later.”

“Second trip, hubby and I just did [Magic Kingdom]. We got the anniversary pins (it was close to our anniversary. We went on all of our favorite rides and had dinner at Crystal Place with a last-minute reservation. Solo trip we were in Orlando for my husband’s work. I took an Uber to EPCOT, strolled the arts festival, had lunch in Mexico, and took the monorail to [Magic Kingdom]. Stayed until the fireworks started, then caught an Uber back to where we were staying. I had a blast. As someone who has been several times, I knew where to go, and was able to get to the front of lines/rides because I was solo. I was also able to browse the stores at my pace without a husband and kid restless to get out of the store lol.”

Further underneath, u/PerfumeLoverrr adds,

“My bf & I just got back from a trip by ourselves without our 12 year old. He has been more times in his life than we both have in ours lol and we have brought him for the past 3 years. We were obviously feeling guilty, but we asked him, and he said he didn’t care if we went without him, so that helped a bit. Still felt guilty, though. Mom guilt is real but sometimes you just have to shake it off and remember that you deserve to do things independent of your children too. You are your whole own person outside of being a mom. Also, kids need to be taught to understand that not everything is for them, and they will not be included in everything other people do. That’s just how life works, and the sooner kids are taught this, the better they will fare as teens/adults.”

The thread is full of similar parents in similar situations, but they all have more or less the same message. It’s okay to enjoy Disney without the kids, and the original poster shouldn’t feel bad about going on her girls’ trip.

But Why?

A woman smiles wearing Princess Leia buns, taking a selfie with a black iPhone.
Credit: Disney

While Disney Adults don’t have a perfect reputation, they do seem to enjoy the parks to a greater extent than some parents do. Yes, kids should experience the Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and so on while they’re young, but they can often get overstimulated, tired, cranky, and create all sorts of hassles at the parks and resorts.

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Disney World has its parks, rides, and rollercoasters, but it also has Michelin-starred restaurants, fantastic nightlife, and shopping opportunities that are of little to no interest to younger guests. What a large portion of Disney’s consumer base seems to miss is that Disney isn’t made for one audience but for everyone who walks through those gates. A family vacation is great for some, but it’s okay to try something different.

Have you left your kids at home on a Disney trip? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!



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