I’ve been to Disneyworld as a child, as a parent with my kids and as an adult for a momcation. All three options are awesome but I had no idea that being adults at Disney — without any partners or children tagging along — could be so much fun.
Use my Disney for adults ideas below to set the stage for your grownup getaway where you can feel like a kid one minute and drink wine with your friends poolside the next. From staying in one of the stunning and spacious Kissimmee villas at Reunion Resort to doing the best rides at Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and Disney Hollywood Studios, your visit should provide the perfect blend of me-time, downtime and good times.
Kissimmee villas: Reunion Resort
Depending on what kind of adults at Disney you want to be, staying on or off Disney property is the first decision you need to make in the planning process. While there are obvious benefits when you stay onsite — like immediate access to Parks, a 60-day FastPass reservation window and a holistic, immersive Disney experience — it may feel a bit like scoring a dorm room in the party residence at university. Like…it’s great at first and you party all the time, but you can never escape the party.
Curious about the Magic Kingdom FastPass? Click that link to learn how to get, use and modify Disney FastPasses for each Park.
Kissimmee villa rentals, like the ones in Reunion Resort, give you shuttle access to the Disney Parks ($8 per person), a private space in a gated community where you can cook in your gourmet kitchen or BBQ by the pool, and a place to escape the party when you’re all Disney’d out.
But, why Kissimmee? It’s right beside Orlando and the proclaimed Vacation Home Capital of the World. So if you’d rather feel right at home with separate rooms for everyone rather than in a shared hotel room, but still be just as close to all-things-Disney, Kissimmee should definitely make your accommodations shortlist.
Kissimmee vacation rentals with private pool
With about 50,000 vacation homes for rent in Kissimmee, there’s a good chance that you’ll find a property that fits your needs and budget. And when you want more than just a hotel room or a home rental managed by a third party, Reunion Resort is worth a closer look.
Our group was treated to a spectacular five-bedroom home with a private pool and plenty of common space to hang out, like a games room with a pool table and a theatre room that we really should have turned into a karaoke room.
The advantage of booking your stay through Reunion Resort directly means there aren’t any unexpected costs after you book and confirm your rental price. There’s nothing extra for you to do except show up and shop for groceries (or just order in-room dining). There’s around-the-clock access to front desk help, including nice people who will come within minutes to ensure your stay is as comfortable as you need it to be.
Reunion Resort also has a lot of onsite amenities: be a kid again at the waterpark, swim in one of its many community pools (as if your private pool won’t be fancy enough!), golf on one of its three pro-designed courses, play tennis, learn how to play foot golf, pickleball or Bocce ball, rent a bike or hit the gym.
If you think you’ll spend a lot of time exploring Reunion Resort and would rather come and go as you please rather than wait for the on-demand shuttles, you can also rent golf carts for as little as $50 per day.
Reunion Resort spa
Self-care is the hallmark of a good momcation, and The Spa at Reunion was the cornerstone of our me-time during our Disney For Adults Vacation. It was fitting that the spa is in a converted home! You won’t get robes or lockers, but a welcome mimosa or glass of champers is the ideal precursor to a service that you might not usually get at home.
For me, that was a facial. I hadn’t had one in five years and needed some serious unclogging! There are two facials available, one using Elemis products and one using a natural Texas-made line. I chose the Elemis one because I’m familiar with the line and it also comes with an undereye treatment. I also recommend adding the lip facial, which is finished off with a plumping lip gloss.
My glow was insane:
And our collective calm was palpable:
Places to eat in Kissimmee
After an afternoon of outlet shopping at the Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets outdoor mall (where, by the way, we scored some great deals on Gucci sunglasses, Jimmy Choo sandals, lululemon gear and more), we popped into Ford’s Garage for dinner, which is part of the shopping centre near the Saks Off Fifth outlet. Between a tower of crispy onion rings served on a piston, a delicious chocolate milkshake and a spicy kobe beef burger, it was exactly what a grownup version of a kids’ meal should look like.
The Reunion Resort Clubhouse Restaurant was a convenient choice for breakfast when we didn’t want to prepare our own food at the villa); you can order an a la carte or get a pretty solid buffet for around $20 per person. I went for the buffet and there was plenty of fruit (and I’m talking good fruit that includes fresh berries — not just cheap melon bites), bacon, sausage, French toast, oatmeal and made-to-order eggs, including omelettes.
Traditions Nicklaus Clubhouse, also onsite at Reunion, makes a fantastic lunch spot. It’s heavy on the seafood, which suits me beautifully, but has lots of other choices if that’s not your jam. I loved the pecan-smoked chicken wings and sea scallops atop polenta and covered in candied bacon. And my lobster roll was FULL of lobster meat and the bun was buttered to perfection.
STK in Disney Springs, which straddles Orlando and Kissimmee, is a hot spot for dinner. Disney Springs has changed so much since my last visit (when it was still called Downtown Disney) and really comes alive at night. Head there to shop, people-watch or take in some live music and get your steak on at STK.
Make sure you try the spicy watermelon cocktail at STK — it’s a bit sweet but the spice balances it nicely.
I tried a lot of dishes here, and trust me when I tell you this is what you need to order:
- Burrata salad — burrata is always a winner
- Crispy octopus — maybe one of the best octopus dishes I’ve ever had; crispy on the outside and not a hint of rubber
- Cowgirl rib-eye — this premium cut of meat did not disappoint
- Lobster mac ‘n cheese – um, wow
- Sweet corn pudding — soooooo sweet but sooooo good
The ceviche and roasted cauliflower (usually a big favourite of mine) were merely meh.
Disney for adults!
Before we move on, have a look at my Kissimmee highlight reel:
Before you arrive, make sure you use my Magic Kingdom Fastpass post to figure out how to book all of your FastPass+ selections (for every park you plan to visit, not just Magic Kingdom).
And don’t forget to stop for a Dole Whip!
If you have just one day set aside during your trip for amusement parks, I suggest getting a park hopper ticket and maximizing your time by using FastPasses strategically for the best rides at Disneyworld. Start at Disney Hollywood Studios and spend half the day there, then move on to Animal Kingdom to check out Pandora and do the Flight of Passage and have lunch as soon as you finish (Satu’li Canteen is near the ride exit and offers excellent value for the quality of food you’ll get there). Finally, catch a Minnie Van (via your Lyft app) to ride to Magic Kingdom in style:
Pro Tip: If you’re new to Lyft, use my code to get a $5 off your first few rides.
The best rides at Hollywood Studios
Since Rise of the Resistance is still so new, you can’t use FastPass+ to jump the line. We arrived around 9 a.m. and all of the reservations for the entire day had already been handed out, so if you have this Star Wars attraction on your must-do list, I’d advise you to arrive at the crack of dawn to get in line. You’ll be given a reservation time provided there aren’t so many people ahead of you that there are none left.
Don’t worry if you don’t make it on Rise of the Resistance, though. There is so much to do at Hollywood Studios that you could easily spend the whole day here if you opted not to do Park Hopper tickets. Star Wars fans could spend hours wandering around Galaxy’s Edge just taking in the details. You can even make your own droid or custom Lightsaber here in the marketplace.
Here are the top rides at Hollywood Studios for which I would consider using FastPasses:
- Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run — I LOVED this ride! You will be given a “position” in your pod that holds six people (either pilot, gunner or engineer) and get to “fly” on the Millennium Falcon. I was a pilot and I think that’s the best seat in the house since you get to see everything and fly the ship. The bigger the Star Wars fan you are, the more you’ll like this and the entire Galaxy’s Edge experience
- Aerosmith’s Rock ‘n Rollercoaster — a really fast, fun roller coaster that starts with a look inside Aerosmith’s music studio, complete with band members milling about and talking to each other (and you!) with shocking realism
- Slinky Dog Dash — this is such a cute ride that you may mistake it as only appropriate for kids. Honestly, I was unsure as we approached whether it was going to be worth my time, but it turned out to be a blast and a great complement to the Toy Story Land experience
- Toy Story Mania! — one of the most memorable “rides” during our Disney for Adults Day Out! You get to “shoot” targets like plates and balloons as you face off against your seatmates and compete to get the highest score as you ride from scene to scene
I really regret not doing the Tower of Terror.
The best rides at Animal Kingdom
I think Animal Kingdom may just get the award for the Best Disney Park for Adults. I didn’t even spend that much time there, but it was an incredible experience. Fully immersive, you won’t even need to be an Avatar fan to appreciate the scenery.
But for those obsessed with Avatar (like yours truly), it’s strangely emotional walking into Pandora, seeing Home Tree and then riding a Banshee on Flight of Passage.
I’m actually not going to tell you anything else about Flight of Passage because I don’t want to spoil any surprises. But suffice it to say that I bawled through most of the 4.5-minute ride and spent hours more processing the whole thing. It was one of my favourite rides of all time at any park, anywhere. And it is absolutely worth going to Animal Kingdom even if this is all you do. (Though I hear Everest is also pretty rad.)
The best rides at Magic Kingdom
Oh my gosh, where to begin? There are so many top rides at Magic Kingdom that it wouldn’t be hard to spend two full days exploring it all. But if you’re Park Hopping and looking for some of the most iconic rides, here are the best rides at Magic Kingdom to consider shortlisting (and FastPassing, where possible):
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Enchanted Tales with Belle
- It’s a Small World — OK, this one is really for toddlers and little kids, but it’s adorable and will bring back all the nostalgia. I wouldn’t use a FastPass on it, but if the queue is short(ish) when you pass by, go for it!
- Jungle Cruise
- Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Space Mountain — if you like fast rides in the dark, you have to do this one!
Don’t forget to stay at Magic Kingdom once the sun goes down. The fireworks are awesome and seeing Cinderella’s Castle after dark is pretty magical.
You’re going to have SO MUCH FUN adults at Disney! Go check out all of the Kissimmee villas at Reunion Resort, take stock of the best rides at Magic Kingdom and happy travels.
DISCLAIMER: Experience Kissimmee, Walt Disney World and Reunion Resort hosted our party. All opinions and suggestions are my own.
Every comment counts -- what's yours?