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I recently had the opportunity to spend a long weekend at Walt Disney World with some of my best gal pals for the Princess ½ Marathon, no kids, no husbands invited. I was a little reluctant to tell the kids that they weren’t invited, but I think the promise of a June trip to their favorite Mouse House lessened the pain, well that and the fact that I told them that running 13.1 miles was part of the requirement to go. All of a sudden June didn’t seem so far off to them!
I had an amazing weekend and I came up with my top five reasons why vacationing at Disney World without kids is an event not to be missed:
1. No need to apply sunscreen to squirmy kids before heading to the pool- Once we arrived at our resort and got checked in we decided to head to the pool, not to swim however. We wanted to sit poolside, have an adult beverage and plan out our weekend. We dropped our bags off in the rooms, grabbed our sunglasses and out the door we went! No hunting for swimsuits, applying sunscreen to multiple, over excited children, etc. If you have kids you know the drill! Once we were by the pool we could relax. It took a few minutes for the “mom in me” to realize that I didn’t have to constantly scan the pool for children. It was nice.
2. Lingering over dinner is an option- For the four nights we were there I made an effort to plan meals at locations that I had never been to. I had two reasons for that. First, when I travel with the kids the meals focus around certain character meals and kid-friendly establishments. There were a few places I had always wanted to try, but for one reason or another they had never made the cut. Second, I had really wanted to try a few places but wasn’t sure the kids would like it so I never booked them. We had dinner at ‘Ohana, Le Cellier, Kona Café, and Teppan Edo. ‘Ohana was great, I cannot believe I avoided it for so long! We have ADRs there for June and I now know that the kids are going to LOVE it! Le Cellier was everything that I have always read about and more. We got in right before dinner became 2 dining credits on the dining plan so I feel extra lucky. I probably won’t be going back anytime soon though. I don’t feel the need to take my kids to a steakhouse while on vacation because I know without a doubt they wouldn’t appreciate it. Kona Café was one of my new favorites. The tuna steak was awesome. I never would have ordered it had the couple next to me not ordered it first. Thank you random couple for breaking me out of my shell! Teppan Edo was good. We enjoyed the chef that cooked our meal and it was fun to watch, but I have to say that if you have a hibachi place near you that you enjoy, there is no need to go here. It’s my opinion though, maybe you have different feelings and that is fine, too. One of the best parts of each evening was the fact that I got to sit through my whole meal without cutting up someone else’s food before eating my own meal and there were no “emergency” trips to the restroom as soon as the food arrived at the table. My kids have impeccable timing and no amount of pottying prior to dinner can ward this off, believe me I have tried. When dinner was over we were able to linger over dessert. I actually got to enjoy dessert. Too many times, I either forgo it or hurry up to finish because someone needs to get up and be taken outside. Did you know that coffee is an option too?!?!
3. The Dumbo dash is not necessary- No need to rush to the little kid rides as soon as the rope drops in an effort to not have crazy long waits later in the day. In fact, on one morning Magic Kingdom opened at 8am. We didn’t make it to the park until 8:30 and I didn’t know what I was going to encounter. I have ALWAYS made rope drop in the past, but I was in for a pleasant surprise. We casually strolled down Main Street, sent my sister off for Fastpasses for Space Mountain, and got a cup of coffee before heading over to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad where we walked onto the ride twice in a row. The morning we went to Hollywood Studios was fun too. I have never been in the stand-by line for Toy Story Mania because I won’t take my kids through the mob in the rope drop rush. We have always had Fastpasses when riding it in the past. On this particular morning I was able to leave the group, get Fastpasses for later and then join them in the stand-by line. I am glad I got to see Mr. Potatohead, but I am pretty sure that waiting in a super long line just to see the theme in not worth it in my book. We also got to ride Rockin’ Rollercoaster twice, Tower of Terror, and a second ride on Toy Story before lunch. Sorry Playhouse Disney, I’ll see you next time!
4. Enjoying the evening entertainment does not lead to massive meltdowns- I usually avoid the nighttime entertainment with the kids (except for SpectroMagic or similar the last night) because if it doesn’t lead to a massive temper tantrum that night, I can guarantee that someone will lose it the next day. Early bedtimes (by Disney standards, anyway) are more important than any parade or fireworks show could possibly be, so as a result I very seldom get to see what Disney has to offer. This trip I made it a point to see Illuminations. All I can say is I am glad I have never kept the kids up for this one. It was alright and I am glad I had the chance to see it, but I don’t see the point in waiting for an hour + to see this. I know there are some of you out there that may take this as blasphemy, but I wasn’t all that impressed. Sorry. Next time I’ll try to work in Fantasmic. It has been over 15 years since I saw it last and I would love to see it again.
5. The Mickey Ears ice cream is all yours! And the Dole Whip, and the rice crispy treat that comes as a dessert with your lunch! Enough said.
Now don’t get me wrong. I love to take my kids to Disney World. It is one of my most favorite things to do with them, but when I take them it is all about them. I want to see their faces light up when they meet a favorite character or hear that delighted squeal as they spin in silly circles on the Tea Cups, that’s why I continue to take them time after time. But Walt Disney World is one of my favorite places to go too, and sometimes a mom just wants to do what a mom wants to do. I am so thankful that I had this opportunity to go without my kids, but I am really looking forward to June!