Okay folks…I am having a pre-trip freakout. This will be our fourth trip to Disney World, but our first trip going without our children. I have a few days that are fully planned out with minute-by-minute touring plans and other days that have large chunks of “we intend to do this” time mapped out. I think it is the later that is giving me pause, as I’m used to having all of my days fully planned and then adjusting as necessary. I’m afraid without having concrete plans that we will become adrift and not know what to do, especially when we don’t have the kids’ needs/wants at the forefront of our minds. We are doing a spilt stay at POR and Beach Club, spending three days at each. We have annual passes and plan to hit all parks during our stay. Any tips or suggestions for “must-do” items for adults? These can be specific or broad…whatever comes to mind. Thank you in advance for helping me to stop freaking out!
ALL of my trips are “adults only”, either alone or with my wife. I consider having a “general plan” for what parks you’re going to visit when, “scheduled” resort time, and ADRs is pretty much a necessity. Hour by hour TPs, not as much.
In EP, plan at least a half day to stroll around WS, taking in the details and browsing the shops. Also plan on eating there at least once. Make a note of any of the “live” shows you might want to catch, but otherwise, go with the flow. If you’ve never done American Adventure, DO IT. For upscale dining, Le Cellier is excellent and Monsieur Paul is arguably one of the best in WDW.
In AK, spend time on all of the trails; they are beautiful and a bit of patience can lead to great animal viewing. IMHO, 50% of AK is not on the rides or in the shows.
Even in the constant chaos of the MK, I 'll “plan” for RD and my 3 FPPs, but otherwise I kind of play it by ear. This typically takes care of my 7 or 8 “must do” rides, and if I get on the others fine, if not, I’ve done them all many times before, and there’s always next time. Again, take time to really take in the details; rushing from line to line, head buried in a phone, is a great way to miss so much that is there.
DHS has changed so much since the last time I was there I can’t give a lot of tips except for…
Enjoy the bars. Tune-In (DHS), Dawa (AK), and La Cava (EP) are all great places for a bit of down time. No MK options for this.
Check out some of the resorts. CR, GF, WL, and AKL are all architectural gems and should not be missed. These are also where you’ll find California Grill, Citrico’s, Narcoossee’s, Artists Point, and Jiko - all some of the best restaurants that WDW has to offer (and not places that you would likely take kids).
This is wonderful advice @bswan26! Thank you so much for putting such thought into this response. I have American Adventure on my list as well as several of the performances in Epcot. I love the Voices of Liberty and hope to see them multiple times during our stay. We have never really explore the World Showcase, so I definitely want to do that more in-depth this time around.
I think one of my main struggles is allowing time for us to rest and relax. With ever trip to Disney, I always feel like it could be my last and that I need to make the most of it and see everything! I feel that pressure even more with this trip since the kids won’t be there and the reality is that I don’t think the husband and I will get back again without the kids for a long time. I want to make sure I don’t feel like I’m wasting a moment of the time we have.
I have adjusted my planning over the years and I now plan half days/nights where I list my options. At BC I would leave a dinner open and know I planned to eat at the bar at Bluezoo and then spend some time on the Boardwalk.
What kind of crazy person has a pre-trip freakout?
Oh. Wait. Me. I do.
I know exactly how you feel. On the one hand I find great comfort in having a minute-by-minute plan so that I know what I’m doing and won’t be bored. On the other had, This is what I did last time and I promised myself I’d take more time to stop and smell the roses.
How to reconcile the two?
One thing I’m planning on trying is @OBNurseNH’s FPP Lotto — once you’re through your first three FPPs, spin the wheel and see what’s available. Don’t like what you see? Modify, modify, modify. OBN reckons she goes on all the rides she wants with minimal waiting.
I recommend some lounge time.
Trader Sam’s (Poly)
Tune In (HS)
Tutto Gusto (Italy)
La Cava (Mexico)
I found that my adults only trip went great even without the same extensive planning that I usually do for trips with kids. DH and I found plenty to keep busy, but enjoyed the slower pace (including 0 bathroom emergencies, eating enitre meals with NO spills, and no one fussing while we waited for shows/rides/seating at a restaurant). As long as you’re familiar with what there is to see and do, and your group of adults is reasonably harmonious, on the fly planning is way easier than it is with kids, imo.
My all-time favorite Disney trip was my honeymoon with my wife. Just the two of us, no plans, just doing whatever we wanted whenever we wanted.
That isn’t to say it hasn’t been grand experiencing it with kids, but it certainly is a different dynamic. But in 2020, my wife and I are going back for our 25th wedding anniversary, just the two of us. We are hoping to return to the less-planned, more spontaneous experience. It won’t be about us getting from ride to ride, etc., but us just enjoying being together in the most magical place on earth!
So, don’t be afraid to do what you want when you want. If that means waiting in longer lines from time to time, so be it. Enjoy each other, first and foremost!
I don’t know what any of those words means.
Maybe this will help. (You better sit down for this one.) Imagine going to WDW without a spreadsheet.
Yeah . . . I’m not getting it?
Um. Maybe kind of like going to the grocery store with no shopping list?
So this would be a grocery store in an insane asylum?
Exactly. Now you’re getting it!
Why does the insane asylum have a grocery store in it? And why don’t the residents of the asylum have access to Microsoft Office?
Okay. You MADE a grocery list, and brought it with you, but just before you enter the doors, a rush of wind tears the list from your fingers, while simultaneously the battery on your cell phone dies AND the battery charger you brought along in case your phone battery dies spontaneously combusts (fortunately NOT in your pocket, which could have been quite painful). But you decide to go shopping anyway.
I go as a solo adult. Feb was the first time I had tried making plans, but -and this may get me booted - I glanced at them on the first day and started trying to follow it, but I learned that for me they just don’t work. I am too spontaneous for them. I do my FP+, have my list of must-dos (but without times unless it is a parade or the nighttime show) and make maybe one ADR/day, but otherwise I like not having a plan and letting the day or my mood move me.
Different things work for different people.
This is a destructive mental trap. I always go with the attitude that there will be another trip; maybe not next year, or the year after, but there will be another trip (I’m currently in the middle of what will be a 5 year interval). This greatly reduces the stress level. I don’t know if I could ever go knowing that it would be my last trip; the whole thing would be one long depressing series of good-byes…
Back in my 20s and 30s I was a go, go, go guy RD to closing, no breaks, ride everything as many times as possible, etc. Now, rapidly approaching 60, I just can’t do that anymore; I still do RD every day, but I need some rest breaks, looser schedules, more relaxation time. And you know what? I enjoy these types of trips as much or maybe even more than I enjoyed the “commando” trips of days gone by.
I’ve never even heard of Bluezoo! I’ll have to check into this more.
@profmatt, I knew you would understand! I change my plans about as much as you. ;o)