How to Visit Disney Without Kids

Learn insider tricks for planning an adults-only Disney World and Universal Studios vacation.

U.S. News & World Report

How to Visit Disney Without Kids

English-Irish boy band The Wanted performs 'Santa Claus is Coming To Town' while taping the Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade TV special December 6, 2013 at the Magic Kingdom park at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida
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Plan a grown-up Disney getaway with these pro hacks.

When the temperatures drop and kids head back to school, it's the ideal time to take an adult getaway to the theme parks in Orlando, Florida. Make plans to visit Disney World and Universal Studios in style. Both parks are expanding their offerings with new attractions and feature under-the-radar experiences that are perfect for adults. To take your Disney trip to another level, book a private VIP Tour with your own personal guide to escort you through a customized experience you won't forget.
Guests leave Walt Disney World's Epcot October 8, 2003 near Orlando, Florida.
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Take a tour around the world at Epcot.

Where: Disney World

Epcot features 11 countries in the World Showcase, international dining and several thrilling rides like Mission: Space. A recent addition is the updated Soarin' IMAX projection and hang glider ride. Soarin' takes passengers on a flight across the globe with destinations such as the Great Wall of China and Australia's Sydney Harbour. Complete with ocean breezes and sandstorms in the desert, this ride is exhilarating, to say the least. For dinner, try the new Spice Road Table in Morocco with a front row seat for the nightly spectacular fireworks show, Illuminations. For dessert, head over to the France pavilion for an ice cream martini at L'artisan des Glace.
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Plan a grown-up Disney getaway with these pro hacks.

When the temperatures drop and kids head back to school, it's the ideal time to take an adult getaway to the theme parks in Orlando, Florida. Make plans to visit Disney World and Universal Studios in style. Both parks are expanding their offerings with new attractions and feature under-the-radar experiences that are perfect for adults. To take your Disney trip to another level, book a private VIP Tour with your own personal guide to escort you through a customized experience you won't forget.

Take a tour around the world at Epcot.

Where: Disney World

Epcot features 11 countries in the World Showcase, international dining and several thrilling rides like Mission: Space. A recent addition is the updated Soarin' IMAX projection and hang glider ride. Soarin' takes passengers on a flight across the globe with destinations such as the Great Wall of China and Australia's Sydney Harbour. Complete with ocean breezes and sandstorms in the desert, this ride is exhilarating, to say the least. For dinner, try the new Spice Road Table in Morocco with a front row seat for the nightly spectacular fireworks show, Illuminations. For dessert, head over to the France pavilion for an ice cream martini at L'artisan des Glace.

Go on a dinner safari at Animal Kingdom.

Where: Disney World

A brand new offering, Savor the Savanna, is an experience you won't want to miss. Every evening, up to 12 guests can take a private tour deep into the Harambe Wildlife Reserve followed by an African-inspired tapas dinner in the Boma (the Swahili word for "safe place") featuring regional wines and beers. The evening comes with views of elephants, wildebeest and giraffes roaming the savanna, complete with the lions roaring in the distance and breathtaking sunsets. Before dinner, take in a performance of the fabulous Festival of the Lion King; afterward, enjoy one of their nighttime experiences, Tree of Life Awakenings.

Wine, dine and shop at Disney Springs.

Where: Disney World

Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney) recently reopened with four distinct neighborhoods featuring upscale shopping and restaurants by award-winning chefs. Morimoto Asia, Rick Bayless' Frontera Cocina, Art Smith's Homecoming, The Boathouse (a seafood restaurant on the lagoon) and STK (a trendy steakhouse) are just a few of the many newer options in this lively complex, which is also home to La Nouba, the Cirque du Soleil production.

Stay at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort.

Where: Disney World

Elegant, quiet and removed from the parks, the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort is a stunning Spanish Revival-style resort featuring park access by shuttle bus, a Disney Planning Center and Disney character breakfasts at its on-site restaurant, Ravello. Plus, there's an adults-only pool, a 13,000-square-foot luxury spa, Tom Fazio-designed 18-hole golf course and several restaurants, including the contemporary Capa, a Spanish-influenced steakhouse that was recently named one of America's 100 Best Wine Restaurants by Wine Enthusiast magazine. Located on the 17th floor, Capa's rooftop bar is the perfect place to view all of the fireworks from the parks in the evening.

Visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and ride heart-pounding roller coasters.

Where: Universal Orlando

Walk through the sets of some of your favorite movies, and then get whisked away to the world of Harry Potter via the Hogwarts Express. Here, the streets are filled with whimsical details from the movies, with hidden walls and incantations that come to life with magic wands. A standout attraction is Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, an airborne ride through Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Grab lunch at the Leaky Cauldron, an authentic British pub serving Butterbeer. For a more thrilling pursuit, take a spin on the Incredible Hulk Coaster, which reaches speeds of 67 miles per hour and turns upside down in a zero gravity roll.

Enjoy nightlife and dining at CityWalk.

Where: Universal Orlando

This lively entertainment complex sits just outside the gates of Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. With a myriad of restaurants, a bowling alley, bars and the popular Blue Man Group spectacle, there is something for everyone. Two newer popular spots are The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar, offering creative sushi and burgers, and VIVO Italian Kitchen, which boasts handmade pastas and authentic old-world Italian flavors. The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen features smokestacks and a clever 19th-century design, along with chocolate from Mexico to Madagascar in dishes from appetizers to desserts.

Stay at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando

Where: Universal Orlando

For a complete Universal-themed vacation, stay at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, an Italian-inspired resort offering upscale amenities and excellent dining options. This resort is just minutes away from the parks by water taxi. After an exhilarating day in the parks, return to the hotel to listen to Musica della Notte (Music of the Night), which takes place along the Harbor Piazza, and enjoy a romantic dinner at Bice Ristorante. Afterward, take a short boat ride to the new Caribbean-themed Loews Sapphire Falls Resort to experience a rum flight at Strong Water Tavern, where knowledgeable Rum Captains will take you on a rum-themed adventure.

Book a VIP Tour Experience at Disney World and Universal Studios.

Where: Universal Orlando

With a VIP Experience, guests can visit the parks with a knowledgeable private guide. They'll even ride those jaw-dropping rides with you when no one else will. Walt Disney World and Universal Studios offer slightly different experiences, but both tours include backstage access, no lines for top rides and attractions and a customized tour. The VIP Experience is offered for up to 10 guests at Disney and up to 12 visitors at Universal, and it is the best way to see and do everything you want to in a short amount of time. They also offer culinary packages during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival from September to November.

Spend Halloween in the parks.

Where: Disney World and Universal Orlando

For Halloween fans, both Disney World and Universal Studios offer spooktacular celebrations. Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party features special events where guests dress in costume, and it runs through the end of October. Meanwhile, prepare to be terrified at Universal Studios during Halloween Horror Nights. The biggest Halloween celebration in the country, and not for the faint of heart, evenings in the parks are like being in your own horror film, with haunted houses and frightful characters at every twist and turn.
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