When I was growing up, a gatekeeper was something out of Ghostbusters.
Today, in our increasingly divided yet connected world, it seems gatekeepers are everywhere.
Disney people – adults who enjoy a Disney vacation sans children – caught one influencer’s eye. As a result, massive parts of the internet’s gatekeeping culture were aflame with lists and breakdowns about why and how Disney people are bad.
Can I just say one thing? Let people enjoy things.
Who am I to criticize? I have my own obsessions. Tennessee football. The Beatles. Star Wars. Disney.
I am certainly unapologetically a Disney person. But I have kids with me, so I wouldn’t qualify as such to the internet’s gatekeepers.
But given a chance? My wife and I would absolutely go on a Disney vacation just the two of us.
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Is Disney World a good vacation for adults?
Yes. Of course, it is. Disney World Resorts are great and have luxurious pools and spas. In fact, the entire complex is littered with good to great restaurants.
There is golfing and shopping and shows and a myriad of other activities adults may enjoy. Not to mention the fact that without kids, a lot of the pressures of being the chief vacation planner and camp counselor are lessened.
Without kids, you get a chance to relax and enjoy the Disney property for what it is: A world-class vacation destination.
Where should adults go at Disney?
Anywhere they like. In fact, you do you.
I think EPCOT’s World Lagoon and the Food and Wine Festival are great starters for adults. Maybe stop by Splitsville Luxury Lanes at Disney Springs. Indulge in a little nostalgia in the Magic Kingdom.
Heck, spend the gross national product of Belize and spend two nights on the Star Wars Galactic Cruiser pretending to be Ponda Baba’s long-lost cousin at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
What are the best Disney resorts for adults?
There are a lot of great options for the best Disney hotels for adults.
Disney separates its resorts into four basic categories, generally situated around price and experience.
You have value resorts – chiefly designed to cater to families. Moderate resorts – more amenities generally – are good for adults or families.
Deluxe resorts are very upscale, prime locations, family-friendly but much more adult-oriented. And last, deluxe villas are designed to cater to robber barons and people who own their own space force.
For the purposes of this exercise, we remove value resorts from consideration. That doesn’t mean a couple on a budget couldn’t have a nice time at Pop Century or Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – which really straddles the line between value and moderate – but if we’re talking about best resorts for adults, I think the value resorts don’t quite make the list.
Likewise, we’re cutting the villas for a couple of reasons. First, we’re willing to concede that at those prices, the villas are probably the best experience for adults, children, embryos, wombats, whatever you got.
Second, most couples don’t really need quite all that room when on vacation.
That leaves us the moderate and deluxe categories.
What are the moderate resorts and how much do they cost?
- Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort: $272*
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort: $289*
- Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter: $294*
- Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside: $294*
- The Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort: $473**
What are the deluxe resorts and how much do they cost?
- Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort: $725*
- Disney’s Wilderness Lodge: $509*
- Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort: $799*
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge: $508*
- Disney’s Contemporary Resort: $607*
- Disney’s Yacht Club Resort: $613*
- Disney’s Boardwalk Inn: $614*
Usually, Disney runs a discount each season that knocks 15% to 30% off of hotel stays. You can also book packages that might save a little.
*Per night prices are based on an average from a random week in the summer of 2023. Resort night prices vary depending on the season.
**The Cabins at Fort Wilderness Resort are designed really for families and sleep up to six people, which is why the cost is significantly more.
Wait. Where’s the Riviera or Saratoga Springs?
There are some Disney resorts that fall into the deluxe villa category but don’t have “villa” in their title.
Each of these has a studio option. These are also Disney vacation club properties. They include:
- Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa: $467
- Disney’s Old Key West Resort: $474
- Disney’s Riviera Resorts: $682
Again, pricing varies by season and is subject to change.
What’s the difference between moderate and deluxe hotels?
About what you’d expect. The pools at the moderate resorts are cool, but the deluxe resorts have the best pools.
The deluxe resorts have the best restaurants, including fine dining options. Deluxe resorts also have the best locations.
For example, The Contemporary, the Grand Floridian and the Polynesian are all in close proximity to the Magic Kingdom park.
And the Yacht Club and Boardwalk Inn are in the EPCOT Resort area, just a short walk to the back entrance of the park near the Paris Pavilion in the World Showcase.
If you’re thinking about doing an adults-only vacation at Disney, what are the best Disney resorts for adults?
5. Port Orleans – French Quarter
Certainly, one of the nice things about vacationing as an adult at Disney is you don’t necessarily have to build your entire experience around the parks. You can luxuriate a little bit more in the entire experience.
For example, I like the French Quarter and the Mardi-Gras, Cajun and Creole specialties. I like the vibe.
When you’re an adult the vibe is everything. From drinking Hurricanes and listening to some Jazz at Scat Cat’s Club to taking a horse-drawn carriage ride, The Port Orleans French Quarter has a lot of vibes.
4. Caribbean Beach Resort
We’ve stayed at the Caribbean Beach several times and while it has its faults – mainly it’s too spread out which makes the busing system less efficient – the positives outweigh the negatives.
What does the Caribbean Beach have going for it? Again the vibes. It’s got great vibes.
In particular, grab a drink and chill out down by what may be the most picturesque pool area in Disney. Get something to eat at Port Royale and ride the Skyliner.
It is Disney’s gondola system that takes Caribbean Beach guests right to EPCOT’s back door and Hollywood Studios front door.
Frankly, the Skyliner access online puts Caribbean Beach ahead of the other moderate resorts.
3. Boardwalk Inn
I’m a sucker for a transporting experience, something that takes me to another time, another place. The Boardwalk Inn takes you to turn-of-the-century Atlantic City.
There’s also a thriving nightlife, including carnival games which I love, all along Crescent Lake. Throw in the carnival-themed Luna Park Pool and the excellent Flying Fish restaurant and the Inn is an experience all in itself.
Furthermore, the walking distance proximity to EPCOT and access to the Skyliner to Hollywood Studios and the Boardwalk Inn is the perfect home base for your adult-only Disney vacation.
2. Animal Kingdom Lodge
The least appreciated of the Disney theme parks may well have the best hotel. Or close to it, anyway. Step into Disney’s version of the heart of Africa.
The hotel offers views of the lush savanna that is home to hundreds of animals.
It’s a touch of an African safari in Orlando. The pool area is also magnificent. Dining is award-winning with flavors you can’t just find anywhere.
Certainly, if you’re looking for an experience on your Disney vacation, this is it.
1. Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
When I was a boy and we went to Disney, I dreamed of staying in the Contemporary. It was the pinnacle of vacation destinations.
Well, now that I’m a man, the Contemporary has been surpassed. The Polynesian is the best Disney Resort experience for adults. Located at the resort monorail, it’s an easy ride to the Magic Kingdom.
For instance, the best meal I’ve ever had in Disney World was at the Polynesian. The views of the Seven Seas Lagoon and the Magic Kingdom beyond are wonderful. The rooms are comfortable and relaxing. And the vibe – there’s that word again – is everything a vacation should have.
What is your favorite Disney resort while on adult vacations? Let us know in the comments!