1) Get the Dining Plan!
Disney Dining Plans are a way to make your trip all-inclusive-ish. You pay around $60 per day/per person, and that gets you a refillable mug for your resort stay, one quick-service meal (like a cafeteria-style buffet), one sit-down meal, and one snack.
For our day at the park, we brought granola bars from home for breakfast, used our quick-service at the Beauty and the Beast themed “Be Our Guest” restaurant for lunch (totally awesome and worth the wait), ate a great steak dinner at Kona Cafe in the Polynesian Resort, and used our snack in the park at night to buy Dole Whips! It’s definitely nice not to have to worry about carrying a credit card around, and the food we ate totaled way more than $60 for that day. I highly recommend it!
2) Visit Downtown Disney
Downtown Disney is a trendy area outside of the main parks that offers shopping, dining, and nightlife options. It’s a short bus-ride away from the resorts, and the boardwalk is a really fun alternative for adults and free admission. There’s Cirque de Soleil, movies, dancing, and shows, and after the construction is finished in a few months, it will be an even more magical option for nightlife!
3) Go to the Parks at Night
Yes, this may seem like common sense, but allow me to reiterate that the parks were legit empty after 9:30 pm. There’s no way that the kids (or parents) can last that long, and if you check calendar hours before you go, you can plan to visit on days that individual parks stay open late. We walked right on to rides, and enjoyed the scenery and the beautiful night without crying and screaming children. 🙂
4) Stay at a Disney Resort
The question we were asked the most throughout our stay was “are you staying at a Disney resort?” Staying on Disney property gives you privileges to roam about the other resorts, allows additional park hours, and gives other various perks that you wouldn’t otherwise have. We stayed at Coronado Springs, which is around $175/night, and it had an awesome pool area for us to use on the day we didn’t go to the park. Look for a resort that has bus/monorail access to the parks, and good restaurants so you don’t have to go far for a decent meal.
5) Take Professional Pictures… But Don’t Buy Them
Something nice about Disney is that there are professional photographers posted up everywhere throughout the property. They offer to take your picture with the castle in the background, next to characters, in restaurants, and posing with pretty backgrounds. The only problem is, the picture packages are crazy expensive. Any time you see a professional photog set up, swipe your Magic Band and take tons fun pictures, but don’t purchase them! They’ll automatically upload to your online account, and you can then just screen shot them on your computer for forever memories!
SISTER TIP: Don’t be shy! We found that every cast member we asked to take a picture of us with our IPhone or personal camera was totally fine with it. And they know exactly what angle to capture! These are professionals, people! We got some beautiful pictures to cherish until next visit. 🙂
What tips do you have for adults in Disney??