What’s the most ideal travel destination for a 20-something right now? Somewhere that would be perfect for couples, a girls getaway, or a bachelor/bachelorette party? My answer might surprise you: it’s Walt Disney World.
Earlier this week, I recapped my experiences at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom. Part 2 of my Walt Disney World Travel Guide for Adults will cover all of the fun we experienced at Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Disney Springs. Let’s begin, shall we?
Disney World For Adults: Things to Do at Disney Springs
Back when I was a kid, Disney Springs was known as “Downtown Disney.” Even though I’ve visited Walt Disney World multiple times as a kid, I never made it to this section! Disney Springs ended up becoming one of my favorite spots to hang out with my girlfriends: there are so many places to eat, shop and play as an adult, and the nightlife was incredible!
- Eat: If you’re a foodie, Disney Springs is the place for you! We had dinner at Enzo’s Hideaway, which is a cozy Italian-inspired speakeasy nestled underground. They had an incredible selection of wine and craft cocktails (I loved the Prohibition-era inspired drinks on the menu!) and an intimate atmosphere — we spent hours at this restaurant catching up and enjoying the ambiance.
While I preferred the small plates and appetizers over the entrees, I still think this is a solid dinner spot. We also had a few post-dinner, late-night snacks at The Boathouse, which has a pretty good selection of seafood options — naturally, I gravitated towards the raw bar offerings. As a Chesapeake Bay native who’s particular about her oysters, I was pleasantly surprised with the raw bar options.
- Shop: Fashionistas, rejoice: there are some pretty fantastic shopping options at Disney Springs! From Lilly Pulitzer to Melissa to Anthropologie and Free People, there’s a store for everyone at Disney Springs. The shopping here might be better than the shopping at my local mall, just saying here!
- Play: If you’re craving a thrill, head to the Star Wars™: Secrets of the Empire by ILMxLAB and The VOID experience, a virtual reality experience where you’ll be transported to a galaxy far, far away and be called on to save the day. For nightlife, we loved The Edison, which is an industrial gothic themed entertainment venue. Sip on delicious craft cocktail and enjoy live music and dance performances all night long!
Disney World For Adults: Things to Do at Epcot
If you only had one day to explore Disney World, I would highly recommend starting at Epcot and ending at Magic Kingdom. Epcot was one of my favorite parks growing up because I got to “travel the world” all in a day. My mom and I didn’t do a ton of international travel while growing up, so it was always a pleasure to experience the cultures of various nations all in a day!
Now, I’m sure a lot of you have heard about the Epcot “Drink Around the World” challenge — basically, you have a drink at one of the 11 pavilions around the World Showcase. I’m going to be honest…I know my body and I know 11 drinks in one day is not a feasible option! However, I would try at least one dish from around the world, whether it’s a quick snack, a full-on meal or a cocktail.
Some of my highlights included dining at the Nine Dragons restaurant in China, roaming around the charming streets of “Paris” and shopping all of the perfumes in that pavilion, and grabbing margaritas in Mexico. While we were at the park, the Epcot International Festival of the Arts was also going on, so we got to sample some food from special vendors and browse beautiful art from countries all around the world.
Disney World For Adults: Things to Do at Hollywood Studios
Out of all of the rides I rode at Walt Disney World, the ones at Hollywood Studios were my favorite (and probably gave me the most thrills!) We rode the Tower of Terror twice after a Disney Cast Member gave us a pro-tip that there are multiple different versions of the drop — both of them scared the heck out of me! We also rode Aerosmith’s Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, which was probably my favorite roller coaster in the park.
We also got a chance to preview Toy Story Land, which is set to open this summer. One, I plan on coming back to Disney World ASAP, and two, I know that I have to check out the new Toy Story Land when I do. Our guide told us that the park was designed so that we’d feel miniature — like a toy — and everything else around us would be “regular sized.” The Slinky Dog in the movie will also be the roller coaster, so I’m incredibly stoked for this! Toy Story was one of my favorite movies as a child, so I know I’ll fall in love with this new park once it opens.
We ended the day with a viewing of the Star Wars Galactic Spectacular fireworks show, which any big Star Wars fan would love. I’d highly recommend scoping out your viewing spot early, or securing tickets to the Dessert Party so you can ensure a great seat during the show!
View Part 1 of my Disney World Recap here!
Thank you to Walt Disney World for hosting me at their parks and resort! All thoughts and opinions are my own.