best disney resort for adults

The Best Walt Disney World Resort for Adults

As a seasoned travel expert, I’m delighted to delve into adult-oriented vacationing at Walt Disney World Resort. Disney, primarily celebrated for its family-centric attractions, also boasts an array of experiences tailored for adults. These extend beyond the theme parks to include their exceptional resorts, each offering unique amenities and activities designed with adults in mind.

The Quintessential Disney Resort for Adults: Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

The best Deluxe Disney World resort for adults: Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
The pool complex at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort. (Photo courtesy of Disney)

If you’re seeking an adult-friendly Disney experience, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort is a prime choice. Positioned mere steps away from Epcot, this resort provides easy access to one of Disney’s most adult-appropriate theme parks and a luxurious, New England-inspired ambiance.

Related: How Much Does a Disney Cruise Cost?

Deluxe Accommodations: Disney’s Yacht Club Resort: Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter
Photo courtesy of Disney

At the pinnacle of luxury within the Disney resort portfolio is the Yacht Club Resort. This New England-style establishment is more than just a place to stay; it’s an immersive experience. The resort’s 3-acre pool complex, complete with a lazy river, offers a serene escape. Its proximity to Disney’s BoardWalk, a lively area bustling with adult-oriented nightlife, including the Atlantic Dance Hall and Jellyrolls dueling piano bar, is a significant draw for adult visitors.

Epcot’s World Showcase, a short walk from the resort, is a haven for adult guests. Here, you can indulge in global culinary delights and various beverages, including alcoholic options, from numerous countries.

For those inclined towards a more relaxed day, renting a boat or enjoying the expansive pool complex, featuring a lazy river and poolside cabanas with dedicated attendant service, are excellent choices.

Dining at the Yachtsman Steakhouse, recognized as one of Orlando’s top steakhouses, is an experience to be noticed. This fine dining establishment, celebrated for its exquisite steaks, offers a culinary adventure that’s sure to delight.

However, the luxury of the Yacht Club Resort comes with a price. Room rates start at $537 during off-peak seasons, as the Disney price tracking site TouringPlans reported. Costs can escalate significantly for larger rooms or during peak travel times.

Related: How to Become a Disney Travel Agent

Special Discounts and Tips

For budget-savvy travelers, it’s worth noting that Disney often runs promotions on room rates. Discounts are also available for Florida residents, Disney+ subscribers, annual pass holders, and military members. Additionally, guests can book resorts using Capital One’s travel portal, allowing the use of Capital One Miles instead of cash.

Moderate Luxury: Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort:  Disney’s French Quarter is an excellent choice for those seeking a more moderately priced option. Echoing the charm of New Orleans’ historic French Quarter, this resort provides a tranquil ambiance, enhanced by the serene Sassagoula River that meanders through the grounds. Its sister resort, Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside, is also worth considering for a peaceful and refined stay.

Related: How to Go to Disney World for Cheap

Value-Focused Luxury: Disney’s Pop Century Resort

Pop Century Resort
Photo courtesy of Disney

For those prioritizing budget without sacrificing the Disney magic, Disney’s Pop Century Resort emerges as a top contender. This resort uniquely celebrates American pop culture from the 1950s to the 1990s. Its playful design, featuring the “Hippy Dippy Pool” inspired by the 1960s, resonates with adults who appreciate a touch of nostalgia. The resort’s location is advantageous, especially with its Disney Skyliner station, which offers convenient access to various parts of the Walt Disney World Resort.

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Marriott Bonvoy Members’ Choice: Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort

Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort
Photo courtesy of Disney

The Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort, while not a traditional Disney resort, is an exceptional choice for adults, particularly for Marriott Bonvoy members. This Sheraton-operated resort is part of the Marriott portfolio, allowing guests to earn and redeem Bonvoy points. Its prime location near Epcot and Disney’s BoardWalk means guests can easily access these popular destinations. The resort boasts a variety of adult-friendly amenities, including multiple pools, a spa, a gym, and the acclaimed Shula’s Steak House. While the pricing is competitive, Marriott Bonvoy members can leverage their points for stays and enjoy additional benefits like complimentary breakfast, late checkout, and room upgrades.

Disney’s Swan vs. Dolphin Resorts

The Swan and Dolphin Resort offers similar amenities and are conveniently located next to each other. However, the Dolphin edges out due to its larger size, which often translates to better availability, especially for points bookings. The Dolphin’s rooms are also generally more significant and can accommodate more guests, making it ideal for groups of adults traveling together.

Other Notable Resorts for Adults

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Photo courtesy of Disney

Known for its Victorian elegance and modern amenities, this resort is a pinnacle of luxury. It houses the prestigious Victoria and Albert’s restaurant, a AAA Five Diamond Award recipient. Its proximity to the Magic Kingdom is a double-edged sword, appealing to families but possibly less so for adults seeking tranquility or proximity to other parks. The high price point of this resort also makes it a premium choice.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
Photo courtesy of Disney

This resort offers a unique experience with its African-inspired design and wildlife encounters, often visible from hotel balconies. While its secluded location provides a peaceful retreat, it also means reliance on bus services for park visits. This resort is ideal for adults who prefer a quieter, more relaxed atmosphere.

Key Benefits of Staying at Disney World Hotels for Adults

  • Early Theme Park Entry: Guests at Disney hotels can enter theme parks 30 minutes before the official opening time. This early access is particularly beneficial for adults, allowing them to experience popular attractions before the larger crowds, including families with children, arrive. It also offers the opportunity to explore the parks in a more relaxed way and avoid additional costs associated with fast-pass or line-skipping services.
  • Extended Evening Hours: On certain nights, guests at Disney’s Deluxe resorts are entitled to extended park hours, typically two hours past the standard closing time. This perk especially appeals to adults, who can enjoy the parks during quieter times when families with young children have typically departed.
  • Complimentary and Diverse Transportation Options: Disney hotels offer an array of transportation services to guests, including buses, boats, monorails, and the Disney Skyliner gondola. These options provide convenient, efficient, and enjoyable ways to travel around the Walt Disney World Resort.
  • Budget-Friendly Alternatives with Disney Good Neighbor Hotels: For adults on a tighter budget or with hotel points to spend, Disney Good Neighbor Hotels are an excellent alternative. While not located on Disney property, these hotels are affiliated with Disney and offer many of the same benefits as Disney-owned hotels, such as early theme park entry. They often include additional perks like breakfast, kitchenettes, or pet-friendly rooms and can be more affordable or bookable with hotel points.
  • Proximity to Nightlife and Entertainment: Particularly in the Disney Springs area, Good Neighbor Hotels offer adults the chance to step out of the Disney bubble and explore a variety of nightlife, restaurants, and entertainment options.

Beyond Walt Disney World: Other Disney Resort Options for Adults

Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort (South Carolina)

Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort
Photo courtesy of Disney

This lesser-known Disney resort offers a more subdued and luxurious experience, perfect for adults seeking recreation and relaxation. With options like dolphin cruises, nature walks, tennis, and excellent golfing, it’s a haven for those who appreciate outdoor activities in a serene setting.

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa (Hawaii)

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa (Hawaii)
Photo courtesy of Disney

Located in Oahu, Aulani provides a quintessential Hawaiian beach resort experience with adult-friendly amenities like whirlpool spas, the Laniwai Spa, and the ‘Ōlelo Room Bar and Lounge, which celebrates the Hawaiian language and culture.

Consider a Disney Cruise for an Alternative Experience

Consider a Disney cruise
Photo courtesy of Disney

For a different type of vacation, a Disney cruise can be an appealing option for adults. Offering a blend of adult-exclusive activities, entertainment, pools, spas, and dining, cruises often provide a more cost-effective and luxurious experience compared to a traditional Walt Disney World vacation.

Criteria for Selecting the Best Disney World Resort for Adults

When choosing the best Disney resort for adults, NerdWallet considered location, price, adult amenities, and overall resort experience. Proximity to parks with more adult appeal, like Epcot and Animal Kingdom, was a significant factor. Additionally, the availability of adult-oriented amenities such as bars, spas, and adult-only pools played a crucial role in the evaluation.

Conclusion

Walt Disney World hotels offer adult visitors a magical and convenient experience, with various options to suit different preferences and budgets. From early park access and extended evening hours to diverse transportation and luxurious amenities, these resorts provide an ideal setting for adults to enjoy a Disney vacation. Additionally, alternative options like Disney Good Neighbor Hotels, Hilton Head Island Resort, Aulani Resort in Hawaii, and Disney cruises offer varied experiences for adults seeking a Disney-themed getaway.

FAQs About Staying at Disney World Hotels for Adults

Q: Are Disney World hotels suitable for adult-only trips?

A: Yes, Disney World hotels cater not only to families but also to adults. Many resorts offer adult-specific amenities such as spas, fine dining, and bars, making them suitable for adult-only trips.

Q: What are the benefits of staying at a Disney World hotel for adults?

A: Adults staying at Disney World hotels can enjoy early theme park entry, extended evening hours, diverse and complimentary transportation options, and proximity to various dining and entertainment venues.

Q: Can adults enjoy early and extended access to the parks?

A: Absolutely. Guests at Disney hotels can enter the parks 30 minutes early and enjoy extended hours in the evenings for those staying at Deluxe resorts.

Q: Are there any budget-friendly Disney hotel options for adults?

A: Disney’s Value resorts like Pop Century offer budget-friendly options. Additionally, Disney Good Neighbor Hotels provides affordable alternatives with similar benefits.

Q: Do Disney World hotels offer transportation services?

A: Disney World hotels provide various free transportation services, including buses, monorails, boats, and the Disney Skyliner gondola.

Q: What makes Disney’s Deluxe Resorts unique for adults?

A: Deluxe resorts offer exclusive benefits like extended evening hours in the parks, luxurious amenities, fine dining, and more sophisticated theming appealing to adults.

Q: Are there Disney resorts outside of Florida suitable for adults?

A: Resorts like Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort in South Carolina and Aulani Resort in Hawaii offer adult-oriented experiences with various recreational activities.

Q: Can hotel points be used to stay at attosstayels?

A: Yes, especially at Disney Good Neighbor Hotels, which are often part of larger hotel chains with loyalty programs where you can earn and redeem points.

Q: Can adults find nightlife and entertainment at Disney World hotels?

A: Definitely. Many Disney hotels, especially those near Disney Springs and Epcot, offer vibrant nightlife and entertainment options suited for adults.

Q: Is a Disney cruise a good alternative for adults?

A: Yes, a Disney cruise offers a unique experience with adult-specific amenities, entertainment, and dining options, often at a more cost-effective rate compared to a Walt Disney World vacation.

Q: How do Disney World hotels cater to adult dining preferences?

A: Many Disney World hotels feature various dining options, from casual eateries to award-winning fine dining restaurants, catering to a wide range of adult tastes and preferences.

Q: Are there any adult-exclusive areas in Disney World hotels?

A: Yes, several Disney World hotels offer adult-exclusive areas such as spas, pools, and lounges, ensuring a tranquil and enjoyable experience for adult guests.

Nomadic Matt

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