The Adult Itinerary for Disney World and Universal Resorts

Theme parks are made for children. With the rides, midway games, entertainment shows, and lovable characters running around, children feed off of this mystical energy. But that doesn’t mean that adults can’t have just as much, if not more, fun than their younger counterparts.

On our recent trip to Orlando for a best friend’s wedding, we decided to hit up not only one major theme park, but two – Walt Disney World Resorts and Universal Orlando Resort. Not only did we want to prove that adults can have fun at these parks too, but we wanted to see what the ‘adult only’ experiences were like for couples.

Giddy with excitement, we decided to spend one day in each theme park. Disney and Universal both have the equivalent of a park hopper pass, so we decided that this was the best way to optimize your time. Once we landed in Orlando the children in us became ecstatic, we couldn’t contain it any longer, we were going to Disney World!

Keep reading for our tips, tricks and recommendations when visiting Disney World and Universal Theme Parks as adults!

The Adult Itinerary for Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Theme Parks

Key Pointers

  • If visiting for a limited time, park-hopper or park-to-park passes are the way to go. They give you access to multiple parks in one day and even allow re-entry! You get the most bang for your buck.
  • Be sure to plan your free fast passes for Disney World. You get three passes at any of the parks per day. So be sure to get on the rides you want by booking it a month before you go.
  • If possible, visit during offseason, which is usually any time but Summer and school vacation weeks in February/March/April. Think shorter lines, less crowds, and cooler weather.
  • Be sure to pack comfy walking shoes (we both hit 20,000 steps each day we went to the parks), shorts, tees, and a light sweatshirt or zip up. If visiting in seasons besides Summer, the mornings and evenings can get a little cool – you’ll want an extra layer. You may also want a change of clothes if you are planning on going on some water rides.

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Adult only to do’s:

  • Walt Disney World Resort:
    • Animal Kingdom: This park is dedicated to all things nature. From the animals roaming around the Tree of Life, to the new Pandora park inspired by the Avatar movies, this park is sure to please even the most animal averse partner.
      • Attractions: Head to Pandora first to see the floating rocks complete with water features. If you are willing to wait in lines, be sure to ride the Avatar Flight of Passage. If not, the Na’vi River Journey will blow your mind just as much. From there, head to any of the other countries. Africa has an amazing Safari complete with real Sahari inhabitants while Asia is for the thrill seekers. Escape from Mount Everest was by far our favorite ride at this Park.
    • Magic Kingdom: This park is for the dreamer, young or old. As they say discover ‘endless enchantment where your fantasy becomes a reality.’ From flying with Dumbo, to cruising the Atlantic with Captain Jack Sparrow, this is the park where your favorite movie characters come to life.
      • Attractions: The classic mountains are here – Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain! We also had to ride the carousel, the Pirates of the Caribbean, and Space Mountain. Oh and don’t forget ‘it’s a small world.’ Talk about a classic!
      • Eats: We decided to order pizzas at Pinocchio’s Village Haus. They have daily specials which are worth it! Quick and easy bite to keep on moving.
    • Epcot: Appealing to the traveler in all of us, Epcot takes you under the sea, speeding around a race track, into outer space, and even around the world. Be sure to end up here at the end of your day for some amazing fireworks.
      • Attractions: The only ride we went on was Test Track, and it was more than worth it. This amazing ride simulates the testing that a new model car goes through, with an epic ending. As far at the other rides, Soarin’ and Spaceship Earth are also great rides, we skipped these to drink ‘round the world.
      • Eats: One of the best kept secret (or not) is how adult-centric the World Showcase is. Not only does each country have stands with food native to each region, but they have an open container policy, meaning you can literally drink around the world. If you aren’t committed to hitting all 11 countries, then be sure to hit Mexico and Germany for the best margaritas and beer.. For dinner, we ate at Morocco’s restaurant Spice Road Table, with a waterfront view across the lake to Epcot. The establishment was amazingly beautiful with tapestries and bright colors incorporated throughout the interior. The food was spiced to perfection and had succulent lamb and delicious veggie options. The staff was also extremely helpful and polite – perfect for an adult only evening!

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  • Universal Orlando Resort:
    • Universal Studios: This park brings you on the set at some of your favorite movies, including Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley, The Mummy, The Simpsons, and Men In Black. You feel like the most valued extra on set!
      • Attractions: If you’re a Harry Potter fan, head straight to Diagon Alley first to ride Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. This is the better of the two Harry Potter rides and one of the most authentic, exciting rides in the whole park. Other amazing rides include Revenge of the Mummy, Transformers: The Ride-3D, Shrek 4-D, and Men In Black Alien Attack for the competitor in all of us.
    • Islands of Adventure: The name of this park doesn’t lie, this is the land for adventure! From your favorite Marvel characters to King Kong and Jurassic Park, you will set off on some of the most audacious thrill rides there are.
      • Attractions: Our biggest tip is to enter this park through the Hogwarts Express. Once at Hogsmeade, you can ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey to complete your Wizarding experience. After that, make your way to Jurassic Park, stopping at the River Adventure Ride on your way to Skull Island: Reign of Kong. Head to Popeye’s Barges and Dudley Do Right’s Falls once you say hello to the big gorilla. Keep in mind, you will need to dry off a bit before ending your day throwing webs with Spiderman.

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