Should there be adult-only days at Walt Disney World? – DePaoli on DeParks

by Jeff DePaoli

I was recently shared a survey by The Vacationer where they asked the question, “Should family resorts like Walt Disney World have adult-only days or times?” The results of the poll showed 44.66% of the voters said yes and 55.34% said no. Although the majority of voters were against the idea, it’s quite a close race considering that most people would probably agree that Walt Disney World is innately a place built for children and families. But it got me thinking about how I would vote, and the reality is… I’m not quite sure.

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I have extremely fond memories of visiting Walt Disney World with my family when I was a kid, but in more recent years, I definitely spend more time with adult friends in the parks without any children accompanying us. Some folks have strong opinions about that concept in general, but that’s a whole other topic of conversation.

I’ve seen people get quite defensive when the idea of an adult-only Walt Disney World is even brought up, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if this thought has been tossed around in corporate meetings. When it comes to Disney Cruise Line, there are adult-only areas of the ship as well as on Castaway Cay. These ships are primarily built for family vacationers, but the options are there for those who want a more calming vacation experience that still includes that touch of Disney magic. Why shouldn’t that be an option in the parks, as well?

When it comes to visiting a Disney Park, there are a list of things you can count on, like rides, characters, a sense of childlike whimsy, and so much more. But you could also include on that list of guarantees things like children crying, teenagers bickering, an insane amount of strollers, and more unpleasant moments brought on by younger guests that can tarnish the magical experience.

I know what some of you are thinking: “Then don’t go on a Disney vacation,” right? It’s not quite that simple. Although the parks may have been built with the intention of family vacationing, there’s no denying that that is very often not the case. Us “childless millennials” bring a lot of money into the parks. We all know that Disney loves making money, even if it’s by doing something that strays off of their muddled brand.

When it comes to angering some guests, there seems to be an endless supply of people willing to take their place if they choose not to return. Angering Disney fans doesn’t seem to concern the company like it once did. Otherwise, the way they broke news and handled certain situations would be presented differently.

Let’s just imagine that Disney did decide to have an adult-only experience in the parks. What would that look like? I couldn’t imagine a full day of the park being reserved for 21+ only, but I could see a late-night event where that was the case. In the past, the domestic parks have thrown some wild 24-hour days in the parks, so the idea of keeping the parks open all night long isn’t unprecedented. If I were put in charge of an adults-only event, I would suggest that we run the park like normal until 7 p.m., and then until 7 a.m., have a separately-ticketed event for the older crowd. This should satisfy both those visiting with their families as well as guests visiting without children. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if even some of the family vacationers got a babysitter for the night in order to take advantage of the childless parks.

If Disney were to actually do something like this, my guess is it would be one of their standard Disney After Hours events, which would run for far fewer hours. In either case, I think the event would sell very well. It could anger a lot of families who were visiting the resort at the time of the event, but as long as some of the parks were available with later hours, I believe it’s a reasonable practice.

Overall, I’m not sure whether or not we’d ever see anything like this actually happen, but I’m not entirely against the idea if it did. At the very least, I’m all for putting a 7 p.m. stroller curfew in place. If the child needs to be in a stroller, it’s probably bedtime anyway and the loss of strollers at a certain hour would help relieve the innate nighttime spectacular congestion.

What do you think? Would you like to see some times in the parks where anyone under twenty-one years of age wasn’t allowed in? Why or why not? Leave a comment and let me know.

If you have any theme park topics you would like to hear my opinion on, let me know in the comments. You might just see it pop up in a future DePaoli on DeParks.

jeff depaoli

Jeff DePaoli is a producer and voiceover artist living in Los Angeles, California. He can be heard as the voice of Disney Trivia on Alexa as well as the host of “Dizney Coast to Coast,” a Disney fan podcast. He is offering the free gifts of “America’s Hidden Mickeys,” “On the Rohde Again,” “Theme Park Comfort Kit” and more at DizneyCoastToCoast.com. DePaoli’s opinions are his own and do not necessarily represent Attractions Magazine.


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Lynn August 21, 2021 - 12:23 pm

Epcot has already become a place for food and drinking more than anything else. Other than a few rides it has become a place to eat, drink and shop. Every time I went/go to Disney I do it as an adult single. With all of the restrictions and charges that are in place and coming, it would be unfair to designate the parks (well maybe Epcot) as adult only days. If I’ve spent a thousand plus for a family vacation I would be angry if one of my days couldn’t be used so adults can have the place to themselves. If you want adult only go to Club Med. The original purpose of Disneyland/Disney World was for family entertainment. A place to take the family. I’ve always gone alone or to visit with friends who come on vacation. It will be hard enough to get to Disney for most people with all of the charges and changes, this would be one more reason not to go.

Maria Ray August 22, 2021 - 9:37 am

I love the thought of adults-only times at Disney – maybe not at the Magic Kingdom but definitely at the other Disneyworld parks, resorts, & Disney Springs. I’ve been several times without kids and it means that instead of planning for and catering to kids, I can simply enjoy the visit myself. There’s lots for adults to do.

S August 30, 2021 - 11:32 pm

Absolutely! My husband and I go about once a year and have always said there should be adult only days. Maybe two parks a week on a rotating basis. In addition, each week one or two hotels could be adult guests only!

Denise Catino December 19, 2021 - 12:23 pm

I have always thought that Disney should do an adult only day maybe once a month or something. I do love going to the parks as I live in Orlando, so it is easy. However, I will not go to certain parks when there are going to be lots of strollers, I didn’t say children since I am a teacher and I love children. Most of the attraction around EPCOT is geared towards adults and heck we were once children reliving memories from years past that I would be all for an adult only day. I would even take the day off from work for it too.

Don Bergemann February 18, 2022 - 12:15 am

The whole point of Disney is to be family friendly, so NO. However I would love to see at least one day per week per park with no strollers.

Annette March 24, 2022 - 8:41 am

Yes, I would totally love an Adults only Day, not just an evening. But if my choice was only 7pm until 1am for Adult’s Only, I would attend.

Tom March 24, 2022 - 8:55 am

Walt wanted it to be a place where families could come and enjoy the experience as a family. Adults only definitely not. I’ve seen enough adults behave badly with kids around. No need for adults to behave badly with other adults add some adult beverages and it becomes a punch palace. No thanks.

Pati Butler April 19, 2022 - 1:44 am

I think 7pm is too early to make it adults only; maybe 9pm-3am would suffice. Also, how to staff the extension of hours would probably be a point to consider?


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