Lately, I’ve been seeing an increase on my Facebook feed of friends taking SUPER adorable pictures in Disney with their babies. It makes my heart twinge. And though I know I might get to experience that someday, for now, I thought I’d reflect on some of the perks of going to Disney without kids. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy forcing my man to take romantic pictures in front of the park icons- just the two of us!
- No Strollers
It’s annoying to first seek out stroller parking for an attraction, park your stroller and remove all valuables (I can’t remember the amount of times, as a Cast Member, where parents complained to me about their kids’ autograph books being taken from their strollers), and then exiting the attraction only to find your stroller has been moved to a completely different place. Cast Members in charge of parking strollers HAVE to do this, in order to keep strollers from blocking pathways and keeping the area clean and safe. They’re not just doing it to mess with you, I promise. However, I understand how it can be annoying.
Also, we don’t have to deal with folding up a stroller every time we board a tram or a monorail. It’s pretty sweet. My husband has said that “he never wants to go to Disney with a stroller” in the future. Erm…we’ll see…
- No Tantrums
Husband and I often stroll by children having a full-blown meltdown in the middle of Fantasyland, mostly because they’re hot and tired and cranky. I can empathize, as I can feel hot and cranky in Disney World myself. The parents are usually yelling right back at their children, and you can see how stressed and un-magical they feel. Obviously I don’t have kids so I have no right to judge, and maybe these parents look at my husband and I as enviously as I look at pictures of parents with smiling, cute babies in front of the castle. Nevertheless, dealing with temper tantrums is just one more thing we don’t have to deal with.
- No Naps
I started to write this, and state how it was nice to not to have to go back to the hotel so the kids can take a nap. Or write about how nice it is to not have to push the stroller into a shady area of the park while the kid naps, cutting into valuable, expensive park time.
But then I realized…I really like naps. And going back to the hotel in the middle of the day, napping, and going back to the park at night is one of my favorite things to do in Disney. You just feel so refreshed after a nap! Still, I suppose it’s a perk if you’re trying to fit a lot of activities into one day, and you don’t feel the pressure of having to stop for a break.
- No “Kids” Rides, Shows, and Restaurants
So, this might not make a lot of sense, since a lot of my friends consider ALL the rides in Disney “kids” rides. But I mean the real kids’ rides, like the Disney Junior show at Hollywood Studios or the Triceratops Spin, also known as the Dinosaur Dumbo knockoff, over at Animal Kingdom. As adults with no kids, we basically have complete freedom to ride whatever we want and eat whatever we want, without worrying about whether the attraction is too scary or if the restaurant will be too boring/not have any food that the child will like.
- Saving Money
You know those plush toys and stuffed animals that practically every child wants? Yeah, we don’t have to worry about forking over the cash for extra toys we don’t need (no matter how cool they look). Nor do we have to worry about paying for extra meals, or extra tickets, or…basically anything extra in general. Whatever we buy is because we want it, and we earned it. This might be the most obvious statement ever, but not having kids saves a whole heck of a lot of money.
Now, I’m not a TOTAL kid-hater- I mean, I did spend six months working as a Disney Cast Member, where my main job was to entertain and educate young kids. I also consider myself a big kid at heart- I wouldn’t be running a Disney blog if I didn’t. So here are some of the downsides I experience going to Disney world as a childless couple:
- Awkward Character Interactions
My husband and I don’t meet characters very often, but sometimes I do want a picture with them. And I’m not going to lie, it’s pretty awkward meeting princesses and the Fab Five with no kids in tow. Kids just make the best character interactions, and I can tell some of the character performers don’t know how to act when it’s just adults. When kids are there, they can put the focus entirely on them and ease the awkwardness.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve gotten great pictures and had great conversations with Anna, Elsa, and Ariel with just my friends and/or my hubby. However, I feel the judging eyes of every parent in line behind me, wondering why I’m taking up precious time meeting the characters when I obviously have no kids. I bet they think I’m wasting their time, and I’ve definitely felt a parent or two try to nudge their child in front of me in the line. It’s an uncomfortable situation. For the record, I will never go on Enchanted Tales with Belle again without a child- I’ve never been so embarrassed in my life.
- Not as Much Cast Member Attention
I doted on kids when I was a Cast Member, and now when I go to Disney as a childless adult, there are times where I can feel ignored. For example, at a restaurant, if our server has another table with kids, I feel like they give that other table more attention. I mean, I don’t get offered Mickey stickers when I eat, or shop in a Disney store! This actually isn’t a really big deal, but I’ve seen how families with kids can sometimes get more attention from Cast Members.
- Having to Ask for Kid’s Menus
When I eat in a Disney restaurant, there are times where I just want something from the kid’s menu instead of a full-blown meal. It’s REALLY awkward to ask for a kid’s menu when…you don’t have a kid. This could just be me and my anxiety talking, but I think it still warrants a spot on my list.
- Seeing Disney Through a Child’s Eyes
I love seeing a child just light up when they see Mickey Mouse for the first time, or when they first lay eyes on the castle. Disney World was made for the young and the young at heart to enjoy, but there is just something extra magical about bringing a child to Disney. I love getting to share my favorite rides with my nephew when we travel together, and getting to experience character interactions or playgrounds or other things my husband and I wouldn’t necessarily do if we were alone. Disney is the place where my dreams come true, and I love seeing kids discover the magic for themselves.
Whether or not I end up travelling to Disney with kids in the future, I know I’ll continue to have fun at the parks. I’m content with going to Disney where it’s just me and my best friend. Disney is for kids of all ages, and for now, I love making memories with just my husband.
Hugs and Fishes,