Many people don’t realize how great Disney World resorts can be for adults. Disney is known for being the top family destination in the world, but it’s also a ton of fun for adults with or without kids.
Disney World resorts are packed with outstanding restaurants, top-notch amenities, and beautiful outdoor areas. They are also connected with efficient transportation, making it simple for guests to enjoy all of the resorts even if they aren’t staying in them. No matter your age, you’ll never run out of things to do.
From top to bottom, this guide will give you all the info you need to get the most grown-up enjoyment out of Disney World’s resorts.
Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
- Disney World’s Flagship Resort
- Deluxe Resort
- Victorian Theme
- Located on the Monorail Track
In my opinion, the Grand Floridian is overall the best Disney World resort for adults. You’ll realize the moment you walk through the doors of the Grand Floridian resort that this isn’t any old run-of-the-mill theme park hotel. This is Disney World’s flagship resort and it’s the finest you’ll find on property. The Grand Floridian is best deluxe Disney World resort for adults and offers the ultimate grown-up getaway.
I actually like this one so much that I spent the first night of my honeymoon here before leaving for Europe.
The entire Grand Floridian property is a perfect display of Victorian grandeur. It’s refined and tasteful- perfect for an adult escape from the typical Disney World themes.
The center of the main building is its five-story lobby, one of the most beautiful places in all of Disney World. It features Italian marble floors, massive chandeliers, an open cage elevator, and more. You’ll see performances from the resort’s pianist and performances from the orchestra at night.
Looking up in the lobby you’ll notice the upper floors wrapping around the room. These upper floors contain many of the Grand Floridian’s best rooms. It’s a lot of fun to be able to walk mere steps from your accommodations to overlook such a magnificent lobby. The resort’s other rooms are spread among six buildings, each named after islands in the Florida Keys. Grand Floridian rooms are some of the largest and most well-appointed at Disney World.
Outdoors, you’ll find that the grounds of the Grand Floridian are as beautiful as the resort’s indoor areas. Upscale pools, lounging areas, and recreation areas dot the landscape. The entire resort is situated along Disney’s Seven Seas Lagoon, providing guests with a nice waterfront view. In the evening, you’ll also have an awesome view of the Magic Kingdom fireworks and the Electrical Water Pageant.
The Grand Floridian is the best Disney World resort for dining. The number of excellent on property restaurant is downright impressive.
- Victoria and Albert’s: Victoria and Albert’s is the crown jewel of Disney World fine-dining. It is also one of the few restaurants in Florida to receive a AAA Five Diamond Award. The meals range from 6 to 10+ courses and feature some of the finest foods from all over the globe. An evening at V&A’s comes at a hefty price, but it creates one of the most special experiences Disney has to offer. This is the ultimate adult date spot.
- 1900 Park Fare: 1900 Park Fare is a character buffet that is especially popular for breakfast. In the morning, you’ll dine with Alice, the Mad Hatter, and Mary Poppins. In the evening you’ll dine with Cinderella, Prince Charming, Drizella, Anastasia, and Lady Tremaine.
- Citricos: Citrico’s is an upscale Mediterranean restaurant located on the second floor of the Grand Floridian’s main building. The Old World European vibe and well-crafted menu make it a grown-up favorite.
- Grand Floridian Café: The Grand Floridian Café is a casual, moderately-priced restaurant located on the first floor of the Grand Floridan’s main building. It serves a variety of refined American classics and is the perfect place for a nice brunch or lunch.
- Narcoossee’s: Narcoossee’s is an upscale waterfront restaurant located on edge of the Grand Floridian’s property. It has some of the best views of any Disney resort restaurant and serves some of the best seafood. It’s also a perfect place to watch the nightly fireworks after dinner.
- Garden View Tea Room: The Garden View Tea Room offers a fancy traditional British style tea. You’ll be served a variety of international teas, along with a selection of pastries, scones, and small sandwiches.
- The Enchanted Rose: The Enchanted Rose is the newest addition to the Grand Floridian Resort located on the second floor of the main building. It’s themed after the live-action Beauty and the Beast movie with rococo styled furniture, golden decor and a giant rose chandelier. It’s a great hangout for an upscale bar.
- Gasparilla Island Grill: Gasparilla Island Grill is a 24-hour quick-service restaurant. It offers a variety of meals, desserts, and drinks. This is one of the best places at Disney World to get a late-night bite to eat.
The Grand Floridian has some of the best amenities of any Disney World resort. Grown-up guests will love the higher-than-average amount of more mature offerings.
- Monorail: The monorail system runs through the resort, giving you easy access to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and the other monorail resorts.
- Pools and Beach: There are several pools with one pool, in particular, having a quieter, more relaxed atmosphere. Children tend to congregate at the resort’s mini water park, leaving the pools quieter than they would be otherwise. There is also a very nice beach area complete with white sand and beach chairs.
- Spa & Salon: The Grand Floridian’s on-site spa is a perfect place for adult relaxation. There is also a full-service salon next-door to the spa.
- Rentals: Boat rentals in bike rentals are both available. A tour of the Seven Seas Lagoon or a ride around the bike trails is a great way to enjoy part of a day.
- Shops: There are a large number of shops in the main lobby selling everything from cosmetics to resort wear to everyday necessities.
Yacht Club Resort
- One of the most mature resorts at Disney World
- Deluxe Resort
- Nautical, Upscale New England
- Located in the Epcot Resort Area
The Yacht Club is one of the few resorts with a theme designed to appeal to adults more than to children. The resort features beautiful architecture, tasteful decorations, and a perfect location. It’s connected to the Beach Club Resort, so many extra amenities are shared.
Epcot, the premier Disney World park for adults, is a short walk or boat ride from the Yacht Club. Disney’s Boardwalk, along with the Swan and Dolphin hotels, are also walking/boating distance from the resort.
If you’re planning on staying in the Epcot Resort Area, take a look at our Insider’s Guide to Epcot Area Resorts and Hotels. It covers every single Epcot resort in-depth, with plenty of tips and info.
The Yacht Club’s theme is absolutely tailor-made for a mature audience. It has all of the perks of a Disney World resort while maintaining a much quieter, more relaxed environment. You’ll feel like you’ve been transported to an oceanside New England country club the moment you set foot on the property.
Indoors, the whole resort is blanketed in a refined nautical style. Rich woods complement a navy blue paint scheme throughout the building. The lobby features its very own captain, talking with guests and taking care of miscellaneous tasks. The Yacht Club’s lobby is actually quite relaxing when compared to what’s typical for a Disney resort.
Rooms at the Yacht Club are equally nice. They are well decorated and are a comfortable size.
The outdoor setting at the Yacht Club is awesome, with a picture-perfect view of Crescent Lake and The Boardwalk Resort. The Yacht Club also shares Disney World’s best resort pool, Stormalong Bay. The Stormalong Bay area is directly in the middle of the Yacht Club and the Beach Club.
It’s not a stretch to say that Stormalong Bay is more of a water park than it is simply a pool. It’s absolutely massive, coming in at just over 3 acres total size. You’ll find regular pools, a sand bottom pool, multiple spas, and a lazy river. There’s also a 230ft waterslide. There’s definitely something at Stormalong Bay for everyone, adult or child.
The Yacht Club Resort has some great restaurants, but its greatest dining perk is its access to neighboring resort/park restaurants.
- Yachtsman Steakhouse: Yachtsman Steakhouse is a fine-dining restaurant that serves some of the best beef at Disney World. It has a very elegant nautical theme and an awesome menu that ranges from top-notch steaks to fresh cold water lobster. The food and the atmosphere makes it easily one of Disney’s best grown-up restaurants.
- Ale & Compass: A moderately priced restaurant, Ale & Compass is a great spot for brunch, lunch, or a casual dinner. The menu features all sorts of New England comfort food. Ale & Compass is an often overlooked hidden gem, so it’s usually somewhat easy to find a reservation.
- Crew’s Cup Lounge: Crew’s Cup is one of Disney’s most relaxed, mature lounges to have a cocktail. It’s right next door to Yachtsman Steakhouse, so you get the benefit of a great little food menu as well.
Since the Yacht Club connects to the Beach Club Resort, you’ll also have access to all of the Beach Club’s restaurants like Cape May Cafe, Beaches and Cream Soda Shop, and Martha’s Vineyard Lounge.
Also, all the restaurants at Epcot, the Boardwalk Resort, and the Swan and Dolphin hotels are a short walk away.
- Easy access to Epcot, the Boardwalk, and other resorts: You can’t beat the Yacht Club’s location for having walkable access to so many other Disney World areas. An on-site boat launch is also available for even easier transportation.
- Stormalong Bay: The 3-acre pool area (basically a water park) is hands down the best at Disney World. There is also a quieter pool separate from the Stormalong Bay area. The beach is also a great touch to an already awesome outdoor resort.
- Boat rentals: Boats can be rented at the resort’s marina.
Polynesian Village Resort
- Disney World’s most overall beloved resort
- Deluxe Resort
- Hawaiian/Polynesian Island Theme
- Located on the Monorail Track
Even though the Polynesian Village Resort is massively popular with families, it’s appeal for adults can’t be ignored. It may not be the place for you if you’re trying to avoid children, but it’s perfect if you’re simply looking for one of the best overall resort experiences.
If you polled all Disney World guests on their favorite resort theme, I’d wager that the Polynesian would win. It’s the most popular resort and possesses that classic Disney World aura with an added tropical Hawaiian vibe.
The Great Ceremonial House (the Polynesian’s main building) is one of the coolest central building at any Disney resort. It’s home to some of the best resort dining, drinking, and shopping available. The lobby is also home to Maui, the beloved little tiki-dude that is pretty much a required photo-op.
Outdoors, the Polynesian has some of the best resort activities and landscaping. The sandy beaches are perfect for daytime fun. At nighttime, they are some of the premier spots for watching the Magic Kingdom fireworks. Great pools, scenic bungalows, and tiki-torch-laden walkways are scattered around the resort.
Overall, the Polynesian is 50% Golden Age of Hawaii and 50% Golden Age of Disney. It’s a great choice for adults who really embrace what Disney World is all about.
- Ohana: Ohana is one of Disney World’s most popular restaurants. In the morning, it’s an all-you-can-eat character dining breakfast with Lilo and Stitch. For dinner, it’s an all-you-can-eat Hawaiian feast with live entertainment and spectacular views of Magic Kingdom’s fireworks. The first course, a basket filled with potstickers, noodles, wings, is so good that I usually have a hard time saving room for the main entrees.
- Kona Cafe: Kona Cafe is one of my go-to resort restaurants. It’s a Pan-Asian restaurant that does a great job of blending Asian and island cuisine. Coffee rubbed pork, stir-fry,
- Trader Sam’s: Trader Sam’s is one of my favorite places to be. It’s the best bar/lounge at Disney World by a ridiculously large margin. The whole bar is an interactive experience complete with animatronics, hilarious bartenders, and delicious drinks. All the drinks are served in special ceramic tiki mugs that are also offered for sale. My collection of these tiki mugs keeps growing at an alarming rate…
- Captain Cook’s: Captain Cook’s is a 24-hour quick service restaurant. Good for grabbing a quick burger or a Mickey Bar late at night.
- Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show: The Spirit of Aloha Dinner show is an outdoor show that features fire dancing, music, and storytelling. A Hawaiian smorgasbord is served while you watch.
- Monorail: The monorail runs through the Polynesian’s Great Ceremonial House.
- Beaches: The Polynesian’s beaches are some of its best features. They make a great spot for daytime lounging and an even better spot for nighttime fireworks viewing.
- Pools: Several great pools on-site. The largest has a 120ft waterslide.
- Rentals: Bike and boat rentals are both available.
Animal Kingdom Lodge
- One of the most impressive resort themes
- Deluxe Resort
- African Themed
- Located next door to Animal Kingdom
The Animal Kingdom Lodge’s location is a bit out of the way when compared to most other Disney World resorts, but it should absolutely not be overlooked. It’s an awesome place for grown-ups and easily has one of the best themes. Where else can you find great accommodations, top-tier dining, and live African animals all in one place?
No doubt about it- the theme at Animal Kingdom Lodge is absolutely outstanding. It blends African design and culture beautifully into an upscale Disney resort. Everything at the resort was crafted to make you feel like you’re staying on a South African wildlife preserve.
The buildings feature all sorts of African architecture and art, from thatched roofs to authentic African artifacts. At times, the resort looks like it’s as much museum as it is a hotel.
The Animal Kingdom Lodge’s outdoor areas are some of the best at Disney World. The highlights of the property are the four “savannahs”. Each savannah is home to a number of African animals. You’ll see giraffes, zebras, ostriches, etc. There are over 200 mammals and birds roaming around the 45-acre wildlife areas. There’s nothing quite like waking up to a giraffe outside your window.
- Jiko: The Cooking Place: Jiko is one of Disney World’s best signature dining experiences. It’s an upscale African restaurant with elegant food and wines inspired by traditional African cuisine. There are so many excellent choices, but I usually can’t force myself to order anything but the Botswana Short Rib. It’s really good.
- Sanaa: Sanaa is a moderately-priced African restaurant located in the Kidani Village section of the resort. It’s one of the best Disney restaurants for the price and it has a large menu. I pretty much always order from the “Potjie-Inspired” section of the menu, which offers a bunch of mix-and-match entree options.
- Boma: Boma is the Animal Kingdom Lodge’s buffet. I’ve only eaten here once, but I felt that it was definitely high quality when compared to many other buffets.
- Cape Town Lounge & Victoria Falls Lounges: Both lounges are elegant and perfect for nighttime relaxation without the kids.
- The Mara: The Mara is the resort’s standard quick-service restaurant. Nothing special, but it’s above-average when compared to similar quick-service restaurants.
- Amazing wildlife areas: The coolness of having African animals running around outside your room can’t be overstated. If you stay here, you’ll find yourself constantly going to watch the animals in your free time.
- Outstanding pools: Since the resort is relatively new to Disney World (it opened in 2001), the public areas tend to be very nice when compared to some of the older Deluxe resorts. The pools are no exception. Both pools boast large waterslides
- Lots of activities: Wine tastings, food tours, and more are great for adults who are looking for something fun to do in their downtime.
- A rustic but elegant change of pace
- Deluxe Resort
- Rustic Pacific Northwest theme
- Located near Magic Kingdom
The Wilderness Lodge offers what is probably the best overall value for any Disney World resort. You can often find rooms here for a price that is substantially lower than the average Deluxe resort. That is a definite plus, even if it means that it’s more popular with families.
Price isn’t the Wilderness Lodge’s only strength though. Its rustic, elegant Pacific Northwest styling makes it one of the most charming Disney World resorts.
The Wilderness Lodge draws its theme from classic lodges of the American National Park Service. It’s outdoorsy, but in a refined way.
The first things you’ll notice when you enter the Wilderness Lodge’s lobby are the giant fireplace and the creek that runs indoors to outdoors. It all sets the tone for the whole Wilderness Lodge experience. The whole resort really celebrates American craftsmanship in a grand way- think more along the lines of a place where Teddy Roosevelt would relax after a day of enjoying the great outdoors and less along the lines of “roughing it”.
Outdoors, you’ll find beautiful landscaping and awesome views of Bay Lake. You’ll be surprised at how relaxing it is, along with how much it makes you feel like you’re at the opposite corner of the country.
- Geyser Point Bar & Grill: Geyser Point is an indoor/outdoor restaurant and bar at the Wilderness Lodge. It’s covered by a nice structure but is open-air. Even though it’s very new, it has quickly become one of my favorite Disney World quick-service restaurants. It’s especially nice when the weather is cooler. Definitely a great place for ordering a beer and a burger while you look out over Bay Lake.
- Territory Lounge: Territory Lounge is a nice, open lounge right next door to Artist Point. The food is good, the bartenders are friendly, and the atmosphere is very relaxing.
- Roaring Fork: Roaring Fork is a standard quick-service resort restaurant. Nothing special, but it’s good for a quick bite to eat early in the morning or late at night.
- Whispering Canyon Cafe: I’m putting this one on the list because it’s a table-service restaurant. But, admittedly, it’s not the first restaurant I’d suggest for adult diners. It’s a bit loud and over-the-top compared the rest of the Wilderness Lodge.
- Lakefront area: The Wilderness Lodge’s view of Bay Lake is quite nice. It’s unique when compared to other resorts. Much more of a “woodsy” lakefront vibe.
- Good pools: Wilderness Lodge’s pool areas are surprisingly nice. You can almost always find at least one pool that is quiet and relaxing.
- Bike and Boat Rentals: Bicycles and boats are both available at the resort.
Port Orleans Riverside & Port Orleans French Quarter
- An affordable resort with the look and feel of something much more expensive
- Moderate Resort
- New Orleans Plantation and Bourbon Street Theme
- Located Near Disney Springs
Port Orleans is one of my favorite Disney resorts. It’s also the only non-Deluxe resort that I’d wholeheartedly recommend for adults.
Even though Port Orleans is categorized as a Moderate resort, it has the grounds and theme that you would expect from a Deluxe. To be blunt, Port Orleans simply blows the other Moderate resorts out of the water. Bang for your buck, it’s really hard to beat this one.
Port Orleans is split into two separate but connected resorts: Port Orleans Riverside and Port Orleans French Quarter. Both are filled with beautiful landscapes and plenty of Southern charm.
Riverside consists of two areas: Magnolia Bend and Alligator Bayou. Magnolia Bend buildings are elegant plantation-style. Alligator Bayou Buildings are more rustic and shaded heavily by surrounding trees.
French Quarter is much smaller than Riverside. All of its buildings are intended to have Bourbon Street/Mardis Gras vibe.
A river runs along the entire Port Orleans resort and creates a beautiful backdrop. You can everything from well-manicured courtyards to heavily wooded hammocks to an island with a fishing hole. The whole resort is very peaceful, but with enough liveliness to keep you from getting bored.
There’s even a boat launch that will take you downriver, directly to Disney Springs.
- Boatwright’s Dining Hall (Riverside): Boatwright’s is a casual table-service restaurant located in Riverside that serves a variety of Southern staples and New Orleans cuisine.
- Sassagoula Floatworks & Food Factory (French Quarter): Sassagoula Floatworks is a counter-service restaurant in the French Quarter. It serves a variety of simple but good items all day long.
- River Roost (Riverside): River Roost is a lounge that features Yeehaa Bob Jackson on the piano. It’s a great place to hang out and have a drink.
- Scat Cat’s Lounge (French Quarter): Scat Cat’s is a Jazz-themed bar that serves up stiff cocktails and good Southern food. Most notable menu item is the Mickey Beignets in various amounts and flavors – we highly recommend getting these while you’re there.
- Riverside Food Mill (Riverside): Riverside Food Mill is a large quick-service restaurant along the Riverside waterfront.
- Boat transportation to Disney Springs: It’s super easy to walk down to either one of Port Orleans’ launches and hop on a boat for Disney Springs. Perfect opportunity for easy transport for some grown-up fun late at night.
- A beautiful river backdrop throughout the resort: The river really does make the resort that much prettier. There’s a walkway that spans the entire distance of the river. It’s a great place to take a stroll or a bike ride.
- Carriage rides and Bike Rentals: If renting bikes wasn’t enough, you can also take a ride through the resort in a horse-drawn carriage.
- A fishing hole: If you like to fish, there is a private fishing hole in the Riverside section of the resort.
Looking for even more grown-up ideas for Disney World?
We’ve been working on a handful of guides that cover Disney World for adults. From park activities to resort dining, we’ve got you covered.