In my last article, I provided tips on how to get the most magic out of your next Disney Vacation. This go around I’m going to show you how to spend all the money I just showed you how to save. We’ll be throwing the budget vacation out the window, and showcasing how Disney not only caters to kids, but has plenty of Disney magic for adults too!
Time to get your drink on! Every year between September 27th and November 11th EPCOT’s World Showcase hosts the festival that will please any adult’s taste buds. It features fine wines, beers and food from around the world.
As with all Disney events, not only are you having fun, you are also learning at the same time! They have a plethora of learning events. Don’t know a lot about wines? No problem, just attend the wine education event, and you’ll be a wine snob by the end of the day! Learning about wines not your cup of tea? How about learning how those cheeses that you are eating with your wine are made. Still not satisfied? You could always attend a celebrity chef dining experience or check out a book and bottle-signing event.
Did I mention that while all this is going on, they have outdoor concerts going on day and night throughout the park? While a lot of attractions are free with your EPCOT park ticket, be prepared to crack open your wallet for the food and refreshment samples, along with premium experiences and cultural dining opportunities.
Where are they coming from? Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes at Disney’s World parks? I mean you see all these Disney characters around the park, but you never see them walking through the parks to get to their event area. That’s because when you are walking around the park, you are actually on the second floor! Yes, you heard me right; Disney World parks have huge underground tunnel systems for cast members to get around unseen!
That isn’t by accident either. One day Walt Disney was sitting on a bench in Disneyland where he saw a character from Frontierland walking through the futuristic Tommorrowland section of the park, and thought it took some of the magic away from the experience.
With that in mind, when he built Disney World, he decided to prevent that, and that is what this tour is all about. It pulls back the curtain, and shows you exactly what is going on in the underground labyrinth of tunnels called the “Utilidor”, and gives you history of the man behind the mouse. The cost of this history experience is $75 per person, and it takes 5 hours to complete. While some Disney experiences are open to kids, this tour is age 16+ .
I’m on a boat! Yea, I had no idea it existed either, but I’m serious this time. Disney has a 52-foot Sea Ray yacht called the Grand 1 and you can charter it! Looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the parks? Charter the Grand 1 to sail you around the Bay Lake where you can soak up the sun and unwind.
If you want a romantic experience with your significant other, the Grand 1 also has you covered. Charter a private dining cruise and enjoy a romantic dinner on the water. If you really want to indulge them, professional Butler services are available at an additional cost.
That still isn’t enough? How about charting the Grand 1 and watching Magic Kingdoms fireworks while eating strawberries, and sipping champagne with the one you love. All this romance doesn’t come cheap. Chartering the Grand 1 is $500 an hour, and if you want dinner, champagne, and a butler it’s going to cost you extra. So only you can decide if it’s worth the cost.
That’s the spot! What kind of list would this be, if I didn’t include a world-class spa on it? After all who doesn’t like spa treatments? The Grand Floridian Senses Spa is a full service spa and health club, which offers almost every spa treatment you can think of. Being the health conscious person that I am, I’m going to skip the “health club” part and go right to the “OMG pamper me with spa treatments” part!
So you chartered the Grand 1 for the evening, and you want to make sure you are looking your best. Before you get on that boat, schedule some “me time” and sign up for some spa treatments so you are looking and feeling refereshed! After being on your feet all day, how rejuvenating would it be to get a foot massage and a pedicure to put that spring back into your step. Throw in a manicure and facial, and you are ready to go.
Or if you are a genius like me, and don’t realize you forgot to put on your sunscreen until you are that very attractive “lobster red” color, Senses can take care of that too, with their “sun relief Aloe full body treatment.” Yea, they actually have a spa treatment for that! If you are Just looking to spend some quality time with your spouse, you can book a couples massage (warm stone, Swedish, custom firm pressure, etc) and enjoy the quiet time together.
Remember when I said that I was going to show you how to spend that money I showed you how to save? Yea, this is the place. Massages start at $135 for 50 minutes, and top out at $210 for a aromatherapy massage. The sun relief treatment runs $145 for 50 minutes, and mani/pedi is $120. If you want the foot massage with the mani/pedi, it will cost you another $30 for 25 minutes. Like I said, it’s not cheap, but everyone needs some pampering every now and then!
I wanna go fast! This is for all those people out there that love to drive. I’m not talking about getting in your grocery getter and taking the kids to their soccer match. I’m talking about people that love to jam through the gears on a car. People that love to take a car through curves, and hear the slight squeal of the tires as you go around a corner. People that get a rush from speed and want to be a racecar driver. That is what the Richard Petty Driving Experience is all about.
However, before you can race, you need to learn how to drive. They start you out with in-car and on-track training from professional instructors. From there you will head out on the track in a race car that will have you going to speeds of up to 120 mph.
If the racecar isn’t your cup of tea, then check out the exotic super cars. That’s right, you can actually climb behind the wheel of your favorite super car and run a few laps in it. What super cars do they have you ask? Ferrari, Lamborghini, Audi, and Porsche are all in their line up. Make sure you call ahead, and see what cars are available, as the supercar selection changes daily.
How much does it cost? The lowest cost is “The Rookie Experience” and it takes 2.5 hours, you get 8 laps on the track, and costs $449. If you want the “Racing Experience” it takes 4 hours, you get 50 laps on the track, and will melt your credit card at a cost of $2,599. Like I said, it’s not cheap but sometimes experiences are worth the money. Also note that you have to be 18 years old with a valid drivers license to get behind the wheel of these monsters.
What the Expert Suggests
Dusty Sage from Micechat suggests the follow activities:
- Stroll Epcot’s World Showcase – There is perhaps no more perfect place for Adults in any theme park than the back half of Epcot. Like a mini World’s Fair, Epcot’s World Showcase plays out like a world tour of nations. With only a smattering of attractions, the real draw here is shopping, resturants and bars. Stay until the usual park closing at 9pm and you are treated to a fireworks spectacular in the lagoon. It’s a magical and romantic spot best visited without kids.
- Relaxing on beach or boat – With all those theme parks within minutes of each other, most families never even think about the more relaxing side to Disney World. My favorites are the beaches at the Polynesian and watercraft rentals on Bay Lake. There are also beaches at the Grand Floridian and the Contemporary Resort. Watercraft span the gamut from canoes and sailboats to water-sprites and yachts. Something for every budget and every activity level.
- Golf – I’m not a lifelong golfer, but I’ve taken a shine to the beautiful golf courses at the WDW resort. Professional and casual golfers alike can enjoy the greens at Disney’s Bake Buena Vista Golf Course, Magnolia Golf Course, Oak Trail Golf Course, Osprey Ridge Golf Course and Palm Golf Course. That’s a lot of golf! And if you just want to putt around for fun, there are also two clever Miniature Golf locations, each with two fully Imagineered courses.
- Dinner at Victoria and Albert’s – After a lovely day on the greens or at the beach, how about an elegant dinner at Walt Disney World’s most exclusive restaurant? The menu is exquisite and updated seasonally. The Service is the best in the resort, and perhaps in all of Orlando. And the decor and environment are elegant and the perfect romantic meal. Likely the highlight of your trip. But bring your wallet, because a meal here doesn’t come cheap.As you can see, while Disney has many magical experiences for children and teens, they also are just as good at making magical memories for adults. This is why I am on my fourth trip to Disney World, and I still have at least another 10-15 trips in me before I feel I have done most of it. Well that and the fact, for some reason I always feel younger when I visit them, and that is always a welcome experience in itself. ☺Thanks for reading my ramblings! Bryan~
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