Home » The 6 WORST Things to Do With a Child at Disney World

    The 6 WORST Things to Do With a Child at Disney World

    Walt Disney’s inspiration for Disneyland came while he was observing adults at a small amusement park. While the children were playing and having fun, their parents were merely sitting nearby as onlookers. That’s why Disney World offers so much for families to enjoy together. However, while most attractions and activities at Disney World Resort are great for all ages, there are a few things that are much better suited for adults only. In fact, sometimes children aren’t even allowed.

    1. The Food and Wine Festival

    Image: Disney

    The Food and Wine Festival is a favorite of many Disney World guests, and it happens every year during the fall. While children may freely enjoy the “food” portion of this event, the alcoholic beverages are only available to adults, of course.

    Many first-time visitors to the festival bring kids along, which is perfectly fine for most of the day. In fact, kids who enjoy different cuisines will likely have a blast. However, the atmosphere at the World Showcase during the Food and Wine Festival changes a bit after dark. Many people enjoy sampling the many drinks that are offered, and some guests can get a bit rowdy once they’ve had a few drinks. Though I’ve had a few trips during the event without any incidents, on others I’ve seen drunken behavior that I would never wish for a young child to see. I’m sure that Disney World cast members would never let things get too out of hand, but I highly recommend touring the festival during the daytime if you have impressionable youngsters in your party.

    2. Behind the scenes tours

    Backstage Tour at Disney World

    Disney World offers a ton of “behind the scenes” type tours that are unique and enjoyable—for adults. Disney World categorizes their tours into a total of 16 different experiences, but children aren’t allowed at 13 of them. The three that do allow children are the Behind the Seeds Tour, which takes you on a tour of the greenhouse area at The Land pavilion in Epcot, and the Disney’s Family Magic Tour, which is a scavenger hunt that the whole family will probably enjoy. The third tour option is a personal tour guide for your family, which is quite expensive, but it makes for a once-in-a-lifetime type of experience if you can swing the cost.

    The other tours are mostly for adults only, though some will allow teenagers (or even “tweens”—sometimes as young as 8) to come along. Some of the most popular tours are the Keys to the Kingdom Tour and the Walt Disney: Marceline to Magic Kingdom Tour.

    These experiences will cost you an additional fee, but many of them are well worth the money. They often last for hours, though, which is probably why kids aren’t allowed. Also, though you might find the history and behind-the-scenes information entertaining, many children might not. Plus, Disney doesn’t want to ruin any of the magic for young ones by showing them how things really work.

    3. A “Grownup” meal

    Victoria and Albert's

    If you’re coming to Disney World for a special occasion such as an anniversary or honeymoon, you’ll be glad to know that there are many restaurants at Disney World that cater to a more “grownup” demographic. While most of these establishments don’t actually forbid children, a few restaurants do, and others simply encourage a quiet atmosphere without disruptions, which isn’t ideal for families with young kids.

    Victoria & Albert’s is possibly the most well-known locale for an adult meal. This restaurant strictly enforces an age limit of 10 and older, and there’s a good reason why. This is a bit of a “classy” place—formal attire is required, the Prix Fixe menu prices start at $150, and it’s been awarded the AAA Five Diamond Award® every year since 2000.

    4. Adult nightlife


    Though most of the Pleasure Island buildings are now closed, there are still options available for fun entertainment after dark at Disney World. Jellyrolls is a popular piano bar in the Boardwalk area. This area also has the Atlantic Dance Hall, which plays music from recent (and not so recent) decades.

    You can still find adult nightlife options at Downtown Disney (soon to be Disney Springs), too. Raglan Road allows kids, but the after dark entertainment is better suited for an adult crowd. After dinner hours, it’s more of a bar than a restaurant, anyway. Paradiso 37 is also at Downtown Disney, and kids are welcome here, too. However, it’s another location that offers loud music and drinks, so you might feel more comfortable in an adults-only group after dinnertime.

    5. Spa treatments

    Senses Spa

    If your Disney World vacation isn’t relaxing enough for your aching muscles, there are many spas available on Disney World property. Obviously, this isn’t a great option for young kids, though some teens might enjoy a massage or manicure.

    You can book a facial, massage, manicure, pedicure, etc. at several different locations, including Senses at the Grand Floridian or Senses Spa at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort.

    6. The Premium and Platinum Dining Plans

    Le Cellier Filet Mignon

    Most Disney visitors know about the Disney Dining Plan; the Quick Service, Regular, and Deluxe Plans are the most popular choices. However, there are two more options available—the Premium and Platinum Dining Plans.

    As of 2015, these plans offer guests three meals per day (either Quick Service or Table Service), two snacks per day, and a refillable drink mug. One reason I don’t recommend these plans for children is because this is a ton of food for anyone, but kids are especially unlikely to use all these credits.

    However, the additional perks of these packages are even less beneficial for children. Each one includes an array of extra activities, and many of these options are best enjoyed by adults. The options offered each year vary, and of course the Platinum Plan has more activities than the Premium one. Some items include the backstage tours and spa services mentioned earlier, as well as golf, the Richard Petty experience, and Cirque du Soleil.

    Cirque du Soleil

    Most of these entertainment options aren’t really ideal for children (though some are), so it simply doesn’t make much sense financially to splurge on either of these Dining Plans for those who are too young to enjoy them. For adults, though, they can really take a special trip up a notch or two.

    If you want to try anything on this list but will have children in your party, there are baby-sitting options available at Disney World, too. Disney has a collaboration with caregiving company Kid’s Nite Out, which sends a childcare provider directly to your room for the evening. There are also Children’s Activity Centers at select resorts, though their hours vary. Though Disney World vacations are often all about family, it can be nice to get some space to yourself for a while. Next time you’d like a little adults only entertainment, tick one of these options off your bucket list.