I have a confession to make.
I went to Disney World.
Without my son.
And it was awesome!!
I recently became one of those weirdos that visits Disney World without their children. It was magical. Not the level of magic that Disney usually displays, but something even better. A long weekend with my husband surrounded by Disney magic brought back echoes of our lives BC (before children). That magical time when we could run off to whatever locale (exotic or not) that struck our fancy, eat grown up food in grown up restaurants, stay in resorts without characters (however charming) everywhere we turn, and generally enjoy life and all that it has to offer without worrying about a little person. It was glorious.
Maybe you think this visit was extra amazing because it’s the first time I’ve ever traveled anywhere without the kiddo. It’s not. If I’m being honest, my husband and I leave my child behind. A lot. But I never really thought we’d visit Disney World without him until……
Wine & Dine Half Marathon
Reason No. 1 to leave your child at home.
Granted this one is predicated on the idea that you and your partner enjoy running (or at least walking). What better way to catch up with each other than race walking 13.1 miles together? Not only do you get a nifty shirt, but you also get some great race bling. The hard part about the half marathon (besides the fact that it’s a half marathon) is that you have to wake up early to catch a bus by 4 AM for transport to the race. Ever try to get your child up early? Now magnify that by 100. Leave the kiddo at home and enjoy this new adventure with your special someone. There are plenty of photo ops and entertainment along the route and you even get to run through parts of Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Epcot.
As mentioned above, the race starts eeeeearly. Luckily there’s plenty of entertainment while you wait for your corral to begin.
There are also plenty of porto-potties (a lack of which can ruin a race as any runner will tell you).
The run has mile markers showcasing each country with character photo opportunities along the way. The character lines were a bit long so we skipped those, but they are an option if you’re interested.
So there are a few things you should know about the Wine and Dine half marathon.
1. Start times appear to be 15 minutes between corrals. If you’re in A, B, or C you probably do want to be in your corral nice and early. If you’re in corral G because you were a slacker and didn’t submit your time (guilty), then your race won’t start until almost 2 hours after the official start. I wish we’d known this because then we could have slept in and just taken an Uber to the race. Oh well, lesson learned.
2. Don’t forget your ID when you pick up your race packet. Disney’s website states this quite clearly. Though some of the volunteers may tell you it’s ok, it’s not. I learned this one the hard way when I forgot my wallet because it was stashed in the safe at the resort. Not the end of the world but I couldn’t pick up my bib until race morning and then I had to email RunDisney to get them to mail my shirt. I felt especially stupid because we run lots of races and this is a pretty standard rule. On a side note, it’s the only time I’ve ever been told “no” at Disney and it made me sad.
Epcot Food and Wine Festival
Reason No. 2 to leave you child at home
Is the festival adults only? No. Children are welcome and plentiful at the festival, but they’re not your children, so you don’t have to deal with them. That’s right. You have zero responsibility for a little person, so you’re free to leisurely stroll through the many pavilions to sample your way through snacks and adult beverages with your honey.
I didn’t ride a single ride the day Mike and I attended the festival in Epcot and you know what? There were no tears. There was no whining. Just two happy adults enjoying new foods and drinks. Our legs were tired from the run that morning and we weren’t in any rush so we probably only spent about three hours at the park that day and that was more than enough for us.
Be sure to grab the little passport book available at any of the kiosks. It lists the food and drink offerings at each.
France. Probably my favorite spot. Hubs and I decided the escargot croissant with garlic and parsley was the best thing we ate that day. Sadly I did not take a photo but you can admire my Grand Marnier slushie instead (which is not a festival specific offering and is always available in France.)
We also really enjoyed the offerings of The Almond Orchard (cauliflower risotto) and Patagonia (beef empanada).
The best surprise of the day was the spinach and paneer cheese pocket with mint raita from Africa. I didn’t share this one very much but it was ok because hubs had a brat from Germany to keep him happy.
Things to know about the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival:
1. No special ticket is required. All you need is a valid ticket to Epcot for the day you visit.
2. No special payment method is required at the kiosks.
3. Most (if not all) of the food servings are the right size for sharing. And you’ll want to share so that you have room to try more things.
The Grand Floridian
Reason No. 3 to leave your child at home.
OK, much like reasons 1 & 2, there are children at the Grand Floridian but they’re not your children and really there weren’t all that many of them when we visited. The Grand Floridian is a lovely property with a level of sophisticated elegance that some (most) of the other resorts lack. There are no animals, no Mickey Mouse wallpaper, no tiki torches. Basically not much to entertain a child which is a not a bad thing if you left yours at home.
This was my first time to stay at the GF and I sincerely hope it’s not my last. We were lucky enough to score a corner room with two balconies and the most amazing views.
View from the balcony. A-ma-zing!
Our evening entertainment each night… it’s ok to be jealous.
But wait! There’s more. After the fireworks every evening we were treated to the electric water parade off the other balcony.
So now you know why you should at least consider joining the ranks of weirdos that visit Disney World without their children. Try it once, and I promise you’ll want to try it again!
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