We are ringing in the holidays here in Orlando, and inevitably, everyone wants to go to Disney. I’ve been asked many times how often I go to Disney, and if Disney is worth a trip for those of us who are childfree or empty nesters. How to do Disney if you are childfree has been discussed in childfree groups online. Just because you don’t have kids, or your kids are grown doesn’t mean you can’t still love Disney. Last I heard, there is no law against it. Lots of people do, and lots of people hate it. It’s your choice, your taste.
This time of year, Disney is beautifully decorated, and there are special celebrations. There’s Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas at the Magic Kingdom and the Candlelight Processional at Epcot. There is also a light display at Hollywood Studios. Local choirs and choruses are auditioned to sing in the parks and at the hotels. If you are traveling childfree, I would recommend Epcot and the Candlelight Processional. The Candlelight Processional is well worth experiencing. It takes place in the outdoor theater by the American Pavilion, which is all lit with white lights. A choir of 300 people consisting of Disney cast members, the Voices of Liberty, and auditioned choirs from around the country make a grand procession into the outdoor theater holding candles as a full orchestra plays. A celebrity narrates stories from the Bible, and after each story, the choir sings. I have seen Trace Atkins, Neil Patrick Harris and Whoopi Goldberg narrate.
For Jim and I, and my parents, Epcot is our pick because the Candlelight Processional is beautiful and a lot of the kids are going to be at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas. (Mickey’s Very Merry is definitely for the kiddos.) We also enjoy all the food at Epcot. If you love sampling the food form all over the world, Epcot is the place. There are all kinds of dining options ranging from less expensive to very expensive. At Epcot, the main restaurants in Mexico and France are our favorites. We love the presentation of the all the countries as well as the fireworks at the end of the day. Animal Kingdom is always fun and I love the exhibit with the tigers as I have been to India and the Disney artists did a phenomenal job reconstructing Mogul India in that area of the park. You can also dine at the Rain Forrest Café, which is casual, but the fare is fun and tasty and there are storms and moving animals. We avoid the Magic Kingdom at all costs. That is little kid land, and there really is nothing of interest there for most adults. The food in the Magic Kingdom is also geared toward kids, so unless you really enjoy hamburgers and hot dogs, there really isn’t much else unless you want to pay for the highly rated restaurant at Cinderella’s Castle which is going to cost you, and reservations are booked very early.
If you want to go to Disney and not be overwhelmed with crowds and kids, go during the week while school is still in session, and stick to Epcot and possibly Animal Kingdom. At all costs, avoid going near Disney between Christmas and New Year’s. I made that mistake once and the parks were packed. There were strollers everywhere blocking the walkways so people were constantly jammed trying to get around them. I felt like the proverbial sardine all day and came home aggravated and irritated. Consider yourself warned! Even if you go to Disney while school is in session, you can’t expect that there won’t be kids there. It’s Disney. You will have kids running around and very possibly encounter kids having meltdowns and tantrums. It’s up to you whether you love Disney enough to visit anyway. My mother and I will go for the Epcot Wine and Food Festival and the Candlelight Processional, but my husband and father usually want nothing to do with “the parks” as they are referred to here in Florida. The answer is different for each of us. In the end, the answer to the Disney Question is totally up to you.