Kid Free Disney

If your nest is still full and you love Disney vacations, it’s hard to imagine what it would be like to take a kid-free trip to Walt Disney World.  If you fell in love with Disney World before you had kids, you have some idea how that is, and may long for the eventual return of park touring sans stroller, bags full of supplies, and meltdowns.  RM-DuffyTo do what you want to do, go where you want to go…where the only whining you hear is your own on the day you have to leave.  Think about it!  Once the kids are grown, it’s your turn to enjoy Walt Disney World exactly the way you want to.  For us that means we still invite the kids (both adults now) along occasionally, but vacation alone at least once a year.  (If your children still live at home and you can overcome the guilt involved with leaving them behind while going to Disney World, you’re a stronger person than I am!)

Kid Free Disney

So you’ve finally made it.  You’ve booked an offspring-free trip to Disney World.  In order to fully flex your kid-less status, there are plenty of opportunities available to minimize exposure to other people’s children while maximizing your footloose and fancy free vacation happiness.  Here are a few ideas for your consideration…RM-Grand-Floridian-Senses-Sign

Splurge at the Senses Spa – No kids allowed!  With the Spa’s extensive menu, you’ll find something appropriate for pampering yourself at this serene spot at the Grand Floridian.  We’ve enjoyed the Massage for Two on more than one occasion and highly recommend it!RM-California-Grill-Interior

Book a Great Meal – Disney’s Signature Dining options offer an opportunity to dress up a little (or a lot) and dine in Disney splendor.  Citricos-MichaelWe love the California Grill, Jiko, Shula’s Steakhouse and Citricos (just to name a few).  Great service, fewer non-grownups, and excellent food are the draws and while these restaurants are more expensive, it’s worth it for a special evening out.RM-Sunset-Animal-Kingdom-Lodge

Take a Leisurely Stroll – Whether you’re an early bird or a night owl, the early and late hours of the day are both great times to take a walk and explore resort grounds.  Bay-Lake-Tower-SunriseI can attest to the beauty of all the monorail resorts (Contemporary, Polynesian Village, and Grand Floridian), Port Orleans Riverside, and the Boardwalk areas for this highly relaxing activity.  Dawn and sunset are my personal favorite times of the day at Disney World.RM-Mizner's-Lounge

Relax in a Lounge (or a few) – There are so many to choose from!  Whatever your preference – loud and boisterous or quiet and reserved, there’s a pub, bar, or lounge for you.  Mizner’s at the Grand Floridian, the Belle Vue Lounge on the Boardwalk, The Outer Rim Lounge at the Contemporary, Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto at the Polynesian, Victoria Falls Lounge at Animal Kingdom Lodge, and Jock Lindsey’s at Disney Springs are all places we highly recommend.RM-Victoria-Falls-Lounge

Fellow kid-free people! What are your favorite aspects of an adults-only trip to Walt Disney World?



Disney Planning – Disney Dream 4-Night Cruise

IMG_1069I am so stoked about our upcoming Disney Cruise.  Sure, I have a little weekend at Walt Disney World first during which I need to run 19.3 miles, but hey! Once that’s behind me, Raymond and I are off to Port Canaveral to catch our ride…uhm boat…I mean SHIP for our first cruise aboard the Disney Dream.

This will be our 7th Disney Cruise, but the first one sailing from Florida since 2010.  We’ve missed the Disney land-and-sea combo!  We’ve missed Castaway Cay!  I’m admittedly feeling a teeny bit apprehensive about sailing on one of Disney Cruise Lines newer, larger ships.  All of our previous cruises have been on either the Magic or the Wonder.  Will the Dream seem foreign?  Will I get lost?  Will I like it as well as our two favorite ships?  We shall see.  I am, however, really excited about our plans.  So today I’d like to share with you the five things I’m most looking forward to!

Disney Planning – Disney Dream 4-Night CruiseCastaway Cay's Mt. Rustmore

  1. Dining at Remy!  If you’ve read any of my previous cruise trip reports then you already know that we are HUGE fans of the adults-only dining aboard Disney Cruise Line.  We always have at least one meal at Palo (this cruise is no different).  Since this will be our first opportunity to check out Remy, we decided we should have both brunch and dinner there.  In the interest of research.  For you.  We are totally doing it for you. (Seems awesome now that we have Remy in our kitchen in the form of cruise art we purchased a few years back on another Disney Cruise.)RM-Remy-Print
  2. Nassau.  We are looking forward to this port of call because we are staying on the ship!  We have no excursion plans.  We are hoping all our fellow cruisers will get up and go…right off the ship so we can have the place to ourselves.  We’ve booked dining and spa treatments and personally, I’m planning to rest my feet with this in mind…Family Beach on Castaway Cay
  3. The Castaway Cay 5k.  I’m a little disappointed that there’s no runDisney, post-Glass Slipper Challenge, official Castaway Cay 5k the way there was last year.  It meant an extra medal and was a very cool deal.  In fact, if I remember correctly, Raymond thought we should book this very cruise just so I could take advantage of the opportunity should it again be offered.  Oh, well,  the regular 5k on Castaway Cay (Disney’s private tropical island paradise) should still be available and I bet Raymond will run it with me to keep me company…which will be excellent. (Love you, Honey!)View of Castaway Cay
  4. Senses Spa – We’re spoiled.  We love the Senses Spa and also the on-board exercise facility.  This cruise, we’ve once again booked a couples massage.  After the Glass Slipper Challenge and the Castaway Cay 5k, this will be such a welcome treat!IMG_1449
  5. All the rest – the special, unique, magical Disney Cruise components that keep us coming back for more.  The adults-only areas of the ship, the shows, the roomy stateroom, the rotational dining – all of it!  This will be our first cruise alone.  I know we’ll miss our kids – especially since we had such an incredible time last year on the Disney Magic as she made her inaugural trip through the fjords of Norway.  In contrast to that epic, action-packed, fun-filled, super busy vacation, this one will be more low-key, but with new and exciting elements for us to experience for the first time.
Have you sailed on the Disney Dream?  Any there tips or tricks we need to know?

5 Reasons to Pamper Yourself at Disney World

RM-Grand-Floridian-SignWe didn’t know what we’d been missing!  Raymond and I, in our bid to make the most of our 25th wedding anniversary celebration trip to Walt Disney World, decided to splurge on a few extras.  When you’re only covering travel expenses for two, it seems easier to justify dropping a few more dollars here and there.  One of the special treats we decided on was a massage for two at the Senses Spa at Disney’s Grand Floridian.  Expensive?  Yes, for us $275 for a 50 minute spa treatment caused a moment’s pause while we considered what else we could buy with that money!  Then we thought of all the reasons it was a perfect use for our hard-earned cash – and we were right!  It was worth every penny.

They don’t call it the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa for nothing.  There is an actual spa and it is fabulous!  Now that I’ve personally experienced it, here are my Top 5 Reasons to visit the Senses Spa (or pamper yourself at Walt Disney World in some special way):RM-Grand-Floridian-Walkway

1. Great for Any Time!  Want to kick off your vacation with some relaxation outside the busy parks?  What about mid-trip when you’re feeling tired from all that walking?  Or maybe, wouldn’t it be great to get a relaxing spa treatment right before you have to go back to the real world?  Anytime’s a great time for a little pampering!RM-Grand-Floridian-Senses-Entrance

2. The Robe and Slippers!  And the spiced iced tea, and the aroma therapy, and all the extra little touches.  The spa is one awesome facility. Everything is designed to promote feelings of relaxation.  Because we were getting massages, we were supplied with super fluffy robes and comfortable slippers (in our actual shoe sizes!).  Those robes were really something!  So cozy.  RM-Grand-Floridian-Senses-Robe-and-Slippers

3. The Welcome!  I couldn’t help but notice how warm and welcoming the Cast Members were!  You’re offered a glass of tea upon arrival and then shown around the spa. The locker rooms are roomy and have everything you need to clean up and get ready for whatever else your day may hold.  There’s shampoo, conditioner, body wash, hair gel, hair spray, and even deodorant if you need it!  If I’d known how well-supplied I’d be there, I would have packed a change of clothes and some makeup to save me a trip back to our resort.  The lockers have electronic locks that are easy to use so you can store all your personal items worry-free.  Everything is luxurious and intended to make you feel like the most special guest there – worked for me!RM-Grand-Floridian-Senses-Vanity

4. Screaming Children!  They do seem to be almost everywhere at Walt Disney World…but they are NOT in the Senses Spa!  It’s blissfully peaceful and the tranquility is further enhanced by the use of aroma therapy and soft music.  The fragrance used during our massage was frankincense which I found to be pleasant and soothing.  The complete and total escape from the rest of the World is what I loved most about my visit to Senses.RM-Grand-Floridian-Senses-Counter-Sink-Area

5. You Deserve It!  We were spending an entire week at Walt Disney World alone for the first time in 25 years.  We were footloose and fancy free.  We could have spent the money on tours, or fine dining.  Instead we spent that money and time on a unforgettalbe experience.  We didn’t have to think, move, listen, plan, or hurry.  For 50 minutes, we were quiet and relaxed while two very kind and knowledgable Cast Members worked to free us from stress and muscle tension.  We loved it so much, we’re going back again in February!RM-Grand-Floridian-Senses-Shower-Area-Entrance

When our time at Senses was over, we were hungry!  After catching a delicious breakfast at the Grand Floridian’s Gasparilla Island Grill, we hopped on the monorail for a quick stop back at Bay Lake Tower to change clothes.  Then were ready to head over to Epcot for our French Regional Lunch.  A visit to the Senses Spa was the perfect way to begin the last day of a wonderful vacation.

Here’s a complete list of all the treatments offered at the Senses Spa.  Would you spend the money on a splurge like that?  If not, what would you do instead?