What is the Best Disney Park for Adults?

Question of the week: How to choose the Best Disney Park for adults?

Is there even such a thing as Disney for adults?

It surprises me how so many of us still believe that Disney theme parks are only for kids. Thank god it isn’t true! *insert nervous laughter*

Being grownup doesn’t mean you have to stop having fun!

Imagine not being able to ride on Disney attractions, explore its adventurous parks, and marvel at its spectacular fireworks. Even thinking about it hurts me just a bit.

I have spent a good chunk of my life in Orlando, Florida. Disney is like my very own playground, which I have frequented oh so often. It makes up many of my happiest memories.

Although many of us may be older now,our love for Disney (for adults or not) has not diminished even a bit.

Since you are looking for the best Disney park for adults, you too are willing to take a chance and experience the magic as someone who’s 18+.

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Walt Disney World for Adults with Cinderella Castle in the Florida Sun

To help you plan the best adult Disney trip, I have listed below all Disney parks in descending order (lowest adult-friendly to most adult-friendly).

  • #4 Hollywood Studios
  • #3 Magic Kingdom
  • #2 Animal Kingdom
  • #1 Epcot

I will discuss the ins and outs of visiting these World Disney Parks. So, let’s dive in.

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#4 Hollywood Studios (DHS)

Limited rides, great shows, galactic character lineup, and a decent dining scene. Is Hollywood Studios worth a trip? Let’s find out.

Hollywood Studios secret entrance

An Adult’s Take on Hollywood Studios Rides

With limited rides, this Orlando Disney park is more geared towards kids and tweens. A string of cartoony rides like Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway and Alien Swirling Saucers makes Disney Hollywood Studios a little less interesting for adults.

As a stand-alone, the park does pretty well for itself as an attraction for grown-ups. There are rides like Tower of Terror and Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster that are great for adults.

Hollywood Tower of Terror Ride Entrance at Hollywood Studios
Hollywood Tower of Terror Ride Entrance at Hollywood Studios

However, when compared to other Walt Disney World (WDW) parks, Hollywood Studios does not boast the best assortment of Disney World rides for adults.

But what about the new Hollywood Studios Star Wars Land? Yes, but that is the closest you’ll come to a truly adult thrill at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

SO, SHOULD YOU JUST STRIKE DISNEY’S HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS OFF YOUR ADULT DISNEY TRIP CHECKLIST? Nope.

An Adult’s Take on Daytime Entertainment and Shows

Hollywood Studios entertainment makes up for its limited rides with a lineup of shows. There are some fantastic stage performances like Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage, Voyage of the Little Mermaid, and the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular.

Beauty and the Beast Auditorium Entrance at Hollywood Studios
Beauty and the Beast Auditorium Entrance at Hollywood Studios

Many like to skip the Frozen Sing-Along, believing it to be too childish for an adult. But I recommend you watch this show. You will be surprised by the number of grown-up jokes and references it has.

Of all the entertaining shows in Hollywood Studios, the only one I’ll a complete no-go for grownups is the Dance Party. However, if you are on a clock, you could also skip Mickey Shorts Theater and Muppet Vision 3D show.

An Adult’s Take on Nighttime Shows

If you have the option, you must stay past the sundown to relish the harlequin, vividly-lit version of Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular. Wonderful World of Animation is another nighttime attraction that grownups like. Fantasmic is skippable.

Star Wars Galaxys Droid Depot Entrance

An Adult’s Take on Dining and Drinking Scene

Hollywood Studios dining scene boasts a cool restaurant called Sci-Fi that you must check out. Apart from Sci-Fi Dine-in Theater, none of the Hollywood Studios restaurants could rival those dotting parks like Epcot and Animal Kingdom.

The quick-service eateries here serve a range of street-side nibbles. You will find pizzas, burgers, and Mexican, which all taste pretty good. But that’s about it.

Star Wars Galaxys Edge Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo Takodana Quencher Bacardi Dragon Berry Rum, Blue Curaçao, Simple Orange with Pineapple, Kiwi. best disney park for adults
Star Wars Galaxys Edge Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo Takodana Quencher with Bacardi Dragon Berry Rum, Blue Curaçao, Simple Orange with Pineapple, Kiwi

For quick bites, the dining options include Docking Bay 7 Food & Cargo inside Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

Wind up your trip with delicious margaritas, martini flights, old wines, or chilled beer at Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge.

Final Verdict – Is Hollywood Studios Worth It?

Hollywood Studios is a big no-no if this is your first Disney trip as an adult, you are ride-enthusiast, or a gourmet excited to sample Disney foods.

Hollywood Studios Brown Derby with Martini Flight
Hollywood Studios Brown Derby with Martini Flight

However, if the idea is to spend a laid-back trip in Florida with kids in a Disney park that balances adult-kid attractions, then DHS may just be the park for you.

Its shows and nighttime attractions are perfect for the holidaymakers who have just 1 day to enjoy a bit of Disney.

Read: Your Best Hollywood Studios Itinerary for One-Day (Complete Guide)

#3 Magic Kingdom

I love the Magic Kingdom and undoubtedly, it is one of the best amusement parks in the world. But is it best for grown-ups? Let’s find out.

Happily Ever After Fireworks Show at Disney Magic Kingdom over Cinderella Castle

An Adult’s Take on Magic Kingdom Rides

The park is magical with more than double the rides in Hollywood Studios. But it still doesn’t flaunt the most thrilling roller coasters in the Disney universe.

Also, because of the immersive animation-like experience – with characters, cast, and the iconic Cinderella Castle – it is often written off as being for kids.

Still, there are a few coasters that are worth riding in the park. You will find Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and Seven Dwarfs Mine Trains to be quite hair-raising even for a grownup. Skip the short Barnstormer coaster.

Magic Kingdom New Fantasyland Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. best disney park for adults

There are also the classic Disney rides; must-see attractions in Magic Kingdom for all guests. These rides include:

  • “it’s a small world”
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Splash Mountain
  • Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
  • Walt Disney World Railroad

Note that the TRON roller coaster, coming 2021, might influence the rank of Magic Kingdom in this list by adding a solid Disney ride for adults to the park.

An Adult’s Take on Daytime Entertainment and Shows

The Magic Kingdom non-ride attractions include aerial carousels, dance parties, and shows like Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Peter Pan’s Flight, and more. They’re strongly geared toward children.

Magic Kingdom New Fantasyland Winnie the Pooh Ride Entrance. best disney park for adults

Indoor animatronic shows such as Hall of Presidents and Carousel of Progress are worth a watch, but also skippable.

The Magic Kingdom shows I’d highly recommend my fellow grown-ups to watch are Festival of Fantasy Parade and Happily Ever After Fireworks (once they return to the park).

Worried about meeting the Disney characters on your trip?

Don’t be!

The professional Cast Members makes even an awkward adult-to-adult encounter fun. But to participate in meet-n-greet or not is your choice.

NikkyJ ThemeParkHipster Disney

An Adult’s Take on Nighttime Shows

The Magic Kingdom may be third in the overall list, but it definitely excels at nighttime shows. Several of the best nighttime shows at Disney World are in this park. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad becomes wilder and Jungle Cruise gets a bit creepier and adventurous past sundown.

Thunder Mountain Railroad Magic Kingdom Disney Hidden Secrets with golden mountain in the background.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Of course, taking the spotlight is Happily Ever After fireworks show (which you CANNOT miss when it comes back).

An Adult’s Take on Dining and Drinking Scene

The Magic Kingdom dining scene boasts tons of snacks, limited-time dishes, and inviting restaurants with a view of firework or parade.

Be Our Guest Restaurant Peach Bellini and Grey Stuff Cupcake. best disney park for adults
Be Our Guest Restaurant Peach Bellini and Grey Stuff Cupcake

Perhaps, the drinking scene of the park is lacking. You can only get alcoholic beverages inside the table service restaurants or in the bars at the resorts near the Magic Kingdom.

Final Verdict – Is Magic Kingdom Worth It?

Despite ranking 3rd, Magic Kingdom is worth visiting. It may be written off as childish by many, but it has the true, nostalgic essence of Disney.

Magic Kingdom New Fantasyland Storybook Circus

Will you like it as an adult or not? You wouldn’t know unless you set foot in its fantasy world.

Read: Magic Kingdom for Adults the Complete Guide

#2 Animal Kingdom

The Animal Kingdom is the newest addition to the Walt Disney World theme park lineup and yet it ranks second in the list. It is a pleasant mix of a lively zoo and an exciting amusement park. Read on to know more about it.

Lagoon overlooking Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom

An Adult’s Take on Animal Kingdom Rides

Disney’s Animal Kingdom may be running low on the ride count, but each one of these rides is worth it for grown-ups.

Overall, the carefree and chill vibe of the park just takes your mind off the Disney-kid dilemma. You are likely to enjoy every moment in the park without a second of self-consciousness.

Flight of Passage Queue Giant Avatar at Disney Animal Kingdom

The best rides at Animal Kingdom are Pandora, Flight of Passage, Kilimanjaro Safari, and Expedition Everest.

The only ride you might want to skip is TriceraTop Spin.

An Adult’s Take on Daytime Entertainment and Shows

Disney Animal Kingdom also compensates for the limited rides by offering bulk of enjoyment with its in-between entertainment that sprawl across 7 themed areas.

Animal Kingdom Finding NEMO Show
Finding Nemo Show

There are interesting stage shows like Festival of the Lion King and Finding Nemo: The Musical. You will also find entertaining interactive spaces like Bollywood Beat dance, Kora Tinga Tinga, and Tam Tam Drummers of Harambe.

Animal Kingdom African Safari with Momma and baby giraffe. best disney park for adults
Animal Kingdom African Safari

The Animal Kingdom also boasts tons of non-ride attractions like Gorilla Falls Exploration, Maharajah Jungle Trek, The Oasis Exhibits, and more. To put it simply, there is no end to the fun here.

An Adult’s Take on Nighttime Shows

Animal Kingdom recently got a nighttime makeover and it is splendid. The show adds a mystic charm to the entire park when it gets washed in the majestic lights.

Pandora World of Avatar at Night Disney Animal Kingdom Waterfall
Pandora World of Avatar at Night Disney

Among all its post-sunset attractions, the best ones are Rivers of Light, Pandora at Night, and Tree of Life.

Kilimanjaro Safari is an exception. It is best enjoyed just before the sun begins to go down so you could get gorgeous views of the sunset.

An Adult’s Take on Dining and Drinking Scene

Animal Kingdom dining scene is diverse at best. Foodies with a knack to try a variety of cuisines will find their haven in Asia and Africa. Those who crave home-style flavors will be pleased with the menu selections in America.

Shrimp Topped Mac and Cheese Animal Kingdom
Shrimp Topped Mac and Cheese Animal Kingdom

Perhaps, the freedom to get and enjoy alcoholic beverages is winning here. You can get rum-filled refreshments at Tamu-Tamu.

Vegans, vegetarians, and those with allergies will find meals of their preference at the Smiling Crocodile and Terra Treats.

Final Verdict – Is Animal Kingdom Worth It?

YES! Without a question, it it 🙂

Read: Disney Animal Kingdom for Adults: The Definitive Guide for Your Trip

#1 Epcot

If there’s a tailor-made Disney park of grownups, it is Epcot. Learn what makes Epcot the best Disney park for adults below.

Epcot Food and Wine Menu

An Adult’s Take on Epcot Rides

There’s a slew of Epcot rides appealing to grownups. They have a more mature collection compared to rides in any other Orlando Disney park.

The crème a la crème in the list of best rides is the massive, indoor hang glider simulator called Soarin’ Around the World. It lifts you in the air and rotates in front of a 180-degree, 80-ft concave screen, above famous monuments around the globe.

Silver Futuristic on Test Track at Epcot
Test Track Ride at Epcot

Other similar scream-inducing rides include Mission Space, Spaceship Earth, and Test Track.

 An Adult’s Take on Daytime Entertainment and Shows

Outside of rides, Epcot entertainment entails attention-grabbing animatronic stage show like the American Adventure, a saltwater aquarium called Sea Base, screening of World’s Showcase’s films in 360-degree Circle-Vision, and lots more.

Finding Nemo at Epcot Lush Entrance on a Sunny Florida Day
Finding Nemo at Epcot

These are shows rank high in terms of quality, creativity, as well as representation. Thus, making Epcot the best theme park for adults.

An Adult’s Take on Nighttime Shows

Epcot nighttime show, the Epcot Forever, is all about fireworks, music, colorful glowing kites, and lasers. It is a magical Disney fireworks show that you must watch.

Spice Road Table at Epcot Green Martini over looking World Showcase Lagoon

Hipster Power Tip: Get a reservation at the Spice Road Table restaurant in the Morocco Pavilion for a great view of the show and great food and drinks.

An Adult’s Take on Dining and Drinking Scene

In Epcot, you can go Drinking Around the World and sampling world cuisines in specialty restaurants like Tokyo Dining, Via Napoli, Chefs de France, and Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar. It’s a foodie’s paradise.

Epcot Drink Around the World Passport
Click image to get your Drinking Around the World Passport!

Final Verdict – Is Epcot Worth It?

Are you still going to ask this question? YESSS.

Read: Your Passport to Drinking Around the World in EPCOT (Definitive Guide)

What to Know for Your Adult Trip to Disney

Before we end this guide, let’s go through a few frequently asked questions.

Leaping Leprechaun Cocktail at Disney Best Drinks in Epcot. best disney park for adults

Can I explore two Disney parks at a time?

At this time, the Park Hopper options has been suspended due to the 2020 global crisis. Once it returns you should be able to squeeze Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios in one day.

How long will it to see all of Walt Disney World?

I recommend planning to spend at least 5 days at Disney. However, if you’re short on time, you can learn how to do Walt Disney World in just 3 days here!

Read how to find your perfect vacation home rental near Disney World by Clicking HERE!

Let’s Wrap It Up

Phew! So, that was a detailed guide to finding the best Disney park for adults. Whether you are 20 or 56, a vacationer, or a roller coaster enthusiast, this guide should help you plan the right adult Disney trip.

Have fun, take lots of photos, and don’t forget to do something impulsive (like taking a childish ride and revive childhood memories).

What is the Best Disney Park for Adults
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What’s your favorite adult thing to do at Disney? Let us know in the comments section below!

Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters!

UP NEXT: Disney World for Adults (21 Unique Things For Grown-ups to Do at Disney)

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