Orlando might be the theme park capital of the world, but that doesn't mean it is just for kids. After all, the city is one of the largest convention destinations in the country, and relies heavily on the briefcase and name badge type to help fill their thousands of hotel rooms. Then there are the grown up kids, the ones like yours truly that love visiting Orlando and may or may not watch Disney cartoons every Saturday morning. Regardless of what brings you to town without the kids, rest easy that there are still plenty of things to in Orlando for adults.
Here are a few of my favorites.
Face it: We're old. The bar and nightclub scene just isn't the place for us. That is unless that bar features dueling pianos with singers belting out every classic song imaginable from Bohemian Rhapsody to Baby Got Back. Yes, it is possible to do Sir Mix-a-Lot by piano.
Jellyrolls is located at Disney's Boardwalk Resort and is likely to provide the most entertaining night since your kid was born. That might sound like an exaggeration, but after a few adult beverages and a glass swinging rendition of Piano Man, you'll definitely be feeling all right.
Tip: Ask about "The Big Red Cup." The nightly drink special at Jellyrolls is a little weak on alcohol content, but it will keep you occupied most of the night and help minimize the damage of your bar tab. Trust me: In this environment, it can add up in a hurry.
|On stage at Jellyrolls. Yes, that's a bowling ball padlocked to my ankle.|
Drink Around the World
The World Showcase at Epcot is home to 11 unique pavilions, each featuring a different country around the globe. Sure, there are a few good rides and shows to visit, but the real attraction in World Showcase are the adult beverages. Each country features their own specialty, be it a local brew, wine, or other concoction - think: Grey Goose slushie in France - and the best adult entertainment at Disney World is making a game of this known as "Drinking Around the World."
The idea is simple: visit each of the 11 counties in World Showcase and order one of their specialty beverages. For obvious reasons, this is one heck of a fun day. But before you go, I'd suggest reading my survival guide to Drinking Around the World. Remember: you're not in college anymore.
|Having a little fun in Canada.|
Over at Universal and the Hard Rock Hotel, once a month you'll find one of the best things to do in Orlando without the kids. Velvet Sessions is an intimate concert that takes place at the Hard Rock Hotel lounge by the same name. The event usually draws names like Bret Michaels and Taylor Dane, which is sure to help you reconnect to the good old days.
Velvet Sessions is hugely popular, so you'll want to plan this night out on the town in advance and book your tickets early. The good news is they usually include a few pre-show libations to help you forget how long ago these guys were actually "stars." Still, your co-workers back at the office will definitely be jealous when you tell them you danced on the ceiling with Lionel Richie.
|If you aren't in town for Velvet Sessions, still visit for the best cocktails in Orlando|
Ride What You Want
Seriously, what adult enjoys waiting 90 minutes to ride Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs? It's OK to admit it, I promise your kids aren't subscribed to this blog. You hear the screams coming from Splash Mountain and Test Track and in some corner of your brain you curse that little Johnny isn't tall enough to ride yet. He will be one day, but for now you have a date with "It's A Small World." Good luck getting the tune out of your head.
Well, guess what? You ditched little Johnny at Grandma and Grandpa's, so you're free to ride whatever you want over and over again. Forget One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, this is your day. Have a beer. Ride The Hulk. Repeat.
|So many choices...so little time.|
Orlando has worked hard over the years to overcome the stigma that they are only a destination for families with kids. While the theme parks will always be the main attraction in town, there are still plenty of things to do in Orlando for adults. The key is to remember that this town was built on fun. For both the young and young at heart, that is one thing in Orlando that is never in short supply.
Enjoy Your Stay