You’ve heard horror stories of people who spend a ton of money on a romantic Disney trip for two only to end their vacation feeling exhausted, depleted, and wondering, “What do people see in this?!”

It’s pretty easy for that to happen. Disney World has a lot going on, and the more you research and plan ahead of time, the more it seems you have to add to your must-do list. Unfortunately, when you fall for that trap, here’s what happens:

❌ You’ll end each day completely exhausted and in pain from so much walking.

❌ There’s no downtime to relax, appreciate your surroundings or be spontaneous.

❌ Trying to be efficient all day long leaves little room for being cute and romantic.

❌ You’ll end up doing a lot of things you don’t like for the sake of completing a checklist.

We’re here to tell you that you don’t have to do it all. You don’t even have to do half of it.

Here’s the thing: Disney World is way too expensive a vacation to not completely love your time there. And there’s so much to do, see, eat, buy and experience that you’ll never get to it all, anyway. Not in one trip or 100.

Donald and Daisy tired after a long day.

Putting the “vacation” back into your Disney vacation means knowing what to skip over so you can spend more time doing what you’ll love without being rushed and overwhelmed.

Have zero guilt for saying “no” to any or all of these Disney World experiences so you can have the romantic Disney trip you want to have.

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1. Rides and Attractions for Babies

Disney haters will say that everything at Disney World is for toddlers, but that’s totally not true.

That said, there are a handful of rides and attractions that are so kiddie it’s hard to enjoy them as an adult, such as:

  • Alien Swirling Saucers
  • Barnstormer
  • Dumbo
  • Magic Carpets of Aladdin
  • Prince Charming Regal Carrousel

Unless you’re crazy about a certain character, like Dumbo, skip those rides. They often have long waits, the ride times are super short, and they’re generally not that much fun if you’re looking for more than, like, going around in circles a few times. (Barnstormer is a roller coaster, but so tame it’s not worth it.)

That said, there are some baby-friendly rides that us Disney adults still love, like:

  • It’s a Small World
  • It’s Tough to Be a Bug
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic
  • Peter Pan’s Flight

Pick and choose what you go on at your discretion, and don’t feel guilty for skipping something that everyone says is a classic. This is your vacation, remember!

2. Character Meet-and-Greets

One of the most charming aspects of Walt Disney World is that characters can be spotted everywhere, whether they’re roaming around, part of a parade or holding a meet-and-greet.

But as an adult, you may not care about meeting a character up close, giving them a hug, having your picture taken and asking for their autograph.

If you do, cool. There are a lot of opportunities to do that, and you can find where characters are meeting in the My Disney Experience app.

Character meeting time in the My Disney Experience app.

But if you don’t care about it, then 100% skip it. Lines for character meetings can be long, especially if the character takes a break while you wait. Why bother if it’s something you barely want to do anyway?

3. Parades

Disney parades are adorable, but the same ones are held a couple of times a day. In other words, if you see the parade once and then notice a parade later in the day, chances are it’s the same one you’ve seen.

Disney World parade times in the My Disney Experience app.

Whether you want to watch the entire parade, part of it or none of it is up to you. We’ve caught parts of the parade while shopping on Main Street, and we’ve also stood in place to watch the entire parade go by.

We’ve also had trips where we completely avoid the parade and take advantage of shorter ride lines while everyone is gathered along the parade route.

4. Nighttime Shows

Disney has the best fireworks in the world, period. And watching a nighttime show can sometimes be a lovely, heartfelt addition to a romantic Disney trip, particularly at Epcot.

On the other hand, Disney nighttime shows — especially at Magic Kingdom — can be crowded and impossible to find a good viewing area. When you add how cast members are constantly yelling at people to keep moving through the walkways, that inspirational, sentimental nighttime show becomes obnoxious and hard to pay attention to.

If you’re dying to see the full nighttime show, then dealing with the drawbacks is worth it. If you want to see the fireworks but don’t care about standing in place to watch everything else, find a viewing area removed from the crowd.

And if you couldn’t care less about the nighttime show at all, this is the best time to hop on short lines for popular rides or to walk around Disney World when the park is half-empty because so many people are gathered in one area.

You may also want to read our article that asks Are the Fireworks Shows Worth It?

5. Maximizing Your Day With Genie Plus

Genie Plus is a helpful upgrade (though a pricey one) if your goal for the day is to get on lots of popular rides. Otherwise, Genie Plus is a time and energy suck, requiring you to stick to a schedule and be on your phone a whole lot.

Whether you use it or not depends on what you want to do with your day. But know that if you decide not to get Genie Plus, there’s still plenty to keep you busy, and you can even get on lots of rides without using the Lightning Lanes.

When Can You Buy Genie Plus for Disney World?

6. Sit-Down Meals at Restaurants

For some people, one of the best parts of a romantic Disney trip is trying different restaurants. If you want to save money, calories or time, though, don’t feel bad about forgoing sit-down restaurants in the theme parks.

While there are some incredible Disney dining experiences, many of the restaurants are just so-so. Here are a few more drawbacks to sit-down dining in Disney parks:

👎 Even with a reservation, you could wait a long time for your table.

👎 All Disney restaurants are expensive compared to non-Disney restaurants.

👎 You’ll eat up (pun intended) a lot of time that could be spent doing other things in the park.

On the other hand, sitting down for a meal at a restaurant gives you a nice, long break from an otherwise hectic Disney day, not to mention Florida heat. The restaurants at Animal Kingdom and Epcot are usually better than the ones at Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios.

Best and Worst of Disney’s Hollywood Studios Dining

We also like many of the restaurants at Disney Springs and the Disney resorts, if you want to save your sit-down experiences for your park days off.

Wrapping Up

Any type of Disney trip is a big and costly undertaking, and we see no reason why you shouldn’t completely love every second you spend there. For more ways to take the pressure off, check out our article that goes over our Disney park strategy for a vacation that feels like, you know, vacation.