Valley Voices

Natali Carrera: 10 reasons to go to to Disneyland without the kids

Lately, the local news has been sharing a multitude of images of families enjoying snow play in the nearby mountains. It’s pretty great to live as close to a winter wonderland as we do, yet not have to deal with the hassle of shoveling our driveways here in Fresno. In addition to the beautiful, freshly snow-capped mountains to our north and east we have the advantage of being near one of our nation’s most-beloved destinations – the Disneyland Resort.

Think for a minute – when was the last time you went to Disneyland? Did you have an amazing time? Did you take your kids? Your grandkids? Your nieces and nephews? Now, think – when was the last time you went with just your spouse, your best friend or your grown-up crew? I bet it’s been a long time. In fact, for some of you – I bet your answer might even be never.

My husband and I recently went to Disneyland just the two of us, for the first time in 15 years. We had such a wonderful time, and despite holiday crowds, we both experienced moments of wonderful, childhood nostalgia and utter joy while zipping around the Matterhorn and watching the fireworks show together. Disneyland is as magical now, in its 60th year, as it’s ever been and if I’m being honest, after this last trip, I can’t wait to return. In fact, maybe we’ll even be nice and take our kid next time.

So, for 2016, I would like to challenge you to do something for yourself – go to Disneyland without kids and simply enjoy being a kid again at Disneyland. Yup, that’s right. I’m encouraging you to go to Disneyland without your kids. Why? I could give you 10 great reasons at least.

▪ You deserve to go on all of your favorite rides without worrying about height restrictions. Yes, your toddler is adorable. However, she is totally salting your Indiana Jones game. Oh, and even when you have taller kids – they typically don’t have the patience for some of the cool park museum exhibits.

▪ You should get to determine your park schedule based on how tired you are for a change – not anyone else’s nap schedule or “witching hours.” Stay in the park late. Stay until they kick you out at midnight. You can nap the next day. We know you won’t throw a tantrum in the middle of Mainstreet USA. (Right? We’re trusting you.)

▪ It’s romantic. You rarely take a date night with your significant other – make up for that with a full day or weekend date in a place where you can both be carefree and relive some of your fondest childhood memories.

▪ It’s a lot cheaper to buy yourself two churros in one Disney day than it is to buy two churros for yourself and your kids. Plus, this leaves you money left to get a Dole Whip outside the Tiki Room, too.

▪ When you’re with adults – it’s totally fine to get in the single rider line and board your favorite rides faster. When you’re with kids, it’s frowned upon to ditch them and ride rides alone. Go figure.

▪ You work hard all year either at work, at home or both. You’ve earned a day to throw your responsibilities to the wind and your hands in the air – while riding Thunder Mountain Railroad.

▪ Your metabolism isn’t what it was when you were a kid in Disneyland, but it’s OK – because on a Disney day, you’ll walk so much, you’ll burn off your fried park fare anyway. So go ahead, have a corn dog – a Disneyland corn dog is one of the best corn dogs you’ll have anywhere.

▪ A trip to Disneyland for yourself isn’t as expensive as you might think. Use to get a cheap last-minute room, Uber to the park to save on parking ($4-$6) and pack snacks in a backpack to save money in the park – Disneyland is fine with your bringing outside food. If you’re a Golden One Credit Union or CA School Employees Association member, you can get discounted park tickets through either organization.

▪ It doesn’t make you a bad parent to go to Disneyland without kids. In fact, if you come home happier and less stressed, it’ll make you a better parent.

▪ Life is short. Tomorrow isn’t promised, but if you go to Disneyland, Tomorrowland is. If you don’t make it a point to enjoy your life now, eventually, it will pass you by. So go on, hop in the car and ride Space Mountain twice for me, OK?

Natali Carrera is Valley PBS director of educational services and a blogger for, where a version of this first appeared. She can be contacted at