The Best Ways to Get Romantic at Walt Disney World
Debra Martin Koma
This article appeared in the January 15, 2019 Issue #1008 of ALL EARS® (ISSN: 1533-0753)
Editor’s Note: This story/information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all current rates, information and other details before planning your trip.
Over the years, we’ve been collecting your best tips for creating romantic moments while visiting Walt Disney World. Many ideas aren’t that surprising — I mean, who doesn’t like a romantic dinner for two at California Grill or Victoria & Albert’s, a walk on the beach at the Polynesian, spa treatments, and watching the fireworks from a cozy hammock? But some of you definitely look for romance in more unusual places, and suggested some uncommon ways to put that romantic spark into a night at the Most Magical Place on Earth! As Valentine’s Day is just a month away, we thought we’d share some of the most romantic tips again, along with some magical romantic memories our readers created for themselves.
THE ROMANTIC DINNER OUT
Mike: Probably the most romantic dinner I have ever had at WDW was in the San Angel Inn, in the Mexico pavilion in Epcot. For the optimum romantic experience try to get the latest seating when most people are getting for IllumiNations. If you can, request a table by the water, where the boats from the ride go by. With the dimly lit ambience of the restaurant, the backdrop of the beautiful colors of the boat ride, and the late hour not having too many small children in the restaurant, we had a wonderful romantic time. Naturally we did this in the spring, before schools got out.
Kelly: My husband and I have been fortunate enough to spend the past five anniversaries at Disney World. Each time we visit, we make sure to keep to our romantic traditions while also providing opportunities for new memories. We always spend our anniversary dinner at California Grill in the Contemporary Resort. As deluxe restaurants go, it’s the perfect combination of exquisite flavors, amazing views, and love-my-honey ambiance! My husband and I time our dinner to coincide with the fireworks; we’ll take our drinks out to the outdoor observation deck and listen to the piped-in music as the fireworks explode in front of us. On a recent anniversary, we walked on the beach of the Polynesian at night. The fireworks music is piped in here as well, but the atmosphere is romantic for a different reason; here, we sat on the sand, arm in arm, sharing the event with just a few other spectators. Bliss!
Vincent: Our favorite romantic night out is a trip to Victoria & Albert’s. It is one night (without the children) each trip where we spoil ourselves. The little touches, such as the harpist, the personalized menus and the personal attention all contribute to a night always remembered… We plan on a nice night out and are prepared to spend the money. No whim is too much. At the risk of sounding corny or using a cliche, this night is truly ‘Magical’ for us.
Jessica W.: I got engaged while on vacation [in WDW] in late November 2003. We stayed at the Wilderness Lodge, which was decked out in wonderful Christmas decorations. This was the perfect time of year for a carriage ride at Fort Wilderness in the dark. There were so many campsites that were decorated for the holidays with lights and wreaths. It was the perfect setting for my boyfriend to pop the question… We followed up our romantic carriage ride with our first meal at my all-time favorite restaurant, Victoria & Albert’s… V&A’s is definitely the most romantic, truly candlelit dinner on WDW property and worth every penny we spent. It was so nice to dress up and be treated like royalty by the best waitstaff you will ever encounter… The main dining room is definitely one of the most romantic spots at WDW with wonderful flower arrangements, harp music, soft lighting, fantastic food, superb service, and a rose at the end of the meal for the ladies. Who could ask for anything more?
OFF THE BEATEN PATH
Alice: What would be more romantic than a ride through the beautiful woods of the Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground with your sweetie? Horse-drawn carriage rides leave from Pioneer Hall and travel throughout the resort. Follow the ride up with drinks on the porch at Crockett’s Tavern or a rollicking dinner at the Hoop Dee Doo Revue. I love this dinner show, and can imagine that the “ribbing” from the cast would be especially fun on Valentine’s Day.
Olivia: My tip is to stay behind after the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom and just enjoy the atmosphere and being together! My husband and I spent the last night of our honeymoon doing this and found ourselves dancing to the background music and just enjoying one another’s company! Needless to say I didn’t ever want to leave!
Kristin: My husband and I spent our honeymoon at the World, so we know how romantic it can be! One of our favorite romantic activities is to walk along the Seven Seas Lagoon between the Grand Floridian and the Polynesian at night. For some reason, it is almost always deserted, so you don’t have to fight the crowds to get a chair or hammock at the beach area. And if you time it right, you can watch the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom. We also stop by the lounge outside of ‘Ohana at the Polynesian to get an appetizer or a cocktail after our walk.
Shelley: There are plenty of “traditional” romantic activities at the World (my personal favorite is a quiet tea-for-two at the Garden View Tea Room). But some of our most romantic moments have been in a less obvious place — Spaceship Earth. After hours in the parks fighting the crowds and heat, it is such a joy to snuggle up in the little car and enjoy a peaceful ride. It is dark and cool, and we feel like we are in our own little world, if only for a few minutes (it is particularly cozy during off-peak periods when you have empty cars on either end). And every time we reach the top of the sphere and see the stars laid out above us, I remember the most important part of the trip — spending time alone with my favorite person in the world at the Most Magical Place on Earth!
Leslie and Mike: The following location/time I am going to suggest as “romantic” may be a surprise: We both love and will not miss the brunch at Cinderella Castle! I knew we were in for a treat on our first visit when the hostess stated, “Please go into the lobby and wait to be greeted by the Fairy Godmother…” From there we entered into the circular shaped elevator and when the doors opened it felt like we entered a different world. The sun was shining through the stained glass windows, the princesses were visiting each table, and we were greeted like we were royalty… The ambience, food and early admittance into the park can not be missed! My husband was very reluctant to try it, but enjoyed every picture with the princesses, the food, and our amazing anniversary toast to each other with OJ! What an awesome way to start the day in the Magic Kingdom! No matter what age or circumstance, the brunch is not to be missed.
Patty: Some romantic things my husband and I have experienced at Disney in the past have been:
1) Finding a nice quiet spot at the Animal Kingdom Lodge porches at the back of the resort at nightâ€¦ sitting on the rocking chairs staring at the tree which kind of resembles the Tree of Life, watching the stars and enjoying the peace and quietness of the resort. Or just sitting on your balcony overlooking the savanna or pool with a glass of wine, enjoying the night and not having any worries or cares.
2) Arriving at Epcot when World Showcase opens at 11 a.m., walking up to the lake just behind the shops and just taking in the beautiful view of all Italy, France, China, etc. with your arms around each other and a breeze blowing through your hair.
3) Relaxing on the Polynesian beach during the day with your honey, sipping on a Mai Tai, and listening to the waves roll in from the Seven Seas Lagoon.
4) Chilling out with your honey on a pontoon boat on the Seven Seas Lagoon.
Jackie: My husband and I just LOVE Epcot. At night after IllumiNations finishes, we sit and wait for everyone to leave, sometimes in the back area of UK by the mazes. Hardly anyone goes back there as the shops wind down for the night. It’s like having a private area to yourself. There are water fountains if the kids get thirsty, or you can grab a snack from the fish and chips shop prior to this retreat. We have had some of our best “we are so happy we are married and so happy we are in Disney World” moments and conversation back there while we sit and share a moment. The lights are at a decent level, and we can still hear the songs they always play after IllumiNations.
Hilary: I met my husband in 2001 and since then we’ve been to WDW twice together with another trip coming upâ€¦ I am slowly but surely converting him! Here are just some of our romance suggestions:
— Swimming late at night (assuming the pool is open); it is often very quiet and you may just have the pool to yourselves!
— Strolling around Port Orleans (either Riverside or French Quarter) after dark, holding hands and listening to the sounds of nature (real or Disney-created)
— Hitting the Victoria Falls Lounge at Animal Kingdom Lodge and viewing the animals – something very romantic and seductive about the African setting
— Riding the boat from Ft. Wilderness or the Wilderness Lodge to the Magic Kingdom
— His/hers spa treatments at Grand Floridian or Saratoga Springs
Jessica W.: My husband and I like to hop on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority at any time of day; it’s one of our favorites. However, the most romantic time is during the fireworks. It’s fun to ride around Tomorrowland, in and out of the buildings, catching the sounds and glimpses of the fireworks. I would definitely recommend it to couples who are looking for a new way to experience the fireworks. We also love to sit on one of the benches near the hub after the huge surge of people have left the park for the night so that we can hold hands and watch the castle change colors.
Melissa: The most romantic evening I had at Disney was when we took a carriage ride at Fort Wilderness. I planned it for our anniversary and it was perfect. In the middle of the carriage ride we started to see and hear the fireworks, which made it even more romantic. I would recommend this to any couple of any age.
The Ravster13: The rocking chairs that surround the outdoor fire at the Animal Kingdom Lodge are a great place to spend some time with your significant other, especially on a cool night with a warm drink.
Heidi: My husband and I always go to the Boardwalk area for dinner and relaxation the first night of our vacation. After dinner we stroll around Crescent Lake taking in the sights and sounds, making sure to spend plenty of time just sitting on the many benches located on the path. We enjoy the free entertainment near the Boardwalk Inn and play some of the carnival games, too; it’s very romantic to have your sweetie try to win you a prize! (Here’s a tip within a tip: If you are staying at a Disney hotel and took a bus or boat to get there, take a taxi back to your hotel. Nothing can ruin an evening like having bus problems or delays. Taxis are waiting just outside the Boardwalk Inn entrance; ask a valet to get you one.)
Diana: As the mother of two children, my romantic tip is: GO WITHOUT THE KIDS! WDW is a favorite spot for our family, and we try to visit every winter, but it is so wonderful to go with just my husband, even if it’s just for a quick getaway. Take things at a slower pace, stroll through gardens or along the waterfront. Hit all those “grown up” restaurants and rides, but don’t be afraid to go on the “kiddie” rides too. If it rains, who cares? One year it poured and as everyone huddled around the doors of the Mexico Pavilion waiting for it to let up, my husband and I made a mad dash through the puddles, holding hands and laughing, and we felt like we had all of Epcot to ourselves! It couldn’t have been more romantic! And let’s face it, just being able to think about ourselves for a while, without carrying around all the gear that goes with our kids, melts the stress away and makes WDW romantic, just being with the one you love!
Maria: One of the best moonlit walks we ever did was on the grounds of the Caribbean Beach Resort. The paths were lit with low lights and the moon shining above. With all the foliage surrounding the paths it made us feel almost like we were in a jungle on a different continent. We decided to go sit on a hammock and do moon-gazing instead. It was one of the most beautiful breathtaking moments we’ve had — looking at the water, moon and stars!
Christine: Nothing is more romantic than walking World Showcase at night with your significant other. My husband and I recently had the opportunity to visit WDW by ourselves for the first time without the children. We went to Epcot one day and we were able to take time to appreciate all the little things we don’t get to do with the kids. Then we walked down to the Beach Club for drinks and to change into something a little nicer. We walked back to France and had dinner upstairs. After we walked around the countries hand in hand. It was like being on vacation in several different countries at once. The music was playing, it wasn’t crowded, the lights were low. It is very romantic.
And finally, Shannon pulled out all the romantic stops: I have just recently planned a surprise second honeymoon for my husband and me. I started with getting reservations at the hotel we stayed in on our honeymoon â€” the Polynesian. Then I called the Disney Florist and ordered rose petal turn down service, champagne and cheese, and chocolates, and matching embroidered Mickey robes. Each day I have a clue for him for something that is planned. That Saturday he will open a bag with an appropriate card and a hula girl inside. We will attend the Luau front row center and be presented with orchid leis from the Disney Florist. We did this on our first honeymoon. The next day he will open a bag with a card and spa products inside. We have an 80-minute couples massage scheduled. The next day he will open a bag with a card and a small Christmas ornament of a yacht. We are taking the Grand 1 Yacht out for three hours with champagne and hors d’oeuvres to watch the fireworks. I think it should be pretty romantic. I have a card and a gift bag before we leave, and the card has our plane information and the bag has a Mickey Mouse and a Hawaiian shirt. I also have a limo to pick us up.
In the end, it doesn’t really matter what you do to celebrate each other on Valentine’s Day at Disney World. Just enjoy your time together, and remember, you are at the Most Romantic (er, Magical) Place on Earth!
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