Even though Valentine’s Day has been on February 14 for centuries, it always seems to sneak up every year. And if you’re like me and don’t want to plan well in advance for dining at Disney, you may think that a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner at Disney might involve splitting a churro from a cart or a turkey leg for two. Have no fear, though. Even one week out from Valentine’s Day, there are still viable options for a romantic dinner. While you won’t be likely to score signature restaurants around the monorail loop (and you’d need to sell more than just your firstborn to score a Victoria and Albert’s reservation for Valentine’s Day at this late date), here are some reservations that are available as of one week out from Valentine’s Day. The criteria I searched for was a party of 2 for February 14 at 7:00 PM.
In park-dining is at a premium, and many of the more romantic options have been booked well in advance. Likewise, some restaurants don’t exactly scream intimacy and romance. (Shared tables at Biergarten anyone?) Still, even at this late minute, there’s availability at Hollywood Brown Derby (especially if you are flexible with your dinner hour) and Restaurant Marrakesh, both of which provide a decent (or more-than-decent) meal and its own unique setting.
Once you get out of the parks, there are some options at some of the resorts. The Wave tends to fly under the radar for most people, but still provides a reasonably quiet setting and good food, for instance.
But by far, the most options come at Disney Springs, which is quickly becoming the go-to place for good food. Currently, there is availability at several restaurants. Paradiso 37 may not rate highly in my book for a meal, but for drinks and appetizers, it makes a wonderful option for date night. Raglan Road has been a favorite of mine for years, and the combination of good food and entertainment works well for an evening out. If you’re past the “get dressed up and go somewhere fancy” stage of Valentine’s Day, consider Splitsville. Sushi and drinks, plus a 10-frame of bowling can provide its own kind of romantic charm. And if you want to do a more traditional Valentine’s Day dining experience, you can try Wolfgang Puck Grand Café.
Another trick is to look for restaurants on Disney property that are also listed on OpenTable.com. For Valentine’s Day, there is availability for restaurants like Fulton’s Crab House, Crossroads at the House of Blues, and bluezoo at the Dolphin hotel. Many of these reservations will be available on OpenTable.com even when the My Disney Experience app shows that there is no availability. Plus, you can book through OpenTable and accumulate points for your meal, and there’s no cancellation penalty if you suddenly find yourself alone for the big day.
If none of these options appeal to you, be flexible with times. By searching during the lunch hours, I was able to find a tremendous amount of additional options including Coral Reef, Grand Floridian Cafe, Narcoossee’s (for brunch), Portobello, Rose and Crown, Sanaa, Teppan Edo, and Tokyo Dining.
If you are still sold on dinner, try checking up until the day before Valentine’s Day, when many people reach their cancellation deadline. I have often been able to score prime dining reservations at the last minute.
And if all else fails, nothing says romance like that turkey leg for two, right?