While Disney World is known for being a magical place for families, its fantastic variety of dining, attractions, entertainment, and recreation options also make it a great place for couples to find some romance. With the approach of Valentine’s Day, you may be thinking about how to spend an ideal day of romance, Disney World-style. This article offers a framework for a plan and plenty of ideas to inspire your own Disney World Valentine’s Day.
Disney World Romance Step #1: Breakfast
What better way to start off Valentine’s Day than with a leisurely breakfast. Although taking a park by storm at rope drop is a key strategy in time-efficient touring, Valentine’s Day is a perfect day to take a slower approach. Here are some great resort and in-park options. Keep in mind that the location of your choice can be a stepping stone to the next part of your plan.
|Breakfast Option||Location||Key Romance Factors|
|Cinderella’s Royal Table||Magic Kingdom||It’s in the castle—the most classically romantic setting in all of Disney World|
|Kona Café||Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort (Magic Kingdom area)||Immerse yourself in the Polynesian Resort’s tropical ambience and enjoy a press pot of Hawaiian Kona coffee perfectly brewed for two|
|The Wave||Disney’s Contemporary Resort (Magic Kingdom area)||Tucked away in the Contemporary yet so close to Magic Kingdom (within walking distance!), with a modern, adult vibe and farm-fresh cuisine|
|The Garden Grill||Epcot||Listen to the sounds of the Living with the Land attraction; show your playful side when Chip n’ Dale stop by your table|
|Captain’s Grille||Disney’s Yacht Club Resort (Epcot/Disney’s Hollywood Studios area)||Make like Thurston Howell III by romancing your “lovey” in a New England yacht club setting; often uncrowded because of its out of the way location|
|Trattoria al Forno||Disney’s BoardWalk Inn (Epcot/Disney’s Hollywood Studios area)||Inspire your romance by dining in an Italian trattoria that mixes refined décor and comfortable seating|
|Room Service||Selected resorts||Breakfast can be had with a view at several resorts: imagine breakfasting on your balcony with a savanna view at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, overlooking Bay Lake at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, or watching the boats go by at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn|
My pick for Romance Step #1: Epcot’s The Garden Grill. Personally, I have a hard time with a super slow start when a day at Disney World awaits. An early, yet leisurely breakfast at a restaurant that already places you in the park, like The Garden Grill, is a good compromise. To set a Valentine’s Day mood, walk-around characters Chip n’ Dale and friends (including Farmer Mickey) have been known to flirt with the dining guests, and the menu includes a Bloody Mary and orange or raspberry mimosas.
Disney World Romance Step #2: Park Time
Romance is all about ambience, and so after your Valentine’s Day breakfast, take some extra time at one of the parks soaking in the atmosphere interspersed with a few favorite rides. For me, Magic Kingdom and Epcot have the most to offer in terms of daytime romance. Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom have far more romantic potential in the evening than during the day and so are highlighted later as evening options.
|Daytime Romance Must-Dos|
|Epcot||Nothing says romance like a trip around the world:
● Travel the world and through time on Spaceship Earth
● In the Land Pavilion, the new film for Soarin’ visits exotic locales, while Living with the Land features eco-systems from around the world
● In World Showcase, intersperse a trip to Mexico on the Gran Fiesta Tour as well as films in the China, France, and Canada Pavilions with shopping and entertainment
|Magic Kingdom||For some old-fashioned romance:
● Stroll down Main Street, U.S.A. (or ride a Main Street Vehicle if you are in the park before 10:15 AM)
● See a performance of the Dapper Dans or Main Street Trolley Show
● Take it slow with a cruise on Liberty Square Riverboat
● Cozy up on some classic rides like Peter Pan’s Flight or The Haunted Mansion (some late morning FastPass+ reservations may be in order)
My pick for Romance Step #2: Epcot. After our breakfast at The Garden Grill, we would walk down to the first floor of the Land Pavilion to ride Soarin’ and Living with the Land. It would then be on to World Showcase while soaking in the fantastic music of Epcot and heading over to see my favorite entertainment in World Showcase—the Mariachi Cobre in the Mexico Pavilion. Leisurely shopping, the must-do attractions listed above, including a ride on Spaceship Earth as we exited the park, would fill out our plan for the morning.
Disney World Romance Step #3: Relaxation and Recreation
Time to slow down again and enjoy some Valentine’s Day rest and relaxation away from the parks. You don’t have to leave the Disney “bubble” though. Disney World’s resorts provide plenty of options for this part of your day. (If you aren’t returning to your own resort first, consider spending some time at one of the resorts nearer to the park you chose for Step #2.)
|Activities for Two||Location|
|Boat rental: A Boston Whaler Montauk is a great choice for a romantic cruise for just the two of you||Disney’s Beach Club Resort, Contemporary Resort, Fort Wilderness Resort, Grand Floridian Resort, Polynesian Village Resort, Wilderness Lodge, Yacht Club Resort|
|Horse drawn carriage ride (available starting in the early evening)||Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort, Port Orleans Resort – Riverside|
|Resort pool time: If you are staying on-site, find some side-by-side lounge chairs and enjoy a dip and drink at your resort pool||Your home resort|
|Senses spa: Treatments for two include spa and massage packages||Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa|
|Surrey bike: Rent one of Disney’s two-person surrey bikes and take a turn through a wooded path or along the water||Although surrey bikes are offered at multiple resorts, head to one of these resorts to maximize the romance and the views: Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside, BoardWalk Inn, Old Key West Resort, or Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa|
My pick for Romance Step #3: Resort pool and Fort Wilderness carriage ride. By returning to our resort, we can enjoy the resort pool and then freshen up for the rest of our day, which would include a carriage ride for two through the woods of Fort Wilderness.
The order of the next two steps could be reversed (and I would prefer it that way). However, because the currently scheduled closing time for February 14, 2017, is 8 PM for both Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios, it may work best to have dinner after visiting these parks. Animal Kingdom’s current closing timing is even earlier (at 7 PM), although see below for how it could still be part of your Valentine’s Day plans. Epcot is scheduled to be open until 9 PM with Extra Magic Hours from 9 PM to 11 PM, and so it is currently the best option for a full night at a park.
Disney World Romance Step #4: Back to the Parks
If your idea of romance includes some more time in the parks, consider the following for the evening part of your ideal Valentine’s day. Be sure to check park schedules and times for specific attractions/entertainment closer to Valentine’s Day.
|Evening Romance Must-Dos|
|Disney’s Animal Kingdom||● Animal Kingdom is scheduled to close at 7 PM on Valentine’s Day and sunset will be around 6:15 PM on that date, making for very short evening hours, but …
● Have an early dinner at the park’s Tiffins restaurant or drinks/appetizers at its Nomad Lounge
● Soak up the magic of Animal Kingdom at sunset and dusk by experiencing Kilimanjaro Safaris or Expedition Everest and then watching the Tree of Life Awakenings
|Disney’s Hollywood Studios||● Start off with a late afternoon showing of Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage
● Hold hands as you experience the ups and downs of Tower of Terror
● Stop by the patio lounge at The Hollywood Brown Derby
● See Fantasmic!, an extravaganza of lights music, water effects, and tons of characters, with Mickey and his dreams in the starring role
|Epcot||● With Extra Magic Hours until 11 PM, guests staying on site can make an evening at Epcot
● Wander World Showcase and have drinks and appetizers at Tutto Gusto or the pub at Rose & Crown
● Take the World Showcase Wine Walk (for just $20, get your Wine Walk Passport at a wine kiosk in France, Germany, or Italy and receive two pre-selected wines in each of the three countries)
● End your night by viewing Illuminations: Reflections of Earth
|Magic Kingdom||● Magic Kingdom has several attractions that have a completely different feel at night than during the day; some great nighttime attractions for two include Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover, and Dumbo – The Flying Elephant
● See Wishes Nighttime Spectacular; my favorite spot away from the crowds on Main Street, U.S.A. is in Fantasyland near the Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
● Check with a Cast Member to find out if the Kiss Goodnight is happening; this short light show at the castle thanks guests for spending the day at the park; it occurs 20-30 minutes after park close and sometimes more than once
My pick for Romance Step #4: Magic Kingdom. We are definitely heading to the place that holds the most magic for us in Disney World—Magic Kingdom. This pick works well with my choice for dinner in the next Disney World Romance step.
Disney World Romance Step #5: Dinner
There is no shortage of Disney World restaurants where romance can be found. Here are some great resort and and in-park options. At this time, Artist Point and Jiko – The Cooking Place are the only ones offering a special menu or dessert for Valentine’s Day.
|Restaurant||Location||Key Romance Factors|
|Artist Point||Disney’s Wilderness Lodge||● Offering a Sweetheart Dinner menu this Valentine’s Day; the per-person price is $75 for a 5-course dinner and $25 to add a wine pairing (the special menu will be available to anyone with dinner reservations at Artist Point on February 14)
● Quiet, elegant retreat in the wilderness with lots of space between tables and views of water and rustic landscape
● Start off with a tour of the lodge, plus a drink at Territory Lounge
|California Grill||Disney’s Contemporary Resort||● Urban sophistication
● Top floor views of Bay Lake and Magic Kingdom
● Time your reservation to watch Wishes fireworks (at 8 PM this Valentine’s Day); guests dining earlier or later that day can arrive early or return with their receipt to watch Wishes from the observation deck
|Flying Fish||Disney’s BoardWalk Inn||● Combine dinner at Flying Fish with an evening at Epcot (within walking distance or a short boat ride)
● Upscale décor featuring an open kitchen, shades of blue, and shimmering glass fixtures
● Have a drink at the new AbracadaBar on the Boardwalk before dinner
|Jiko – The Cooking Place||Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge||● Offering a special Valentine’s Day dessert
● Sophisticated, exotic setting, with an open kitchen and wood-burning ovens
● Tour the resort to see an abundance of African wildlife and the lobby filled with African art, plus enjoy a pre-dinner drink at Victoria Falls Lounge
|Narcoosee’s||Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa||● Lakeside dining with lots of windows and light
● A more casual setting than other highlighted restaurants
● Verandah with views of Wishes and the Electrical Water Pageant
|Victoria & Albert’s||Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa||● Victorian charm and elegance
● Finest dining experience in Disney World (AAA Five Diamond Award restaurant)
● Lavish, expensive meal should be the centerpiece of your Valentine’s Day
|The Hollywood Brown Derby||Disney’s Hollywood Studios||● Classic Hollywood style, featuring warm woods, leather booths, and walls filled with star caricatures
● Stay in the park and enjoy an elegant, romantic meal, plus classic cocktails
|Tiffins||Disney’s Animal Kingdom||● Restaurant that you would find at a luxurious safari lodge, with three dining rooms featuring an abundance of Asian and African artwork and ambience
● Stay in the park and enjoy an elegant, romantic meal
|Progressive dining option #1||Magic Kingdom||● Take boat and monorail transportation on a tour of the resorts with appetizers and drinks along the way (Disney recently caught on to this great way to dine with its Highway in the Sky Dine Around package, and it has been completely sold out since its announcement)
● Potential destinations include lounges and restaurants at Wilderness Lodge, the Contemporary Resort, the Polynesian Village Resort, and Grand Floridian Resort
|Progressive dining option #2||Disney Springs||● A great option if you don’t want to return to a park
● Take your time enjoying appetizers and drinks at the many excellent restaurants and lounges at Disney Springs, such as The BOATHOUSE, Morimoto Asia, Chef Art Smith’s Homecoming, Frontera Cocina, and Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar
● The Boathouse offers Amphicar rides, and its water taxi rides can include a champagne toast
My pick for Romance Step #5: Progressive dining at Magic Kingdom resorts. After our horse-drawn carriage ride at Fort Wilderness, we would head to the boat dock for a cruise to Wilderness Lodge’s Territory Lounge, then boat to the Contemporary Resort (California Grill Lounge, Outer Rim Lounge, or The Wave Lounge), monorail to the Polynesian Village Resort (Tambu Lounge, Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto), and monorail to the Grand Floridian Resort’s Mizner’s Lounge.
What does your ideal Valentine’s Day look like? Be sure to watch the TouringsPlans.com Blog for more details on restaurants and special snacks or merchandise as Valentine’s Day approaches.