Disney knows romance. Think about some of the most memorable scenes straight out of a Disney animated classic that set your heart a-flutter. There’s Rapunzel and Flynn drifting with locked-eyes on a boat under a night sky full of floating lanterns. Lady and the Tramp show us how to make a spaghetti and meatball dinner date swoon-worthy and dreamy. Aladdin and Jasmine share a dazzling magic carpet ride, while Belle and the Beast hold each other close as they move across the ballroom, swirling and spinning like no one is watching. And who can forget the heart-melting, tear-inducing, romantically sweet moments between Carl and Ellie from the movie Up? Walt Disney World is a place where animated classics like these come alive right before your eyes, the magic and wonder filling the hearts of children and adults alike. While Disney is certainly the perfect place to let a child experience a trip of a lifetime, there is also a powerful romantic undertone that makes it an ideal setting for starry-eyed couples.
I believe adults crave fairytales just as much as children do, which is probably why Disney hosts more than 2,300 weddings a year and why it’s a highly sought out honeymoon (and anniversary!) destination for many. Whether you are in the dinner-and-a-movie date doldrums or are looking to plan an extravagant and memorable romantic excursion, there are a number of ways Disney can help you sweep your loved one off their feet! Simply going to a Disney Park or dining at a Disney restaurant with your significant other can be a wonderful date idea, but there are also some off-the-beaten-path Disney activities you may not know about that will ignite a spark and guarantee those fluttering butterflies in your belly. Not all of these date ideas are as specific as others, allowing room for a little romantic improvisation on your part. Here is a list of 9 romantic activities at Disney World that you might be missing!
9. Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride
Cinderella got to ride a horse-drawn carriage on the most magical night of her life, so you better believe Disney provides this romantic mode of transportation to its guests. There are two locations where you can cuddle up with your loved one and take a charming journey around scenic landscapes—Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground and Port Orleans Riverside. A 25-minute jaunt around the beautiful resort property will run you around $45.
8. Couples Massage
If you’ve ever had the pleasure of receiving a professional massage, then you know just how immensely relaxing this experience is. Massages don’t always have to be solitary experiences; in fact, getting a massage treatment side-by-side with your loved one can be a wonderful bonding experience and have you emerging feeling refreshed, relaxed and rejuvenated together. Various spas on Disney World Resort property like the Mandara Spa at the Disney’s Dolphin Hotel and the Senses Spa located at both the Grand Floridian Resort and Saratoga Springs Resort include a couple’s massage on their extensive menu. The prices vary depending on length of massage and location. Visit the official Walt Disney World website for exact prices and booking information.
7. Bike Ride through the Woods
Many Walt Disney World Resorts offer bikes to rent out for a specific length of time, but my favorite place to ride has to be the tree-lined paths of Ft. Wilderness Resort & Campground. For those not wishing to ride separately, you can even rent a 2-person Surrey bike to journey along these scenic paths, side by side. There are deer, rabbits, and other natural wildlife frolicking about these woods as well as places to stop and take a rest, sightsee or grab a bite to eat together. Prices vary, but an all-day bike rental will cost you around $20.
6. Wine Tasting Around the World
Where can you go to taste some of the world’s finest wines in the small span of an afternoon or evening? Epcot’s World Showcase, of course! Among the 11 represented countries you’ll find locations where wine can be sampled and enjoyed at your own pace alongside small plates of food. Taking a leisurely stroll hand-in-hand around the World Showcase with a date can be quite romantic as you explore and become immersed in the architectural beauty of each international pavilion, all the while partaking in some palate-pleasing wine offerings. There are a couple of countries that really stand out for me in terms of providing a cozily dim, intimate atmosphere, making this activity ideal for romantic couples. These hidden gems include Italy’s Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar, Mexico’s La Cava del Tequila, and France’s Les Vins de France Wine Shop and Tasting Room (where you can sample some deliciously tasty cheese too!).
5. The Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
This lavish, Victorian-esque resort simply exudes romance. From the grand lobby where a live orchestra plays daily to the incredibly romantic dining establishments, this is a destination that will ensure a phenomenal and memorable date night experience. Enjoy some of the finest and most exquisite dining options at one of their signature locations including Citricos, Narcoosssee’s, and Victoria and Albert’s. After your dinner at Narcoossee’s, cozy up alongside your loved one on the restaurant’s private waterfront verandah and watch the Magic Kingdom’s fireworks show or the Electrical Water pageant. At Victoria and Albert’s, you can even dine inside the kitchen at the private and pricey Chef’s Table, where your meal begins with a champagne toast and includes 10 delectable food courses. Perhaps dining on a private balcony with your very own butler and a menu tailored to your every whim is more to your liking—you can reserve that here too through their Private Dining line. Need any more reason to make The Grand Floridian a must-do romantic excursion? This is also the site of Disney’s Wedding Pavilion, located just a short walk from the Resort. As you stroll by you can reminisce together about your wedding day or dream about a wedding day yet-to-come.
4. Disney’s Boardwalk Resort & Disney’s Beach Club Resort at Night
At night, Disney’s Boardwalk comes alive. Entertainers draw crowds with their applause-inducing acts, and the smells pull at you from every restaurant and quick-service eatery. One of my favorite romantic outings includes a nighttime stroll along this bustling walkway with a Boardwalk Bakery pastry or coffee in hand. There is also an old-fashioned ice cream and candy shop for sharing a sweet treat with your Sweetie. Not too far down the Boardwalk you’ll find outdoor carnival games where your loved one can show off their skills and win you a stuffed animal. Continuing along the path, you’ll soon find yourself leaving Disney’s Boardwalk and approaching Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resort. The Beach Club’s secluded white sandy beaches and garden swings provide the perfect setting to snuggle up close and take in the bright lights from across the lake of the Boardwalk. The Beach Club’s Beaches and Cream Soda Shop also hits that sweet spot and you can order one of their hand-spun milkshakes or delicious desserts off their to-go menu to be enjoyed together while on the quiet beach shores. If it’s too chilly for ice cream, this resort’s exclusive Oreo Bon Bons can be purchased at their Marketplace and are equally as delicious!
3. Beach Hammocks at Night
Let the gentle sway of the rocking hammocks have you snuggling close as you stargaze together during this simple, yet uber-romantic outing. Bring some delectable treats (and/or wine!) to enjoy on the beach afterwards. There are a few locations to choose from that provide beach hammocks including The Polynesian Village Resort, Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort and Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort.
2. Disney Dining For Two
Though I’d never turn my nose down on a character-dining experience, sometimes it’s nice to get away with my husband and enjoy a quieter, more intimate setting apart from the crowds. There are fine dining establishments scattered all around Disney property, but some true stand-outs that encourage a romantic atmosphere include France’s second-story Monsieur Paul restaurant and Canada’s Le Cellier Steakhouse in Epcot, the Contemporary Resort’s California Grill, The Four Season’s Capa on Disney property, Magic Kingdom’s Be Our Guest Restaurant (dinner reservations), Shula’s Steakhouse at Walt Disney World’s Dolphin Hotel, The Wilderness Lodge’s Artist Point, and Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Jiko (as well as the already-mentioned Grand Floridian Resort’s restaurants). Reserving a seat at one of these signature restaurants will take you from “Honey” to “Honey-Schnookums-Bear” in no time flat!
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1. Fireworks Cruises
The magic of Disney is never as palpable as it is during one of their fireworks shows. During these enchanting evening cruises, you can reserve your own private boat and view the Wishes Nighttime Spectacular at Magic Kingdom or Epcot’s Illuminations: Reflections of Earth. There are basic and premium packages available for both, so visit the Walt Disney World website for pricing. The Wishes fireworks cruises have synchronized audio on board as well as water, soda and bagged snacks. Though one of the more expensive romantic outings, these fireworks cruises will be a memory you’ll cherish together forever. Private dining on board a fireworks cruise is also available for an added expense.
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Photo courtesy of Disney Photo Snapper