“So this is the miracle that I’ve been dreaming of … So this is love” – Cinderella
When you think of a trip to the Walt Disney World Resort, what is the first thing you think of? Family vacation? For many of us this is true. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, let’s think outside the box and take a look at how our favorite family vacation spot can also be full of potential for that romantic getaway you’ve been looking for with your special someone.
Here is my top 10 list of romantic places and things to do to woo your Valentine this year, not only on Valentine’s Day, but anytime you are able to get away and spend some time alone together.
- 10. Put Down The “Gadgets and Gizmos” – It’s almost scary how dependent we have become on all of our electronic devices. “Face Time” is just not the same as face-to-face time. Really focus on your Valentine by limiting the amount of time you spend checking texts, emails, social media, etc. Try setting aside 10 minutes every morning and evening when you will both take a quick moment to plug in and check your devices, then turn them back off again.
- 9. Flowers and Chocolates – Put a new spin on an old classic. Disney Floral and Gifts offers several excellent ideas from a single rose to a beautiful bouquet, and treats from chocolates to champagne. Romance is really only a phone call or a click away. Does your Valentine love chocolate? How about a trip to the newly opened The Ganachery or Ghirardelli’s Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop at Disney Springs? You will definitely be able to find something to tempt your sweet tooth at either of those places!
- 8. Photos of The Two of You – Selfies be darned! While you can sometimes capture a sweet pic this way, take advantage of Disney’s Memory Maker to create some special memories at the Disney Resorts and Parks. A couple of years ago, I organized a Mini Photo Session with Disney Event Photography at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. We spent about 20 minutes at different locations around the resort, and honestly, they are my favorite photos of my husband and I since our wedding photos. Mini Photo Sessions can be booked at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Beach Club Resort, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. Looking for a little more? Full Sessions can be booked at all of these resorts or Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Epcot’s World Showcase, or Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.
- 7. Spa for Two – Enjoy a day of pampering together. While several Walt Disney World Resort Hotels offer spa services, the two Senses Spas located at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa offer Couples Spa Packages. Enjoy 2 hours of relaxing spa time together and let your troubles and the rest of the world melt away. After all, aren’t some people worth melting for?
- 6. Surprise Your Valentine with a Reservation Change – Your Valentine knows that you have resort reservations made, but why not surprise them with an upgrade. Whether you change from a Moderate Resort to a Deluxe, or a Standard Room to Club Level Room, this little bit of pixie dust is sure to get your time together off to a magical start!
- 5. Spend the Day or Evening at Epcot’s World Showcase – Let’s face it, not many people can afford to whisk their Valentine off to Paris or Morocco. At Epcot’s World Showcase, the world is literally in your backyard! You can spend a romantic evening strolling through eleven different countries. From sipping champagne in France to beer and pretzels in Germany and rounding the night in a British pub, where if you time it right you will have the best seats in the park for Illuminations: Reflections of Earth. If you are not travelling on Valentine’s Day, either the Epcot International Flower and Garden or Food and Wine Festivals would also be a great time for this evening. While definitely busier, there will also be lots of additional things to explore.
- 4. Spend an Evening Exploring Disney’s Boardwalk – Take in the romance of an old fashioned boardwalk. Take a spin around the lakeside resort on a surrey bike at sunset. The Boardwalk is located across the lake from Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts. Take your love for an ice cream cone at Beaches & Cream Soda Shop then stroll hand-in-hand around the lake. Browse the quaint shops that line the Boardwalk, then when you are both ready to cut loose, pop into the Atlantic Dance Hall or Jellyrolls Piano Bar. Let the good times roll!
- 3. Plan a Romantic Dinner for Your Valentine – Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is the only Disney resort restaurant to achieve a AAA five diamond rating. From dinner atop Disney’s Contemporary Resort at California Grill to romance lakeside at Narcossee’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Yachtman Steakhouse at Disney’s Yacht Club, as a guest of the Beast at Be Our Guest or re-creating that classic romantic moment from Lady and the Tramp at Tony’s Town Square Restaurant, romantic dining options are literally endless!
- 2. Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride – What would be more romantic than taking your love on a romantic horse-drawn carriage ride at sunset? There are two resort locations that offer this: Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside where you will ride leisurely along the bank of the Sassagoula River and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort where you will travel through lush pine and cypress tree-lined paths. Rides last approximately 25 minutes and can be booked 180 days in advance by calling (407) 939-PLAY.
- 1. Fireworks – To me, there is just something romantic about watching fireworks with your special someone. At Walt Disney World Resort, there are so many ways to add a spark of additional magic to viewing fireworks.
Fireworks Dessert Parties – Include Desserts, Beverages and Reserved Viewing Area for Fireworks
- Wishes Fireworks Dessert Party at Magic Kingdom
- IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party at Epcot
- Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (Star Wars Themed – currently available through March 19, 2016)
For Disney Vacation Club Members, Top of the World Lounge at Disney’s Bay Lake Tower.
Fireworks Dessert Cruise – Available on select nights, enjoy the fireworks as you set sail on the Seven Seas Lagoon aboard the General Joe Potter. Enjoy delicious desserts from your favorite Disney Resort locations as well as a selection of beverages. Reservations are suggested and can be made by calling (407) 939- DINE (3463).
For something a little more private, there are great viewing spots on the beaches at both Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, as well as the boat dock area at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. And don’t forget the Electrical Water Pageant that tours the Seven Seas Lagoon in the evening.
Romance doesn’t have to be a big production. It can be as simple as taking a few moments to enjoy your surroundings with the person you love. I hope that my top 10 list gives you that little bit of inspiration that you need to add a touch of romance to your next getaway because honestly, deep down, don’t we all want to feel like Cinderella or Prince Charming?
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