February 14th is just around the corner. Do you have any special plans with your sweetie yet? Have you considered heading over to Walt Disney World?
First of all, you’re probably thinking “TouringPlans.com and romance?!!! The stats and facts folks who bring you the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World? No thanks, I’d rather get my romantic advice from someone who knows what they’re talking about – like a CPA or possibly my cranky old Uncle Orville.” Or possibly “go to Walt Disney World for Valentine’s Day? That’s just the sort of lame advice I’d expect from a bunch of computer scientists, statisticians, and engineers!”
But if we haven’t lost you yet, keep reading for our best (and often inexpensive) picks for romance at the House of Mouse.
Is your sweetie truly a sweetie? Head over to Goofy’s Candy Company at Downtown Disney Marketplace and make each other a custom creation. Pretzels, marshmallows, Oreos, and other treats can be topped with nearly anything you desire to make your own special dessert. And it’s bargain at around $5. Grab your candy and walk over the many live entertainment options at Downtown Disney with your best guy or gal.
How about dinner and some fireworks? What? You say you didn’t snag that reservation at California Grill 180 days ago? For a view of the fireworks that is actually centered on Cinderella Castle, we recommend watching from the beach at the Polynesian Resort. The music is piped onto the beach too. For a meal that doesn’t require a reservation, may we suggest the Kona Island Sushi Bar? The sushi is great and the chefs are a blast to talk to. If you don’t care for sushi, you can also order off the regular Kona Café menu from the counter. Another option is to grab some food to go from the quick service Captain Cook’s and have your picnic on the beach.
Stick around for the classic Electric Water Pageant if you have time.
Perhaps Jiko is more your style. Top flight meal and the beauty of the Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House? We love it too, but special occasion reservations can be hard to come by and the shared waiting area with the adjacent Boma buffet can be a real mood killer. No, our sleeper pick for a great meal is Sanaa over at Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani Village. The view of the savannah is actually better than at Jiko and resort has its own understated though beautifully themed charm. The food is unique but accessible to nearly all palates.
If you’re more the great outdoors type, the Chip ‘n Dale’s Campfire Sing Along at Fort Wilderness Resort is a wonderful way to enjoy a night under the stars and indulge your inner child at the same time. Buy a s’mores kit or some hot dogs right there at the campfire to toast while you enjoy a classic Disney movie.
Finally, we recommend a few spots inside the theme parks you may have missed in your rush to get in as many attractions as you can.
At Animal Kingdom park, check out the trails under the Tree of Life. They are just secluded enough that you can have some quiet and privacy and they also have a great view of the water. Enter them just before the bridge to Africa as you head past Pizzafari from Discovery Island.
In the Magic Kingdom, take some time to explore Tom Sawyer Island if it’s before dusk. Settle into a rocking chair and watch the train and Liberty Square Riverboat go by. After dark, enjoy one of the Magic Kingdom’s nighttime parades from the relatively less-crowded Frontierland.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios comes to life with neon at night. If you haven’t given this “half day” park a shot after dark, or your only experience is fighting the crowds for a seat at Fantasmic! or at the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, try walking around Echo Lake (you know, where Gertie the Dinosaur is found!) at night. Complete your evening with a stroll or boat ride to the Boardwalk area.
And Epcot’s World Showcase can be wherever you want at night. Paris? Grab a pastry with your chèr or chère and stroll over to watch Illuminations: Reflections of Earth. Mexico? La Cava del Tequila is TouringPlans.com’s go-to watering hole. Take a ride on the pavilion’s Gran Fiesta Tour to complete your journey over the border. And Morocco’s pavilion is beautiful day or night. Some baklava and Moroccan coffee and a view of the fireworks is a perfect ending to any day at the park, not just February 14th.
TouringPlans.com is the official home on the Web of the best-selling Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World. The site offers subscribers premium tools, including a Crowd Calendar, custom touring plans, and a mobile app, to help guests make the most of their trips to Walt Disney World and other destinations. All photos are courtesy of Tom Bricker of the DisneyTouristBlog.com.