Romance and Walt Disney World might not be two words you think of together, but. . .
According to Travel Channel’s Top 10 Honeymoon Destinations, Walt Disney World is #4 for newlyweds. I’ve planned honeymoon trips for couples and always recommend a few special places to eat. In fact, there is at least one romantic restaurant in each park, and some amazing signature places in a few of the resorts. Want to know more? Let’s get started!
Romance in Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom is home to Be Our Guest. You can dine in the castle where the Beast and Belle reside. Reservations are a must, and dinner is my favorite meal to enjoy. The dinner menu takes a cue from the French setting of the movie and provides some delectable offerings! Appetizers such as Mareseilles Style Mussels, Lobster Bisque, and a Cheese Plate to name a few. The entrees include Grilled Strip Steak, Sauteed Shrimp and Scallops, Roasted Lamb, and of course Layered Ratatouille. My husband had the lamb. He loved it so much he raved about it to the waiter. The next thing we know, the waiter says the chef will be happy to share the recipe if we will leave our email address. The dessert cart was a sight to behold! Full of sweet, heavenly choices like The Grey Stuff! It was delicious. They also offer ‘Eclair a’ L’Orange, and Lemon-Raspberry Cream Puffs. Really, no matter what you choose, you can’t go wrong. The robust wine list includes offerings from California’s Wine County, as well as a detailed selection from France.
Of course, when you walk to the castle to check in you stand in awe of the details on the outside. From the stone work on the bridge, to the gargoyles on the turrets. Be prepared for walking into the most magnificent dining room. The ceiling is filled with clouds and angels. The light blues, soft silver-grey and gold accents create a romantic atmosphere. And, if you tell Disney Dining when you make your reservation you are celebrating a honeymoon, or anniversary, they will often provide some extra magical pixie dust! If you are lucky, you may see the Beast at dinner. He occasionally strolls through.
Romance in Animal Kingdom
Technically Jiko is in the Animal Kingdom Lodge, but if you venture over to Animal Kingdom, you might as well have a lovely dinner overlooking the savannah. The menu is inspired by flavors of Africa, and the wait staff explain the traditions and cultures. My boys still talk about the fancy place with the rose-scented hot towels. Yes, they bring you hot towels before dinner to clean your fingers with! The food was what you would expect from a Disney Signature restaurant – amazing. Jiko has one of the largest collection of South African Wines in the US. We had a bottle from Black Pearl. I only remember because of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” reference. But, in reality, Black Pearl is a coastal area in Africa where the vineyard is located.
I planned a honeymoon trip for a couple recently. Their first dinner at Walt Disney World as newlyweds was at Jiko. I mentioned it when I made the reservation. The groom’s mother sent me a wonderful email telling me how they were presented with champagne, dessert, and congratulations at dinner! I don’t know that this happens for every couple, but. . . you never know.
Romance in Hollywood Studios
By far, the most romantic restaurant in Hollywood Studios has to be Hollywood Brown Derby. Ask for a booth in the back corner! The wine selection is awesome. The wait staff is incredibly knowledgeable and helpful at making recommendations if you need help choosing. The menu has something for everyone. I prefer the strip steak and a glass of cabernet, while my friend Suzy prefers the Cobb Salad and a glass of pinot grigio. Something for everyone! You can also get a special dining experience to include a pass to a reserved seating section for, “Fantasmic.”
My family loves Hollywood Brown Derby. All the photos, caricatures, and autographs are great fun to look at while you wait for your table, or food. The food is consistently well preprared, and the wait staff – friendly, helpful and knowledgeable about anything menu, or Disney related!
Romance in EPCOT?
I would have to say, at this point, Le Cellier in Canada is our favorite. But, we haven’t tried Monsignor Paul’s in France. We did enjoy Rose and Crown Pub, but wouldn’t call it “romantic”. Fun? yes. Good food? Yes. Awesome view for Illuminations Show? Yes!! EPCOT has so many dining locations that you can hardly go wrong with choosing one. The atmosphere at Le Cellier was amazing. You are practically in a cave. No cell phone service equals an uninterrupted meal for two. From the appetizer of Poutine (french fries with cheese curds) to the main course of a huge steak, and mashed potatoes! You really cannot go wrong.
Romance around the Resorts
So many choices abound! You can enjoy a complete luau at the Polynesian, complete with tropical drinks in coconuts and fire-dancers. You can have a meal at the Chef’s table at Victoria and Albert’s. (This is on my list of things to do. . . after the boys go off to college!) The Contemporary is home to California Grill. The handsome hubby and I have enjoyed a few special celebrations there. If you have reservations around 8:00 PM, your dessert course should arrive around the time fireworks go off over Cinderella’s castle. The entire restaurant comes to a halt. Everyone goes out onto an observation deck to watch the fireworks. The music comes through! The sparkles burst in the sky! And, all is right with the world. At least, for that moment. We celebrated an anniversary and a birthday at California Grill. I highly recommend it.
Romance in Walt Disney World
No matter the park, no matter the resort, there is plenty of romance to be found at Walt Disney World. Not just dining experiences, but horse drawn carriage rides, spa treatments for two, and special behind the scene events for guests over 18! For a really romantic experience stay at the Polynesian Resort, Club level and enjoy desserts and aperitifs as you watch the fireworks from your private balcony!