The Romantic Trip
I've been asked several times about what a couple can do
that would be romantic at Walt Disney World or how to start some sparks
during a trip.
How to be Romantic on Vacation
First, let me remind the "romantically challenged"
among us exactly what is and what isn't romantic. Romance is based on
love. Love is usually thought of as an emotion, but in reality -- love
is an outward expression. It's an action or behavior. We show love in
how we treat others. The best way to translate that into a romantic trip
at Walt Disney World is to plan things that allow for expressions of love.
Touchpoints of Love
So the next question is, "how can one express love
on vacation?" The answer to that is simple. You express love on vacation
the same way you would at home! Each of us responds to the following "touchpoints
- quality time
- gift giving
- personal touch
- acts of service
- encouraging words
Some of us respond to some of these touchpoints more than
the others. In fact, we all respond to each one of them to some extent.
The questions are, which of them is most important to you?... and which
of them is most important to your significant other? (By
the way, don't think that this is some incredibly wise thing that I've
figured out myself. I've actually picked up these concepts from Growing
Families International, but I've personally seen the wisdom of applying
Once you have that figured out, you should plan your trip
accordingly. Here are some examples:
- You've already got the quality time thing figured out to some
extent if you're going on vacation together to Walt Disney World. Don't
mess that up, though, by going off by yourself to play a round of golf
and leaving your wife behind in the room watching the soap operas. Likewise,
ladies, don't plan a trip to the spa and leave your man to go to the
pool by himself (yeah, him and all those other girls, right?) You don't
have to spend 100% of the time during a long trip together, but make
sure that things are coordinated so that your separate activities are
done at the same time as much as possible.
- If you know that gift giving (or, more accurately, receiving)
is something that your wife really enjoys, plan to do some shopping
during the trip and buy her (don't have HER buy, YOU buy) some small
gifts throughout the trip. Surprise her back in the hotel room later
that day with what you've purchased!
- If personal touch is something that makes your husband feel
all warm and fuzzy, even if it doesn't float your boat as much, make
sure to take special care to hold hands and make eye contact during
your time in the parks and during activities. That thoughtfulness will
pay off big dividends in romance!
- Acts of service is one touchpoint that is particularly strong
for me. I tend to do things for my wife, because I personally feel loved
when she does such things for me. Doing the dishes, taking care of other
household chores, working on special projects for her... those things
come fairly easy for me. Translating that to Walt Disney World is a
bit more difficult than some of the other touchpoints, but here are
a couple of ideas. First, take care of the luggage during check-in and
do the laundry (if it's a longer trip) during the trip. Second, take
note of your spouse's condition during time in the parks. If a foot
rub or back rub or a run down to the ice machine to get a bucket of
ice for some ice water would make him or her more comfortable, be prepared
to do it!
- Encouraging words is critically important on a vacation! Just
taking time for common courtesies is a good start. Going a bit further
with some daily complements adds tremendously to the bubbling romance
of your get-away trip. Above all else, though, remember that a few critical
remarks can destroy any positive things you've already said. Criticism,
even if you think it's being offered constructively, is not going to
add to romance nor is it going to help your signficant other to feel
more loved. Leave the constructive criticism at home, and just enjoy
the positive during the trip.
Now that the hard part is done, and you are busy thinking
of ways to show love (and build romance) in the way you treat your spouse
on the trip, another thing that may affect the atmosphere of romance during
the vacation is which resort you call "home" during the vacation.
Here are my top five personal picks, in order from most
to least romantic... and why:
- Polynesian Resort
- The nighttime atmosphere at the polynesian, with the torch lit pathways
and tropical atmosphere wins top honors. This is the resort that my
wife and I visited during our fifth anniversary trip... and for just
that reason. Don't forget that some of the rooms at the Polynesian Resort
have views of the Magic Kingdom (and there's nothing more romantic than
seeing fireworks from your own room!)
- Wilderness Lodge
- Wilderness Lodge is a rustic-looking resort, but don't let the atmophere
fool you! The resort is actually a very comfortable one, with wonderful
rooms (the junior suites are great for a romantic get-away) and a top-notch
restaurant in Artist Point.
- Port Orleans Resort - The French
Quarter is a cleaned-up version of the "crescent city."
Riverside is a throw-back
to the ante-bellum South. Both parts of the resort are romantic, and
the carriage walk (more on that later) provides a quiet place to get
away and just be together with your loved one.
- Grand Floridian Resort
& Spa - The Grand Floridian is Walt Disney World's top of
the line in terms of service. The honeymoon suites are lovely, and many
of the rooms at the Grand have views of the Magic Kingdom.
- Caribbean Beach Resort
- CBR's tropical atmosphere is wonderful. The white sandy beaches, colorful
buildings, steel drum music, and lovely lagoon (and promenade) all make
for an exotic feel that really hits the spot for some folks.
Walt Disney World has many wonderful restaurants, but for
the combination of menu, ambiance, and atmosphere... try these restaurants
(again, listed from most to least romantic as I've assessed them):
- Victoria and Albert's (and don't forget that this is WDW's only restaurant
with a dress code!)
- Artist Point
- California Grill
- Yachtsman Steakhouse
- Flying Fish Cafe'
Restaurants In the Parks
The restaurants in the parks have one drawback. They are much more likely
to have young children than are the higher end restaurants in the resorts.
Even so, there are a few that have an edge on all others in the romance
- Cinderella's Royal Table (see if you can get a table near the window
with a priority seating time that will allow you to be there during
- Bistro de Paris (located upstairs above Chefs de France, the Bistro
is significantly quieter than Les Chefs)
- Les Chefs de France
- San Angel Inn (the "night time" ambience is fantastic, even
for a romantic lunch)
- Hollywood Brown Derby
- Mama Melrose's Ristorante
- Tony's Town Square Cafe'
During your trip, you're almost certain to spend a lot of
time in the parks and Downtown Disney. But when you want to spend some
of quality time away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of WDW here
are some ideas of what you can do:
Take a walk! Three of my favorite walks in all of Walt Disney
- Polynesian Resort to the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa... and you
go right past the Wedding Pavilion, if the two of you aren't yet married
and you want to drop some hints.
- The Carriage Walk at Port Orleans Resort is lovely and quiet, and
not too long of a stroll, either.
- The promenade at Caribbean Beach Resort is another nice walk. You
can do any part of it and enjoy the lagoon and the Caribbean atmosphere.
A boat outing is another way to get away from it all. Here are a few
choices where you can enjoy togetherness on the water with the most romantic
- Port Orleans Resort or Old Key West Resort up the Sassagoula River
- Bay Lake
- Yacht Club Resort, Crescent Lake up to the Studio
As far as WDW's dinner shows go, I'd recommend the Luau at the Polynesian
as being the most romantic. The South Seas atmosphere, show, music, and
food are a fun way to spend an evening.
One other comment, if your vacation is for a special
birthday, anniversary, or other event, don't forget to check out the
page I've written on that special situation, too. Disney still is a good
place to enjoy such special times with family and friends, and that page
gives some pointers that you'll want to check out.
Well, that's a good start. Remember to plan your trip around you and
your signficant other. Customize the trip to what makes you and her (or
him) feel romantic. Most of all, remember to show extraordinary courtesy,
kindness, and thoughtfulness... and enjoy your trip!
Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide