Love, Disneyby Shoshana Lewin, staff writer
Are you singing this song today?
So this is love
So this is love
So this is what makes life divine
I'm all aglow
And now I know
The key to all heaven is mine
Or this one?
Look out! Look out!
Pink valentines on parade
Here they come!
They're here and there
Pink valentines ev'rywhere!
Some of you might be planning to wear black today and carry protest signs in front of every flower, card and candy store. Others are reading this while humming song No. 1 and are all decked out in red, white and pink. But whether you fall in the former group or the lateryou can't escape February 14 (aka Valentine's Day). Lucky for us, neither can Disney. We receive so many requests on our Disneyland and Walt Disney World message boards for places to steal a kiss, romantic restaurants and proposal spots, that we thought we had do to something to answer the seemingly unanswerable questionwhere can you find romance at Disney?
But what of those people who can't get to one of the 11 parks? Fear not, we also have ideas on how to create your own magical Disney moment straight out of the movies.
And we didn't forget the protestersbecause we know you love your family, friends and pets, we've got some good Disney songs you can sing together.
So open that box of chocolates, put down that voodoo doll of your ex and enjoy our salute to love at Disney.
Do You? I Do
If you are planning to head to Walt Disney World for a proposal? Here are some tips from our readers:
California Grill atop the Contemporary Resort has an incredible view around sunset. It would be the perfect place for the occasion. You can make your reservation to coincide with the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom as well.
The bridge over the canal in Epcot's Italy would be nice, as would in front of the fountain in Italy.
One guy asked at Guest Services if he could have the group that performs before Beauty and the Beast at the Studios ask his wife. They sang to her and proposed in front of everyone right before the show. I had another guest order the slipper dessert at Cinderella's Royal Table and asked his waiter to slip in the ring into it and he proposed there. It was tucked right into the slipper filling. Very romantic!
I proposed to my wife during a late night carriage ride from Port Orleans Riverside to Port Orleans French Quarter. I let the driver know what was up ahead of time, she thought it was fantastic and even slowed the pace a little to give me extra time. And yes we honeymooned at WDW. For around $30, you can take an evening, 30-minute horse and carriage ride.
I had a client who (with help from the folks at Disney) got a table right up against the aquarium at Coral Reef and had a diver swim down and over to their table with 'Will You Marry Me' sign.
My favorite spot in Magic Kingdom is by Cinderella's wishing well, to the right of the castle. It's so beautiful and every time I've been there it seems like everyone just walks right past it.
For private proposals, I must stress the romantic atmosphere of a window seat at Cinderella's Royal Tablewhat girl would not love to have the most important moment of her life to take place in Cinderella's Castle itself? The wait staff could even get into the act.
Or if you plan to head to the Disneyland Resort, try these on for size:
A few months ago, a young man proposed at the Princess breakfast. Arraignments were made so that the young lady's ring was brought to her in a Princess bucket. Talk to the manager at one of the restaurants and let them know what you are planning to do. If you choice to propose at a restaurant call, Disney Dining and make a Priority Seating arrangement and let the cast member who you are speaking with know you plan on proposing so they can make note of it.
My brother proposed at the Blue Bayou, he told the hostess to bring ring out with dinner. When they brought it out it was on top of a plate with a tower built of roses, It looked like about $100 dollars. No charge. Not sure if they always do that but ask at the front when she is browsing the crystal shop outside.
I got proposed to at Disneyland, too! On Main Street during the Believe in Holiday Magic fireworks. He surprised me during fireworks and got down on his knee. I was so surprised I didn't know what was happening and I said, 'What are you doing down there? The fireworks are Oh! Wait! Oh my gosh! You're on your knee!'
Elastin56 sent in this one:
Snow White's Grotto is probably one of the most relaxing, romantic areas in the entire park. It is located just to the southeast of Sleeping Beauty Castle. On one side is Snow White's wishing well, into which you may toss coins and make wishes (all the proceeds go to children's organizations). On the other side (the view presented) you see Snow White, the Seven Dwarves and some wonderful forest animals. Every so often from the wishing well you will hear Snow White sing the classic 'I'm Wishing.' I have heard that there are more proposals of marriage here than in another place in the park. I've even heard of some people who plan specifically to propose here, some are locals, some come from great distances just to propose to the one they love.
One of the most romantic spots on the planet. Snow White's Wishing Well and Grotto has played host to hundreds of proposals. MousePlanet file photo.
Looking for Romance
Here are some great spots and restaurants at the parks you might want to check out the next time you are looking for a place to steal a kissor two.
Reader Vincent responded to an article written by Lani Teshima about Love in the Air at Walt Disney World:
Thank you for presenting the article today about love in the air at WDW. Sometimes adults don't grasp that, and think booking a vacation >there silly unless they bring their children in tow.
So, I would like to add to your pile of stories. Not along the lines of what I read today, but love is, after all, love. (Cue 70's music and get out the insulin)
While vacationing at WDW to celebrate being together for one year, my partner Oliver said he fell in love all over again as we had dinner at The Brown Derby. I surprised him with sheet cake I pre-ordered, and a bottle of wine. The lights were dim, the music lush, and thatwas the most captivating night of that trip.
Being that I am no stranger to WDW, I made priority seating for The Brown Derby on night one.
Hi Vincent Thank you so much for taking the time to write, and for sharing your story. How romantic that you had such a wonderful dinner with all the right ambiance, and then to have the forethought to order cake for your special occasion!
Staff Writerand WDW insiderBrian Bennet offers these tips:
There are so many romantic options at WDW that it's difficult to nail down just one or two. Each park has some great restaurants and locations that are very romantic. My favorites, by park/resort are:
Magic Kingdom: Cinderella's Royal Table remains one of the most romantic restaurants in all of Walt Disney World. I personally think that the lower promenade areas (down by the hub's waterway where the swan boats used to operate) are very romantic spots. They tend to be quieter and they certainly provide gorgeous views of the castle and the rest of the park.
Epcot: Bistro de Paris is, in my opinion, the most romantic restaurant in Epcot. It's located upstairs away from the hustle and bustle of the World Showcase Promenade, yet has gorgeous views of the rest of the park. The food is excellent and the service even better. Also, there are several out-of-the-way areas tucked in the various World Showcase pavilions (in France and the United Kingdom, in particular) where a couple can go and be mostly alone for awhile. The upper levels of the Canada pavilion, likewise, provide an out-of-the-way place to sit and talk quietly.
Disney-MGM Studios: This park is a tougher one. Romance is not on the top of the list here, although one could make the point that the Hollywood Brown Derby is a great place to treat your favorite Starlet to a special night on the town.
Animal Kingdom: Likewise, Animal Kingdom is a difficult park to find a romantic location. My vote would go to some of the spots along the Discovery Island river where a couple can at least get away from the worst of the crowds and enjoy seeing some of the parks vistas from a distance.
Grand Floridian Resort: I'm sure most folks would agree that WDW's top notch restaurant, Victoria & Albert's, is also a very romantic one. It's quiet, exclusive, and a great way to spend a special night out.
Contemporary Resort: For dinner, it's hard to beat California Grill. If you are willing to wait for a window table, the view of the Magic Kingdom (especially if it is timed around Wishes) is gorgeous. After dinner, take your significant other up to the observation deck for a more private view of the park down below.
Polynesian Resort: This one is easy take a blanket and lay out on the beach for Wishes. It's inexpensive and mostly private, although you won't be far from the guests watching the show off their own balconies.
Wilderness Lodge: Artist Point is a great restaurant for a romantic night out. The ambience of the resort tends to be romantic, too, which makes it easy to enjoy the time away. On several floors overlooking the main hall there are sitting areas that are usually empty. Don't hesitate to locate these in advance and take your sweetheart upstairs for some quiet conversation before or after dinner.
Port Orleans: One of the most romantic places in all of Walt Disney World is the Carriage Walk between the French Quarter and the-resort-formerly-known-as Dixie Landings. It's only about a 20 minute walk, a bit slower if you're strolling and talking as you go. The views of the river are nice and the walk is mostly private.
Love-filled meals at Walt Disney World
At WDW, our readers suggest grabbing a love-filled meal at:
- The San Angel Inn at the Mexico pavilion at Epcot
- Rose and Crown in the UK pavilion at Epcot
- Coral Reef at the Living Seas pavilion at Epcot
- Yachtsman Steak House at Disney's Yacht Club Resort
- Victoria and Albert's at the Grand Floridian
- The Spirit of Aloha Luau at the Polynesian Resort
- Kimono's at the Walt Disney World Swan
- Wolfgang Puck Cafe Dining Room (upstairs) at Downtown Disney
- Fulton's Crab House at Downtown Disney
- Or my pick for dessert: Share a sundae or milkshake for two at Ghiradellis at Downtown Disney
At Disneyland, staff Writer Lisa Perkis reflected on a romantic trip with her hubby:
Do busy parents of young children even remember what romance looks like? Of course, but perhaps just in smaller doses.
When my husband and I have a rare night away from the kids, nothing says romance to me like the Grand Californian Hotel. The fireplace with cozy rocking chairs surrounding it, the towering ceiling, the beautiful woodland theme in the rooms (I love Bambi!), the mellow, hushed atmosphere is both picturesque and relaxing. The pine trees that surround the hotel seem to isolate it from the busy world outside and makes me feel as if I've stepped into an oasis of beauty and calm from the moment I walk through the enormous sliding stained glass doors. As a parent, I rarely (OK, never) get a whole week away with my husband for a romantic get away, but even one night at the Grand Californian is a romantic treat that creates special memories.
Mousepadder Disneyphile offered this great romance-filled day at the park
My dream Disneyland date (not-so-realistic pricey version, although I'd be more than willing to pay for most of it):
- Breakfast at the Carnation Cafe
- Riding on some snuggle-accessible attractions: Matterhorn Bobsleds, Peter Pan's Flight, Haunted Mansion, etc.
- Tossing coins and stealing a few kisses at Snow White's Wishing Well
- Dinner at Blue Bayou
- Fantasmic! balcony dessert
- Watching the fireworks
- Stealing a kiss or two and just spending some time gazing into each other's eyes near the castle at night (on one of the little side areas)
- Sitting in front of the fireplace at the Grand Californian
- Retiring to the room and a glass of champagne with strawberries
- Having a room service breakfast on the balcony while watching the sunrise over Grizzly Peak
Here are yours truly's picks for the best attractions for sneaking a kiss at the DLR. While these aren't the only places they are some of the more unique ones:
Main Street, USA
- The top level of the Double-Decker Bus
- The Disneyland Railroad (at night)
- Astro Orbiter
- Autopia (as long as you don't crash into the car in front of you)
- Honey I Shrunk the Audience (during the mice scene)
- Space Mountain (before the launch)
- Peter Pan
- Storybook Boats (under the trellis or in the Cave of Wonders)
- Casey Jr's Circus Train (in the tunnelsit in the caboose)
- King Arthur's Carousel
- Alice in Wonderland (if you have two in the backseat)
- The Enchanted Tiki Room (during the beginning of the Hawaiian War Chant)
- Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye (in line in the movie room)
- The Mark Twain (center deck)
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (any of the tunnels and during the first or second climb)
New Orleans Square
- Haunted Mansion
- Pirates of the Caribbean (especially in the Dead men tell no tales cave)
As far as I can tell, New Orleans Square has more kiss-friendly attractions per capita than any other land in the park.
Hollywood Pictures Backlot
- The main lobby of the Animation Building and Ursula's Grotto
- Tower of Terror (anytime before the dropheck, try it during the drop)
- The Aladdin show (during A Whole New World")
- The Sun Wheel
- King Triton's Carousel
- Soarin' (during the last scene)
- Seasons of the Vine
- It's Tough to be a Bug (waiting area)
- Golden Dreams (during the song, Just One Dream)
According to our readers, love is in the air at the following Disneyland Resort restaurants:
- The Blue Bayou in New Orleans Square at Disneyland
- Ariel's Grotto at Disney's California Adventure
- The Vineyard Room (at sunset) at Disney's California Adventure
- Napa Rose at The Grand Californian Hotel
- Granville's Steakhouse at the Disneyland Hotel
- Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney
- Or my pick for dessert: The Fantasmic! Dessert balcony
Lights, Camera, Action
OK, so you can't get to a park on Valentine's Dayor any day for that matter. Why not whip up the home version of Disney magic? You, too, can re-create some of the most romantic Disney moments ever animated (or filmed).
Grab a plate of spaghetti and meatballs, find a checkered tablecloth, turn off the lights (or eat outside), forgo the forks and you will have a Bella Notte straight out of Lady and the Tramp. Bonus: Go for a walk and find some wet cement where you can put your handprints.
Ladies, fall asleep on the sofa; gents, if you've seen Sleeping Beauty or Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs you know what you have to do to wake up your princess. Bonus: Hop on a white horse and ride down the street or start dancing as the lights in the room keeping change from pink to blue.
If a lady walks around barefoot long enough, some guy is bound to get the Cinderella hint and find her a shoe. Then turn down the lights and waltz around the room humming So This is Love. Bonus: Find a glass (or see-through vinyl) slipper.
Whose eyes didn't get wide when the Beast brought Belle to his library in Beauty and the Beast? Since castles aren't as easy to come by these days, why not clean up a roomany roombut don't let your S.O. see it. Then grab some roses and make your own tale as old as time. Bonus: Pick up a talking appliance, clock, candlestick or teapot.
Enjoy a whole new world together grab a rug and go on a bus tour (top level) or boat tour (outside, top deck) or rent a limo with a moon roof and cruise around town like you're Aladdin. Bonus: Find a carpet that flies on its own (or genie of the lamp).
For you camping fans who can't get enough of nature, enjoy a night under the stars Lion King-style. Grab some wine, grubs and maybe a sleeping bag (if you live somewhere warm enough) and feel the love. Bonus: Make the fireflies swirl around your loved-ones face.
Let loose your inner Sebastian and go for a rowboat ride a la The Little Mermaid at a nearby lake. What better way to kiss the girl (or guy)? Bonus: Get the animals to join in for a chorus or two.
Make your own Mary Poppins' jolly holiday in the park. Put on your Sunday best and fill up a picnic basket. Throw your loved one's name into the song and you've got it: It's a Jolly Holliday with (insert two- or three-syllable name here). Bonus: Jump into a chalk drawing or go for a ride on a merry-go-round.
For some year-round Summer Magic, find a guitar and a front porch (if you don't have one, borrow someone else's, just make sure they know you). Sing On the Front Porch With You to your sweetie and hearken back to the days when the first kiss meant everything. Bonus: Add a wicker swing, night birds and fireflies for the full effect.
Songs for Other Loves
Whether or not you have a good voice, feel free to sing these songs to the special peopleand thingsin your life
Best Friend: You've Got A Friend in Me from Toy Story, If I Didn't Have You from Monsters, Inc., That's What Friends Are For from The Jungle Book, Friend Like Me from Aladdin, Your Heart Will Lead You Home from The Tigger Movie, and Let's Get Together from The Parent Trap.
Family: Honor to Us All from Mulan, He Lives in You from Lion King II: Simba's Pride, Family from James and the Giant Peach, Your Mother and Mine from Peter Pan, Baby Mine from Dumbo, You'll Be in My Heart from Tarzan, and The Monkey's Uncle from The Misadventures of Merlin Jones.
Pet: Good Company from Oliver & Co., The Aristocats from The Aristocats, and He's a Tramp from Lady and the Tramp.
Toys: Just a Toy from Babes in Toyland, and When She Loved Me from Toy Story 2.
Self Love: Perfect Isn't Easy from Oliver & Co., Why Should I Worry? from Oliver & Co., A Guy Like You from Hunchback of Notre Dame, A Star is Born from Hercules, I've Got No Strings from Pinocchio, and A World of My Own from Alice in Wonderland.
Good Numbers to Know
Since walk-up seating is nearly impossible at most park restaurants, please call ahead for Priority Seating. It isn't a reservation, put you will be given the next spot that fits your table (ahead of walk-ups).
Disneyland Resort Dining: (714) 781-4463
Walt Disney World Resort Dining: (407) 939-3463
So no matter how you spend today, Happy Valentine's Day!