First Timer’s Corner
VALENTINE’S DAY HOTELS
First timers going as a couple - or just looking for a special time together—should know that some of the Disney resorts are much more romantic than others, and also that there are plenty of opportunities for wonderful date night dining.
THE MOST ROMANTIC HOTELS:
Disney hotels come in multiple price classes, so I’ve noted the most romantic hotels within each price class.
Criteria for ranking include:
Basic loveliness (of the hotel, not your partner).
A smaller, less overwhelming scale.
A sense of vitality from which you can gain energy, [and]
At the same time, serene and quiet places that you can go to feel as if you are completely alone together (in your own little magical world!).
Based on these, here are the recommendations:
MOST ROMANTIC VALUE RESORT: ALL-STAR MUSIC
None of the value resorts score well on any of these criteria…
However, among them the most romantic is Disney’s All-star Music Resort.
All of the Value Resorts are garish and large but among them, All-star Music is the least garish, has the loveliest grounds and landscaping, and is the least overwhelmingly sized.
MOST ROMANTIC MODERATE RESORT: PORT ORLEANS — FRENCH QUARTER
Any of the Moderate Resorts can be romantic—except for the cabins at Fort Wilderness.
The most romantic, though, is Disney's Port Orleans – French Quarter.
It has the smallest scale of any of the Moderates, with the best and loveliest landscaping. It has many courtyards and other spaces for gathering, and also has some seclusive walks along the Sassagoula River.
Runner up: Coronado Springs, for its high level of amenities.
MOST ROMANTIC DELUXE RESORT: DISNEY'S BOARDWALK INN
You can't make a bad choice for a romantic place among the Deluxe Resorts, except possibly the Contemporary, but among them, the Boardwalk Inn is the most romantic.
The Boardwalk Inn has small scale, delightful, and charming architecture, but with the easy access to the Boardwalk and Epcot. It is also the only Deluxe Resort with a fully enclosed courtyard, giving it a more serene and private feel. It’s also the only Disney Resort with honeymoon cottages.
Runner up: Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, for its sublime theming.
MOST ROMANTIC DISNEY VACATION CLUB RESORT: THE BEACH CLUB VILLAS
The Beach Club Villas is the most romantic of the Disney Vacation Club ("DVC") Resorts.
The Beach Club Villas share many of the positives for romance of its fellow Epcot Resort, the Boardwalk Inn. Among the DVC resorts, it's one of the most intimately scaled, and has the most charming and delightful architecture and landscaping. It is also very convenient to the vitality of Epcot and the Boardwalk.
Runner up: The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, for the gingerbread theming of its parent resort.
ROMANTIC DINING AT DISNEY WORLD
Because of the wide variety of settings and cuisine, it’s much harder to narrow down the most romantic dining choices. Reading reviews written by people who have dined in all of them is your best option (all of them, because how else can the reviewer make comparisons?)—for example, the reviews in the book I co-author, The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2017.
A few places you should especially consider:
California Grill (at the Contemporary) during the fireworks show, Wishes (at Magic Kingdom): it’s stylish, modern, and boasts a great view of the nighttime spectacular!
Victoria and Albert’s (at the Grand Floridian): it’s wildly expensive, but—by far—the finest dining to be had in the entire Orlando area.
Cinderella’s Royal Table (Magic Kingdom): noisier and with many more children, but a special event if any in your party wants to be treated like the princess she is.
Artist Point (Wilderness Lodge) The romance of the great National park lodges…
Also worth noting are Jiko (Animal Kingdom Lodge), Narcoossee and Citricos at the Grand Floridian, Flying Fish Café (Boardwalk) and The BOATHOUSE (Disney Springs).
Most of your Disney World trip will be fun—but not romantic. But you can add some romance back by choosing from among these hotels and restaurants!