LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The storybook setting and amorous ambiance of Walt Disney World Resort has lovebirds flocking to the Vacation Kingdom for a romantic getaway. Moonlit strolls, luxurious spas and intimate dining make it feel like Valentine’s Day every day. And new for 2009: as part of Disney’s “What Will You Celebrate?” couples commemorating their commitment have a “heart full” of enchanting ways to customize their Valentine’s vacations.
Couples who’ve been bitten by the love bug don’t need a fairy godmother to find romance at Walt Disney World Resort. This is, after all, home to some of the world’s most famous romances: Cinderella and Prince Charming, Lady and the Tramp, Beauty and the Beast – and don’t forget America’s sweethearts, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse.
Throughout the 40-square-mile playground, love is in the air at the Vacation Kingdom. During a couples spa experience. In the middle of a romantic dinner. Or on one of the “love boats” that cruise Walt Disney World waterways.
Honeymooners thrive in the romantic allure of Walt Disney World Resort – a top-rated honeymoon destination, according to industry experts.
And for couples who want to make their own fairy tale dream come true – complete with Cinderella’s coach and her famous glass slipper – Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings can create an unforgettable union.
The four Walt Disney World theme parks create a perfect setting for spontaneous romance – whether it’s a stroll along the lush Maharajah Jungle Trek at Disney’s Animal Kingdom or a relaxing stop for espresso and pastries at a sidewalk table in the France pavilion at Epcot World Showcase. Beyond the parks, couples can embrace a bouquet of romantic experiences that seem designed just for them:
The Couple that ‘Spas’ and ‘Flies’ Together….. – What’s more enjoyable than a luxurious spa treatment? Imagine sharing it with that special someone. The Grand Floridian Spa & Health Club, in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, features a “couples room” where guests can enjoy specialized spa treatments – such as massages and facials – with the one they love. For information about spa treatments, call 407/824-2332.
Make like Aladdin and Jasmine – fly through the sky with your loved one on an adventurous tandem parasail over Bay Lake. Those looking to soar to new heightscan spend 10 minutes alone soaring high above Disney and get a bird’s-eye view of Magic Kingdom and its neighboring resorts. Rates start at $170 (plus tax) for a tandem flight. Contact Sammy Duvall’s Watersports Centre at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, or call 407/939-0754 for reservations.
Magical Resorts – From the romance of an African lodge to the Victorian splendor of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, the mood is set for an enchanting stay at a Walt Disney World resort hotel. Disney’s fantasy hotels transport couples to faraway places with lavish theming, picturesque views and superior service. For reservations, call 407/W-DISNEY (934-7639).
The Love Boat – The Grand Floridian’s Grand 1 – an elegant 52-foot yacht – can give couples, or parties up to 18, a stunning view of “Wishes” fireworks showering above Magic Kingdom during select evening cruises along Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake. Private butler service and gourmet meals also are available. Romantic evening cruises begin at $480/hour (plus tax),including captain and private deck hand. Reservations may be made up to 90 days in advance by calling 407/824-2682.
At Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Marina, a 1920s-style 26-foot mahogany runabout is available for private rental. Half-hour afternoon cruises are $95 (plus tax) for up to six people. For $300 (plus tax),up to six guests can take a Fireworks Cruise into Epcot (45-50 minutes) for an exhilarating, one-of-a-kind view of “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth.” The craft – complete with captain – travels across Crescent Lake for the nightly fireworks, sound and laser show. Reservations may be made up to 90 days in advance by calling 407/WDW-PLAY (939-7529).
The name of the boat is perfect for couples in love: Breathless II.
Disney Dining Serves Romance – Couples find Disney dining infused with romance in settings ranging from subdued to spectacular. And with this year’s “What Will You Celebrate?” Disney offers new entertainment and services that allow guests to turn their personal milestones into magical Disney experiences.
- Disney’s three-course, prix fixe Sweetheart Dinner for Two is the perfect way to create a memorable evening, ending with a shared dessert. Dinners include a specially selected beverage in a souvenir toasting glass to commemorate a special moment and are available at all Walt Disney World signature restaurants except Victoria & Albert’s. Guests who prefer an in-room romantic dinner can check with their Disney resort hotel’s front desk.
- California Grill atop Disney’s Contemporary Resort offers a panoramic view overlooking the Magic Kingdom theme park. Here, stellar cuisine and the restaurant’s award-winning selection of California wines set the stage. Lovebirds can catch a Florida sunset over Magic Kingdom.
- One of the most romantic dinner spots at Walt Disney World Resort is a table for two at Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. The elegant restaurant has been honored with the Five-Diamond Award from AAA for its gourmet cuisine. Combining Royal Doulton china, Cristofle silver and personalized menus, Victoria & Albert’s is the “crown jewel” of the Grand Floridian’s dining destinations. Soft harp music fills the air as “maids” and “butlers” provide stellar service to each of the 18 tables in the intimate dining room. Ladies also receive a long-stemmed red rose.
- For the ultimate romantic experience, an evening at the Chef’s Table is unsurpassed. Couples are seated at a cozy table in Victoria & Albert’s kitchen and treated to a culinary feast custom tailored to their specific tastes by Chef Scott Hunnel.
- Guests who prefer to dine in an even more intimate setting at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort& Spa need only to pick up the closest telephone. The Grand Floridian can arrange a private dinner for two, served against the elegant backdrop of the Grand Floridian beach – or aboard the Grand 1 – on a sunset excursion along Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake. Certain menu items can be specially prepared for the evening. Seven-day notice is requested.
- For all Walt Disney World dining information, guests can call 407/WDW-DINE (939-3463).
Nature Lovers – A horseback ride through one of the backwoods trails at Walt Disney World Resort is just the thing for couples who share a love of nature and each other. Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground offers wrangler-led tours (45 minutes) through the deep, pine-scented woods that make up part of the Vacation Kingdom’s 40 square miles. Tours leave several times daily from Trail Blaze Corral, and may be reserved by calling 407/WDW-PLAY (939-7529).
Romantic Evening – Horse-drawn carriage rides through the wilderness of Walt Disney World Resort are a romantic treat for couples looking for a secluded nighttime outing. The antique carriages depart from Pioneer Hall at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground and traverse throughout the scenic landscape of the 750-acre rustic resort. Or guests can choose a relaxing old-fashioned carriage ride through Disney’s Port Orleans Resort-Riverside with pickup at Boatwright’s Dining Hall. Each nightly excursion is 30 minutes long for $45, available from 5:30-10 p.m. and 5:30-9:30 p.m., respectively. For reservations, guests can call 407/WDW-PLAY (939-7529).
Weddings Around the ‘World’ – The epitome of Disney romance can be summed up in four words: Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings. Since the first wedding at Disney’s Wedding Pavilion in 1995, approximately 1,600 couples each year have exchanged vows at Walt Disney World Resort.
For these couples, dreams become reality. Where else but at Disney could a bride arrive for her wedding in Cinderella’s glass coach, have a handsome major domo carry wedding rings to the altar in a glass slipper, or have Mickey and Minnie greet guests at the reception?
Whether it’s an elegant ball at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, a traditional ceremony at Disney’s Wedding Pavilion or a beach-themed wedding complete with tiki torches, leis and luau on one of the Walt Disney World white-sand beaches, Disney custom designs each wedding with the famous “Disney Difference” – providing attention to the tiniest detail.
Disney’s wedding specialists incorporate all the elements in a one-stop shop including the ceremony, entertainment, cuisine, floral arrangements, audiovisuals and accommodations. For more information on Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings, call 321/939-4623 or visit disneyweddings.com.
Couples who are tying the knot back home can arrange a Disney’s Fairy Tale Honeymoon by calling 321/939-4623 or visiting the Web site at disneyhoneymoons.com.
Renewing Vows – Many couples who’ve been married for years are coming to Walt Disney World Resort, often with their families, to renew their vows five, 10, 25 and 50 years later. A Disney vacation provides the perfect backdrop to celebrate this family milestone. Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings experts can tailor the ceremony and celebration to suit each couple.