As Disney Adults and Central Floridians, Andrew and I have been to Disney World together more times than I can count. Many think it is a place for kids, but I am someone that can prove otherwise. If you are looking to take a trip to Disney World for couples-only time, I am here to help!
In this blog post, I will break down all my tips and tricks for having a romantic Disney World experience. This includes going through what rides and hotels are best for couples that want to escape kids and restaurants and activities where you can have an intimate or unique time together. My goal is to provide you with everything you need to know for having a fun and romantic vacation at Disney World for couples!
Disney World Attractions for Couples
One thing people do not realize is that Disney World consists of six different theme parks! The Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Typhoon Lagoon, and Blizzard Beach each make up a piece of this empire. Also, note that if you want to visit Harry Potter World, you will have to venture off-site to Universal Orlando.
If you are planning a weeklong trip, you can visit each theme park and probably one of the two water parks. However, you still won’t be able to experience everything Disney World has to offer! If you are taking a shorter trip, I will share which Disney World parks I recommend for couples and the best things to do at each.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
I am starting off this section with the best Disney World theme park for couples who like thrill rides. Disney World does not offer nearly as many rollercoasters as Universal or SeaWorld, so adrenaline junkies may want to check out those parks as well. However, if you are hoping to experience the best rides at Disney World, you will want to prioritize a visit to Hollywood Studios.
This movie-themed park has the best coaster at Disney World (Rock ’n’ Roller Coaster) and my favorite thrill ride, the Tower of Terror. It also has amazing, themed Star Wars and Toy Story areas for fans of those franchises. Though the Star Wars rides can have long waits, they are worth it to experience the advanced technology on display at this side of the park.
If you are doing a park hopper, couples can do most of the thrill rides at this park in the morning and then head over to Magic Kingdom or Epcot for some relaxing evening time.
The second-best theme park at Disney World for couples is definitely Epcot. It has become a popular adult spot over the past decade, thanks to the Food and Wine Festival. However, you do not have to visit during this fall festival to experience the joys of Epcot.
Epcot was originally divided into two sections: the educational future world and the culturally immersive World Showcase. The World Showcases replicates eleven different countries that have traditional exhibits, food, and drinks to offer. During the fall, many enjoy trying the flavors of dozens of countries with the help of the Food and Wine Festival and having a crawl around it. This has become so popular, that there is basically some sort of festival going on year-round. You can visit any time of year and still have an enjoyable food and drink crawl around Epcot.
In addition to the eating and drinking that many couples enjoy at Epcot, there is also plenty more to experience. You can find some excellent thrill rides here like, Galaxy Rewind and Test Track, and relaxing educational rides like Living with the Land and Spaceship Earth. There is also a plethora of interesting exhibits that change frequently, from topiaries to holiday shows. Another perk is you can often catch a concert of a throwback band free with admission!
Though it can be expensive and a lot of walking to enjoy Epcot, it still is one of the best experiences at Disney World for couples. I recommend prebuying a gift card with an amount you feel comfortable spending around the festival so that the costs of concessions do not get too stressful. This is also another good park to have a hopper for, so you can visit in the evening instead of spending the whole day here.
The theme park that started it all is Magic Kingdom. This is the home to Cinderella’s Castle and what most people picture as Disney World. Being so iconic, it would be hard to not visit the Magic Kingdom on your trip, even though it is the most kid-themed park. However, I think it is worth visiting, especially if you have a hopper.
First of all, there are tons of rides here, many with wide appeal. Though some like It’s a Small World, might seem cheesy, others like Peter Pan’s Flight can be a fun, nostalgic experience. Thrill seekers will also enjoy riding the mountains and the new Tron Lightcycle Run.
The number one thing for everyone to experience at Magic Kingdom is the fireworks. Couples especially will enjoy seeing the amazing display over Cinderella’s Castle. If you do not plan to visit Magic Kingdom, consider having dinner at California Grill during fireworks time or booking a fireworks cruise to experience it.
Between rides, shows, and parades, Magic Kingdom has it all. If you do not mind a little time around some kids, it is worth visiting this incredible park.
Of all the theme parks in Orlando, Animal Kingdom is my favorite! However, I have put it last here because it is not essential for a visit to Disney World for couples. If you are doing a once-in-a-lifetime visit and are short on time, you can skip this park. For those who enjoy nature, animals, and rides, I would plan to spend some time here.
The coolest thing about Animal Kingdom is how immersive it is. Many animal exhibits are expertly integrated into the park to feel more organic. Kilimanjaro Safaris is the best example of this and a must—ride attraction. There are also some animal exploration trails that I think couples will find relaxing and interesting as well.
For rides, there is not a ton here, but the ones that are here are worthwhile. Expedition Everest and Avatar: Flight of Passage are both high-priority thrill rides worth waiting at least an hour to ride. If you like thrill rides, DINOSAUR and Kali River Rapids are fun as well.
Though Animal Kingdom is the least “Disney” of the Disney World theme parks, there is still plenty to enjoy, especially for nature-loving couples. They even offer unique tours like a ropes course or animal interactions for those who want to splurge on their visit. This theme park is definitely worth spending at least a half day at, especially if you have a park hopper ticket.
Disney World Water Parks
Two other theme parks at Disney World couples may want to consider are the Disney water parks. Blizzard Beach is the more popular option, known for its crazy-tall slides and winter-themed ambiance. Typhoon Lagoon has less thrills, but a much more relaxing atmosphere that can be lovely for adults.
I honestly think Volcano Bay at Universal Orlando is the best theme park in the area for both thrills and atmosphere, but the Disney ones are cheaper and a little less crowded. I recommend going to Blizzard Beach if you want thrilling slides or going to Typhoon Lagoon if you want to relax on a few tube slides and chill in the lazy river. Both are an excellent way to cool off if you are visiting Orlando between April through October!
Restaurants at Disney World Perfect for Couples
While Disney is known for its family-friendly attractions and iconic characters, it’s also a haven for couples seeking a romantic dining experience. I have dined at so many through the years, that I want to share my expertise with choosing both elevated and casual eateries. Since there is dining at theme parks, resorts, and Disney Springs, I have divided up the best options below:
Disney World Theme Park Restaurants for Couples
I often recommend couples spend the majority of their trip dining at the resorts or Disney Springs, as the theme park options can often be lackluster. Regardless, if you are having a busy day at the parks, you will not want to take the time to leave. I have found a few hidden gems worth visiting while you are here to keep in mind for in-theme park meals.
- Columbia Harbour House at Magic Kingdom – A counter-service spot with classic New England fare, better in a pinch than burgers or chicken nuggets at other spots.
- Jungle Navigation Co. LTD Skipper Canteen at Magic Kingdom – A table-service restaurant with a whimsical theme that features a blend of tropical flavors and exotic dishes.
- Sunshine Seasons at Epcot – Though I prefer to dine at the festival booths at Epcot, this is a solid choice for many looking for a quick and flavorful meal at Epcot.
- Monsieur Paul at Epcot – For a taste of France without a passport, this fine dining establishment offers refined French cuisine and panoramic views of the World Showcase.
- Docking Bay 7 at Hollywood Studios – Star Wars fans and haters alike should check out this immersive quick service. It features foodie flavors with fun galactic theming.
- Hollywood Brown Derby at Hollywood Studios – An iconic signature dining restaurant pays homage to the golden age of Hollywood and classic American cuisine.
- Satu’li Canteen at Animal Kingdom – This quick-service restaurant in the land of Pandora offers a unique twist on fast-casual dining with a focus on fresh and wholesome ingredients.
- Tiffins at Animal Kingdom – A Disney World favorite for couples, the menu is inspired by the flavors of Africa, Asia, and South America and has a sophisticated, safari-esque ambiance.
Restaurants at Disney World Resorts
Though dining in the Disney World theme parks can be overpriced and hard to get a reservation, the resorts are totally different story. Just by venturing into the hotels around Disney World, you can find some of the best restaurants in Orlando with all sorts of cuisines and experiences. Here are the best resort restaurant options at Disney World for couples.
- Victoria and Albert’s at the Grand Floridian – The crème de la crème of Disney dining experiences if you want to go all out on your vacation. Considering it costs at least $300 per person for the multi-course tasting menu, this is out of reach for many, but I have to mention it as the epitome of romantic dining.
- Jiko at the Animal Kingdom Lodge – A more reasonable splurge can be found at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. This upscale restaurant showcases the vibrant flavors of African cuisine, with an emphasis on grilled specialties and unique spices.
- Sanaa at Animal Kingdom Lodge – For a moderately priced meal at Disney World, Sanaa is my top pick. This restaurant specializes in authentic Indian cuisine and provides views of the wildlife on the savanna.
- Toldeo at Coronado Springs – A newer spot I adore is Toldeo, where you can indulge in tapas and steak at the top of the Coronado resort.
- Boatwright’s Dining Hall at Port Orleans Riverside – For a taste of New Orleans, Boatwright’s is a fan favorite. Though it’s a bit out of the way at Port Orleans, you can have an intimate and flavorful meal here any time of day.
- Trattoria Al Forno at Disney’s Boardwalk – Skip the restaurants and booths at Epcot’s Italy pavilion instead for amazing pasta and Mediterranean food at an affordable price.
- Whispering Canyon Café at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge – If you like barbecue and do not mind some rustic theming Whispering Canyon Café is another good choice for couples. Though the theming can be a little corny, the food is excellent and not too expensive either.
Disney Springs Restaurants
Visiting Disney Springs is a must for any couple visiting Disney World. This is an upscale entertainment complex with some of the best restaurants on Disney World property. I love the vibe here and it is especially great for bar hopping. I recommend coming here for dinner and drinks at least one night of your trip, or maybe taking a break from the parks and visiting one day for lunch. Here are the restaurants I recommend at Disney Springs for couples:
- Morimoto Asia – It is definitely a splurge, but Chef Masaharu Morimoto’s unique fusion of Asian flavors sets the stage for an incredible Pan-Asian dining experience.
- The Boathouse – If you like seafood, check out The Boathouse where you can enjoy a romantic and nautical meal overlooking the beautiful lake.
- Raglan Road Irish Pub – Enjoy a pint of Guinness or a hearty Shepherd’s Pie at this authentic Irish pub that offers traditional Irish cuisine, live music, and dance performances.
- Wine Bar George – Wine enthusiasts can’t miss this wine bar and restaurant where you can savor a flight of wines, small plates, and charcuterie.
- The Polite Pig – The counter-service restaurants of Disney Springs are better than in the parks and Polite Pig is the best of the best. couples who appreciate flavorful barbecue and Southern cuisine can feast on smoked meats, mouther watering sides, and craft beer here.
Disney World Hotels Couples Should Stay At
If you are planning a vacation at Disney World for couples, picking the right resort is key. Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway or celebrating a special occasion, Disney World offers a range of accommodations that combine luxury, charm, and that extra touch of magic. Though many can be inundated with kids, there are a few that stand out for adult couples.
I have an in-depth post about the best hotels at and around Disney World for adults here, but I wanted to summarize these suggestions below.
- Four Seasons Resort Orlando – If you want an all-out splurge hotel, many think the Grand Floridian is the best option. However, I find that one to be overtaken by kids, so for couples, I would choose the Four Seasons Resort. This is the only 5-star hotel on property, complete with luxurious amenities, easy theme park transportation, and Capa, a Michelin-star restaurant in the hotel
- Swan and Dolphin Resort – If you are like me and the Four Seasons is out of your price range, I think the Swan and Dolphin Resort is an equally great hotel for couples at Disney World. This resort is within walking distance of both Epcot and Hollywood Studios, has a spacious pool and spa area, a more upscale theme and you can even use Marriott points to pay for it!
- Coronado Springs – Another on-property Disney hotel that may be more affordable is Coronado Springs. The guest rooms are elegant and spacious, but the excellent restaurants, multiple pools, and themed lounge areas are what make it a Disney World favorite for couples.
- Saratoga Springs – One more Disney resort option to consider is Saratoga Springs, especially if you are a couple that likes to cook and relax in the room on vacation. You can often get a deal renting points and staying in a villa at this gorgeous, Victorian-style resort. It is conveniently a short boat ride from Disney Springs and tends to be preferred by adults.
- Hyatt Place Orlando/Lake Buena Vista – For those on a budget, Hyatt Place Orlando/Lake Buena Vista is a worthwhile option for couples to consider. Though it’s just your basic hotel chain, it’s a short drive from Disney World. If you plan to spend most of your time in theme parks, it may not make sense to spend so much on a place to sleep. Best of all, you can easily earn enough Hyatt points for a weeklong stay here!
Other Experiences at Disney World for Couples
To make your Disney World vacation more romantic, I recommend couples plan some days outside of the theme parks. Since dealing with lines and walking the heat can get old, Disney World has all sorts of activities that make for a more relaxing vacation. Take a look and keep these ideas in mind for when you need a break.
- Disney Springs – As I mentioned before, Disney Springs is a must-visit for couples. This complex is full of fun things to do for adults from restaurants and bars to shopping and relaxation. If you want to do more here than dinner and drinks, check out Splitsville for bowling or pool, The House of Blues for live music, the west side Hot Air Balloon or even get tickets to the Cirque du Soleil show!
- Disney’s Boardwalk – Another fun area of Disney World for couples is the Boardwalk. This is a lovely area to walk around, rent a Surrey bike, go to a piano bar, and watch the sunset.
- Go for a Spa Day – If you want to pamper yourself, you can get a massage, facial, or any other treatment with one of the Disney World spas. Visit the Grand Floridian, The Swan and Dolphin, or Saratoga Springs for a spa day.
- Carriage Rides and Horseback Riding – For an extra special date, horse-drawn carriage rides are available at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. You can also try horseback riding at Fort Wilderness!
- Play Golf – Whether you are into serious golf games or prefer putt-putt, you can find both at Disney World. There are multiple world-class golf courses and two adorably themed mini-golf courses.
- Boating and Water Sports – Disney World is home to a couple of lakes that offer plenty to do for outdoorsy couples. You can rent a pontoon boat or kayak and even fish in the Seven Seas Lagoon.
- Take a Day Trip – Of course, couples do not have to stay at Disney World for the whole vacation! Orlando and Central Florida have a plethora of unique things to do. Check out my Orlando day trip guide and see if any of these ideas sound fun for a break from Disney World.
Know Before You Go: Romantic Things to Do at Disney World for Couples
Disney World is not just for kids. In fact, it can be a great place for couples to vacation and spend quality time together. I hope this guide showed you all the exciting experiences there are for adults here. Below are a few more tips for couples at Disney World. Keep them in mind and you can make the most of your time at the park and create magical memories with your partner!
- Walt Disney World Resort Hotels often offer Florida resident deals, so make sure to look through all the options before booking.
- If you really want to avoid long lines, most of these rides offer a paid FastPass. The ins and outs of this system are too complex to describe here, so I recommend checking out this post to learn more about Fastpass at Disney World.
- Hotels and theme park tickets are the cheapest during the offseason. This tends to be August, September, and Late January-Mid February. Weekdays are cheaper than weekends.
- Hurricane season is June through October and in the event of a major hurricane, these parks will shut down. I recommend avoiding this time of year unless you are okay with this risk.
- Most hotels charge a parking fee and a resort fee, so be sure to include these rates in your budget.
- I recommend making a reservation for a meal at any of the sit-down restaurants. You can make one up to 60 days in advance at this website or by calling 1-407-WDW-DINE to make reservations
- For restaurants that are hard to get reservations for, you can always try day-up walk-ups. Groups of two that can sit at the bar can usually be accommodated in a timely fashion.
- If you only plan to have one pool day, you could always stay at a cheaper hotel and then purchase a ResortPass to use the pool at a better one! This guide has some options for the best Orlando ResortPass options.
- If you need help planning a trip to Orlando, I am partnered with Kelly’s Magical Vacations and highly recommend her services. Find out more here!
Have you visited Disney World without kids? I think most adults tend to enjoy it more! For more help planning a trip to Disney World for couples, check out my theme park guide here.