Walt Disney World has earned its reputation as one of the top vacation destinations for families. Child-friendly restaurants abound with character dining, kids meals, and other children’s activities. What is less well known, however, is Walt Disney World’s commitment to its adult visitors. Disney has become one of the top honeymoon destinations, and those that have experienced a Disney honeymoon or romantic vacation often comment that they were pleasantly surprised by the plethora of romantic options that Walt Disney World provides.
Part of the fun of a romantic Walt Disney World vacation comes from discovering your own secret spots. Never be afraid to try a new restaurant just because you are unsure whether it will fit the classic definition of “romantic.” The Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater, for example, is not a traditional romantic restaurant. Yet what could be more romantic, really, than a convertible for two, sharing a milkshake at a replica of a 1950s drive-in movie? Romance can be found around every corner at Walt Disney World for those who are willing to look.
For those seeking a more traditional romantic experience, however, options abound throughout the Walt Disney World resort. Presented here is this author’s guide to the romantic restaurants of Walt Disney World. Be sure, however, to use this guide only as a jumping off point to discovering your own romance.
Tony’s Town Square Restaurant — Who doesn’t love the romance that blooms between Lady and the Tramp over a shared plate of pasta? This restaurant pays faithful tribute to the one depicted in the film, and lithographs from the movie are everywhere. You can’t go wrong with this one.
Three of the Magic Kingdom’s best restaurants now offer character meals — Cinderella’s Royal Table, Crystal Palace, and Liberty Tree Tavern. While a character meal may not be your idea of the most romantic place to dine, both the food and the settings are excellent. The characters go out of their way to make you comfortable, offering interaction if you want it, or leaving you alone if that is your preference. If you are willing to deal with large numbers of children around, any of these three restaurants offer a somewhat different romantic experience.
The World Showcase is overflowing with beautiful and romantic dining. Almost every country offers both a table service and a counter service option, and some even have a pastry shop as well. For pure romantic views, it is difficult to beat the San Angel Inn in Mexico. The Bistro de Paris in France, Le Cellier Steakhouse in Canada, and L’Originale Alfredo di Roma in Italy (a branch of the authentic Alfredo’s) are just a few of your choices for romantic meals. Be sure to make advance dining reservations, and when you call, verify that the restaurant is not hosting character meals. It seems to have become a trend recently for Epcot’s best table service restaurants to transform into character dining, so ask before you go.
In Future World, your best option for romantic dining is the Garden Grill. This slowly revolving restaurant is located in the Land pavilion. Meals are served family style, and the food and service are both excellent.
Brown Derby — This faithful recreation of the Hollywood original is, without a doubt, the restaurant of choice for fine dining within Disney-MGM Studios. The food and service are top notch, and the atmosphere refined.
The 1950s style Prime Time Café and Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater are not romantic in a traditional sense, but are so much fun that they must be included here. For a different type of experience, make reservations at one or both.
Animal Kingdom is not known for its fine dining options. Those seeking a romantic meal would do best to visit the Rainforest Café, located just outside the park gates.
Beyond the Parks
Without a doubt, the most romantic meal anywhere on Disney property can be found at Victoria and Albert’s, located inside the Grand Floridian Resort. As Disney’s only five star restaurant, everything about Victoria and Albert’s smacks of elegance and refinement. For an extra special experience, book the Chef’s Table.
Downtown Disney offers a wealth of romantic dining experiences. The Portobello Yacht Club, Fulton’s Crab House, and branches of Wolfgang Puck’s and Bongo’s are just a few of the available options. It is sometimes possible to visit these restaurants on a walk-in basis, but if it is important to you to dine at a specific location, then advance dining reservations are highly recommended.
Although Walt Disney World has earned a reputation as a top vacation destination for families, it is also an excellent destination for couples seeking a romantic experience. Romantic dining options abound throughout the resort. Never be afraid to try a new restaurant as even those that are not traditionally “romantic” will offer an excellent experience. Use the above recommendations as a guide, but discover your own spots as well.