The Casual Runner

Casual Adventurer: Top 10 Romantic Spots in Walt Disney World

Casual Adventurer: Top 10 Romantic Spots in Walt Disney World

Happy Valentine’s Day!

(Updated: February 14, 2017)

Casual Runners know that while running is a part of our lives, it is not our entire lives. Better yet, as Casual Running allows us to be healthier and live more active lifestyles, it allows us to experience new and wonderful adventures. In this special series, we will look at fun Casual Adventures that our Team takes on when we are away from our training, even if its only for a day or two! And remember, adventure is out there!

Check out other installments in our Casual Adventurer Series by clicking here.

 

The What: Top 10 Most Romantic Spots in Walt Disney World
The Where: Walt Disney World Resort, Florida
The When: Whenever you want!

IMG_0337Love is in the air this week at Casual Runner! Earlier this week, Jake and Jennifer shared their story of how they made running work in their relationship, and ended up strengthening it. Then Mike shared some tips on making a running relationship work. I’d like to stress that he admitted to dating way out of his league. And that is all I am going to say about that 🙂

In our latest installment of our Casual Adventurer Series, I wanted to share my list of the Top 10 most romantic spots in Walt Disney World. Some of these you may not expect, others that you may expect to be on here are not because they have simply grown too popular and too crowded (good luck trying to be romantic in front of Cinderella’s Castle during the fireworks when the guy in front of you puts his kid on his shoulders and then hands the kid an iPad to take video!).  I am also going to avoid naming sit-down restaurants on this list, because, well, that would just be too easy. So, without further adieu, lets find some romantic spots at Walt Disney World…

10. Flametree BBQ, Lower Dining Level (Animal Kingdom).

OK just go with me on this one. Avoid the high lunch and dinner times, then make your way to the lower dining area near the water for this hidden gem. You’ll be surprised at how the rest of the park disappears as you take in gorgeous views of Expedition Everest in the distance while sitting surrounded by beautiful plants and trees. Just be careful of the occasional bird or squirrel looking to snatch some of your BBQ & cheese-covered french fries.

IMG_29889. Walk the Boardwalk (between Hollywood Studios and Epcot).

Did you know that there is a walking path between Hollywood Studios and the International Gateway Entrance to Epcot? Regardless of the time of day, this well-lit and romantic walk along the water stretches for a little over a mile and is a great way to slow down and escape from the hustle and bustle of the parks for you and your significant other. Enjoy watching the boats pass by on the waterway as you make your way past the Epcot area resorts before heading into your second park of the day for some more Disney magic. You can even stop for a tasty adult beverage at one of the many well-themed bars and restaurants along the way.

Depending on the time of day you may catch a glimpse of a magical Disney wedding or liver performances along your way.

8. Stroll through the Port Orleans Resorts.

Are you starting to notice a theme about some nice long walks through picturesque waterfront areas? Well, if not, here’s another one. There are 2 Port Orleans resorts: French Quarter and Riverside. They are connected by a walkway along Disney’s version of the Sassagoula River. Take in the music and the sounds of the wildlife in this tranquil location, and, if you want, you can even splurge on a romantic horse drawn carriage for two.

IMG_03517. Toy Story Midway Mania (Hollywood Studios).

Hear me out. This attraction is your one chance to go head to head against your significant other and test your relationship. Will you be humble in victory? Will your significant other be magnanimous in defeat? Winner buys the ice cream sundaes, so everyone wins.

6. Disney Springs (Formerly Downtown Disney) – Evenings.

Leave the parks and head on over to Disney Springs where, especially on weekend evenings, the district comes alive with live street performers and music. You can grab snacks, desserts, and even adult beverages to enjoy while you and your significant other spend time together and enjoy the atmosphere of this unique destination. You can even pop in and out of the various pubs, bars, and saloons sampling the various offerings of these destinations whose themes make them attractions in their own right.  And yes, because you picked up on the theme, you can even stroll together along the water.

5. Rose Garden & Main Street Plaza Gardens – Daytime (Magic Kingdom). 

In 2015, two new garden areas surrounding the Hub in the Magic Kingdom debuted to accommodate larger crowds for fireworks. However, if you go earlier in the day, you can spread out on the beautiful lawns, take in the breathtaking views of Cinderella’s Castle without the crowds, and even snap some great pictures with your own PhotoPass Photographer, who are always hanging out in these areas.

4. The Italy Pavilion (Epcot).

Ah…Venice! Whether you head out to the various bridges in the Venice section near the lagoon, or make your way back into the main piazza, Italy offers a warm, welcoming, and romantic vibe for all those who enter. Smell the fresh flowers and baking pizzas while you enjoy the Italian music and excitement of this unique experience with your special someone. As an added bonus, Italy has not one, but two wine bars (no reservations needed!) to enhance your enjoyment, if you are into that sort of thing!

IMG_03773. Seven Seas Lagoon Beaches – Evening (Magic Kingdom Resorts).

Who knew that Disney allows you and your significant other to stroll along white sandy beaches, take in the sunset, and see Cinderella’s Castle magically come alive in the distance. You can grab some adult beverages at the Polynesian Resort or the Grand Floridian Resort and stroll hand in hand along the beach. You’ll be surprised how private this experience can be amidst the excitement of Walt Disney World and a stone’s throw away from the most-visited theme park in the world.  Slow down, enjoy, and maybe cap it all off by taking in the nighttime Wishes fireworks from the boat docks at the Grand Floridian. You will be glad that you did.

2. World Showcase Promenade – After Illuminations (Epcot).

Once Illuminations concludes (check out our cool video of the Grand Finale from high atop a nearby hotel), hang back and take your time making your way to the exits. The torches that line the lagoon will still be aglow to light your way through the now-empty promenade towards Spaceship Earth, which promises to be lit up in breathtaking splendor. You’ll be glad that you took the time to treasure this simple experience with your special someone.

IMG_34511. Ice Cream Sundaes and a Kiss Goodnight – After Park Close (Magic Kingdom).

I already warned you about the maddening and decidedly un-romantic crowds that cram into the Hub for the nightly fireworks. Well, after the fireworks end and the park officially closes, that crowd makes its way towards the park exit. Do yourself a favor and don’t join them. As they rush to the exit, hang back. All of the shops on Main Street are open for an hour after the park closes. Do a little shopping, or, better yet, treat yourself to some tasty, old fashioned ice cream sundaes at the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor. Then, walk back towards the Hub, where most of the crowds will have cleared out. You will be surprised at how easy it is to get that perfect picture in front of the castle at this time of night. Wait until the very end of the night, grab your significant other close, and enjoy Disney’s “Goodnight Kiss.” You will be glad that you did. A perfect way to end a magical day.

Check out other installments in our Casual Adventurer Series by clicking here.

Enjoy the freedom of going wherever your feet, imagination, & determination take you!

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Enjoy the freedom of going wherever your feet, imagination, & determination take you!

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