Back for another Honeymoon Hotspot and this time we’re headed to sunny Orlando, Florida and the magical world of Disney! We already know what you might be thinking, Disney World is for kids, why would I want to go there for my honeymoon? While that might be the stigma associated with the resort, we can personally vouch for the fact that Walt Disney World has way more to offer than just your favorite childhood attractions (but we love those too!). Disney as an adult can arguably be more fun than it is as a kid and truly can be a perfect honeymoon spot… if you do it right. Luckily, we’re here to help!
While there are tons of off-site options available between hotels, timeshares, and airbnbs, we recommend staying onsite for a true Disney experience. There are lots of pros to staying onsite too. First off, if you’re flying into Orlando International Airport, you can take the free Magical Express bus to your resort. No need for a rental car here! Disney has its own internal transportation system too — buses, monorails, boats, and skyliners — that can get you where you need to go, all for free. Not only is this super convenient, but it also saves money and stress. No worrying about remembering where you parked! While things are currently a bit different due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are usually additional perks like extra magic hours. Each day, certain park(s) will open early or stay open late for Disney resort guests only, giving you additional park time with lower crowds.
You pretty much can’t go wrong with any resort on-property. Resorts are broken down into four price categories: value, moderate, deluxe, and deluxe villa. For honeymooners looking to splurge, our top picks would have to be the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and The Riviera Resort, which are deluxe and deluxe villa, respectively. The Grand Floridian Resort just feels so classy and elegant, it’s perfect for a honeymoon. You have great access to the parks with the monorail and boats, plus there’s an onsite spa for downtime as a couple. The restaurants are phenomenal at the GF, including AAA Five Diamond Award Winner Victoria & Albert’s. After enjoying your world class meal, wander over to the docks and watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks, they even pipe in the music! The Riviera Resort is the most recent addition to the Walt Disney World property and it is stunning. If you’re a foodie, this place was designed for you. Also with easy access to the Skyliner, putting you at two parks within minutes. If you’re looking to spend a little less on your room, we also love Port Orleans, both Riverside and French Quarter are great moderate options, but we’re partial to French Quarter since they’re home to the delicious Mickey beignets!
Obviously, there is so much to do in Walt Disney World, it kind of goes without saying that you’ll never run out of things to do or try. So, we’re going to focus on smaller details that you might not be as familiar with when it comes to the activities portion of this destination. Make sure you hit up the parks (that’s a given!) but there are so many other things to do, too! Before we switch out of parks, there are some special events to keep in mind. You’ll always have a great time, but if you can line up your trip with an Epcot Festival, we highly recommend doing so. There are so many festivals at this point that you’re more likely than not to be visiting during a festival. Some of our favorites are the Flower & Garden festival that runs in the spring and the Food & Wine festival that runs late summer through the fall. The Festival of the Holidays runs for the holiday season and is another favorite, but with it being the holidays, crowds will be a larger factor. In addition to festivals, be aware of specially ticketed events, specifically after-hours events. These require a special ticket, but are limited to a smaller capacity and therefore cut down on wait times. There’s also special entertainment and usually special snacks, too! If you’re headed down in the fall, make sure you check out Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom. There’s free trick or treating, ride overlays, delicious treats, and a special parade and fireworks show. It’s a must-do for every Disney fan’s bucket list.
Disney is also home to some fabulous shopping. Disney Springs is a premium shopping and entertainment complex that you have to check out. Some of the best restaurants live here, too. Not all shopping at Disney Springs is specifically Disney-themed, either. So if you’re not a raging Disney fan, that’s okay, there’s still something here for you too! If you see something specific that you like, we recommend grabbing it when you can. Different stores throughout the resort carry different items, so you might not be able to find the same thing twice! If you’re in the parks shopping, things can be sent to your on-property hotel room if you’re staying for a few more days, or sent to the front of the park for you to pick up on your way out at the end of the day.
If you’re planning on a few days out of the parks, we suggest spending a day doing some resort hopping! Many people have the impression that you’re only allowed to visit a Disney resort if you are staying there, but that’s not necessarily true. In fact, when there’s no pandemic going on, you’re actually encouraged to go visit the different resorts — they want you to fall in love and want to stay there! This can be a really fun way to see different areas and figure out if you would want to stay there one day. Make sure you visit Animal Kingdom Lodge, which has its own savannah filled with plenty of wildlife, we could literally sit and watch the animals all day. We love walking around the monorail resorts, especially during the holidays to see all the decorations. Wilderness Lodge is another really fun place to visit, and Fort Wilderness is cool too, they even have activities like horseback riding and a barn you can visit. The riding comes with a price, but the barn visit is totally free. Pop over and get on the Skyliner and check out Riviera, too! This is also a fun way to try out all the different free transportation methods Disney offers. If you don’t want to dedicate a full day to resort hopping, consider a little excursion if you need a break midday on a park day.
But what if you’re looking for a waaaay more relaxed and low key day? We have you covered there too. The parks are so much fun, but it’s a long day when you’re there, so it’s always nice to have a day to relax and unwind. Disney is home to some phenomenal spas. Book a nice couple’s massage to work out all that tension from being on your feet all day. Or, hit the gym and then spend the day lounging by the pool. All the resorts have at least one pool, some even have two! If you’re still up for a little adventure, we also recommend checking out mini golf. Disney has multiple mini golf courses on property… and they’re far from your average run of the mill courses. This is a great way to get out and do something while keeping it short and low key. Or if you want to just stay at your hotel, check out the daily activities they offer to guests. Some resorts have special offerings such as boat and bike rentals. Each hotel is so unique, it can be fun to just walk around and explore the one you’re staying at, too!
Dining is another area where we feel Disney shines. There is just such an incredibly wide variety, there truly is something for everyone. If you want classic theme-park fare, you can get it. If you want an award winning meal, you can get it. Quick service, counter service, buffets, family style, traditional plated sit down meals… you name it, you can get it here. If you’re looking for a true “foodie” experience, you really have to visit during the Food & Wine festival at Epcot. This is a fun way to enjoy specialty food and drink from all over the world. Even if there is no festival during your visit, you can still eat and drink your way around the world! It’s a common practice in our book to walk around World Showcase and grab a snack from each country on our way through. You can’t miss the queso from Mexico. It’s pure magic. If you’re somehow not stuffed, we are big fans of Le Cellier Steakhouse in the Canada Pavilion. It’s on the higher range of prices, but totally worth it in our book. If you’re looking for something lighter on the stomach and the wallet, opt for pizza and salad at Via Napoli in Italy or just some good old fashioned fish and chips from Yorkshire County Fish Shop in the UK Pavilion. Other in-park favorites? Liberty Tree Tavern at Magic Kingdom, 50’s Prime Time Cafe at Hollywood Studios, and Yak and Yeti at Animal Kingdom.
Regardless of the fact you’re honeymooning, we think that everyone needs to do at least one character dining experience! A great option is the Garden Grill breakfast in Epcot. If you play your cards right, you can get an early reservation and get into the park before it opens, putting you in a prime position to ride Soarin’ once you finish eating. This is a delicious family-style meal that any breakfast-lover will enjoy.
Outside of the parks, there are tons of delicious options too. Like we mentioned before, The Grand Floridian is home to Victoria & Albert’s. We also recommend a meal at Topolino’s Terrace at the Riviera Resort. Or, switch things up and try dinner with a show. If that sounds like something up your alley, check out the Hoop Dee Doo Review at Fort Wilderness or The Spirit of Aloha at the Polynesian. Dinner shows are currently closed due to the pandemic, but we’re hoping they’re back up and running real soon.
If you’re headed to Disney Springs… boy do you have options! If you’re a seafood fan, you have to check out The Boathouse. Grab a seat on the dock and watch the amphicars float by. Another wildly popular fan favorite is Wine Bar George. Obviously a great option if you’re a fan of wine, but the food is incredible either way. Don’t forget to try brunch at Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’. Not in the mood for sit-down dining? Check out the food truck area for a fun variety or one of the many fast casual options too.
There’s so much more to Walt Disney World than meets the eye, a little something for everyone. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!