After the wedding bells have rung, many newlyweds opt not to go to the Caribbean but instead spend their honeymoon immersed in magic. For 50 years, Walt Disney World has been the place where we can all come together and live out our inner childhood through beloved attractions and fanciful lands. With plenty of wonders and an undeniable sense of optimism, it is only fitting that it has become a sought-after location for the newly married couple. By Carly Caramanna
A Disney World honeymoon isn’t all castles and coasters — a finer side of magic awaits. From AAA Five Diamond resorts and sommelier-run restaurants to high-end spas and luxury private yachts, the house of the mouse delivers the honeymoon experience of your dreams.
From where to stay and what to eat to enhanced experiences we deem worthy of your money, we’ve got all you need to create a real-life fairy tale. The “Most Magical Place on Earth” is ready for you to celebrate the happiest moments of your life together.
Here are our top tips for a Disney World honeymoon
Pick a romantic hotel
At Disney’s Riviera Resort, you’ll swear you feel a warm Mediterranean breeze blowing your way throughout its European-inspired digs. This stunning deluxe-level property is one of the newest in their portfolio, but it has already been deemed an instant favourite. The marble-laden resort exudes opulence with just the right amount of Disney touches. Topolino’s Terrace – Flavors of the Riviera, the resort’s rooftop signature restaurant, offers sweeping views of the surrounding parks with an elevated menu inspired by French and Italian favourites. As an official Disney resort, you’ll get perks like extra park hours and complimentary transportation, including an on-site Skyliner station that will quickly whisk you to EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Disney and luxury truly align at Four Seasons Resort Orlando. The iconic brand brings unprecedented levels of customer service to the central Florida area. Their picturesque five-acre outdoor water space is complete with an adults-only pool. The on-site rooftop steakhouse, Capa, has an award-winning, nationally recognised wine program and offers two spacious outdoor terraces with jaw-dropping views of the nightly fireworks. This resort also receives many of the same perks as Disney resorts, like early park entry and complimentary park transportation aboard their luxury motorcoaches.
Kick off the trip with an in-room celebration
Set the tone for your entire trip with an in-room celebration. Through Disney Floral and Gifts service, you can create a little magic of your own directly from the comforts of your room — no pixie dust required. Available to be arranged before or during your vacation, packages range from fresh florals and chocolates to themed baskets and whimsical balloon arrangements. The Ears to the Couple package features Mickey-etched toasting flutes and is a fitting keepsake for the newlyweds.
Strike a pose
Without a doubt, you’ll be looking at these photos for years to come, so there’s no better time to take advantage of Disney’s Capture Your Moment photo package. This service offers the happy couple a personalised 20-minute photo session in any of the four theme parks using the background set-up of their choice. Advanced reservations are recommended with sessions priced at USD 79 (INR 6,236).
Create an official Disney honeymoon registry
For over 30 years, Disney Fairytale Weddings and Honeymoons has been inspiring couples to plan the vacations of their dreams. The Disney honeymoon registry is an online service and resource that allows guests to create a list of Disney experiences that friends and family can then gift them, including signature restaurants, private tours, and more. This complimentary service also assists couples in choosing from a range of adventurous, relaxing, and romantic activities.
Enjoy dinner and a show at Disney springs
After plenty of park time, honeymooners can enjoy a vast number of leisurely experiences and restaurant concepts from Michelin-awarded chefs at Disney World’s entertainment and dining district, Disney Springs. Begin your evening with a viewing of Cirque Du Soleil’s newest production, Drawn To Life. A first-of-its-kind collaboration between the world-renowned theatre company and Disney Imagineering, the show captivates with acrobatics while showcasing the story of Disney animation in a sophisticated way.
After the show, pick from over 150 pours of wine from the only master-sommelier-owned restaurant in Florida, Wine Bar George. Home to innovative cuisine, like octopus salad and grilled whole Greek sea bass, you will completely forget you are on a theme park vacation.
Nearby Morimoto Asia, helmed by the famed Iron Chef, dazzles not only in the atmosphere but with globally inspired foods, including splurge-worthy Japanese A5 Wagyu. The Disney outpost also happens to be the largest seller of buttery exotic beef in the United States.
Cruise the Seven Seas Lagoon on a private yacht
Enjoy Magic Kingdom’s fireworks from an entirely new vantage point aboard a 25-foot luxury yacht. Speciality cruises offer stunning views of the nighttime spectaculars in an intimate setting. As you cruise the Seven Seas Lagoon with Cinderella Castle in the distance, you can sip on cocktails as you spy Disney’s Contemporary Resort and other iconic resorts. Journeys start at USD 399 (INR 31,499) per person, and the boat is limited to no more than 10 guests.
Tap into your adventurous side
There’s plenty for the active couple to explore on their Disney World honeymoon. Unleash your wild side and revel in natural beauty on the Wild Africa Trek, a privately guided VIP expedition at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The three-hour experience brings you face to face with exotic wildlife as you learn about the park’s commitment to conservation and nibble on African-inspired bites. This experience is priced at USD 199 (INR 15,710) per person.
Share a toast
Drinking around the world is a loved pastime at EPCOT, but this trip is extra special and calls for libations out of the norm — and The La Cava Experience is fitting for such an occasion. Hosted inside the Mexico pavilion at La Cava del Tequila, this intimate tasting experience is led by a knowledgeable certified tequila ambassador. Here, you’ll sample agave-based spirits from different regions of Mexico, including tastings exclusive to the Disney property, and learn about their historic and cultural significance. The experience cost USD 150 (INR 11,841) a person and groups are typically limited to six guests.
Salute your partner by earning another certificate (besides your marriage certificate, of course). Sangria University is offered on weekends waterside at Disney’s Coronado Springs. The class enriches students with a glimpse into the history of the Spanish beverage as they concoct four of their house speciality sangrias. Classes are USD 59 (INR 4,657) per person with advanced reservations required.
Show off your newly minted status
Disney loves a love story. Now is your time to shine and enjoy encouraging words from Cast Members and guests alike. There are several ways to do this, but as soon as you arrive, you can grab complimentary “Happily Ever After” pins from most front desks, customer service locations, and merchandise shops. Cast Members are known to give a little extra magic to pin-adorned guests — often in the form of complimentary desserts or sparkling beverages.
You can also dress the part with matching Mickey and Minnie Mouse bride and groom ears. These adorable accessories also double as the perfect souvenir.
Don’t over plan
Disney World is a place where every second of your day could be scheduled, but you have the rest of your life for that. Plan some time to just wing it and enjoy each other’s company. Relish in together time at the pool or explore Disney World’s dozens of properties on a resort crawl. Spend a happy hour in the elegant “Beauty and The Beast”-inspired lounge, Enchanted Rose, or sip from the impressive cocktail program at the BoardWalk’s magician-themed speakeasy, AbracadaBar. Disney’s resort lounges do not require advanced reservations and all guests are free to visit any resort.
If you are looking for some serious rest and relaxation, the Grand Floridian Spa is a world-class, full-service spa outfitted with tranquil garden vibes. Rejuvenate and reconnect during a series of spa services, including personalised couple massages.
Consider the expected costs
Disney World’s top resorts start around USD 400 (INR 31,578) per night and park tickets begin at USD 109 (8,605) per day. After factoring in your food budget and add-on experiences, you can expect to spend around USD 4,000 (INR 3,15,786) for a week-long honeymoon.
(This story first appeared on travelandleisure.com)