We have visited Disney World as a paying guest and with complementary media passes. The opinions in the article are our own.
If you haven’t been to Walt Disney World, you probably don’t realize how huge it is. Disney is not just 4 ever-expanding parks, but also includes 27 resort hotels (with plans for more), waterparks, and Disney Springs. So many options can make it overwhelming. Additionally, Disney is hitting record attendance so without careful planning you could end up staying in line all day long in the hot sun. This guide is here to help you plan a perfect honeymoon at Disney World Resort.
Why Honeymoon at Walt Disney World?
Disney World makes a good couples trip or honeymoon because it is within the US and there is something for everyone.
Within the parks you will find thrilling roller coasters such as Space Mountain in Magic Kingdom, Expedition Everest in Animal Kingdom or Aerosmith’s Rockin Roller Coaster in Disney Hollywood Studios. Personally, I need a little variety so we enjoy the thrill rides mixed in with the other fun rides like the Splash Mountain, Test Track and Soarin’.
All the fun in the parks will wear you out. To relax, you should try a couple’s massage or take a boat ride from the resorts to the park. To make a night of your trip extra special, reserve a table for two at one of the many restaurants before catching an evening performance of Cirque du Soleil’s La Nouba. Whatever your mood and couple style, Walt Disney World fits like a magic slipper.
Disney for Newlyweds
The Disney Parks are famous for their unparalleled hospitality for each and every guest, but they really kick it up a notch for visitors who are celebrating a special occasion. Honeymooners are no exception. Make sure to tell cast members (Disney employees) why you’re taking this special trip, especially when you are booking your room, checking in, and making dining reservations. You never know what little surprises await just around the river bend: free desert, special ride, and parade perks, or maybe even a special phone call from Mickey Mouse – not to mention attention from guests and cast members congratulating you throughout your stay.
Honeymooning at Walt Disney World can be a lavish experience, and it’s easy for the expenses to add up. But there’s no need to wish upon a star: the Disney Honeymoon Registry helps your wedding guests fund the honeymoon of your dreams. By using this online service (complimentary for Disney Resort Hotel couples), your friends and family can choose gifts and experiences directly from a Disney honeymoon catalog, including dining and theater packages, park tickets, a carriage ride – even a VIP safari!
Our Disney Planning Tips:
Join the Disney World Facebook groups. They are full of people who go to the park regularly. Some splurge every trip while others stick to a tight budget. Do not be shy to ask questions, and to share your plans with the group. The seasoned Disney vets can really help you create the perfect plan and make sure you don’t miss any details.
- Disney World Junkies
- A Secret group of Disney’s magical theme park Cast Members & Guests
- Disney Weddings and Honeymoon Dreamers
- Walt Disney World Tips, News and Fun Facts
When Should We Go?
Although your wedding might be in August, summer is Walt Disney World’s muggiest and most crowded season. Stick to spring and mid-fall, and avoid holidays and school breaks in order to guarantee a less crowded and more romantic honeymoon. There is nothing wrong with having a honeymoon a few months after your wedding.
How Long Should You Stay?
There’s so much to do at Walt Disney World. No one can see everything in one visit, but with a little planning (and scheduling in some downtime), you can spend your post-wedding days in bliss, not stress.
How long you stay is up to you. If you want to make sure you get in all tons of attractions and activities, you are going to need a week. The good thing is that longer your stay, the cheaper park tickets become each day. With a week, you can go to one park each day, which is plenty of time to ride all the rides (assuming you planned ahead and have FastPasses), see a show or two and relax. On days you are not at the parks you can enjoy the other many attractions at your resort or in the surrounding areas.
If you do not want to spend your whole honeymoon in Disney World, I recommend going for 2 days. This is enough time for you to hit many of the park highlights; just pick the attractions that matter most to you.
We went to Disney for 2 days and were able to ride almost all the main rides we wanted to at all the parks. There is so much more to see and do, but we got to do all the main stuff.
Should You Stay at a Disney Resort?
Disney resorts are going to be more expensive than nearby hotels, so by looking only at the budget you may think you want to stay outside of Disney. When you look into the benefits of staying at a Disney resort, you may find that it’s worth the extra money.
Extra Magic Hours – If you stay at a Disney resort, you are allowed to experience Extra Magic Hours. This is an hour before or after a park opens for the public where only resort guest are allowed in parks. This extra hour can mean several short lines to the most popular rides.
Fast Passes – Guests staying in a Disney Resort are able to book fast passes 60 days in advance, as opposed to 30 days in advance for everyone else. For the most popular rides, it can be difficult to get a Fast Pass if you don’t book within minutes of your 60-day mark.
Extra Disney Magic – A lot of extra Disney magic will happen at your resort, as compared to what happens in the parks. You may find surprises in your room or get a few extra fast passes, and you have many more dining options in the resorts.
Ease of Transportation – By staying at a Disney resort you can take a bus to get anywhere. Beyond that, you are always close to a Disney Park.
If you do decide that staying on site does not make sense, we have stayed at the Westgate and can recommend it. They have two resorts in Orlando which provide a resort experience at a much smaller price tag. Read a bit more about our Westgate stay here.
Where to stay for a special honeymoon?
Four Seasons Resort Orlando
If you have the money, the Four Seasons is our top recommendation for a honeymoon stay at Disney for many reasons. The Four Seasons luxe rooms feature marble bathrooms, in-mirror televisions, and are the largest guest rooms by square foot in Orlando. Honeymooners will enjoy the simple detail of having do not disturb buttons at the side of the Four Seasons bed. Out the balcony, you will have a perfect view of the evening fireworks show. Here you will also find the only adult-only hotel at Disney.
B Resort and Spa
The newest hotel in the Disney Springs area, the B Resort & Spa is very stylish and upscale. Make sure you ask for a room with a view of Disney Springs.
Enjoy the AVEDA spa and wellness center during your stay and to eat, the American Kitchen Bar & Grill serves American dishes with fresh, local ingredients. If you happen to come on your birthday you’ll even get a special discount, only paying $1 on your last night.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and Villas
The best part about staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge is being in the middle of all the animals. From Savannah rooms, guests are able to see animals out in the fields. There are even viewing stations that include night vision binoculars.
For dining, there are several options with the most well known being Jiko – The Cooking Place. This fine dining restaurant serves African-style food cooked in wood burning ovens. For an extra-special night, you can book a meal and a safari together!
Disney’s Port Orleans Resort
A more budget-friendly option, the Disney’s Port Orleans Resort, located in Disney Springs, has a cozy southern feel. You can stroll the quaint streets of the French Quarter, or the more rustic Riverside area, with tree-lined passageways and horse-drawn carriages. If you enjoy jazz music, the Scat Cat’s Club is a great lounge to visit.
How Can We Budget Our Honeymoon?
The best advice for an economic Walt Disney World honeymoon is to stick to a budget and prioritize your experiences. If living in the moment is more important to both of you, consider splurging on drinks and fine dining, and not as much on Disney souvenirs or a fancy resort. If, however, you are more interested in a luxury room experience, the parks have a wide selection of inexpensive and casual eats to help balance your budget.
These convenient Disney services are always free:
Fastpasses – These timed-entry tickets for popular rides are designed to help you skip the line and make the most of your time.
Photopass photographers -These professional photographers are stationed around the park and are happy to take your picture with your camera. Because let’s face it, angled selfies are just not as classy as a full body shot of you and your sweetheart kissing in front of the castle.
My Disney Experience – For the super planners, this handy phone app includes maps, attraction wait times, photographer locations, tickets, show times and park hours. It even keeps track of your Fastpasses and reservations.
Cast Member Magic – Disney cast members have the power to turn your ordinary vacation into an extraordinary experience by making magical moments. If your honeymoon is less than perfect, whether due to a down ride, unusually long lines, or a seemingly unsolvable personal issue, let a cast member know – they can usually help. Even something as elaborate as organizing a special surprise for your partner (like meeting their favorite character or getting a private boat on Pirates of the Caribbean) can be pulled off seamlessly with the help of cast members (and a little pixie dust).
What Packages Are Available?
Tickets – The Disney World website offers a variety of packages (Magic Your Way) that bundle park tickets, room, dining, and transportation. Prices vary depending on date, park, season and rotating promotions.
Photos -Want photographic souvenirs of your memories taken by pros? With a purchase of the Memory Maker package through Disney’s PhotoPass, you get unlimited downloads of your PhotoPass photos and videos, select attraction and character dining photos, discounts on prints, plus fun digital borders and stickers. Bring on the scrapbooking!
Dining -If you book through a Magic Your Way Package, make sure you add on the Disney Dining Plan. Once you choose your plan level (Quick Service, Dining, and Deluxe Dining), you are allotted a number of credits per day for snacks, quick service meals and table service meals, which are redeemable at most of the over 140 restaurants. If you know you’ll be taking advantage of the property’s wide variety of cuisines, this is a great way to let yourself sample the smorgasbord. One credit includes one entrée, one dessert and one drink, regardless of the listed price, making this the best value for eating well. Different resorts may offer different deals on dining plans, so be sure to compare your options if you book a Disney resort. And don’t forget to make reservations early (up to 180 days) so that you and your sweetheart can spend a candlelit night recreating the scene from Lady and the Tramp, and not waiting outside the California Grill for an hour getting hangry.
Can you feel the love tonight? You will at these romantic dining spots: Citrico’s for American-Mediterranean cuisine; California Grill, where you can watch the nightly fireworks from the rooftop; the elegant AAA Five Diamond Award-winning Victoria and Albert’s for the finest of fine dining; Narcoosee’s for delicious seafood and lagoon views; or the enchanted ballroom of Be Our Guest Restaurant (try the Grey Stuff – it’s delicious!).
What Can We Do Beyond Walt Disney World?
Of course, Disney is not the only player in the theme park game you should consider during your honeymoon in Orlando. Universal Studios is half an hour’s drive north toward Orlando and offers three theme parks, featuring a range of rides from zany to thrilling, plus the magical Wizarding World of Harry Potter. If marine life floats your boat, SeaWorld Orlando is located about halfway between Walt Disney World and Universal Studios. With rides, live entertainment, and exclusive animal experiences, this wet and wild theme park is a fun way to beat the heat.
Visit Discovery Cove
For a relaxing, but exciting day, you can spend a day a Discovery Cove, an all-inclusive day spa with dolphins swims, snorkeling a heated lazy river. You can also get a packaged price with other Sea World parks included.
If you need a day (or two) of peace away from the theme park whirlwind and the gleeful screams of children, consider renting a car and visiting one of the many suburbs of sprawling Orlando, such as Winter Park or Thornton Park, or visit the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex at Cape Canaveral, just over an hour’s drive from Walt Disney World. For a saucy night out, attend Treasure Tavern Burlesque, Comedy & Dinner Show for an evening of adult entertainment with acrobatics, music, comedy acts, dancing, and world-class dining.
Need a beach day? Florida has more sandy shores than you can shake your sunscreen at. St. Pete Beach (2 hours from Walt Disney World) is a picture-perfect white sand beach on the Gulf with hotels, shopping, and water sports. For a more natural beach, visit Canaveral National Seashore (1.5 hours from Walt Disney World) – you may even spot nesting sea turtles on the shores of this National Park. And if you’re seeking an even more au naturel experience, look no further than Playalinda, one of Florida’s few nude beaches: potentially intimate, certainly revealing!
Doing Disney Right
Walt Disney World can be overwhelming in the best of circumstances, so take it slow. Savor the details as you walk down Main Street. Smile at the giggling children. Sing along to the parades. Stand in awe under the fireworks. And fall in love all over again in the place where dreams really do come true.
(Want the ultimate fairytale romance? Let Disney help plan your wedding.)