Whenever my fiancé and I start to feel like we’re out of sync or we haven’t had a real conversation in a while, we set a coffee date. And by “coffee date”, I mean that we make coffee in our kitchen or run to the closest drive-thru and then bring it back to sip on our couch in our cozy clothes.
We plan a weekend adventure, a day or two away, or a full vacation. When we get too caught up in work, tasks, and bills, this is how we recharge. One of our favorite ways to do that, and also rekindle our romance, was with a recent Disney vacation! We went to Walt Disney World in Florida, but these tips will work at Disneyland too.
Soak in the Magic on Main Street
When we took our Walt Disney World romance vacation in 2018, it was the first time I had ever been there, so there was an extra coat of magic added to everything. But my fiancé had been to Disney World several other times and I saw his inner kid come out, too. From the moment I walked through the gates, it felt like I had entered a whole new world.
Strolling hand in hand down the perfectly curated and decorated Main Street with nowhere to be and nothing to do was the perfect way to start our trip. We ate waffles topped with Nutella and fruit, walked all around the park, and went on ride after ride (Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean made the cut more than once).
At the end of the night, we watched the Happily Ever After fireworks show. To say that this was one of the most magical things we had ever experienced would be an understatement.
The lights, the music, the perfectly-chosen movie clips, and the warm, sweet-smelling air all came together to give us an experience we’ll never forget. We forgot all about work, emails, and all of the other responsibilities waiting for us at home. When the twinkling lights came on and the music started out low, everything disappeared but the two of us. We still talk about these moments whenever things start to feel overwhelming.
When we took our Walt Disney World romance vacation in 2018, it was the first time I had ever been there, so there was an extra coat of magic added to everything.
Visit Close to a Holiday (but not too close)
If the holidays have started to feel like a mad dash of frenzied shopping, constant traffic, and looming deadlines, there’s a simple fix. The magic that you feel when you visit a Walt Disney World park around the holidays may be just what you need to recharge and remind yourself of what it’s all about. Walt Disney World has special events (fireworks, parades, etc.) around the 4th of July, Halloween, and Christmas.
Our first trip to Walt Disney World was in the last week of September, so the park was already completely decorated for Halloween.
Pro Tip: As an added bonus, it also happened to be one of the least crowded times of the year to go. Walt Disney World is notoriously slow from Labor Day to October (except for the last two weekends) because vacation season is over and kids are back in school.
So, we captured great pictures, waited in shorter lines, and the weather was still perfect.
There were Mickey shaped wreaths, leaves, not-so-scary scarecrows, and festive desserts (we sampled many of these) everywhere.
Disney’s Not So Spooky Spectacular show was already running multiple nights per week and included a light show and parade, complete with many of our favorite Disney villains.
I’d recommend going at least a few weeks to a month before the actual holiday. As it gets closer, the parks will get more and more crowded, so it’ll be hard to get the pictures you want or get on rides without waiting for hours. You’ll get all of the same beauty with just less of the crowds.
One of our favorite things to do on vacation is to eat all of the different and delicious foods that we deny ourselves at home. I’d like to say that we remain dignified adults who eat our vegetables even when we don’t want to, but when we’re on vacation, all of the rules go out the window. At home, we frequently eat baked chicken and overflowing salads, and steamed broccoli makes a semi-regular appearance. On our last trip, we shared a frosted doughnut that was the size of a small human child and we ate it for dinner.
The heavenly churros, tipsy Dole Whip Floats, and Mickey ice cream bars and pretzel heads are must-tries and they’re really easy to find. The Dole Whip floats are fantastic with or without the rum, but this is your romantic getaway, so I’d say go for it.
Even for well-seasoned vacation food samplers like us, it’s easy to find delicious things and fill up on them quickly.
The best way to avoid this is to share everything. And I mean everything. We shared breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks throughout our whole vacation and it was amazing. We got to try everything that looked good, felt less guilty, spent a little less, and sharing it made it all more exciting. The one thing I didn’t share was my morning (life juice) coffee.
On our last full night, we shared dinner at a highly rated restaurant called Tony’s Town Square . This casual but adorable dining option was modeled after the restaurant where Lady and the Tramp had their first kiss. We didn’t eat our way across the same strand of spaghetti from opposite ends, but we were tempted. We turned our phones off and shared a delicious Italian dinner and drinks, swapped stories, laughs, and began planning our next adventure.
If you plan on flying to Walt Disney World from Los Angeles, you’ll want to choose the Orlando International Airport (MCO). Disney’s Magical Express is a free shuttle that takes you from the airport to your Walt Disney World hotel (and back to the airport when your trip is over). The airport is only about 20 minutes away from the start of the resorts, so if you’re not staying in a Disney hotel, you can hop in a cab or an Uber – they’re very easy to find in the area.
You can also fly into Tampa International (TPA) if you’re combining your Walt Disney World trip with a family visit or you’re looking to add a bit of a road trip element to your vacation. Tampa is just under an hour and a half from the Walt Disney World resorts. And for full-on road trippers, Walt Disney World is a six hour drive south from Atlanta, Georgia and Charleston, South Carolina.
If You Go to Disneyland
- The Happily Ever After Fireworks is called Believe…In Holiday Magic” or “Mickey’s Mix Magic instead
- Disney’s Not So Spooky Spectacular light show and parade is instead called Halloween Screams
- The best snacks/drinks: churros, Dole whip floats, Mickey ice cream bars and pretzel heads
- A great Italian restaurant: Wine Country Trattoria offers a menu that’s very similar to Tony’s Town Square and is inside the California Adventure Park