In this series, Katie Goldstein from Travelingpanties and Smartypanties is breaking down the best honeymoon destinations, one at a time, to help you narrow down the dizzying array of options so you can choose the one that reflects your interests, budget and style. Up today? Walt Disney World.
Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World is located in Orlando, Florida, and is served by Orlando International Airport (MCO).
Guests staying at a resort on the Walt Disney World property can take the complimentary bus called the Magical Express to and from the airport. There are also complimentary buses, monorails and boats that run between Disney attractions and hotels. However, if you're looking to explore the city of Orlando outside the Disney property, you will need to rent a car.
If you're wishing for your own happy ending, a honeymoon in Disney World will be your dream come true. Disney World features enough attractions to keep you busy for weeks, fine dining options for every taste, a surprisingly vibrant nightlife and plenty of opportunities for romance and relaxation.
If you're hoping for a romantic experience in Walt Disney World, we recommend visiting between late April (after spring break) and Memorial Day. The weather is comfortable, crowds are thin(ner) and prices are moderate. This is also when Epcot's International Flower and Garden Festival is held, which features gorgeous foliage and free concerts. A visit between Thanksgiving and Christmas can be pretty romantic, too, if you're hoping to get a gander at Disney World's famous holiday decorations. However, parks can be jam-packed and the weather can sometimes be unpredictable. Christmas through New Year's Eve is notoriously crowded and prices are at their peak, so avoid a visit then if you can.
Whichever hotel you choose, we recommend picking one on the Walt Disney World property, which affords you complimentary transportation and Extra Magic Hours at the theme parks. During “magical” hours (available either in the morning before or at night after regular park hours), you can enjoy minimal wait times since most children are in bed! Not only are the properties conveniently located to the parks, but we think staying on the property is essential to get the full Disney experience.
Since it's your honeymoon, we recommend one of the hotels with a more adult theme. While some of the more juvenile resorts may be fun to visit with kids, there's nothing romantic about a Goofy-themed bedroom. The more romantic hotels are more expensive, but if you do your homework, Disney offers plenty of regularly offered discounts that you can take advantage of.
Our top pick is the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. This Victorian-style resort is the crown jewel of Walt Disney World accommodations. Featuring a stunning lobby where a live orchestra sets the mood with jazz and popular Disney music, this charming hotel features a white-sand beach dotted with old-fashioned umbrellas, a world-class spa and gorgeous views. It's also conveniently located just a monorail ride away from the Magic Kingdom and Epcot. You're sure to be enchanted by its fabulous service and modern amenities. Check out the Villas here if you're hoping for the ultimate luxury experience.
Walt Disney World is the most visited entertainment complex in the world, and there is no shortage of things to see and do.
Walt Disney World has a myriad of gourmet dining options for even the most discerning palate. Whether you're looking for high-quality grab-n-go options or a five-star dining experience, Disney has them all. The key to a good experience is to plan ahead. Disney restaurants accept reservations 180 days in advance of your visit, so make sure to reserve a table as early as possible. Restaurants book up quickly, so this is essential. Also, consider purchasing a Disney Dining Plan so your experience can be stress-free (meals are purchased and tracked using one convenient card).
Be sure to ask your Disney concierge for “Just Married” buttons! (And don't be ashamed to get the wedding-themed Mickey ears!)
Remember that unused days on your Disney Theme Park tickets can be upgraded within 14 days of first use so they don't expire. This way you can save them and come back for your anniversary!
If you don't want to get soaked on a water attraction, pack a rain poncho and put it on before you board.
Also, consider surprising your sweetie with a gift that you order in advance through Disney's Florist.
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