This is the fourth in a series of articles to help you plan the perfect date night in and out of the parks. We’ll explore how to have a date night at Magic Kingdom area resorts, Epcot area resorts, Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom.
Epcot Date Night
I must confess, Epcot is my favorite park at Disney World. Epcot is an easy place to find a quiet evening for two. I would recommend using this date night plan on a night with Epcot Extra Magic Evening hours. Epcot at night is incredible, and is worth trying out! Start your evening by arriving at the park around 4:30pm/5pm. Future World is a little quieter, temperatures are a little lower and the pace of the park is a little less frantic.
I like to start date night off with a classic dark ride on Spaceship Earth. By this time standby waits are lower or you could use the attraction as a tier 2 fastpass. This dark ride gives you and your significant other a chance to snuggle close as you ride through history over time. Our favorite part is the end of the attraction where you create your own future. It is always good for a laugh especially if you are creative when having your picture taking at the start of the ride.
After Spaceship Earth, head over to The Seas pavilion for another dark ride on The Seas with Nemo and Friends. You can use this as your second tier 2 fastpass, but on normal occasions, the line for this ride isn’t too long. We like to wander through the aquarium afterwards and checking out all the sea life.
For your final Fastpass, select Soarin’ as your tier 1 option. This ride is a great adventure with your significant other as you fly over the world! Prior to dinner, hit up Living with the Land. The later you go on this attraction, the less people on that ride. We’ve ridden in a boat all by ourselves!
We usually opt for a later dining reservation (7:30pm or later) as the restaurants are usually a lot less crowded. Food is a major component on all of our dates. A later ADR (Advanced Dining Reservation) at a table service restaurant should give you a quieter ambiance.
We like to dine in the World Showcase. For us, this experience allows us the chance to be transported somewhere out of the parks! The best part is, you can chose your dining local based on where you want to be transported that night. You can opt for the hustle and bustle of a Parisian Cafe in Le Chefs de France or a romantic Italian meal at Tutto Italia or a margarita by World Showcase Lagoon at La Hacienda de San Angel.
Personally, I enjoy the ambiance of the Rose and Crown dining room. We always request a seat in the outside portion. Let the greeters know ahead of time that you are willing to wait for that table. Bring your patience, because this request can sometimes take awhile. While experiences vary, I find Rose and Crown to be a little quieter than some of the other World Showcase restaurants, and there is something about being in a dark “pub” that sets a fun date night atmosphere. I like to start our meal here with the cheese plate. For your entree, you can’t go wrong with the stick to your ribs comfort food offerings! For those of you who like to drink, there are lots of selections. As far as dessert, save it! I like to hit up some of the other pavilions at World Showcase for dessert!
If Illuminations is at 9pm, you should be able to watch the show from the comfort of your table and at the Rose and Crown. If you don’t want to stay in the restaurant, we like to find a bench over near the International Gateway to watch. It’s not a perfect view, but you can see the bursts and hear the music and best of all, there are rarely crowds there.
After the fireworks are over you can head with the throngs of people out of the World Showcase and back to Future World to hit up some more attractions (if you’re there for extra magic hours). We like to do Test Track during this time, as the wait is usually a little shorter.
After Test Track, take the meandering path by the Odyssey Pavilion which will take you out to the World Showcase. Head into the Mexico Pavilion and ride Gran Fiesta Tour. We’ve ridden this ride at night multiple times by ourselves. Continue to stroll around the World Showcase – it is at its finest at night. The dark pavilions are purposefully lighted and have an ambiance that exudes romance.
Explore the countries and stroll hand in hand as you walk around the World Showcase Lagoon.
Looking for a sweet snack? You have lots of options – Karamell Kuiche, L’Artisan de Glaces or Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie.
Take my word, our best date nights at Disney have been spent at Epcot! If you don’t do anything else on this date night plan, make sure you stroll a very empty World Showcase at night. It is the perfect end to any day at Disney. When the crowds are gone, the temperature is slightly cooler and your path is lit by torches on the water and the glow of the light from the various countries, you will feel as if you’ve been transported out of a theme park. Though the smell of the frying funnel cakes around the America Pavilion might bring you back!