Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom are understandably the main draw for the vast majority of Guests. But, at the risk of having my Disney card revoked, I must admit that resort-hopping is my guilty pleasure while vacationing at WDW.
Nothing makes me happier than hopping on a water taxi, gondola or monorail and discovering a new (to me) Disney Resort Hotel! And one of the best parts of resort-hopping is enjoying dining experiences that you wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to try. So, with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, here are some extremely romantic restaurants at Disney Resort Hotels that are worth visiting on your next vacation.
Jiko – The Cooking Place
Unless you’re staying at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, it’ll be a bit of a hike to get to Jiko – The Cooking Place. But it’s worth it if you’re seeking a romantic meal that will make you feel like you’ve instantly been teleported to South Africa.
You’ll love the gorgeous, simulated perma-sunset at this signature dining restaurant – is there anything more romantic than sunset dining? Watch Disney chefs prepare your meal at the two wood-burning ovens, and after your meal, stick around for some animal viewing (remember, you ARE in South Africa!) at the viewing platforms overlooking the savanna.
Cuisine here reinterprets Indian, African and Mediterranean dishes, and changes seasonally. There are offerings for carnivores, veggiesaurs and even some familiar favorites for children with unadventurous palates.
With a name like “Enchanted Rose”, the romance really is baked right in! This is really no surprise, since this beguiling lounge is located in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, the undisputed queen of romantic Disney Resort Hotels.
Enchanted Rose is themed after Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast film. There are built-ins to accommodate a small library (of course), tufted velvet seating, and a mesmerizing gold chandelier to represent Belle’s ballgown.
But the intimate outdoor patio is where the romantic vibe really steps up. Relax with views of the Seven Seas Lagoon and watch the stars come out with a loved one, while you enjoy appetizers and drinks.
Ale and Compass
Yachtsman Steakhouse typically takes center stage when discussions about dining at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort arise. And indeed, this famed steakhouse ranks high on our list of favorite restaurants at Disney Resort Hotels. But for pure romance, we prefer the quieter, more cozy Ale and Compass, also at the Yacht Club Resort.
With high ceilings that are angled and feature charming portholes, Ale and Compass manages to feel both spacious and intimate. It’s designed to evoke a nautical lighthouse feel, minus the kitsch, and when we dined here, there was no one else in the entire restaurant.
New England dishes reign here, but even if you don’t want seafood, you’ll find plenty of culinary variety. I raved about the Truffle Fries with Roasted Shallot Mayonnaise here for days.
Views feature prominently in our definition of romance, and California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort does not disappoint! This is one of the hardest dining reservations to snag in Walt Disney World, so if you can book a table here, consider yourself very lucky.
Any restaurant requiring a private elevator MUST be dripping with romance, and when you step into this 15th-floor gem, you’ll see for yourself. Stunning views of Disney’s Magic Kingdom Theme Park, including Cinderella Castle, await – and the view only gets better if you’re viewing the new nighttime spectacular Disney Enchantment from your table.
California Grill features gourmet eats hailing from California, and currently offers a special 3-course 50thAnniversary Celebration Menu.
Toledo – Tapas, Steak & Seafood
Another Disney Resort Hotel restaurant that boasts views for days is Toledo – Tapas, Steak & Seafood, at Disney’s Coronado Springs. This rooftop restaurant at the top of Gran Destino Tower is themed after the surrealist art of the 1930s, with a mesmerizing vaulted ceiling where the light changes throughout your meal. That is, if you can take your eyes off the panoramic views long enough to notice it!
Steaks, seafood and tapas (savory Spanish appetizers) are the culinary stars here. Like many of our favorite eateries at Walt Disney World, Toledo offers an on-stage kitchen where you and your loved one can watch your tapas being prepared. And don’t forget the 50+ Spanish wines carried here, the perfect accompaniment to a romantic meal.
Located on Disney’s BoardWalk, steps from the lobby of Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, Flying Fish restaurant has an upscale, abstractly dramatic feel with whimsical touches like a gorgeous glass chandelier resembling a school of swimming fish.
The cuisine here could be described as “seafood and more”, with everything from filet mignon to sustainable fish to organic chicken to pasta on offer. We love the perfect location of Flying Fish, which encourages romantic BoardWalk strolls post-dinner.
Walt Disney World rewards Guests who venture beyond its Theme Parks. If you’re planning a romantic meal on your next Disney vacation, think about dining at a Disney Resort Hotel – you just might discover your new favorite WDW restaurant!