4 Kid-Free Disney World Date Nights
For many parents, Walt Disney World is all about the kids. I hear it all the time from my clients. “This is really just for my son,” a mother will tell me, or, “Just make sure the kids have the best time possible.”
But what about the adults? The fact is, adult-only time during a Walt Disney World vacation is more fun—and easier to come by—than you might expect. Make reservations for your 3 (or 4) to 12 year olds at one of five kids clubs at the resort’s hotels (right: Never Land Club) and you might just get in trouble for coming back too early.
If your tots are too small for group care, call Disney’s preferred babysitting service, Kid’s Nite Out, and then make your plans for couple time.
Here are four Disney World date night ideas to try:
A Night in Paris
A window table for two at Epcot Center’s Monsieur Paul will whisk couples away to Paris, with a view of skylines from around the world sparkling across the Lagoon.
This dinner-only hidden spot is a tribute to Chef Paul Bocuse, the French chef whose restaurant received three Michelin stars for 48 years in a row. Artisanal breads, velvety soups, and creative desserts round out main course dishes, from beef to scallops, that have their roots in traditional French cuisine. Add in five-star service in an understated Art Noveau atmosphere and you have a romantic night for two.
If you can, time your reservation so you are still seated at 9:00 pm, when Reflections of Earth, a fireworks and light show, explodes above the lagoon.
Nearest Children’s Activity Center: Sandcastle Club at Beach Club Resort
A Sophisticated Safari
Located at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Jiko: The Cooking Place, brings together a gorgeous, immersive environment and a menu of innovative, African dishes. Jiko is named for the traditional clay ovens where its signature dishes are prepared. An all-South African wine list rounds out a special meal.
Before or after dinner, walk around Animal Kingdom Lodge to explore its African artwork and artifacts. Or settle down in a rocking chair with a cocktail and gaze out over the savanna, where zebras and giraffe roam free.
Nearest Children’s Activity Center: Simba’s Cubhouse at Animal Kingdom Lodge
Zagat recently named The Grand Floridan’s Victoria & Albert to its list of the top 15 Most Iconic Restaurants in the United States. Carrying a AAA 5-star rating for 14 years in a row, the restaurant offers old-world elegance and New American cuisine. A semi-formal dress code and a no-kids-under-10 policy makes you feel worlds away from the theme parks next door.
Feeling extra splurgy? The Chef’s Table or Queen Victoria’s Room offer multi-course meals and wine pairings that are very intimate and likely to make you glad that, unlike Peter Pan, you did grow up.
Note: Reservations are a good idea at any signature restaurant and are required at Victoria & Albert.
Nearest Children’s Activity Center: Never Land Club at Disney’s Polynesian Resort
Pamper yourselves with one of several couples treatments at the Bali-inspired Mandara Spa at the Dolphin Hotel. Sip champagne in a hydrotherapy tub, get a massage for two or a pedicure that will leave both of you feeling indulged and relaxed.
If you really want a night to remember, some of the more grown-up dining options at the Dolphin and it’s sister Swan Hotel include Shula’s Steak House, Todd English’s bluezoo or Il Mulino New York Trattoria
Nearest Children’s Activity Center: Camp Dolphin at the Dolphin.
If you dine at one of the restaurants above or get a spa treatment of 75 minutes or more, they’ll comp one hour of childcare per adult!
Children’s Activity Centers generally offer crafts, games, Disney movies, dinner, and a late-night snack. Hours vary by location. Count on about $12 per child per hour. There is also the Cubs Den at Wilderness Lodge.
Natalie Reinert spent five years working at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Now she creates personalized Disney vacations for her clients as a travel planner with Glass Slipper Concierge, writes about Disney for families at ThatDisFamily.com and tweets at @thatdisfamily She and her family call Brooklyn home.