The morning after our wedding, outside before we set off on our honeymoon, my mum decided to throw leftover confetti over us—clearly I was very excited about it all. We were going to Disney!
We traveled to the airport in a Jag I had surprised Jack with, and went straight to No.1 Lounge at Gatwick South. Our honeymoon had officially begun in luxury. We read the paper, ate fruit salad, drank tea, and flicked through guest photos on Facebook from the day before. Bliss.
When people hear the words “Disney” and “honeymoon” they automatically think bride & groom Mickey ears, screaming children, and fast food. But let me tell you—if you’re looking for a honeymoon that isn’t a sandy beach or historic cities, and want to go somewhere that is diverse and fun but filled with as little or as much luxury as you want—Disney is the place.
Oh, it’ll cost you. And I won’t pretend it won’t. But if anyone is planning on a trip like this, I thought I’d offer some tips to making a Disney trip a bit more luxurious and a lot less “kiddie.”
Get a Travel Agent
Luxury or not—this is my number one tip. Tammy from Glass Slipper Concierge pretty much became my best friend in the weeks leading up to our honeymoon. She booked all our dining reservations six months in advance, scored us a reservation at the California Grill (which only re-opened a week or so before we arrived there), and told them we were celebrating our honeymoon. I’m not sure if our corner room facing the river was down to Tammy—but I wouldn’t put it past her.
Disney travel agents take their commission from Disney themselves, so you pay nothing for them. It’s a pretty awesome deal.
Wear Your Pins
We were very “British” when we arrived at Disney and didn’t wear our “Happily Ever After” pins for the first couple of days. When cast members realised it was our honeymoon they kept apologising for not knowing and asking us why we didn’t have our pins on! We weren’t bothered about announcing it to the world, but when we did put them on everyone we walked past said congratulations. A bus driver, seeing that we’d need to take two buses to get to our intended location, took us there directly because he didn’t want us to be “wasting time on our honeymoon.” Wow.
OK, so despite saying that, I can’t find a picture of us wearing our pins because Jack wore his on his bag and mine was covered by my hair. Fail. So instead I’m just going to put up a cute photo of us in France, Epcot.
Note Your Honeymoon on Your Dining Reservation
Tammy did this for us, but you can do it yourself when you make a reservation. Disney ask if you are celebrating and if you are—they really go that extra mile.
On our first day, we were greeted with confetti on the table, and on a number of occasions we got extra treats with dinner. But our favourite perk of all? The best tables in every single restaurant. Views of the Wishes Fireworks from California Grill, a TV-table at 50′s Prime Time Cafe, and amazing views of the aquarium at Coral Reef.
Take Your Time
It’s so easy to get carried away with running around the parks, but for honeymoon couples I really recommend taking it slow.
On most days, we did just one park a day. It meant we could get up at a reasonable time and spend the day just exploring that one park without worrying about having enough time to get to the next one. Take a leisurely lunch. Have a drink (or two). Sit down and people watch. Relax. There’s a difference between doing a lot and being ridiculously busy. You’re here to enjoy yourselves, not run around like a crazy person!
Spend One Day Pampering Yourself
Do nothing! OK, not nothing, but do not a lot. On our “one week anniversary” we spend the day at the Grand Floridian resort. We had a leisurely breakfast, a massage, cocktails by the lake, and afternoon tea, and we finished the day off with a meal at Victoria and Albert’s. That sounds like a lot, but at Disney that is taking it easy. The massage was heavenly and it was so nice to just sit and read for a while in the spa and by the bar.
Having that one day of total relaxation was a real treat in Disney World. The Grand Floridian Resort is absolutely beautiful and it’s a luxury to spend any time there—let alone a whole day!
Eat at the Best Restaurants
I must admit that I have been incredibly fortunate in my job to have been taken to two Michelin-star restaurants in my life, and it was an experience I wanted Jack to have on our honeymoon. Victoria and Albert’s is a AAA Five-Diamond restaurant (which I believe is the same level of standard), and I knew it would be the perfect place to celebrate a full successful week of marriage.
The food was exquisite, the service exceptional. The attention to detail was second to none, and we enjoyed every single minute there. We dressed up in fancy clothes (I got to see Jack in his wedding suit again, which was wonderful) and had the most perfect romantic meal—complete with a personalised menu that we could take home with us.
We both had a seven-course tasting menu, complete with wine parings. They may be tiny portions, but by the end of the evening we were both stuffed. Our reservation was at 8:00 PM, and we arrived back at the hotel at 12:45 AM—that’s a loooong time to be eating and drinking!
See Some Shows
As well as taking the time to see all the shows in the parks (because we weren’t running around like crazy people) we also went to see the Cirque du Soleil show, La Nouba, at Downtown Disney, and Blue Man Group at Universal Orlando.
Cirque du Soleil was fantastic. We had category two seats, which I had read were the best value and had the best view. I completely agree. We were far back enough from the stage to take in everything that was going on, and also at a good height for viewing everything. It was just amazing and I must have shouted “whoa!” on more than one occasion. I am the most inflexible person in the history of the world, so that kind of stuff is like magic to me.
Blue Man Group, though…words cannot even explain how incredible this show was. I can’t even describe it! I didn’t watch any YouTube videos before I went to see it because I didn’t want to spoil the surprise (and I’m glad I didn’t!), so I’m not going to post one here. It’s so tempting, though!! The most I can explain is that it’s art/music/comedy and I was in hysterics from start to finish. So if you ever get the chance to watch one—just do it. I promise you it will be one of the best nights of your life.
Do Tours, Excursions, and Events
We did quite a few of these whilst we were there and they really made the trip feel more special and “grown up” (mainly because kids didn’t partake in these things).
But we also did a couple of behind-the-scenes tours that Disney offer. Keys to the Kingdom was fascinating and I loved every minute of it (though sadly no pictures), and we also did the Wild Africa Trek and Behind the Seeds tour at Epcot. This one was only $16 each so even if you’re on a budget I definitely recommend it. It’s so cool learning how they grow things without soil! (No really—it actually is cool.)
Get a Fast-Pass
Want to feel like a VIP when you’re on your honeymoon? Go straight to the front of the queue. Granted, Disney doesn’t offer a FastPass system that means you can skip to the front of every queue, but Universal and SeaWorld do. In September/October, Universal was DEAD (five-minute wait time for Transformers, say whaaaat?!) so we didn’t actually need them. But we did need them at SeaWorld and during the Halloween Horror Night and it was brilliant. Time was too precious to waste it in a queue and it was worth the extra.
Do the Dining Plan
Since we are from the UK, our package included free dining, but I’m pretty sure everyone is able to get it free one way or another—even if it means paying a tiny bit more for your room when the offer comes around.
But even if you do pay for it—it’s not so much about saving you money as it is just keeping your mind off it. We went to so many restaurants where the bill would have been over $250 and we only paid for wine and a tip. Would we have stuffed in that dessert if we’d have known it would cost $12? Maybe not. This way we just didn’t look at the prices on the menu and got whatever we fancied at the time.
For the record—Le Cellier’s signature Mushroom Filet Mignon with White Truffle Butter Sauce was the best steak I’ve ever eaten in my entire life, and it was nice to just point at it on the menu and say “that one!” without thinking in the back of my mind “…Forty-three dollars…for a steak…?” I’d pay $43 for that bad boy now. Nom!
Tomorrow I’m going to do a more in-depth review of all the extra things we did. I know I found it really useful to hear what people had to say about the things that people don’t do every time they’re at Disney, so I hope it can be helpful for those of you who are thinking about doing even one of the extras we did.
When I look back at the 400-plus photos I’d narrowed down of our trip, it really does show how perfect this honeymoon was for us. Just the right amount of luxury, fun, and relaxation.
Have you done any of the additional things Disney (and Orlando) has to offer?