Although theme park junkies (present company included) may consider nothing more romantic than a few laps on our favorite dark ride, those of us with attraction-averse partners will be happy to know that there are some Orlando resort experiences ideal for couples that don’t involve entering a park. Here are four suggestions on how to enjoy the ultimate Valentine’s Day at the Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resorts without buying an admission ticket.
Stroll Around the Seven Seas
There’s nothing more romantic than a sunset stroll with that special someone, and Walt Disney World’s resort hotels offer plenty of pathways to take advantage of. The newest and nicest walking path runs from the Magic Kingdom entrance all the way to the Grand Floridian hotel, with walkways continuing to the Polynesian Village and Transportation and Ticket Center.
As you promenade along the Seven Seas Lagoon shoreline, you’ll get some spectacular views of the theme park, monorail, and resort hotels.
We recently documented the entire walkway around Seven Seas Lagoon, which you can watch first-hand in this POV video:
If you happen to have an annual pass, and can make a park pass reservation for the Magic Kingdom, it’s easiest to park at the TTC and begin your walk with a monorail or ferry ride to the park entrance. Otherwise, use a rideshare service or free bus from Disney Springs to reach the Contemporary Resort, and begin your walk from there.
Soar Above the City of Lights
Soarin’ Around the World, Epcot’s popular flight simulator, allows guests to fly past the Eiffel Tower, but you don’t need a park ticket to get a bird’s-eye view of Paris.
The Disney Skyliner gondola system is free for all guests and gives a glorious sneak preview of the Ratatouille expansion to Epcot’s France pavilion as the cable cars arrive at and depart from International Gateway.
Depending on which branch of the Skyliner you board, you can also get gorgeous views of the resort hotels and surrounding wilderness. And because every party is currently getting a car to themselves, you’ll have some privacy to steal a kiss from your special someone while you’re sky-high.
To reach the Skyliner system without theme park admission, try self-parking at one of Boardwalk-area hotels, or take a free bus from Disney Springs to the Caribbean Beach or Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Sail to the South Pacific
Universal Orlando may not have any high-flying skycars or monorails, but it does have a fleet of free boats that anyone can board for a scenic cruise along the resort’s lovingly landscaped canals.
Self-park at the main Universal Orlando parking garage for free after 6 p.m., and then walk to the CityWalk boat dock.
Every 15 minutes or so, a craft will cast off for each of the three deluxe Lowes Hotels, including the South Seas-inspired Royal Pacific.
This video shows the complete voyage from Sapphire Falls Resort (which is currently closed) past the Royal Pacific to CityWalk:
After your round trip to the Pacific Islands, board another boat and sail past the Hard Rock Hotel to Portofino Bay, the site of our final Valentine’s Day suggestion.
Dine Alfresco In Italy
Epcot’s World Showcase isn’t the only place in town where you can dine in a simulated European setting. Universal’s Portofino Bay Hotel boasts an enchanting artificial waterfront, complete with bobbing sailboats, encircled by an authentic recreation of the iconic Italian seaport.
The best place to drink in Portofino Bay’s beauty is from the balcony of Bice Ristorante, the fanciest sit-down dining venue at Universal Orlando.
Bice’s terrace is a terrific spot to dine during any time of day, but at sunset it becomes absolutely magical.
Bice serves upscale Italian classics, with menu prices to match, but some special offers can help soften the bill’s bite.
On Valentine’s Day, they are offering a special four-course menu for $75 per person (plus tax and tip). And when it isn’t a holiday, a Happy Hour held every Sunday through Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. discounts all food and drink by 20%.
For all there is to see and do at Walt Disney World, check out The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, and get The Unofficial Guide to Universal Orlando to plan your family’s trip to Universal Orlando. If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to our YouTube channel and sign up for our newsletter here. Be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.