A Frontierland date night is a mighty fine one for a couple of outlaws like you who are on the lookout for privacy in a beautiful setting. Since Fantasmic is on haitus and Critter Country is shuttered for a spell, the back half of the park is dying for you and your date to take it for a lawless spin.
So get out there and make that west wild! Wink, wink.
Shot Through the Heart
There’s nothing like a little healthy competition to get a date night off to a rousing start. We suggest you aim to win over at the Shooting Exposition with a sharpshooter contest. The gallery is kitschy and creative and so underappreciated, plus it’s the perfect place to have to wrap your arms around your date as you show them the, uh, finer points of riflery. Now we’re not telling you what to play for, but Annie Oakley did marry her husband after trouncing him in a shooting contest. Coincidence?
When you’ve picked off all the possums and secured your prize of choice, get yourself a satisfying meal over at Rancho del Zocalo. The food there is pretty fresh and flavorful (the carne asada comes with a huge helping of veggies, too), and you’ll not want for a prettier place to eat it in. Set up camp in the lantern room, where the glow of dozens of colorful tin lights might as well be the patterned stars of a twilight sky. Get there as late as you can and you’ll have the place to yourselves.
When the Elliot Brothers’ “Let’s Dance at Disneyland” heralded the park’s “romantic rides in the cool moonlight,” they sure must have been singing about the Mark Twain Riverboat’s night cruises. In the wintertime, you can step aboard the vessel with your date and glide past the lights of New Orleans Square and onward across the gentle nightwaters of the Mighty Mississippi. Take time to explore each quiet deck and imagine what it was like for Walt and Lillian to celebrate their wedding anniversary on board, dancing wistfully in the open space on deck one (you can pick out the platform where the band probably played) or sipping a cocktail in what undoubtedly was originally a bar on the second level.
Hit the Trail
After your cruise docks back in Frontierland, hang a left away from the crowds and toward the darkest part of Disneyland. Big Thunder Trail will wind you past the silent buttes of Big Thunder Mountain, over a wooden bridge where you can debate with your date whether you really see fish jumping in the water below, and along an unlit path few even know is there. Might be a good spot to claim your prize from the shooting contest – yeehaw!
Photo credits: Shooting Exposition and Rancho del Zocalo by Kevin Crone; Big Thunder Trail by Matthew Hansen, both of toursdepartingdaily.com.