Dating at Disneyland is fun because of all the dreamy details that make up the parks. Lights, sounds, music, and vistas all set the scene for romance – but you make it memorable by being there. Especially if you know exactly where “there” is. Here’s some help: ten stunning spots where you and your date can be alone in a crowd this weekend. Need more ideas? Check out the rest of our Date Nite series.
Overlooking the Nemo Lagoon from the Monorail Queue
Start your tour by taking the monorail into Disneyland. After disembarking, loop around back into the boarding area, but stop short of the train platform. Instead, take a look. This beautiful and quiet view overlooks the submarine lagoon with its waterfall, fizzing pools, and fake marine life – not to mention the mighty Matterhorn.
Pixie Hollow Gardens
Next make your way through Tomorrowland, up toward the hub. Just to the right of the Astro Orbiter, hang a right through the jutting rocks into Neverland. When the fairies are nestled away in their homes after dark, Pixie Hollow gardens light up with magic. Fountains spray, green sparkles glitter on tree trunks, and music plays in a kind of mini World of Color. There are even bridges and enchanted pathways that wind around plants.
You’re now in the shadow of Sleeping Beauty Castle. Though it’s a little bit more difficult to linger on the drawbridge than in days past, you can still make it work. Just step to the side while all the tourists are scrambling for pictures that won’t work with a flash, and enjoy the beauty and romance of a night in front of the castle. Look for sleeping ducks in the moat. Talk. Follow the line of the castle spires all the way to their soaring tips. Imagine what it would look like inside the castle if it were really a residence. Pick a window that would be yours. When you’re ready, walk under the castle arch and stop. “When You Wish Upon a Star” plays on repeat, and it is pretty darn magical.
The passage from Fantasy to Frontier
When you come through the castle, grab your date’s hand and dart left through the secret passage to Frontierland. Disneyland is sprinkled with tunnels and archways, and this one-two punch is the best. Start through the cozy darkness of the wooden passageway and finish out with a stroll under the canopy of flowers and lanterns.
Inside the Golden Horseshoe
Now cut across the trail road and over to the Golden Horseshoe. It’s time for a date-night treat! May we suggest: a slice of chocolate cake that is big enough for even the biggest sweet tooth to share. The hot fudge sundae isn’t bad either. Four words: two chocolate chip cookies! Take your dessert to one of the box seats that borders the stage. The singing and dancing will be done for the night, but private dining is fun no matter what.
On your way out of the park, stop in Adventureland at Aladdin’s Oasis. It’s off the beaten path and late at night is filled with unused seating. And, you can just never go wrong with dramatic tenting and exotic lighting.
Now take a trip across the esplanade to California Adventure. You and your date are doing quite a bit of walking to get from beautiful place to beautiful place. You probably need some refreshment. Take a stroll all around the Golden Vine Winery, starting with the back hill up behind the Blue Sky Cellar. You’ll hear lovely music and see the golden lights illuminating a tiny vineyard. From there you can grab a taste of the wine at Mendocino, head upstairs for a drink and a cheese plate at Alfresco, or just wander back to Sonoma for some romantic seclusion.
A Bug’s Land at Night
Across from the Golden Vine area, step into A Bug’s Land. In the evening hours, this part of the park is devoid of crowds and kids, and the illusion of being smaller than life is at its best. With the tall grasses and plants lit from underneath, you’ll feel like you’re lost at play.
Back of Grizzly River
Exit A Bug’s Land the same way you came in, and curve back into the front of the park (via San Francisco street) before you reach Paradise Pier. At the mill, head right instead of your usual left. Like nobody goes back here, even in the daytime. Sometimes, in those least-traveled spots in the parks lies the easiest suspension of disbelief. You really ARE in a national park. The bird and cricket noises are REAL and not piped in. That rushing waterfall IS naturally flowing down from a rock bear. Enjoy the fantasy. Also, follow the ride viewing platform all the way to its end for a deserted deck clouded in night mist. Wonderful.
Redwood Creek Challenge Trail
Here’s a challenge. Before it closes, circle around to the other side of Grizzly Peak and see how many caves you can find on the Redwood Creek Trail. Do you know what caves are good for? Kissing. There are lots of them, so you do the math. The best one is near the front and off to the side. Happy dating!
Photo credits: toursdepartingdaily.com. Nemo Lagoon, Pixie Hollow, Castle, Rancho, and Grizzly Bridge by Kevin Crone; Frontier Passage, Golden Horseshoe, A Bug’s Land, Eureka Mining, and Challenge Cave by Matthew Hansen.