Anyone who has known me for even about five minutes, knows that I love Disneyland. My very first birthday was celebrated there, and pretty much every year since. My mom has worked for Disney for the past 17 years, and my boyfriend now works there as well. Maybe it’s the fact that I never want to let go of my inner child, or that my love of big ball gowns makes me resentful that I wasn’t born a Disney Princess, but I always feel happy when I spend a day in or around the parks.
All my time spent at the parks have made me somewhat of an expert. It’s no secret that many girls love Disneyland, many men however dread walking past that turnstile. That being said, Disneyland is truly a romantic place. It’s the reason why so many girls want to be taken there on a date. Why not treat your girlfriend to a Valentine’s Day at the park? If you work on during the week, you can always celebrate a weekend before or after. Can’t pay the hefty admission ticket price? No worries, Downtown Disney offers plenty of romantic dining experiences, and parking is free for five hours with validation.
So without further ado, here are some romantic dinner options Disney style:
The Blue Bayou
Ever taken a boat ride on the Pirates of the Carribbean? Then you have seen the Blue Bayou. Yes, it’s that restaurant you can see from your boat before you take that first drop. I had seen this restaurant over and over again for years, and always wanted to try it. I just never got around to it. I mentioned this to my boyfriend when we were first dating, and on my birthday he took me there. I was so surprised, and excited. The restaurant is much more magical than it appears from the ride. The dining area is designed to look as though you are eating outside in the bayou region of Louisiana. The entrance and waiting area are set in the facade of a New Orleans home. When you walk past the doors into the “patio” you see what looks like outdoor dining. The trees, twinkling lights, and bayou backdrop truly transport you to Louisiana. Our table was positioned close to the water, but don’t worry you can’t even see the Disneyland tourists floating by on their boats. The food was delicious. They serve traditional Louisiana fare with choices of Jambalya, gumbo, and more. See the full menu here. As we finished our dinner my boyfriend said I love you for the first time. He later referred the restaurant to his friend who purposed to his girl friend there. The Blue Bayou is a truly a place for romance.
Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen
If you like the sound of a Louisiana inspired dinner date, but can’t afford to splurge on theme park tickets, then visit Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen. While I’ve never been on a date here, I have dined here with a close friend of mine. The restaurant is beautifully designed with lots of attention to detail. The fountain in the center of the dinning room ads a dramatic touch to the scenery. The food and portion size are great, and the beignets are to die for. View the full menu here. If you’re on a budget, you can visit the quick pick up location next door. They offer many Louisiana favorites, and you can pick up a bag of the delicious beignets with powdered sugar. Take your bag to go, and snack with your loved one as you walk down the strip and take a look at the shops.
Located near the entrance of Disney’s California Adventure theme park, Carthay Circle is one of the newest additions to the theme park. The restaurant depicts the same theater Walt Disney premiered Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs all those years ago. The original theater is now gone, and the restaurant pays tribute to the movie that started the animation studio. The restaurant is an ode to old Hollywood glamour, and the architecture is similar to the Spanish style reminiscent of that time. The bar located on the first floor of the restaurant serves delicious cocktails as you wait to be seated. The dining room itself is glorious. The menu is varied with many California inspired dishes, and a few Asian inspired as well. To view the full menu visit here. The ambiance is very romantic, and will impress any date.
Located inside Disney’s California Adventure Hotel, Napa Rose is a romantic dinner destination. Entrance to this restaurant does not require an admission ticket. The menu was created by the same Chef responsible for the menu at Carthay Circle. Napa Rose has received several accolades since it’s opening in 2002. The ambiance is very contemporary, but the dim lighting ads a touch of romance. The wine selection is quite extensive, so wine connoisseurs take note. With thick cut steaks, and fresh fish to choose from, you can’t lose at this modern restaurant. To view the full menu visit here.
Other downtown Disney options include: The House of Blues, Catal Restaurant, and Naples.
Disney romance on a budget: Flo’s V8 Cafe. Great views of the Car’s Land Canyon.
No matter where you choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, I hope it’s a magical one.
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