Disneymooning 101 Part 1: Planning your trip and picking your resort
So you've decided to honeymoon at Walt Disney World! Or, maybe you're celebrating a special anniversary. Either way, Walt Disney World is a wonderful destination for a romantic vacation for you and your spouse.
Choosing your travel dates
Your first step in planning your trip as a couple is choosing your travel dates. If you're like me, you might have planned your wedding date to avoid peak travel season. We chose to get married and honeymoon in late April, in order to avoid the spring break crowds, but also get our trip in before the summer crowds (and the heat!).
Also keep in mind the special events that Walt Disney World puts on throughout the year - you may want to visit during the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival in the spring or the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival in the fall.
But even if you are planning your trip for peak summer or Christmas seasons, no worries! You can still make your trip a memorable one.
Choosing your resort
Once you have your travel dates set in stone, it's time to choose your Disney resort! I highly recommend staying on WDW property to get the full experience and allow you access to the Disney Dining Plan (more in that in Disneymooning Part II!).
And of those on Disney property, why not indulge in a stay at a Deluxe resort? There's a variety to choose from based on your budget and taste.
The Animal Kingdom Lodge and Wilderness Lodge are great choices for experiencing a taste of the great outdoors. Both of these resorts are newer, (opened in 2001 and 1994, respectively) and both are less expensive than the rest of the deluxe resorts. I honeymooned at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and I highly recommend it!
If what you crave is a taste of the tropics, then the Polynesian Resort is a great choice for you. Or try the Yacht Club & Beach Club Resorts, within walking distance to the back entrance of Epcot. A cheaper, yet still sandy option would be the Caribbean Beach Resort, a moderate resort with one of the best pool areas at Walt Disney World.
For a truly luxurious stay, the Boardwalk Inn and Grand Floridian Resort should be on your list. Keep in mind that these two resorts are the most expensive at WDW, though - but those who have stayed say they're worth it!
Finally, for something a little different, try the Contemporary Resort or the Swan & Dolphin. Both have an array of modern restaurants and amenities. Keep in mind that Swan & Dolphin, while on WDW property, is operated by an outside company.
Club Level rooms
An option that I did not know about when booking my Disneymoon is Club Level rooms. Club Level is an upgrade option available at all WDW Deluxe Resorts - Animal Kingdom, Beach Club, Boardwalk Inn, Contemporary, Grand Floridian, Polynesian, Wilderness and Yacht Club. The Club Level gives you access to Concierge staff while planning your trip, which could be of great help to those also trying to plan a wedding!
The Club Level can also include extra perks for your room, like additional toiletries, triple-sheeted beds, spa robes, and turn down services. There's also a Club Level check-in available at each of the resorts. This could be a big timesaver when you arrive.
But the biggest benefit of staying Club Level is secured key card access to the resort's concierge lounge. The lounge has tables and chairs, comfy couches and a large-screen TV with DVD player. The lounge will have a variety of food and drink offerings throughout the day, which can be great for grabbing breakfast on your way out to the parks -- plus some drinks and snacks for the day while you're at it. So consider splurging on Club Level for that extra level of attention in making your romantic getaway that much more special.
You're on your way!
So with your travel dates and resort chosen, you're just that much closer to making your Disneymoon a romantic and magical experience for the two of you. We'll next cover dining and special experiences, then we'll cover ways to make your Disneymoon even more special once you arrive.
Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for our next series article coming soon. Also check out our forums for more trip-planning ideas!