The Best Ways to Propose at Disney World
This article originally appeared on Travel + Leisure
If you're reading this, you've got a lot on your mind. Not only are you planning a trip to Walt Disney World, but tasked with choosing a location with a mix of romance, beauty, and pixie dust for what'll likely be the most nerve-racking minute of your life.
The good news is that formulating the perfect Walt Disney World proposal is easier than you may think. Obsessed with capturing the perfect shot of your impending marital bliss? Disney has PhotoPass photographers around the parks who, if you can quietly warn them to "keep snapping," will be happy to help out. Still, consider calling Disney Fairy Tale Weddings to get official help with your proposal and guarantee a photographer on-site. And hey, if you blow it, you can always schedule a proper photo shoot commemorating the event with photos so nice, they'll convince your social media followers you two are part-time models.
You've got enough to do when it comes to planning your celebratory dinners and champagne toasts, so we'll make it simple on you with a hit list of the very best places to propose at the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and beyond:
At Cinderella Castle
Not only is it the Magic Kingdom's emblem the most iconic place to seal the deal, but also the most memorable. Disney PhotoPass photographers are lined up throughout Main Street, U.S.A. all day long to snap pictures, but if you want as few people in the background of your shot, time your proposal wisely. With the Magic Kingdom now opening its gates to guests early, book the earliest breakfast possible at the park, or propose moments before the afternoon parade when the main walkway will be clear. (You're bound to get an audience that way, too!) Want all the magic of Disney with less looky-loos? Scope out Cinderella's Wishing Well to the right side of the castle, which is both tucked away from the main crowds and arguably more romantic.
Walt Disney World has three fireworks shows nightly—Wishes at Magic Kingdom, IllumiNATIONS at Epcot, and Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular at Disney's Hollywood Studios. You'll want your timing to be on point, so study fan videos on YouTube to find a musical cue for when you'll drop to one knee. And, if you don't want the story you tell your kids to involve being jammed in a crowd, nearby resort hotel beaches, especially at Polynesian Village Resort by the Magic Kingdom and Beach Club and Yacht Club hotels by Epcot are ideal semi-private choices. Even better? Pineapple Lanai, Ample Hills Creamery, and Beaches & Cream are all nearby, perfect for a celebratory dessert.
On A Ride
Now, we'd never recommend pulling out a sparkling ring on something like Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, but using an attraction's ride photos to propose with small paper signs is ideal if traveling with family or friends. Due to their seating arrangements, plunging drops and camera placement, Splash Mountain in the Magic Kingdom and Expedition Everest are two top choices for the clearest images and funniest memories. Request that your group sit in the front while boarding, and be sure the future spouses sit in the very first row. This way, the soon-to-be fiancee will be floored when they check out their photo post-ride.
While Dining Together
Cinderella's Royal Table, the character dining restaurant inside the Magic Kingdom's castle, and Victoria and Albert's Five Diamond Award-winning cuisine are classic proposal options. If you're looking to make things more unique, opt instead for a window table at Sanaa, which puts you beside Animal Kingdom Lodge's zebra and giraffe-packed savannah or California Grill, which provides expansive views of the Magic Kingdom and the surrounding area from the 15th floor of Disney's Contemporary Resort. Bull and Bear at Waldorf Astoria Orlando will even formally present your ring—with smoke!—at the table during Epcot's fireworks for an ultra-romantic memory.
Away From The Hustle and Bustle
Believe it or not, having a special proposal with just the two of you in one of the busiest places on earth is actually possible. Book a horse-drawn carriage ride at Port Orleans — Riverside Resort for an intimate proposal, or take a walk on Tom Sawyer Island at Magic Kingdom. (Not many guests take the log raft over to the wooded expanse, all but guaranteeing you can find a quiet corner to pop the question.) Head to the back of the Canada pavilion or hang in the left side of the Morocco pavilion to break away from the Epcot crowds, as well.
By Splurging Big Time
Getting engaged will be one of the biggest moments of your life, so if you want to do it up, Disney offers plenty of options. Rent a boat for front-row seating at Epcot's evening entertainment, or go big and go home simultaneously by booking a Polynesian Village Resort bungalow. They cost a couple thousand per night, but with a private dunk pool and hammock chairs with views of the Magic Kingdom, it's the ideal location for celebrating your first night together as future spouses.
Go All In With Disney Magic
If you're not convinced how the love of your life will respond if a Disney princess isn't there to clap and cry along, well, you're in the right place. If you'd like character involvement, opt for Ariel's Grotto, Anna and Elsa at Royal Sommerhus, or Disney Pals at Epcot Character Spot, whose meet-and-greet setups are semi-private. To take a step directly into a Pixar movie, consider surprising your future husband or wife in the Cars-themed section of Disney's Art of Animation Resort, or while dining at Be Our Guest restaurant. If your boo is fairytale averse, it doesn't have to go down without a dose of magic. There are private Death Vader and Chewbacca meet-and-greets at Disney's Hollywood Studios, ensuring your wedding will get the wookie blessing it deserves.