If you are spending Valentine's Day in the parks, it can be hard to find the right gift or experience without spending a fortune. Back home in Sydney, the extent of my Valentine's Day might be to let my husband decide what we watch on Netflix. (If you are reading this article dude, don't get your hopes up, it's still a maybe.) So today I will be giving you all my best ideas for Valentine's Day surprises while staying at Disney. After all, they shouldn't go to waste now, should they? Let's look at a few things you can arrange ahead of arrival, just in time to rake in all the glory and appreciation on the day.
Get a Surprise PhotoPass
Whether you have spent years saving for a big trip or maybe made a last minute getaway, we all tend to cut corners when it comes to the expenses. Why not surprise your loved one or family with a Memory Maker or PhotoPass? That way everyone can be in all the pictures and not stuck behind a camera. If you are traveling with your children, be sure to make a point of getting the usual photos with the family but also just as a couple. Be sure to have a few professional shots to look back on of only the two of you.
Make a Lunch or Dinner Plan
It doesn't have to be one of the best or most expensive locations on Disney property. Instead, try and organize something creative like a location that represents where you both first met or maybe a similar meal to what you had on your first date. Even a trip to Casey's Corner for hot dogs can be special if you have an emotional connection with it.
Was your first date or special occasion a flop? Create a do-over.
Give Her a Cinderella Moment
Most little girls have dreamed of that rags-to-riches moment where their jeans are turned into a ball gown, and their sneakers morphed into beautiful heels. Who says she can't have that experience now? If you are looking to make an impression, take the day off from the parks and surprise her with a morning of Disney Dress shopping before heading off to a romantic dinner. Perhaps your lady is a huge fan of the Dole Whip and would feel perfectly magical in the Pineapple Swirl Dress. And where else would you take your pineapple princess out after a romantic dinner? To get Dole Whip, of course.
Give Him/Her a Break
If your partner is like my husband, they might not be as heavily into Disney as we are. Plan Valentine's Day as a resort day and spend your time enjoying some mini golf or one of the other activities Disney has to offer. Your V-Day might be better spent lazing around the pool or taking in the sights outside Disney property for a well-deserved change in pace.
Splurge on a Dessert Party
For many of us, Valentine's Day at Disney will mean celebrating with your children. Plan a special surprise ahead of time that the kids will enjoy and give the grown-ups a moment out of the hustle and bustle by booking a dessert party experience for your group. Yummy treats and preferential seating areas make the fireworks all the more magical and enjoyable. What better time to give it a try?
If you aren't in the parks this Valentine's Day but do enjoy marking the occasion somehow, give each other a celebratory high-five and pool the money you would have spent on gifts to start a Disney vacation fund. It doesn't take much to make a start, and you may find yourself Disney bound before next year's V-Day rolls around.
Perhaps you are more like we are and consider "true love" to be leaving the last dumpling in the steam basket for your partner, in which case, go forth and be awesome. For everyone else, I hope your plans work out to be everything you want them to be.
If you decide to leave it till the last minute, I've got you covered there too — Stay tuned.
*For more Valentine's Day tips and ideas check out How to Spend Valentine’s Day at the Disneyland Resort and our Walt Disney World Valentine's Day page which will be updated as new events and offerings are announced.