On a recent episode of the Best & Worst of Walt Disney World Ryno Clavin, Charles Boda, Teresa Echols, and Craig Williams discussed what they thought were the best first date attractions at Walt Disney World. I wasn’t there to participate in the panel discussion, but the topic did seem to make for a fun episode, so I figured I’d dive right into the conversation to share my two cents on the subject.
They listed The Haunted Mansion, Slinky Dog Dash, The PeopleMover, Dumbo, Kilimanjaro Safaris, and the Happily Ever After Fireworks as their picks for attractions they’d suggest experiencing on a first date. I largely agree with their list, but I wanted to add a few of my own suggestions.
Soarin’ Around the World
Finding the perfect first date attraction is about finding the perfect balance. You don’t want to ride something so intense that they feel queasy immediately afterward, but you also don’t want to bore them. That’s why Soarin’ is a great option. This gentle flight simulation won’t whip you around and keeps your date close by your side. If you are smooth enough you might even hold hands together as you fly over iconic locations around the world.
Impressions de France
While this show is a bit dated, it is still perfect for a first date. France and romance go hand and hand, and at Walt Disney World the quickest way to be transported to that romantic setting is by watching Impressions de France. The show is held in a small intimate theater with beautiful instrumental music played during the show, it really sets the scene for a romantic evening. Following the show up with a meal at Chefs de France — or if you can afford it Monsieur Paul — and then you’re on your way to a second date. The only downside to this option is that Impressions de France is almost 20 minutes long, so if your date doesn’t enjoy the show it would be an awkwardly long experience.
Liberty Square Riverboat
This may seem like an odd choice, but personally, on a first date your main priority should be getting to know someone, and unlike most attractions at Walt Disney World, the Liberty Square Riverboat in the Magic Kingdom is one where you have the time to have a casual conversation. Because this isn’t an attraction with dialogue or in-depth story you can actually talk and get to know each other during the experience. It takes the Liberty Belle Riverboat 17 minutes to make its way all the way around the Rivers of America, this is just enough time to have a decent conversation, but not so long that you feel like the ride has gone on for an enormously awkward amount of time.
Honorable Mention: Boat Rental on Seven Seas Lagoon
Okay, so technically this one isn’t an attraction in a theme park, so I’ll leave it as an honorable mention, but I think renting a boat from one of the marinas around Seven Seas Lagoon is a perfect first date at Walt Disney World. If you are riding around in small little Sea Raycer you are comfortably sitting very close to your date and you are in control of where to go and what to see. During my time in the Disney College Program, I took my now wife on the Sea Raycer boats more times than I can count. I will admit one time trying to look cool I went over a wake from another boat, which resulted in a giant wave crashing over the front of our little Sea Raycer spilling water into our laps. Try and avoid doing that on a first date!
What rides at Walt Disney World do you think would make for the perfect first date?