Date Night Advice

Our first ever Disney vacation is coming up at the end of May ’18 with our two kids and 1 set of Grandparents. While there, my wife and I will be celebrating our Anniversary. I was able to get a dinner reservation for the two of us at California Grill on Saturday May 26th for 5:30. Grandma, Grandpa and the kids are headed to the Hoop Dee Doo followed by the resort pool while the two of us enjoy a date night.

I’m looking for great ideas on what else to do with our night. I’m hoping to stay on the monorail loop and I think we can be at the Contemporary as early as 3:30 or so. The date night needs to end by midnight so we can rest up to make our 8AM BOG breakfast with the family.

I’ve read that if you dine at CG any time during the day that they will let you come back for the fireworks later. We definitely want to take advantage of that. I think those are scheduled for 9:15 that night. Trader Sam’s looks like a really fun atmosphere that we would both enjoy to go grab a cocktail after the show ends. I know it’s a small place. Do you think we would be able to get in there after the show?

What other ideas do you have?


We’re doing a horse and carriage ride one night after sunset. they have them at Port Orleans Riverside and at Fort Wilderness.


Sounds like it’s going to be a perfect evening! As for my husband and I, we are such kids that we’d be right back in the parks after that nice meal running from ride to ride until they kicked us out. :smile: Probably not most people’s idea of an anniversary celebration, but as I said, we are totally kids in grown up bodies.


CG and Trader’s sounds like a great combination. My “usual” approach to CG is to plan my ADR for about 75-90 minutes before the FW are supposed to start. This gives me time for a drink, app, and entree before the show starts. I then go out on the deck to watch the show, and then come back in for dessert and coffee. My dinners there are rarely less than 2 - 2.5 hours, but for me it’s an “event”, not just a “meal”. On the other end of the spectrum, you go in, just have an entree, and probably be done in an hour or so. So, splitting the difference, let’s say dinner takes 90 min, getting you done by 7:00. You’d want to be back by 9:00 (for a 9:15 show) so that gives you 2 hours of “free” time in between. Factor 30 min for travel time, and that gives you about an hour at the Poly - just enough to get a drink at Trader’s - but not necessarily a relaxing one (assuming no significant wait).

If you can be at the CR bt 3:30, another possibility might be to go to Trader’s right as it opens at 4:00, have a drink there before dinner, and then get to the CR in time for your ADR (also knowing that if you’re a few minutes late, it’s not a problem). You’s still have the “free” time between dinner and the FW, but you could take a leisurely ride around the mono loop, and possibly get off at the GF and look around there for a bit (worth it if you’ve never seen it). Mizner’s is a very nice “classy” bar/lounge there, and the GF band is usually playing in the lobby.

Silly me, I just reread the OP and you were asking about after the FW… I’m afraid I can’t answer your crowd question as I have never tried to go there that late; I’m usually there in the “happy hour” or early dinner time frame…

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Really like @bswan26 recommendations but the 5:30 reservation was all I could get and have not had any luck over the month trying to move it to a later time.

Until…. check this out

20 minutes ago got an e-mail from the Touring Plans reservation finder letting me know that a 7:00 spot just opened up at the Grill for that night. SCORE!

Must be fate right? Hope to now make this a 2 hour culinary experience capped by fireworks on the patio.

Maybe we will rope drop Trader Sams at 4:00 and check out the Polly till it’s time for dinner.

If we are still up for a night cap, Mizner’s sounds like a nice place to find one.


Sounds like as good a date night as you could want…

Following along, because we are doing almost the exact same thing the next night for our 18th anniversary.

We have a 7:45 ADR for Cali Grill. My parents will have our four (4!) kids that night. Our goal is for a leisurely meal + wine and fireworks.

Afterwards, I hope we can hit up Trader Sam’s for an after dinner cocktail. I’ve never been and this place looks amazing.

I’m curious how your night goes. Are you over on chat on the Lines app? Would love to hear about it in real time.

Good luck!


I’ve not been on the chat yet but hope to check it out while in the parks.

My plan is to try to talk my wife into posting about our monorail date on this thread.
She’s a far more creative writer which is good for you. Added bonus… I don’t lose any points for having my face buried in my phone.

Hi there! Dberry872’s wife here, we are just getting away from the campground for our date night. Not surprisingly, we are about 45 minutes late, so we will see if we can even get into Trader Sam’s tonight. Our week has gone well for the most part…but taking longer to get out of the parks than expected has been the trend, which of course happened today as we tried to leave Epcot. We will post updates on the night, hope your vacation is going well!

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We arrived at Trader Sam’s at 4:50 and were told it would be a 1.5-2 hour wait. Sadly, we expected this. We walked around outside for a few minutes and then walked to the outside seating at Sam’s to see what was available.

The clouds parted and a single table became available just as I stood at the bar. I snagged it while my my DH was off making a pit stop and we enjoyed drinks and ukulele music until 6:15 when we got the buzz for inside.

We are picking out our libations now, and someone just ordered some drink that came with a rainstorm, some fire and a lot of chanting…I can’t wait to see what happens next!


We found that the wait time quoted us FAR exceeded our actual wait time at TS in April. Hope you have a great evening!