Off the beaten path

So in 2020, my wife and I will make our first trip to WDW since our honeymoon alone. No kids. For those who care, that means 25 years.

Originally, my wife wanted us to recreate our honeymoon…but I pointed out that what made it so special was the fact that it was something unique…meaning, if we stayed at the same resort this time, it would be reliving the past, not creating a new memory. This is why we decided to pick The Contemporary as our next result. (It helps that I can actually afford The Contemporary this time around!)

Anyhow, one of the other goals of this trip is to do things that are little bit off the beaten path, as it were. That means while we will be experiencing some of the new things we haven’t done (Avatar, Star Wars, Toy Story Land, etc), we really want to experience new things that aren’t usually part of our WDW trips with kids in tow.

I’m wondering what are some things you all have done that perhaps are not normally part of a family vacation to Disney (aka, rides, rides, and more rides). We do plan to try to pick out some nice restaurants, since usually we eat counter service fare. (For our Honeymoon, we ate at Mexico, but from what I’m hearing, the food in Mexico is considered sub-par these days at Disney.)


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Try Victoria and Alberts in the Grand Floridian. We ate there on our honeymoon (2 years ago) and it was fabulous :smile:

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I second Victoria & Alberts. Amazing restaurant for a romantic adult only experience.

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I recently read this touring plans blog post on the 10 best table services meals. Only you can decide if #1 ( V&A) is worth the money and packing formal wear on a Disney trip- but #2 is amazing (Jiko).

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I would suggest dinner at Jiko and Tiffins. Also the Happily Ever After Garden dessert party. Maybe consider a tour as well? I’ve heard great things about several that are offered.

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These were going to be my two suggestions based on all I’ve heard about them :slight_smile:

I also love, personally, California Grill for brunch.

And how about taking in a special tour, or perhaps a fireworks cruise?

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Hmm. The restaurants mentioned have menu items on them I only recognize as words I’ve heard on Top Chef!

The Happily Ever After dessert party would be nice, Doing a quick search on it also turned up something called the Frozen Ever After dessert party. How is that? Since we plan to stay in The Contemporary with a room overlooking Magic Kingdom, we’ll have the fireworks kind of covered there…but I’ve only once see Illuminations…and that was when I was like 9! Anyone been to that?

Any suggestions about tours?

Watching Happily Ever After from the Contemporary is good but HEA uses the castle as a canvas and that dessert party (garden view) is a treat.

So the castle itself isn’t visible from The Contemporary, then?

When we went 2 years ago with the kids, we stayed to watch the show and had a view on the bridge between Main Street and Tomorrowland. The crowds were so horrible, it made the show unenjoyable. So we had hoped to avoid the crowds entirely by watching from our room. But maybe that won’t work entirely. We were kind of jealous of the folks at the Tomorrowland Terrace, which was off limits to us mere mortals.

There are two dessert parties: the terrace and the garden. Book the garden!

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I’ll do that, then.

What about the Frozen Ever After dessert party? Is it worth it for a view of Illuminations? (And dessert!)

That is on my list for my next trip! You get beer and wine with that one- right? Also, a ride in FEA?

The ride on FEA, yes, from what I read. The beer and wine I don’t know about. We don’t drink alcohol, so it doesn’t really matter to us.

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First off, because of this thread I’ve booked myself into V&A. It turns out it’s really expensive, so you people own me about $500. Cash only, please.

Second, the Frozen dessert party — yes, alcohol is available. I’m not a big drinker and I didn’t enjoy what was on offer, but others might. And, yes, you get a ride on FEA afterwards.


FEA party also has seats too?

How about the Highway in the Sky dine around. It starts at the contemporary and goes round to the Poly and GF on the monorail, where you sample the dining delights of the resorts. It finishes back at the Contemporary in time for the fireworks.


For me, high-end dining involves Outback Steakhouse or Chili’s. The prices at most of these places at Disney are definitely cause for sticker shock.

Yep VA’s is a world class restaurant that is a once in a life time experience for many people.

If I didn’t have little guys with us, I’d totally do the Wild Africa Trek in the AK. I’ve heard it’s the closest thing to going on safari that you can get without, you know, actually going to Africa.

For off the beaten path, I would definitely recommend doing a tour. My wife and I did the Wild Africa Trek in 2016, for our honeymoon, but when I went this last time I saw they offer a twilight dinner package as well that doesn’t include the bridges over hippos and crocodiles, but instead is just the private safari on the Savannah and dinner - something we’re considering next time we go. But there are several tours that have caught our eye, and I cannot imagine any of them are bad at Disney!

I would say that my favorite fireworks/night time shows were definitely at MK and HS. I could pass on Illuminations for the rest of my life and not feel like I missed anything. So, if I had to pick a dessert party, I would definitely do MK or HS. But in 2020, who knows what each park has for night time entertainment. Illuminations was just my least favorite of the four parks night time shows, with HS being my favorite.