by Laura Hoot

The Most Romantic Place on Earth?

Couples massage, ocean view, nothing to do except drink too many margaritas... that was going to be our honeymoon. We would go to Florida or Mexico, or maybe someplace far-flung like Costa Rica or Jamaica... Jamaica! Of course! We're going to Jamaica. And we need passports.

Wait. Hold on. Do we really want to go to Jamaica? After a week planning a lavish Jamaican honeymoon, we finally admitted to ourselves that we really just wanted to go to Disney World. The exotic beach will always be there, we said. But a honeymoon at Disney World was only going to happen once. Think of the flack we'd get for such a corny, un-cool decision! Bring it on, we said. Plus, we didn’t have to get passports this way.

We delayed our honeymoon by almost a year, and I'm sure glad we did. Instead of visiting the Happiest Place on Earth during the Busiest Time of the Year, we scheduled our trip for October during the Epcot Food & Wine Festival, which we figured would bring more adults, “our own kind” if you will, to the park. And let me tell you, this is the ONLY time to go!

disney world

The weather was comfy enough for waiting in line. (Not that waiting in line at Disney World is necessary; you might have heard of this remarkable thing called a Fastpass.) And we never felt claustrophobic – there was no shortage of personal space, even with Halloween events in full swing.

It would be redundant of me to shell out a full-length guide to Disney World here. But here are some of the surprisingly romantic and expectedly enchanting moments the park delivered:

Zipping down the Splash Mountain roller coaster at dusk with fireworks sparkling overhead was absurdly romantic. Thank you, “extra magic hours.”

We loved the line for Expedition Everest almost as much as the ride. Pretending to be explorers searching for a yeti came embarrassingly naturally to us.

Muppet Vision, a 3D show/experience over at Hollywood Studios, was hilarious, like belly laugh hilarious.

It's a Small World was not nearly as irritating as I anticipated. I’m not sure how something can be so soothing and so over-stimulating at once, but Disney sure knows how.

Animal Kingdom was by far our favorite park. Epcot, Magic Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios have their charms, but we’re big animal lovers. Doesn’t hurt that Disney World's “zoo” blows all other zoos out of the water, and yes, I’ve been to the San Diego Zoo.

The African-themed resort we booked was both fancy and just plain fun. Gazelles and ostriches comfortably grazed right outside our window. Luckier guests woke up to views of giraffes and zebras.

We got a pre-paid dining plan. While it wasn’t budget-friendly, it was definitely honeymoon-friendly – nice to eat and drink anywhere in the park without having to consider price! Our favorite restaurant was Fulton's Crab House in Downtown Disney.

Disney’s resident Cirque du Soleil show La Nouba is a lightweight compared to Vegas’ offerings (O, Love).

We rode Space Mountain approximately one thousand times.

I carefully documented our honeymoon on camera, but shortly after uploading the 100+ photos and videos onto to a CD, we lost the CD. I fantasize that one day, maybe 10 years from now, I'll be combing through some old photos and post cards and Broadway playbills and ticket stubs that I should never have saved in the first place, and I'll accidentally stumble across that CD.

I’ll then eagerly upload its contents onto a USB drive (a lap top with a CD drive will not be handy in 20 years), pop the USB drive into the iPad 10, swipe through all those old photos and videos, and cry about all the happy times we had, and also how much younger and thinner I-we looked. But my memories, and the red clown nose, will have to do for now.

We still need to get passports, though. Jamaica sounds amazing.

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