The best date ideas in Orlando

Orlando is no longer just a destination for families and kids (and really never has been!). The theme parks are great for both the young and young at heart. In fact, when Disney opened the Magic Kingdom he said that it was a place “where the young at heart of all ages can laugh and play and learn together.” Universal/Islands of Adventure is more aimed towards adults with plenty of thrill rides, nostalgia overload, fun annual events (Halloween Horror Nights!), and a gorgeous detailed section devoted to Harry Potter. There’s so much more to do all around Orlando, with plenty in the way for fun seeking couples. Whether you are leaving the kids at home or simply seeking a romantic child-free getaway, Orlando delivers. Featured below are my 10 best date ideas in Orlando!

1. Dine or stay at a Disney resort

Amazing Christmas decor at the Grand Floridian in Orlando, Florida

The Disney resorts are not just for kids. These gorgeous properties (ranging from budget-friendly to luxurious) offer a bit of something for everyone. From fine dining, to world-class spas, these resorts offer a spectacular setting for a fancy couple’s getaway. The Grand Floridian is one of the best choices for couples without kids due to the lovely Victorian architecture, fancy restaurants, and 5 star amenities. The pools are beautiful and the spa amongst the best in Orlando. The Enchanted Rose is a gorgeous Beauty and the Beast themed bar. Best of all, the resort is connected to the Magic Kingdom via a walking path or monorail ride. Note: you can visit any Disney resort just to dine even if you are not a guest!

Resort restaurants to check out:

  • Grand Floridian: Victoria & Alberts, Narcoossee’s
  • Animal Kingdom Lodge: Sanaa, Jiko
  • Contemporary: California Grill

2. Take a chocolate tasting tour

Easter Island sculpture at World of Chocolate in Orlando

A chocolate tasting tour at World of Chocolate is the perfect date destination for any couples with a sweet tooth. On this 45 min tour, you will learn more about the history of chocolate, view 25 beautiful chocolate sculptures of famous monuments, and of course, get to taste all types of wonderful fine chocolates. For a more romantic experience, add on a fondue experience for 2 or a wine and chocolate tasting. For even more chocolate deliciousness, enjoy delicious cocoa drinks, gelato, truffles, and various baked goods at the on-site cafe.

3. Stroll around Lake Eola Park

Views of the Orlando skyline via Lake Eola Park

This beautiful city park is the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing stroll. Get in a light workout, soak in some sunshine, bird watch – it’s the perfect day out in natural surroundings. Rent a swan paddleboat and enjoy an up close look at the many species of birds that inhabit the park. Or simply take a walk around the 1 mile nature path and enjoy gorgeous views of the Orlando skyline. To beat the crowds – get up early in the morning, grab a coffee from a local roaster, and enjoy the peace and quiet.

4. Take a scenic boat ride in Winter Park

Scenic boat tour in Winter Park, Florida

Winter Park is a gorgeous suburb of Orlando, known for its’ many quaint parks, lakes (6 connected via canals) and tree-lined downtown. It’s an affluent area home to the prestigious Rollins College. Many celebrities own grandiose homes along the waterfront. The Scenic Boat Tour will take you on a narrated journey on the Chain of Lakes past many of these mansions including the former home of Mr. Rogers. The setting is romantic as you travel underneath canals and through lush canopies of Spanish moss trees. At just 16 bucks, it’s a wonderful budget-friendly date idea. After your boat ride, you can enjoy a gorgeous sidewalk patio dining experience on Park Ave.

5. Stroll the Disney boardwalk

The colorful Disney boardwalk

Even if you are not staying at the resort, The Disney Boardwalk is open to the public (free of charge). The colorful quarter mile promenade is modeled after East Coast piers like Coney Island. The vibe is old-fashioned, charming, and romantic. There are a number of bakeries and dessert shops to enjoy, shops to browse, and a wonderful art gallery (Wyland). Check out Trattoria al Forno (a casual Italian joint) for dinner. Best of all, you can enjoy fantastic views of the Magic Kingdom’s Wishes and Epcot’s Illuminations firework show (near the Villas side).

6. Get back to nature at the Winter Park gardens

Beautiful moss trees at Kraft Azalea gardens in Winter Park, Florida

Winter Park is home to a number of lovely gardens. Mead Botanical Garden is a free gem featuring several small hiking trails, a butterfly garden, ponds, and tall pine trees. A great place to stroll and birdwatch. Kraft Azalea, a popular wedding destination, is a small, yet pretty park draped by cypress trees. Also, while in the vicinity, check out The Morse Museum featuring the largest collection of works by Louis Tiffany (the most famous stained glass artist).

7. Be a kid again at the Magic Kingdom

View of the back of Cinderella's Cast

Relieve all your favorite Disney classics again at the Magic Kingdom, a park for both the young and young at heart. There are plenty of romantic dining options including Be Our Guest restaurant, an elegant Beauty and the Beast themed restaurant. A few fun couple date ideas: Buy matching mouse ears (available in all sorts of colorful styles), enjoy a horse drawn carriage ride down Main St, take pics by Cinderella’s beautiful castle (the back shot shown above is never crowded!), watch the fireworks show, and enjoy dozens of classic Disney rides and shows.

8. Explore The Wizarding World of Harry Potter & more at Universal Studios

Dragon at Gringotts - Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Universal Studios & Islands of Adventure is definitely the best park for couples imo. First off, the majority of rides are more catered towards teens and adults. There are many thrill rides, rides based off popular movies (lots of nostalgia for 80’s and 90’s kids!), coasters, 3D and 4D rides, entertaining shows, bars, and a wonderful section devoted to Harry Potter (the Wizarding World). A combination pass allows you to explore both parks and also take the Hogwarts Express between the 2. Keep in mind that staying at a Universal resort will enable you to enjoy complimentary transport and hour early admission to the parks.

Check out my list of must-do’s at Universal and also my top rides guide!

9. Spend the night at City Walk

Hard Rock Cafe at Universal City Walk

City Walk is the premier entertainment destination in Orlando. There are so many fun themed restaurants and activities to enjoy. From standard vacation favorites like Hard Rock Cafe, to local gems like Vivo Italian, you won’t go hungry. Toothsome is a trendy choice to indulge in a massive sundae or over-the-top milkshake. Shops, bars, mini golf, and a Cinemark theater give you plenty of options to keep the fun going all night. Bonus: Free parking after 6pm or with 2 matinee movie tickets.

10. Relax at a local coffee shop

Americano and Mocha Frappe at CFS Coffee in Orlando, Florida

The indie coffee scene in Orlando is constantly expanding. No need to rush through the Starbucks drive through with so many exciting local options. With all the great local coffeehouses, some which offer quaint outdoor patios, and others a colorful and unique indoor setting, you will want to enjoy a coffee date. CFS in Dr. Phillips offers an eclectic colorful dining space, unique mugs, and a great seating area where you can linger with your date for a while. Le Cafe de Paris offers a beautiful covered patio and serves delicious French pastries.

More fun for couples!

Epcot in Orlando, Florida
  • Bowling – Splitsville Luxury Lanes at Disney Springs is a fun modern bowling alley.
  • Tibet Butler Nature Preserve – Get back to nature, wildlife watch, and enjoy local plant life.
  • Themed mini golf – Lots of courses to choose from – Pirate’s Cove is lush and shady.
  • Spa treatments – Most resorts offer luxury spas. All Disney/Universal resort spas are gorgeous.
  • Epcot – Eat and drink your way through the best Disney park for adults.
  • Soar high above Orlando on the Icon – Take a ride on one of the country’s tallest Ferris Wheels.
  • Take a safari ride – Kilimanjaro safari at Animal Kingdom is one of the gems of Disney.
  • Romantic dinner – Dozens of great choices in the metro. Victoria & Albert’s tasting menu is topnotch.
  • Disney Springs – Home to themed restaurants and shops. Enjoy live step dancing and authentic Irish food at Raglan Road.
Tibet Butler nature preserve in Orlando, Florida
Boardwalk trail at Tibet Butler
Pirate's Cove mini golf in Orlando
Pirate’s Cove
Kilimanjaro safari ride at Disney's Animal Kingdom park in Orlando, Florida
Kilimanjaro safari
Views of Orlando via the Icon Wheel
the Orlando Eye