It’s no surprise that Disney Parks are a romantic destination. Beyond the silliness and mouse ears, there is romance abound in the stories, restaurants, and locales. In fact, Disney parks make up three of the top ten places to get engaged in the world. Disneyland Paris beat out Disney World for the #1 spot, but that doesn’t make Mickey’s Florida home any less magical.
While there are countless tales of hearts aflutter at Disney Parks, to celebrate Valentine’s Day in a pandemic here are four extra special stories.
Bethany and Brett
My husband (Brett) and I (Bethany) had decided we didn’t want a big wedding. No thousand dollar dress, no bridal party, no fuss. We discussed the courthouse, but our families and close friends were pretty sad.
We were standing in line for Frozen Ever After with some family, talking about wedding things, and somehow started talking about how fun it would be to get married in one of the countries at EPCOT since the only thing we love more than Disney is traveling (and dogs!). At first, we were just throwing out crazy ideas, and then my husband and I had a moment where we realized we could do it.
We decided on the UK pavilion because it has a back area that would put us out of the main walkway around the World Showcase. We had to look up Disney’s Rules and Regulations to make sure we didn’t get anyone in trouble. We learned that Disney doesn’t allow wedding gowns and that we couldn’t bring in a professional photographer, but that wasn’t a problem.
We met at the UK pavilion at 10:45 am, just before it opened. As soon as Rose and Crown opened, we ordered a Guinness, a Bass (the beers in a Black and Tan), and an extra glass for the Unity Beer (instead of Unity Sand) part of our ceremony. Then, just after 11 am, with about 40 friends and family (and 20 strangers) we said some words, drank a beer, exchanged rings, and said: “I do!” We spent the rest of the day drinking around the world.
Yvonne and Ken
First, let me say that my very first memory is at Disneyland. I remember being at the Tiki Room with my mom and dad. Mom was crying because it reminded her so much of her home in Hawaii. It was my first dose of Disney magic. I was hooked at 3 years old.
When I first met my husband, he’d never been to Disneyland. I was horrified! We went for the first time within 6 months of dating. We were Annual Passholders after a few more trips. After 10 years he finally asked me to marry him and told me to pick a date that meant something to me. I checked the calendar, and the day I was thinking of was 1/7/17 which would have been my parents’ 51st wedding anniversary.
We got to Disneyland the day before. That night we had dinner at Club 33, and it was amazing! My husband’s boss got our reservation as our wedding gift, and as a total surprise, he also had paid for our tab.
Our plan was to get married on the monorail, but after taking the monorail into the park that morning we realized we had forgotten about the announcer speaking throughout the ride. We switched to plan B.
At about 9 am on the morning of the 7th, we made our way out to the old Motorboat Cruise dock by the Matterhorn. As planned, it was deserted. We went all the way to the end and had a quick ceremony, then signed our marriage license at one of the tables out there. The only people there were my sisters and their families, and it was perfect.
Lorie and Justin
I was headed to Disneyland/DCA with my boyfriend Justin, his parents, and his two nieces and nephew. I met them all at the hotel the night before and we ate breakfast together before heading over to the parks. While at breakfast, I got a call from my sister – my elderly stepfather, whom I loved dearly, had fallen, hit his head and passed away that morning in Nebraska. I was devastated and didn’t know what to do. My sister and Justin’s parents (who knew he was going to propose) convinced me to go ahead and with our two days at the parks.
So we went, and the day was emotional chaos. I’d stop thinking about it for a bit, then I’d get a phone call or a text from someone, or I’d just think about it, and then I’d cry again.
Justin had planned to propose that evening under the fireworks. But, about halfway through the day, I had a full-on meltdown. I stood in the entryway of Rancho Del Zocalo, the Mexican restaurant, which wasn’t open for some reason, and just fell to my knees and bawled.
So Justin told his family he was going to take me away to rest for a minute and have some time – just the two of us. On the fly he thought of Snow White’s wishing well, which isn’t usually super crowded, so he led me over there to propose. Well, we got there during a photo op for Snow White, so there were a gazillion people there. I was overwhelmed and thinking I should never have come, and then he led me over by the fence next to the little fountain area where the Seven Dwarves are, and said, “Today has been crazy, and I’m sorry I can’t fix it for you. I want you to know that I will always take care of you, no matter what happens.” Then he got down on one knee and pulled out the ring and asked me to marry him. Of course, I cried tears I didn’t even know I had left and all those people cheered.
Jonathan and Nicole
I love Disney and Disneyland has always held a special place in my heart. I had a premium Annual Pass because I would go so often. But after going so many times alone, I wanted to go with people. I joined Facebook groups where people like myself, called solos, would meet up. This helped me find myself again after a very hard divorce. I lost all hope in others and never wanted to date again. With Disneyland and those groups, I felt the desire to open myself up and joined the group for Disney fan singles and that is where I met Nicole.
We started chatting and then we met at Starbucks as I was on my way to interview for a job at Disneyland (sadly I didn’t get the job) but, amazingly, I met this wonderful woman in person. We lived 127 miles away from each other, but Disneyland became a place we would meet.
We planned a Disney World trip in early 2020 when everything was just starting to get crazy. Everyone questioned my sanity in planning a trip. All I knew was that Disney World would be open and second that I wanted to ask Nicole to marry me!
Finally, November came. I had been fighting off the nags from Nicole, her 5-year-old daughter, and many others to just ask Nicole to marry me. I also had to play up my fake anger when Nicole said Disney would be the best place to ask her to marry her. I would tell her it would never happen. Knowing full well that I had a ring and a custom ring box that said: “you are my whole new world” as well as a private photographer that would be there to snap the surprise.
Well, even a small hurricane wasn’t going to stop me. In torrential rain I popped the question in Animal Kingdom on November 12th. Nicole almost asked that morning to skip the park because of the rain, but she knew how much I like that park.
At the park, Nicole was getting upset because she didn’t know where we were going. But, when I saw my photographer, we queued up our hand signals and I told Nicole to follow that man with the clear umbrella and I’d check the app to see if we are going the right way (I use a wheelchair so she was pushing.) That man with the clear umbrella led us to a dead-end with the tree of life in the background. She was upset that we got led to a dead-end.
I said, “well love, this is really beautiful and no one is here. Wanna take a quick picture?” She agreed and we took off our ponchos and instantly got soaked to the bone. I looked her in the eye and asked if she was ready for this? (Of course, thinking ready for picture) I mustered all my energy, got on one knee and she left the ground. We spent the rest of the day back at our hotel pool in a private cabana.
And if that wasn’t magical enough. The next day November 13th we found out we are pregnant! Disney really is the place where dreams come true.
What changes should you expect at this year’s Oogie Boogie Bash?