Spa treatments and cabanas make for relaxing staycations. But, since your energy wasn’t zonked from travel, consider an energized Orlando staycation with these unforgettable date nights! Here are eight ideas…
1. Dive-In Movies at Four Seasons Orlando
Every Saturday evening and select Thursdays throughout the year, Four Seasons guests can continue to float in the pool with an umbrella drink or cozy up on a lounge chair to enjoy date night entertainment. The resort’s Starstruck Dive-In screen allows date lovers to truly make a splash with a unique ‘dinner and a movie’ experience! Food & beverage service and complimentary popcorn are provided. Dive-In movies are available for overnight guests only, so take advantage of Florida resident rates offered select dates April-June and August-October.
2. Eco-Tours at Grande Lakes Orlando
Led by a professionally-trained Florida Master Naturalist, several eco-tour options explore the 500 preserved acres surrounding Grande Lakes Orlando Resort and Shingle Creek at the northernmost headwaters to the Florida Everglades. Experience nature’s greenery before napping back on your white, lush duvet. You’ll observe the native species such as alligators, bald eagles, osprey and barred owls. In addition to pedal boat and kayak rentals, you can book the Eco-Tour on Shingle Creek, a canoe experience; Sunrise Safari, a daybreak golf cart tour ─ with possible sighting of bobcats, deer, foxes and otters ─ and a visit to Whisper Creek Farm, home to a chicken coop and 7,000-square-foot garden which yields the resort’s fresh ingredients; or the Wings Over Florida Bird Watching Program, a bird identification program facilitated by the Florida Fish and Wildlife. The newly launched Farm to Fare Experience is another great option.
In addition to kayaks and eco-tours, Grande Lakes Orlando also offers fishing experiences that are the ‘reel’ deal. Fly casting instruction for all levels is facilitated by Capt. Mark Benson, a USCG Licensed Captain and FFF Certified Casting Instructor. Fly fishing takes some technique but loving words of encouragement from your date will help! For a sky-high staycation experience, book the Ultimate Fishing Adventure. You’ll take a 30-minute flight on the Ritz-Carlton’s private float-plane to the upper reaches of the historic St. John’s River, Florida’s longest freshwater river and a region accessible primarily by airboat. Then, you’ll have three hours of guided fishing, followed by a beautiful flight back.
3. Fireworks, Yoga & More at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
You don’t have to be inside of the Disney parks to catch the nightly pyrotechnics. While staycationing at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, dine at The California Grill. Ready to present the true sparkler? As show time approaches, step out onto the intimate and private observation deck to pop the question with breathtaking views of the nighttime spectacular. The Contemporary Resort has plenty of other date options, like yoga on the lawn, boat rentals and movies under the stars.
4. FootGolf at Reunion Resort
FootGolf, also known as soccer golf, has kicked up the fun factor for golfers and all sports fans. The game is played like traditional golf but with a soccer ball. Score a round at Reunion Resort’s award-winning Watson Course, a Tom Watson signature design. Aim toward the oversized (21-inch diameter) holes!
5. Luau at Loews Royal Pacific Resort
Escape to the tropics…without leaving Orlando! While staycationing at the Royal Pacific, catch the torch lighting near the pool. The ceremony features the “oli aloha” welcoming chant, a fire dancer and more. Or partake in a festive feast of Polynesian food and entertainment, complete with a tropical all-you-can-eat buffet (including pit-roasted pig) and hula dancers!
6. Rock Out at Hard Rock Hotel
Hang poolside and never miss a beat in the 12,000-square-foot pool featuring an underwater sound system. Later, amp it up with a live performance at Velvet Sessions, held monthly on the last Thursday from January–October. Recent talent has included Eddie Money, Smash Mouth, Kate Voegele and The Wailers. Continue to rock the night away in your own hotel room because Hard Rock has a menu of 20 different Fender guitars available for loan!
7. Safari at Animal Kingdom Lodge
The Animal Kingdom Lodge at Walt Disney World Resort offers a 90-minute tour with a unique vantage point to observe exotic animals roaming the grounds. You’ll see more than 30 different species that represent a cross-section of African wildlife, like Red river hogs, antelopes, zebras, wildebeest and more. After working up an appetite, feast on a multi-course meal of traditional African, Indian and Mediterranean cuisines at Jiko – The Cooking Place.
8. Tea Party & Parade at The Grand Floridian
Treat your Prince Charming or Queen of your heart to a themed dining experience fit for royalty. At the Garden View Tea Room within Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, nibble on an indulgent three-course meal bursting with flavorful surprises and waterfront views. Selections include finger sandwiches, buttery scones with curd, imported cheeses, caviar, French macaroons and more, along with aromatic tea blends. Later at night, watch the Electrical Water Pageant, a 15-minute nightly parade of floats coasting along the lagoon. Have a night cap at Mizner’s Lounge to drink up jazzy cocktails and jazz music.