Disney EchoEar Grand Mouseter
Joined: April 1992
||Posted: Jan. 19, 2009, 9:05 am
Adults can do character meals, too. So dinner, breakfast or lunch, in the Castle is appropriately romantic. If they have spaces left tell your reservationist that this is a wedding anniversary and you need it to be special. On one of our wedding anniversaries we were able to get the table that is next to the large window overlooking the carousel in Fantasyland, but the staff went the extra mile and decorated with Mickey Mouse-eared shaped large glitter, and we were given (this is years ago and I can't know or vouch they'd do this again) champagne flutes with Cinderella's Royal Table on them (of course no champagne in the Magic Kingdom, no alcohol served). At the time there was only Princess Character dining in the mornings at breakfast-only, so you could have a nice serene meal in the Castle sans characters and a more adult atmosphere. But it's nice to be greeted by Disney royalty, too, and nowadays all the meals at the WDW Castle are Princess character dining. These reservations get snapped up by families pretty quick, though, so get on the phone and see if at this date, mere days before your trip, if you can get in.
Alternatives are the Princess dining at Akershus in Norway at Epcot and the dinner buffet at the Grand Floridian. A plus with those is that those are outside Magic Kingdom and do have adult beverages (wine, beer, cocktails, champagne or mimosas, check the menu or with your server) available.
If you do these, or dine anywhere, mention, mention, mention to the reservationist, and at check in, and to your server it's for a wedding anniversary. If there is good follow-up about all your mentioning, tip accordingly.
Tony's Town Square Restaurant in Magic Kingdom is theme to "Lady and the Tramp", which has a very famous very romantic scene of the song "Bella Notte" and Tramp rolling that meatball over to Lady while the song is played in the movie. If the idea appeals, enjoy a pasta dinner there... And if the courage is there, order meatballs and share accordingly!
Great "bang for the buck" souvenir is a professionally taken portrait on Main Street USA with the Castle as a background, in front of any signature Disney theme park building or with a favorite character where professionally taken photos are offered. It preserves your special trip as a moment in time and is totally unique for you and the moment, forever. Frame it in a nice Disney frame, too, which are offered for sale in the photo shops where you order the prints.
Other unique "bang for the buck" souvenir ideas:
Professional silhouettes, which are done at one of the shops along Main Street. You and spouse sit and pose, artist cuts out your profiles and can put this in a special frame. You'll see examples of the work and frames in the store. This is an art and a craft you don't see everywhere. Really interesting to see them work on these, the likenesses are very good, doesn't cost a lot, people who do this kind of craft are rare to find especially at home, and it's preserving the moment in a way you and spouse are doing it together and will always remember it, the trip, the ocassion, for years to come when you see the displayed artwork at home. And the silhouettes don't cost much! Excellent "bang for the buck" souvenir option.
Scrapbook your trip, WDW-themed scrapbooks and supply kits are for sale at the Emporium-type shops in the major theme parks, World of Disney, there is (or used to be) a scrapbook store in Disney Village Marketplace part of Downtown Disney not far from World of Disney.
Buy a WDW-themed 2009 Christmas ornament. There is a year-round (or used to be) store in the Disney Village Marketplace part of Downtown Disney not far from World of Disney. They can pack and ship fragile items home for you if you choose a fragile-type ornament. They might also offer personalization.
In Epcot Future World there is a shop somewhere, I'm drawing a blank on the name but it might be a shop immediately associated with one of the attractions or their version of "Emporium" large general purpose souvenir store. Anyway, there used to be a souvenir that you could get etched inside a block of clear acrylic portraits or sculptures of people. This is a more contemporary idea than a photo or a silhouette. Again, it ties you and spouse to WDW, this particular trip or travel dates, and no one else has one like it, a permanent-type memento that is contemporary looking if your tastes run towards that direction.
On some of these items personalization might be available, in which case if there's room add names, the date, and the ocassion to it.
Make sure for any photos they are stored or displayed in acid-free conditions so they won't crumble or deteriorate over the years and out of direct sunlight that might fade them over time.
If you think of these special souvenirs of your trip also as potential family sentimental-value heirlooms that get preserved and handed down, consider buying "extra" for each child who might grow up someday wanting their own or each family member who might truly cherish it.
Don't go too overboard. In the memory of the heart just a single well-chosen item can be touched and used and looked at over the years and bring back memories of your trip, save costs, save weight and shipping, and be fondly cherished.
While shopping around other items offering the potential for a photo display, or personalization, will be there. Shop around. Think "single, great item, that sums up well what this trip is all about, and that lasts" and that will guide your purchase.
Last, even though this is January you can never think too far in advance about Christmas cards. If you have a great photo taken during your trip, consider ordering a single sheet photo Christmas card (as opposed to one that folds like a card) that you'd send holiday season 2009 either as it's own holiday card or as an insert with the holiday card you'd be sending. Great way to share the joy of your anniversary with friends and family.
Theme of "What will you be celebrating?" at Disney parks this year carries to wedding anniversaries, too. So look online at WDW's website and see if you can "register" your wedding anniversary date. There may or not be perks, maybe not the same as getting in free on your birthday, but it doesn't hurt to look for these perks, and again mention it to dining and beverage servers and ride attendants. Visit City Hall or Guest Services in the parks and inquire if they have Happy Anniversary stickers for you and spouse to wear.
Even if all you're doing is merely walking around in the parks sans kids, it's still romantic and fun and very special, much different in and of itself than spending the special date at home. Be looking out for spontaneous things that guide books might not highlight. Try to volunteer to be "picked" for shows or audience participation. Order an ice cream sundae or banana split, but just one, and share it, at one of the nicer ice cream restaurants at WDW (Beaches and Cream, or the ice cream shop-restaurant near the Central Hub just off Main Street heading to Tomorrowland on the Main Street side). Simple little gestures like that are very romantic, sweet, easy to include in a tour plan, and make a spouse feel special. Really wonderful things that are memorable all your life sometimes happen at the Disney parks to people and you can't plan for them, sometimes it's sheer luck of being at a right place at a right time. Be open to that idea, and don't overschedule too many "gotta do special romantic things all the time"-type events. Sometimes the spontaneous stuff finds you, rather than the other way around.
There are lovely fountains and pools all over Disney parks at which people make wishes and toss coins. The money is gathered and donated to charities. There are two wishing venues near the Castle, one is a wishing well leading from Fantasyland along one side of the Castle, and the other is behind the Castle next to a shop and shows a statue of the young Cinderella with doves in an alcove. From adult height it looks like a bronze statue, but get on a child's level and the painted crown on the back of the alcove appears to be on Cinderella's head. Either of these two places is a good place to make romantic wishes on your anniversary. Turn your back to the fountain or wishing well, make the wish, toss over the shoulder and blind. If you hear a water "plop" and the coin goes in, your wish made it! If not, try, try again. Fellow travellers can take your photo at these places, nice romantic way to get the two of you into a "free" photo at either of two romantic sites in Magic Kingdom, a charity benefits, and you get some wishes made. There are other wishing wells, fountains and pools where you'll see wishing has been done, including at Minnie's house in ToonTown and all over in It's a Small World. Go with the serendipity of it, enjoy, and plan in advance to have some small denomination coins available for the purposes of making "penny wishes". A huge wish could be as much as a quarter!
This'll get you started. Have a great time. Congratulations, and many more anniversaries to you both!