February is THE month for all you old (and young) romantics out there and it got me thinking, just how can you celebrate Valentine’s Day on Universal property? A little thought and research resulted in this compilation of ideas for you.
Let’s start at the beginning, walk with me…
CityWalk offers plenty for the couple in love, play a game of mini golf together, but the loser of each hole has to give the winner a kiss! There are many foodie options from a sit-down meal to a pastry, just remember to share! A funnel cake is perfect for 2, think of the sticky fun you can have feeding each other!
Enjoy a romantic meal in one of the many restaurants of CityWalk, Islands of Adventure, the Studios and the hotels. There is somewhere for every pocket but I would recommend making a reservation at your place of choice to avoid disappointment.
Staying in CityWalk, watch the sunset on the veranda, enjoying a meal or drink together. If funds are low, you can simply stroll hand-in-hand around the lagoon while the sun sinks. If you find you can afford a little more, why not check out the CityWalk Party Pass & Movie Deal available at Universal Studios.com with prices starting from $15. Hey, you might even make it to the back row of the AMC Universal Cineplex 20!
There are plenty of choices on CityWalk: Latin Quarter, Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, Pat O’Brien’s for a Hurricane…
You can dance the night away at one of the many hotspots – Red Coconut, The Groove, Bob Marley – A Tribute to Freedom, or be brave and make it more personal by singing a love song to your better half at CityWalk’s Rising Star, the karaoke club.
While you’re still giggling, have your caricatures done by one of the talented artists who frequent the open areas.
Feeling particularly extravagant? How about a night in one of the 3 on-site hotels? Loews Royal Pacific, the Hard Rock and Loews Portofino Bay Hotels have amazing reputations and will help to make it a night to remember.
If you want or need to celebrate a few days earlier, consider Harbor Nights “Romantico” at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel on Saturday 9th February. This is a pre-Valentine’s Day celebration that will take place under twinkling lights in the hotel’s Harbor Piazza. Wines, gourmet food and live music are on offer and tickets are available on-line at Loews Hotels. Choose from standard or reserved seating.
Another idea for the Portofino Bay hotel is to share a famous gelato. Or two. If ice cream is your thing, I really recommend the sundaes from Schwab’s Pharmacy, Sunset Boulevard,Hollywood area in the Studios. You will be spoiled for choice! Just don’t forget to ask for 2 spoons. Also, Cathy’s in Toon Lagoon, Islands of Adventure has ice cream to die for – although don’t do that, it’s not particularly romantic…
As I’ve mentioned Islands, we may as well head that way. Keeping up? Port of Entry is your first call, can you find the hidden love birds? You found them? Celebrate with a kiss! Did you know there are apartments upstairs in the buildings you are passing? Listen carefully to hear what the occupants are up to. As I type this I realize it sounds a little voyeuristic. Moving on…
Protect your girl (or guy!) as you brave Jurassic Park after dark! The low lighting will add to the spooky atmosphere and the dinosaur sounds will seems closer than ever! Any excuse for an extra cuddle hey?
In The Lost Continent, treat the lady to a pearl or the gentleman to a freshly forged coin, it’s fun to watch these artisan’s at work and the interaction with them is usually memorable. While you’re in the area, have a chat with the fountain and see what his Valentine plans are.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter can be a very romantic place, for a start it’s always packed so at the very least the 2 of you will be squished together! If you can sneak in a few days before, send some Owl Post to arrive on the 14th for a very different Valentine’s card. Of course, you can buy each other wands, butterbeer, cauldron cakes… but consider jointly adopting a pygmypuff – don’t forget the soppy name now!
While you’re passing through the park, pick up some bits and pieces of foods from the kiosks and when you get to Seuss Landing, have an impromptu picnic right there next to Sneech Beach, of course the Grinch may come along and kick sand in your face, but then you’d get to defend your lover’s honor! As you’re passing through, jump on the rides and toss a coin into McGonnigle’s Pond – if you manage to get it in the fish’s mouth maybe your wish will come true. At the very least you’re in for a surprise…
We’ll pop next door to the Studios for a while. I just mentioned a picnic, well, you can do the same in this park and great places to plonk yourself down and eat are Central Park, lagoon-side and the lovely leafy park opposite Carmen’s Veranda.
While you’re over that way, you may as well run into Barney’s Backyard. There you can shout ‘I love you’ to each other in Barney’s Echo Tunnel. Regular listener’s of the Unofficial Universal Orlando Podcast will get the relevance.
Sit in one of the aforementioned parks, or anywhere for that matter, with a drink and people-watch. But make up romantic stories for the couples.
Kiss for the camera on Men in Black or any ride where the restraints allow it. If the harnesses are too secure then join a hand each together to make a heart shape.
Create a ‘Love Burger’ at Richter’s, whether it is a combination of your favourite toppings or a simple ketchup heart.
Dance to The Blues Brothers, there’s nothing as romantic as getting your groove on with the one you love!
Some more ideas for either or both parks now. Some are sillier than others, be warned. Only visit rides and attractions with a love interest, for example, Shrek 4D, Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls (Dudley & Nell), Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-rat Barges (Popeye & Olive Oyl). I’m sure you can think of more.
Here’s a scary one… Planning on proposing? Make it even more memorable by getting into the front row ride queues (The Hulk would be perfect for this), let your unsuspecting beloved get seated before dropping to one knee and popping the question! Hopefully you’ll get a very excited yes!! Of course you may need to pre-warn a Team Member beforehand as they do have other riders to consider. One pretty cool proposal if you ask me!
Have a novelty photograph taken at in one of the stores in either park, make it as funny as you can. Even better, get one taken to commemorate the proposal you just made!
Search the parks for heart shapes and have your photo taken with each one to make a special album. Check out bushes, trees and stones for the shape, even look up at the clouds! Be as creative as you can – use water to create a heart, then lay either side of it and talk a (bemused no doubt) passerby into snapping that shot! Top your burger, hot dog or corndog with heart-shaped ketchup and mustard swirls, heck, top your ice creams and funnels cakes with heart-shaped syrup. The more you look, the more hearts you will find.
Get matching tattoos, fake of course! Islands of Adventure has stalls in Port of Entry and Toon Lagoon and the Studios have a stall near to the Blues Brothers stage. If you want to make it permanent (and I urge you to consider this very seriously before proceeding) try Hart & Huntington on CityWalk.
These are just some ideas and examples by little old me, none of them endorsed by Universal Orlando of course, but I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to help you celebrate your love for each other. Just have fun, and who knows, there could be a Valentine’s wedding or 2 planned for next year!