Animal Kingdom Date Night: 5 Romantic Things to Do at Animal Kingdom

by | Sep 29, 2021 | Animal Kingdom, WDW Blog, WDW Food, WDW Resorts

Planning an Animal Kingdom date night? You might be surprised how many romantic activities you can find in Walt Disney World’s largest park.

Animal Kingdom has a petting zoo, kiddie coasters, and no shortage of learning experiences and adventures perfectly suitable for kiddos. A trip to Animal Kingdom delights kids, sure, but there are plenty of romantic things to do at Animal Kingdom if you’re all grown up and want a date night (or weekend!)

Over the years, my husband and I find ourselves returning to Animal Kingdom not so much for It’s Tough to be a Bug or the TriceraTop Spin, but to enjoy the more adult aspects of the park.

Sure, EPCOT hogs the attention for many adults with their exotic offerings at its Food and Wine Festival (as I understand it, many toddlers don’t love trying escargot, who knew?) and its drink-around-the-world rep, but if you want some more laid-back—and often far less crowded—couples time, try these five Animal Kingdom date nights experiences.

1. Cocktails and Live Entertainment at Dawa

dawa-bar_date-night-animal-kingdom_theme-park-tourist

Photo courtesy of Theme Park Tourist

You’ve probably walked by this hidden gem on your way to Kilimanjaro Safaris. OK, cool, go ahead, take the safari. But on your way out—preferably closer to the end of the day—stop at this outdoor bar and order a cocktail.

Pro Tip: They often have scotch and gluten-removed beer—not cider—even though it’s not on the menu.

Why do we do this at the end of the day? Because throughout the day, you can take in spectacular live music from your seat at Dawa bar, and the last few performances of the day seem more infused with emotion—both from the crowd and the performers. It’s palpable, moving, and, despite being in the middle of a crowd, intimate.

2. A Lover’s Stroll Through Maharajah Jungle Trek

animal kingdom date night on maharajah jungle trek

Photo by Courtney Reynolds

Am I the only one whose teenaged self would visit Tom Sawyer Island to grab a quick makeout session with my BF? Now, I’m not suggesting you do anything of the sort along this leisurely walk past some amazing animals and foliage, but I’ve found that a quiet, hand-in-hand stroll past tigers, monkeys, and water buffalo definitely slows you down and gives you a chance to reconnect with each other on your date night at Animal Kingdom. 

Looking for more jungle trekking? Check out the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail.

3. Share Small Plates at Nomad Lounge

Drink at Nomad Lounge animal kingdom

The refreshing High Tower Rocks at Nomad Lounge. Photo by Tatjana Lazar

If you haven’t eaten at Nomad Lounge, have you even visited Animal Kingdom? To make this popular, often-crowded eatery more romantic, hold out for an outside table, then share a few small plates. Perennial favorites include the bread service, churros, and Nomad bowl

4. Hold Onto Each Other While You Save an Iguanodon

Dinosaur Ride Disney animal kingdom

Dinosaur at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Photo by Laurie Sapp

As your car careens through prehistory in a race against time to save the Iguanodon on DINOSAUR, cling to each other in mock fear. Those sharp turns give you a perfect reason to yelp in shock and laugh with each other as the meteor looms closer and closer. And hey, that T-Rex probably won’t get you, right? 

5. End the Evening At Victoria Falls

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Photo courtesy of Disney

So, technically, this one’s at the stunning Animal Kingdom Lodge, but it’s become tradition for us to end our days at AK with an après-Animal Kingdom glass of wine or scotch at Victoria Falls.

This bar lives just above Boma – Flavors of Africa. For reasons I’ve never understood, this small space never seems crowded. They have a robust list of South African wines (I’m partial to the Black Pearl Oro) and an even more robust selection of scotches (including The Macallan 25).

Not staying at AKL? Limit yourself to one, and make sure to share the marinated olives with almonds before making the drive back home. If you are staying there, though, take those drinks over to the indoor fire pit and cozy up to each other.

So what are you waiting for? Get a sitter for the kids (or the dogs), grab your SO, and find a little romance on your date night at Animal Kingdom.

Written by Cathy Salustri

Written by Cathy Salustri

Cathy Salustri's formative years—by which she means her teens and twenties—revolve around Walt Disney World, whether it was having an OG annual pass (four months out of the year only!), wearing acid-washed denim to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party with her hard-rock wannabe sort-of boyfriend, or working as a walking tour guide at the now-defunct Inside the Magic attraction at the then-Disney-MGM Studios. She loves all of Florida, too, not just Disney—her Florida travel narrative, "Backroads of Paradise", earned her an interview in the New York Times, and she freelances for all sorts of Florida publications. Look for her and her husband at EPCOT, usually feasting on food at Morocco, or at Animal Kingdom Lodge, sharing a post-Disney scotch at Victoria Falls. Follow her travels on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, listen to her Florida Spectacular podcast, and sign up for her monthly feel-good Florida newsletter.