Do robots, roller coasters and rock shows equal romance?
In Orlando, the answer is a resounding YES! There’s plenty of Valentine’s Day excitement to be had at the theme parks. Whether you’re looking to seduce your S.O. with a high-roller rendezvous, geek out or even rock out, you can wow your intended with a day-to-evening – or even overnight – extravaganza at Universal Orlando Resort. Submitted here, three options that work as-is or may inspire some playful romantic planning of your own.
Sway to reggae at Bob Marley - A Tribute to Freedom, one of CityWalk's nighttime hot spots. — Photo courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort. All rights reserved.
How do celebrities do Universal? Red-carpet style! Enjoy front-of-the-queue perks as you explore Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure or both with your own personal guide on the VIP Experience. The guided tour is rife with insider info and backstage access, along with valet parking, reserved seating and/or exclusive viewing area access at shows and parades, breakfast and more ($299-$329 per person).
Superstar treatment means you’ll make short work of the parks. Freshen up and continue the experience with dinner at Emeril's Tchoup Chop at the Loews Royal Pacific or time your seduction with the next Harbor Nights event at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel on Feb. 13.
The next Harbor Nights event falls on Feb. 13. Perfect for Valentines. — Photo courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort. All rights reserved.
This elegant jazz and wine-tasting event, held al fresco on the hotel’s glittering waterfront, captures the essence of the Med ($45 advance, $55 at the door; $75 VIP – includes reserved seating, private wine station, passed hors d'oeuvres). Opt for an overnight at either property to up that romance factor!
Get Your Geek On
From Harry Potter to Homer Simpson to the Hulk, Universal parks are a hub of fandom. Geeky lovebirds can have their picture taken with Optimus Prime, take a romantic ride on the Hogwarts Express and grab some Springfieldian eats at Krusty Burger.
Short on time or money? No worries. Skip the parks and hit Universal CityWalk instead, where 36 holes await amid the kitschy charms of Hollywood Drive-In Golf.
Enchanted evenings: the romance of Rowling is undeniable for Potter fans. — Photo courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort. All rights reserved.
Two separate courses themed on the horror and sci-fi classics of the 1950s make for fun photo-ops as you putt amid towering robots and mammoth spiders, enjoying special effects and interactive elements along the way.
Adult admission is $14.99 for one course, but you can make it dinner and a round with a Meal & MiniGolf package ($23.95) and choose among the participating CityWalk dining venues. Planning a late-night Valentine? No problem. The courses are open until 2 am.
Overnight it: Make the ‘50s charm an all-night affair with a room at the Cabana Bay Beach Resort. Themed on the colorful motor hotels of the era, this retro-charming property is Universal’s budget-friendliest on-site option.
Make Beautiful Music
Valentine’s Day falls squarely in the middle of Universal’s annual Mardi Gras event (select nights from Feb. 4 - Apr. 18). The festival features a festive, family-friendly parade, French Quarter-style food, street performers and of course – about a zillion strands of colorful, flying beads.
French Quarter fun & more awaits Mardi Gras revelers. — Photo courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort. All rights reserved.
Big-name acts take the stage for live concerts come evening. Valentine’s Day will bring pop sensation Jessie J to the Music Plaza Stage, but performers including the B-52s, Styx, Trace Adkins and Barenaked Ladies are among others on the schedule if your special evening isn’t limited by date. The best part? Mardi Gras is included with park admission.
Overnight it: Had enough of partying like a rock star? Sleep in like one at the on-site Hard Rock Hotel where you can enjoy the vibe and memorabilia – not to mention its outstanding pool – while you recover from the Valentine festivities.