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How to Pull Off the Perfect Disney Parks Proposal

Don’t forget about everything that comes after the proposal.

Dessert at Chefs de France in EPCOT

Image: Edward Russell, Flickr (license)

Strictly speaking, yes, a proposal only entails the actual question you’ll be asking your partner. But there are still a few details you may want to iron out before and after you do so—details like celebrating with your new fiancé/fiancée and figuring out how best to tell your family, friends, and social media communities, to name a couple.

For example, if you’re planning to propose during Happily Ever After but phoning your in-laws is the first item on your to-do list immediately after your partner says, ‘Yes!’, remember that the fireworks viewing areas remain extremely crowded and loud after the show and you’ll likely lose cell phone service for a brief period of time. Pick a spot toward the edge of the crowd so you can make a quick getaway after the fireworks, whether you choose to test your luck in the nearby Liberty Square or make a beeline toward the lobby of the Contemporary Resort just outside the Magic Kingdom.

You may also want to reserve a table at a favorite restaurant to celebrate the happy turn of events, so make sure you jump on the restaurant reservation window several months in advance of your arrival. Looking for something a bit more extravagant? Provided you can’t score a reservation at Club 33, there are usually a number of exclusive dessert parties to choose from at any time of the year, including Disneyland’s Tomorrowland Skyline Lounge Experience, Magic Kingdom’s Ferrytale Fireworks dessert cruise, EPCOT’s Frozen Ever After Dessert Party, and almost a dozen others.

Have a backup plan.

Wedding carriage at Walt Disney World Resort

Image: H. Michael Miley, Flickr (license)

I cannot stress this last point enough. No matter how picture-perfect your Plan A is, you need a Plan B. And a Plan C. And maybe even a Plan D. You may lose out on a post-engagement reservation for Be Our Guest. Your partner’s favorite prince or princess might not be available for a meet-and-greet opportunity when you need them to be. High winds, rain, or thunderstorms could force the parks to postpone or cancel the fireworks show. You may oversleep on the beach and nearly miss the last tender back to your cruise ship (okay, that one’s just me).

The point is, proposing at the Disney Parks—or any landmark or tourist spot, for that matter—means that some things will inevitably be outside your control. Thankfully, you have a few options in case something goes awry.

First, while you may have your heart set on an exclusive tour, cruise, or dining experience, you don’t necessarily need to line up several of those as a safeguard if Plan A fails. If you’re paying for any kind of Disney proposal experience, you should be able to get in touch with a Disney engagement planner to discuss your backup options. Remember, Disney’s cast members are just as devoted to creating a memorable experience here as you are. They’re not going to leave you high and dry in the event that, say, Fantasmic experiences technical issues or you accidentally let go of the Mickey balloon that was tied to the engagement ring box. (That’s a terrible idea, by the way.)

Second, consider devising a simpler backup plan or two—perhaps something that’s not dependent on a particular show, fireworks spectacular, or character meet-and-greet. Maybe you’ve always talked about visiting Paris with your sweetheart and can find a quiet moment with them by the fountains in the France pavilion at EPCOT’s World Showcase. Maybe you want to wait until the crowds around Cinderella Castle have dispersed so you can time your romantic moment with the ‘Kiss Goodnight.’ There are plenty of creative, cost-effective ways of creating a once-in-a-lifetime experience with your partner, so don’t feel like you have to shell out the big bucks to make it a day worth remembering. With a lot of planning, some luck, and just a pinch of cast member-procured pixie dust, there’s nothing to stop you from creating your own happily ever after.

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