02/14/2013 09:33 am ET Updated Apr 16, 2013

A Dream Honeymoon at Walt Disney World?

Walt Disney World is often viewed as a place where parents reluctantly take their children as a rite of passage. Public perceptions about crowds, long lines and "kiddie" experiences cause many adults to dismiss it out of hand as a romantic travel destination. Despite this, Walt Disney World is a popular destination for honeymooners. There is actually a whole "vacation kingdom" of experiences at Walt Disney World outside the confines of the Magic Kingdom. Here are some tips to help you make the most of a honeymoon trip to Walt Disney World.

The first recommendation is finding a hotel that has a more adult theme. While the oversized, animated icons of the Disney value resorts are nice for families with kids, there's absolutely nothing romantic about the view of a giant Buzz Lightyear out your hotel window. (Unless you have an odd thing for Buzz Lightyear.) A more romantic hotel does require spending more money (Disney regularly offers discounts, so do your homework if you're visiting Walt Disney World on a budget), and there are both Disney-owned and non-Disney owned options for hotels. I recommend an Epcot-area hotel. Disney's BoardWalk Inn and Disney's Beach & Yacht Club are the Disney-owned options there, or there's the third-party Swan and Dolphin Resorts.

Each of these hotels has great options for dining and entertainment, and all are a short walk or boat ride to Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios. While the Magic Kingdom is the park in which families will find themselves spending the most time, Epcot is the park honeymooners will most enjoy. Its World Showcase area contains excellent dining, entertainment and the opportunity for adult fun like drinking around the world.

Speaking of dining, despite the stereotype about theme park food, there are actually a myriad of fine dining options in Walt Disney World. Most of these better restaurants are in the hotels rather than the theme parks. Purchasing a Disney Dining Plan can be a great hassle-free way to experience these nicer restaurants and potentially save money in the process! Favorites here include Yachtsman Steakhouse, which features an open-air kitchen and butcher room, Jiko, which has one of the largest selections of South African wines in the United States, and California Grill, which offers award-winning California fusion cuisine along with breathtaking views of Walt Disney World. The absolute can't-miss for honeymooners is the AAA five-diamond winning Victoria & Albert's, which doesn't even permit children. Of course, these aren't the only choices for romantic dining at Walt Disney World.

In addition to enjoying a luxurious hotel and fine dining, there are a variety of in-park experiences that are more adult-oriented. Besides the aforementioned World Showcase in Epcot, there are a variety of quiet nature trails at Disney's Animal Kingdom, and plenty of theatrical shows around the parks that feature stunning art and incredible performances. These shows are a great alternative to the mild thrills and long waits offered by Disney's relatively tame coasters and "adult" rides. With the exception of thrill rides, attractions geared towards adults generally have shorter waits, too!

There are also ample opportunities for add-on experiences and tours if you want a more romantic honeymoon. Some of these can be pricey (it should come as no surprise that the place where every ride exits into a gift shop has found new ways to get more of your money!), like the Wild Africa Trek, but some can be very inexpensive, like the Behind the Seeds Tour at Epcot. While not romantic, per se, they are more adult experiences that will definitely make the trip feel more refined. Many visitors to Walt Disney World are unaware of these experiences, and simply assume the only things for them to do are the attractions they see in the parks. Other separately ticketed shows outside of the theme parks, like Cirque du Soleil, can offer the perfect conclusion to a night at Walt Disney World.

As far as other nightlife goes, Walt Disney World does not have the same caliber of dance clubs that you'd find in a major city, but it has plenty of themed experiences and bars. Some favorites include the dueling piano bar, Jellyrolls and the Raglan Road Irish Pub. There are bars and lounges at just about every Disney hotel, but it's often best to head to one of the more highly regarded bars for a better experience.

In general, there are a variety of options for adults honeymooning at Walt Disney World. Not all of them are heavily advertised or as prominent around the resort as, say, Mickey Mouse, but there are numerous things for adults to do at Walt Disney World, nonetheless. And, there's nothing wrong with letting loose, embracing your inner child, and getting some photos with Mickey Mouse and his friends. You are in the Mouse House, after all!

Disney World Honeymoon Tips