So. The time has come to pop the big question to your significant other. First off, congratulations! As a member of the married elite, I commend you on finding someone worthy of committing your life to.
For an event as magical as your proposal, it’s no surprise so many folks look to the Disney parks for the ideal setting. If your soon-to-be affianced is a Disney fanatic, all the better. Now, just the pesky little detail of how…
Don’t worry. I’m here to help.
There are a lot of options to weigh once you’ve decided to propose at Disney, and it’s important to consider them all. From time of day to physical location to drop to your knee, it can be a bit overwhelming. But, with proper planning and foresight, your special moment will be sure to dazzle the one you love.
Location, Location, Location
This may seem like the most obvious thing to decide for your proposal. After all, your prince or princess is worthy of the royal treatment in front of a castle, right?
The iconic spires of the Disney castles have long been associated with proposals, and each one sees hundreds, if not thousands of new engagements every year.
If it is your significant other’s lifelong dream to be proposed to in front of the castle, by all means, go for it. Ultimately, giving them their idea of perfection is the goal.
However, if you’re not 100% convinced that the castle is THE place to go, I would recommend you consider other options, for the very reason of its popularity. Your relationship is special, and it may feel a little less special sharing the limelight with so many. That, and the castles are some of the most photographed locations in the world, meaning it will be difficult to get enough space for a special moment. There have been busy days where walking through the castle, I wouldn’t know if there was a proposal ten feet away from me in the crowd.
Instead, think about something special the two of you share or have shared in the parks. Are you a fan of a particular ride? Consider somewhere near it. Have a special photo from a previous visit? Return under the guise of recreating it, and begin a legacy there! With the various parks being so large, there are a million places to look!
Here are a few do’s and don’ts when looking at a spot:
- DO decide ahead of time, preferably at least days before. There is something to be said for spontaneity, but having a target helps.
- DON’T go somewhere you shouldn’t be. No matter how tempting the perfect location is, whether it be over a fence or behind a closed door, stay away. You don’t want your first memory as an engaged couple to be getting booted from the happiest place on earth.
- DO plan for enough time at the location, and change it if you can’t stay there long. Some walkways need continual movement for safety, and that Cast Member moving you along really does have your best interest at heart.
- DON’T be afraid to discuss the possibility of proposing at Disney with your person (though not right before, that’ll give it away!). You may find that their ideal locale is elsewhere, and you can save yourself some planning.
Timing Is Everything
Having the perfect spot isn’t the only consideration; how that spot will work will depend on the time of day you arrive. There are many brilliant places on Main St. USA, but 15 minutes before the fireworks, they will be nigh inaccessible (sometimes much more than 15 before).
Not just time of day, but time of year is important as well! The parks may have fairly moderate climes year round, but an exceptionally hot day in Florida, or a brisk winter’s eve in France may make for a less than enjoyable experience. Keep an eye on weather reports leading up to your chosen date, to make
sure the sky will be cooperating.
Also, timing you and your target’s arrival will have a lot of variables as well. Make sure you have a large enough window to get them there, without having to be pushy or arousing suspicion. You want them in a good mood, after all!
If at all possible, visit your chosen location at the time you are considering beforehand, to see how everything lines up. Here are a few things to look at:
- How’s the light?
- If the sun’s out, is it casting any wonky shadows which may mess with a photo?
- Will you be able to get your person there fairly easily?
- If needed, can you adjust your time if things need adjusting?
- If you have friends/family watching, is there room for them? A place for them to stand away from your arrival (so as not to arouse suspicion)?
Use Your Resources
It will take more than a spot and a time to make the perfect moment! Having a hand or two to make sure everything is set up properly will take a lot of stress off of you, want will allow you to enjoy the moment more!
Easily the most experienced resource to seek help from is Disney themselves! If you have some coin to spend, and you want it to be spectacularly magical, the good people at Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings can help you achieve the picture-perfect moment. Admittedly, it will set you back a bit in the pocketbook, but you’re guaranteed to get the highest service the mouse can offer.
In the same consideration, most Cast Members will be overjoyed to help you! Stopping by a Guest Relations location ahead of time for pointers, and seeking advice from experts like the Disney PhotoPass photographers will give you a fantastic perspective from the people who know the parks best. Making magic is part of the job, after all. But no matter how good the help has the potential of being, remember that they may not be able to do everything for you. Millions visit the park every year, and there’s only so many Cast Members to go around. Be courteous and respectful of their time, and do not take offense if they can’t do more.
For a more assured hand, consider bringing close friends or family in on the planning! They can arrange things for you, and call you in when the time is right.
A few pointers on orchestrating your proposal:
- Know what you can and can’t have brought in to the park, well before you arrive at the front gate. Large props such as signs or the like may be disallowed, as they would take away from other’s enjoyment of the parks.
- Make sure everyone helping you is following the rules, and instructions of the Cast Members. They really are to keep you and everyone else safe and happy.
- Remember the details. Every person coming to help will need their own way in to the park, and considering that they are there to help you, they won’t get the enjoyment a full ticket would normally offer. Be upfront about the requirements of their involvement.
Has A Nice Ring To It
At the end of all the planning, when the moment comes, you aren’t going to be thinking about it much. Take your time, take some deep breaths, and take it all in. You are committing yourself to someone you love, and are making a memory that will last a lifetime. Look them in the eyes. If happy tears come, let them. Take a knee, say their full name, and ask the most important question you can ask them.
And from all of us here at DAPsMagic, our sincere and heartfelt congratulations.
Know the perfect spot? Already had your magical moment? We’d like to hear your story, and your tips and tricks for proposing at Disney! Comment below to share the love.
He is a regular co-host on Geeks Corner and contributes to the DAPs Magic writings with his own, unique perspective. When not writing, he is a talented artist and performer, and can often be found shirking these gifts by playing games like Pokemon, Bioshock, and Fallout.