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Vote of the week: Dating in a theme park?

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Published: February 12, 2010 at 8:28 AM

We've got Valentine's Day and President's Day back-to-back in the United States this year, meaning that many folks might just decide to make this a romantic three-day weekend getaway.

As those of us with kids will merely hope that we can get through the weekend and ship the kids back to school before they destroy the house in a sugar-induced frenzy. :-)

Since this is a theme park website (duh!), I thought I'd honor Valentine's Day here by asking about dating and theme parks. Have you ever taken a date to a theme park? I'm talking about just the two of you, going to a theme park for a date, instead of to dinner and a movie or some other, more "traditional" date night activity.

If you have, please take a moment to tell us in the comments about your most memorable theme park date.

Have a great weekend and thanks, as always, for reading Theme Park Insider!

Readers' Opinions

From Al Kraus on February 12, 2010 at 8:50 AM
There is no better way to spend the day with that special someone than a day in the Magic Kingdom. If your potential mate cannot be happy in the "happiest place on Earth"...it is a good sign to run for the hills. Fun and romantic...Disney isn't just for little kids, it is great for us big kids too!
From 75.102.128.133 on February 12, 2010 at 8:53 AM
Taking a date to Disney's Magic Kingdom might be a little much for a first date...be careful! I'd go somewhere cheaper like DisneyQuest, and then bump it up to the parks for the second or third date.
From 69.242.146.172 on February 12, 2010 at 8:56 AM
I have been married for almost 15 years, but my first date in 1989 with my husband resulted in a kiss on the Zambezi Zinger @ Worlds of Fun
From Steve Smegner on February 12, 2010 at 9:01 AM
I have been an amusment park junkie my whole life. It started from my very first visit to Six Flags over Texas when I was a very young boy. I have been to many different parks over the years and I even worked for SFOT for 6 years. I would absolutely love to work for an amusement park but they don't pay enough for me to do that after college.
Given all that, amusement parks are a big part of what makes me..... me. So yes, I have gone on many dates to amusement parks. My very first ever date at age 13 was to an amusement park. And I agree that any future girlfriend or mate would have to share my interests.
Besides that, where else can you have so much fun in a very non-threatening way? I mean even on a bad date I can still enjoy the park. On a good date we have a chance to bond even more. A day at a park provides plenty of opportunity to talk without it being forced.
If things are going bad from a date perspective you are just ride buddies. If they are going well there is plenty of opportunity to get more cozy. Just be careful about getting too cozy. For the 6 years I worked there I saw more stuff than you can imagine. But now I know where I am being watched and where I am not. :-)

From 98.235.49.223 on February 12, 2010 at 9:00 AM
My husband and I met at a theme park for our first date, almost 11 years ago — both of us were looking for someone who would "run from ride to ride" and we found each other on match.com

We'll be celebrating our 10th anniversary in April, and now visiting amusement parks is a family activity; our two kids love running from ride to ride just as much as we do!

From Mitchell Botwin on February 12, 2010 at 9:15 AM
Depends on how you classify a date. My wife and I honeymooned at WDW with was great 27 years ago and why we now live in Orlando.
From 65.40.24.178 on February 12, 2010 at 9:24 AM
I actually met a girl at a theme park, Six-flags Great Adventure, and dated her for a little while. My wife now also went on dates with me to that same park. We were season pass holders for MANY of our dating years. We honeymooned on the Big Red Boat and spent four days at the WDW. BTW, I am an ex-castmemeber with 2.5 years working for Disney too.
From 64.60.153.83 on February 12, 2010 at 9:52 AM
My Wife and I had our first date at Disneyland on the 4th of July.
From 72.188.145.20 on February 12, 2010 at 11:48 AM
I met Marcus at a celebration of EPCOT Center's 25th anniversary (we were both traveling solo and happened to be on our way to ride Soarin' at the same time). The following weekend he asked me out on our first "date": an evening at the Disney parks and his friend's birthday party at Whispering Canyon Cafe. Eight months later he proposed at San Francisco's Ghirardelli Square. Now we're planning a wedding for, appropriately, our "Disneyversary" on October 1, 2010. :)
From luis gonzalez on February 12, 2010 at 1:49 PM
one time i saw a really nice couple having a date at MK, it was really sweet and romantic, i heard they later divorced and are currently seeing other people.

WORD!

From Robert Niles on February 12, 2010 at 2:33 PM
But are they seeing those other people on dates at theme parks?

(I know that I shouldn't poke the troll, but it's so much fun sometimes....)

From luis gonzalez on February 12, 2010 at 3:00 PM
lol nice one roberto!
From Anthony Murphy on February 12, 2010 at 5:56 PM
Its a good alternative to the dinner and a movie. And why not? You can have a great romantic dinner in EPCOT
From Mike Gallagher on February 12, 2010 at 6:27 PM
As a single 45 year-old living in New Jersey, I grew up with Great Adventure, pre-Six Flags and post-Six Flags. I'v taken more than a few dates there starting in my teen years. Best was with my then gf Hilary back in '86. There were others with us, but we spent a lot of time on our own, so I'll say it was a date. We saw the reunited Monkees, with the Grass Roots, Herman's Hermits, and Gary Puckett and the Union Gap. That was a great concert. But what really sticks was me, Hil, and about 4-5 others getting on line for Ultra Twister at about 11:30, when the park was to close at midnight. We got off the ride about 1 am. We were the last people off the ride, and the last people leaving the park. We walked toward the gate, stopping at the bathroom and window shopping..all the while with a battalion of 6-8 uniformed security guards 10 feet behind us, keeping pace. We certainly created a late night for them with our dawdling.

Mike Gallagher

From 65.12.180.223 on February 12, 2010 at 6:36 PM
Both worked at Six Flags Over Georgia, 1975. Went back into the park after work, dinner, rides. 2010, still married.
From James Koehl on February 13, 2010 at 7:03 AM
I double-dated with my (then) girlfriend and her best friend and her boyfriend to King's Island about 30 years ago. Maybe it was because it was about 95 degrees, but she turned from a fairly nice person into a flaming...er...female dog from a very hot place. Even her best friend wanted to know what her problem was. Finally, after about 3 hours of listening to her complain about everything, the three of us told her that we were leaving, that we were not going to listen to her whining about everything, and that if she wanted to stay she could. Of course, King's Island is about 4 hours away from where we live, so it would have been a long walk. Suddenly she got her act together, got really nice, stopped verbally complaining, and we managed to have a tolerable rest of the day. We did leave fairly early, and we parted ways very soon after that. Not long after that I started to see the wonderful person that I've now been married to for 26+ years.
From Michael Grebo on February 14, 2010 at 1:39 AM
A theme park in my opinion is the ultimate date, my wife and I built such a strong relationship while dating by just traveling around and enjoying many different parks. Her parents used to have a house in VA, we would travel from NY and spend the weekend in busch gardens VA. We loved the experience of being in the outdoors walking around the park and enjoying all the sights sounds,smells of the parks and of course the great rides. We started when we were 19 traveling all over for a new theme park thrill, or enjoying a ice cold beer in the irish bar in busch gardens williamsburg (we were informed before the sale of busch gardens that the beer was no more then two days old. It became such a part of our lives that when it came time to pop the question there was not a doubt in my mond that the right place was a theme park. My original pick was a weekend getaway to busch gardens in VA just because we had so many memories there. I booked the whole trip but because of last minute work problems she could not go away for the weekend, feeling defeated but determined I took her for a day trip to dorney park on july 15 2007. It was a clear mid week perfect day, I packed a cooler full of food and beer for a picnic lunch and hid the ring in the trunck so she would not see it. When we arrived at dorney park I planned on going to the water park first then give her the ring later but becuase I was so excited I told her that we would beat the crowds and go to the coasters first. If steel force was not already exciting enough, add a ring that was more expensive then the car I drove to the park in moving around in my pocket ready to fall onto the happiest log flume rider of all time. Once the ride stopped, I knew it was time to pop the question and secure that ring on her finger (hopefully) and not under the swan boat lake. It was a slow walk over to the ride laser (that has since been removed),there is a little bridge where ducks and geese wait for food patiently. I asked her if she loved me to which she replied "I always will", with that, I got on one knee, and popped the big question, I thought we were alone since it was early in the morning and I dident see anyone around, but I quickly realized that we were not alone when a healthy sized woman who reminded me of Big mama from the popular movie, walked out from behind a building and began screaming with tears in her eyes "OH LORD AND BABY JESUS HE IS ON THE GROUND". My wife and I after she said, yes both laughed at our new friends enthusiasm, after a few pictures together (and with big mama of course) we all rode laser together. My only regret is that there was no ride camera on board, the smile on my wife's face, My relief that she had said yes for the ring that was now securely fixated on her hand, and of course, Big mama, squeezed into the seat like a marshmallow into a money box would have been the greatest ride picture of all time, That was the best day of my life. We are now 27 and 28, and look foward to the up and comming theme park season....hmmm, we have never been to carowinds..mabey it is time with the new coaster comming..see all you coaster nuts there! -Mike
From James Rao on February 14, 2010 at 6:57 AM
Never went on a formal date, but I "fell in love" at theme parks on almost every visit! ;)

At Worlds of Fun, two rides in particular were great "date" rides: Zulu and the Zambezi Zinger. Why? Because you were able to combine g-forces with that favorite of hot-blooded teens everywhere: inline seating! Ahhhh, those were the days! =D

From 68.202.26.163 on February 14, 2010 at 10:07 PM
We went to Epcot for our first date, during the flower festival they have. We are not big Disney fans, but it was great, the park was not that busy and we managed to enjoy everything the park had to offer. We continue to go every year as a little "anniversary" celebration.
From Mark Kausch on February 15, 2010 at 3:35 AM
Hey, Mike, I went to that Monkees/Grass Roots/Herman's Hermits/Union Gap concert, too, when it hit San Diego! I won free tix and we saw it after a baseball game. Good concert, but the seats were in the nosebleed section on a Sunday afternoon. Anyway, it was curious that the latter three groups all had the same members except for lead singers Rob Grill/Peter Noone/Gary Puckett.

Uh, what was the question?

Oh, yeah. Lotsa dates at Disneyland. Back before it grew out of my budget. Usta go 2-3 times a year, a tradition that continued into two marriages - the 2nd will be 29 years in June - until it became both physically and financially unfeasable for both of us.

But my most memorable time (OK, maybe I'd better say FIRST most memorable time) was when I took two sisters that had moved away to Ontario, CA, both former girlfriends, on the day that their former high school went up. They were so surprised and happy about it!

From Judd Hall on February 15, 2010 at 8:39 AM
My wife and I went with a couple of other couples for Valentine's Day to Universal Orlando. That was the busiest I've ever seen that park in the six years I've been going there. Although, I'm starting to wonder if the crowd was more because of Presidents' Day being today.

One thing I noticed this weekend was how long the lines were for the Rip Ride Rockit and how forgettable the ride was. Still can't figure out why they were sending cars with the last two rows empty with a wait that long.

Outside of that issue, it was a fantastic time.

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