Romance is in the air — and the rides at Orlando's theme parks

February puts the spotlight on romance and that doesn't have to change just because you're surrounded by turkey legs, throngs of tourists, daunting queues and double-wide strollers at theme parks. Using factors such as privacy, atmosphere and uniqueness, we picked seven spots that could make the heart grow fonder at Central Florida's seven theme parks.

Paddle boats

SeaWorld Orlando

Flamingo-shaped vessels provide a watery getaway for two on the park's central lagoon. And February is a good month to think pink. In most other months, it will be very easy to work up a sweat keeping the boats in motion. (Cost: $5 per person for 20 minutes.)

Discovery Island Trails

Disney's Animal Kingdom

The paths and greenery around the park's iconic Tree of Life are good for exploring and provide little nooks of privacy. The area, which includes waterfalls and bird exhibits, provides an excellent angle to look over the elaborate carvings of animals together in the "bark" of the tree.

Peter Pan's Flight

Magic Kingdom

It's a ride designed for kids, so it's cozy. But the gently dangling ride vehicles glide over a pleasing nighttime London scene before encountering Hook- and croc-based danger … and a happy ending.

Fireworks Cruise

Epcot

Get away from the crowds for a unique onboard perspective of the nightly "IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth" fireworks and light show. The six-passenger ship comes complete with captain. Get reservations (up to 90 days in advance) by calling 407-939-7529.

Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant

Disney's Hollywood Studios

This eatery hearkens back to grandma and grandpa's courting days. It's has low lighting you might find in finer restaurants, and the place is spookily quiet.

Wizarding World of Harry Potter (the dark side)

Islands of Adventure

Islands is a high-energy sort of place where there's almost too much going on for love to bloom. But after sunset, Hogsmeade takes on a new glow with romantic lighting and sparkling snow-capped rooftops. Pretend someone has left the light on for you at Hogwarts castle.

Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit

Universal Studios

Stay with me here. Can we all agree that dating has its ups and downs? OK, well, this might be for the more adventurous couples, but at least the passengers ride in couples. For maximum lovey-dovey effect, we suggest selecting ZZ Top's "Gimme All Your Lovin' " as the coaster's soundtrack.

dbevil@tribune.com or 407-420-5477

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