Plan a Small Private Event at Walt Disney World

There are a couple of ways to set up a small private event at Walt Disney World. One is to call Private Dining at the Grand Floridian (407-824-2474) and arrange to have dinner somewhere in the hotel or at the Marina during Wishes. Figure on at least $200 once you factor in the resort’s pricey catering menu and the services of the butler who meets you in the lobby and serves you at your table. You can also request food from any of the resort’s restaurants for a hefty surcharge. Here’s a link to a great detailed report of an anniversary party there, and here’s a sweet surprise birthday party.

The other way to do a small private event at Walt Disney World is to work with Disney Catered Events (meetings@disneyworld.com or 321-939-7278). You will be assigned an event planner who works at the resort where you’re staying, but you can plan an event at any other resort or in some of the parks. The only requirement is that you be staying at a Disney-owned resort.

This page links to photos of nearly every event venue at Walt Disney World. I also have a post with detailed pricing info and photos of event locations inside Disney’s Hollywood Studio.

Now that I’ve done two of these, I’ve split them out into their own pages, complete with detailed planning info and picture-packed recaps of each event.

How to Plan a Tower of Terror Dinner Party

How to Plan an IllumiNations Dessert Party

{ 134 comments… read them below or add one }

Brittany Stevenson October 21, 2013 at 10:42 AM

You are so helpful! Also, do you know when you would pay? For example, would you pay when you booked it or would it be due later on? So, I could get a bouquet similar to the one I had for my wedding through my Disney Florist?

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Carrie October 21, 2013 at 10:51 AM

I believe they would take your credit card number and charge it on the day of.

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Carolyn November 15, 2013 at 8:26 AM

We are planning a very small wedding at Shades of Green with just the two of us and my son. Could you offer some suggestions for dinner and/or dessert locations for the three of us that would offer some privacy and a special experience? Thank you!

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Carolyn November 15, 2013 at 8:27 AM

Oh and by the way….we’re planning this for late April 2014!

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Carrie November 18, 2013 at 4:16 PM

Hi Carolyn! OK, the easiest to plan would be a meal at the Grand Floridian via Private Dining, as mentioned at the top of this page. Otherwise, you could do an IllumiNations dessert party in one of the smaller locations at Epcot, like UK Pubside or Japan, but you’d need to pay the food and beverage minimums for 10 people ($230-$250 total). Italy Overlook might work for IllumiNations viewing, but no food is served there. Check out the WDW Reception Locations page for photos of every spot in Epcot.

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Carolyn November 20, 2013 at 12:20 PM

Thank you!

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diane November 20, 2013 at 11:10 AM

Hi Carrie. Me again, I haven’t been in touch in a while. I’m the one planning the big deal 30th anniversary party in February at Chef’s Domain and with the Grand Yacht. My husband and I had the good fortune of dining there a couple of weeks ago and we met with a chef and with Pat Anderson, the cake coordinator. It was lovely, place is gorgeous. My husband loved the scallops, but to me the short ribs were just as good at Sanaa, nothing special there.
Anyhoo, I’m wondering if you know anything about private events (not weddings) at Wilderness Lodge/Artist Point? We also had dinner there with friends a couple of weeks ago and it was nothing short of amazing! Plus that resort is just too beautiful! Soooo, now I’m thinking of looking into switching over. While Chef’s Domain is lovely, we are up to 12 people and that’s a bit of a squeeze, so we are thinking that if we move out into the restaurant, we can go to any restaurant, and I like WL and AP better. It does leave the question of travelling over to GF Marina for the Grand Yacht thought. They won’t pick us up at WL Marina will they?
Any info you have would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Diane

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Carrie November 20, 2013 at 2:06 PM

Hi Diane! As long as you’re OK with there not being a private room at Artist Point, it sounds like the change would be ideal. And I am almost certain you can have the Grand 1 pick you up at the Wilderness Lodge dock, since the waterways do connect over there.

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Lindsey February 6, 2014 at 9:52 AM

Apparently Disney World no longer allows this. The e-mail I got this morning.

At this time, in order to maintain a consistency of offerings for all of our guests and provide the best overall event experience, we are unable to host IllumiNations dessert parties for less than 10 guests, even if the minimum expenditure is met. We invite you to explore some of the options available for groups smaller than 10 guests.

If you would like further clarification or have any additional questions, please contact us at 407-939-7129.

Thank you and have a magical day!
Disney Meetings

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Carrie February 7, 2014 at 9:29 AM

Yeah, that’s Disney Meetings. I’ve only ever had success with Disney Catered Events. (And I love how Disney Meetings “invite(s) you to explore some of the options available for groups smaller than 10 guests” but then don’t actually tell you what those are. Cuz there aren’t any.) I’d keep checking with the Disney Event Group, or just do something with Private Dining at the Grand Floridian, where they’re more than willing to help out couples and small groups.

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Claire February 21, 2014 at 8:16 AM

Hi,
My husband and I we’re married in the wedding pavilion in 2011 and now have a 3 month old son. We’d love to return to Disney and have a baby naming ceremony for him but I have no idea if Disney allows this sort of thing and if so, where we can have it. There will only be 6 adults, 1 child and 2 babies so just something low key and not too expensive is what we’re after. Can you help at all please?

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Carrie February 21, 2014 at 3:22 PM

That’s an interesting question. They do quinceañeras and birthday parties and other special events, but I haven’t heard of any baby-naming ceremonies. I think if you just booked it as a private party and did your own thing at the party that might be the best way to go. Or even just held the ceremony in your room or a suite. Not that Disney discourages such a thing, just that they don’t really have any set options for it as far as I know.

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Claire February 22, 2014 at 1:55 AM

That’s surprising as there must be a market for it-think they’re missing a trick! We won’t be staying on site so what will out options be? Where would we be allowed to hold a short private event? Thanks for your help.

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Carrie February 23, 2014 at 1:51 PM

Oh, shoot! They only let you plan private events if you’re staying at a Disney resort. The one exception might be Private Dining at the Grand Floridian, who seem pretty open to planning dinners on their private balcony and marina to just about anyone. You might given them a call about planning a private meal (407-824-2474) and then just do the ceremony yourselves while you’re there.

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Roberto June 29, 2014 at 11:09 PM

Hi!
I love the events you’ve planned and the information on here is great! My future wife and I have been looking at venues in Walt Disney World and I was actually wondering if you knew if the area where the wishing well is would be available? We only have about a group of 10 people so we wouldn’t need much..

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Carrie June 30, 2014 at 11:51 AM

Hi Roberto! Unfortunately, the only location they are currently offering inside the Magic Kingdom is Main Street Station. It is open to those planning Wishes weddings, which start at 20 people. However, they do have a prop wishing well you can rent as decor for your reception. It even has water in it!

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