How to Plan a Private Dessert Party at Walt Disney World

I get a LOT of comments and questions on my Plan a Small Private Event at Walt Disney World page—specifically, about private dessert parties during fireworks shows. These are a great way to celebrate a special occasion at Disney that most people think is reserved only for weddings and corporate events. But Disney Catered Events will actually work with groups as small as 10 (and sometimes smaller—your mileage may vary) as long as the majority are staying at a Disney-owned and -operated hotel.

I’ve always had the pricing for every Walt Disney World event venue in Chapters 3 and 5 of  Carrie Hayward’s Fairytale Weddings Guide, but I realize that a lot of the people who find this site are not planning a wedding and don’t need the book.

So I thought it would be helpful to add a breakdown of specific pricing for dessert parties for all three Walt Disney World fireworks shows. Epcot has too many venues and variables to list every venue fee and food and beverage minimum, but I put in the lowest and highest. If you don’t have the PassPorter and need pricing for a specific Epcot venue, just leave a comment on that page and I’ll reply with it.

This way to Basic Dessert Party Pricing!

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16 Responses
  • Kim
    February 21, 2017

    Hi, I am trying to plan a dessert party at Epcot for next year. How far in advance do they allow you to start planning? Also, I am reading the Passporter Wedding Guide and trying to best plan the location for the dessert party, We should have approximately 12-18 guests, do you have a suggestion for a location that works for smaller groups? It seems that a lot of the locations are for 10 and under or 20 or more. Do they allow Memories brides and grooms to wear their wedding attire? I am a bit confused on this one. Thank you!

    • Carrie
      February 21, 2017

      Hi Kim! You can usually start talking to them around a year out—Disney Catered Events isn’t as strict with its timelines as Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings. For your group size, I’d recommend UK Lochside or Italy Isola West—they have the best views, and you can usually get them even with fewer than 20 people as long as you can wait til closer to the date to confirm. The Memories thing is confusing. Technically the only way to be able to wear wedding attire inside Epcot is to plan your dessert party through Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings. But DFTW refuses to plan dessert parties for Memories couples! So you can try what this bride did, which is to get Disney’s Catered Events talking to DFTW so that she could wear her gown in the park…. BUT they charged her a much higher deposit than DCE usually charges. 🙁

      • Kim
        February 22, 2017

        Thank you so much for the quick reply. I like the U.K. areas, never really considered Italy but I will be going to Epcot soon so I can check both out. I will take a listen to this podcast as well. I’d really like to wear our wedding attire but I don’t want to fight them. One thing I was also wondering, since they have made the $1,000 minimum for 2017 catered events, do food and beverage minimum still also apply?

        Thank you again!

        • Carrie
          February 22, 2017

          Yes. It’s sort of like the way DFTW used to have an overall flat minimum of $10,000 you had to meet in order to have a Wishes Wedding (now there are 3 different minimums!). So you have to spend $250 on food and beverage at UK Pubside, for example, because that’s the venue-specific food and beverage minimum. That counts toward the $1,000 total you must spend on anything you can get from Disney (food, drinks, cake, decor, delivery fees, venue fee, entertainment, transportation, etc.). So add in UK Pubside’s $150 venue fee, 10 IllumiNations viewing fees, a $250 cake and $250 worth of backstage transportation, and you’ve met the $1,000 minimum.

  • John Z
    July 16, 2015

    Hi,

    I just talked to catering about using UK pub and they stated minimum 10 people at $2500.00. That’s way off from the article. Am I explaining it incorrectly to catering or have their rules changed? Help

    John z

    • Carrie
      July 16, 2015

      The first people you talk to when you call the hotline rarely know what they’re talking about. They’ve been instructed to scare off those inquiring about small events by telling them the minimum is $2,000 or more. The best thing to do is to say, “OK!” and get them to put you in touch with an actual planner, who will have the real pricing.

  • Allison
    June 24, 2015

    Any dessert party venue suggestions for 15 people as part of a 40th Anniversary, 70th Birthday, 65th Birthday, 40th Birthday and 5th Birthday celebratory extravaganza trip? (And yes, that’s a mouthful.) Given that we are already sponsoring this not-so-little excursion, an economical (for Disney) option would be appreciated… Thanks!

    • Carrie
      June 24, 2015

      Hi Allison!

      With 15 people you could use some of the smaller locations inside Epcot with lower food and beverage minimums, like Canada Overlook or UK Upper Terrace, which have a venue fee of $250 and a food and beverage minimum of $460. If everyone has park admission already, you won’t need to pay a viewing fee. Doing a party at the Grand Floridian or Contemporary will eliminate the venue fee and viewing fee, but the food and beverage minimums are higher, so it might be a wash, financially. All the prices for those are here: https://disneytravelbabble.com/how-to/private-party/#dppricing

  • heather
    May 13, 2015

    I was thinking of surprising my husband by reserving the balcony in Italy for IllumiNations. Did you think that experience was worth the money?

    • Carrie
      May 13, 2015

      For me, yes, because it’s really a unique experience. I love not having to fight the crowds or stake out a spot way in advance, and the view is fantastic!

  • Natalie
    May 5, 2015

    Does California Adventure do dessert parties for World of Color or are dessert parties exclusively a WDW thing?

    • Carrie
      May 5, 2015

      From everything I’ve seen, you can add a World of Color viewing to a catered event, but you can’t actually eat in front of the show. But lemme do some research and let you know if I find out otherwise.

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