The 2019 Disney Weddings Showcase
I recently had the pleasure of spending a weekend at Disneyland with the team who makes happily ever afters a reality: Disney Fairy Tale Weddings. Disney invited me to the resort to attend their annual Disney Weddings Showcase, a special event that gives prospective couples the chance to interact with the Disneyland weddings team, tour venues (all done up with gooooorgeous floral and decor), sample menu items (including cotton candy cake and Dole Whip churros!!), and meet preferred vendors.
The last time Mark and I attended a Disney Weddings Showcase, we were gearing up for our own happily ever after. This time we’re on the other side, having said our I-Dos and experienced our very own Disney Wedding (post on that experience coming very soon). I’ll admit, it’s nice to have all the the stress of wedding planning behind me. Buuuuut, the Showcase was BEYOND STUNNING and had me seriously thinking about vow renewals just so we could have an excuse to host another Disney Weddings shindig.
Our Disney Weddings weekend started at the Grand Californian Hotel, where Disney hosted us for the night and greeted us with the MOST EPIC CINDERELLA CAKE. And then it was time for the real fun to begin…
Lunch at Carthay
On the day of the Showcase, we were treated to a special media lunch at Carthay Circle. Carthay’s food is amazing by default (the fried biscuits are actually heaven), but Disney Weddings took it up a notch with a three course meal in the private dining room. We’re talkin’ biscuits, fire cracker duck wings, citrus-marinated ceviche, angus sirloin, and the most fluffy and decadent dark chocolate mousse. Plus our own boxes of Disney Weddings goodies!
The Rose Court Garden
After noshing to our heart’s content, we walked over to the Disneyland Hotel to start our grand circle tour of some of the Disney Weddings venues, all dressed up with floral and decor. First up: the Rose Court Garden.
This is the premier wedding venue at the Disneyland Hotel, available 7 days a week for up to 300 wedding guests. It’s a relatively secluded location, off the beaten path and surrounded by beautiful flowers and greenery for extra privacy. The venue features a massive gazebo as its centerpiece, just waiting to be done up in roses. The area is also directly accessibly by a wide footpath, which is perfect for brides who want a grand entrance in the famed Crystal Coach horse-drawn carriage.
Disney Weddings Planning Salon
Next up on our tour was a stop at the Disney Weddings Planning Salon. This is located on the ground floor of the Frontier Tower in the Disneyland Hotel, and it’s where Disney Weddings couples get to have in-person meetings with their assigned wedding planner.
This is probably one of the best perks of Disney Weddings: every couple is assigned their own wedding planner, free of charge. This person guides you through the entire process, and is responsible for coordinating EVERYTHING — from the vendors to the food to the day of timeline. They’re basically in charge of making your dream vision come true, and having lived through my own Disney Wedding, it’s hard to imagine the experience running smoothly without them.
Being back in the Planning Salon was total déjà vu for us, since this is where we met our planner, Keli, when we were prepping for our Grand Californian reception. It’s an awesome space, and they really spruce up the room ahead of your meeting. When we we had our in-person meeting, Keli had samples of floral centerpieces, flatware, menu cards, and reception chairs all laid out for us. It was great to be able to see it all in person before the big day, and another special touch that made us feel truly taken care of.
Magic Kingdom Lawn
After our visit to the Planning Salon, we made our way over to my favorite Disneyland Hotel venue: The Magic Kingdom Lawn. It’s a beautiful, minimalist green space tucked away behind the Disneyland Hotel pools, and perfect for couples who want a blank canvas for their outdoor venue. This area can host up to 300 wedding guests, and can be used for both ceremonies and receptions. As a testament to just what Disney Weddings is capable of, they had the venue decked out in some of the most decadent floral and decor I’ve ever seen. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.
Sleeping Beauty Pavilion
Next up: The Sleeping Beauty Pavilion. This is an indoor venue inside the Disneyland Hotel, and one of Disney Wedding’s most popular reception locations. It’s not hard to see why. The venue features a large circular room with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the pools, and a Beauty and the Beast inspired chandelier above a big dance floor space. It’s also the perfect size — not too big that it feels impersonal, but still substantial enough to hold up to 120 guests.
Once again, the Disney Weddings Showcase is a PERFECT event for prospective couples. In addition to being able to see venues all dressed up with floral and decor, there’s also a bunch of reception food and drink for guests to try. This was a watermelon martini and it was deeeelicious.
This is a brand new Disney Weddings cake flavor: COTTON CANDY. I thought it would be overly sweet but it was actually perfectly subtle. Bummer they didn’t have this option for our reception, but I guess it’s just an excuse for a do-over? 😉
Magic Kingdom Ballroom
Right across the hall from the Sleeping Beauty Pavilion is the Magic Kingdom Ballroom, a great option for couples with large guest counts. The room has super high ceilings can hold up to 600 guests. The ballroom also has its own foyer area where guests can host pre-reception cocktail hours.
Disneyland Hotel Grand Ballroom
Last up, we have the creme de la creme of Disneyland Hotel ballrooms. Aptly named the Grand Ballroom, this room is MASSIVE and can hold up to 1,000 guests. From the Disney Weddings site: “With over 18,000 square feet of floor space, the room features a sunken dance floor and a stage with a fiber optic curtain that can be illuminated with beautiful twinkling lights, this venue can be sectioned off in different configurations to accommodate celebrations starting at 250 guests. A private indoor foyer in front of the ballroom can be used to host your pre-reception.”
Suffice to say, it’s a huge space. And for the Showcase, it was filled to the brim with decor examples, wall projections, food samples, photo opps, cake, and vendors.
Disney Weddings is full of magic, but one thing that deserves its own special callout is their customizable wedding cake mapping. Using projection technology, your 3-tier wedding cake can essentially transform into its own movie screen. You can choose from an array of animated Disney sequences (everything from Sorcerer Mickey and Tangled lanterns to the entire magic carpet ride segment from Aladdin), or your own custom photos and videos.
Pricing starts at $5,000, which includes a faux cake, projector, projector decor, stanchions, technical equipment and support, as well as up to 6 animated sequence selections. Additional sequences are available for $300 each.
Of course, I can’t talk about Disney Weddings without mentioning one of my very favorite Disney Weddings experiences — the character meet and greets! Mickey and Minnie is a standard option for Disney Weddings guests, but you can pretty much request anyone you’d, like pending availability. They’re also able to dress up in a variety of outfits: at Aulani, we had Mickey and Minnie visit in tropical Hawaiian garb, but back at the Grand they were in a tux and floor length dress. So cute!
Prices vary based on location, venue, date, availability, etc. but it to be roughly $1500-$1750 for a 30-minute block with Mickey + Minnie (and slightly cheaper for a solo character). It sounds like a splurge, but in the grand scheme of wedding costs, it’s pretty reasonable for such a unique experience.
Hopefully this gives you a tiny taste of what’s possible with Disney Weddings. There are more magical venues at Walt Disney World, on Disney Cruises, at the Aulani Resort in Hawaii, and even inside the Disneyland park. If you happen to live near Disneyland or Walt Disney World, I highly recommend taking advantage of the next Disney Weddings Showcase event. They’re free of charge and open to the public, and simply require a quick reservation through the Disney Weddings website.
This is really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Disney Weddings, I still have SO MUCH goodness to share. We just got the last of our photos back from our own Disney Wedding, so please stay tuned for LOTS AND LOTS of posts full of LOTS AND LOTS of pictures.
I’m also working on a larger FAQ blog post to address the various questions I’ve received about my own experiences with Disney Weddings (everything from how to get started, to how much it costs).