How to Plan a Small Private Event at Walt Disney World

Whether you’re celebrating your anniversary, planning on popping the question, or looking to add a private meal to a wedding package that doesn’t include one, today’s episode has got you covered! Many people don’t realize that they can plan a private meal, reception or dessert party through Disney Catered Events with as few as two guests. The only requirements are that you pay for at least 10 guests and be staying at a Disney-owned resort.

On today’s show, I walk listeners through every single step of the planning process, from choosing a venue to adding a ride mix-in that gets you to the front of the line on your favorite attraction. I also cover tips I learned by planning multiple anniversary parties, including dinner at Tower of Terror and desserts during IllumiNations. My special guest is Lauren Syvertsen, who shares the story of the amazing surprise birthday party she threw her husband, including appearances by four characters from Aladdin and an over-the-top cake!

CLICK HERE to listen now! Option-click or right-click to download an MP3!

Carrie’s photos © Root Photography / Lauren’s photos © Disney Event Photography

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13 thoughts on “How to Plan a Small Private Event at Walt Disney World

  1. Hi, I’m looking to plan a private dinner for my parents 50th anniversary next year. We will have 8 adults and 2 children, what would you recommend would be our best option? I’m hoping that we can somehow incorporate fireworks into our dinner as well.

    1. For fireworks, I’d do an IllumiNations dinner party at one of the countries in Epcot. With only 10 people, you could do UK Pubside, which has a great view but requires special permission from the park, or wait to see if you can get a larger area (like UK Lochside) if no one else has booked it about a month out. This page has complete details on how to book an event like this. Note that Disney Catered Events now requires you to spend a minimum of $3,000 (Mon-Thu) or $3,500 (Fri-Sun). So everything Disney provides counts toward that: food, drinks, cake, venue fees, viewing fees, transportation, photography, decor and entertainment.

  2. I’m looking to get married at disney world this October 2018 and we are just wanting it to be the two of us what are some prices and places that offer this??? Jennifer

  3. Please help me…My husband and I got married at Disney World December 31, 2007 and had our reception at the Grand Floridian…We are going back for our 10 year anniversary and i want to do something very special. We were going to the California Grill Party but i would rather has a private party.
    Thank you
    Kitrina Jordan

    1. Congratulations on your upcoming anniversary! The phone number to call to plan a private party is at the top of this page, under Disney Catered Events. I would suggest an IllumINations dessert party, but New Year’s Eve is a super-popular night in Epcot, and I have a hunch all the IllumiNations viewing spots are booked already. But it never hurts to ask! There is a $1,000 minimum now to plan a private event through Disney Catered Events, but if that’s do-able, they can help you come up with alternative ideas that might fit your style, like a dinner somewhere. A cheaper alternative is private dining at the Grand Floridian, also discussed at the top of this page. For that you’d just call the number I listed for Grand Floridian Private Dining. You might also consider a fireworks cruise on Seven Seas Lagoon or into Epcot to see IllumiNations. For that you can just call 407-WDW-PLAY.

  4. Celebrating my 50th anniversary for at least 45 guests on August 5th 2017
    No dancing, no alcoholic drinks
    Just have it catered

  5. This is so informative! Is there a good time frame when to reach out to Disney Catering for an Illuminations Party or to Grand Floridian private dining? I would love to surprise my husband with one of these options for our one year wedding anniversary trip in April, but I’m not sure of our dates yet.

    1. Hi Katherine! I think 6 months out is a good time to reach out. The Grand Floridian seems to like to do things in the last 3 months but will send you menus and info before then, and Disney Catered Events can take a while to get you hooked up with a planner. (Just remember: Don’t flinch if they tell you the minimum is something ridiculous like $5,000. It’s not! They’re just testing you…).

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