By Sarah “Living Seas Bride”
My husband and I knew that we wanted to celebrate our fifth anniversary in Disney and knew we wanted to do something different. We had celebrated the event in other ways over the years but wanted to mark this occasion differently. We were discussing our various options for dessert parties, private dining, and cruises when a very “Grand” idea popped into our heads. As Disney Vacation Club Members at Bay Lake Tower, we had always wanted a reason to stay in a villa with a Magic Kingdom view. We thought what better reason than our anniversary to book a Three Bedroom Grand Villa and invite our friends and family to join us.
The real planning began with a phone call to conventions at The Contemporary Resort and I was met with very helpful cast member who quickly directed me to Randy Ramos at Contemporary Private Dining. Randy was extremely helpful and a pleasure to work with while planning our anniversary. We emailed and spoke for several months leading up to our July trip. He would often email me late at night when I had questions regarding the menu.
I explained that we wanted private dining to cater an event in our room, for around 20 guests. We would be inviting our guests to our room to watch Wishes, as a sort of in house fireworks viewing. Randy emailed menus back and forth to me and in the end we created a customized menu based on what we wanted to serve and what was in our budget. It was very easy to plan and the catering team was very accommodating.
Our Menu :
Sweet potato fries
On the day of our event, Randy and his team met us in the room, to discuss set up of the food. It was all together very professional and they really made us feel like our event was special. An hour before our guests arrived, catering came to set-up the villa. We were shocked by the level, to which they set up the space. We had only expected the food to be delivered to the room. The catering team brought in a buffet table, special linens, serving platters and utensils, candles and other decorative elements. The food was delivered and set up and at the end of the evening the team arrived again to clean up for us.
We were really pleased with the private event team and highly recommend them. The pricing and food were reasonable and the quality of the food was excellent.
Hosting our event in our villa meant that we saved a great deal of money. Having planned other anniversary events in the past, this was by far the cheapest alternative. We had no viewing fees, site fees, or special delivery fees that are often associated with in park events. Most importantly we were under no time restraint. It was our room and we could hang out and relax for as long as we wanted with our guests. It was really nice to sit back and watch Wishes from our living room, with our friends and family, and not have to fight any crowds to leave a park at the end of the night.
For a detailed budget and more images please check out the Disneymooners Forums. I’ve also planned several other events with reviews as well.