Planning a Private Dinner: Grand Floridian

 Please check out our previous celebrations posts for finding more magical ways to celebrate special moments while in Walt Disney World.

Many Disney Wedding couples will find themselves planning returning trips to celebrate their anniversary, and often trying to find a special way to mark each passing year.

Disney World offers many options both large and small for celebrating anniversaries.  When my husband and I decided to return for our 1st anniversary, the wheels started spinning.  With the help of the Disneymooners and the forums, I uncovered many options for planning unique anniversary dinners.  I wanted this all to be a surprise so that was the hardest part.

After a few months of thinking over what I really wanted to do, I decided on planning a private dinner for us  at the Grand Floridian.  Many people don’t realize that it’s as simple as contacting private dining at the resort you are staying to set up something truly unique.

I contacted the Grand Floridian Private dining several months before and we set out to plan the event and the dinner menu.  I wanted to try and recreate our dinner menu as close as possible.  In the end, Disney went above and beyond my expectations for this.

Once we arrived at the Grand that evening, I actually wasn’t certain where I was going, until I noticed a BUTLER! standing by the piano with a tray of drinks and roses. I was shocked and knew it was for us.  He was great and it made the evening seem so private for us.

He led us to the 3rd floor concierge elevator and out the doors to the terrace. This was where we were eating.

So we saw our table all set up and say down to relax as our butler brought our food. This was the closest we would get to having our wedding. It was actually pretty close except for the appetizer.

The sorbet was much different than what we had but they made it fresh!  The taste was incredible.

The Butler gave us this for dessert, which was so sweet.

Overall, this experience was a great one and worth the money we spent.  We would have spent the same amount at any of the fancier restaurants on property.

You can read more on ways to celebrate your Disney Wedding Anniversary both here on our blog and on our Disneymooner Forums


Disneyland Vendor Reveal: Your Harpist

Continuing our series of “Vendor Reveals”.  Through our Disneymooner forums we’ve found our members have used a number and variety of Vendors for their Disney Wedding and we’ve been asking those Vendors to reveal just a little more about their business……. and themselves!

Another Vendor Reveal from the West coast servicing Disneyland Fairytale Weddings.

What is the name of your business/service and what is your offering?
– Your Harpist provides harp music for all of Southern California – Los Angeles and Surrounding Areas

What is your name, seems obvious I know but maybe it’s different from your business name?
– Ted Nichelson

What do you believe makes your business/service unique?
– The magic of live harp music adds so much to the finesse of a wedding ceremony. Not only is the instrument beautiful to look at but the sound is as well.

How did you get started and how long have you been doing this?
– I began taking harp lessons in my hometown growing up, and have been a professional harpist for more than 10 years now. I’ve played for more than 1000 weddings in Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, and California.

When not working a wedding at Disneyland (or another venue for that matter) what are you doing?
– I am a property manager in Los Angeles when not working as a harpist

What is your favorite part about your job?
– Most of all, I enjoy getting to travel around the area and perform at many interesting resorts, hotels, and natural settings.

What types of wedding packages do you offer Disney brides? (please feel free to add a link for Brides to get more information if applicable)
– I offer a standard wedding package, which includes consultations, a prelude of music to set the mood as guests are seated, the processional music, the recessional, and a short postlude as guests exit. On occasion, brides elect to have me also play for the cocktail hour.

What is your favorite wedding trend right now in relation to your business/service?
– I have really enjoyed the personal touches that brides and grooms add by selecting music that is meaningful to them in one way or another. I believe it makes their special day that much more memorable. I’ve been very willing to work with special requests to make this possible.

What’s your favorite thing about doing Disney weddings?
– The wedding staff at Disney is very organized, friendly, and wonderful to work with. I have never had any problems.

What was your strangest request when working a Disney wedding?
– I haven’t had a strange request, but one time a bride came riding in on the Disney Main Street fire engine, which I thought was amazing.

What’s your most memorable moment that you have taken away from a Disney wedding?
– One time Goofy walked up to me and really got exited about my harp, and did a pantomime to communicate how much he loved my music. I really enjoyed the extra attention, Goofy certainly is a comedian.

If you were getting married at Disneyland where would you have your ceremony and reception and why?
– The Rose Court Garden is a lovely setting, there is plenty of room for guest seating, it is quiet, and very intimate. A good place for the reception is the Sleeping Pavilion which has windows overlooking the beautiful Disney Hotel property.

Who is your favorite Disney character and why?
– I’ve always liked Goofy, mostly because Goofy’s Kitchen is nearby where most wedding receptions take place and he always waves at me.

Which is your favorite Disney attraction and why?
– I’ve always loved the Haunted Mansion – it never gets old no matter how many times you visit.

Why should a Disneymooner choose your service?
– I really do care about my clients, and do everything possible so that they will be happy and satisfied with the music for their special day. I feel that I am professional, reliable, and also confident of my performing skills. Anyone booking Your Harpist can be sure they will be very pleased with my services.

Theodore Nichelson – Your Harpist

Thanks to Ted, Your Harpist for answering our questions as part of our Vendor Reveal series, if you would like your work revealed to our readers please contact

Trends We Love: Rectangular Tables

The following post is written by our Disneyland Wedding Guru Debbie.  To read more about  tips and trends to make your wedding stand out, please visit our Disneymooner Forums

Guest seating: Long rectangular tables

If you’d like a different look and feel to your reception you may want to consider long rectangular tables for your guests instead of the typical rounds. This can lead to a more intimate setting since your guests won’t be sitting so far across from each other. However, some people do not like that they may have reduced access to those sitting farther down the table from them. Long tables are typically perceived as more of a traditional family style set up. Depending on your guest count you can use one long table or several shorter ones. Be sure not to cram too many guests into one table or getting in and out of their seats could be cumbersome. The long tables can lead to a very elegant or casual feel depending on the décor you choose. When visualizing your reception space and the elements you’d like to include (dance floor, music, cake table, etc.) this may be a good option for laying out the room.

Here are some long tables options we love…..

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We are really loving this table trend, what about you?  Do you have other ideas on how to seat your wedding guests?

A Disney Bride’s Favorite Moments: Beth

Some of our Disneymooner Forum members have been sharing their favorite moments from their Disney Wedding. This week’s favorite moment was shared by Disneymooner Beth, who had a Disney Escape Wedding and spent a lovely honeymoon in Walt Disney World. To find out more about her events, join on the Disneymooner Forums.

“One of my favorite memories of our wedding week happened at the Coral Reef!

This has always been one of my favorite restaurants I love the aquarium and I was hoping beyond hope that we would be sitting close to it. We went and checked in early (it was like 11:30) and were told it would take a few minutes. OK no problem at all we could at least sit down in the air-conditioned building which felt so good after being outside in the sun for the past hour and half running across the world and back. We just sat and relaxed and enjoyed life when our names were called. It was hard to get up and move but I couldn’t wait for Dennis to see the inside of the restaurant. His first reaction was WOW and my first reaction when we got a table right by the aquarium was also WOW! I had never been that close and knew that the meal was going to be very pleasant. We could barely drag our eyes away from the fish when out waiter came to get our drink and appetizer order.

While we were waiting for our main courses I noticed a school of fish headed to our table, I was pointing it out to Dennis when we noticed that there was a diver in the middle of the fish. I was so excited it must be feeding time and we got to watch but the diver kept coming our way, the last feeding I saw the diver stopped in the middle of the tank where everyone could see but he was headed our way. When he reached our table he stopped and waved and blew kisses to me. I blew kisses back I mean what’s a girl supposed to do? Dennis was laughing the whole time and the diver started fumbling for something and I thought it was a waterproof marker and paper. I had seen them write things before for others by way of communication so I didn’t think twice about that. What blew me away was when he unrolled this sheet of paper and it said “Congratulations Dennis and Beth”.

I stood up so fast and almost fell over the extra chair on my way to Dennis’s side for the camera. All the cast members were gathering around and all the other guests in the restaurant were headed over that way. One mom pulled her son back who was headed for our spot by the aquarium to talk to the diver and wave. I couldn’t even speak right then and Dennis grabbed the camera and got a picture.

A cast member came running and asked if we wanted a picture with him and of course the answer was yes. I was almost in tears right then, I had never felt more Disney Magic than I did at that moment. We were both blown away. The cast member got our picture and we waved at the diver again as he left. I think by this point I did have tears running down my face and was just in shock. Everyone in the restaurant was telling us congratulations and it was all I could do to shake my head thanks.

Our waiter came up and asked if we knew that it was coming and I looked up at him and shook my head no. He then asked who had arranged it for us because it had to be done special. Again we said we had no idea and I began wracking my brain as to who I had told about us eating there and when we were going to be there. The only name that came up was that of our travel agent since she had made the arrangements. The waiter had gone to ask the manager for us but he did not know either.

Our food arrived and I remember that it was delicious but I was still on cloud nine with the diver. As we were beginning to dig-in the diver appeared beside our table with the certificate and we talked for a few minutes. We told him how much we appreciated it and how magical it made our visit.”

What a wonderful memory – thank you for sharing Beth! Our understanding is that sadly you can no longer book a diver-relayed message for a special occasion but occasionally, you’ll see divers in the tank feeding fish and cleaning.