Disney Carriage Rides

Are you looking for something romantic to do on your next Disney vacation?  If you’re looking for something out of the parks, why not try a horse and carriage ride at one of the resorts?  Carriage rides are available at both Port Orleans Riverside and Fort Wilderness.

My husband and I had the pleasure of going on a carriage ride at Fort Wilderness and were pleasantly surprised by how much we enjoyed it.  The carriages are stationed across from Crockett’s Tavern.  When you board the carriage, your guide will ask you what route you’d like to take.  You can do a rustic route through the trails that connect Fort Wilderness to Wilderness Lodge, or you can take another route that will allow you to view the water on your ride.

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Fort Wilderness really feels like worlds away from the hustle and bustle of the parks so it is a perfect way to spend a relaxing evening. You can even arrange to have champagne or wine on your ride. During the colder months, your driver will provide you with blankets.  If you visit during Christmas time, you can ask to go on a route that will let you view all of the decorations campers have used to decorate their RVs and campsites.

The ride lasts for 25 minutes and costs $45 (including tax). The one downside is that you cannot use a credit card, but you can use your Disney room key (or cash!) The first carriage leaves at 6 P.M. and the last one leaves at 9:30.  During certain times of the year, you can time it right so that you can view the fireworks while you are on your ride.

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This photo is from: wdwpionears website

What other romantic things have you done on your Disney Honeymoon? We’d love to hear about them!

Thanks to one of our Disneymooner Pixies, Jennifer for this article.  To read more about  tips and trends to make your wedding stand out, please visit our Disneymooner Forums

 

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

Lady & The Tramp themed Welcome Party

This post was written by Disneymooner Heidi. For more information about her event and others at this location please join the  Disneymooner Forums

When we started planning our Disney Wedding, I was overwhelmed with all the amazing venues and options we had. I knew I wanted our wedding to be a once-in-a-lifetime event both for us and our guests. Initially, I was hoping for a morning ceremony, followed by a brunch reception and an IllumiNations dessert party later that night. I fell in love with the idea of an event at Italy Isola, the “island” in front of the Italy Pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase.

Unfortunately, the location was booked for the evening of our wedding date, which was MLK, Jr. Day in 2009. Our Coordinator suggested hosting an event there the night before the wedding, and the more I thought about it, the more I liked it! We decided to call it a “Welcome Dinner” instead of a rehearsal dinner, since all of our guests were either family, in the wedding party, or from out-of-town. This gave us all the opportunity to spend time together before the big day. Plus, the drama of IllumiNations combined with the VIP treatment of a private dinner on Italy Isola certainly set the stage for how unique our wedding would be.

Surprisingly, a simple dinner buffet was not four times the cost of a dessert buffet, as I had initially thought. True, you can have a fairly inexpensive dessert buffet, but by the time I had added all the “extras” I HAD to have, our dessert party would have been only $15 or so p.p. less than the dinner buffet we selected, which included dessert! Because it was set in Italy, and because I love “Lady and the Tramp,” we went with an Italian theme, complete with the Lady and the Tramp buffet that Epcot catering offered at the time. We also opted to do B.O.C. (bill on consumption) for alcohol and drinks (which we also chose for the wedding) and it saved us a bundle. The event happens so quickly, and folks spend so much time either visiting or watching the fireworks, that drinks are not consumed as quickly as you might imagine.

Keeping with the Italian theme, we used Epcot’s black plastic tables and chairs, but had Disney Floral cover the tables with red and white checkered table cloths and an assortment of dried pasta and lanterns for centerpieces.

While I think the effect was perfect, I’m sure a simpler table setting would not have taken away from the beauty of the event.

We also worked with Shelley from Impressions to complete a seating chart, table names and menus…with a Lady and the Tramp theme, of course.


The only chink in the armor was that the day of the event proved to be a chilly one! It was January 18th, and it was in the 50s that evening. After a few discussions with our planner, we decided to add heaters to the event. This proved to be expensive, but our other option was to move the dinner indoors (possibly to the American Adventure Parlor on the second floor of the AA building), and then move outside for the fireworks. I was against that, due to the planning we had put into having a cohesive event. In the end, it might have been a smarter choice, as we were all pretty chilly. So, if you’re having an event in January or February, be prepared for the weather to interfere!

As with everything else in Epcot, your guests must arrive by bus (or have a park ticket). And despite our numerous reminders about the bus times and locations, my father-in-law and his wife missed the bus, because “someone told [them] they had to have park tickets to get into Epcot and come through the front gate.” Ugh. So, be prepared to address these concerns in numerous ways to get the message across for your guests.

Nonetheless, everything looked and (mostly) tasted fabulous.

The food was quite a spread! The only negative was that the “tiramisu” was more like a mousse than an actual tiramisu, so avoid that if you can!

We had salad and antipasti…

Tilapia Picatta, Chicken Parm, Spaghetti and Meatballs, Penne Pasta and Roasted Veggies

As well as cannoli and the offending tiramisu for dessert.

And it makes a pretty good backdrop for pictures 🙂

It was a fabulous way to kick off our wedding, and our guests are still talking about it 3 1/2 years later!

Celebrating an Anniversary in Disney World

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 :
Hamburger sliders
Cheeseburger sliders
Hot wings
Chicken fingers
Cesar salad
French fries
Sweet potato fries
Onion rings
Pizzas
Cookie Platter

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.