Private Event at Disney
Review of a Private Event at Disney
What is the fanciest thing that we have ever done at Disney? Hands-down, it is a surprise birthday event that Jeff planned for Sara. The night included a private dinner and drinks, a private viewing area for the Epcot fireworks, and a private ride on Test Track after the park closed. It was a night that we will never forget. But how much does it cost? How do you plan and book a private event at Disney World? This post answers all of these questions and more.
What Is A Private Event At Disney World?
Pretty much whatever you want, Disney can make it happen … for a cost. One private event that most people are familiar with is a Disney wedding. What many people are not aware of is that you can have other private events at Disney World. Anything from a two person private dinner on small patio behind the Fantasmic amphitheater in Hollywood Studios to a 30 person group in a private venue that is above the Dinosaur attraction in Animal Kingdom.
The private fireworks dinner that we did was much smaller and simpler than most Disney weddings. To be more specific, there were 6 people. Most of the money went towards the location, food, and drinks because we did not care about decorations, flowers, or custom entertainment. Below, we go through each of the details related to our event. The bottom of the post provides all of the information related to the cost.
What We Did For Our Event
Our event was for 6 adults and included dinner, drinks, and desserts. In addition to the normal desserts, Jeff got a birthday cake from the Grand Floridian bakery. We had a private meal and private viewing area for the Epcot fireworks. While all of this was beyond anything I could have hoped for, the cherry on top was the end of the night. Rather than being walked to the park exit after the fireworks, we got a private ride on Test Track. The entire building only had the cast members and us – it was insane!
Jeff reserved the “United Kingdom Pubside” location. This location is the patio area next to the Rose and Crown restaurant. If you are familiar with the fish and chips stand in the UK pavilion, it is to the right of that and down a pathway. Our meal was supposed to be outside on the patio, but sadly there was rain in the area, so Disney moved us inside for our meal.
The backup/inside location for dinner was the convention center, located just outside of the UK pavilion. A cast member walked through the gate in the UK pavilion to get to the convention center. The convention center space is huge. There were only 6 of us with one table, so it felt even bigger. Luckily the rain stopped by the time we were done eating and we were able to move outside to the patio for the fireworks.
We would highly recommend this space for a small group event at Disney World. It provided an ideal view of the Epcot fireworks. Even though it is near the Rose and Crown dining area, it was still very private.
Most of our event food was selected from a menu provided by Disney events. The Disney events group has its own catering service. From the menu, Jeff selected a gyro station. This included lamb, chicken, falafel, naan bread, and all of the toppings. Pizza from Via Napoli is one of our Epcot favorites. So Jeff also got permission to have them deliver Via Napoli pizza for the party. Both the pizza and gyros were delicious.
Jeff went a bit crazy on the desserts. He ordered the Epcot sampler which included: Assorted Eclairs, Petite Cannoli, Rice Crispy Bon Bons, Chile Chocolate Bites, Lemon Curd with Ruby Red Glitter, Chocolate Pot de Crème Tarts, Baklava, and Berries with Crème Anglaise. All of these were delicious and most of them we took to go.
The reason we didn’t eat a lot of the dessert sampler is because he also ordered a birthday cake. The cake was an 8” vanilla cake with white chocolate filling and white chocolate icing. It was AMAZING. For the cake decorations, Jeff requested the house with balloons from the movie UP (UP is one of our favorites). The details in the cake decorations were really impressive. With 6 adults, we only managed to finish half of the cake.
If you are throwing a small party, we would recommend picking either the cake or the dessert sampler. It was way too much food. Even with taking a lot of it to go, we still felt bad because some of it was not eaten.
There was plenty of soda, juice, water, coffee and tea. But we didn’t drink any of that haha. We stuck strictly with the bar, which was impressively well stocked. There was also a cast member dedicated to the bar. Anytime we wanted a refill they were there and happy to help.
For alcoholic drinks, there were several types of beer including Bud Light, Corona, and Sierra Nevada. There were several options for white and red wines. The bar was stocked to cover most mixed drinks. Our group stuck mostly with beer and wine, all of which were good.
The service throughout the night was one of the best parts. Every cast member that we interacted with went above and beyond to make the night perfect. If you think about that top-level Disney service, this is it.
Everything that you need leading up to the event is handled by one cast member. The cast member assigned to you from Disney Event Group helps you plan the event and arrange all of the details. The cast member assigned to us was very knowledgeable and could have not have been more helpful. Jeff says she made his life very easy. On the day of the event, rain was expected. Our Disney Event Group cast member contacted Jeff and arranged everything – all without me having any idea what was going on!
When we arrived for the event, a cast member greeted us and led us in to dinner. At the dinner, we had several cast members helping with food, the bar tender, and others that would take photos or help with anything we needed. All of the cast members made us feel so welcome.
After dinner, the cast member that greeted us led us out to our private location for the fireworks. She shared stories and facts about Disney along the way. She also led us with a blue light-up wand which we found very entertaining since there was only 6 of us (there was pretty much no way we could lose her haha). This cast member also was the one who led us to Test Track after the fireworks were over. All of the cast members were amazing and made the night so special!
The view of the Epcot fireworks from the private patio near the Rose and Crown is amazing. The cast member gave us special glasses that turned all of the lights into Mickey heads, which added a little bit of bonus Disney magic. If you had the glasses on for the fireworks, it also added Mickey heads to the fireworks. The night ended up having perfect weather to sit outside and watch the fireworks show.
One tricky thing with the Epcot Illuminations fireworks is that there is a fair amount of smoke. Luckily the night of our party, the smoke did not blow our way. We got really lucky with the wind direction. But if you are planning a private event at Epcot, this is one of the risks that you should be aware of.
After the fireworks, everyone but Jeff assumed the night was over. Little did we know, the best was yet to come. The cast member helped us get all of our stuff together and then instead of leading us to the exit of the park, she walked us to Test Track.
The park had officially been closed for at least half an hour at this point. We were surprised to find that the entire Test Track queue was empty. When we got to the ride entrance, there were several cast members waiting for us. This is where everyone in our group lost it haha. We couldn’t wrap our heads around the fact that all of these cast members were here waiting so that we could take a private ride on Test Track. We thanked them all a million times and then took our ride on Test Track. The whole experience was surreal.
One important thing to know about the after-close ride is: Jeff asked about going on a ride after the fireworks when he planned the event. So this aspect was part of the package and he knew it was going to happen. At the time Jeff arranged it, the cast member told him that it would not be possible to ride Frozen that night, but that we could ride either Soarin’ or Test Track. Jeff picked Test Track and it was perfect.
How Much Does It Cost?
This is the fanciest thing we have done at Disney World. It is also the most expensive. First, know that the location you select and day of the week will directly impact the cost of the event. Not surprisingly, weekends will be more expensive.
All in, our night for 6 people cost $1,209. While this is expensive, let’s compare this fancy private event with the fanciest dinner on Disney World property, Victoria and Alberts. A 7-course dinner at Victoria and Alberts is $185/guest and a 10-course meal for $235/guest. These prices for Victoria and Alberts also do not included tip, tax, or alcohol. Our private event cost us about $202/guest.
An important thing to be aware of, is Disney is almost always raising prices. Recently we heard that Disney had a price increase on their private events. We called to see how much the same space would cost for a Saturday in October and we were quoted $50/person for 6 people with a minimum purchase requirement of $3,500. If you did a weekday, the minimum purchase is $3,000. This is a huge difference from what we paid. We did not go through all of the negotiations with the cast member because we weren’t going to do an event and didn’t want to waste their time. But if you are curious about doing a private event at Disney World, we would strongly recommend calling and speaking with a cast member. They will be able to provide you with details about the current locations available for a private event and the associated cost.
How To Book Or Get More Information
To book a private event at Disney World, contact Disney Event Group. The Disney Event Group contact information is currently located here. We had a direct contact person with Disney Event Group that arranged everything for us. If Disney Event Group is not able to help you with your specific event, they should be able to put you in touch with someone that can.
Another important aspect related to booking a private event is the timing. You must book a private event at least two weeks before the event date. We recommend calling to get information as soon as you think you may want to do an event. Once you decide on an event space and date, book it. They will charge a deposit, but it is worth it to avoid a surprise price increase or missing out on a location because someone just booked the spot you wanted.
If you are looking for something extra special and fancy to do in Disney World, we highly recommend booking a private event or dinner. The private birthday dinner we did is easily one of our top Disney experiences. The trade-off for this fancy evening is the price. One way to offset some of the cost is to have more guests, but the most important aspect is to do what works for you. We loved all of our food, drinks, location, and experience and highly recommend all of them. If you have any questions or want to leave a comment, please do so below!
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