A Mickey Mouse Affair: Getting Married at Walt Disney World
Want to fly up the aisle on Aladdin's magic carpet? Arrive in a glass coach pulled by six white horses? Or take the plunge, literally and figuratively, on the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror?
If you've always dreamed of a fairy-tale wedding, Disney is happy to oblige for a price (though often a large one). Recognizing WDW's popularity as a honeymoon destination -- each year, more honeymooners head here than to any other spot in America -- Disney, in 1995, cut out the middleman and officially went into the wedding business. And, oh, what big business it is!
Disney's first step was building the multimillion-dollar nondenominational chapel in the middle of the Seven Seas Lagoon. The next step was letting the world know the Disney wedding chapel was open for business. The first nuptials were televised live on the Lifetime television network. (Construction was still in progress at the chapel, so the bride and groom wore white hard hats.) Since it opened, more than 35,000 couples (approximately 1,500 couples each year), hailing from every state and a number of foreign countries, have mixed matrimony with Disney magic at the chapel, which resembles a Victorian summerhouse. You'll have to cough up at least $1,991 just to have the ceremony here (not including the minimum expenditure of $10,000-$20,000 required for a custom wedding -- or the minimum 4-night stay that's also required).
An intimate "Escape" wedding for two starts at about $4,750 (not including the 4-night minimum stay at one of Disney's resorts) and includes a daylight ceremony at one of several Disney resort locations, a wedding cake, a bouquet for the bride, a marriage certificate signed by Mickey himself, and a host of other trimmings (at Disney's Wedding Pavilion, prices start at $5,750). "Custom Wishes" weddings start at $10,000. The average Disney wedding costs $28,000 and has 100 guests (Prince Charming not included). A la carte add-ons range from $800 for a 30-minute visit from your favorite Disney character to $2,700 to arrive in Cinderella's glass coach. It would cost at least $25,000 to have your ceremony at the Magic Kingdom (minimum food, beverage, and hotel expenditures are required and are at an additional cost). The introduction of the Disney Couture wedding collection (by David Tutera), a unique honeymoon registry, and a line of princess-inspired designer wedding gowns (available only in select Florida locations at press time) bring additional elements of elegance that only Disney could create to the wedding mix. If you can imagine it, Disney can likely do it -- as long as your wallet matches your imagination.
For details, call tel. 321/939-4610 (tel. 800/370-6009 for honeymoons only), or go to www.disneyweddings.com.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.