A Disney Wedding Site Visit

My fiancé, Cliff, and I are currently in the middle of planning a Disney Fairy Tale Wedding. Weddings at Disney are planned in a unique way. Even if you know what date and venues you want to use, they can’t be booked until exactly a year out. So, even though Cliff and I got engaged in May of 2013, since we wanted a December 2014 wedding we had to wait until December 2013 to make it official.

There are a few things couples can do in the meantime. At 16 months out, Disney will pencil you in for the date and venues that you want. If more than one couple want the same times and venues, there will be a lottery process so it’s important to come up with a few back-ups just in case. You can also schedule a site visit with a sales consultant to check out up to three venues available for wedding events. The way we approached that was to narrow down our choices and check out as many venues as we could on our own. For example, we considered having our wedding ceremony at the Yacht Club Gazebo, which can easily be seen at any time. That way we saved places for our site visit, which were not generally accessible to the general public. We decided that we wanted to see the Living Seas Salon in Epcot, American Adventure Parlor in Epcot, and the Attic at the Boardwalk Resort.

Yacht Club Gazebo
Yacht Club Gazebo

You may remember my previous wedding planning post about Franck’s Bridal Studio. That is where we began our day by meeting with our assigned sales consultant. First, we discussed generalities of what we were planning for our wedding, like the size of our guest list. We then found out that we wouldn’t be able to see the Living Seas Salon that day because it was booked for another event. We did get to see some photos from past events that gave us a pretty good idea of the space and we decided that it would probably be too big for the number of people we would be having.

Soon it was time to drive to our first location: The American Adventure Parlor. Our site visit was before Chase Bank used this location for their lounge during Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival, so neither one of us had seen this space before. The best part about going to see this location was getting to drive through backstage! We entered backstage near Test Track and drove around to the back of the American Adventure. We walked through the gates next to the pavilion (between America and Italy).

Entering Epcot
Entering Epcot

American Adventure

At that time, we had no idea that the elevator to take us up to the Parlor existed.

Elevator
Elevator

Inside, there is a room with tables that would be used to our brunch. We liked the main parlor area with the windows looking out onto the promenade. Over all though, we decided that the space wasn’t right for us.

Tables Hallway Parlor Left Parlor Center Parlor Right Landing

On to our next destination. We drove over to the Boardwalk Resort, went up to the 3rd floor, and walked down a loooooong hallway of guest rooms to reach the Attic, which is located directly above Jellyrolls.

Boardwalk

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Let me just say, when we walking into that room, I immediately knew that I wanted our reception there. It had the atmosphere we were going for. We wanted our reception to be a more laid back, family gathering rather than a party. We weren’t having a DJ or anything like that. This was perfect. It was filled with antiques and looks like parlor in your grandmother or great aunt’s house.

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And the view overlooking Beach Club (where we had our first date) and Epcot (where we would have said our vows just a little bit ago) just really tied everything together.

This view.
This view.

 

Soon it was time to head back to Franck’s to finalize our venues. When we got there, we were given the opportunity to check out the wedding pavilion on our own while our consultant looked up the answer to a question we had about one of the locations.

Wedding Pavilion

The Wedding Pavilion is absolutely gorgeous and I can easily see why it’s so popular. It has the traditional chapel feel, a view of Cinderella’s castle, and it’s air-conditioned!

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That concludes our Disney Weddings site visit. Here are a few tips in case you have one in your future:

Do as much research beforehand as you can so you can narrow down the places that you may want to see. The Disney Weddings website was recently redone and has a lot of great pictures. Focus on sites that you wouldn’t be able to check out on your own. Make a list of questions to ask your consultant, they are a great resource and in our experience, very helpful!

Now you’re probably wondering which venues we chose. Our ceremony will be held at Italy Isola and our reception in the Attic!

Italy Isola
Italy Isola

We had a couple of backups for dates and venues in case there was a lottery. We did end up having to move our date up one day because the Attic was booked. We got really lucky though so it wasn’t a big deal. Up next is our planning session, which is held at around 6 months out. We will meet our planner and go step-by-step through our wedding day. We’re really looking forward to it – especially the cake tasting portion!

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