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Having a fairytale Disney wedding is a dream for some, but the price can be a nightmare with weddings costing up to $180,000.
The chance to say ‘I Dos’ in front of Cinderella’s Castle, the Tower of Terror or Epcot is just too much for some couples – and as the old saying goes ‘you can’t put a price on love.’
Thousands of couples choose Disney venues for their special day every year – with over 4,000 couples opting for the unique setting in 2016 alone – which is 11 ceremonies per day.
‘The happiest place on earth’ has not disappointed couples – Jayde Cuffe dreamed of getting married at Disney World since she was a five-year-old visiting the Florida amusement park,
‘I’ve been going on family vacations to Disney World since I was a baby’ she told DailyMail.com ‘It’s a magical place where you get to be a kid again.’
Disney offers wedding ceremony locations at the original California park in Anaheim, the Disney World location in Florida , Hawaii ‘s ‘Aulani’ Disney Resort and Spa and even on their cruises (pictured: a bride riding in Cinderella’s carriage outside the Magic Kingdom)
Disney weddings can cost up to $180k – but for some couples this is a small price to pay for their dream fairytale wedding
Disney hosted 30,000 weddings at their parks between 1991 and 2017, according to the Washington Post.
The House of Mouse offers wedding ceremony locations at the original California park in Anaheim, the Disney World location in Florida, Hawaii‘s ‘Aulani’ Disney Resort and Spa and even on their cruises.
Wedding packages at Disney’s parks include an ‘event minimum’ for each location that can range from $4,000 on a Disney Cruise to a whopping $100,000 for a Magic Kingdom wedding.
The event minimum can include catering, floral services, photography and entertainment – but only if it is provided by Disney.
Anything not provided by the park’s services is a charge on top of the minimum fee.
The fee ranges based on venue, day of the week and time of day. An employee at Disney Wedding Services clarified that Fridays and Saturdays are more expensive and higher in demand, while weekday mornings are on the cheaper end of the spectrum.
The event minimum for all of Disney’s infamous Epcot around-the-world locations range from $18,000 to $20,000 – and have a $7,500 ceremony venue fee.
The cheaper venues in Florida’s park include the Casitas Courtyard, the Crescent Cove, the Oak Manor and Shipwreck Beach – which minimums start at $15,000 and can as expensive as $19,000.
A wedding at Tower of Terror can have a minimum of up to $25,000 with a ceremony fee of $9,500.
All of the Magic Kingdom options at Disney World – including the East Plaza, the Magic Kingdom After Hours and the Magic Kingdom Train Station – range from $30,000 to $100,000 at minimum. The ‘After Hours’ option demands a $40,000 ceremony fee.
The food and beverage minimum fees for Disney weddings in Florida are $140 per person for lunch, $175 for lunch and $210 for dinner.
The event minimum for all of Disney’s infamous Epcot around-the-world locations range from $18,000 to $20,000 – and have a $7,500 ceremony venue fee (Pictured: A couple getting married at Epcot)
Disney’s Magic Kingdom Train Station is priced at $20,000 with an event minimum spend of between $30,000 and $100,000
Disney’s Tower of Terror wedding venue has a ceremony fee of $9,500 while Crescent Cove is slightly on the cheaper end at $7,000
The park offers different options for dining – including plated menus, buffet and food stations, beverage services, desserts and a wedding cake service.
Their dinner menu includes dishes like truffle-scented poached lobster macaroni and gourmet cheese for appetizer and + Roasted French-cut Chicken Breast Stuffed with Prosciutto, Spinach, and Fontina Cheese with Fire Roasted Tomato Coulis as an Entrée.
There is a pre-reception menu with smaller dishes like vegetable spring rolls, bacon-crusted beef and blue cheese meatballs and bacon-wrapped scallops.
For the wedding cake – if couples opt for the park’s baking services they can choose their flavor and filling, but the guest count will determine the size of the cake.
Other additions that couples can splash extra cash on include flowers, decorations and entertainment – which can be Disney character appearances, live music or the ‘Crystal Coach’ transportation.
An appearance from Mickey and Minnie on the special day will set couples back $2,500 for 30 minutes.
Then there is the 7.75 percent sales tax and 23 percent labor and gratuity charge which do not contribute towards the event minimum, according to the Disney Weddings website.
Disney Cruise Line weddings start at $4,000 for 18 guests and the couple – this price includes the ceremony coordinator, flowers for the couple, a solo musician, a cake and champagne celebration, dinner and a commemorative Disney Cruise Line wedding certificate.
Not included in the price package for a Disney wedding are the princess-inspired dresses that cost between $3,000 and $10,000.
The cruise option is far cheaper than the cost of a wedding at one of the major on-land parks – Florida, Hawaii and California – which will set the bride and groom back at least $15,000 just for the basic ceremony package.
The around-the-world locations that Disney Florida’s Epcot park has to offer all cost $7,500 with an event minimum of $18,000 to $20,000. You can get married in China (pictured), Italy, Germany, Morocco, Japan or the UK
Disney’s Wedding Pavilion has a ceremony fee of $8,000 and the Magic Kingdom after hours has the most expensive price tag overall with a $40,000 ceremony venue fee
The most expensive and jaw-dropping venue that Disney Weddings offers is the Magic Kingdom After Hours option – which costs $40,000. This option gives couples the entire Magic Kingdom to themselves so they can enjoy a private ceremony in front of the iconic castle
Disney wedding expert Carrie Hayward – who wrote an entire book dedicated to planning a ‘fairytale wedding’ – shared her top money savings tips for the event.
Her first tip was to limit your guest list – this means you can choose a smaller venue, which is cheaper, and will save you money on food and beverages.
Next – she recommended a Tuesday or Wednesday brunch wedding – these are the cheapest days and brunch is the least expensive meal option.
The expert suggested going to outside vendors for floral arrangements and decorations because she claimed they charge half of what Disney charges.
There is nothing that screams Disney wedding more than an over-the-top fireworks display – she Hayward told future brides and grooms to pick a park venue with a free fireworks view.
Among the many amenities, brides and grooms can ride in Cinderella’s coach, hire Captain Jack Sparrow to make an impromptu detour by their reception and organize a traditional white dove flyover.
Disney’s new Cinderella carriage is being created in celebration of Disney’s 100th anniversary and will be named the Cinderella Platinum Coach. The swanky vehicle will be on offer to couples getting married at Disneyland California.
The mock-up design shows a white and gold replica of Cinderella’s iconic carriage – complete with a golden pumpkin on top. Other details from the classic 1950 film inspired special touches including scrollwork and lanterns like those on the original animated carriage.
The new coach costs nearly $5,000 to rent – just one of the many expenses that make a Disney wedding six times the price of the average US ceremony.
Among the many amenities, brides and grooms can ride in Cinderella’s coach , hire Captain Jack Sparrow to make an impromptu detour by their reception and organize a traditional white dove flyover
Thousands of couples choose Disney venues for their special day every year – with over 4,000 couples opting for the unique setting in 2016 alone – which is 11 ceremonies per day (Pictured: newlyweds outside of the Magic Kingdom)
Jayde Elise, 31, travelled to Florida from Staffordshire, England, with 51 guests for her dream Disney wedding.
The bride told DailyMail.com she woke up at 3 am to get her hair and makeup done to be ready in time for her 5:45 am ceremony at the exclusive Magic Kingdom venue.
Elise, who is now a wedding planner herself, decided on her wedding venue when she was just five-years-old while. She remembered the exact moment she saw a bride in her Cinderella carriage and became ‘obsessed’ with Disney weddings.
‘I don’t remember much about the coach but I remember how happy the bride looked! I told my parents…. That’s what I want. That will be me one day,’ she wrote on social media.
‘For every Disney trip following for the next 20 years I would stare out of the window on the monorail hoping to see another bride.’
The bride – who goes by @jaydeandjoelsadventures on Instagram – said she introduced the magic of Disney to her boyfriend and he fell in love with the amusement park.
The 31-year-old opted to splash out on Cinderella’s carriage for her journey to the Magic Kingdom and also treated her guests to a surprise visit from Mickey and Minnie.
‘I’m crying so much typing this that I got to live my fairytale,’ Elise told her social media followers. ‘I found the perfect husband and I know everyone says that but annoyingly he really is perfect.’
Jayde Elise (pictured with husband Joe), 31, travelled to Florida from Staffordshire, England, with 51 guests for her dream Disney wedding
The 31-year-old opted to splash out on Cinderella’s carriage for her journey to the Magic Kingdom and also treated her guests to a surprise visit from Mickey and Minnie
Disney hosted 30,000 weddings at their parks between 1991 and 2017 (pictured: newlyweds riding the Dumbo ride at Disney World)
A Disney groom shared his wedding experience on Reddit – he said they had their ‘wedding ceremony in the Germany Pavilion in Epcot at 9:00 am, Cocktail Hour (really, yogurt and pastry hour) and Reception in the GM Lounge above Test Track immediately following until 2:30 pm. Break midday, then return to Epcot for a private dessert party, private fireworks viewing, and ended with a ride on Frozen Ever After, closing out the park.’
The groom revealed that his mid-week wedding cost $30,000 – not including accommodation – for 35 guests. He explained that a weekend wedding at Disney is usually twice the price of a week day celebration.
The groom shared he would spend the money again in a heartbeat because of how much attention his bride got on the day from other park-goers.
‘We probably had 200+ different people wish us congratulations,’ he said. ‘Walking through Epcot in a Wedding Dress and Suit is truly a different feeling.’
One couple had no regrets after spending $100,000 for a 225-guest celebration at Disney’s Beach and Yacht Club Resort in Orlando in August 2016.
California bride Sarah Hernandez (pictured) married her boyfriend of seven years of dating at Disneyland – which was their special place
The Hernandez couple got married at the Rose Court Garden as an ode to Sarah’s grandmother Rose
An appearance from Mickey and Minnie on the special day will set a couple back $2,500 for 30 minutes.
Nathan Mulder and Brian Falco, both 30, treated their guests – and themselves – to a visit from Mickey and Minnie, as well as a special $3,000 cake that projected scenes from their favorite Disney movies.
In 2022 – one couple decided to splash out on have Mickey and Minnie guest star at their wedding instead of serving their guests food.
The 30-minute appearance cost the couple $2,750 – which was approximately the same as what it would have cost the couple to feed their friends and family – telling the hungry guests to check out the street vendors.
In February a Pennsylvania woman’s dream wedding at Walt Disney World was made all the more magical thanks to special glasses, which enabled the colorblind bride to see her groom’s eyes in color for the first time.
Kristin Robinson of Harleysville suffers from red-green color blindness, meaning she is unable to see pinks and purples.
She put on the glasses for the first time at the altar, and was able to finally agree with her fiancé, Nick, that his eyes were green. She always saw them as blue.
California bride Sarah Hernandez married her boyfriend of seven years of dating at Disneyland – which was their special place.
Her now-husband, Gilbert Hernandez, said: ‘Sarah’s always been my princess, and I wanted us to have a wedding that truly makes her feel like one. We were inspired to have a fairytale wedding at Disneyland because we wanted to share the magic and wonder we feel when we’re at the parks with our closest friends and family.’
They got married at the Rose Court Garden as an ode to Sarah’s grandmother Rose. Sarah originally wanted to have the reception at the Animation Building, but it was out of their budget.
Kristin Robinson who is colorblind got to see her groom’s eyes in color for the first time at her Disney wedding with the help of special glasses. Robinson is pictured with her new husband, Nick
The hefty price tag isn’t too much to defer thousands of people each year from saying their vows at a Disney park – including celebrities.
Actor Jordan Fisher married his childhood sweetheart Ellie at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom – the most expensive venue – in November 2020.
The Teen Beach Movie and Rent: Live star said on Instagram: ‘Thank you to @disneyweddings for helping create our special day and coordinating it safely! We were elated we got to celebrate with a small group of family in a private, after-hours event at the Magic Kingdom.’
Holly Madison – former playboy bunny – married Pasquale Rotella at Disneyland in 2013.
The former Playboy model wed at the family-friendly attraction in Anaheim, California, when the park was closed to the public following a three-month engagement.
The newlyweds – who met at the end of 2011 – tied the knot just outside the entrance of the attraction’s Pirates of the Caribbean ride, located in New Orleans Square, and had the whole venue to themselves.
Disney weddings have been a popular venue choice for celebrities such as Holly Madison and Pasquale Rotella who held their 2013 nuptials at Disneyland
Ron and Casey DeSantis discussed the ‘irony’ of getting married at Walt Disney World as the Florida governor is now in an on-going battle with the ‘woke’ corporation
Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon renewed their vows at Disneyland in 2013 to celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary.
Carey opted to be picked up in the horse-drawn Crystal Carriage from a Dream Suite inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.
She and Cannon along with their two children said their vows at Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. The magic of their fairytale wedding didn’t last for the celebrity couple – who are now divorced.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis – who has attacked the company for their opposition against the ‘don’t say gay’ bill and sparked a legal fight between the state and the House of Mouse – actually had a Disney Wedding himself.
The Republican Florida Governor got married to his wife, Jill Casey Black, at Walt Disney World on September 26, 2009.
The ceremony of the wedding was the Victorian-style Grand Floridian Resort and was described as ‘very elegant’ by WJXT anchor Bruce Hamilton – one of the 150 guests.
Hamilton said he didn’t recall if Mickey made an appearance, but said that after DeSantis’s ceremony the guests were taken to the World Showcase at Epcot which overlooked the iconic Spaceship Earth ball.