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Guest Review: Wedding Tasting — Choosing the Food (and Cake!) for Your Disney Wedding

Welcome to guest author James Armstrong with a unique review of a Disney Fairytale Weddings Tasting Session! Congratulations to the happy couple!

So I finally decided to make it official and ask my girlfriend Meghan to marry me. I asked her via Red Velvet Mini Desserts.

Red Velvet Indulgences

Then came the question of when and where to get married. We are both huge fans of Disney World, and with her parents living in Orlando and us living in Tampa that makes Disney World about halfway in between — how convenient! We decided on March 22, 2013, as the day.

We contacted Disney Fairytale Weddings and set up a time for a site visit. We took a tour of Franck’s Studio and the Wedding Pavilion, and we were hooked on the location.

Wedding Pavilion

After we signed some contracts and formalized the dates we setup a time to meet with our Disney Wedding Planner Christy along with Meghan’s mother and father.The planning session takes up an entire day (10am til about 6pm for us) but then the entire wedding is planned from start to finish.

Appetizer Tasting

Our itinerary started with a private tasting in the Grand Floridian’s Event Center Kitchen at a Chefs Table. We provided a list of things we wanted to try for our menu as we were told they can do any of the dishes from around Disney — or whatever we could think of they would try to replicate.

The tasting started with Spanakopita with Artichoke and Tomato Tapenade. It was wrapped in crispy phyllo. It looked so good I forgot to take a picture before I dug in. We are planning on having this as a cocktail hour offering along with an Antipasto display.

Spanakopita

For the reception we are doing a buffet style dinner. One of the nice things about Disney is that they do not even start to cook anything until around the cocktail hour, so we expect all the food to be very fresh and hot — and hopefully not your typical wedding buffet food. If anyone can do it, Disney can.

Our tasting for our reception food started with a Salad Caprese. It had Tomato, Buffalo Mozzarella, Balsamic Vinaigrette and Olive Oil, dressed with Arugula, Red Onion, and Cracked Black Pepper. It also came with a little edible flower as a garnish. It was fresh and brightly flavored and a good way to start the tasting.

Salad Caprese

We also tried the Truffle Macaroni & Cheese with Lobster Meat Salad. I enjoyed the Mac & Cheese more than the others, but I love truffles.

It was a standard Mac & Cheese, but flavored with a hint of truffles. It was topped with some shredded lobster that was kind of like a relish, which I enjoyed.

Truffle Mac and Cheese with Lobster Meat Salad

Next came the Creamy Herb Mascarpone Risotto. This was definitely the group’s favorite. I am sad I did not get a better picture.

It was a traditional risotto but it had a very cheesy and creamy texture with a hint of Italian style herbs. It was served in a martini glass and will be part of our Martini action station where a chef makes the risotto to order.

Creamy Herb Mascarpone Risotto -sorry for the blur!

Our favorite event at Disney is definitely the Food and Wine Festival, and we attend every year. We wanted to try to bring something from there to our buffet, but we have quite a few people who have less adventurous palates; this ruled out some of our favorites.

So we asked the chef if he could do the Ravioli DiFormaggio All’emiliana from the Italy booth. The chef gave his interpretation of the dish, which was good; but we really wanted the Risotto and the Mac & Cheese and felt like it would be too much to have the Ravioli as well. We decided to drop it from the menu.

Ravioli

Main Entree Tasting

After that we moved on to the main proteins on the Buffet that we wanted to sample. We started with our beef entree, a Three-Peppercorn and Whole Grain Mustard Rubbed Beef Strip Loin. This will be served at a carving station.

The beef was cooked perfectly and the rub had just the right amount of spice.

Three-Peppercorn and Whole Grain Mustard Rubbed Beef Strip Loin

The chicken dish was a Garlic Crusted Chicken Breast with Marsala Mushroom Sauce. It was strongly garlic flavored, but we both love garlic and our guests will just have to be okay with garlic breath; that is what gum is for. ;-)

Garlic Crusted Chicken Breast

Finally we got to the fish dish. We chose to sample a Pan Seared Mahi Mahi with Limoncello Butter Sauce, Crispy Pancetta, Tomatoes, and Basil Caper Relish. This was another group favorite.

It was a tad salty, but the chef took a note to tone down the salt on the big day. Otherwise it was very delicious. That is one thing I was impressed with at Disney — not only were they willing to customize anything the way we wanted it, they encouraged it.

The fish was cooked perfectly and the limoncello was an ideal accompaniment.

Pan Seared Mahi Mahi

That finished our tasting but there are other items on our buffet we were unable to try. Disney only allows you to try eight items at the tasting. Some other items on our buffet include Roasted Beets with Shaved Fennel, Truffle Oil, and Crumbled Goat cheese; and Olive Oil Grilled Veggies.

Cake Tasting and Desserts

After a little recovery time from all the food, we headed over to Franck’s Studio for the rest of the planning process. For the rest of the day we discussed everything that has to do with the wedding, from the color of the tables and chairs to music and specifics of the day.

We then had the best part of the day; tasting the different varieties of cake. We had a whole smorgasbord of different types of cake and icings to choose from. For cake, there was yellow, chocolate, marble, almond, and we also made a special request to have red velvet there.

For the icings we chose (from top left:) dark chocolate mousse, white chocolate mousse, caramel milk chocolate, buttercream, peanut butter cup, Bavarian cream, and finally, cream cheese icing.

Cake Tasting

We are going to have a three layer round cake with our new monogram (because Meghan loves anything monogrammed). We decided on Red Velvet with cream cheese icing for the bottom (and largest) layer, yellow cake with dark chocolate mousse for the middle, and red velvet (seeing a theme here?) with white chocolate mousse for the anniversary layer, which we will take home and eat a year later.

For dessert (besides cake) we are having Chocolate Truffle Torte and Cheesecake with Almonds, Raspberries and White Chocolate.

After that we had a few more decisions to make as far as floral and other miscellaneous decisions, but then we were done. About four weeks after this planning day, we got what Disney calls the Banquet Event Order (BEO), which contains every aspect of the wedding. So over the coming months we revise the BEO, do a few housecleaning pieces, and wait for the big day. Disney and our wedding planner take care of the rest.

That is all for now. I plan to write a recap of the actual event (which includes a rehearsal dinner at Be Our Guest Restaurant) sometime after March 22nd. I hope you enjoyed this, and please feel free to ask questions in the comments.

Have you had a Fairy Tale Wedding or attended a Fairy Tale event? Have questions about how it all works? Let us know in the comments!

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18 Comments

  1. Pamela says:

    Congrats!!! I must ask, without getting personal about wedding costs, how much is the whole tasting costs and how many were allowed to come? I so want to live vicariously and wish Meghan and James many, many, many magical years together!

  2. Sara says:

    Congratulations to James and Meghan!!! We just had the menu tasting for our DFTW next October, and I have to say it was probably one of the coolest experiences ever!!! Your menu and cake selections look awesome!

    Enjoy the rest of your planning, and of course your special day!!! :)

  3. Katie says:

    Congrats! How were you able to have a rehersal dinner at Be our Guest?? Will it be in the main ballroom or one of the other rooms?

  4. Kelley says:

    Congratulations! I think I would like to just have the tasting without the wedding! Might I throw in some unsolicited advice, though. With that good of a cake, I say don’t wait until your 1st anniversary to eat it. You never know if it will make it that long and still be good. Take it on your honeymoon or eat when you get back!

  5. Kb says:

    We were married in Disney 5 yrs ago this Dec 31st. The wedding cake that Disney made for us was the absolute best cake that I had ever had in my life! You and your guests will not be disappointed at all. Best wishes on your magical day :)

  6. Carrie says:

    @Pamela: There is no charge for the menu tasting or the cake tasting; they are included in the minimum expenditure you pay for Disney’s Wishes Collection events (currently $10,000-$20,000 depending on day of the week and special promotions).

    @Kelley: I agree! No point in eating stale cake when you can have Disney or a local bakery make you a fresh replica of your top layer on your anniversary! We ate the top layer of our Disney wedding cake for breakfast for the rest of our honeymoon. :)

  7. Sherri Erwin says:

    Best wishes, and thank you for sharing your experience. So fun!

  8. Matt says:

    Congratulations!
    Everything you picked looks amazing, but i would see if they would offer Dole Whips as part of the dessert!

  9. James A. says:

    @Pamela: Four are allowed at the tasting and as @Carrie said the price is included as part of the wedding package. Once you sign the contracts and put the deposit down and then six months before the wedding you can setup your tasting and planning session.

    @Katie: As far as rehearsal at Be our guest… I just setup a reservation for 14(more than 14 you need to go through the group reservation line which is not taking reservations Be our Guest when I called back in October). As far as which room I don’t know yet, I have to call the restaurant and arrange that with them. I am not sure which one to choose. Any suggestions which would be better for us?? I was going to call them after the new year I have not even had a chance to make it to fantasy land yet to look at it.

    @Matt: We asked about the dole whip machines and it is apparently hard to get them and they cost a lot extra. Since we already had cake and the other desserts where included in the package we choose we decided we would do without it. That doesn’t mean I won’t hop on the monorail after the ceremony and before the reception and get two cups to go from captain cooks.

  10. Lenore says:

    We had an amazing wedding aboard the Disney Wonder almost six years ago. For the number of guests that we had, a DCL wedding was perfect, but I am living vicariously through this post as I’d truly wanted a DFTW at WDW! Congratulations to you both!

  11. Katie says:

    James, Both of the rooms that are open for dinner are nice. It just depends on what you want. The Ballroom is beautiful and maybe slightly more romantic, but it is louder and more crowded than the West Wing. The West Wing is smaller and more intimate, therefore making it quieter. However I found it to be slightly creepy when the thunder clapped the petals on the rose fell, and the picture changed. It is all up to what you like.

  12. Andrea says:

    I had my DFTW in June of 2011. We had a tasting session and it was an amazing experience! The food at our wedding was delicious! Everything from the appetizers to the ice glass slipper with sorbet was perfect! And I agree about the cake. We ate our top layer for breakfast and had our top layer recreated for our 1 year anniversary!!

  13. Sarah cameron says:

    Oh that just sounds magical!! I wish you both all the luck and happiness. I missed out on having a Disney Fairytale wedding 15 years ago, ;(. not that we could’ve afforded it on a Privates pay in the Marine Corps, but I am really hoping we can arrange our 20th anniversary there and do a vow renewal!! That will be so great!

  14. Janet says:

    We got married on a budget, so couldn’t do the Disney type wedding. Maybe for our 25th anniversary in 3 years.

    As for our cake top, I’d heard all the horror stories about how stale the cake got. I loved our devil’s food with bavarian cream cake & was so scared. I did wrap it within an inch of it’s life so it wouldn’t get freezer burn or go stale.

    At our 6 month anniversary, I took it out, let it defrost enough to cut in half. I figured if it made it that far, we could enjoy half the cake & save the rest. If it didn’t – it was going in the trash. It was great. So I rewrapped the 2nd half (within an inch of it’s life) & put it back in the freezer.

    The 2nd half – we had on our 1 year anniversary. Loved it just as much. And it was nice to have twice the enjoyment. :)

  15. Sonja says:

    Although I haven’t experienced the preparation side of a DFTW, I can say as a bridesmaid I was beyond impressed. From mickey crystals in the bouquet to Mickey arriving in a tux the entire experience down to the tiniest detail was magical, but I wouldn’t expect anything less from Disney. I hope you & your guests have a wonderful time.

  16. Pigletyyz says:

    Congrats!! Everything you choose sounds delicious and the planning seems like lots of fun!! Wishing you a magical day and a lifetime of memories!

  17. I just wanted to chime in and add my congratulations! Wishing you many happy years to come!

  18. Maria Kenyon says:

    Hello and congratulations!!! My daughter and her fiancee have decided they want a DFTW (after we already put down a $12,000 non-refundable deposit at a local venue), but that’s ok, I want nothing more than for my daughter’s dream to come true. We’re hoping for an evening affair in “Italy” in the Tutto Gusto venue and then dessert on the water and enjoy illuminations. Any hints you can offer is greatly appreciated.

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