With Valentines Day coming up, love is in the air. And who doesn’t love love? Especially when it happens at the Most Magical Place on Earth? We wanted to know all about Disney Weddings and Honeymoons, so we called the pros.
This week on MousekeMoms Podcast, we talked to Disney Wedding Expert and podcaster Carrie Hayward, author of the Fairytale Weddings Guide, a guidebook and bridal organizer for weddings, vow renewals and honeymoons at Walt Disney World. When she began planning her EPCOT wedding, the only way to get the information and real pricing required to determine whether one could afford a Disney wedding was to sign a contract for one! After her wedding, Carrie wanted to share what she’d learned with other couples to help them decide, and to show them ways to customize their Disney weddings to their tastes and budgets.
Since 2012, Carrie has also hosted the Disney Wedding Podcast, a weekly show devoted to weddings and honeymoons at the Disney parks and on Disney cruises. The podcast features expert advice, money-saving tips and interviews with real Disney couples.
We love Carrie’s podcast for all the inside information about Disney Weddings, not only from an expert like Carrie, but straight from the brides she chats with. While listening you will discover that a Disney Wedding can become a reality for just about anyone.
When talking all about Disney Weddings and Honeymoons, we have to talk about after the wedding, right? For tips on that we turned to recent bride and Disney Honeymooner, Lexi Montgomery. Here’s what she has to say about planing the perfect Disney Honeymoon:
If you are anything like me, I’ve planned about a thousand wedding scenarios in my head and finally in 2019, my best friend asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. After all the engagement excitement settled, it was time to make all those dream scenarios – a reality!
As absolute Disney lovers, it came as no surprise to our friends and family when we announced we would be celebrating our Honeymoon in Walt Disney World! The funny thing was, everyone had assumed that was my idea and I had pushed for it, BUT my husband (Nick) was so excited because he would finally be able to visit Galaxy’s Edge in Hollywood Studios and he, to my surprise, had a few requests of things he wanted to do this time around! But as we started planning our Walt Disney World honeymoon, the world had other plans for us. As many of you know, the COVID-19 Pandemic hit and altered our wedding plans but with determination and working alongside some amazing wedding vendors – we were able to have our big day! What that meant for our Honeymoon was that we then had an additional year to do my favorite thing, which is planning a Disney vacation!
With this extra time and ever-changing guidelines and availability, we adapted our trip to what was available at the time and are adjusting things as they were going through the phased re-openings, etc. The one thing that I was very persistent about was staying at my favorite resort – the Polynesian! My first piece of advice when mapping out your special trip for your honeymoon is determining your budget and what resort you would like to stay in. If you know me – you would know that I am all about trying to jam-pack every Disney vacation with as much as possible. With that mentality, I usually stay at a Value Resort (my favorite being the Pop Century) simply because I want to spend most of our budget for our trip within the parks, restaurants, or on various experiences. But every trip I always made sure we would have a dining reservation within the Polynesian Resort because I just love everything about it. The tropical oasis feels with touches of Disney magic making this one of my all-time favorite resorts to visit! And now we’re so excited to see the new room updates with Moana details and designs! This being a special occasion we wanted to experience another side of Disney. We are aiming to relax, have fun and spend great quality time together building memories that will last a lifetime!
Once you have selected your resort package, then you are one step closer to the magic. I would highly recommend mapping out your trip details – starting with which days you would like to reserve for each of the four Walt Disney World parks. We will be starting our Honeymoon at Disney’s Animal Kingdom the day we arrive, which is a Monday. The following day – we determined we would have a resort day to enjoy the pool and all the amenities of the resort. One of Nick’s requests was to play on one of the many stunning Walt Disney World Golf Courses and we’re planning to play at Disney’s Palm Golf Course. Wednesday we will be going to Magic Kingdom, Thursday is Hollywood Studios, Friday is Epcot, and we will be checking out on Saturday to spend Saturday and Sunday at Universal since we are not only Disney fanatics, but also huge Harry Potter fans!
Amongst the days we will be spending in the parks we are looking forward to booking the following activities and experiences – a professional photoshoot within one of the parks (which I highly recommend), drinks at the Polynesian’s Trader Sam’s bar, purchase a Honeymoon ornament from the World of Christmas Shop within Disney Springs, and one of my top reservations would be dinner at the California Grill where you have a romantic setting and an amazing view of of the breathtaking fireworks display. We are looking forward to our first time dining at the Hollywood Brown Derby within Hollywood Studios, and enjoying one of my absolute favorite breakfasts the day we’re in Magic Kingdom at the Crystal Palace. If the stars align and we are able to make a reservation Nick would like to dine at Space 220 or possibly dinner within the France Pavilion at Chefs De France. Don’t forget to grab a, “We’re Celebrating…” pin when checking into your resort and make sure you wear it during your stay to add some extra magic to your celebratory vacation!
The best thing to do while planning is to identify the pace you’d like to have while on your Honeymoon. Are you eager to fit in as much as possible or looking forward to taking it easy after all the hard work and details that went into your big day? The scope of what’s available for your Honeymoon with Disney creates endless opportunities and experiences.
If you are gearing up for your special vacation no matter the celebration, I would love to help you plan your vacation, so you can take the hard work out of the process and focus on all of the magical moments ahead for you and your loved one! Let’s plan some magic to make your stay at Disney so unique and like no other vacation you’ve taken before!