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RIP to the Wedding Pavilion at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

disneys wedding pavilion
Credit: Disney Weddings

Disney World fans are bidding farewell to the beautiful Victorian wedding pavilion located at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.

disney's wedding pavilion

Credit: Disney Weddings

You Can Get Married at Disney World

It’s the ultimate experience for Disney Adults–getting married at the Walt Disney World Resort.

While the prospect of saying “I do” to your soulmate on the same property where you can also find Hitchhiking Ghosts, Space Mountain, scurvy pirates sailing the high seas of the Caribbean, and Mickey, Donald, Goofy, and the gang might not appeal to you, for some Disney fans, it’s the ultimate experience that serves as the culmination of all the wonderful things in life–love, your soulmate, a happy future, and, of course, all things Disney!

magic kingdom wedding

Credit: Disney Weddings

Related: Those “Disney Adults” Are Awful Human Beings. And Some Are Barely Human at All

Disney Parks first began hosting nuptials in late 1991. In early 1992, Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings & Honeymoons division was incepted, and by October 28, 1992, Disney had hosted 200 weddings. Clearly, Disney had begun providing a service that was in great demand.

Fans can also exchange vows at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, at Disney’s Aulani Resort & Spa at in Ko ‘Olina, Hawai’i, and aboard the magical ships of the Disney Cruise Line.

wedding on disney cruise

Credit: Disney Weddings

Disney Parks have served as the favored venues of thousands of happy couples who have chosen to begin their lives together.

In fact, between 1991 and 2017, Disney Parks hosted more than 30,000 weddings–1,300 of those took place in 2013 alone. Then, in 2016, Disney Parks held 4,000 wedding ceremonies!

Magic Kingdom Weddings

magic kingdom wedding

Credit: Disney Weddings

But of all the weddings that take place on Disney’s property, the majority are held at the Walt Disney World Resort in Central Florida.

Happy couples can exchange vows at Magic Kingdom in front of the majestic Cinderella Castle (or behind the castle), and Cinderella will even let guests borrow her coach for the event, should they have that desire.

wedding coach disney world

Credit: Flickr/John Christiansen

Say “I Do” at EPCOT

But not every couple dreams of a fairy tale-inspired event. For them, there are dozens of other options at Disney World. Guests can also say “I do” at various locations throughout EPCOT, including the Norway Loft at the Norway pavilion along World Showcase.

There are available locations at other World Showcase pavilions as well, and some couples have even chosen to get married at a special venue located inside the Living With the Seas pavilion.

epcot wedding norway loft

Intimate weddings with 10 to 80 guests can take place at EPCOT’s Norway Loft/Credit: Disney Weddings

For couples who love the simple nostalgia of Disney World’s second park and want to include it in their wedding ceremonies, Spaceship Earth provides the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable day of newlywed bliss. Just ask Brooke Weber and Jared Merenuk, who recently tied the knot at EPCOT.

They are both avid Disney fans and they both work for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Spaceship Earth was the perfect spot for their wedding day event!

spaceship earth wedding

Credit: Brooke Weber

The Two Can Become One at Other Disney World Locations Too!

Some guests opt for a ceremony under the beauty and (sometimes) shade of the Tree of Life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park. Because the animal- and conservation-inspired Disney theme park is full of new life and new beginnings, it makes sense that couples would want to begin their “happily ever afters” with the beauty and vibrant colors of nature at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

animal kingdom wedding

Credit: Disney Weddings

Disney’s Wedding Chapel

A few years before Disney’s Animal Kingdom opened to guests, however, Disney World added a very special venue to its list of offerings for happy couples eager to join hands and hearts with their soulmates.

In 1995, Disney World debuted its very own Victorian wedding chapel, usually referred to as Disney’s Wedding Pavilion. The beautiful chapel was built on a tiny private island at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and has become a favorite spot for newlyweds to celebrate their new unions with friends and family.

grand floridian lobby

Credit: Becky Burkett

The happy couple and their guests can access the pavilion by crossing a footbridge adorned with romantic archways, and along the way, they’ll take in spectacular views of Seven Seas Lagoon.

Once inside the nondenominational wedding chapel, decorated with soaring Victorian spires, vaulted ceilings, a wall of arched windows, and a beautiful cupola, guests are treated to views of Cinderella Castle as they make their way down the aisle that features brilliant, pristine white pews that offer an ambiance that’s both traditional and modern.

disney's wedding pavilion

Credit: Disney Weddings

Before and after the ceremony, guests can take in the beauty of the chapel grounds, which include lush gardens that lead to Picture Point, where an “ivy trellis arch crowned with intertwined gold wedding rings looks upon Magic Kingdom park across the water.” And when the photographer captures just the right photo, Cinderella’s stately castle can be viewed through the ivy arch.

disney's wedding pavilion

Credit: Disney Weddings

Is the Honeymoon Over?

Disney’s Wedding Pavilion has been welcoming couples to begin their new adventure together for nearly 30 years. But now, a new addition at Disney’s nearby Polynesian Village Resort threatens to turn the lure of a fairy tale wedding into a nightmare of sorts for unsuspecting couples eager to exchange their vows.

Since 2022, Disney Vacation Club members have been looking forward to the completion of the new DVC villas and tower at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.

DVC Polynesian Village

Credit: Disney

The project will yield new villas available for rent by Disney Vacation Club members, and one of the most notable parts of the construction is a tower that will add a finishing touch to the new addition.

The only problem is that the construction of the new DVC villas and tower at the Polynesian Village Resort has dwarfed Disney’s Wedding Pavilion, which is located nearly onsite. It’s also creating quite the eyesores for guests who’ve dreamed for years of having their weddings at the quaint Disney chapel.

construction of dvc tower at polynesian village resort

Credit: X/bioreconstruct

In the image above, it’s clear to see that the new construction has nearly erased the tiny chapel that was built for lovers and Disney lovers alike.

One user even took to X, formerly Twitter, to bid farewell to the pavilion, saying, “RIP Grand Floridian wedding pavilion.”

Twitter user Standing Clear of the Doors posted, saying that Disney is potentially “ruining two resorts at once.” The user adds that doing so is “quite the feat.”

“If they make this fit the feel of the poly, still it will be the greatest Imagineering accomplishment of all time,” the user continues.

Twitter user Jupiter Ramses commented on the sight of the pavilion against the backdrop of the massive Polynesian Village Resort construction, saying:

Observe how the Wedding Chapel is dwarfed and suddenly the feel of it changes from an isolate respite for celebration (as it was intended) to a blip with a big, commercial hotel looming over it in the near distance.

While Disney has made no announcement about any proposed or planned changes for the Wedding Pavilion, it’s clear from the image above that the new construction could have a definite effect on couples’ decisions when choosing a Disney World venue at which to get married.

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!

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