At Disney, our team can craft a customized experience tailored to a group’s specific message or objective—all by combining our passion for creating immersive experiences with our expertise in rich storytelling. Now, we’re giving you an exclusive look at how Disney can bring your group’s story to life by following the planning journey of Cynthia Nelson, Executive Office Operations Manager for Rave Restaurant Group.
Let’s see how Cynthia and her group, Pizza Inn, celebrated their story by meeting at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn at Walt Disney World Resort:
Custom chalk art of an original Pizza Inn restaurant drawn by a Disney artist during the event
What made you think of bringing your company to Disney for your meetings and events?
We are celebrating our 60th anniversary this year and our franchise committee wanted to go to a very family friendly place with the excitement of celebration. So my first response was Orlando. We narrowed down all the options, and they chose Disney to host our 60th anniversary events.
After considering the other nearby hotels, we settled on Disney’s BoardWalk Inn. The convention center at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn provided the space we needed, with the added convenience of being within walking distance of two Theme Parks: Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Can you tell us about your group’s story and how that was conveyed throughout your meetings and events?
When I had my first phone call with my event consultant with the Disney creative team, I told them about our history. Many of our franchisees have been at their restaurants and with our brand for 30 to 40 years. The event designers came up with an original attic concept – which then morphed into a restaurant scene that reminded us of an old Pizza Inn restaurant or the attic of an old Pizza Inn owner. The design was enhanced with images we provided from our archives of old uniforms, ads, menus, and photos of the restaurants. It was a walk down memory lane.
After our general session, we expanded the theme at our awards dinner with family-style wooden farm tables and rustic lanterns. Pizza Inn and all its franchisees are a family, so it was a fun change from your standard round tables with candles and flowers.
How did the Disney team help you through the process of planning your meeting at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn?
The Disney team coached me through the design process with lots of photos! Even though I might just see a photo of a chair – I had the confidence in the Disney team that it would all look great together! We even added some pieces once on-site to make the event look even better than the original drawings.
What was your reaction when you saw the final event?
It was spectacular to see the ballroom transform into a warm, inviting event space that really brought the ”˜family’ together. Our attendees were excited with all the little details during the reception – a visit with Mickey Mouse and a photography session with our special car in the porte cochere. The room set-up for the awards dinner was the icing on the cake to a great event.
After such a great event, I would definitely consider celebrating with the Disney team again! I know the next time they’ll have something new up their “magical” sleeve again to make the evening, and all our events, just as spectacular!
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