Chantelle has been a Disney World fanatic since she first went there on her honeymoon over 20 years ago.
We've visited Disney World over 20 times in the past 25 years. About 10 years ago we were celebrating two birthdays, my son's and my husband's, and ordered our first customized cake for the occasion. It was peanut and tree nut free to accommodate my son's allergies, and wheat free to accommodate my sister's. We had a chocolate cake with a chocolate ganache filling and chocolate buttercream frosting toped with "Phineas and Ferb", my husband and son's favorite characters. It was delicious and made an ordinary birthday extraordinary.
Whether you are a regular Disney vacationer or if it's your first time, ordering a customized cake makes your trip extra special. I order a cake each time we go factoring it in as one of the costs of the vacation. By now my family knows a cake is coming but I don't tell them where it'll show up, what day it'll be or what character I've done this time. It is a favorite family tradition we all look forward to and isn't making wonderful memories what it's all about?
Where Can I Get A Custom Cake?
Disney pastry chefs have been baking edible masterpieces for weddings for decades. Yet, many people don't realize that they create fancy fondant covered cakes that can be customized to your personal tastes for your wish fulfillment.
Cakes are available from the pastry chefs at the Animal Kingdom Lodge & Villas, the Art of Animation Resort, Boardwalk Inn and Villas, the Caribbean Beach Resort, the Contemporary Resort and Bay Lake Tower, Disney Hollywood Studios, EPCOT (with the exception of Mexico, China, Italy, Japan, Morocco and France), Fort Wilderness, Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, the Magic Kingdom, Old Key West, Pop Century, the Polynesian Village, Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa, Wilderness Lodge, and the Yacht and Beach Club and Villas.
What Characters Are Available?
Most characters are available (Toy Story, UP, the Muppets, etc.) with the exception of Winnie the Pooh. I also couldn't get Mr. Potato Head because it's licensed to Mattel even though he is in Toy Story. (It never hurts to ask if you want one of these characters. Policies can change at any time.)
There are three options to choose from when designing your cake. Characters can be screen printed flat directly onto the surface of the cake. (This is the least expensive option.) They can also be printed on a standing piece of white chocolate for a 2D effect. If you want to pull out all the stops you can top your cake with a white chocolate figurine that can be left white or hand painted for an additional charge. Characters available as a white chocolate figurine are Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Pluto, Chip, Dale, Ariel, Belle, Cinderella, Snow White, Tinker Belle, Peter Pan, Remy, Stitch, Captain Jack Sparrow, Jedi Mickey, anniversary Mickey and Minnie, Lightning McQueen and Tow Mater.
Can They Accommodate Dietary Restrictions?
Disney has a long history of accommodating dietary restrictions at their restaurants and their custom cakes are no exception. Gluten free, nut free, and vegan are readily available. Mention your needs to the cast member when ordering. Some allergies are trickier than others, like dairy, and may limit the available flavor options. Disney takes providing food to people with medical challenges very seriously. We are a multiple allergy family and have never had a problem.
What Size Cake Do I Need?
6 inch cake
8 inch cake
10 inch cake
Mickey Mouse cake
10 - 12
1/4 sheet cake
1/2 sheet cake
Available Cake Flavors
Available Cake Fillings
White Chocolate Mousse
Dark Chocolate Mousse
Milk Chocolate Mousse
Caramel Milk Chocolate Mousse
Orange White Chocolate Mousse
Tequila Key Lime Mousse
Orange Milk Chocolate Mousse
Strawberry Basil Mousse
Peanut Butter Cream Cheese
Cookies and Cream
How Much Does It Cost?
Pricing varies from restaurant to restaurant and also depends on how much detail you want on your cake. The Buzz Lightyear cake in the above photo was a dense chocolate cake, gluten and nut free, with a simple Buzz Lightyear screen print which we got from 50's Prime Time Diner in Hollywood Studios. It was a 10 inch cake with a chocolate mousse filling and chocolate buttercream frosting and cost $65.00 ten years ago.
The Agent P cake was also chocolate but with chocolate ganache filling and regular buttercream frosting. It was also a 10 inch cake which we purchased from Whispering Canyon in Wilderness Lodge and cost $75.00 seven years ago.
One year ago we were celebrating my sister's birthday and ordered the Dug cake from California Grill. It was an 8 inch chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream filling and frosting, covered in fondant with simple decorations and a stand up white chocolate Dug. It cost $95.00.
When you are placing your order with the cast member, they will quote you a price. They will also suggest changes that can help you stay within your budget.
How Do I Order?
Custom cakes are just that - custom. Your first step is to decide what character(s) you want, the cake flavor and filling you're interested in, the size cake you need and the restaurant you want your cake served at. Have your dining reservation confirmation number handy so they can add your special request to your reservation. EPCOT cakes can be ordered by calling 407-560-6395. All other cakes are ordered by calling the WDW Cake Hotline at 407-827-2253.
If you have a picture of the cake you want, some cast members will give you an email address to forward a picture. This is not necessarily a standard practice. The only locations that have email ordering are the Contemporary (WDW.Contemporary.Cake.Order@disney.com) and the Magic Kingdom (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Once you've finalized your design, the cast member will take your credit card number as a guarantee but you won't be charged until you actually receive the cake. You can order a cake with only 48 hours advance notice. Disney recommends ordering your cake four weeks in advance if it has a lot of detail. I usually order my cakes two months ahead of time to give them plenty of time to complete. I follow up a month before we arrive to make sure they haven't lost my order.
When you show up for your reservation at Disney World, let them know you have a custom cake waiting for you and they will serve it after you have finished your meal. It's that easy.
Tips For Getting Exactly What You Want
- The size guidelines that Disney provides for the servings you get from a certain size cake are in my opinion quite large. The 8 inch cake we purchased was quite tall and lasted four of us an entire trip. We ate cake everyday.
- There is a minimum size cake that elaborate details can be done on. So decide ahead of time what's more important - the design or the size. The 8 inch cake was the smallest size we could put the standing Dug on. It was far too much cake for the four of us for a week but since it was my sister's birthday, the design was more important to me.
- If you are staying at a resort that has Private Dining, you can have your cake delivered to your room. You don't need to be in your room when it is delivered, but you must be checked in.
- Table service restaurants will provide candles for your cake upon request.
- You can bring your own figurines from home, if you want, and the server will place them on the cake for you.
- You can pick up a cake at Boardwalk Bakery with 72 hours notice. Private Dining at the Contemporary and Grand Floridian may allow you to pick up your cake without a dining reservation. Resorts without Private Dining may allow you to pick up a cake at the food court. A call to the cake hotline is all that is needed.
- Make sure your hotel room has a refrigerator. Your restaurant will box up your leftover cake for you to take with you after dinner.
- How many times has your family started to dig in before you could take pictures? The dining staff will help you get photos from every angle. Take many pictures. You will be glad you did.
- You don't need to have a reason to order a cake. A custom cake is a celebration in itself. Do it!
- Yes, they all tasted great. Don't worry about your diet this week. Just enjoy the moment.
© 2015 Chantelle Porter
Chantelle Porter (author) from Ann Arbor on November 07, 2015:
It does make the experience a little extra special.
Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on November 07, 2015:
Excellent! I was not aware of this service, and it sure is a nice touch for those special occasions...even not!
Chantelle Porter (author) from Ann Arbor on October 26, 2015:
drbj and sherry from south Florida on October 26, 2015:
What a neat idea these custom cakes are, Chantelle. Thanks for the heads-up. I didn't have a clue before now, but will take advantage of this before I visit Disney World again. I'll tell them you sent me. ;)