From distinctive group functions at your resort to spectacular Theme Park events, your Disney Catering & Convention Services team members are masters at creating unique culinary experiences based on the exacting specifications of your agenda and budget. Working together, you will create savory, world-class meals, banquets and fetes that set your meeting apart and reinforce your theme. Like all things Disney, our talented and award-winning culinary teams are driven by creativity as the inspiring force.
Disney's Culinary and Catering teams are also committed to creating "Well Balanced" menu selections—unique offerings that provide a choice of indulgent options and more healthy alternatives that maintain a strong flavor profile. This includes menus that feature fat-free, low-fat, natural, multi-grain, whole wheat, low sodium and portion-appropriate items, while reducing or eliminating trans-fats, iodized salt and processed ingredients where suitable—without sacrificing value or flavor.
Disney Resort Catering
Disney's Convention Resorts are home to an incredible group of experienced and talented culinary artists who specialize in infusing your conference theme into catered events and functions. At Disney, our master chefs are an integral part of your pre-planning sessions, ensuring they're as involved and knowledgeable about your goals, objectives and attendee profiles as the rest of the Disney team. Working hand-in-hand, they can create everything from interactive gourmet food stations and wine pairings to world-class banquets and intimate dessert parties.
Disney Creative/Theme Park Events
It's the imaginative blending of creative culinary with the unparalleled excitement of a Disney Theme Park as the backdrop that truly sets your exclusive event apart from anything you've ever experienced before. Just imagine your attendees networking with decadent desserts, coffee and cordials in a private viewing area as Disney fireworks and lasers illuminate the night sky over World Showcase at Epcot®. Or envision your guests partaking in an African-inspired dinner resplendent with the natural flavors of exotic Harambe Village before venturing on a Sunset Safari across the African Savannah. The possibilities are as endless as our menus.
Culinary Awards & Distinctions
- Gold Platter Award, Meetings & Conventions
- Special Innovation Award, 2003 Monterey Wine Festival's America's Best Wine Lists Competition
- Most Sommeliers — Walt Disney World® Resort boasts nearly 300 expert wine sommeliers—more than any other company in the world, according to the Court of Master Sommeliers
- World's Largest Purveyor of Fine Wines — A solid list of more than 250 wines updated annually
- Always in the Kitchen — More than 350 chefs on staff at Walt Disney World® Resort
Chef Robert Gilbert, Executive Chef, Walt Disney World® Resort Special Events and Catering Operations
Executive Chef Robert Gilbert has seen and worked with the best in the culinary world, and in locations from Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa to the high seas with Disney Cruise Line®. Chef Robert's first taste of the restaurant business was in an Italian restaurant owned by his uncle in Warren, Ohio. After working in family restaurants, he attended the Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts. Today, Chef Robert oversees 35 chefs and 200 full-time culinary Cast Members who cater more than 35,000 events a year, including conventions, weddings, bar mitzvahs, birthday parties, meetings and executive gatherings.
Chef James Messinger, CEC , Catering Chef du Cuisine, Disney's Contemporary Resort
Moving from a small town south of Boston to Walt Disney World® Resort was a monumental leap for Chef James Messinger. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., Chef James borrowed $50 from his grandfather to place an ad for catering services in the local town newspaper. With the support of the Easton, Mass. community, Crazy Chefs Caterers was born. In 2006, Chef James expanded his catering business and opened LOCO Tapas & Wine Bar - now consistently rated one of the city's top restaurants. As he leaves his businesses in capable hands, Chef James further expands his dream of not only working as a chef, but coaching and mentoring the catering culinary team and interacting with meeting and convention clients.
Chef Leonard Thomson, Park Events Operations, Walt Disney World® Resort
Creating magical stories through food is one of Chef Leonard Thomson's passions. This love started with creating his very own stories as a youngster growing up in Yonkers, New York – challenging his cousins in homemade doughnut-eating competitions at his Italian grandmother's home. Chef Leonard still lives to cook, as shown through a rich culinary background that began at the American Culinary Federation Apprenticeship Program – where he was named "Apprentice of the Year" by the Central Florida Chefs Association. Progressing through a plethora of prestigious culinary roles with Disney, he now oversees Park Event Operations, which extends into all four Walt Disney World® Theme Parks, two Water Parks, the Downtown Disney® District and five Disney Resort hotels.