More Walt Disney World Resort Stories

‘Drawn’ to Each Other – A Magical Proposal at Downtown Disney Marketplace

Darcy Clark

by , Disney Springs Marketing Manager

I’ll admit it – I’m a sucker for a good love story. Every time I hear about a proposal in the Magic Kingdom Park Rose Garden, or see a photo of a bride stepping from Cinderella’s Royal Coach at the Disney Wedding Pavilion, I’m reminded that even in real life, fairytales can come true.

That’s probably why I was so smitten when I heard about a proposal that recently took place at Airbrush Caricatures here at Downtown Disney Marketplace.

Guest Ben Landaal orchestrated everything to perfection to surprise his girlfriend of a year and a half, Paige Lawton. A few days before the big night, Ben made arrangements with Airbrush Caricatures, sharing his “perfect proposal” vision. Fast-forward to engagement night: Paige thought they were simply having a regular caricature created, but instead they were capturing one of the biggest moments of their lives.

As Ben tells the story, “I sat down by the artist right away, so that he could draw my head first. He then had Paige sit down and proceeded to draw her face and both of our bodies while she was still sitting. As you can see in the picture, the artist had me on one knee holding the ring out, and he wrote on the picture, “Will you marry me?” When the caricature was complete, he told Paige that she could get up. She immediately turned around and looked at it. At this point, I went down on one knee and pulled out the ring.”

Based on the smiles, I think you can guess what she said?

Ben Landaal and His Now-Fiancée Paige Lawton ‘Drawn’ to Each Other – A Magical Proposal at Downtown Disney Marketplace

Sure, magical Disney moments will always happen under castle archways or beneath glowing fireworks, but it makes me happy to know they can happen in sometimes-unexpected places, like Downtown Disney, too!

I love a happy ending and couldn’t be more thrilled for Ben and Paige. (Did I mention that I love love?)

Have you been lucky enough to witness a “dream come true” moment during a previous Disney vacation? If so, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!


  • I kid you not, my Husband proposed the exact same way on the same day 1 year ago! 7-26-12 So sweet! I had no idea and he was so sneaky and had Guest Relations help out. It was perfect! 🙂

  • On 12-12-12 my now Husband took me to see the Candlelight Processional at Epcot. The Processional is special to me because it is one of my first ever Disney memories. When I was a senior in high school(Thanksgiving 2008)my choir came down to Florida from Ohio from a trip just to perform at the Processional. My mom was a chaperone so it was a wonderful way to spend a Thanksgiving, even if we were away from home. A year and a few months later (January 2010) I decided I just had to go back and experience more of what The Walt Disney Company has to offer. I applied for the Disney College Program and was absolutely hooked! I have worked at many locations between Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Downtown Disney, and now the Disney Resorts. But on specific location(s) sticks out the most and that is when I worked at Epcots Food and Wine Festival in 2011. I met a man that little did I know would change my life forever! My then boyfriend Tom and I started dating on 11-8-11. What is more perfect than meeting the man of your dreams at WALT DISNEY WORLD!!! We did everything Disney related you can imagine in our first year spent together! But the best memory of all was on that night, 12-12-12 came and he told me he had a surprise for me! We had talked about going to see the Processional but never picked a date. Little did I know he was working with other CMs and got us free gold tickets to the show when JODI BENSON (the voice of Ariel) was doing the reading! Ariel has been my favorite Disney Princess for as long as I can remember! When she walked out on stage I felt like a little girl sitting in my Grandmas floor watching The Little Mermaid over and over. She was just beautiful and the fact that she still sounds like Ariel after all these years is just incredible! The entire Processional was very emotional for me reminicng about the time my classmates and I were on that very stage singing the exact same songs! The best song for me is the Halleluiah Chorus because that was something I sang in choir every Christmas. Of course at the end there was a standing ovation for the outstanding performance. I was zoned in, videotaping and singing along that I didnt even notice Tom wasnt standing next to me during the standing ovation. I felt a tap on my shoulder and there he was with his beautiful eyes asking me if I would marry him! I felt to me seat while everyone around us was still clapping and cheering away and just melted in his arms. He couldnt have planned it any better. The night was absolutely perfect and definitely something I will never ever forget! In honot of meeting, and getting engaged at Walt Disney World, we were married on 7-13-13 which just so happens to be Walt Disney and Lillian Disneys 89th Wedding anniversary! It only seemed right considering both of our lives were forever changed because of Walts dream! Now to add on to all the magic we are expecting a little princess this coming Decemember 2013! Needless to say, Novemeber and December are awesome months for us and we will be celebrating a lot of family vacations down here in Florida around that time after we move back to Ohio to be closer to family.

  • I think it was my 2009 WDW trip. My friend and I were at Hollywood Studios waiting for the Beauty and the Beast show to start. A cast member had some interaction with a guest and then had the gentleman come up to the front and ask him some more questions. When he said who he was with the CM had his girlfriend come up to the front too. At that point the guy got down on one knee and proposed. It was so beautiful.

  • Does anyone know if Disney has an event planner who can help with proposals like this? My son is planning on getting engaged in a year or so and I think he should do it at Disneyland. It would be great if he could get a photographer to capture the magical moment.

  • I just got engaged at Cinderella’s Royal Table this weekend! It was completely wonderful! Disney really goes the extra mile when it comes to customer service, so it is the perfect place for these kinds of special moments. Having photographs of the whole event is an especially nice touch.

  • Kassandra you should use a search engine and #engagementatbeourguest you might find pictures of your engagement. We found a video of a family member at a special occasion on youtube that someone else had taken. You can use many # words to see if you can find something, lots of people put things on open pages like Youtube and Tumblr etc. Good luck, and good luck to all of you getting married, these are wonderful stories.

  • During my last visit to Walt Disney World I too witnessed a proposal. My mom and I were walking to Chefs de France ( our favorite ) and just as we arrived to the beautifully lit fountain in front of the Eiffel tower he dropped to his knee and proposed! Champagne was brought out it was wonderful! Shortly after there was another proposal!! Amazing!

  • I too got engaged at Downtown Disney. In May 2009 my husband and I were taking our then annual Disney trip (we since have moved here and go almost every weekend) and he totally surprised me as we walked behind Bongos by the giant pineapple structure they have. There was actually no one else around which made it completely private. The best part is every time we take someone to Downtown Disney we always get to show them where we got engaged. The ironic part of the whole thing is I’m actually allergic to pineapples so everyone always gets a laugh out of it.

  • On my daughter’s first visit we all witnessed a proposal inside Cinderella’s Royal table. The groom o be looked so nervous but it was beautiful and all were smiling and clapping for the couple. My daughter now 7 says she better get engaged at Disney…uh no???

  • My fiance proposed to me at Be Our Guest last November with the help of CMs and it was amazing! Lots of strangers stood up and clapped for us and took pictures. It was surreal. Wish I could see those pictures!

  • Six years ago, I was fortunate enough to propose to my wife in the Cinderella Castle suite. Through some friends in Guest Relations, I was able to arrange a tour of the suite. Little did she know that her family and mine were waiting, hidden behind a curtain that divides the sleeping chamber from the living quarters. When she pulled the curtain, she was surprised to find everyone, but even more surprised when she turned around to find me on one knee 🙂

    The GR staff were so kind to give us our own personalized room keys, as well as the special door hanger they have for the suite. The staff was so helpful, and truly made it a magical day no one in our family will ever forget.

    Of course we had a Disney wedding, have been APs since we met, and named our daughter Scarlett Aurora after my favorite princess 🙂

  • Kris from FL, your story is amazing! I cried when I read it! What a magical proposal!!

  • I proposed to my CM girlfriend at Cinderella’s Castle last year! I worked it out with the PhotoPass photogs. She thought it was just an early morning photo shoot and never saw it coming. Probably the best proposal ever at WDW, but I might be biased.

  • My husband surprised me with a trip to Disneyland for my birthday, it was my first time, I had always wanted to go. We loved Tangled, so of course I wanted to meet Rapunzel.

    We were told earlier in the day that if we wanted to meet Rapunzel we should go during the parade, so as soon as we saw it coming we headed towards her tower. While waiting anxiously in line just like all the little princesses dying to met her, my soon to be fiancé leaves the line to ask a Disney cast member about “dinner” (I find out later he was asking permission to propose to me in front of Rapunzel.) After a few minutes he comes back and it is off to see the princess!

    As I enter the room, the doors close behind us and I encounter Rapunzel (as perfect as she can be) and Flynn. They talk about the fact that I have them as pins on my lanyard and then Flynn turns to me and asks, “Are you a princess? Do you have any jewels? Would you like to see the jewels I have found on my journeys?”, as he pulls out Rapunzel’s tiara. I marvel at the crown and think, “Wow! They did a great job!” At that exact moment, Rapunzel turns to Flynn and says, “Wait Flynn, I put something else in there,” he reaches in and pulls out a lime shaped ring box and my soon to be gets down on his knee and proposes.

    We got married 6 months later and of course had a Tangled theme wedding and spent our one year anniversary at Disney World 🙂

    I love fairytales!

    • Kris, WOW! Now THAT is magical … thank you so much for sharing! (Just guessing, but please tell me you played “I See the Light” at your wedding?)

  • Congrats! I hope the “magic” never dies!

  • My ex-fiance proposed to me in Disneyland right after the fire works ended. His timing was great because I thought he’d do it during the show so when the show ended, I was a little disappointed but then five minutes later, boom. There’s the ring and him down on a knee. It actually made it better because I honestly wasn’t expecting it at that time when I had been expecting it before. Even if things didn’t work out between us, I’ll always know the exact spot it happened and have a fond memory.

  • From one person to another who got engaged at Disney World – congrats to the happy couple!!!!!!

  • I got engaged at Magic Kingdom in February 2012. I’ve been going to Disney since I was 2 years old and it just seemed appropriate. We even spent a part of our honeymoon at Disneyland. We’re going back for our anniversary trip in October!

  • This is so awesome! I love these fairytales too!! I love seeing weddings or wedding photos going on around the resorts! I was lucky enough to have my own Fairytale and want to go back to that day all the time!!!

  • It was almost a year ago now that it happened….but my amazing Fiance propsed to me outside of Disneyland Resort in front of our brick…. He COMPLETELY shocked me! He had told all of our friends and family months before he was going to do it so they all would be there. He also was mic’ed so that everything he said to me would be recorded and he had it filmed by a professional, as well as many friends taking video and pics of the event! It was the most magical day of my life!! Before he popped the question we spent the afternoon inside the park taking pictures with our favorite characters and in front of our favorite spots! Afterwards we went home and got changed into evening attire, and we went to dinner at Carthay Circle Restaurant, and took more pictures as an egaged couple! We have so many pics and videos from the day, I will never be able to forget it! It was so magical!!

    • Kimberly, that sounds incredible! I love hearing about all the effort your fiancé put into planning. Magical, indeed!

  • My husband surprised me when we were at the Magic Kingdom in 2001. We were at the top of the ramp at the entrance to Cinderella Castle. He said “I have something for you” and being the kid at heart that I am, I thought he had bought me a stuffed animal or something like that. That’s when he got down on one knee and proposed!! We just celebrated our 10th anniversary on the Disney Fantasy last year. Disney has been a part of almost every anniversary, and always will!!

  • What a sweet proposal, and to have it captured in caricature now! Hope they display it at the guest table at their wedding.

    • Shannon, I agree! The caricature would be perfect next to the guest book!!!

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