This past Monday was my birthday! And that makes me wonder how I would celebrate it if I were at Walt Disney World… So I thought about it and came up with a list of the 10 Best Ways to Celebrate a Birthday at Walt Disney World!
Just going to Walt Disney World is a celebration in and of itself, but for this list, we’re going to assume that the vacation is not the celebration alone, and look for ways to add birthday magic to the trip that goes above and beyond simply being there.
Don’t be shy. Let everyone know you’re celebrating a birthday! You’ll be sure to get some extra special treatment from Disney. Here are several ways to do this:
- Note the celebration on all of your reservations
- Remind the Cast Members (CMs) when you check-in. Most likely they’ll ask “how are you?”… “We’re so excited to be here celebrating ______’s birthday!!” is a good response that will serve that purpose.
- Get a free celebration button: They are completely free and available at Guest Services. Wearing your button around the parks and resorts will get you many “Happy Birthday” greetings from CMs, and perhaps other guests as well!
- Wear festive attire! Nothing says “It’s my Birthday!” better than a Birthday Ear Hat! Not into hats? Then maybe a customized shirt will do the trick! You could do your own at home with an iron-on transfer, buy something pre-made, or order a customized shirt online, or even design your own at the Design-a-Tee store at Downtown Disney!
2. Have a Party!
This may not be feasible for everyone, but bear with me. The classic way to celebrate a birthday is by having a party, complete with guests, presents, cake, singing, and activities. Well, just because you are at Disney doesn’t mean that you can’t do this. In fact, Goofy’s Candy Co. in Downtown Disney offers this service, for a price, of course. There are also other options. Disney’s event/catering staff organizes family and corporate events at the parks and resorts all the time. Granted, the pricing can be outrageous and most options are for very large groups, but there are some more intimate locations available for smaller parties. So if you’re interested in putting something together and are willing to spend some extra money to have the folks at Disney help make it extra magical, then give them a call @ 321-939-7278. I believe that you have to be staying at a Walt Disney World Resort to utilize this service.
Okay, so perhaps the event options aren’t doing it for you. What if you just planned it all yourself? With some planning, you could easily throw a less formal, but just as magical birthday party at the parks or resorts. A party usually consists of the following:
- Family and Friends (and the guest of honor)
- Atmosphere (decorations, music, activities, etc.)
Again, we’re going to assume you’ve already planned out the first part of who’s all going on this trip. So let’s take a look at the other ingredients.
3. Plan a Special Meal!
Food is usually an essential part of a birthday party. Whether it’s snacks or a complete meal from appetizers to dessert, Walt Disney World has plenty of options. Splurgers may opt to get all dressed up and dine at a signature restaurant. Others may opt for atmosphere or the experience of dining at one of the Dinner shows. Or you could choose a character meal, and the Disney characters will be “Guests” at your birthday party!
Keep in mind, it doesn’t have to be a full-service restaurant either. One example of a fun birthday spot is Beaches and Cream at Disney’s Beach Club. It could be tough to fit a large group in there, but with a little creativity you can get a meal as well as ice cream for everyone! The famous “Kitchen Sink” they serve could double as a birthday cake!
No matter which way you go, let the Cast Members at the restaurant know that your celebrating so they can help you make it extra magical!
4. Do something special!
Sure, there are plenty of rides and attractions to keep you occupied all day! But this is your birthday! Why not take a look at some of the magical extras you can do to make your visit extra special? There are so many extra things to see in do, both inside and outside the parks. I once heard you could spend the entire year at Walt Disney World and still not do everything there is to do. Why not use your birthday as an excuse to check off something from your Disney Bucket-List!
- Pirates League or Bibbity Bobbity Boutique Makeover
- A Backstage Tour
- Richard Petty Driving Experience
- Parasailing on the Seven Seas Lagoon
- Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
- Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
- EPCOT Food and Wine Festival
- EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival
- a runDisney event
That’s just a taste of the many extras to be found.
5. Get Pampered!
Who doesn’t like to feel pampered every once in a while? A birthday celebration is the perfect excuse to indulge a bit. You could upgrade your resort room to something more lavish, staying somewhere you’ve always dreamed, or taking advantage of Disney’s “Club Level” concierge service. You can also book one of the many spa packages available. Or, for a different kind of pampering, you could book a VIP tour and get pampered, Disney Parks style!
6. Celebrate “Around the World”!
One of the most popular activities adults talk about doing at Disney is drinking “around the world” at EPCOT’s World Showcase. That sounds like a great way to celebrate a birthday as well. But this doesn’t have to be limited to drinking… Sampling foods, candy, baked goods, shopping, or simply visiting each country and having them wish you a happy birthday in their native language and style can make your birthday extra magical.
7. Eat Cake!
8. Special Gift
Giving a gift for someone’s birthday is a long-standing tradition. Many of the other suggestions on this list could easily qualify as gifts, as could the Walt Disney World trip, in and of itself. However, you may want to do something a little extra. This could be as simple and inexpensive as downloading and printing out a customized park map highlighting their favorite attractions. It could be getting a special souvenir, or photo keepsake to commemorate the trip. You could put together your own basket of Disney goodies, or select something from “Disney Floral and Gifts” and have it delivered to your resort or even to the theme parks!
9. Have characters sign your Birthday Card!
Another key component of a birthday is getting cards from family and friends. For a Disney twist, get one of those giant novelty cards, or perhaps several different birthday cards for the characters to sign at the parks or at character meals! What a great way to remember a birthday celebrated at Disney!
Okay, Disney sets off fireworks daily, whether you are there or not. But there are ways you can view the fireworks that make them extra special and almost seem like they are just for you and your family. How about booking a special fireworks cruise? Or enjoying reserved seating for Wishes at the Tomorrowland Terrace Dessert Party? Reserve a private viewing area for Illuminations or Fantasmic! Or create your own little fireworks party by grabbing some treats and finding a spot to enjoy the show. Disney fireworks are a great way to cap off any day in Walt Disney World, and the perfect way to end a day spent celebrating a birthday!
No matter if you just do one thing from this list, or all 10, a birthday spent at Walt Disney World is sure to be one you’ll always remember! And this list is also perfect for any other occasion you may be celebrating!
Now, I don’t have any plans to be at Walt Disney World for my birthday, but we’ll be there this summer for our anniversary, and next year we will be there right inbetween Lisa and Bella’s birthdays… So I’m going to put this list to some use in the next year.
So how would you want to celebrate your birthday at Walt Disney World??
Celebrating our Anniversary, Disney Style! | Adventures in Familyhood
Friday 28th of July 2017
[…] while back, I shared our 10 Best ways to celebrate your birthday at Walt Disney World. On our trip this year, Lisa and I were celebrating our 8th wedding anniversary, and we thought […]
Tuesday 27th of May 2014
If we go mid-April next year, it will be mid-way between my birthday (April 1st) and my husband's (April 18th). Can we still get birthday buttons? :)
Suzanne Rudge (MapleMouseMama)
Saturday 11th of May 2013
Awesome list James! We have had a celebration or two at Disney World for the kids b-days and it is always a blast. Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and Character Meals are always a hit!
Tuesday 14th of May 2013
KJ @ PlustheMagic
Friday 10th of May 2013
Great list! I love the birthday card idea for character signatures. I hope to celebrate my birthday in the parks one of these years... :)
Tuesday 14th of May 2013
Thanks, KJ! I hope you get to celebrate your birthday in the parks, too!