Spending my birthday at Walt Disney World is one of my favorite traditions. I enjoy picking the park weeks in advance, seeing what I can get for FastPass+ reservations, and finding the perfect place to dine. Even before we moved to Florida, my family and I would head to a local theme park for the day each year when my big day rolled around. I’m a late April birthday girl, which means that we will be staying home this year instead of going to Walt Disney World. I’ve been trying to think of ways that we can celebrate Disney-style, while still obeying our stay-at-home order. If you are also celebrating your birthday during these troubling times, here are a few of my ideas. Everything here is family friendly. If you have some fun suggestions to add to the list, we would love to hear about them!
1. Birthday Button
A simple, free way to show everyone that it’s your birthday while at Walt Disney World is to ask for a free birthday button. If you’ve ever been on or near your birthday, you know that you still have it somewhere. Wear it! If you don’t have one, you can make something simple. Write “Happy Birthday” and your name on a small piece of paper or cardboard. Then draw Mickey (he’s just three circles) on it, and pin it to your shirt. It’s something that you probably would not wear out in public, but at home with your loved ones it’s a totally different story.
2. Birthday Cake
Creating a cake at home that will fit into your Disney theme is not as difficult as you might assume. You do not need to be a pastry chef. All that you need is a cake mix or recipe, one round cake pan, and a cupcake pan. Follow the directions for the cake. Pour part of the batter into the cake pan, and use the rest for cupcakes. (Pour a small amount of water into any empty cupcake molds for safety.) When the cake and cupcakes are baked and cool, use two of the cupcakes to form Mickey with the cake, and decorate. You won’t win any cake decorating awards, but it will still be cute and hopefully delicious. You’ll know that it’s a Mickey cake, and that’s all that matters.
If you were at Walt Disney World for your birthday you would have a snack at some point, so you should enjoy one at home as well. Recently Disney added a recipe for Frozen Pineapple Treat on the My Disney Experience App. It is not exactly like Dole Whip, but it’s close enough to make you miss the real thing. Enjoy it at some point on your birthday. Close your eyes, and you might feel as if you are at the Magic Kingdom, at least for a moment.
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If you were celebrating your birthday at Walt Disney World, you would probably dress the part. You can do the same thing at home. You and your whole family need to pull out your favorite Disney T-shirts and wear them for your celebration. Matching shirts from your last trip are even better. If it isn’t cold where you live, wear shorts so that you can look like you would at Walt Disney World. You also need to pull out your Mickey Ears for your birthday celebration.
Many people have pantries that are currently filled with a little bit of this and a little bit of that. No one knew what they would need when shopping, or how long they would have to stay at home. Take advantage of having a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Instead of making one large entree, create a bunch of small ones. Try to include several different cuisines. Chances are that you have taco seasoning or salsa, spaghetti sauce, soy sauce, and French fries. Use whatever you have on hand, and create some tapas. Use as many international flavors as you can. For your dinner, say that you are at EPCOT and eating around the world. The kitchen might be a mess after creating so many choices, so ask your family to clean it up. After all, it’s your birthday, you shouldn’t have to do it yourself.
While you are baking, cooking, and eating, you will need to have music on in the background. Whether you listen to tunes on a streaming service, use CDs, or even have vinyl, you can easily play your favorite Disney songs. If you aren’t sure where to start, you might be eligible for a free three month trial of the Disney Parks Hits playlist through Apple Music. You can find more information on the Play Disney Parks App, but it’s a little bit hard to find. Sign into the app, pick Walt Disney World, and then pick a park. You should then have a new screen that will give “listen to music” as an option. You will be surprised by all the music that’s available.
7. Movie Night
End your birthday with a family movie night. Pick something on Disney+ that you have never watched before. The birthday boy or girl gets to choose, but make sure that it’s something that everyone will enjoy. Make popcorn if you haven’t run out during your quarantine. Gather the whole family together, turn off the lights, and get comfortable. Unlike a real theater, bring your pets in with you. Watch the movie the way that you would if you were watching at AMC Movies at Disney Springs. That means no conversations and no stopping. If you don’t have Disney+, go ahead and rent something Disney related that you haven’t seen before, or check the streaming services that you do have. Make sure you take off your Mickey Ears; you don’t want to block the vision of the people behind you.
8. After the Movie
After the movie is over, switch over to YouTube. Do it on your TV if possible. It’s the Disney Parks Channel that you want, and look for the Disney Parks Live playlist. With the lights still off, watch Fantasy In the Sky Fireworks. While it’s true that they’re the New Year’s Eve fireworks, they are appropriate because you are starting a new year.
Happy Quarantine Birthday, from all of us here at Disney Dining!