Celebrating a birthday in a Disney Park can make for memories that last a lifetime. Simply being there is such a special event, but there are ways to elevate the experience to make it truly unforgettable. As a self proclaimed Disney birthday expert, I’m here to bring you my tips to make the birthday you celebrate at Disney the most magical celebration ever!
When we moved to the rural middle of nowhere we discovered a birthday problem: Our son’s old friends didn’t want to drive this far to celebrate and his new friends’ parents didn’t know us (and in small tight knit communities that meant no birthday party guests). Any mama knows that this just won’t do, we never want to see our kids heart broken but most especially on their birthday. So I came up with a solution: instead of parties and gifts (that let’s be honest no one really needs), we’d do a once a year birthday celebration at Disney World for everyone! Everyone’s birthday is celebrated on this trip and everyone gets a day of the trip to feel special. So no matter if you’re young or young at heart, I’ve got you covered!
Step one to a magical celebration is letting everyone know about it! Make sure to stop by Guest Services when you arrive and get your free celebration button! They’ve got a button for nearly anything you’re celebrating (birthdays included). That button is your key to birthday fun! From Happy Birthdays to occasional “Pixie dust”. There’s no guarantee you’ll get anything for free (a dessert here, a soda there, nothing major usually). Free stuff should not be expected, it happens but it’s random. However, smiles and birthday wishes alone make it worth it! We always get so happy when people see our buttons and say “happy birthday”!
Be warned, this one is spendy. Nothing makes you feel more special than your very own VIP tour guide though. What’s included?
- Pre-arrival planning
- A flexible start time, picked by you
- Visits to multiple theme parks (valid theme park admission required) in one or more days
- The ability to enjoy some of your favorite attractions efficiently (i.e skipping lines)
- Shared insight from your highly knowledgeable VIP Tour Guide throughout your tour
Like I said, this one isn’t cheap. Ranging between $425-$850 per hour depending on the season the tours require a minimum commitment of 7 hours. This is for sure a once in a lifetime thing for most people, not something you do every trip but it’s amazing for a special milestone celebration.
Disney Floral Surprises
This is my favorite way to celebrate birthdays at Walt Disney World! You can preplan special treats and/or room decorations to be waiting in-room for your birthday crew! Despite the name, it’s not just flowers. You can order everything from snacks and “grown up drinks” to stuffed animals/ autograph books all the way up to a full on birthday celebration complete with gifts and decorations. There’s something available for most budgets.
Drink Around the World
For adult birthday celebrations, nothing is more festive than a booze cruise around EPCOT’s World Showcase! It’s indulgent and fun and something you’ll talk about for years! If you’re considering taking on this challenge take it from me: start in Canada. Do not start in Mexico with the tequila if you want to make it to all 11 countries. Also, there’s no rule that says you can’t share drinks (with those in the group 21 and up of course). A birthday to remember starts with being able to remember it!
King/Queen For a Day
This is a fun one that won’t break the bank. We like to take turns on our birthday celebration letting each member be the star of the day! Each person “gets their way for a day” and gets to choose what park, where we eat, and which rides and characters we meet. My Star Wars loving son always chooses Hollywood Studios, my nature loving husband always picks Animal Kingdom and I usually choose to hop between EPCOT and Magic Kingdom. This one requires a bit of advanced planning with park reservations and dining reservations but it’s definitely a great way to make your birthday person feel special!
Create A Special Souvenir
For my son’s first birthday we got creative. He wasn’t going to remember the trip and he certainly couldn’t choose the things he wanted to do but we wanted to make something lasting for him out of our trip. We brought a special photo mat with us and had characters autograph it. Then I took the pictures from each of the characters he met and created a collage, with a photo of him in his birthday outfit in the center. He also got his very first haircut at Harmony Barbershop on this trip and still has the special ear hat (included with the first haircut package) to this day!
One of our favorite parts of any Disney vacation? Wearing ears! Disney has a whole selection of birthday, wedding, and graduation ears to choose from so that along with your button you can show the world that its your special day! You can find them almost anywhere ears are sold (which is most everywhere). What we like to do is to buy them on arrival day at World of Disney in Disney Springs. That way we’ve got them fresh and ready to go for our first park the next morning!
Order A Cake
What better way is there to celebrate a birthday than with a birthday cake!? At most table service restaurants, specialty Mickey Mouse cakes can be ordered and delivered to your table at the end of the meal. They cost just $39, feed upmto 4 people, and are added to the bill so you don’t have to pay for it up front. You have a choice of dark chocolate, milk chocolate or white chocolate and it can include either “happy birthday” or “congratulations”. At least 4 days advance notice is required for cakes and you can order them when you make your dining reservation or on the My Disney Experience App.
Sadly, free admission on your birthday isn’t a thing anymore. That ended years ago but despite that, there are all kinds of ways to make the day extra special! I hope these ideas will encourage you to plan the most magical birthday celebrations ever and hopefully you’ll come up with a few of your own too! I’m always looking to add to our celebrations so let me know your ideas in the comments!