Alicia is a Disneyways subscriber and avid reader who has a WONDERFUL “predicament”. She is celebrating her 27th birthday in Walt Disney World this year. This is her first time ever to blow out her candles in the most magical place on earth. Alicia was so sweet and persistent in asking me for some tips that might help her to make the day extra wonderful.
So…Alicia…this one’s for you…and everyone else reading this post who has wondered the same thing!
Thanks for your great question!
This is definitely one of our longer posts, and I want to respect your time. If you are too busy to read all this – stop right here and call my friend Ramon from ThemeParkConcierges.com. (407-257-9973)
Ramon has been helping families and individuals create magical Disney birthday moments for years and he is VERY affordable for the amazing value he provides. Like some sort of Disney wish granter – Ramon has access to special meet and greet opportunities, VIP seating, holiday tours, and all sorts of things that he can customize just for you, and that are probably not even listed here. He can save you a ton of time and make your birthday celebrations a breeze!
Now let’s get the ball rolling and think out side the box for a little inspiration! We’ve got free, cheap and pricey ideas for grown-up birthdays!
Drinking or Snacking Around World Showcase
Planning is crucial here – so be sure to check out THIS LINK before you attempting this idea. Now take it a step further. Create something tangible before you leave for yourself or the person who is celebrating their birthday. Look up the drink and food menus at the World Showcase pavilions and think about the items you or they would most prefer. Print a map of Epcot and write your choices on each country to represent your plan of action. Create t-shirts with the countries and all the drinks or snacks listed. Bring a sharpie to mark each one off as you go! You can buy alcohol or non-alcoholic drinks, snacks and food at Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom if you like those parks better – or do a snack crawl around Magic Kingdom!
Wear a HAT!
Any silly or customized hat can also be a great way to celebrate your birthday trip around the world, or any occasion really. Check out this photo my hubby took of Mike from MikeandTheMouse.com (and me!) from our last Disneyways meetup. Nothing beats a fashionable set of Mickey ears.
By the way…if you weren’t at the meetup these are the sort of shenanigans you missed. You need to come to the next one. The details will be revealed soon!
Watch the Fireworks during Dinner
Again, some planning ahead is important here. You’re going to need a list of restaurants where this is possible. Stay tuned to Disneyways for those. Better yet subscribe to get updates by email so you’ll never miss a post! Advanced dining reservations are also crucial! The good news is – fireworks viewing won’t cost you any extra if you are lucky enough to be seated for dinner in a good spot.
Take a Specialty Cruise
Pick the Plan
Here’s one that won’t add any expense at all. You or the person celebrating their birthday gets to pick the general schedule for the day and maybe even invite a surprise guest. The attraction and show choices are endless, and giving or having this kind of power is fuel for some wonderful birthday memories.
Set up a Small Private Event
There are a couple of ways to set up a small private event at Walt Disney World.
One is to call Private Dining at the Grand Floridian (407-824-2474) and arrange to have dinner somewhere in the hotel or at the marina during the Wishes fireworks. If you are staying in some other Disney resort – then the way to do a small private event at Walt Disney World is to work with Disney Catered Events (321-939-7278). My recommendation? Use a travel agent or hire Ramon to do all of this for you.
Beyond Birthday Cake
Sure you can get cake at Disney, if you prefer. But I hope you will go to Norway for School Bread. Get Zebra Domes from Boma or Mara in Animal Kingdom Lodge. Order Crepes from Chefs de France, ‘Smores from the ’50s Prime Time Diner, or the Tonga Toast at Kona Cafe. Bring your own birthday candle and your server will bring it out singing. Try to conquer the Kitchen Sink at Beaches & Cream. Have Dole Whip or Mickey Bar at breakfast, lunch AND dinner. Sample every kind of fudge at the Main Street Confectionery. Contact me and I will connect you with someone for more info on the DVCCentral.com Cupcake Crawl – even if you’re not a member of DVC.
The more off-the-wall your sweet treat is, the more you or your special someone will remember the celebration.
Book some Extra Birthday Fun
Take the Characters in Flight balloon ride at Downtown Disney. Spend a day at the Saratoga Springs Resort spa or the new Senses Spa at the Grand Floridian. Take a backstage tour at the Magic Kingdom. Book a suite or stay in a different or nicer resort than usual. Plan a shopping spree. Stay at the park until it closes. Go parasailing or waterskiing at the Contemporary. Get tickets to Cirque du Soleil’s La Nouba at Downtown Disney.
Decorate Your Room
A great way to add oomph to your celebration is to decorate your hotel room. You can do this with streamers and balloons brought from home. Don’t want to do it yourself? Enlist the help of the Disney Floral and Gift Basket team. Find them online or give them a call at 407-WDW-GIFT. They have a bunch of room decorating packages available. They can also customize a basket for you. If you have something very specific in mind, get on the phone and speak to someone directly. OR save time and money by…you guessed it…hiring Ramon to do it all for you. Do I sound like a broken record yet?
Grab a blanket or extra towels and watch the Wishes fireworks presentation from the beach at the Polynesian.
Do the “Usual” but still Pretty Fantastic Disney Celebration Stuff
Of course Disney has their own official ways to make birthdays a little more magical in the World. Click here for more on that. Just don’t forget to come back to this page to reference all the cool extra stuff we’ve mentioned already.
I hope one or more of these ideas will help you get started. Let’s face it, you actually may not need to jump through any magical hoops to make a Disney celebration special. A trip to Walt Disney World is pretty special all by itself. Life really can’t get much better than feeling the wind in your hair on Test Track – or getting a hug from Mickey Mouse. I promise, you aren’t the only one who gets sentimental at Disney. My friend Morgan from DVCCentral.com created a crying scale so we can all share which level we are on!
We may now have a need for a Disney birthday crying scale. Send in your levels! While you’re at it – please send me your ideas, dreams and memories of your favorite Disney birthdays! We would LOVE to hear from you!