One of the biggest reasons people visit Orlando is to celebrate a birthday at Disney World. It is without doubt the most magical place on earth. So if you’re visiting Disney World for a birthday, you’re sure to have a great time.
But there are a few things that you should do to make sure that you have the best day ever.
Today, I’ll be sharing my best tips about how to make your birthday at Disney World even more magical!
1. Note it in your hotel reservation
When you’re making your hotel reservation at Walt Disney World, no matter who you book with, be sure to let them know that someone in your party is celebrating their birthday. Be sure to let them know what the persons name is and how old, or young, they will be turning.
2. Tell the front desk when you check in
If you followed my advice in step 1, they should already have a note about it. But, you know, things sometimes get mixed up and they may not know about it. Tell them again! There’s no harm in letting the Cast Member know again that someone is celebrating their birthday during your stay.
When I’ve done this in the past, we have ended up with multiple surprises throughout the trip from the hotel Cast Members. These things have ranged from balloons, a signed card from the characters and cool towel arrangements.
3. Get free Disney celebration buttons
If I remember correct, the Disney celebration buttons were rolled out back in the year 2006 as part of their Year of a Million Dreams promotion. Interestingly enough, the promotion ran for 2 years, ending in 2008. So it technically was 2 years of of a Million Dreams.
Disney celebration buttons are completely free and can be picked up from many stores around Disney World. However, your best bet for getting one is to visit the front desk at your resort hotel, or Guest Services at any park.
The special events that you can currently get a celebration button for are:
- Just Married
- Happy Anniversary
- Family Reunion
- Just Engaged
- 1st Visit
- My Magical Triumph
- Happily Ever After
- I’m Celebrating [fill in the blank]
- Happy Birthday.
Getting a button won’t necessarily get you anything special, except almost every Cast Member will go out of their way to wish you a happy birthday. Some will give you freebies, but remember that nothing is guaranteed.
4. Tell your server and note it on any dining reservations
This is a must when celebrating your birthday at Disney World! Mainly because it is very likely you will get a free small dessert. As I mentioned before, nothing is guaranteed. However, I’ve never not gotten a free small dessert when going to a restaurant to celebrate my birthday at Disney World.
On some occasions, I’ve seen a server make announcement to the entire restaurant that usually goes along the lines of, “Attention everyone. Everyday is magical at Walt Disney World, but this day is especially magical as [insert name here] is celebrating his/ her [insert number] birthday.” The server will then proceed to lead the entire dining room in a chorus of Happy Birthday. Ah, that spiel always makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.
Did you know that each month we give away free Disney merchandise to randomly selected people subscribed to our mailing list? Find out how you can win free Disney merchandise by clicking here.
5. Schedule a magical phone call
Usually the front desk will take care of this for you. Be sure to ask them if they will set up a birthday phone call at your room at a certain time. The phone will ring and you can ask the person celebrating their birthday to answer it. It will then play a special message from certain characters.
I don’t think any certain characters are guaranteed, but I’ve heard a lot of messages from Goofy, Minnie and/ or Mickey.
6. Disney in room celebrations
Here’s your chance to have your own birthday party at Disney World. If you are staying in a Walt Disney World resort hotel, you can choose to receive the Disney in room celebration service. It is a bit pricey, but it’s a great way for you to surprise a child on their birthday.
The package includes a specialty cake, personalized Mickey ears, two Mickey & friends themed Happy Birthday balloons, a chalkboard shaped like Mickey’s ears plus tons of other goodies and treats.
There are plenty of other themes to choose from too, if you want to celebrate another occasion. The current themes are:
- Disney Vacation Club
- Star Wars
More information about the Disney in room celebration can be found here.
If you want to choose from a selection of Disney specialty cakes, the Disney World cake hotline is 407-827-2253.
7. Send flowers to a Disney World hotel room
If the person in your party who is celebrating their birthday would appreciate a beautiful arrangement of flowers, you might want to have some delivered to your room.
Disney actually have their own floral service which is lovely, but unfortunately really expensive!
Many local Florists will deliver right to your Disney World resort hotel room, and are much more affordable. My personal favorite is Kremp Florist. If you order from them before 12 noon, they will deliver the flowers that very same day! Their turn around is so incredibly fast, it really is a life saver if you need a quick gift for someone in your party. You can order online from their store by clicking here.
So, what does the WLO community think about celebrating birthdays at Disney World?
I recently sent out an email to people subscribed to our newsletter asking if anyone had celebrated a birthday at Disney World and what their experiences were. Here’s what you all had to say:
Carrie: “Celebrating my birthday at Disney World was great. You get a pin that says it’s your birthday, a free dessert at dinner, and people sang happy birthday to me in every line we got in. I finally took the pin off, much to my children’s dismay. This introvert just couldn’t handle that much attention.”
Linda: “During the parade, when I had my button on, Prince Charming wished me a Happy Birthday and offered me the glass slipper.”
Sandra: “We always order some kind of custom cake to be delivered to a special meal. It’s always so cool to see your cake come out and see everyone in the dining room ‘ooohing’ and ‘ahhhing’ over the cake.”
Susan: “We have celebrated my son’s birthday 3 different times. He has Birthday ears and we have a custom t-shirt made. We let him pick the restaurant and we do a splurge. We have done dessert parties, pirates and pals and early morning magic at Hollywood Studios.”
Maureen: “I spent my 50th at Magic Kingdom, then dinner at Yachtsman’s Steakhouse. I wore my button and during the parade a Cast Member on top of a float said, ‘Today is Maureen’s birthday make sure you say happy birthday to her’ and then dozens of people did! The best birthday ever!”
Tammy: “I’ve been at Disney World many times on my birthday! My family and I got an exclusive safari (just the three of us) at Animal Kingdom! A Cast Member walked us straight to the back to the safari. We saw so many animals we hadn’t seen before, and it was early so they were very active.”
Deana: “Be sure to get a free birthday button. You can get one at pretty much any store.”
Monike: “I spent my birthday at Disney World this year and they always know how to make things extra magical! Everyone said happy birthday to me. We went to Disney springs and they gave us a free round of drinks. It was truly amazing!”
Douglas: “Get a Birthday button. You’ll receive a lot of birthday wishes and usually a couple free cookies or drinks (at the discretion of the Cast Member).”
Crystal: “It’s the best! I love going on my birthday! Don’t go expecting anything and just enjoy a magical day. I just love spending the day with people I care about. I guess a hundred people saying happy birthday to me isn’t too shabby either!”
Then there is this awesome idea from Melanie: “We celebrated my boyfriend’s 40th birthday at Disney World this past year. I ordered a custom embroidered t-shirt off of ETSY. We were in Cinderella’s Castle at midnight and were trying to be right in front. We had a plaza sundae, sat on the sidewalk and people watched as the park emptied out. They even sang to him when I mentioned it was his birthday. Then I decorated the room while he slept, so he woke up to an amazing surprise. I had a sign on the door and left a Sharpie for people to sign the days before. Then, the day of, we took the sign and took pictures around the park with him holding it. I had Cast Members, other guests in the park, and characters sign it and he had it out on a few rides for the picture.”
I love it, Melanie! What a neat idea!
We want to hear from you! Have you ever celebrated a birthday at Disney World? Share your experience in a comment below!