Is there a better place to celebrate a birthday than Disneyland? You wear your free birthday button and everybody wishes you a happy birthday all day long. You have a free pass to eat all your favorite Disneyland treats because calories don’t count on your birthday—at least that’s what we believe. OK, I need to believe that this is true. But another important birthday to celebrate at Disneyland is Disneyland’s birthday. Disneyland opened July 17, 1955, forever changing our world. Every year Disneyland has a birthday party to celebrate this momentous occasion, and it even comes complete with giant birthday buttons.
We recently hopped over to Disneyland to celebrate its 62nd birthday. Just like our own birthdays, the bigger celebrations like 50 and 60 tend to be larger parties than those in-between years. It was still fun to be a guest in attendance.
One the most exciting things that happened that day was the re-opening of Fantasmic! Before the show, cast members led the packed crowd in singing Happy Birthday to Disneyland. It was the birthday of Fantasmic! too. To celebrate 25 years, new characters and technology has been added along with an updated musical score. What a way to celebrate! If you are planning to attend a future Disneyland birthday celebration, here’s our guide so you don’t miss out on any fun. We've hopfully added the Disneyland opening day anniversary to our Disneyland Crowd Calendar, so you won't forget!
Tips for Celebrating Disneyland’s Birthday
Know What to Wear
Most people are dressed in their theme park best, comfortable T-shirts, shorts and good walking shoes. But a few people like to dress up for the occasion just like people did on July 17, 1955. You might see people in their 50’s wear, homemade outfits or characters In DisneyBound clothes to get the essence of a favorite Disney character while staying within the “no costumes for adults” guidelines. You will see more Dapper Day and vintage wear during larger birthday celebrations. On any birthday you’ll certainly see some people dressed up and others wearing past birthday celebration shirts and even some people who were born the day Disneyland opened. No matter what you wear, you are all there celebrating with Disneyland. Disneyland used to sell some limited-edition birthday watches on its birthday, but that stopped a few years ago.
Take Part in Special Celebrations
When you enter the park on Disneyland’s birthday be sure to grab an entertainment guide because there could be special entertainment not listed on the official site. For example, on the 62nd birthday, there was a birthday celebration at the Main Street Train Station at 12:20 p.m. with the Dapper Dans, Disneyland Band and 62 of Disneyland’s best character friends. People were waiting in place for hours, so plan ahead if you want a close view. For Disneyland’s 60th Diamond Anniversary they gave out free cupcakes. The first guests to arrive received special pins that said, “I was there July 17, 2015.” Guests were greeted by cast members wearing sparkly Mickey hands, giving them high fives. Then guests were treated to Walt Disney’s 1955 speech. On larger anniversaries like that, you will find souvenir anniversary wear for sale and find that the celebration lasts more than that day. But even so, the birthday itself will be extra special with entertainment and surprises that are not available the other days of the anniversary celebration.
Get Ready for Your Closeup
You’ve seen or heard about wearing the Disneyland birthday buttons (one of our favorite free things to do at Disneyland)? Well, you can take a photo with giant birthday buttons all around the park at iconic locations and rides on Disneyland’s birthday. Use your own camera or the PhotoPass Photographer’s camera. If you are interested in PhotoPass, free downloads are included with Disney MaxPass and PhotoPass+ One Week plans.
Tips for Managing Crowds during Disneyland's Birthday
We frequently get questions about the best and worst days to visit Disneyland. The Disneyland anniversary is one that does see crowds, although to be fair, the parks are already busy with summer vacationers.
Expect larger-than-usual crowds for Disneyland's birthday celebration, especially during a large celebration year. Plan to arrive early. You just might get a giveaway pin or other treat for being among the first to enter the park. Make restaurant reservations at a table-service restaurant to avoid mealtime crowds and lines. Plus it is nice to sit down and relax midday so you have enough energy to keep going. Use free FASTPASSes to avoid lines or consider purchasing Disney MaxPass to be able to reserve FASTPASSes from your smartphone. We have many tips for maximizing your time at Disneyland, and Disneyland’s birthday is certainly a great day to put that advice to use.
While there may be more crowds during Disneyland's birthday party, there is also more merriment surrounding this special day. We see no reason to have that rain on our parade. So put on your birthday hat, pin on an “I’m Celebrating!” button and get ready to celebrate the anniversary of the opening of Disneyland!
Do you have questions about celebrating Disneyland's birthday? Have you experienced the merriment? Share your questions or your experience in comments below!