Psst. Psst. Have you heard the news? Walt Disney World has changed its ticketing options, and we're hoppy to be offering discounts on date-based and flexible-date tickets. Read here for more details on all the changes and how to choose the right Disney ticket. Ready to save? Here are a few of the most popular options:
- 5-Day Disney Theme Park Base Ticket ... Save up to $47 vs. adult gate price!
- 5-Day Disney Theme Park Ticket with Park Hopper Option ... Save up to $67 vs. adult gate price!
- 6-Day Disney Theme Park Base Ticket ... Save up to $47 vs. adult gate price!
- 6-Day Disney Theme Park Ticket with Park Hopper Option ... Save up to $63 vs. adult gate price!
- 7-Day Disney Theme Park Ticket with Park Hopper Option ... Save up to $63 vs. adult gate price!
See all of our discount Disney Theme Park Tickets! Celebrating a birthday at Disney World? What more could you possibly wish for when you blow out the candles on your birthday cake? There's no place more magical to celebrate another year than Walt Disney World, especially for the little tadpoles. It's certainly not something we can afford or arrange every year, but we've celebrated at least one birthday each for Lily and Tad at Disney World, and it's been a major hit.
A birthday bash at the Most Magical Place on Earth can make things extra special, and Disney has lots of additional magic available for parents and friends to consider. If you're planning a Disney World vacation around a birthday, here are some ideas that are certainly icing on the cake.
Tips For Celebrating a Birthday at Disney World
Make Reservations Early
If you want to surprise your prince or princess with a Character Dining Experience, specialty cruise or dinner show on the big day, make your reservations early. Most reservations can be made up to 180 days in advance. "What should I make those reservations for, Mommy Frog?" I'm glad you asked. We've got a ton of ideas below our tips. Read on!
Shout It Out Loud!
When you make your Disney hotel reservation and Advanced Dining Reservations, be sure to tell the Cast Members that you're celebrating a birthday. (It never hurts to remind them when you check in, either.) Your birthday boy or girl will likely receive extra-special treatment in the form of celebrity-level attention, confetti, a cupcake and a personalized note. We once even had balloons and a signed card from Mickey Mouse delivered to our room for Leap!
Surprise Them with a Special Disney Hotel Room Celebration!
If you are staying on site at one of Disney's hotels you can have a surprise waiting for your little one! Disney offers a wide variety of gift baskets and packages you can have sent to your room before you even arrive! When you enter your hotel room for the first time your tadpole could walk in to see the celebration has already begun! This would just be an added bonus to an already wonderful start to their trip! Don't froget, adults can be celebrating their birthday too! They also have packages to surprise the king or queen in your life!
Let Them Eat Cake
No birthday is complete without a cake and candles. Order a custom cake and have it delivered to your table at any of the Walt Disney World table service restaurants, the exception being ones at the Magic Kingdom. Cakes can be ordered with just 72 hours notice, but Advanced Dining Reservations must have already been made. The cake hotline is 407-827-2253.
If a cake is needed faster than those 72 hours, don't fret! Disney offers six-inch Celebrate Today! cakes (both chocolate and vanilla) that feed four to six people. These cakes need no advance notice. Just simply order one upon arriving at most of Disney's table-service restaurants.
This tip is actually my favorite as it lasts the longest and costs the least. As soon as you enter the park, head to Guest Relations and pick up a free Happy Birthday! celebration button. Write your little one's name on it. Cast Members (and speaking characters) will make a point to wish him or her Happy Birthday. (It doesn't have to be his or her actual birthday, and the buttons can be worn for the duration of your vacation.) This added attention will make your tadpole feel even more special on his or her big day. Don't forget to have the remainder of your party grab complimentary I'm Celebrating! buttons to join in on the extra attention as well. (Did you know you can get temporary tattoos of these at Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach?!)
If you want to call even more attention to the birthday guy or gal, a Birthday Mickey Mouse Ear Hat is sure to do the trick. There's at least one store in each Disney park where you can find Mickey Mouse Ear Hats. The Chapeau at Magic Kingdom and MouseGear at Epcot have big selections. Leap's mom sent him one once. The photos are precious.
Oh, and for my next birthday, you already know I have to rock the new sequined birthday ear headband, complete with a cupcake "bow." How adorbs!
Think Outside The Box
Any unforgettable birthday at Disney World has a unique, personalized element to take it over the top. One great suggestion we've seen include taking an oversized birthday card for signatures instead of an autograph book. Another one is picking-and-pulling balloons, decorations and goodies from Disney Florist to create your own customized in-room celebration at a fraction of the price.
Ideas for a Most Spectacular Birthday at Disney World
- Make a reservation at The Pirates League at Magic Kingdom where the birthday boy— or girl — will be transformed into Jake from "Jake and the Neverland Pirates," a themed pirate, Captain Hook, an empress or mermaid. There are quite a few packages that include various pirate accessories (bandana, eye patch, earring, sword and sheath) and even a place in the Adventureland Area Pirate Parade. Savvy attitude is optional. For reservation information, click here.
- Disney's Pirate Adventure is a fun, "kids-only" activity where your young swashbuckler sets sail on a 2-hour voyage aboard a pirate ship (pontoon boat) staffed with an experienced pirate crew (Cast Members). The adventure takes the tadpoles around Bay Lake and Seven Seas Lagoon where they collect a different "treasure" at each port of call. Disney's Pirate Adventure is rated very highly and the vacation highlight for many tadpoles. Click here for more information. Humming: Yo-Ho (A Pirates Life For Me).
- For an unforgettable birthday celebration (that also includes the rest of the family) Pirates and Pals Fireworks Voyage is the way to go. The evening begins at Disney's Contemporary Resort where you're presented with a spread of beverages and snacks. Next you'll head to the docks where Captain Hook and Mr. Smee give you a proper send-off complete with photo opportunities. Then it's time to set sail on the Seven Seas Lagoon for a voyage packed with singing, high-energy Disney trivia and story-telling led by your comical host, Patch. The highlight of Pirates and Pals Fireworks Voyage is the FIREWORKS! You'll love watching the Magic Kingdom Park fireworks show from the vantage of the water and away from the crowds. As your evening comes to an end, there will be a special guest waiting at the docks to welcome you back. Call 407-WDW-PLAY to make reservations.
- If being a Jedi is more his speed be sure to check out Disney's Hollywood Studios! He can be a part of the Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple! Your Padawan will get suited up just like a Jedi and learn the ways of the Force to defend against the dark side. Rey from "The Force Awakens" should remind you that little girls can be Jedis too!
- It's the beauty session that you little one probably dreams of — Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is where your daughter will be transformed into a proper Disney princess complete with hair, make-up, nails and the all-important glitter. (Boys can also be transformed into Prince Charming!) There are two Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutiques — one in Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom and one at Disney Springs. I recommend the Cinderella Castle location for a birthday; the setting completes the whole experience. Call 407-WDW-STYLE to make her appointment. We have a full post about this experience for you to read as well.
- Now that they're all dressed up, they needs somewhere to go! Princess Storybook Dining at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall at Epcot and Cinderella's Royal Table at Magic Kingdom are both perfect options. She'll be surrounded by all her favorites…Belle, Cinderella, Jasmine, Snow White, Aurora to name a few. Watch this video of the Princess Processional during Princess Storybook Dining.
- For older princesses or those who are "over" Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, visiting one of four salons on Walt Disney World property for a Character Couture package is an awesome choice. A professional stylist will beautify hair, makeup and nails inspired by the character of your choice. This is a more mature, high-end experience and perfect for teens still wishing to feel like royalty (or even adults!)
- Disney Perfectly Princess Tea Party is the ultimate royal experience, and one that Lily begs me to do. Hosted by Rose Petal in the Garden View Tea Room at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, this tea party is 90 minutes of living like a true princess. You and your little one will be sprinkled with rose petals, served apple "tea" in china cups, showered with gifts like a beautiful doll and scrapbooking kit, and entertained with stories and song by Princess Aurora. Click here for reservation information. Note: This one is on the pricey side. She will love you forever if you take her. And you should remind her of that when she's in middle school ;)
- When planning dinner for your little princess I might suggest Be Our Guest at Magic Kingdom. Here you will have the opportunity to have dinner in the Beast's Castle! You have three different rooms you can eat in: The West Wing, The Library, and of course The Ballroom. Your little princess will feel just like Belle amongst the storybook castle! If your waiter finds out it is her birthday he or she may even bring her some gray stuff, and trust me—it's delicious! If you are lucky they may even bring you a specially signed card!
- Another great option is the Bon Voyage Breakfast at Trattoria Al Forno at Disney's Boardwalk. Dine with Ariel, Eric, Rapunzel and Flynn as you feast on some of the most scrumptious food we've ever had on Disney property. The Shipwreck Breakfast Calzone is highly recommended by every member of the Frog Family.
We're sure you're hopping ideas on celebrating a birthday at Disney World. Do you have any ideas to add? I'd love to hear how you celebrated a birthday Disney-style. Let me know in the comments below!