I recently became intrigued with the idea of celebrating a birthday at Walt Disney World. I asked The Disney Moms fans just what they did to celebrate birthdays with The Mouse, and their answers basically fell into three categories: totally surprise them, dine with a character, and decorate your hotel room.
My children have chosen to celebrate their birthdays at Disney for the last 5 or 6 years, because they have May and July birthdays, and we have a standing date to go to Orlando the first week of June. My middle child has celebrated his July birthday six weeks early since he was three-years-old. I think he actually thinks he has a birthday in June. But I admit, we really don’t “do it up” in a big way because they are all over the age of eleven, and birthdays aren’t all that big of a deal to them now. We cook a meal at the resort, and they get some money to spend in the gift shops. The actual trip is somewhat part (ok, most) of their present.
One place all three of my kids spend birthday money – and this spot will be new to some of you..
But wow, many of those Disney Moms are doing their child’s birthday up in style! Let’s take a look at the ways some of them celebrated birthdays at Walt Disney World, which you can incorporate into your next Disney trip, if you have the $$.
The child knows it’s their birthday, but you plan a big surprise they weren’t expecting.
Jenny Eubanks said, “We did not tell our daughter Bailey. We got her dressed and ready for school and the family drove to Grandma and Grandpa’s house. We all rode in one car still not telling untill we stop at our breakfast stop. I gave her a musical Tinkerbell car. We got a special pirate at the Caribbean Resort. We ordered a birthday in-room celebration and ordered a special cake that was shaped like Mickey’s head. We did tons of birthday things thing all week.”
Nicole Penrose said, “We went in November of 2011, having planned secretly for months for this trip to Disney World. I even sewed a few outfits for them without letting the cat out of the bag. Halfway through their Friday at school, we picked up our kids. Our Minivan had painted on it in washable paints “Surprise! We are going to Walt Disney World! Love, Mom & Dad” The oldest read it to the youngest. They scream & hopped in the packed van. We were on our way!
We arrived late Sat night. Sunday was my oldest child’s 8th birthday and our first day in the parks. We ate at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in Norway for a late B-Day lunch.
As an added bonus both of my sisters from Texas, their families, and my Mother were also there. So it was a family reunion, which was another surprise for my girls! We did breakfast at the castle one morning, the Boutique another morning. Best vacation ever!”
Inexpensive gift you can make before the trip?
Adrienne Trent said, “We lived in WY at the time of my daughter’s 6th birthday, but had driven out to Florida to help my fiance’s mom who was going through chemo. She made a full recovery, which we’re so grateful for. We had told our daughter that we had to wake up early on Saturday morning and go to the store to pick up her gift. She didn’t understand why we had to get up early to get it so we told her that it was a little while away, and we didn’t want to be driving all day. We were in Tampa so it was actually not that far.
So, as we are getting closer, listening to a Disney Trivia Cd, I turn on the camera and start video taping. Once she saw the Disney sign, she lost it!!! We pulled a great one on her and spent the entire day and night in Disney for her birthday and then stayed in one of the Disney Hotels for the night and swam in the pool. She ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT and we will all remember it forever! Thank you, Disney, for being so magical!”
Surprise or not, a character meal makes a great birthday gift.
This informtion may help if your kids are small.
Leslie Paczosa said, “My 3-year-old celebrated her 3rd there. Although we did not do BBB, she dressed as Sleeping Beauty and had breakfast with Cinderella in the castle. It’s a Birthday MUST-DO!!”
Nikki Greene said, “We celebrated my son’s 3rd birthday last year in Feb 2011. We stayed in the Magic Kingdom all day. We had a special lunch at the Crystal Palace, complete with a specially ordered Mickey birthday cake. Then we made a stop at the Pirate’s League and all 3 of my kids got done up pirate style……it was a great day!”
For our Mouze Kateerz review of character meals…click here!
This would also fall in with the idea of a surprise.
Melissa, who is a writer over at Mouze Kateerz.com and Mickey By Mel said, “Both my kids celebrated their 5th, my daughter celebrated 7 and my son will celebrate 6 at Disney. They get to pick what to do the entire day, breakfast, park, lunch, dinner, rides. For the 5th Birthday the Fab 5 decorated the room (thanks Disney Florist) and they were so excited to see all the presents and decorations!”
So we’ve got moms who surprise their kids, some who took them to eat with a character, and some decorated the hotel room. Here is my favorite idea though, and it’s not one specific event.
Judy Jones Arnold said, “On June 17, 2009 we celebrated my sons 10th birthday exactly as we did his 1st birthday, at Disney World! For both special milestones, both sets of Grandparents were there to celebrate! My husband went and bought balloons for our room before the children woke up. We had also purchased the Happy Birthday Mouse Ears for him to wear. He was a real sport and wore them all day! During our stay in 2000, if you were there on your birthday you could get a free admission or a gift card for the same amount. We had already purchased tickets so they gave him a gift card in the equivalent of a one day admission ticket! While the rest of the family were getting ready for breakfast, my son and I collect his “gift” from Disney and went to buy Legos. After a quick shopping trip, we met at Chef Mickey’s for breakfast. All the cast members had gotten wind that he had celebrated his 1st birthday and was back to celebrate his 10th, they really doted on him.
After breakfast he chose to spend time at Blizzard Beach. That night we had supper at Whispering Canyon where he had a special birthday cake topped with Mickey Mouse. Even though he is about to be a teenager, he still talks about the fun he had on his 10th birthday. Who knows, maybe he will continue the tradition with his children one day.”
I like the idea of a tradition, and yet I don’t have the most traditional family. We ate a hot dog dinner cooked by my 4th grader last year on Christmas Eve, stayed at the Magic Kingdom until after 1 a.m. and slept in until nearly ten o’clock on Christmas Day. I have left Christmas trees up for an entire year. The year the BP oil washed up on the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico, I put up Christmas trees in July that stayed up for eight months. And remember, my kids usually do not always celebrate their birthday ON their actual birthday.
But we are always together. We always make our children feel special. What they will remember is not dates, but that they spent their birthday at Disney, even if it was six weeks before the day they were born. They will remember the snack I bought them for their birthday, even if it was four weeks after their actual birthday. They will remember the event, the place, being at Disney.
My youngest of three children starts 5th grade next year, and I have great hope that my family will one day wind up living near Orlando. I have great hope that one day, they will tell their children of the Disney birthday tradition they had when they were little. If I am lucky, I will take their children to Disney to continue the birthday tradition.
It’s funny not one of the Disney Moms mentioned a party at Goofy’s Candy co., so maybe that’s a birthday topic for another day.
Here’s where to find Goofy’s Candy Co.: The Sweet Spot You Absolutely Can’t Miss at Downtown Disney
Surprise them, eat with a character, decorate the hotel room, start an annual tradition…it’s all fabulous. It’s Disney. We’re just lucky to be there.
Thanks for stopping by for a photographical Disney ride, and we’ll see you wearing a birthday button.