We recently returned from a wonderful trip celebrating our son’s third birthday at Walt Disney World, which was filled with pixie dust (some provided by us parents and some by Disney).
Here are some ways you can make celebrating birthdays at Walt Disney World even more special:
Get a birthday button.
Pick up a free birthday button from any Walt Disney World Resort hotel, guest services, or even at many of the park stores. Just ask!
These buttons will generate many “Happy Birthday”s from cast members (and even other guests), and you might get a few surprises. Our Jungle Cruise skipper sang a short birthday song to our son, and the conductor on the Wildlife Express Train in Animal Kingdom made an announcement, resulting in the whole train shouting “Happy Birthday!” to him.
Add a celebration note to your Disney dining reservations.
If you have made any Advanced Dining Reservations for table service meals, call the Disney dining line at (407) 939-3463 and ask them to please add a note to your reservations that you are celebrating a birthday. You have to actually call and cannot do this online, but people do it all the time. When you check in at the restaurant podium, also remind them that you are celebrating a birthday.
So why do this? Well, Disney will usually give the birthday boy or girl a special, free dessert. While this isn’t guaranteed, a little cupcake with Mickey sprinkles seems to be the standard. My son got one at both Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater and Tusker House. At Tusker House, he also got a birthday card signed by the characters, and Mickey wrote how old he was turning in his autograph book.
Speaking of Mickey…
Meet Mickey Mouse at Town Square Theater.
You are going to want to make sure the birthday boy or girl is wearing their birthday button for this one… Mickey actually talks and interacts with you at this character meet location, and a cast member will point out to him that it’s someone’s birthday.
Having Mickey Mouse personally say “Happy Birthday” – or even sing Happy Birthday! – is definitely a magical experience for a child (okay, or an adult).
You may want to use a FastPass+ for this.
Buy birthday extras… or bring your own.
Custom cakes can be ordered by calling the Walt Disney World Resort at (407) 827-2253, and many table service restaurants will also have 6″ non-personalized chocolate or vanilla cakes available for purchase without advanced notice. Disney Floral and Gifts also offers birthday gifts and in-room celebration packages, but those (and the custom cakes) can be pretty pricey.
Another alternative is to bring your own birthday decorations for your room. Just try not to use tape, as it can ruin the furniture or walls. We brought a big “Happy Birthday” banner on rope, which worked out great because we were able to tie it to hang. Balloons are also an easy to transport decoration option (unless you are staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge, because balloons are not allowed there).
If you are looking for a cheaper cake option and have a car (or are willing to use a taxi or Uber), then check out Publix. You can custom order a cake ahead of time or pick up one already made. They will also be happy to quickly write a birthday message and name on the cake too.
You never know what kind of pixie dust you will receive when celebrating birthdays at Walt Disney World!
Tip: Children under 3 are free at Walt Disney World parks and eat free at all-you-care-to-enjoy restaurants. If you are going to be celebrating a third birthday at Disney, just make sure you arrive before your child actually turns 3. The official policy is that you don’t age at Disney. If a child is 2 when you arrive, but turns 3 while you are there, they will be considered 2 for the duration of your trip.