(Article last updated: July 23, 2018)
For a Disney fan, what could be more magical than celebrating a birthday at Disney World?
Disney makes it very easy to add some birthday magic into a trip, and while some things might cost extra, there are still several things you can do that are free or inexpensive.
Are you thinking you might want to celebrate a birthday on your next Disney World trip? Take a look at the list below for some fun ideas!
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It doesn't have to be your actual birthday to celebrate
Disney doesn't check your drivers license or birth certificate to confirm it is your birthday.
The reality is that it isn't always practical to travel to Disney World on your actual birthday. But, that doesn't mean you have to miss out on the birthday celebration fun.
There are lots of different ways to celebrate. Here are just a few ideas:
- Pick one person and celebrate their birthday for the entire trip.
- Pick one day of your vacation and make that day the "honorary" birthday and celebrate then.
- Meeting up with friends and family that you don't often get to celebrate birthdays with? Celebrate a different person's birthday each day of your trip.
Free ways for celebrating a birthday at Disney World
Disney has free buttons for you to wear. These buttons are cute, and they often will prompt a few "Happy Birthday" greetings from Cast Members (and guests!). They also make for a fun souvenir.
You can pick up the buttons from Guest Services in the theme parks or from your Disney World Resort hotel.
Let Disney know you are celebrating a birthday when you dine
Planning some Table Service meals? If you are, make sure you indicate that you are celebrating a birthday on your reservation.
Many restaurants try to do something special if they see that a birthday (or other occasion) is being celebrated. While it isn't a guarantee, you might get surprised with a special dessert (like a cupcake) or even a card.
Things to wear
Birthday apparel and accessories
In addition to the buttons, you can also find fun birthday shirts, ears, and even MagicBands for purchase at the parks.
If you want to buy things before your trip, check out the ShopDisney website or the ShopDisney Parks app. You'll find many of the same items from the parks there and lots of things can be personalized, even Mickey ears!
Looking for something more custom?
Etsy is loaded with vendors that do customized shirts and ears.
Make sure if you are ordering from someplace like Etsy that you confirm the shipping time and that you check the reviews. Many places can take up to 2 weeks to ship, so you'll need to plan ahead if you want to shop there.
Fun ways to celebrate a birthday at your resort
Order something special from Disney Floral and Gifts
Did you know that Disney World has their own florist?
Disney Floral and Gifts can create a magical experience with custom floral arrangements and gift packages. They cover just about every type of celebration you can think of, including birthdays.
You can do balloons, flowers, a gift bag full of Disney treats etc. They will work with you to create the perfect gift for your loved one.
Want something even more extreme?
For the ultimate resort birthday experience, consider one of their "In-Room Celebration" packages.
These packages are pricey (they start around $300) but they are ah-ma-azing.
The offerings vary depending on what package you choose, but you'll likely get balloons, decorations like banners or door signs, treats and sweets, Mickey ears, etc.
Celebrating a birthday at Disney World while dining
In addition to making sure you've indicated your reason to celebrate on your reservation, you have some other premium options you can choose to do.
Order a cake
Many of the Table Service restaurants at the Walt Disney World Resort allow you to have a custom cake delivered to your seat.
When ordering, you'll be allowed to choose from a Mickey Mouse Celebration cake (which is the least expensive option), a custom-designed cake, or even allergy-friendly or vegan cakes.
Mickey Mouse Celebration Cake
The Mickey Mouse Celebration Cakes come in the shape of Mickey Mouse and are only available in chocolate or white chocolate. You can choose to have the cake say either "Happy Birthday" or "Congratulations" (or leave it blank), but that is all the customizing you can do with these cakes.
The cost of the Mickey Mouse Celebration Cake is $35, and it can feed 4 to 6 guests.
You can add this cake ahead of time to any reservation by calling (407) WDW-DINE. Or the nice thing about these cakes is that if you forget to order ahead of time, when checking in for your reservation at the podium you can ask to have one brought to your table. Cakes ordered same day are subject to availability, so whenever possible you should plan to order ahead.
Custom cakes and allergy-friendly cakes
If you're looking for something a little fancier (or if you need something allergy-friendly), consider ordering a customized cake.
If you opt for a customized cake, the prices start at $75, but you'll have tons of different options for shape, design, and flavor.
There isn't one spot to see all of the different options out there, but Disney Food Blog has a good FAQ on Disney World cakes post that should help.
Cakes delivered to your resort
If you'd rather dine on your cake in your room, you can do that, too.
Guests wishing to have a cake delivered to their rooms can call (407) 827-2253.
Another option from Disney Floral and Gifts, these special Storybook Moment add-ons have everything you'll need to make you feel like royalty or to help you have that special moment when meeting your favorite character.
If you are planning a special character meal for a birthday, one of these add-ons would be a fun way to make it extra special.
The current options for Storybook Moments include Mickey, Minnie, and Disney Princess-themed gifts.
When ordering, you'll be able to select a resort, restaurant, or even theme park for delivery.
Plan something extra special
Looking for something more? Some restaurants like Cinderella's Royal Table are a popular spot for engagements and birthdays. If you'd like to plan something extra special there, you can contact the Disney Dream Makers at (407) WDW-GIFT or email the special events coordinators at [email protected]
Special events to celebrate a birthday at Disney World
Plan something with Gifts of a Lifetime
This is a non-Disney affiliated company but they've been making magic happen at Disney World for years. Starting with a questionnaire, the representatives at Gifts of a Lifetime will create a magical surprise for a loved one. Famous for their scavenger hunts through the parks, they have a wide array of special and unique experiences they can offer.
Have a princess or prince makeovers at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
Have somebody ages 3-12 that might like to be transformed into their favorite Disney princess or Prince? Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is a great option for younger guests that love to play dress-up.
Make the day extra special by pairing a trip to Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutque with a special dinner reservation at your favorite Disney Princess character meal.
Join the Pirates League
Like Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, Pirates League offers guests ages 3-12 the opportunity to dress-up and channel their favorite swashbuckler.
Spend some time at a spa
Did you know that the Walt Disney World Resort also has spas?
If your birthday makes you want to pamper yourself, then you'll want to check out one of the spas.
Massages, facials, pedicures, and manicures can all be found here. In addition, you can also find special packages for children ages 4-12 as well as services for teens which makes this a great option for guests that are too old for Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique but still would like to be pampered like a prince or princess.
Get a first haircut
Celebrating somebody's first birthday? If so, Harmony Barber Shop offers a cute My First Haircut package that is perfect, and at $25 is also a Disney bargain!
Included in the My First Haircut (in addition to the haircut itself) are a pair of ears and a certificate. They even collect some of the clippings and put them in a little bag so you can take them home!
Experience some fine dining
If you prefer to celebrate your birthday sipping wine and eating fine foods, you can do that, too.
Disney has lots of Signature Dining Experiences that are perfect for quiet birthday celebrations. The most exclusive of all the experiences, however, is the Chef's Table at Victoria and Albert's. A truly amazing encounter with food, an evening here is one of those "once-in-a-lifetime" experiences for both foodies and Disney fans alike.
Looking to pair your meal with some fireworks? While there aren't many "perfect" spots to do that, there are lots of locations where you are likely to catch some of the nighttime shows while you dine and that can make for a perfect end to a birthday celebration.
Take a fireworks cruise
Another unique (and fun) experience are specialty fireworks cruises.
These cruises are offered most nights and take guests out on the waters to view either Illumniations or Happily Ever After.
The music for the shows is piped in so you can enjoy the story as you watch the fireworks light up the sky.
Personally, we find that the Illuminations cruise is a bit better experience of the two because you get a prime location on the water inside the park for viewing. For Magic Kingdom's Happily Ever After show, you view it from outside the park. Since Happily Ever After uses so many projections on the castle, watching it from outside the park means you won't be able to see those.
The fireworks cruises start at $299 but the price does vary depending on the time of year. You can book a cruise up to 180 days in advance by calling (407) WDW-PLAY.
Go on a specialty tour
Another popular option for people celebrating their birthday's at Disney World are one of the many specialty tours they offer.
You'll find tours offered in all 4 parks, tours around special events and holidays, special VIP experiences, and even tours designed for the whole family.
Most tours do have age restrictions, however, so be sure you check on those before you commit to something!
Take in a dessert party
All 4 parks offer dessert parties that are held during the nighttime entertainment. These dessert parties, while expensive, can offer a special and more relaxed way to view one of the popular nighttime shows.
We have reviews and comparisons of the 3 main parties so make sure you check that out if this sounds like something you might want to do.
There you have it - some of our favorite ways for celebrating a birthday at Disney World. Did you miss any of your favorites? Share those in the comments below!