Birthday Ideas for Adults at WDW


Even though there's nothing better than celebrating a child's birthday at Walt Disney World, adults celebrating their birthdays shouldn't feel left out -- there are plenty of things they can do to make the day extra special!

AllEars.Net Ideas | Reader Submitted Ideas | Reader Submitted Stories

ALLEARS.NET IDEAS


*Be sure to stop by Guest Relations at any of the four theme parks and tell them it's your birthday. You can obtain a "Today's My Birthday" button to wear!

NOTE: As of 10/1/06, the birthday buttons are the same at all the parks, but now have a space on which you can write a name, so you can receive personalized birthday wishes from passing Cast Members.

*Be sure to tell your server at any restaurant you dine at (especially true at Whispering Canyon, Prime Time Cafe, 'Ohana, and Character Meals).

*Tell the Front Desk at your resort hotel!

*Have a Birthday Party at Wintersummerland Mini Golf!

*Take a Birthday Fireworks/IllumiNations Cruise!

*Do a Pixie Event with Gifts of a Lifetime!

Birthday Cakes may be ordered by contacting your Disney resort room service or the Lobby Concierge desk.  Decorated cakes are available through the Goodings Bakery located at Crossroads, call 407-827-1200.

Birthday cakes are also available at all Disney-owned table service restaurants with no prior notice. All you need to do is inform the host or hostess that you would like to add a cake to your meal. The price (as of 5/08) is $12.50 for a 6 inch cake that will serve about 4 people. To order a custom cake, call 1-407-824-2955.

For non-Disney-owned restaurants (like Teppan Edo, Tutto Italia, Shula's, etc.), you may be able to arrange for a birthday cake by calling the restaurant office directly. Call the main switchboard at 1-407-824-2222 and ask to be transferred. (Be sure to tell the operator that you want to discuss something with the manager and don't want to make a reservation. Otherwise you're likely to be transferred to the Disney Dining reservations line.)

Disney's Winter Summerland Miniature Golf Course

Price: 2-hour party - $18.95 plus tax, per person and includes cake, pizza, beverages, goody bags and a round of miniature golf on one of the specially themed courses. A minimum of 10 people for each party and a credit card guarantee are required.
Hours: 10:00am -12:00 noon; 12:30pm - 2:30pm; 1:00pm - 3:00pm; 4:00pm - 6:00pm

Celebration Cruise
Cruise for an hour on the lake and enjoy VIP fireworks viewing.
Price: $211.26 for 21' Pontoon or $258.21 for the 25' Pontoon with Audio ($220 or $275 with tax)
(price admits up to 10 if group is made up of all adults, 12 if group is a mix of children and adults)
Hours: Departs 30 minutes prior to IllumiNations at Epcot or 30 minutes prior to Wishes at the Magic Kingdom

Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex - The Sports Experience
2-hour birthday parties. Be advised that complex closes each night at 5pm.
Price: $19.95 + tax per person (Same for adults & children; minimum of 10 guests) - price includes general admission to the complex and The Sports Experience
Hours: 11am - 1pm; 12pm - 2pm; 2pm - 4pm; Available 7 days a week (times are TBD on select days during Atlanta Braves Spring Training).

READER IDEAS

You can call ahead to the restaurant where you will be eating. You will need to actually call the restaurant not WDW Dining. They will have a cake made for your special occasion for an extra charge. We did this at Crystal Palace. (Tammy King)

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Go to City Hall and get the birthday button - they aren't just for kids, and cast members all day will say "Happy Birthday!" (Victor Vitek)

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Our family tradition has always been that the birthday person gets to pick where we eat that night. When we are in WDW its no different! DH has picked a variety of different restaurants including the ultra fancy Victoria and Albert's to the laid back ESPN zone. This year we will be in WDW near MY birthday. I have chosen to celebrate with Dinner at the California Grill followed by the MK fireworks! (tigger2esq)

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Make PS's at several fun restaurants, Chef Mickey's, Whispering Canyon, Hoop de Doo--make sure to mention the birthday person when making the PS and also upon checking in. (Deb Chambers)

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Tell the person at check in at your Disney Hotel that you are celebrating, and the exact day -- some hotels send surprises to your room! (recently we were there for my Husband's birthday and on the day of his birthday, balloons, candy and a card was placed in our room by the staff of Wilderness Lodge. (Flo Fantozzi)

READER STORIES

Sandi: My 57th birthday was October 12th, and although no one was free to come with me, I decided to spend the day at The Magic Kingdom to celebrate, all by myself. After I got through the gate, I went to Town Hall to check on how many days I had left on my park hopper pass. When I mentioned to the Cast Member that it was my birthday, she wished me a Happy Birthday, and gave me a big button to wear on my blouse that told everyone that it was my birthday.

I went to all of my favorite attractions and shows, and as the day progressed, any cast member who noticed the button wished me Happy Birthday, from the ones that ride the horse trolley and dance on Main Street, to the ones in the parades. Anytime a cast member said "Happy Birthday", the people standing or sitting nearby also wished me a Happy Birthday. I can't explain how much I was touched by the attention, and everyone's kind sentiment!

In the early afternoon, I decided to take a break to rest and have a cool drink at Cosmic Ray's. I placed my order for ice tea, and when I went up to the counter to pick it up, the cast member who was serving wished me a Happy Birthday, and told me that I had a choice of chocolate cake, carrot cake or a sugar-less brownie. I asked, "because it's my birthday?", and she nodded, so I chose the brownie. What a nice surprise!

After the Share A Dream Come True Parade, I wandered down Main Street and decided to try to get a reservation for dinner at Tony's Town Square, and when she saw my Birthday button, the cast member wished me a Happy Birthday, and told me to come back at 5 o'clock. Well, I got there a few minutes before 5:00, and on the dot of 5:00, my name was called. A charming, handsome young waiter introduced himself as Ed, directed me to a small table in the back and seated me, facing the entire restaurant. On the table were lots of colorful, curly streamers, and sequined confetti in the shape of Mickey's head.

The moment I sat down, the cast member who had taken my reservation came over to sit down beside me and helped me choose my dinner. From the time I was seated, until I finished my dinner, Ed took VERY good care of me. I felt so special because I had expected to spend a lonely birthday dinner because I was by myself, but I was anything but lonely!

After I was done eating my dinner, Ed told me that I wasn't done because he had a surprise for me, and a few minutes later he put a huge hot fudge ice cream sundae in front of me and took off across the room. Another waiter followed him back to my table to wish me a Happy Birthday, and in a very loud voice, announced to everyone in the restaurant that I was celebrating my birthday. He demonstrated how the cast members at Tony's wished someone Happy Birthday, by twirling their napkin over their head 3 times, yelling out Happy Birthday adding the birthday person's name, which in my case was Sandra. After the count of 3, everyone in the restaurant followed his directions and loudly wished me a Happy Birthday. It all happened so fast, but by the time they were done, I had tears running down my face because I couldn't believe that everyone was treating me so special!

My waiter, Ed, brought me the check and when he returned to pick up with my receipt, he handed me a big envelope, wishing me a Happy Birthday, again. Inside was a birthday card filled with more Mickey sequined confetti, which was signed "from Mickey and The Gang", and also signed, "And your waiter, Ed".

I stayed to watch the night parade and the "Wishes" fireworks, and then hung back from the exiting crowd so that I could rehash all of the fun and surprises that I had during the day. I must say that rethinking all of it brought tears to my eyes, again! I had a whole day of Magical Moments that I couldn't have ever imagined!

*****

Here's one for the really BIG kids. One year we were at the World during the time that our brother-in-law was turning 40. In spite of his 6 foot 2, 250 pound frame, his beard down past his chin and his hair halfway down his back, he is a real teddy bear. A shy one at that! His sister (the older one of course) decided to get him good for his 40th, so the night that we all went to The Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue (all 17 of us), she told the hostess about the Birthday Boy. During the show, there are several opportunities for the audience to participate. Our birthday boy was chosen for the grand finale, and ended up on stage in a too-too! Not only was it riotous for us, but the entire audience gave him a standing ovation. The pictures we have as memories are priceless! And we can't wait until his 50th!! (Peg Gombar)

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My roommate and I were in Disney World for her birthday one year; I would mention that it was Leslie's birthday everywhere we went and she always got something from the cast members: in the stores at Disney Marketplace she got a call from Mickey wishing her a happy birthday; one place she got happy birthday stickers; she got free desserts when we ate out and even the resort left Mickey chocolates in our room. Everyone went out of their way to make her day special and she loved the extra attention! So I would suggest that those traveling with a "birthday person" mention it wherever they go and see what surprises are cooked up for the special day! (Chris Falck)

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I was at MK on my birthday one year. My friends and I had decided to eat lunch at Crystal Palace. Unknown to me, they had informed the hostess that it was my birthday. The characters brought me a cake and a card signed by all of them. Pooh insisted on a birthday dance to the delight of my friends. It was a wonderful surprise and totally unplanned! (Tammy King)

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Three years ago, we booked reservations for the four of us (wife, me, and two children) for the Clambake at the Yacht & Beach Club. On the way in, I mentioned that it was my wife's birthday. During the meal, some other people who were celebrating birthdays were being sung to, and my wife was sure happy she wasn't getting embarrassed like that. At least, that is what she *thought* before our server brought out a cookie with a candle
on it and, joined by other servers, sang "Happy Birthday" to her.

Afterwards, we went for a walk counterclockwise around the lake, despite her saying "You know, we could walk to Epcot and go to Norway and do some shopping...." Ignoring her, I kept walking until we went past the boat house and I pointed out the birthday pontoon boat- unfortunately, despite calling 60 days ahead of time beginning at 7, I was the second caller and had to "settle" for the regular pontoon boat, which was just as well, since we were still full from supper and could have never eaten any cake. Our boat driver took us to the Studios, and then back to the bridge between England and France so we could watch Illuminations- it was terrific. (Victor Vitek)

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My birthday is 12/05/1968... the same day as a certain person I happen to adore......... So.... Where else should I have spent my last birthday?!?!?! I personally did a few really fun things that got me noticed, and made my birthday very special indeed.

I made up t-shirts for my husband and I before our arrival and broke them out on my big day. Mine, (being born in 1968) had Tigger on the front bouncing along... and said "IT'S MY BIRTHDAY" in bold big letters. The back said " ONLY THE COOLEST PEOPLE CAN SHARE A BIRTHDAY WITH WALT" My husband had a picture of Pooh, with a disgruntled face, carrying a bowl of grapes, with Piglet sitting in them eating a few and said on the front "I TOOK MY WIFE TO DISNEY FOR HER BIRTHDAY" and on the back "AND ALL I GOT WAS A LOUSY T-SHIRT"... You can imagine the people who noticed us! A CM even noticed it, and comped our dinner to the Candlelight Processional... (laughing at the time at my husbands t-shirt.)

I also carried a autograph book that day only... I had ANYONE who wished me "Happy Birthday" sign the book... being the media event I had several famous people sign it, but overall, my absolutely FAVORITE messages are from the people that I happened to meet that were just other Disney fans like myself... my favorites were: the lady who had just rode "Tower of Terror" for the first time, who nervously wished me happy birthday as we entered the ride..., the ladies in front of me at the candlelight processional who were also celebrating a birthday that week, and most of all... the REALLY grumpy older woman in Italy, who carded me (I just turned 33) when I was buying a glass of wine... and just about dropped through the floor when not only did I thank her, but sweetly asked her twice to sign my autograph book, and patiently explained, I wasn't leaving until she did. I met people that day, that otherwise I would not of...we would of just passed each other never meeting... Both my husband and I had so much fun telling people... "oops... you just said the magic words!" Not to mention how cute people were saying " REALLY, YOU WANT ME TO SIGN IT!" and watching their excitement as they helped make my day special. I will treasure that forever. (Laura Bonke)

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What could be more magical than spending your birthday at Walt Disney World with your darling husband? I was very lucky to be able to do that on my last birthday. We flew into WDW on 9/10 of last year - my birthday. First we went to RainForest Cafe at Animal Kingdom for my favorite lunch. After lunch we went back to our hotel, Coronado Springs, to unpack and stroll around the lake. For dinner I had made priority seating arrangements for the two of us at the United Kingdom. We requested outside seating and had a wonderful dinner with a complimentary dessert (which my DH and I shared) while having front row seats to Illuminations and the fireworks. When we went back to our room Minnie Mouse had sent me a balloon bouquet with a signed birthday card. What a special day that was!

The next day we learned to appreciate everything you have and to spend your birthday to the fullest. You never know what tomorrow will bring. In this case it was the terrorist attacks. Everyday of your life should be special. (Fran Skall)

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On September 3, 2000 we celebrated my husband Rick's 40th birthday at the Rose and Crown. We made reservations for 8PM and requested an outdoor table. It worked out perfectly for seeing Illuminations at 9PM. We (including our two teenage sons) had just finished dinner and ordered dessert when the show started. We have been to DisneyWorld 10 times in 20 years of marriage and this was the best way to see the
show. We were also at the Rose and Crown for Rick's 41st birthday and they
said they no longer took requests for outdoor tables even for special occasions but we did get an outside table again. (Nancy Uranich)

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Well, this is a story that actually happened to me. I was a smarty pants during my birthday and I got the nice large Birthday button over at the Magic Kingdom Town Hall. I was wearing it that night at Epcot, when we went in to see the Voices of Liberty to get out of the cold. It was early and there was no one in the rotunda so I started to chat with the CM greeting guests at the door. During the conversation, she asked me my name. Then excusing herself, she disappeared.

Soon the Voices came out and sang a couple of songs. Then one of them started to speak about someone celebrating a "special day" and asked for Nancy. They group then serenaded me with their own special version of Happy Birthday. I know I just beamed all the way through. The CM from the door came up behind me at the end and presented me with a Magical Moment certificate. I was crying by that time. After the completed their set, some of them came over to give me a hug and wish me a personal Happy Birthday.

I had lots of other special surprises from CMs because of that button, but this one is the one that was the best. (Nancy)

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Make PS reservations at California Grill at the Contemporary Resort for a special meal, but also time it so that you are there for the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom! The food is superb, and they dim the lights and pipe in the music for the fireworks. (Larry Felton)

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For my boyfriends birthday at WDW, I called ahead to the hotel and asked that a birthday cake for two be sent to the room so it would arrive shortly before we returned from our visit to the parks for the day. Then, I called several of his friends and told them where we would be staying and asked them to call and leave a birthday message on our hotel voice mail.

When we came back from the parks, he was surprised to find the cake, complete with candles, birthday plates, forks and napkins waiting for him. There were seven messages waiting on our voicemail. It was a great surprise at the end of his birthday in the Magic Kingdom. (Barbara Baker)

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I celebrated my 35th birthday at Magic Kingdom with my family. My first stop was to Town Hall to get my Happy Birthday button. I gave the clerk my name and she told me that there was a phone message for me. I was very surprised that I had a message and I guess I was a little worried...but the message was a Happy Birthday from a very special Disney character...Goofy!

Throughout the entire day I was wished Happy Birthday from cast members, other tourists, waitresses and even some Disney characters during our meal at the Crystal Palace made a special stop at our table for picture-taking. The waitress brought me a special cake for dessert and they sang Happy Birthday for me. I was floating on air all day!

The cherry on the sundae was during the Electrical parade. We were enjoying the mesmerizing spectacle when all of a sudden Pete, sitting atop the dragon said "Hey, by the way, Happy birthday". He must have had a microphone on his costume because it came over loud and clear over the loud speakers during the parade. My kids thought that was very cool.

It was one of the most memorable birthdays I have ever had! (Laurie-Anne Ranger)

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For lots of attention, schedule a dinner show at the Hoop-de-do Musical Revue and have them sing happy birthday.

For a quieter occasion, spend a day in one of the theme parks going only on the rides you want (it's your day, tomorrow back to family decisions) and of course, end with fireworks in Magic Kingdom. (Marsha Emch)

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Last year my family and I went to WDW to celebrate ALL of our birthdays which fall within a few weeks of each others. I decided the best way to celebrate my husband's birthday would be during our breakfast inside Cinderella's Castle, with him surrounded by all of the beautiful princesses! They had our table decorated with confetti and streamers in honor of my husband's birthday and our server presented him with a certificate, stating that my husband was a "prince" and celebrating his birthday in the castle that day. As we enjoyed our breakfast the princesses made their way over to our table and each one wrote a personal note to my husband on the certificate, and they posed with him for pictures. I have framed the certificate with all of the princesses signatures and notes, and it's now hanging in my husband's home office. :D Of course, smart man that he is, claims that *I* am his favorite princess of all ;) (Theresa Brown)

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I celebrated my 29th at WDW. Breakfast was at the Grand Floridian Cafe were they presented me with a birthday cupcake topped with Mickey head sprinkles! What a way to start my birthday! Then onto the Magic Kingdom where I was told to go to City Hall to get a "Today is my Birthday" pin. I wore it proudly all day long. This really helped get surprises and treats all day long. While waiting for the WDW railroad a castmember gave me the phone and on the line was Goofy, my favorite, wishing me a Happy Birthday. I received tons of "happy Birthdays" all day long. I chose to go to the Yachtsman Steakhouse for dinner and they gave me a complimentary desert as a present. Needless to say it has been the best birthday I had. I only wish I could spend each one at WDW! (Darcy Digiacomo)

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My husband and I went to Disney World for our honeymoon which happens to be two days before my birthday. We didn't know much about the special things that you can do at Disney so we hadn't really planed ahead for celebrating my birthday. When we check into our resort, All Star Music, we told the Cast Member that it was our honeymoon and my birthday was tomorrow. We asked for advice to were to see Donald Duck because he is my absolute favorite Disney character. She suggested Donald's Breakfastauras at Animal Kingdom and wished us a great honeymoon and me a happy Birthday. As we got to our room after checking in we were greeted by another Cast Member with a card for us with an actual photograph and autograph of Donald Duck! We were pretty impressed that they could have got that together so fast. Once settled we made our Priority setting for Donald's Breakfastauras for the next morning. In the morning at breakfast we told our server that it was my birthday and that I really want to see Donald. Of course the Cast Members came out, sang to me, embarrassed me, and gave me a signed card from all of the characters in the restaurant. I enjoyed every moment of it! To my despair by the time we were done we had seen all of the characters except Donald! As we were leaving the Cast Member stopped us and took us over to where Donald was on the other side of the restaurant. We got to sit in a section were there was no one around and got a lot of time with just Donald and me it was great!!!!! Though out the rest of the day my husband told everyone he could that it was my birthday. All of the Cast Members made me feel very special and important. I have to say that it was the best birthday that I can remember. I think everyone should go to Disney for their Birthday!!!! Thanks for letting me share my great Disney Birthday, (Tina McGriff)

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As a surprise for my 29th birthday my parents rented a pontoon boat and we watched the fireworks over the Castle at the Magic Kingdom. They had decorated the boat with balloons and there was also a chocolate cake! Not only that I got a card from Mickey. The fireworks over the castle were beautiful and it was so peaceful out in the lagoon. Our tour guide had also given us a tour of the lagoon and told us some interesting facts about the lagoon and surrounding sights. Matter of fact we had enjoyed it so much that when my father in law is there this September we are going to do it for his birthday. (Kim M Winthrop)

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I had the BEST b-day at WDW in 1998 when I turned 33. We stayed at the Polynesian for 10 days facing the Cinderella's Castle on the Beach - that alone is a pampering b-day present - my husband and 3 kids and my parents came along too.

On my b-day, Sept 3, a hurricane came through and it was pretty miserable, but around 10:00 a.m. the rain had slowed enough for us to venture out. Of course, it was after Memorial Day so the crowds had disbursed too. But we went to the MK for our final full day there and walked under the train station when we heard singing. My husband was the one who pointed out to me that the singer was my favorite singer - Michael W. Smith - who is a Christian contemporary artist! I couldn't believe it - he was here on my b-day!! Amazing!! I was bummed b/c I knew he wouldn't be there for the Night of Joy that year and we couldn't stay for that night anyway due to kids starting school. But I ran so fast up the Railroad Station stairs and there was no one there watching! I stood right there watching him sing a new song I had never heard. My own personal concert! After he finished, my husband approached him and told him it was my B-day and Michael gave me a hug and took the time for us to snap pictures and chat a few minutes before the cast members wisked him away to the next scene. He was making a video for the Miss America show in Atlantic City. Anyway, it was the most amazing day for me.

The rest of the day was spent with more cakes than I could ever eat! They gave us a cake at The Liberty Tree Tavern for lunch - one for dinner at Concourse Steakhouse and there was a beautiful display in our hotel room that evening when we returned with a chocolate palm tree! It was delicious. No one knows where the cakes come from either -- Disney just knows when it's your b-day somehow :) It was a birthday I will never forget! I spent it how I wish I could spend every day - with my family in WDW!

The following year, my husband surprised me and sent me down for the Night of Joy weekend so I could see Michael W. Smith perform in front of the Castle. I took off for a weekend with my girlfriend and we had a blast in WDW! It's amazing how many parks you can tackle in 32 hours when you don't have kids to lug around :) (Lisa Dunn)

*****

My husband recently celebrated his 50th birthday at WDW. While he showered that morning we decorated the room and gave him his gift. We started the day off by going to Magic Kingdom.We got there before the opening and told a CM that we were celebrating a birthday. He had everyone sing Happy Birthday to my husband. Then we got a Birthday Pin [free] at City Hall. We had reservations at Cinderella's Table for breakfast. Our table was set with streamers and Mickey confetti. When we made our PS ressies we told them we had a birthday. We slipped the lady at the podium a bag of Kisses which they delivered to the table in a lovely dish. They sent a Birthday cupcake to the table. The princess were all over my husband LOL and he loved it. They all signed a card and presented it to him and took pictures. He was soooo happy!

In some stores in MK, I think it was the Emporium, if they see the birthday pin or tell them your celebrating a birthday, there will be a phone call from Goofy for the birthday person! When we had checked in to Animal Kingdom Lodge, I told them we had a birthday and they hand delivered a birthday card signed by Mickey and friends! The Garden Grill at Epcot, gave my husband a birthday cake and certificate and sang to him. He received several certificates from various stores. Because he was wearing a Guest of
Honor pin as well as his Birthday Pin, everyone called him by name, even at the parades. He was special that day!!!

Before we left I printed up some cards on the computer that said "Today is Bob's birthday. Please make him smile" I gave these to any CM's we saw, on lines, restaurants, even buses. Most acknowledged him and his special day. If you are sure to tell everyone, they will help you celebrate and it doesn't cost anything!! Arlene

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Although it may not be unique, we went to WDW to celebrate my son's 30th birthday. We decided to eat at Victoria and Albert's (which he was aware of). But as a surprise to him, we made reservations at the Chef's table. When we came we were told it would be a few minutes until the chef cleared a few pots and pans. I saw the puzzled look on my son's face, but I didn't say anything. A few minutes later, he looked at me and asked: "Are we eating at the Chef's Table?" About that time they came to seat us. What a great experience and an extra special birthday celebration. The only problem is that we are now spoiled and want to do it again. (Gloria Martin)

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Having celebrated two birthdays at WDW, I want to share what I did:

When I celebrated my 27th birthday, *all week* my friends would tell every restaurant that it was my birthday. I would get a "Happy Birthday" song and a candle stuck in some type of dessert. At 'Ohana, I was I was one of the Grand Marshals of the parade around the restaurant. They gave me a grass skirt to put on and a lei around my neck.

I had made plans months in advance to have my birthday dinner at the Chef's Table at Victoria and Albert's. It was the most exquisite dining experience I've ever had, and my personalized menu had "Happy Birthday" written on it.

I celebrated my 30th birthday a bit differently. I had picked up a birthday button at City Hall at the Magic Kingdom ahead of time, so that I would have it for my birthday. On the eve before my birthday, I rang in the "New Year"/birthday at midnight at Pleasure Island.

The next day, I wore my birthday button all day with pride. Many cast members wished me a happy birthday. In the evening, I had dinner at Yachtsman Steakhouse at the Yacht Club and spent the rest of the night at Jellyroll's on the Boardwalk. My friends volunteered to the piano players that it was my birthday, so I had to get on stage to lead the group in the "chicken dance".

Both birthdays were dramatically different, but they were both special. (Lori Wagner)

*****

Last August, for my wife's birthday we were in the "World" and I let her pick the events of the day. We started out with a Winnie the Pooh character breakfast at the Crystal Palace in the Magic Kingdom. After going on her favorite rides, we went to MGM Studios to play Millionaire and ride the thrill rides. For dinner, we had reservations for the Flying Fish Cafe, our favorite restaurant. Since there were only two of us, we sat at the counter and watched the chefs prepare dinners and even received a free dessert! After dinner, we walked to Epcot World Showcase to watch Tapestry of Nations and Reflections of Earth. Not a bad way to spend a birthday! (Eric Koup)

*****

We're all kids, after all! I celebrated my 50th birthday at WDW. My son arranged "birthday parties" for me at 50's Prime Time, Cinderella's Castle, and the Crystal Palace. My kids also chipped in and bought me a crown in the gift shop at the Castle before dinner and I was given this to wear during dinner. Cast Members are great at helping with surprises, so don't be afraid to ask for special treatment. Chances are you'll get it!

I also happened to mention to a shopkeeper in Epcot that I was celebrating my birthday and she asked me my name and then said she had a telephone message for me. She dialed a number to "retrieve" the message and it was Goofy wishing me a Happy Birthday!

Be sure the birthday boy or girl wears a Guest of Honor badge. If his or her name is not available on the rack, there are blanks and the name can be engraved. It's fun to have a name badge on and be called by name. I was even mistaken once by another guest who wanted to know why I was just sitting on a bench instead of working!

Don't be shy about spreading the news that somebody's having a birthday! You never know what might happen! (Patty Thorpe)

*****

We celebrated my wife's, birthday at Disney World. I had secretly stashed her surprise gift the night before we left for our long drive from Pittsburgh. This was no small feat as she does all the packing and has a habit of rechecking all of our suitcases before the official departure. The big day arrived in Florida and we were scheduled to have breakfast at the Hollywood and Vine restaurant in the Studios. I was as nervous as the day I proposed.

I had planned all along to sneak the gift to our hostess and have Minnie personally deliver the gift as she rotated through the dining area. I was surprised to hear as we were finding our seats that "Minnie will not be coming around to the tables", and that instead, we'd have to go see her at the front with the rest of the kids in a crowd. This is not the way I had planned it. Sorry Goofy, but you wouldn't do either, as I didn't want someone who was all thumbs delivering my surprise. So, thinking fast, (while Mary Ann was busy building plates of food for our two sons) I got the attention of our hostess. She brought over Minnie's chaperone and we devised a simple but eloquent plan to have Minnie stop over at our table before her next break. I took every chance I could to remind Mary Ann when she returned with the food what a shame it was that Minnie doesn't come around. The next break came conveniently when our whole family was seated together. Mary Ann was shocked to find the star of the breakfast slowing down and stopping in front of our seats with a small gift for the birthday girl. Cameras were blazing and all eyes were on Mary Ann as she opened the small jewelry box. She was the talk of the Hollywood and Vine that morning and beamed the rest of the day wearing her new necklace knowing that Minnie does in fact come around to tables, if you just believe in a little magic! (Rick Wolfe)

*****

My wife and I were married on Sept 14, 1986 and for our honeymoon, like any other good newlywed couple, we went to Walt Disney World. At the time, I was extremely happy to get my first experience in Mouseland, whereas Laura had been there before during the ticket times.

Now 15 years later, here we are, staying in the new Animal Kingdom Lodge, 3 days after the start of the 30th Anniversary and Walt's 100 Year Celebration. The date is Oct. 4, 2001 which happens to be my 46th birthday.

The first item of business on that sunny Thursday was breakfast at Chef Mickey's Breakfast at the Contemporary Hotel. This was the first time we had partaken of this venue and I must say, it was a sheer delight. The best was yet to come as my name was announced over the speaker system and everyone started singing the special Birthday song and waving their napkins. I got a kiss from Minnie and hearty handshakes and hugs from all the other characters. As a special birthday treat, I got a chocolate Mickey Cupcake which had the best tasting whipped cream that I have ever had.

Phase 2 of the Birthday Extravaganza was a short walk out the doors of the hotel into Sammy Duvall's and onto the Parasailing Boat. After signing prerequisite waiver forms, we headed out for three runs around the lake. The parasailing can take two people at one time (although not 2 full sized adults).

Final event of the day we settled upon a ride in the nose of the Monorail (just ask) and over to the Polynesian Hotel for the Luau. I kept this one lowkey (that is, I didn't tell anyone about what day it was) as we were pretty beat from everything else and we just sat back and enjoyed the meal and wonderful performers.

Handy scheduling tip - don't be afraid when you (or your spouse/significant other) call any of the reservation persons to tell them what kind of a special day it is, be it birthday or anniversary or whatever. You'll all enjoy the little surprises that will come your way - like the special signed birthday card from Chip and Dale that was on my pillow when I went to sleep that night. Remember, it's your special day - ENJOY. (Laura and Erik Macs (and John)

*****

Last year for my birthday my fiancée signed me up for DiveQuest at the
Living Seas in EPCOT. For those who are not familiar with this program
it is a chance for people who are certified SCUBA Divers to join Disney's Cast Members on a dive into the main tank in the Living Seas. While it is not very challenging as a dive, it is one of the most memorable dives you can experience. My most special memory however was outside one particular window of the restaurant. A mother and father were trying to get their little boy to eat his dinner, which he was obviously refusing. The mother noticed
us outside the window and pointed so her son would look. I waved to him, pointed to his plate, and moved my arms as if I were eating the food, then patting my tummy to indicate it tasted good. The kid smiled instantly and started eating right away. As if that wasn't special enough his father clasped his hands together and mouthed the words "Thank You". I never realized that such a simple action by an "onstage character" can make someone's life a little easier, and hopefully their day a little better.
As birthday gifts go, this was by far one of the most memorable I have
ever received and one I highly recommend to others! (Tom McCauley)

*****

We spoke to a Cast Member along one of the lagoon patios near France in Epcot. She told us about renting the patio, the gardens behind France, a site on the Japanese Pagoda and other scattered places that are available for special occasions. WDW would even set up a table for two for appetizers, desserts, complete meals, whatever you want and rope off the area. I want my next birthday to be at a site overlooking the lagoon, eating "school bread" from Norway, sipping a glass of wine, at a table for two, watching the fireworks. For a brief moment, living the life of a millionaire at my very favorite place on earth! (Shelia Macha)

*****

Obviously not all of us can celebrate our birthday at WDW but when you do have a chance to visit then take the opportunity to celebrate your "Unbirthday". Remember the tea party in 'Alice in Wonderland'? That's when I first learned that there are 364 "Unbirthdays" in a year. When we went to the character breakfast at 1900 Park Faire (Grand Floridian) which featured the Mad Hatter, he got all the characters that day to
sing "A Very Merry Unbirthday" song to my princess--my wife, Gayle. Obviously she is not a child but she certainly felt very young again and her face shined from all the attention----or was it just from being embarrassed?!?! (Ray Meany)