How to Celebrate Your Birthday at Disney (and Other Theme Parks)
Published: October 13, 2014 at 5:39 PM
No matter what your budget, you can enjoy an extra-special day in the park on your birthday by stopping at any Guest Services or ticket booth at Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando or Disneyland, and asking for a free birthday celebration button. That button will let all the parks' cast or team members know that you're celebrating that day.
"Birthdays at Disney World consists of random strangers wishing you Happy Birthday, parades, rides, fireworks, and a 'Happy Birthday' at every meal of the day," reader Andrew Mundy said. He recently celebrated his 30th birthday at the Walt Disney World Resort, including dinner and a cake at Epcot's Biergarten.
The Disney theme parks on each coast offer a wide variety of birthday cakes that you can enjoy in their table-service restaurants or in your Disney hotel room. If you'd like a custom birthday cake, you'll need to call at least 72 hours in advance and talk with a cake reservations agent to place your order. The number to call for cake orders at Walt Disney World is +1-407-827-2253. For Disneyland, call the Disneyland dining reservation number at +1-714-781-3463. These cakes aren't cheap — starting at around $35 for a 6- to 8-inch round cake with plain frosting. Adding custom icing, decorations, and Disney character images can push the price of even an 8-inch cake up toward $100. (But it will own your friends' Facebook and Instagram feeds for the next few days!)
Photo courtesy Maria Dugan
"My partner had a one of the special cakes Disney offers for birthdays with the Chip and Dale figures on it for dessert at California Grill," Maria Dugan said. "I would absolutely do it again. The dinner on my birthday was EXPENSIVE, especially with the cake. But getting to see the fireworks from the top of the Contemporary, and the amazing meal we had, was absolutely worth it. The restaurant decorated the table with Mickey confetti which was very sweet. Forty is a milestone birthday, so I knew we would spend money whatever we did, and Disney was my first choice."
If you want something a bit more standard, a Mickey-face cake that serves about 10 people is available at Walt Disney World restaurants with advance notice for about $55, by calling +1-407-827-2253. And if you forgot to call ahead and are happy just to get any cake on the table, almost all Disney World table service restaurants can provide a basic chocolate or vanilla birthday cake for around $25, for no more advance notice than ordering when you arrive at the restaurant.
Disneyland offers the option of treating the birthday boy or girl with a personal princess "jewelry box" or pirate "treasure chest" minicake for around $15. Call ahead to ensure your order, though we've heard some people have been able to get these cakes without an advance reservation just by asking at the resort's table service restaurants when you check in for your meal.
Andrea Cameron recently celebrated her daughter's birthday at the Disneyland Hotel. "We went to Goofy's Kitchen and bought her the cake that comes in the treasure chest," she said. "She LOVED it! The whole restaurant and costume characters sang Happy Birthday to her, and she had a blast."
If you are staying in a Walt Disney World or Disneyland hotel, you can order gift baskets and party decorations to be delivered to your hotel room for when you arrive. As the name implies, Disney Floral and Gifts delivers flowers and other goodies, and they'll deliver to your home as well as to resort hotel rooms. You can browse the options for Walt Disney World and for Disneyland on Disney Floral and Gifts' website. The most expensive options are the $435 Presenting Your Royal Princess package at Disney World and the $395.95 (plus tax and delivery charge) Mickey and Friends Birthday Bash package at Disneyland. If that's a bit rich for you, you can get a Flying High with Mickey package at Disney World, which is five Mylar balloons and a Mickey plush, for $40 plus tax and delivery charge.
Want a traditional kids' birthday party with friends? You can host it at Goofy's Candy Co. in Walt Disney World's Downtown Disney, for around $400 for up to 12 people. The party will include "decorate your own" treats in a party room, along with a Goofy slushy drink for everyone, plus party favors and games. You can select a Goofy or Princess theme for the party and make reservations by calling +1-407-WDW-BDAY.
Of course, you don't need to order special cakes or party packages to enjoy special birthday service at a theme park. Hunter Underwood recently celebrated his 21st birthday at Universal Orlando, taking advantage of the nightlife in the resort's CityWalk clubs for his big day. "The UOR Team Members are great in engagement for a birthday celebration, especially if you're wearing one of the celebrating buttons," he said.
Looking beyond Disney and Universal, Legoland also offers birthday celebrations, including some with discounted park admission. For $79 per person at Legoland California, you can choose from one of three themes (The Lego Movie, Legends of Chima, and Lego Friends) for your party for at least six people. The party will include playtime in the party room, cake, and a minifig party favor, as well as reserved table for lunch at the Pizza & Pasta Buffet, park admission and parking. For $69 per person you can get the "Express" version, which omits the themed party activities and the reserved table for the lunch, but still gets you into the park, the parking, and the lunch and cake, with open seating. Call +1-760-438-5346 at least two weeks in advance for reservations.
At Legoland Florida, the birthday party options start at $35 per person, but do not include park admission and there is a 10-person minimum. Call +1-877-350-5346 for more information and reservations.
Finally, the most elaborate in-park birthday celebrations might be at Universal Studios Singapore, where you can pick a package in one of four locations inside the park. Parties start at S$118 per person (about US$93), and include use of the party room for two hours, decorations, two party activities, a cake, goody bags for the guests, and a present for the birthday child. Each location also has its own themed character meet-and-greet available, just for your party, for S$680 per character (about US$535).
Have you ever celebrated a birthday party in a theme park? Tell us about your experience, either in the comments below or by starting a conversation on our discussion board.