Ask a Disney Question: What does Disney do for birthdays?

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Michelle asks, “What does Disney do for you or your little ones birthday? They get anything like a free cake?”

Hi, Michelle.  Thanks for reading and for your question. Disney does a number of things for birthdays.  When you make your reservation, you’ll normally be asked if you’re celebrating something and if so, they’ll make note of it.  Often, the birthday boy or girl will have a welcome card waiting in the room; you can ask if your child can get a card “autographed” by his favorite character.  You’ll also want to make note of your special occasion when you make your dining reservations.  When you check in, you’ll receive a birthday pin; you can also get one at Guest Relations in the parks.  Cast members will frequently acknowledge your birthday when you wear the pin.  It’s not a front of the line pass, but on occasion, a child with a birthday pin will be singled out at attractions for something special.  You may even be given a “Magical Moment Certificate” which is a certificate given out to acknowledge a special moment, be it a birthday, anniversary, or some other occasion.  Wearing a birthday pin is not for those who are shy:  You’ll likely receive birthday wishes throughout the day and even some good-natured teasing.

Often, when you order from a counter service restaurant, the cast member will acknowledge your birthday and a free dessert will be included in your order. At table service restaurants, you’ll often be given a free dessert as well, usually a birthday cupcake or if you’re ordering a dessert off the menu, you’ll receive it with some kind of addition that acknowledges your special day, like a chocolate “Happy Birthday” or some other kind of decoration.  At a character meal, your cupcake may be brought out by a character, which is a nice touch.  You may also be given a card “signed” by the characters.  Many restaurants go all out and sing “Happy Birthday,”  such as 50s Prime Time Cafe and Hoop De Doo (which highlights birthdays and other celebrations).  In general, the more formal the restaurant the more restrained (a dessert and good wishes) the acknowledgement; more casual restaurants tend to decorate the tables with confetti and make a bigger deal out of it.

Here are a few other ideas you can do to make your son’s day special:

1.  Order a special cake through Disney to be delivered at one of your meals or to your resort.  This can be arranged by calling the Cake Hotline at 407-827-2253.  As an aside, was there ever a better name for a hotline?

2.  Make special matching birthday t-shirts for your group.   Zazzle has a nice selection of Disney themed t-shirts that you can customize.  I’ve also heard good things about ordering from Disney Direct.

3.  Buy a special autograph book for that day for character meet and greets.  Makes a nice memento of that birthday.

Let me just end this with one caveat:  Sometimes, nothing happens at all, so go in with the expectation that anything that happens is just the extra icing on the cake that is spending your birthday at Disney World.   I’ve only heard of this happening on rare occasions, but sometimes people have bad birthday luck, for lack of a better way of putting it.

If you want more information,there’s a currrent thread on Disboards right now that is essentially “Everything Birthday at WDW.”  Good luck and I hope your son has a wonderful birthday!

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