How to Plan a Birthday or Celebration at Walt Disney World

May 26, 2022

The Most Magical Place on Earth is also one of the most magical places to celebrate a birthday or other special occasion. Make all your birthday wishes come true at Walt Disney World!

A visit to Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, makes the most ordinary of days special. As for days that are already special, like birthdays? A little Disney magic can make the day even more memorable! When planning a birthday or celebration at Walt Disney World, the wonder is in the details. 

It's time to get the birthday party started! Whether the guest of honor is turning one or 100, there are so many ways to take their special day to another level. No matter which Disney theme park you choose to spend the day at, it's guaranteed to be the perfect setting for the ultimate celebration.

Pro Tip: Worried about the budget? It's no secret that a trip to Disney World is a pricey way to celebrate! However, with Tripster's help, you can save on theme park tickets and hotels to make sure your trip is equally fun and budget-friendly.

This year, exchange the party hats for Mickey Mouse ears! Keep reading for all of the insider advice you'll need to plan a birthday or celebration at Walt Disney World.

Close up of a family on the Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride on a sunny day at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, USATips and Tricks to Make the Day Special

You don't have to be a professional party planner to weave some celebration magic at Walt Disney World! We have a few tricks up our sleeve, from birthday cakes to buttons that you'll want to take advantage of.

Get a Birthday Button

Make the partying official with a free Disney button available at guest services or the front desk of your Disney World resort hotel! Some even have a spot to write the name of the birthday boy or girl.

Related Post: 13 of the Best Disney World Thrill Rides

This will tip cast members off so that they know to send birthday wishes your way!

Pro Tip: Other members of your crew can join in on the button fun with an "I'm Celebrating" button!

photo credit: Alysha Daniele Gibson via Facebook

Send a Gift Basket

Surprise the birthday boy or girl with a gift basket waiting in your hotel room when you arrive! Gift baskets aren't just for the kids, either. With so many different themes to choose from, there's a basket to suit partiers of all ages. 

Pro Tip: Whether you're staying at the Grand Floridian or any of the other luxurious resort hotels, it's always a good idea to let them know you'll be celebrating when you make your hotel reservation. You never know what surprises the Disney staff members might have in store! You may potentially receive balloons, cupcakes, or simply extra attention. 

Let Them Eat Cake

What's a birthday or celebration without cake? There are birthday cakes galore throughout the Disney parks! If you want to celebrate with a Mickey Mouse cake at one of the table service restaurants, be sure to order your cake when placing your restaurant reservation. 

Related Post: Upcoming Events and Festivals at Walt Disney World Resort

Another option is to pick a cake up at Amorette's Patisserie, located at Disney Springs. Here, you can get your hands on an exquisite specialty cake to eat in your hotel room or bring home with you. 

Photo Alert: Don't forget to capture the day forever! PhotoPass photographers are sprinkled throughout the park to help make sure you'll get to relive the memories for years to come.

photo credit: Disney Addicts via Facebook

Where to Eat

Disney World is brimming with table services restaurants to cater to every taste for that special birthday dinner. The key is to make sure you book reservations ahead of time! Otherwise, you may be scrambling to find somewhere to eat and have to settle for less than the best.

This is especially important if the guest of honor has a preference for eating at a particular restaurant. Keep in mind that you will need passes to the park you are dining at for that day, in addition to the dining reservation. The four Disney parks to choose from are Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, EPCOT, and Disney's Hollywood Studios (more on these later!).

There's no need to sweat if you have your eye on a specific spot. You can make reservations up to 60 days in advance!

Related Post: Disney World Bucket List: 9 Experiences You Can't-Miss

To do so, you'll need to log in to your Disney account. Then, click the tab that says "Things to Do." There should be a header that says "Dining." Under that, click "Make Reservations." Click the right restaurant, then follow the prompts to select the date, time, and the number of guests. This will pull up a list of the reservation options for your birthday or celebration dinner!

Before you do this, if you need help sorting through the limitless dining options, check out our guide to Disney World food! Dine at a royal castle or in the country of Italy. Chow down on Wagyu steak, grilled cheese sandwiches, cookies' n' cream mousse, or anything in between! There truly is something for everyone at Disney. 

photo credit: Walt Disney World via Facebook

What to Do

To fill the day with memorable activities, there's no shortage of thrilling entertainment at all four of the Disney parks. However, which park should you visit? Let the guest of honor choose!

Related Post: Ultimate Guide to Walt Disney World®: Coupons, Discounts, and Deals

Here is some guidance to help you figure out which park might be best for you.

Magic Kingdom

This park is incredibly kid-friendly. It's home to the famed Cinderella Castle and an absolutely stunning fireworks show. Magic Kingdom is great for those who are most excited about seeing the Disney princesses but also includes fan-favorite rides such as Jungle Cruise, it's a small world, and Mad Tea Party.

View looking up at the Enchantment Firework Show with Cinderellas Castles in front of it at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, USA

photo credit: Steve Dausey via Facebook

Animal Kingdom 

Take a walk on the wild side at Animal Kingdom! This theme park is a top pick for animal lovers and fans of The Lion King. Catch sight of real animals, or get an adrenaline rush on rides like Expedition Everest and Na'Vi River Journey!

EPCOT

For those who have a little wanderlust, EPCOT is one way to see the world all in one spot. Quench your thirst for adventure when you get a taste of different countries, such as China, Italy, and Morocco!

Related Post: Upcoming Events and Festivals at EPCOT

Rides and festivals are just a couple of the ways you'll be able to get in on the global fun. 

mother and daughter looking at flowers and sculptures at Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival in Orlando, Florida, USADisney's Hollywood Studios

Experience the glitz and glamor of Hollywood at this esteemed park! Classic movies such as Toy Story, Monsters, Inc., and Cars are all represented.

Related Post: The Complete Guide to Using a Wheelchair at Walt Disney World

However, no one will be more excited to visit Disney's Hollywood Studios than Star Wars fans! Find many rides and experiences themed after the saga at this park. 

Keep the Celebration Going

While visiting Disney World is one of the most notable ways to spend time in Orlando, believe it or not, there are so many more things to do!

Even better, you can bundle your Walt Disney World tickets with tickets to other attractions to get the biggest bang for your buck. Now that's how we like to celebrate good times! Keep reading for some of our other favorite Orlando attractions.

Universal Orlando Resort

This theme park is a movie buff paradise. Fans of Jurassic Park, Harry Potter, Spider-Man, and many other popular films will be right at home on the thrilling rides of Universal Orlando Resort!

Related Post: The 6 Best Orlando Theme Parks for Adults

Adrenaline junkies eagerly line up at the three theme parks (including a water park!) that make up Universal.

people riding on the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida, USASeaWorld Orlando

Dive into an aquatic wonderworld at SeaWorld Orlando! Classic theme park rides and jaw-dropping shows celebrate the ocean's finest sea creatures. Learn about orcas, dolphins, and many more marine animals in fun and interactive ways.

LEGOLAND Florida

Block by block, LEGOLAND Florida is one of the best Orlando attractions for the littles. Themed after the childhood toy staple, this theme park features exciting rides, shows, and attractions. Explore 150 acres of kid-friendly fun!

kids eating food in front of Merry-Go-Round at LEGOLAND in Orlando, Florida, USAReady to make dreams come true with a birthday or celebration at Walt Disney World?

This year, sprinkle a little pixie dust on your or your loved one's birthday at Disney World. There's no better place to celebrate than a fantasy world filled with beloved characters and extraordinary attractions! This celebration will be one to remember for a lifetime.

So, now you have your party plans nailed down. What about the rest of your trip? Tripster can help! Plan your complete Orlando vacation with some additional assistance scouting out hotel deals and attraction bargains.

Have You Attended or Planned a Celebration at Disney World?

Leave us a comment below!

 


michaela smiling holding magazine with body of water in background

Written By Michaela

Michaela is a journalist who views every story she writes as an adventure, leading her to explore new places and meet new people. She is based in the Midwest ...

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