I recently celebrated my thirtieth birthday at Walt Disney World. It was truly a memorable experience. Many people celebrate special occasions at Disney World – birthdays, family reunions, anniversaries, engagements, and even weddings. Everyone chooses to celebrate in their own way, but the following 5 tips will help you get the most out of your trip for your special occasion!
5. Stay on-site at a Disney resort – staying on-site at the Disney resort opens up a lot of little extras for your trip. As a guest at the resort, you’re able to make advanced dining reservations up 180 days in advance and FastPass+ reservations 60 days in advance. Some of the very special dining experiences (Cinderella’s Royal Table, Le Cellier, Akershus Royal Banquet Hall) are extremely popular and you need to be able to book early! Additionally, staying on-site allows you access to Extra Magic Hours. These hours are a great way to get into a park early or stay late. During Extra Magic Hours, you can enjoy your favorite rides and attractions, enjoy a leisurely (and far less-crowded) stroll throughout the park, or spend time enjoying the hidden details the parks have to offer. Lastly, staying on-site relieves everyone in your party of having to worry about transportation. Disney has a wonderful network of trains, monorails, buses, and boats to get you where you want to be. This can particularly helpful if you have spent part of your day sipping your way around World Showcase!
4. Dine at least once at a Character Dining Restaurant – Character Dining is a great way to make any trip even more memorable. On my recent trip celebrating my birthday, we had breakfast at the Crystal Palace (where you enjoy your meal with Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, and Piglet) and 1900 Park Fare in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa (where Alice, the Mad Hatter, and Mary Poppins join the fun). Having the characters present adds some extra magic to your meal. Be sure to check on-line when making your reservations to see if characters are at every meal. We had dinner one night at Hollywood and Vine and I was disappointed to learn that the character dining was only for breakfast and lunch.
3. Stop by Guest Services and get a pin – available at Guest Services at any of the theme parks or at the front desk of your resort hotel, there are pins for most every occasion. Wearing these pins are a great way for cast members, as well as other guests, to know what you are celebrating. Be prepared to be wished happy birthday, happy anniversary, or congratulations when wearing the pins! Even if it isn’t your birthday or anniversary, Disney does have “I’m Celebrating” pins so you are not left out of the fun!
2. Consider getting Memory Maker – Memory Maker collects all of the photos that you have taken around the parks by Disney photographers and on the rides. Be sure to be on the lookout for the photographers while touring the parks. The service works with use of the RFID chips that are in your MagicBands. Your photos are uploaded to your account on-line where you can view and download them. Memory Maker is a great addition to your trip to Disney because it allows everyone to get in the picture! Be sure to look carefully at your pictures when you view them on-line; Disney sometimes works a little extra magic into them!
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1. Get some Disney memorabilia to remember your trip – everywhere in the parks you have the opportunity to buy magnets, t-shirts, coffee mugs, holiday ornaments, pins, and much more. Pick one of these up as a reminder of the event that you are celebrating. I walked around Disney the entire weekend with a pair of bright yellow “Happy Birthday” Mickey Ears back in July. It was a great surprise from my friends and family for my birthday, but also a great way to remember our trip to Disney World. Depending on where you go and what you are looking for, you may be able to have your keepsake personalized.
There are many ways to celebrate special occasions at Disney. These tips should help you get the most out of your trip to Disney and the most out of your celebration at the happiest place on Earth!
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