Disneyland Birthdays- 10 Tips to Make the Day EXTRA Special

We started the tradition of celebrating Disneyland Birthdays when our two oldest were 1 & 3. It was our way of escaping with them for one last day before they graduated onto their next year in life. One last time to soak them up without all the fuss & chaos of party guests. Over the years our Disneyland Birthdays expanded to include Disneyworld, Aulani and Disney Cruise Line. But, one thing remained the same. We made time STOP, we poured out tons of love on our babes and we created a tradition and memories that I hold close to my heart. With all of our experience we have also learned a thing or two about making the most out of your Disneyland Birthdays so below are some tips to help you make your day EXTRA magical!!!

Disneyland Birthdays- 10 Tips to Make the Day EXTRA Special

1 Dress Up

Make your kids day with a special Disneyland birthday visit | Global Munchkins

When your kids are little the idea of dressing up at the parks is super fun… especially with girls (in my case anyway). With my daughters who have fall birthdays I planned their Halloween costumes around a Disney character to save a bit of money on costumes. You can also order Disney themed costumes online at Amazon and save that way too. Or Target and H&M usually have some great options when it comes to Disney Themed Shirts like the outfit I found above at Target.

Tips on how to make a Disneyland Birthday even more special | Global Munchkins

For my boys we went a different route. We purchased a Birthday Cake Hat at the Mad Hatter’s Store in Fantasyland and they would wear that on their big day with a character shirt. One year I purchased personalized ones from the Disney Store Online and they really loved them because no missed wishing them a “Happy Birthday” with the big label on the back- ha!

10 Ways to have a Magical Disneyland Birthday | Global Munchkins

2 Character Dining

Character Dining | 10 Ways to have a Magical Disneyland Birthday | Global Munchkins

Of course there is no better place to dine with little ones than at a restaurant with their favorite characters. I will never forget my daughters 2nd birthday (above) when she locked eyes with her role model for the first time- PRICELESS!!!

Make your kids day with a special Disneyland birthday visit | Global Munchkins

When it comes to Character Dining at the Disneyland Parks there are some great options including:

  • Goofy’s Kitchen | Breakfast or Dinner with Goofy & Friends

Goofy’s Kitchen is an American style restaurant served buffet style so there are a ton of options for even the pickiest eaters. If you are there for breakfast you have to try their famous Mickey Waffles or if you want to eat healthy made to order omelettes are available too. You can usually catch Goofy himself + Pluto, Minnie, Chip & Dale there too!

  • Ariel’s Grotto | Princess Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner (Park Admission Required)

Ariel’s is a sit down Princess themed event. It’s a bit fancier than the other options and kids gobble it up. I love that you never have to get up to get food and that you get to order your entree of choice (appetizers and desserts are shared). I also love the way they announce each Princess as she comes out to meet the kids. We usually see Ariel, Belle, Cinderella, Snow White and Aurora.

*Pro Tip- book the earliest reservation as you are let into the park to dine prior to opening. By the time you are done you will still be one of the first people in California Adventure that day!!!

  • Plaza Inn | Minnie & Friends Breakfast in the Park (Park Admission Required)

This is actually our FAVORITE place to dine… especially if you are looking to find characters that you wouldn’t normally see walking around the parks. Plaza Inn is another breakfast buffet like Goofy’s Kitchen but I think the food here is a little bit better. My kids love that they find unique characters and can score awesome autographs from people like: The Fairy Godmother, Suzy, Captain Hook, Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore, Tigger, Max Goof, Rafiki, Geppeto & Pinocchio.

*Pro Tip- book the earliest reservation as you are let into the park to dine prior to opening. By the time you are done you will still be one of the first people at Disneyland that day!!!

  • Storyteller’s Cafe | Chip & Dale’s Critter Breakfast

This restaurant has fantastic food options and I wish they would extend their character experience to include dinner. But, currently they only have a character option at breakfast. Still better food than the other options available in my opinion but the character line up is a little ho hum (or great if you like those hard to find characters). Here you will most likely find woodland & jungle animals like: Brer Bear, Brer Fox, Kenai, Koda, Meeko and Turk. 

  • Disney’s PCH Grill | Surf’s Up Mickey & Friends Breakfast

This one is a bit off the beaten path and usually a tad easier to get a reservation at because it is located at Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel. Here you will find a California inspired menu including omelettes, frittatas, beef chilaquiles and not to miss banana fosters french toast!!! The characters are dressed in their finest beach attire and you can usually catch: Daisy, Goofy, Mickey, Minnie, Pluto & Stitch here.

*Pro Tip- this is the ONLY breakfast where you can dine with BOTH Mickey & Minnie!

Of course, if you happen to be visiting Walt Disney World they have a bunch of options too. But, our personal favorite is the Chef Mickey’s Restaurant!!!

10 Ways to have a Magical Disneyland Birthday | Global Munchkins

 

3 Birthday Themed Rides

Make your kids day with a special Disneyland birthday visit | Global Munchkinssource

You definitly won’t want to miss riding on the three birthday themed rides in Disneyland including: Winnie the Pooh, Alice in Wonderland and The Haunted Mansion!

Make your kids day with a special Disneyland birthday visit | Global Munchkinssource

4 Hotel Stay

10 Ways to have a Magical Disneyland Birthday | Global Munchkins

Not your cheapest option but the hotels are definitly a way to extend the magic and if you contact them at the time of booking they usually will through in something a little extra for your birthday boy & girl like an autographed birthday card from their favorite character (pictured above).

We like to pack additional birthday decorations and one of us (parents) sneaks off and decorates the room before the kids come in. Their excitement level is off the charts when they walk in… I highly recommend it!

5 New Orleans Band

10 Ways to have a Magical Disneyland Birthday | Global Munchkinssource

Did you know that the band in New Orleans Square will sing you a special Happy Birthday Song upon request when you show them your Birthday Button? Pretty cool right!!

6 TREATS!!!

Make your kids day with a special Disneyland birthday visit | Global Munchkins

In our house birthdays = sweet treats and LOTS of them! So, we make our rounds. Ghiradelli’s is a great place to start. They hand out FREE samples and usually on your birthday you score a few extra. Of course there are tons of cupcakes, ice creams, chocolate and candy all over the park. But, a few of them we think are a little extra special like character caramel apples (ask for a knife to make them easier to eat).

10 Ways to have a Magical Disneyland Birthday | Global Munchkins

A Cotton Candy Lemonade is sure to put a smile on your kids’ faces… probably mine too!

Make your kids day with a special Disneyland birthday visit | Global Munchkins

And, a hand dipped chocolate ice cream bar from Clarabelle’s is sure to dazzle them… Ella likes her’s rolled in sprinkles and pop rocks 😉

Make your kids day with a special Disneyland birthday visit | Global Munchkins

7 Balloons

Happy Girl with Mickey Balloon Background at Magic Kingdom | Global Munchkins

We also save balloon buying specifically for birthday celebrations because nothing screams birthday than a bright shiny balloon hanging over your head.

10 Ways to have a Magical Disneyland Birthday | Global Munchkins

8 Autograph Book

10 Ways to have a Magical Disneyland Birthday | Global Munchkins

With all the character meet and greets you are likely to hit on your child’s special visit make sure to pack an autograph book and a few pens. When characters notice your kiddo’s birthday pin they may even write them a special note 😉

9 Custom Cakes & Treats

10 Ways to have a Magical Disneyland Birthday | Global Munchkins

Besides grabbing a cupcake or candy at one of the stores you can also order a custom cake and have it delivered to one of the select table service dining spots around the parks or the Disneyland hotel. For more info on that see the Disneyland website here.

10 Birthday Button

10 Ways to have a Magical Disneyland Birthday | Global Munchkins

And, of course… you HAVE to get your BIRTHDAY BUTTON. Disney Cast Members all over the parks will greet Birthday Button wearers and wish them a “Happy Birthday”. I also have noticed some special treatment like being picked for shows, announced over the loud speaker on certain rides and a little extra love from the characters. And, if you grab front row for the parade you will grab some extra attention there as well.

10 Ways to have a Magical Disneyland Birthday | Global Munchkins

Buttons are available inside at City Hall on Main Street, U.S.A. in Disneyland Park or at Guest Services in Disney California Adventure Park. Park Admission is required.

*Pro Tip- if you wear a tiara + a birthday button you will be addressed as a “Birthday Princess” which your little girls will eat up!

 

10 Ways to Celebrate a Disneyland Birthday | Global Munchkins

Overall

Make your kids day with a special Disneyland birthday visit | Global Munchkins

Celebrating in this way has created some incredible memories for our family. As our number of littles grew we also added a new element to save money and that is taking each child alone. Our kids LOVE the special time they get with mom and dad all to themselves and we soak up every second!

Have you visited Disneyland to celebrate a birthday??

Pin for later-

10 Tips from a Pro on Celebrating Your Birthday at Disneyland | Disneyland Birthday Tips | How to Celebrate Your Birthday at Disneyland | Global Munchkins

Coming soon… Celebrating Birthday on the Disney Cruise Line!!!

10 Ways to have a Magical Disneyland Birthday | Global Munchkins

7 Comments

  • Natalie says:

    Even though I’ve been to Walt Disney World a ridiculous number of times, I hadn’t ever been for my birthday until last year. I know I was turning 31 instead of 3 (and probably outside of the range for the typical Disney birthday girl), but it was still SO much fun! I’d love to take my daughter back for her birthday and use some of these tips!
    Natalie recently posted…Odds + (Week)Ends: Volume 14My Profile

  • This may possibly be THE single most helpful Disney post I have ever read! You covered so much great info! We’ve never done birthdays at any Disney location, but what a fabulous idea. I have a lot of friends who would love this post and will definitely share it! Thank you!
    Marlynn @ UrbanBlissLife recently posted…Travel Bliss: Park City Mountain Summer & Fall Family AdventuresMy Profile

    • Mama Munchkin says:

      You are way too kind- THANK YOU!!! And, thank you so much for sharing- you know how important that is for us bloggers. Much appreciated!!!

  • Ahh I love Disney..was just there in July and I still have not got my post up..so many from CA to post!~ I Love the pics…adorable kids and looks like a great time…and great tips as well!

    Valerie

    • Mama Munchkin says:

      Thanks so much!! Can’t wait to see your posts. I find out tons of stuff about my local areas from tourists. I think you have a better knack for researching an area that is more foreign to you. Whereas locals tend to think they already know everything- ha ha ha!!!

  • These are great recommendations. I love Disneyland and I always love hearing how people celebrate it! So fun!

  • Omg! I love Disney! I have an annual pass and was just there last week. What a super special way to celebrate birthdays and make sweet memories! Chef’s Mickey’s is one of my faves and I also love the character breakfast at Grand Flo. As many times as I’ve been to Disney, I don’t think I’ve ever celebrated a b-day there. That would be a super fun memory!

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