Disney World is a great place to visit on even an average day, but if you’re celebrating something, it can be even better. Disney has some special opportunities that will give the person or people celebrating a truly memorable experience.
If you’re celebrating something during your Disney World vacation, planning is pretty important. When you’re booking your trip, I’ve always found that it’s easiest to call and speak to a Disney Cast Member. They’ll ask you if you’re celebrating anything, and they’ll make note of this on your reservation. You can also tell the front desk at your hotel. They’ll probably have a special surprise waiting for you when you arrive!
Let’s take a look at the top ten ways to celebrate in Disney World.
10. Celebration Button
City Hall in Magic Kingdom has a huge selection of celebration buttons. They have standard “Happy Birthday,” “Happy Anniversary,” “Just Engaged,” “First Visit,” “Just Married,” “Happily Ever After,” and more, but they can also customize a button with “I’m Celebrating…” and write any kind of celebration on it!
Besides City Hall, you can also get these buttons at hotel front desks, restaurants, guest relations, and other places on property. Sometimes Cast Members on the street hand them out as well.
Once you get your button, be prepared to make many new friends! Although Cast Members are required to congratulate whatever you’re celebrating, other guests often get in on the fun. You might get a simple “Happy birthday” or you might get complimentary dessert after your meal.
However, you shouldn’t wear the button expecting something. It’s really a hit or miss thing, but if you hit, it can be really fun!
If you’ve stayed at a Disney Resort Hotel, you’ve probably seen decorations in hotel room windows. They’re usually pretty simple with lights or a sign, but sometimes they can be as elaborate as a full size Christmas tree! Whatever you’re celebrating, it’s fun to decorate your window and let other guests know. Who knows- maybe Mousekeeping will leave you a little surprise!
8. Planned Surprises
You can also set up surprises on your own. If you’d like to surprise someone with a Disney cake, call 407-827-CAKE. If you’re looking for another type of gift, call Disney Floral and Gift, and they’ll handle whatever you’re looking for. Both of these options are expensive, but they can make a special occasion very memorable.
You can arrange everything from in-room champagne to a scavenger hunt in the park ending with a present “from” the person’s favorite character. The possibilities are endless at Disney World, but these kinds of things need to be planned ahead of time to make them work well.
7. Customized Itinerary
A customized itinerary works great for celebrating a birthday. It’s easy, free, and makes the person of honor really happy! Ride all their favorite rides in one day- even the ones you don’t like. They’ll love the day, and they’ll appreciate your willingness to accommodate them.
6. Eat and Drink around the World
Disney’s World Showcase in Epcot is a great place to celebrate. With eleven different countries offering authentic drinks, snacks, and even whole meals, where could you go wrong?
This is a lot of fun, but it can also get a bit pricey especially if you’re visiting during a festival when there are added carts to choose from. Consider trying a drink in every other country and a snack in the rest. This way, instead of buying 22 items, you’re only buying eleven.
Don’t forget to enjoy the fun attractions, movies, and shopping these countries have to offer. You can easily spend a whole day perusing World Showcase!
5. Signature Dining
A night of signature dining is a romantic and intimate way to celebrate as a couple whether you’re newly wed or you’ve been together for 50 years.
Some of my favorite Signature Dining restaurants are on the monorail loop. California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort serves up fresh flavors with a Californian twist while Victoria & Albert’s is a classic and classy (not to mention very expensive) meal. These are also perfect viewing locations for Wishes Nighttime Spectacular in Magic Kingdom and the Electrical Water Pageant.
If you prefer Epcot’s Illuminations, check out Flying Fish at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn or Yachtsman Steakhouse at Disney’s Yacht Club.
4. Family Dining
Signature Dining is best reserved for an intimate dinner, but there are certainly family-friendly locations for celebrating with the kids.
‘Ohana at Disney’s Polynesian Resort is a fun, family atmosphere with great South Pacific-inspired food, and Beaches & Cream at Disney’s Boardwalk has the one and only Kitchen Sink ice cream dessert. You’ll need the whole family to conquer it!
3. Special Events
While private events are pricey, they are possible. It’s best to call and talk to a Cast Member who can give you all the details. They can make pretty much anything you want happen for the right price.
Most people might not consider fireworks to be special events, but when you’re on the Illuminations cruise on Epcot’s World Showcase Lagoon, that’s pretty special. Another mid-priced special opportunity would be a tour during which Cast Member leads a small group of guests around a part of Disney World. The Wild Africa Trek in Disney’s Animal Kingdom gives you a behind the scenes look at the animals while Keys to the Kingdom takes you backstage and underneath Magic Kingdom. The Behind the Seeds tour in The Land pavilion teaches guests all about the growing techniques used in Disney World and even talks about how to start and grow your own garden at home.
Dessert parties like the one at Tomorrowland Terrace during the Magic Kingdom fireworks are inexpensive and provide a welcome respite from the crowds. If you want dessert, these parties are where you want to be.
2. Kids Fun
If you’re celebrating a child’s birthday, consider their interests. If they like pirates, then the Pirate Cruise at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is perfect. The Grand also has a Wonderland Tea Party in the Garden View Tea Room during which your little princess and don her favorite princess dress and sip tea with her favorite characters.
If dress-up is their thing, consider the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique or Pirates league. While this is fun for your child, it’s also great to see your kid get all dressed up and play for a bit. I’ve never seen an upset princess or pirate!
1. Shopping Spree
If money is no object, give the person of honor your credit card and an hour in their favorite Disney World Store. World of Disney is the largest (and recently got larger) Disney store in the world, and Art of Disney has some amazing, but expensive, Disney artwork. If your person loves shopping, this is definitely a good idea for their special day!