Whether you’re heading down Main Street USA at Disney Land in Anaheim, California, or at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida, you will always find people celebrating. After all, Disney is the Happiest Place on Earth! The first stop for Disney guests, whether it’s their first time, or five hundredth,is a trip into Guest Services or City Hall to find the pin that reflects whatever special event has brought them to Disney. We love the way Cast Members personalize the pins – whether it’s the number of years a couple has been married, the birthday person’s name, wedding dates or the fill-in-the-blank “I’m Celebrating!” pin. Wishing complete strangers a happy birthday, or congratulating them on their engagement, wedding or anniversary is always fun and ties us in to their celebration!
Spending a day at a Walt Disney Park creates so many memories. If you are celebrating, so is Disney!
Must-sees and eats on your special day at Disneyland Resort, Anaheim CA – Tee
The Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough is a must see. Did you know that Sleeping Beauty’s castle is based off the Bavarian castle Neuschwanstein in Germany? I had the pleasure of visiting the Neuschwanstein castle many years ago with my husband and his extended family. I’ll never forget that trip. I took a horse drawn carriage to the castle. Now, I get to relive my Neuschwanstein visit every time I visit Disneyland. You can take a horse drawn trolley ride to the end of Disneyland’s Main Street and walk through the Sleeping Beauty’s castle gate. My first time experiencing the Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough was this past Mother’s Day. My family and I walked through narrow passage ways, climbed stairs and followed the story of the classic Disney Princess Aurora. Did you know that you can “tie-the-knot” here? What a fairy tale wedding that would be!
The Plaza Inn is the place to be for a fun breakfast! Begin your morning at the Plaza Inn for “Minnie & Friends – Breakfast in the Park” Character Dining. I can’t think of a nicer way to start your day than with a visit from Minnie! You can enjoy a nice buffet while the kids are collecting autographs! You can also schedule a “My Disneyland Birthday Party” at the Plaza Inn. Birthday guests are treated to music, cake decorating and more for an extra charge!
Watch Mickey in “Fantastmic” at the Rivers of America in Frontierland. Mickey fights against for good versus evil! The special effects, lasers and music definitely makes this one of Disneyland’s highlights.
Can you smell it? Yes, it’s the Candy Palace and Candy Kitchen. The caramel apples are my favorite! The chocolate dipped strawberries are a close second! We usually wrap up the day here. A caramel apple helps us make it to our car and we usually take treats home to make our Disney moment last! Another fun aspect is watching the candy chefs create the sweets right in front of our eyes!
California Adventure Park
California Adventure Park is celebrating their newest area- Cars Land! Guests can explore the recrecated town of Radiator Springs and meet famous Disney/Pixar Cars characters! The ride Radiator Spring Racers has a fast side-by-side race to the finish line! Creative, colorful and fun for fans! Lots of photo opps!
Animators give you step by step instruction at Animation Academy on how to draw some of your favorite Disney characters! After the hands-on demostration you get to take home your drawings! It’s a perfect piece to frame or include in your scrapbook to remember your perfect day. Animation Academy is part of the Disney Animation building located in Hollywood Land.
Mad T Party begins at dusk and ends when the park closes! Make sure you find out what the password is so you can enter through the Rabbit Hole! This adventure is fun for all ages but geared towards teens and adults. Adults can actually enjoy an alcohol beverage here. Dance the night away and get into the Alice in Wonderland theme!
How about dinner and a show? End your day at CAP with an entertaining nighttime water show called “World of Color“. Expect to see your favorite Disney characters captivatingly illuminated on the water! The show was so incredible it actually made me all teary eyed. Guests can reserve World of Color Dinner Packages from either Carthay Circle Restaurant or Wine Country Trattoria for spots in reserved viewing areas (Carthay Circle Restaurant offers reserved center stage viewing). Picnic meals are also available and include a spot in a viewing area. FYI, you may get wet sitting in the front. Skipping dinner? Pick up your fastpast ticket for the World of Color water show at the Grizzly River Run FASTPASS distribution area upon entering the park.
Can’t make it to New Orleans? Then head to the Jazz Kitchen Express for a New Orleans treat, beignets! This is the place for hot and fresh beignets (hit the express line) as they are delish! Share the delightful beignets with friends (or not) at the outside tables and people watch on your special day. The more powered sugar the better! Make sure to grab some extra napkins!
Best places for celebrating at Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando FL – Erin
Magic Kingdom Park
Cinderella’s Royal Table is an amazing character meal at Cinderella’s Castle where the Princesses visit every table, and kids get special props (they even get to keep them!) to take part in a magical mini-show! We’ve been for breakfast, and it was enough food to keep you full all day.
The Crystal Palace is the perfect character meal place for anyone who loves Winnie the Pooh and Friends! Our birthday celebration several years ago included a cupcake and card autographed by Pooh, Eeyore,Tigger, Piglet, Kanga and Roo!
The Main Street Bakery has the ultimate ice cream sandwich – two huge chocolate chip cookies filled with three scoops of vanilla ice cream. Bring your friends for this one!
Future World at EPCOT has the amazing Coral Reef Restaurant where you can literally dine with the fish! There are huge windows to the aquarium tanks that allow guests to stay entertained while dining on an amazing assortment of dishes from the surf as well as the turf.
The World Showcases are the perfect way to travel the world without breaking the bank. You can celebrate Oktoberfest in Germany, have a romantic Mexican dinner overlooking Mayan ruins, practice belly dancing in Morocco, saw away into a delicious steak in Canada, or swing your napkins while the waiters and waitresses sing Finiculi Finicula in Italy! You could also try a traditional Japanese hibachi restaurant, a beautifully decorated Chinese restaurant, head to England for fish and chips and a pint or dine in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower at Les Chefs de France – the ultimate in nouvelle cuisine! Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in Norway and the Garden Grill Restaurant at The Land Pavilion are your choices if you’ve got little ones who are itching to eat with the princesses or Mickey and his gang.
Every fall, EPCOT hosts the International Food and Wine Festival – one of our favorite special events! They add numerous kiosks to the World Showcase, allowing our around-the-world journey to expand beyond the eleven countries we always visit.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
The best kept secret at Hollywood Studios has to be the Fantasmic Dining Experience. Although you have to pay a premium to take advantage of this special experience, I can honestly say it’s amazing! You have your choice of lunch or dinner at The Hollywood Brown Derby, Mama Melrose or Hollywood and Vine. The best deal is to book the last seating for lunch – saves you money and you still get the benefit of priority seating for the Fantasmic show at night! We chose Mama Melrose and it was one of the best meals I’ve ever had at any of the parks. They were very accommodating, the choices were outstanding and the meals were absolutely amazing!
If you’re looking for the most delicious cupcakes at the park, definitely head over to Starring Rolls Cafe. It’s a hidden little gem that’s worth finding!
Tusker House offers guests the chance to have an all-you-can-eat character dining experience that introduces diners to traditional foods as well as a selection of African-inspired choices for the adventurous palate. Tusker House even has an 18 foot long spit that is constantly roasting meats! The Yak and Yeti takes you on an adventure to the base of Mount Everest were you can sample foods with Chinese, Indian and Nepalese flavors. They’ve even got a gift shop for shoppers looking for unique Asian inspired wares to remind them of their trip!
Here are a few memorable moments from the Erin and Tee:
Erin: For the past few years, my cousin has flown to Disney World with her daughter, and I’ve driven up with my girls. It’s the perfect way for a quick cousin Family Reunion! We’ve also seen huge groups with matching t-shirts who have all made the journey to Disney World. It’s such a fantastic place for people of all ages, I can’t think of a better place for families who have scattered across the country to meet.
Tee: I have to say souvenirs are part of my favorite memories. I cherished my autograph book as a child but my Mouseketeer ears are definitely my IT Disney accessory! Having your name embroidered on your hat is a memorable moment! I remember getting mine as a child and I still proudly have it. I was extremely excited to get my daughter’s Mickey Ears embroidered at Disneyland. We celebrated her 1st birthday here and I was teary eyed when she wore her Mickey ears for the first time! I’ve compared both our hats and the embroidery is slightly different as well as the Mickey patch in the front. My daughter has stretched out her chin strap a bit but it’s definitely one of our favorite souverniors and is the perfect gift for any Disney fan young or old!
What is your favorite Disney memory??
* We did not receive monetary compensation for this review. That’s IT Mommy received two tickets from Disney free of charge for review purposes. This will in no way sway our opinion of the product or service.
The review is in our own words and is our opinion. Your results and opinions may differ.
We celebrated both my son’s 2nd Birthday and more recently ( last year) my daughter’s 2nd Birthday at Disneyland. I have both of their buttons and have the Mickey Mousse hat for my son, my daughter opted for the sparkly headband with the ears instead of the traditional hat. I can’t imagine any better place then Disneyland to celebrate any special occasion..after all it is the happiest place on earth! =)
Hit Disneyworld for the first time with my wife in 1999! Been to Disneyland about 10 times now. Even more fun when we brought the kids! Fave memory is taking my 4 yo daughter on Thunder Mt. Can’t wait til she’s old enough for Space Mt!
This past April I spent my son’s second birthday at Animal Kingdom. We stopped in and got his pin and he was so excited at the ammount of birthday wishes he got that day. Each cast member not only said happy birthday but called him by name. It was an amazing day and of course we will keep his button forever as well as his Mickey ears which of course we had to get. Dinsey is an unforgettable place!!!
I had no idea about the pins! We are going to Disneyland in October and it will be my son’s 1st time and will definitely start in City Hall this time. I’ll never forgot my surprise when my daughter, who had just turned 2, was tall enough to ride The Matterhorn. She looked terrified during the ride but when she hopped out of her seat she exclaimed “Let’s do that again!”. For her 3rd birthday she went on Space Mountain for the 1st time. She loves the fast rides at Disney! Looking forward to our family trip and making more happy memories.
Im not Disney maniac like some people but I do love going with my family, especially when visiting out in CA. I love going with my cousin and his family. I love going on rides with his daughter and seeing her laugh, its intoxicating…. I havent spent any “special” days there, but all my times there are “special “when with my family : )
What a totally awesome post. We took H to Disney when she was 11 months old and plan to go again very soon! We love DIsney!! Great pictures!
I live in Florida and we are annual passholders and go to Disney World often, but I have never ever been to Disneyland. I love your list of “must sees” there – it sounds so magical. I’d love to do the castle walkthrough!
The celebration pins are so cool. I have not made it to any of the Disney theme parks but it is something I dream about. I’m hoping I can wait long enough for both my kids to be walking and talking. If we are going to fly across country, I want them to be old enough to really soak it in.
I live in FL and we go to Disney World. The first time I went I was 19! My favorite memory was the Fireworks at night above the Castle. LOVE IT!
How fun! I am really looking forward to the day we take our daughter to Disneyland. Now I know exactly what we’ll want to do when we get there!
It looks like you had a blast! I have yet to visit Disneyland, but it sure looks fun!
I’ve always been curious if those buttons were free or not!
I’ve also wondered if the pins were free. I love the parade and fireworks the best but my kiddos love the rides!
wow I didnt know they did those pins.. thats cool.
I was not able to go last year and would LOVE