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must-dos for a birthday at Disneyland


Two of my babies have birthdays this week, my son’s fifth birthday is Thursday, and then on Friday I’ll have a three year old daughter… it really is bittersweet how quickly they are growing up.
We were very blessed this past year to be able to budget for annual passes to Disneyland, and we were able to celebrate each child’s birthday at the happiest place on earth! I love celebrating special occasions at Disneyland, and there are definitely some fun things you want to be sure to do if you’re spending your birthday at one of the parks!

get a button

Probably most everyone knows that anyone can get up a free birthday pin. But, just in case you didn’t know, Disneyland has fun pins for just about every occasion, including this cute one that I made sure to pick up once we knew about baby #4. Be sure to pick up your free pin at City Hall at the start of Main Street in Disneyland, or at Guest Services inside the entrance of California Adventure.

get a favorite character to sign a birthday card

I am not a big fan of autograph books. Obviously that’s totally fine if you are, and I’ve seen some really neat ones that people have made themselves, but if I didn’t have a sign-in books at our wedding (we did something else because I knew I’d never look at them again), then I’m sure not going get my kids an autograph book for characters to sign. But what I did do for each of them this past year, is pick up an inexpensive card before going to the park, and that’s what all the characters signed. Now they’re in their scrapbooks and it’s a fun memory that we have. And it takes up a lot less room than an autograph book.

get a birthday cupcake

We are pretty frugal people, so we rarely buy any food or drinks in the parks… unless we’re celebrating something special, like a birthday.

If you do happen to go to a sit-down restaurant while in the parks, be sure to mention while you’re checking in that you’re celebrating someone’s birthday. The birthday boy or girl will get a free cupcake at the end of their meal, and they’re pretty tasty!
Even if you’re not eating at a sit down restaurant, you can still splurge on a little birthday treat for yourself (or a loved one). Both Pooh Corner and Jolly Holiday Bakery Café  have delicious and beautiful baked goods of all kinds. It might not be free, but it’s your birthday! Treat yo’self!

get serenaded

One of the fun things about getting a pin is that all the cast members (and lots of thoughtful guests!) will wish you a happy birthday, and if you happen to be in the right place at the right time, you might get a little ‘Happy Birthday’ sung to you by a barbershop quartet, a band of traveling pirates, or a warbling cowboy!
And if you do go to a restaurant, they’ll sing to you when they bring you your cupcake!

take some fun pictures

I have taken pictures of each of my children with the same small chalkboard each month of life up to a year old, then at 18 months old, and then for each birthday after that. So you can believe that I dragged that chalkboard to Disneyland for each of their birthdays to get some pictures at the park!
Now, of course you don’t have to drag a prop with you, but be sure to document your big day at the happiest place on earth showcasing your birthday button, eating your birthday cupcake, wearing a fancy crown (or Mickey ears), or something!


Have you ever celebrated your birthday at one of the Disney parks?


25 Responses to must-dos for a birthday at Disneyland

  1. Emily, Our house now a home May 11, 2015 at 3:10 pm #

    How fun! We are heading to Disneyland this summer, no birthday's but it wil be all three of my kid's first time going. They are giddy with excitement already and we have a few months to go.

  2. Holly Housewife May 11, 2015 at 3:11 pm #

    Omgosh I love love love it!!! The pin idea is so good, I'm sure the babes felt super special with everyone wishing them happy birthday.
    And the card idea – pure genius!! I'm always thinking autograph books really??! Don't you just lose them or they become a nice dust collector?! But the card idea is perfect, beat of both worlds!

    And the chalk board don't even get me started. That's something I would do in a heart beat Lololol as my husband loads it in the car, eye rolling the whole time. 🙂

  3. Holly Housewife May 11, 2015 at 3:11 pm #

    Happy birthday to your kiddies!! xx

  4. Elizabeth Birenbaum May 11, 2015 at 3:54 pm #

    How fun you get to celebrate two birthdays this week!! And what better place than Disneyland. We took Mason for his first birthday as well and got him a button. Then last year we were cheap and didn't want to pay to get in so we went to downtown disney and walked around and the nice lady in the world of disney store gave him a button too. Of course he refused to wear it, go figure, but I loved it and kept it anyway!

  5. Nina Robinson May 11, 2015 at 4:27 pm #

    My son's birthday is Wednesday! He went to Dland the Friday and Sunday before. Great tips. I wish I'd brought a birthday card for the characters to sign, that's such a cute idea 🙂

  6. Justine Y @ Little Dove Creations May 11, 2015 at 5:44 pm #

    I am excited for you guys! Disneyland is the best! 🙂

  7. Justine Y @ Little Dove Creations May 11, 2015 at 5:45 pm #

    Haha Holly, it's a pretty small chalkboard. And surprisingly he said to me, "you remembered to pack that, right?" like, 5 times. 🙂

  8. Justine Y @ Little Dove Creations May 11, 2015 at 5:46 pm #

    So nice they gave him one at World of Disney! There are some really awesome people that work at the Disneyland resort for sure. 🙂

  9. Justine Y @ Little Dove Creations May 11, 2015 at 5:47 pm #

    Thanks so much Nina, I was really pleased I thought of it. 🙂

  10. Nikki of Boba + Pearls May 11, 2015 at 6:36 pm #

    I just celebrated my daughter's 4th birthday at DL! It was fantastic and we had a blast! We got our pins at the ticket booth since we don't have passes. I never thought to get a birthday card signed though. That's a great idea!

  11. Whitney @ Work it Mommy May 11, 2015 at 7:11 pm #

    Love celebrating at Disneyland! Both my husband and I have done birthdays there but have yet to celebrate our daughters. My oldest's bday is February 4th 🙂

  12. Ilona K. May 11, 2015 at 8:04 pm #

    Lovely trip. I've never been to Disneyland but maybe someday:)

  13. Natalie Busch May 11, 2015 at 9:27 pm #

    Happy Birthday to both of your kiddos. These are such great ideas. I love that you brought the chalk board with you. That's totally something I would do.

  14. Lisa D May 11, 2015 at 10:07 pm #

    Happy birthday to your little ones! Getting to go to Disney for a birthday is awesome! I'll be 28 this year and it's still a dream of mine haha. Thanks for sharing these tips. Maybe someday we'll make it there for a birthday, my husband's birthday is the day before mine so we would have to go for both of our birthdays of course.

  15. Nicole McDermott May 11, 2015 at 11:58 pm #

    Such a cute idea! We are on the east coast and planning a trip to Disbey World for next year just after my big girl's birthday. Will definitely revisit this post when planning!

  16. Brooke Knipp May 12, 2015 at 2:28 am #

    I didn't know about, well pretty much all of it, but particularly the buttons. So fun! I hope to take our girls someday, thanks for the great tips!

  17. Amber C- WhenIsNapTime May 12, 2015 at 4:08 am #

    I am dying to take my kids to Disney! How wonderful that you were able to spend both of their birthdays there!

  18. MrsTee May 12, 2015 at 2:15 pm #

    So Fun!! Really great oldest daughter is determined to celebrate her birthday at Disney and I really want to make it happen for her so thanks so much for sharing…

  19. Justine Y @ Little Dove Creations May 12, 2015 at 8:04 pm #

    It's so much fun to celebrate there! And a birthday only one day apart from my youngest's, small world. 🙂

  20. Justine Y @ Little Dove Creations May 12, 2015 at 8:05 pm #

    That would be a perfect way to celebrate you special days together. 🙂

  21. Justine Y @ Little Dove Creations May 12, 2015 at 8:05 pm #

    Thanks Natalie!

  22. Justine Y @ Little Dove Creations May 12, 2015 at 8:06 pm #

    We feel so blessed that it worked out for us to go. 🙂

  23. MyLisa August 1, 2017 at 3:21 pm #

    Love love love the birthday card idea! Not an autograph book person either, but I love birthday cards and that’s such a fun way to celebrate a Disney birthday. My daughters’ birthdays are 1 day apart as well. Thanks for the ideas!


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