If you're thinking of celebrating your birthday at Disneyland, you may have heard or read a lot of confusing things. Some of them are true, some are out of date, and some are nothing but urban legend.
These are the basic facts and ways to have a magical Disneyland birthday:
You Can Celebrate Any Time of Year: This is the best part: You can celebrate your birthday any you want at Disneyland, not just on your official birthdate.
In fact, you can celebrate more than once a year if you want to. You don't have to provide a document that proves your birth date. Other websites may say something different about this, but I have verified this with Disney staff - and I have done it myself.
Free Birthday Admission Is Over: A few years ago, you could get into Disneyland for free on your birthday, but that program is over. That doesn't mean you can't celebrate, though.
Birthday Buttons Are Free: You can get a birthday button at Disneyland's City Hall or Chamber of Commerce in California Adventure. If you're staying in a Disney-owned hotel, ask for it when you check in. Cast members will say Happy Birthday to you all day, and on a recent visit, I joined in with other guests standing in line at Space Mountain to sing to a birthday girl.
Front of Line Birthday Passes are an Urban Legend: As far as I know, this one is urban legend.
If you wear your birthday button, you'll get lots of greetings. People might even sing to you while standing in line, but your special day won't get you to the front of it.
There Are No Age Limits: There are no age limits for any Disneyland birthday celebration or benefit.
H ow to Get Character Birthday Greetings: If you're wearing a birthday button and ask a character for an autograph, and they'll leave a special birthday message.
Bring a greeting card for them write in, and it will be a great souvenir.
Birthday Parties in Disneyland
The official Disneyland Birthday Party venue is the Plaza Inn at the end of Main Street USA. They offer parties hosted by Mr. Pat E. Cake, which last about an hour. Each guest gets a cake to decorate, along with a party hat and souvenir sipper cup. Mickey or Minnie usually show up as special guests, but other characters may come in their place. Reserve up to 30 days in advance by calling 714-781-3469.
Disneyland can also help plan special quinceanera parties.
Other Ways to Celebrate a Birthday at Disneyland
If you're staying in a Disneyland-owned hotel, tell the staff it's your birthday. It's not guaranteed, but they might arrange something special.
Anywhere musicians are performing, let them know about the birthday. They might have a serenade.
You can order goodie bags and other birthday-enhancers from full-service restaurants at the Disneyland Resort, at Character Dining locations, and from hotel room service. Call 714-781-3469 for more information.
If you want to go all out, order greeting packages, flowers, and other gifts from Disney Floral and Gifts. If you're staying in a Disneyland Resort hotel, they will even decorate your room for you.
They also deliver to some hotels close to the Disneyland Resort, but only to the front desk.
You can order a birthday cake at least 72 hours in advance at the full-service restaurants in the Disney-owned hotels.
Young girls may enjoy getting made up like a princess on their birthday at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique - followed by their introduction to the Disney Princesses at the Princess Faire. Little Princesses should be at least three years old, and costumes are available in children's sizes only.