Lydia just celebrated her fifth birthday, and we spent it at the happiest place on earth. We got a TON of messages, so we wanted to share all the details to her Disneyland Birthday weekend plus some tips for ways to celebrate without breaking the bank at the Parks!
Can you believe she's FIVE? Already. When we started discussing birthday plans for Lydia this year, we decided we wanted to do a Disneyland Birthday weekend. Instead of a party, we planned an entire weekend (Friday afternoon to Sunday evening) filled with Disneyland outfits, Disneyland Rides and time to celebrate together as a family.
Disneyland Birthday: Travel Tips
If you're coming from out of town……the travel part of planning can be a little daunting. A few tips to make it easy as pie:
- Getaway Today has great discount park tickets and amazing customer service. Check out their current deals to get tickets squared away in advance.
- We love staying as close to the parks as possible, for this weekend visit we stayed at the Howard Johnson Anaheim. It's a GREAT price, walking distance to both Disneyland and Downtown Disney, and super family friendly (they even have an amazing waterpark for use in the warmer months).
Disneyland Birthday Activities in the Park:
There are a ton of fun ways to celebrate a Disneyland Birthday, and some are totally free. Our goal during this trip was to make it special without spending a million dollars.
- Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique: Makeovers with the fairy godmothers in training at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique are an amazing experience, and something we save for Disneyland birthday celebrations. We visited last year when Lydia turned four, and made an appointment again this year. Reservations for the BBB are old school, no online….phone only. You can make them up to 60 days in advance by calling l (714) 781-STYLE. Children ages 3 to 12 are welcomed (they also have knight makeovers). You can see Lydia's FULL experience over on our Instagram stories under the Disney Days highlight. A few tips: we usually get the Crown Package (if you're an annual passholder you also get a discount) and bring our own princess dress from home. This is totally fine, and they even bring your princess to the special dressing rooms to change.
- Birthday Button: Any birthday celebrators can get a FREE Birthday button when you get to the park. You can grab buttons at City Hall on Main Street in Disneyland or Guest Relations on Buena Vista Street in California Adventure. But recent update? Most of the stores on Main Street in Disneyland ALSO have the buttons, we got ours at Disneyana right at the front and there was no line!
- Favorite Rides: As simple as this sounds, let your birthday child create a list of their favorite rides or entertainment. We wrote one down in advance based on all the Disneyland rides for preschoolers, and made sure we checked off the entire list by the end of the weekend. ( I do have a list of all rides with low height limits by park, and even a version you can save on your phone).
- Acts of Kindness: Each year we try to do Acts of Kindness while at the Parks for Lydia's Disneyland Birthday. One year we gave away adorable Disney themed jewelry. This year? We teamed up with our friends at Howard Johnson Anaheim and we gave four families Disney Gift Cards.
- Character Breakfasts: Character Breakfasts are a GREAT way to celebrate special occasions. You get to meet a TON of your favorite characters, the buffet is unlimited, and you get to sit down. We visited the Plaza Inn Character Breakfast (it's one of our favorites). We saw seven characters, stayed for almost two hours and were full ALL day. Pro Tip: we always get to park at opening, eat a granola bar in line to get in, do a couple of rides, THEN head to breakfast. Our reservations are usually around 9:45 or 10 am. That way, we aren't hungry again until almost dinner time. Be sure to make reservations online in advance. Busy weekends book up quickly!
Disneyland Birthday Activities at Downtown Disney:
Want to take a little break from the parks? Or have half a day or so after arrival without park tickets but want to create special memories? Downtown Disney has a TON of fun places to celebrate!
- Splitsville: Saturday night of our trip, we spent at Splitsville….the bowling alley and eatery inside of Downtown Disney. I have no idea HOW, but we had never been there before. The food was AMAZING and we all had a blast bowling. I would suggest reservations, it was definitely busy on a Saturday night. You can reserve a table in the dining room, or a lane WITH a table and full food service. We had a lane for about 90 minutes, and it was the perfect amount of time to get a few games in while we enjoyed drinks, appetizers and entrees.
- World of Disney: Want to pick out a special birthday gift to take home but don't want to carry it around the parks? The amazing World of Disney store is the perfect place to shop. It's spacious, has a ton of fun decor, and you can pick up a favorite item on the way BACK to your hotel.
- Sprinkles Cupcakes: Looking for a fun birthday cake experience? Sprinkles Cupcakes are DELISH, and we loved visiting their Downtown Disney location. They even delivered some to our hotel, and they were the perfect treat at the end of each evening!
Have you celebrated a Disneyland Birthday? What were your favorite ways to celebrate in or around the park?