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 (or two!) 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 (I knew I'd never look at it again, we did something else), 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. (I also recommend that if it's a restaurant you can make a reservation at, do so asap!) 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 (in  Critter Country) and Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe (at the end of Main Street) 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?

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