Bridge leading to castle

6 Ways To Celebrate A Magical Birthday at Disneyland

November 18th 1928 is a big day for Disney, it’s the day that SteamBoat Willie first appeared in New York’s Colony Theatre. Therefore this day has been celebrated as Mickey and Minnie’s Birthday! There’s a lot of history behind that decision, which includes changing the date for promotional events, which we will get into. 

After 2 other failed attempts to make a Mickey cartoon, Walt Disney hit the jackpot with SteamBoat Willie, being the very first cartoon that had sound and picture that was synchronized

Walt was paid $1,000 for the 2 week run and people loved it so much, it’s said that SteamBoat Willie was talked about more than the feature film that played after it.

Mickey in flowers at railroad station

Mickey’s official birthday changed dates every year from 1928-1933 usually happening any date from Sept thru December, depending on what promotional event was happening.

In 1978, Dave Smith (founder of the Disney Archives) decided that the premiere of Steamboat Willie would officially be known as the birthday of Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

What does Disneyland do to celebrate Mickey and Minnie’s birthday?

In years past they have had special food and treats around the parks that are only available on that day.

  • Mickey and Minnie birthday sundaes 
  • Celebration Churros 
  • Birthday Souvenir cups
  • Mac and Cheese hot dogs
  • Hotel guests have received a special birthday button to celebrate. 
  • There are hidden Mickeys around the parks that can only be seen that day!
  • Birthday Mickey and Minnie stuffed plushies 

Every year is different! 

Here are our 6 favorite ways to celebrate birthdays at Disneyland!!

Free Disneyland Button

Disneyland Castle with Christmas decor

On your birthday Disneyland gives you a complimentary birthday button to wear around the parks that day. All cast members and other visitors at the park will get the chance to wish you a “Happy Birthday”! These can be found at City Hall on Main Street, U.S.A. in Disneyland Park or at Chamber of Commerce in Disney California Adventure Park.

You don’t need to show anything to verify that it’s your birthday day in order to receive one.

In-Room Celebrations

Next, if you’re staying at one of the Disneyland Resort Hotels, they offer in-room celebrations!

This is a customizable surprise that will be waiting for you in your resort hotel room. A “Happy Birthday” banner on the door, Mickey or Minnie balloons, and a basket with birthday goodies, this can be the perfect birthday surprise! Additional costs do apply.

Character Dining

Character swinging in dress

Who doesn’t want good food on their birthday? With lots of dining options all around Disneyland including resort hotels and Downtown Disney, there are lots of delicious restaurants to choose from. Which will you choose? Here are some of our favorites.  

  • Blue Bayou Restaurant, Disneyland Park
  • Cafe Orleans, Disneyland Park
  • Carthay Circle, California Adventure
  • Lamplight Lounge, California Adventure 
  • River Belle Terrace, Disneyland Park
  • Wine Country Trattoria, California Adventure
  • Disney Princess Breakfast Adventures, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel, Character Dining
  • Plaza Inn, Disneyland Park, Character Dining
  • Storytellers Cafe, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel, Character Dining 

Character Dining is a must on your birthday! Be sure to make reservations ahead of time as they almost always get booked. Remember you can make reservations 60 days in advance.

Custom Birthday Cake

Chef holding brown Chewbacca Cake

What’s one thing everyone looks forward to on their birthday? CAKE

Disneyland has that taken care of with the Mickey Mouse Celebration Cake. This festive cake is shaped like Mickey Mouse. It comes in 2 flavors, Chocolate or White Chocolate and can be customized with, “Happy Birthday” or “Congratulations” on the ears or if you prefer to leave them blank, it’s your choice. It feeds 4-6 people and is priced right at $45. Make sure you add this when you make your dining reservation. They have limited cakes available each day.

These cakes can be added at the following restaurants:

  • Blue Bayou Restaurant
  • Café Orléans
  • Lamplight Lounge
  • River Belle Terrace
  • Wine Country Trattoria

Every part of the cake is edible, including the ears! This cake will make your Disneyland Birthday celebration something to remember.

Disneyland Gift Card

Gift card with 4 images on it

You can never go wrong with a DISNEYLAND GIFT CARD, If you’re celebrating a birthday at Disneyland check out all Disneyland has to offer in their shops. Birthday hats, treats, shirts, pins and more. With a Disneyland gift card you can make sure you or your loved one is getting the perfect gift!

Disneyland Birthday Shirts

If you’re headed to the parks with a larger group to celebrate a birthday, be sure to wear matching shirts! This is a fun way to let everyone around you know that you’re there celebrating someone special!

You can have custom made shirts done through Etsy. There are several vendors that offers lots of different designs for you to choose. Be sure to order these at least 3 weeks in advance.

Bonus Tips

Have you ever had a cast member add Pixie Dust to your vacation? When you mention your birthday at your resort hotel check-in or while making a dining reservation, see what kind of Pixie Dust gets sprinkled. When you wear your Happy Birthday Button around the parks, Cast Members especially, try to make it a day you will remember!

If you are planning a birthday celebration at Disneyland for you or someone close to you, we hope this helps you plan that perfect day!