In case you haven’t heard, this year you can go to Disneyland for free on your birthday! You have to go on your birthday and it’s only a ticket to one park (as opposed to a Park Hopper ticket) but it’s still pretty cool. It’s also a great marketing strategy on Disney’s part. No one is going to go to Disneyland on their birthday alone, so now you have al these extra people buying tickets, buying food, and maybe even buying silly hats. My birthday fell on a Saturday this year, so of course we headed up to the Park for some playtime. With the persuasion of our friends, we ended up buying an annual pass… do you know what that means?
If you already have a pass to Disneyland, therefore not needing the free ticket, you have options for your birthday gift from Disney. (As a note, you can apply the free ticket to the price of a Park Hopper ticket if you want.) Now, if you have a pass, you can get a free one-Park ticket for another day (maybe like a blackout day?), a Disney Fun card worth the value of a one-Park ticket, or birthday FastPasses for you and your group of friends. You can read about these options in the FAQ.
I suppose part of the argument for getting an annual pass was that we could get these unheard of birthday FastPasses. We weren’t really sure what to expect, but it had to be more special than regular FastPasses, right? And, they kind of are. First, you have to have everyone with you when you pick up the FastPasses at the ticket booth (or maybe at City Hall). They’ll scan everyone’s tickets and then issue a FastPass card. But then, you go to the Tour booth next to City Hall and exchange those for your special FastPass tickets. Everyone gets four passes: 2 “Daisy” passes and 2 “Donald” passes. Each type can be used, once, for certain rides. Like, the “Daisy” pass can be used for Autopia, Big Thunder Mountain, that River Run raft ride, the Mullholand Drive ride, and something else. The “Donald” pass can be used for Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, California Screamin’, Soarin’ Over California, Tower of Terror… and something else that I can’t remember. So, it’s not an unlimited FastPass, but it is valid all day long. And, it doesn’t require you to stick your ticket in the FastPass machine; you just hand the “Daisy” or “Donald” pass to the attendant. This means you can hop around, get a regular FastPass, go on a ride or use the birthday pass, and then use the FastPass. It basically makes a more efficient use of your time.
Let me tell you, I was excited to just go to Disneyland on my birthday. I was more excited to have the best friend I’ve known forever and her sweet husband come out to play with us. It was very cool that she had enough hotel points to score us a free room at the Hilton. But that was just the beginning of a really fun day. Not only did I get a big birthday button so that all the Disney people had to say “Happy Birthday” to me All Day Long, but my sweetheart had some extra surprises up his sleeve.
You know that restaurant inside the Pirates of the Carribean ride? The Blue Bayou? And how you have to make reservations ahead of time in order to eat there? Well, we were standing in line for the ride and everyone started talking about what we should do for lunch. Maybe something light, maybe something nearby, hey, chowder in a bread bowl sounds good. Me, totally oblivious to what’s going on, I’m starting to think that, yeah, chowder in a bread bowl does sound good for lunch. We get on the ride, we “float” past people eating, and I still suspect nothing. We get off the ride and pass by Blue Bayou and T says, “Hey, what about this place?” He walks up and starts talking to the guy and I figure, at best, he’s going to get some little card that tells him to come back later. But no, he tells us to step into the lobby and our name will be called when the table is ready. Now, I’m sure most people would have totally caught on to what was happening, but I’m just thinking that maybe it’s a really slow day here at Disneyland and we were able to totally just walk into this coveted restaurant. Hey, I never claimed to be quick at catching on. It turns out T has made reservations weeks ago and everyone has been fretting about making it off the ride in time for this reservation. Everyone, of course, but poor oblivious me. But we have a lovely (if very filling) lunch and share a tasty dish of birthday mousse, which came topped with some sort of candy “Mickey” that wasn’t easily eaten (so I licked it and left it on the plate) AND a birthday card with my name in it! And so started the day of me reveling in everyone wishing me a Happy Birthday.
It turned out to be a really fun day. We went everywhere, timed our FastPass vs. birthday FastPass use in combination with waiting in relatively not-long lines, and the only ride we really missed was Big Thunder Mountain because they closed it just as we were walking up. I guess we also didn’t get to go on the submarines, but we did do Autopia AND Space Mountain twice. Twice! We did so much walking that we ended up heading back to the car not long after the fireworks show. We were so tired by the time we got to the hotel that we didn’t even have the energy to stay up and marvel at the craziness of the NAMM post-convention hotel-lobby activities. Silly rockers. But it was all still very awesome. And now we have passes so we can go back throughout the year.
I am such a lucky girl. Have I said that enough this year yet? I have wonderful friends and family and I am completely spoiled by this boy who loves me. The only downside is that I have no idea how to even top all of T’s surprises and presents for his birthday next month. What am I supposed to do? Buy him a brewery?
Now we’re all just waiting for this silly little baby to show up so we can shower him with love and make him feel so lucky every day.
So, go to Disneyland on your birthday. It’s totally worth it. Plus, you would never guess how thrilling it is to have people wish you Happy Birthday all day long. Some of them even look pleased to be able to say that to you.