Birthday /Anniversary Trip!
Patricia A Thorpe
sent me the following note:
...My tip is this: If your traveling party includes anyone
with a birthday during the time of visiting Orlando (not just at WDW
and I'll tell you why in a minute) and the birthday boy or girl is not
shy, proclaim it loudly - when making hotel reservations, PS arrangements,
etc. You'll be surprised what might happen!
My daughter-in-law had her heart set on the Medieval Times
dinner theater. That is going to be our one off-property foray into
the real world and it's the day we arrive. The whole point of this trip
is to celebrate my 50th birthday so when I made the reservations, I
said that, since it was my birthday, I wanted to be Queen of the realm
for that evening. Imagine my surprise when I found out that I not only
get a birthday cake, but my dinner is free, and our party gets special
seating arrangements. Cool, huh? Not exactly Queen of the realm, but
it will suffice.
Thanks to the great calendar on the MousePlanet site,
I was able to learn that my favorite parade, the MSEP, will be running
one night only during our visit. I learned somewhere on the net also
that the porch of the Liberty Tree Tavern is a great spot to catch this
parade. So, for that one night, Nov. 3, we have 4:15 Priority Seating
at the Liberty Tree Tavern and we'll be able to enjoy the fabulous turkey
dinner in a relaxed manner, and then watch the parade! I also
made sure to let the WDW-DINE operator know that I was celebrating my
Since Barb and I tend to be more on the withdrawn side when
we're on vacation, so we've never really tried this approach.
However, I've heard of many other folks at WDW getting special treatment
when they let Cast Members know about their special events.
MousePlanet reader Carrie Hayward
shared this note:
In your latest update, I noticed several people asking about things
they could do to celebrate special occasions while at WDW. You might
let them know about Pixie
Gifts, a service which can help them arrange just about any kind
of surprise during their trip.
And finally, another reader, Ken Hughes
Randy wrote in asking about what Disney "normally" does for
anniversaries. Having spent only one anniversary at WDW, I dunno
if our experience was normal or just unusually charmed. My advice is
to tell tell tell. Don't be pushy about it AT the parks, but tell every
CM you speak with on the phone before you leave. Get them to note it
in the computer. When making our room reservations and PS requests I
told everyone I could tell that our tip was for our 5th wedding anniversary
and that it was also the honeymoon we never had, and the first real
vacation we'd ever taken together. I plan to write up a full trip report
one of these days, but pertinent to Randy's question:
When we checked in, the CM at the reception desk @ the WL wished us
a happy anniversary and upgraded our room to a courtyard view without
even telling us he was doing so. (This was right after the Sept. 11
events. To be fair, he had his choice of suddenly empty rooms to offer
us. Our nation's tragedy had at least a tiny silver lining for us at
that moment). I had booked a "wooded view" room just so we
didn't have to look at the parking lot, and instead we had the most
awesome view of Bay Lake.
We had dinner at Cinderella's Royal Table, and we waited a little longer
for our table than I thought was appropriate - but when they seated
us I understood why. They gave us the table at the huge window overlooking
Fantasyland, and subtly paced our meal a little slower so that we'd
be enjoying our dessert just as the fireworks started. I was hoping
to linger long enough to see them from inside the castle anyway, but
someone saw the note in our PS that it was a special occasion and took
care of us without a word spoken. We were the envy of everyone in the
place as we had THE view - they all had to crane their necks or turn
around for a little glimpse. We could see the whole show. After the
fireworks, our wonderful waiter asked the usual "where are you
from, what brings you to WDW, etc." When he learned that we were
celebrating our anniversary st WDW after two abortive attempts, he congratulated
us heartily and later, brought a mysterious box with our check - "A
gift from all of us," he said. It turned out to be a pair of etched/engraved
Later in the week, a somewhat tense mob tried to get waterside tables
at the Rose & Crown @ Epcot for Illuminations. We checked in with
our PS and the CM saw the note again, and winked. "It might be
a minute or two more, but we'll look after you," he said. After
a much shorter wait than his comment led us to expect, a host led us
to a table, joking, "I know you'd rather sit indoors, but this
is all we have at the moment." He led us to a table right at the
water where we had a completely unobstructed view of Illuminations.
Even the waiter who served us lunch at the Hollywood Brown Derby @
the Studios wished us a happy anniversary and gave us a small dessert
to share, on the house.
Tell them all about your special occasion, until you're sure the reservations
and PS CMs are sick of hearing about it. Cutbacks or not, there are
still many jewel CMs who genuinely want to make you smile. When the
info is in the computer already rather than you standing there telling
them, they have the opportunity to "plus it" for you and offer
pleasant surprises instead of accommodating your on-the-spot request.
It's a subtle difference but for us it made some priceless memories
we'll always have. It wouldn't be the same somehow if we had -asked-
for extra pixie dust.