Celebrating at Disney: Birthdays

Sophie’s Birthday Button — Drawn by one of the Disney Artists

One of the really neat things for us is to plan our vacations around Sophie’s birthday.  Where else can you go where you can celebrate your birthday for the whole week that you are there?  The first time that we did this was 2008, and we did it again this past June.

The picture you see above was taken this past trip.  We received the button when we checked in, and over the course of the week the heat and humidity and rain caused the button to get all smeared.  Anyway, we were over at Hollywood Studios and looking in a shop when one of the Disney artists said Happy Birthday to Sophie, and then said “Let’s fix that button!”  He proceeded to spend about 10-15 minutes writing her name in the special Walt Disney Script, adding the squiggly line underneath.  It is hard to tell, but that is done with special ink that is gel-like and has texture and depth.

Happy Birthday to You

On another trip for Sophie’s birthday, while we were waiting in line at The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, the Main Street Band, or Main Street Players, or something along that sorts came over and played Happy Birthday to Sophie and another lady whose birthday it was.  There were five of them, and they played with their brass instruments.

On that same trip in 2008, we ate at 1900 Park Fare over at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.  This dinner, which featured Cinderella, Prince Charming, and the Wicked Step-Mother and Ugly Step-Sisters, was nice — except that Sophie took exception to the question each of the step-sisters asked her: “Is it really your birthday or are you lying?”  When we explained that her birthday was in three days, they answered “So you were lying!”

Disney’s policy towards birthdays is really nice.  In order to be able to display a “Happy Birthday” button, you have to be within six months of your birthday — either before or after! That means that anyone can wear the Happy Birthday button!

These are just a couple of the amazing stories we have when we have celebrated Sophie’s birthday at Disney World.  Some others include the time in 2008 when Minnie Mouse left a really nice assortment of balloons in our room; and this past visit, when Mickey and Minnie called our room to sing Happy Birthday to Sophie.  In addition, each restaurant we visited Sophie received a free dessert, and a signed birthday card from each of the characters at the restaurant we were at.

If you schedule permits, I highly recommend that you see about planning a birthday trip to Disney World one year.  You won’t regret it!

The votes are in, and the winner is…


As you may recall, we have been having a debate back and forth over which restaurant we should eat at when Cindy, Nancy, Otis and I have our “Adults Only” dinner when we go to Disney World in June.

I have talked about this in detail, and even incorporated the help of my friends on the Internet to help get decisions.  Lastly, I even put up a poll to help get your input as to where we should eat.  Here were the choices:

  • Boma at Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Le Cellier at Canada Pavilion
  • California Grill at Contemporary Resort
  • Artist Pointe at Wilderness Lodge
  • Coral Reef at The Seas at Epcot

The number of votes was small, but Boma was the winner with 3 votes.  However, the more research I did — and I did a ton of research — the more and more Boma was the clear winner.  My friend Chip from Chip & Company claims that “Boma all the way..best restaurant at WDW!”, Marc from the Moms Panel weighs in about Boma versus Coral Reef in this question he answered, Jodi from the Moms Panel also talks about Boma in this question, choosing it over Yak & Yeti, and Anna talked about Boma versus the Wave in the question she answered for the Moms Panel.

So the votes are in, and the reviewers have had their piece, and Nancy wants to try it out because, as she said, when will we get the chance to try it out again?  After all of that advice, how could we not choose Boma?

Look for a review of Boma sometime in July as I tell you all what we thought of it!

A Hidden Treasure: Disney Customized Maps

For someone that hasn’t been to Walt Disney World very often, there can be a lot of things to decide upon when you are planning your trip.  One of the biggest things that people overlook is how to tell your child, wife, or other significant person that you are taking them to Disney World on a vacation!  If you are taking your children, one of the greatest things that I have found to “spill the beans” are the Disney Customized Maps.  These are special maps that you can order free of charge from the Disney World website once every six months.  They are printed with all of your favorites listed for each of the parks, and they come on oversize, durable paper so that you can keep them as a souvenir for years to come.  My wife and I gave them to our daughter as a means of telling her we were going when we stayed at Coronado Springs in 2007, and she loved taking the dots and star stickers that came with the maps and putting them on to mark her favorite things that she wanted to try and the resort we were staying at.

“Classic” Look Customized Map with Favorites

There are two designs that you can choose from, the classic design (pictured above) and the character design (shown below).  Personally, I prefer the classic design; even though you can’t tell from the image above, the paper reminds me of the type of parchment paper that you would see the location of buried treasure marked on.  However, this time around we ordered the character design, which shows a different character for each of the parks.  For Magic Kingdom, the character that is shown is Dumbo, for Epcot, Nemo, for Hollywood Studios, Woody, and for Animal Kingdom, Simba.  In addition to the style of map you want, you can also select your own favorite locations, or you can choose favorites based on an age range.

“Character” Design Customized Map with Favorites

In order to order the maps, you do have to have an account at Disneyworld.com.  In addition, you need to provide your address so that they can be mailed to you.  I’m sorry, but the maps can only be sent to addresses in the United States.  However, one thing that you can do if you live outside the US is to print out the maps yourself!  This isn’t quite the same feel as getting them in the mailbox, but it’s the next best thing.  You can also print them out at home at any time if you are waiting out your six-month window between ordering for home delivery.

If you are looking for a neat, free Disney keepsake, keep the Customized Maps in mind and order a set, even if you don’t have a trip planned yet!

Disney Partners

You may have noticed that I have added a new page at the top of the page called “Disney Partners”.  This is something I incorporated based on my friend Chip’s idea for his site at Chip & Company.  This page exists for you and your Disney blogs.  If you would like to have your page added to the Disney Partners page, send me an email at mydreamsofdisney@gmail (dot) com, attach a suitable image, and I’ll add it to the page!

Thanks for reading, and I hope to get your emails soon!

My favorite Disney Photographs, Part 2

Yesterday we looked at my favorite pictures taken at Disney World from 2010 and 2009.  Today, we’ll jump right in and look at my favorite pictures from 2008 and 2007.

June, 2008
Spaceship Earth at Epcot


Epcot Illumination Fireworks


Sophie and Chip












Tyler and Bryanne, Newlyweds






August, 2007 Disney Trip 























I hope you have enjoyed all of the photographs from throughout the years.  If you would like more information on any of these photos, please comment!  Thanks!