This year I was lucky enough to get the day off to celebrate my birthday at the Magic Kingdom! My friend Courtney also got the day off to celebrate with me, so we hit MK for character meet and greets and food time.
We started by going to the newly-opened Princess Fairytale Hall. This had opened the day before and we were both keen to see what it was like.
Inside is the perfectly-themed hallway of an opulent castle, with portraits of (presumably) the princesses who will be “visiting” Cinderella and Rapunzel.
We grabbed fastpasses for Rapunzel’s line, as it was already 70 mins long. We then jumped into Cindy’s line, which was 20mins. I highly reccommend fastpassing Rapunzel’s and just joining Cindy’s line if you’re ever at the Magic Kingdom; because Tangled is quite recent in comparison to Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty (Aurora generally meets with Cindy), all the little princesses visiting the Magic Kingdom want to see the princess they know best. And fair enough, but it does mean poor ‘Punz gets longer wait times.
So, we met Cinderella first. She was adorable. She congratulated me on my birthday, commenting on how it was Gus-Gus’ birthday soon as well, but he’d asked Snow White to bake him a cake instead of her. I mentioned that this was a little rude, since I was sure Cinderella was a perfectly good baker, thank you very much. She agreed.
After meeting Ariel, it was time for the Celebrate a Dream Come True parade.
This is by far my favourite parade/show in the Magic Kingdom. Not that I don’t love Wishes and Celebrate the Magic, but there’s a certain kind of magic when you call out to characters and they wave back. Or your friends’ favourite character waves at her and she gets a shot like this:
We managed to find No. 19, Liberty Square, too. 19 is my lucky number… I was born on the 19th of September (9) in 1990 at 19.05 and I was 19″ long. It’s served me faithfully in bingo and lottery most of my life.
We’d been informed by an amazing cast member that Princess Tiana would be back in Liberty Square at 4.00pm… and there would be someone special with her as well.
So at 3.45 we rocked up to her meet-and-greet location, and sure enough at 4.00 Tiana arrived with her beau, Prince Naveen! There were two families in front of us, so we had time to… collect ourselves. But not for long, because as soon and I walked forward and Tiana wished me happy birthday… dayum. Naveen smiled and took my autograph book after Tiana signed, and then he commented on how “dapper” I looked.
Well, I just about fainted right there, didn’t I?
After he signed, he passed the autograph book to one of the character attendants, but they didn’t take the pen. He just looked at me and shrugged before flashing a grin, taking my hand and posing for the photo.
I swear, I think he spoke to me after that. Tiana definitely spoke to me. I could not tell you what on earth they said or what I replied, because my entire head was just white noise. I remember Courtney getting a photo as well, and I probably should have left so she could get one by herself, but nope, I apparently couldn’t move.
After we stumbled away from our meet with Tiana and Naveen (my knees were weak for hours), we went to see Merida over on the way to the Mad Tea Party. She was in such a temper when we got there, crying to her friends about how she was bored, but then brightened up as soon as everyone entered to greet her. When I got to see her, she commented on my dress and how it looked great to twirl in… so we did! Her dress poofs out very nicely, so we twirled for a few seconds while the Photopass and Courtney frantically snapped away.
She finally calmed down enough to take a photo with us, after which we practiced some archery with her friends. I missed, Courtney missed. The five year old in front of us, however, hit the target dead-centre.
By this time, our fastpasses for Princess Fairytale Hall were ready, so we went around the corner to meet Rapunzel and Snow.
Rapenzel was adorable, asking how our day was, to which we replied; “BEST. DAY. EVER.” She liked that.
I’d emailed my mum to mention that going to Be Our Guest was one of my goals, but I knew that reservations were made months and months in advance. She suggested just asking anyway, since there was only two of us there.
We’d asked if there was a table for two or more available earlier and the (lovely) man had told us he could squeeze three if us in at 8.00pm! So we called my room-mate and she rushed to the Magic Kingdom to meet us there.
After checking in, we made our way across the bridge, taking photos as we went.
After our buzzer went off to say our table was ready, we were seated in the portrait gallery. The Beast does a walking greet around the restaurant before returning to his meet-and-greet location in the music room. He came in to our room before going on to the west wing and the ballroom, but a few minutes later he returned. I watched, but didn’t think anything of it, until he came right up to our table and bowed to me. I was to shocked to really do anything, much to my chagrin later, but I attempted to bow back and hug back when he leaned in. That Beast is tall.
For dinner I had the Chicken Breast Provençal, which was beautiful. We went to order dessert, but before we had the chance to, our server brought us over birthday cards signed by Belle and the Beast with some Grey Stuff on a plate with a candle for my birthday. I honestly could have cried, it was just so magical. I ended up getting even more Grey Stuff for dessert (it was delicious; the dishes were right).
After we finished, our server pointed out a Hidden Minnie in the ceiling of the ballroom for us and we were free to take photos around the restaurant as we pleased and then go and meet our gracious host.
The west wing was amazing. I’d love to try and eat in every room in this restaurant. Each has its own special feel to it. In the portrait gallery, you can look at scores of paintings and see a music-box verison of Belle and the Beast dancing. In the ballroom, there’s the opulent chandelier and it’s snowing outside! The west wing has the torn painting of the Prince (oh Disney, please give him a canon name. You’ve said he’s the damned protagonist of the film for crying out loud! Just canonise Adam, that’s all I ask) and there’s the enchanted rose to view in the corner.
We made our way to the music room to meet the Beast. I asked if he would dance with me, to which he responded by twirling me around! We finally finished by going through the corridor of suits of armour that talk in the film.
Once back out in the Magic Kingdom, we were surprised that everything was still open. We’d not realised my birthday fell on an Extra Magic Hour night! We passed Enchanted Tales with Belle and they were doing their last show for the evening! Feeling that we should finish the magical day on a Beauty and the Beast tone, we joined the queue.
WARNING: IF YOU HAVE NOT EXPERIENCED ENCHANTED TALES WITH BELLE, DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER.
It’ll spoil the whole show, trust me.
When we entered the castle through the magic mirror, we were all given parts. Like most of the day, because I had a birthday button on, I was given a part! I played the wardrobe.
Each of us trooped into the theatre and Courtney’s finger was ready to snap away. My room-mate hadn’t been in this attraction before, and she asked if Belle was going to come out and see us, but Courtney said that there was no way Belle could wait for each group of people to come in.
Which gave my room-mate a huge shock when Belle does come waltzing in halfway through the show when Lumiere calls for her. After dancing around the room to Be Our Guest, we all posed for photos with Belle before she left for the evening, and so did we.
My birthday was the most magical day of my life. I need to thank the scores of cast members and characters who made it possible to have such a fantastic day. Even when we were given disappointing news, everyone was so nice and attentive and my birthday couldn’t have been the day it was without cast members like them.
If you ever have a chance to celebrate with the Disney family at one of the parks and resorts, be it your birthday, honeymoon, anniversary or something else special to you, please do! It’s an experience you’ll never forget.