My family is going for the 1st time this summer. While we are there, my oldest daughter is going to have her 16th birthday. This will be on our 1st park day, which for us has to be the Magic Kingdom. At first I was going to try for a super special birthday dinner for our daughter at BOG, but after looking at the menu, I realize that it’s not the best fit for our family (some of whom are super picky, and most of whom are vegetarians). I was thinking that I might just go in the opposite direction and try to get an early reservation for the Crystal Palace that morning. I’m just worried that it won’t be a super special thing for her like I’d imagined. Any thoughts on this? Any ideas of other special birthday things I could do for her?
Welcome! I’m so excited for you! What a great Sweet 16 gift!
Have you considered Cinderella’s Royal Table? I’ve done this with my daughter for her birthday as a breakfast. They have french toast / quiche / fruit / pastries & more that would seem to fit your dietary concerns. I LOVE the food there! Plus, you get to eat inside the castle! I know some teens will act “cool” about not wanting to meet characters. However, I’ve seen that go away the moment they meet a “real” princess. You get to meet Cinderella, with a photo included, before the meal. Then Snow White, Ariel, Jasmine and Aurora come to your table.
IMHO - It’s a truly Magical way to start your day - especially for a first trip + birthday!! You can do this as a PPO dining option too. I find the whole process takes about 75 minutes.
You probably already know this, but you can go into any shop and ask for a Celebration badge / button announcing that it’s her birthday. All the CMs will shout out Happy Birthday anytime they see it,
If you want to do a dinner, have you considered going over to one of the MK resorts? California Grill, Artist Point…
I’m pushing 50 and doing CP for my birthday next month. CP is beautiful, Pooh and friends, and a buffet for picky eaters. I think it will be wonderful. Get her a special shirt or something so that she stands out. I’m sure the characters will interact well with that.
CP is our favorite but CRT is special if you can get a reservation. Does she have expectations or are you the one with them? Just spending your birthday at Disney is special.
What about a dessert party? That seems like a special 16th birthday thing - lots of treats, and fireworks!
We are doing CP dinner for DS who is turning 13 on our first day, which will be at MK. It was his first pick.
Our extended family think a Crystal Palace breakfast is a special meal and we’ve been at least a dozen times. It was our first in a series of special meals when we were celebrating our grandniece’s 15th birthday at Disney last September.
Pooh, Piglet, Tigger and Eeyore each, separately, visit your table for hugs, silliness and photos. Our birthday girl’s grandmother must hug Eeyore or it’s not a Disney trip. Characters are good about realizing who’s interested in interacting and who’s not. They do tend to torment my husband.
When you make your Avanced Dining Reservation mention that you have a birthday to celebrate. If you’re staying on property you can get a birthday pin there. Or at Guest Services. Or a number of places.
Your daughter will receive a birthday card signed by the characters and a birthday cupcake.
Have your camera ready when a character approaches your table. I usually start taking photos well before the actual pose. We’ve gotten some great candid shots.
She should wear her pin at least all day. Unless it’s a super busy time, random Cast Members will find ways to make her visit special. Or embarrassing.
You can also get first visit pins.
The things mentioned like Crystal Palace and CRT are kind of geared towards little kids. Are you sure your 16 yr old will like them? (I say that as a person in their 40s perfectly happy with these things.)
I think it really depends on the temperament of the teenager. My teenage daughter is totally NOT into princesses but very fond of Pooh. Some “eye roll” teenagers probably wouldn’t care for either.
Of the ideas mentioned, I’m thinking the dessert party is probably safest bet for most teenagers if you can swing that. And simplifies fireworks viewing strategy.
Or, if she had a favorite character, cater to that if possible.
Definitely consider the various nearby resorts as possibilities for a special meal, depending on which would appeal to her and meet the menu needs.
Polynesian has some good options. (I’ve heard Captain Cooks breakfast is really solid but since quick service won’t eat into your day or budget too much. I think would be more “great start to a special day” as opposed to incredibly special in itself but good bang for the buck. Tonga toast and Mickey waffles!)
Contemporary also has a good variety of options (California Grill for fine dining and an outside the park view of fireworks, Contempo is quick service but has the coolness of monorail running overhead, Chef Mickeys if that’s her character preference…)
Even though BOG is quick service at breakfast (and the ordering process can be a little wonky), if their menu works ok, we really enjoyed eating in the rose room. Cool theming without being too much princess.
Let us know what you settle on and how it goes!
You’re right, of course! At this point she doesn’t even know we are going. No matter what we do it’ll be awesome.
Thank you all so much for your input!
We went in January. Our group had a few vegans. Crystal Palace had plenty of options on the buffet and they offer to make you something special or bring you pre-made desserts if you ask. It was our son’s (age 6) favourite restaurant. He loved the vegetarian food options and the characters. He says he was “stuffed” from the food. Be Our Guest was a miss with us. The vegan food was good, but it was far too chaotic.
You could easily walk to the Contemporary or take a Monorail to another resort as well. Plenty of good options near MK - California Grill comes to mind.
Yes- we are vegan and the plentiful food options at CP are mostly why DS chose it as his bday dinner.