“Adults are only kids grown up, anyway.”

group hug in front of Disney castleDisney castle on a bright blue day

Birthdays at Disney

Thousands of guests visit Walt Disney World or Disneyland for their birthday, and we cast members (CM) make that day magical. CMs try to make each birthday special because those guests could have spent their birthday anywhere else, but they decided to spend it at the most magical place on Earth: Disney!

Disney Little Mermaid ride

The best gift Disney could have given me: opening this ride two days early!

I have had some very memorable birthdays, and this is one I will not soon forget. After all, I have entered the roaring 20s. The 20s are a perfect time to mature while not losing sight of my “inner kid.” I will still get out a coloring book and my 96 box of Crayola crayons, and of course I will never turn down a Disney movie.

For my birthday this year, I spent my special day in the parks — Magic Kingdom to be exact, where I work. My parents, brother, sister, aunt, and uncle came to visit. They knew that we were going to hang out at a park on my birthday, but they had no idea what I had in store for them.

Scavenger Hunts

Mickey Mouse pretzelI had a guest buy a Mickey Pretzel while I was working at Cool Ship in Tomorrowland. She also had on a birthday button. She asked me to hold the pretzel up so she could take a picture of it. Now, I know when my family and I first visited Disney, I took pictures of EVERYTHING: every ride we went on, every food we ate, even a squirrel because it was a Florida squirrel and Florida squirrels are different squirrels, according to my sister. So, I understood the picture part. Then she began to explain to me what the picture was for.

She told me that her aunt back home had created this scavenger hunt for her birthday. She said that 30 other people had received a text from her aunt with a list of simple things to find. For the pretzel, it was to eat something in the shape of Mickey Mouse. Each thing that was on the list was worth a certain amount of points. The goal: to reach the total amount of the added numbers in your birth date. Since my birthday is 3/4/1995, the total points to reach would be 2,002. If you reach that number (or close to it), you win a prize.

Pascal chameleon on window sillI proceeded to tell her that my family was coming to visit me for my birthday, and I thought that this was a marvelous idea! So I took it and ran with it. I asked my co-workers for things that would be fun to find (like a Pascal!), and eventually I came up with a satisfying list. I told my family that I had a big surprise for them, but that they wouldn’t find out what it was until we got to the park.

Fun at the Park

Once we got to the park, we went to City Hall, 1) for a bathroom break before we began our adventure, and 2) so I could get everyone a button. I got seven celebration buttons, one for everyone including myself, and one birthday button for me! I gave my family the buttons and we headed toward Fantasyland so I could show them where I work.

holding pinsgirl with Cruella De Vil doll

We were originally going to ride the Mine Train roller coaster just as the park opened because the line wouldn’t be too long. However, with it being a relatively new ride, the wait time was already over an hour. So we decided to go visit Winnie the Pooh in the Hundred Acre Woods. After we got off the Winnie the Pooh ride, I gave them the scavenger hunt list and sent them off! The scavenger hunt was a complete hit, and everyone loved it. My mom wasn’t too keen on separating at the beginning, but she had a lot of fun too.

Rides, Sites, and More

We had so much fun in the park! I tried to pull the sword out of the stone, which is harder than it looks. We also went to the Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor. It is still funny every time we see it. Would you believe that my brother got picked out of the audience the two times we went in a four year span?

trying to pull sword out of the stonestanding at Laugh Floor entrance

We joined 999 ghosts for a tour of the Haunted Mansion, and went on Stitch’s Great Escape! (It still gets a little scary after all this time…) We rode Spike Mountain, one of the best roller coasters in the entire park. And of course we can’t forget Pete and his Silly Side Show! For a change of pace, we visited the Country Bear Jamboree and Jungle Cruise.

Haunted Mansion signStitch's Great Escape ride

Spike Mountain roller coasterPete and his Silly Side Show entrance

The Country Bear Jamboree.My favorite corny jokes in the whole park.

End of the Day

After our lovely time in the park, we went to dinner at one of the new restaurants on the Boardwalk called Trattoria al Forno, which serves Italian food. It was delicious and well worth the visit!
appetizer mealdessert

All in all, I had a magical 20th birthday at Disney.

Dole whip dessert

Dole whip. Enough said.

About the author

Claudia Neu

My name is Claudia Neu, and I live in Cuba, NY. I'm studying early childhood education here at Jamestown Community College, and I'm going to be an intern in the Disney College Program. I first found out about the program in high school, when my family and I went on our first Disney vacation in 2011 and I talked with one of the workers. Fast forward to my second week of the fall 2014 semester at JCC: I saw the poster to contact Felix Muzza if you were interested in an internship with Disney. It was fate! I believe everything happens for a reason. The reason for my attendance at JCC: Disney! I'm ready to delve into Disney's role in my life, as well as the role I'm about to play. I also really want to share what I do day-to-day, how I work behind the scenes for such a large company, and to just have fun. Stay tuned to learn more about all the fun and work I will be doing! Enjoy yourself and learn something new with me as we explore the most magical place on Earth: Disney!