The Time I Went to Disney World for my 23rd Birthday

I was once lucky enough to go to Disney World over my birthday, and it was not my 9th birthday (I saw Phantom of the Opera for my 9th birthday, which spawned a year-long Phantom obsession that included me dressing up as the Phantom for Halloween, which is clearly what normal 9-year old girls do).  I went to Disney World for my 23rd birthday.  And it was awesome.

Photo by me! And all other photos in this article too.

Look at that cake!  That’s my Mickey Mouse cake!  That I got when I was 23!

Anyways, backstory:  My birthday always fell over Spring Break in college and graduate school.  I decided to go home during my first Spring Break in graduate school, because North Carolina was cold and Florida was warm and therefore Florida seemed better.  My mother casually suggested that we should do something special for my birthday, like go to Disney World, and I was immediately all: “YES. YES PLEASE. YES LET US GO TO DISNEY WORLD KTHNX.”  I grew up two hours from Disney World, and went to Disney tons of times as a kid.  Also, I collect plush Mickey Mouses (yes, still, I just got this for myself and I am definitely a full grown adult maybe probably) and so Disney World is pretty much a happy place for me. Fortunately, I really like my family a lot (I know not everyone does and I know I am lucky) so the idea of spending a few days in Disney World with my family sounded like happy fun times to me.

Which is how I ended up at the gates of EPCOT on the morning of my 23rd birthday.  For some reason the ticket person wanted to see all our IDs, and when she saw it was my birthday she said, “OH MAN HAPPY BIRTHDAY.  HERE IS A BIRTHDAY BUTTON YOU NEED TO WEAR IT.”

You can sort of see the button there. And also the Mickey Mouse Luke Skywalker Action Figure that I got. For my 23rd birthday.

So because I am “cool” (see above) I decided not to wear my button on my shirt.  I popped it on my purse and was like “that’s right, I’m cool, I’m not gonna wear this button.”  And then I was getting a snack in the food court at the Land Pavilion and one of the cashiers saw my birthday button and he literally leaped over the counter to give me a free cookie.  At which point I said “oh man free cookies all day?  I’m totally wearing this button front and center.”  And yes, my friends, that button earned me many a free dessert.  Including this one:

How cute is that?!  It is chocolate mousse in a little chocolate cup. That dessert happened during the same meal as the Mickey cake, which was lunch at the Le Cellier steakhouse at the Canada Pavilion in EPCOT’s World Showcase.  The steakhouse was in this building:

And the building was sort of next to this Canadian garden thing and you entered it through this cave thing.

And also here’s my father and my sister and me in the garden.  I love EPCOT so much.

I also want to note that every Disney employee I passed looked me in the face and said “Happy Birthday Lindsay,” which was both creepy and amazing.  Also, that Mickey cake that is above?  Um, so, this is awesome.  We didn’t finish the cake, and the restaurant was all: “Oh.  Well.  We’ll box it for you and we will have it waiting at a pick-up station at the front of the park when you leave.”  Disney is magic guys.

So my family and I spent the rest of my birthday proper frolicking through EPCOT, which is way more fun when you are an adult than when you are a kid. Although I definitely liked EPCOT as a kid because I was a big nerd and, um, Captain Eo.  Which, y’all, sidenote, CAPTAIN EO IS PLAYING AT EPCOT AGAIN GUYS.  Y’all know how much I love me some Captain Eo.  Anyways, regarding EPCOT, specifically the World Showcase: I love tiny fake stereotypical recreations of countries so much, I can’t even handle it.  It explains why I find EPCOT fascinating (also why I love Vegas).  Fake things are amazing.  HERE ARE SOME PICTURES.

Trolls in the Norway pavilion.
So in France, these are actual like, sets that are permanent, because evidently all French people do is paint pictures by the water.
Moroccan Pavilion
Japan Pavilion...
...with Taiko drummers!

We ended my official birthday with EPCOT’s fantastic Illuminations fireworks/lights/nighttime extravaganza.  We spent two more days at Disney World, one at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom, and one at the Magic Kingdom.  We also saw the fantastic night time show at Hollywood Studios (Fantasmic, for reals so good y’all) and the Spectro Magic parade and Wishes Fireworks show at the Magic Kingdom.  At the Magic Kingdom I got to ride the Haunted Mansion (the best non-roller coaster ride in the world) twice in a row, because our audio was shot the first time.  Best ride ever, I should do a whole post on the Haunted Mansion sometime guys.  No lie, I have dreams that I am at Disney World, and the whole dream centers around me trying to ride the Haunted Mansion, and I always wake up before I get to ride it, and it is terrible.  I miss living in Florida for several very real reasons: I miss being close to my family, and I miss living near the ocean, and I miss being close to Disney World.  Priorities, I know. I haven’t been back to Disney since my 23rd birthday (weeeeeep) but I hope to go back soon.  And also to ride the Haunted Mansion A LOT.


At the Magic Kingdon!
More free dessert, at the Magic Kingdom.
SpectroMagic Night Parade.
Cinderella's Castle Post-Fireworks.

What was the craziest, most indulgent, most age-inappropriate (or perhaps perfectly age-appropriate) birthday party you have ever had?

3 thoughts on “The Time I Went to Disney World for my 23rd Birthday

  1. I keep trying to convince the Chevalier (my new name for Hubby) that I should get a roller rink birthday party. That would be RAD.

    AND THE TROLLS! I still have my troll from a visit to Epcot when I was a little kid. loved the trolls. so. very. much.

    And apparently I was a creepy little kid, because who loves trolls that much that they remember them more than the haunted mansion which, I swear, I’m not sure I’ve ever ridden. Bizarre.

  2. Ohhh man!!!!! Le Cellier – that restaurant is amazing. I have a friend who is former Disney employee and every time he comes to FL, we visit Disney and it is undescribably awesome. Did you know they only have one person of every name in each park/restaurant/hotel, etc. so that if you call and say, well at the Magic Kingdom Cindy was really nice to us, they know exactly who it is?!?! slightly creepy, but totally worth the maniacal attention to detail and guest experience.

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