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.
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.”