Celebrating a Birthday at Walt Disney World

It started out simply enough about this time last year.

"Dad, can we go to Disney World for my 16th birthday?"

American Tourister ad

The Mister stopped his mulch-spreading and pulled an earbud out. "What's that, honey?"

"Can we go to Disney World for my next birthday?"

"Um, sure. I don't see why not," he said and resumed raking. And she, mission accomplished, sashayed back inside, and said, "Dad said we can go to Disney for my birthday." With that, she was off to her room, her earbuds firmly in place, her Daddy's Girl charm retracted for the time being.

handprints at Hollywood Studios

Later that evening, I asked the Mister, "Did you tell L we'd take her to Disney for her next birthday?" The Mister, who retired from WDW after 20 years, replied, "Oh well, I thought it'd be just the two of us, you know, kind of a father-daughter road trip; we can stay at my parents' and save some money. Besides, that's a year away; she'll want to do something else by then." Right-o.

Disney Magic Bands

About six months later,  she asked, "Dad, can I bring a friend to Disney World when we go for my birthday?" The Mister stopped raking leaves to consider. "Sure, I guess so." Again, she popped her head in the kitchen to announce, "Dad says I can bring a friend to Disney" and disappeared upstairs.

Captain's Grille Yacht Club Disney World

That night, I mentioned that I'd heard the latest development with regards to the Disney trip. The Mister's only comment was, "I hope she's not asking someone annoying." My reply was, "Darling, you cannot take two 16-year-old girls to Florida by yourself. For one thing, most parents wouldn't permit it. And even though, I know you would be completely appropriate, it's just not appropriate."

"I guess you're right. Can you go?"

"Yes, but I don't want to take time to make that drive both ways. We'll need to fly."


"And honey? We can't all stay with your parents."

Heavy sigh. "So, we'll need a room on property."

"Darling? We'll need two rooms."

And, that is how I came to be at Disney World this past weekend, celebrating fun, smart, creative, and beautiful Little and her 16th birthday with her fun, smart, and beautiful friend.

Hollywood Studios

We had a wonderful time! Although I've been to WDW many, many, many times with our children when they were little, with my in-laws, with out-of-town guests, and for a few private special events, I've never really visited the parks with teenagers, specifically with teens who are not siblings.

Liberty Square

It was pretty delightful. The girls stayed with us part of the time, and kept in touch via text the rest. The Mister and I walked around and took in some attractions, but mostly he remembered funny stories, mused about things that have changed over the years, and recounted bits of Disney trivia. We ate great food. We walked and walked and walked and ate more good food. We spent a lot of time people watching. Absolutely fascinating.

All in all, I have to agree with Mickey!

Happy Birthday, Little!

(For a fun look at one of my favorite Disney resorts, hop on over to Talk of the House this week!)


  1. Gosh I wish I had known you were there! How cool would that have been?! Tell your daughter belated Happy Birthday please. I tried and tried to get my son to wear the "I'm celebrating my birthday" pin, but he would not. We were at Magic Kingdom all day Saturday and Epcot on Sunday..with Soarin first on our list then. (my favorite :) ) Looks like your family had a wonderful time! Thanks for the link to my post Paula!

    1. Kelly, Thanks so much for linking to my post! We spent Friday at Hollywood Studios and Epcot in the evening; then all day Saturday at Magic Kingdom. It was much chillier than I expected, but we did have a great time! And, yes, Soarin' is the best!

  2. Disney is such a cool place, even for adults! I'm glad you guys had a great birthday celebration!

    1. Thanks so much, Benita! It's an amazing place; the attention to detail is incredible! Thanks for commenting!

  3. Looks like wonderful time. And beautiful daughter and friend!

  4. Thanks, Lisa! They were excellent travelers and fun company.

  5. The Yacht and Beach Club is my favorite! And I love the way you think--no driving, and no staying at the in-laws. You are a smart woman! I'm sure you had a wonderful time.
    Paula, thank you for visiting my blog. I don't know if you saw the documentary. It was very well done.

    1. Hi Cheryl, Thanks for stopping by. Our PBS station is in the midst of its fund-raising campaign, so the schedule is a bit off. I wasn't able to see it last night, but I am hoping it will air again. I have a family member who is enduring rounds of tests and some similar symptoms. It is tough to wait for the diagnosis. Take care.

  6. Celebrating a Birthday at Walt Disney World!! It must have been so fun. I wish I could have also been there. You guys had a brilliant time and I am happy for you all. At the local event space NYC I too would be hosting a grand birthday bash for my son and it would be Mickey Mouse inspired. Looking for some chic ideas and hoping that will be able to copy those ideas exactly how I have found online.

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  8. It was wondering if I could use this write-up on my other website, I will link it back to your website though.Great Thanks. dan ca

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