1. Celebratory Birthday Pin. Head to City Hall on Main Street U.S.A in Disneyland or Guest Relations in California Adventure to pick up a complimentary birthday pin! Just tell the cast member at the desk that you are celebrating a birthday and they will write your name on a free Disney pin! Guys, don't underestimate the power of the pin. Cast members and characters will recognize you all day long, greeting you by name with special birthday wishes. Your pin may even earn you special privileges (like desserts...more on that later). At City Hall cast members will sometimes tell your mini that a call is waiting for them on an old fashioned phone. When they pick it up they'll get a special birthday greeting.
2. Free/Discounted Birthday Meals. When signing up for email clubs from certain restaurants near Disneyland, you will get special offers for your birthday! Most of these restaurants allow you to redeem your voucher over the course of a few days or weeks, not just on your actual birthdate. They will usually send other coupons throughout the year and a free goodie just for signing up. These may change according to year but here is what was offered in 2015.
Earl of Sandwich: Some people say they give away free sandwiches, but last year I got a coupon for a free brownie. I'm not complaining.
Jamba Juice: Free smoothie
Chilis: Free appetizer or dessert
Patina Restaurant Group: When signing up for their birthday club you'll either get a 30 or 50 dollar birthday voucher which can be used at any of these 3 Downtown Disney locations (Naples Ristorante e Pizzeria, Catal, or Tortilla Jo's).
*I received a 30 dollar voucher last year that we cashed in for a large, delicious pizza at Naples that fed my family of three with leftovers to spare!
Mimi's Café: Free slice of crepe cake or 2 pack of muffins or croissants
Ihop: Free Rooty Tooty Fresh N' Fruity stack (or anything of equal value)
Dennys: Free Grand Slam with identification
Tony Romas: Haven't tried this one, but they do have a birthday email sign-up.
Cheesecake Factory: Free dessert (not a cheesecake slice, unfortunately)
Coco's Bakery: Slice of pie
Red Robin: Free birthday burger
Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.: 25 dollar credit when signing up through landry's select club
Rainforest Café: 25 dollar credit when signing up through Landry's select club
3. Free Birthday Dessert in the Parks. If you show off your birthday pin (and maybe if you're overly friendly to your waiter) you may get a birthday dessert at the nicer, table service Disneyland restaurants. We have heard of people getting free desserts with their meal purchases at the Blue Bayou, Carthay Circle, Café Orleans, and Carnation Café. We can say from personal experience that the birthday cupcake at Carnation Café is amazing!
4. Birthday Character Autographs. Bring a birthday card or homemade birthday autograph book for your mini...or yourself, no judging here. When meeting characters in the parks ask them to sign the card/book. This makes for a fun and free birthday souvenir for your minis! *For those guests willing to spend a little (or a lot) more cash, Disney offers some amazing birthday experiences for guests! Learn more about those options here.