We celebrated Bean’s first birthday at Disney’s Animal Kingdom this past Saturday and I can’t even tell you how perfect the day was. First of all, Bean looked awesome. More awesome than ever, actually, because he was themed.
I dressed him in a little safari outfit – complete with a hat. And the best part was that the shorts were bathing suit trunks, so when it got hot I could get him wet and the shorts would dry really quickly.
But more than his outfit, Bean was just a pure ball of happiness. He was such a joy. And he had the best time. He was all smiles, all laughs, and interested in everything that we saw and did. We got to the park at 8:30 that morning and didn’t leave until 7:00 that night. Bean had one 45 minute nap around lunch time, but other than that, he was on the go all day long. I was worried that between the no napping and all the heat (the heat index was 104 degrees), he would just be worn flat out, but he kept on keepin’ on. And more than just keepin’ on, he was seriously happy all day. What more can a mom ask for than a happy birthday boy?
When we got to the park and went to Guest Relations to pick up our tickets, they gave us two Celebration Buttons for Bean. He got a Happy Birthday button and a First Time Visitor button. I had read online that the buttons indicate to the staff (and especially the characters) that a special event is being celebrated and so they pay a little more attention to you. And that was totally true! All the characters would come up to Bean, point to his button, give him a high five, and hold up one finger. It was great! And at lunch (more on that later), the wait staff bent over backwards for the birthday boy.
The Celebration Buttons are available for a TON of different events and are free to any park guest, so if you’re going to Disney, be sure to let them know at Guest Relations that you are celebrating a special day and they’ll set you up with a button of your very own!
I had no idea how to do a blog post about our day because we did so much fun stuff and we took over 350 pictures! So, I decided to break the posts into different topics and cover our trip that way. The first topic for me was obvious because it was Bean’s favorite part of the day…character visits.
Throughout the park there are different meet-and-greet stations where Disney characters are standing and you can get in line and have your picture taken with them. We also got Bean an autograph book so that each character could sign and we could put a picture of Bean with the character next to their signature. That was one of his birthday presents.
I knew from our character breakfast with friends last month that Bean was pretty okay with the oversized stuffed animals walking around, but I was not prepared for his reaction. He went crazy for them!
The first one that we met was Mickey Mouse and Bean was super excited. He has a little Mickey stuffed animal that he loves and you could tell that he recognized him from home.
But it was Minnie Mouse that he really got excited to see. Bean loves those ladies…
I was so glad that Chris got this little introduction on video because until you can hear Bean squealing for yourself, you just can’t get the full picture of how HAPPY he was to meet Minnie!
After Minnie, we left this particular character area and headed on to do some other fun things, but later in the day as we were leaving the park, we stopped to meet the Winnie the Pooh characters. I’m so glad that we did because Bean loves the Adventures of Winnie the Pooh movie.
For Bean, you just don’t get any more fun than lifesized stuffed animals giving you high fives on your birthday. He was in Heaven! Hearing his little giggles and seeing him so happy was the best part of my day. This was my first time at a Disney park with a child and it opened my eyes to a whole new side of things. Seeing Bean squealing with delight at the characters made me wonder how I have lived for 27 years and never stopped at one of the character stations before! What fun I was missing!
I’ll be posting this week on different parts of our Disney adventure. Hope you’ll stick around and celebrate with us!