September 12, 2008 11:24 AM   Subscribe

Celebrating my mom's birthday in Disney me surprise her!

My family and I are going to Walt Disney World to celebrate my mom’s 60th birthday. We are all staying on-site and my parents are arriving a day before the rest of us (me, my sister, her husband and two year old baby). I wanted to surprise them by picking up the tab for their dinner but I spoke to my sister and she’s pretty sure that our meals have been paid for already, so that’s out.

I would love to surprise them with something before we all arrive but I don’t have any ideas yet. My sister suggested a bouquet of flowers for their room when they arrive or breakfast in bed the next day. Both are excellent suggestions but I want to get more ideas before I decide on anything.

Stuff to consider: They’re arriving on my mom’s birthday (Wednesday, September 24th) so a birthday-related surprise would be fun but not required. We are all staying at the Coronado Springs. I have never done anything like this before so bonus points if you can tell me who I should contact to arrange whatever I decide on.

posted by Diskeater to Human Relations (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Try the concierge at Coronado Springs. They will have some ideas either within hotel or within the park.
posted by spec80 at 11:33 AM on September 12, 2008 [2 favorites]

If you want flowers, the WDW Florist can be reached at 407-827-3505. I would also call central reservations and have them modify your reservation to include a note with the date of your mom's birthday -- it will show up in the reservations system when you check in.

Also, if you can send MeMail with your trip dates and last name, I'll pass it on to one of the GSMs at Coronado.
posted by ThatSomething at 11:55 AM on September 12, 2008

Surprise them with Cirque du Soleil La Nouba tickets. Do a Youtube search for "La Nouba" for clips of the performance to see if it is something your parents might enjoy. If you want to go as a group, I understand the resort concierges can recommend in-room child/ infant care services to look after the little one.
posted by kitkatcathy at 12:06 PM on September 12, 2008

The gf took her son there for his birthday and they have something called Disney VIP Services. It included a birthday party with all of the Disney characters.

You get a tour guide and preferential treatment for all of the rides. I guess that means you get to cut in line. It was $150/hr. There is a min. of 6 hours.
posted by Zambrano at 12:17 PM on September 12, 2008

Also according to the Coronado Springs Fact Sheet, room service is "limited", so you might want to keep your expectations in check.

As long as they don't have any plans for the evening of their arrival, then the La Nouba suggestion is fantastic.
posted by mmascolino at 12:32 PM on September 12, 2008

One of the "grand gathering" events might be nice - I think the Fireworks voyage or the Illuminations cruise would make for a spectacular birthday event you could share together. Here's the link. I'd call 407-WDW-MAGIC and see if they have any other ideas as well.

Just a quick note about Zambrano's comment about the VIP services - you can get special tour guide/escorts for your trip, but it does not include line-cutting privileges. I was talking to one of the Magic Kingdom guest relations staff earlier this year and they made a big point of saying that paying the extra money doesn't include line jumping. What they will do is be a kind of personal servant that will go run and get fastpasses for another ride while you're on the other side of the park, hold your bags, etc.
posted by dicaxpuella at 12:49 PM on September 12, 2008

One more thing, if you do go with flowers, you're kind of forced to go with the Disney Florist. I've heard nothing but good things about them, but they are hella-expensive (just like everything in WDW).
posted by dicaxpuella at 12:51 PM on September 12, 2008

You can hire a private boat and watch the fireworks on one of their lakes. You can get wine & other drinks to enjoy on the boat.

It isn't cheap, but would be memorable.
posted by Sheppagus at 1:08 PM on September 12, 2008

Some commentary and ideas:

The Disney Florist is very good. If you don't like the arrangements you see on their site, they'll be happy to put together a custom arrangement.

A fireworks cruise is a lot of fun, but make sure that the boat you'll be using can pipe in the music over the radio. The smaller boats cannot, and without the sound track the fireworks don't make much sense.

I highly recommend La Nouba. It's a great show. Tickets were included in our package, but we would pay separately to see it again.

They say meals are paid for, but did they get a package that includes Victoria and Albert's? If not, consider paying for a meal for the adults there. It's a bit expensive, but the food and service are both fantastic, and it's one of the very few places in Disney World where you can get away from children for a few hours. If you go, I highly recommend the foie gras. It's one of the chef's specialties and the best thing either of us has ever eaten, hands down.

If she enjoys gardening, consider the Behind the Seeds tour at Epcot. We enjoyed it a lot.

The spa at the Grand Floridian offers a lot of services, from a 25 minute massage all the way to a 5 hour package.

In general, almost anything she enjoys they can put together. Horseback riding, carriage rides, golf, fishing, safari tours, diving (SCUBA and regular) in the Epcot tank, playing with the dolphins there, you name it.
posted by jedicus at 1:27 PM on September 12, 2008

Disney World can provide you with official photographers that will meet you at key, private points in the park and take lots and lots of photos. This is a good way to record an event with lots of people attending -- very easy to get the big group photo in the rose garden in front of the castle, for example.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:39 PM on September 12, 2008

WDW Florist is a great suggestion for in-room gifts since they're arriving earlier than you. The Food & Wine Festival starts at EPCOT starts on Sept 26th and they have some nice packages and some great free (as in beer (literally)) seminars too. Check out AllEarsNet for a great summary of what's available. Don't miss the Bocuse d’Or global competition which will be at WDW for the first time this year on the 27th and 28th. Admission is included with your park ticket although the awards ceremony is a hard ticket event.

There is also a new night club at Coronado Springs you may want to check out.
posted by IndigoSkye at 2:24 PM on September 12, 2008

they made a big point of saying that paying the extra money doesn't include line jumping.

Then there must have been some recent outcry and they probably discontinued it- because they were getting placed ahead in the lines.
posted by Zambrano at 3:03 PM on September 12, 2008

1) The Illuminations cruise is much better than the Magic Kingdom fireworks cruise. Even with the music, I think you are too far away from the action when you are on the lagoon.

2) If you are staying at a Disney resort or eating in a Disney restaurant, you can have a birthday cake delivered. You can get as fancy or as plain as you want.
Call the Bakery (407-827-2253)

3) Any Florist will deliver to the resorts, so you aren't limited to the Disney Florist. On the other hand, the Disney Florist can do things like setup displays in your room while you are out, which regular florists can't.
Also, they aren't limited to a bouquet. Want the room covered in balloons? They'll do it(for a fee, naturally).

4) Be sure to get the Birthday girl a "Birthday Pin". Available at your resort front desk, or guest services at the park.
It's not an "official" perk, but wearing it will get her a smile and a "Happy Birthday" from the cast members. Characters are more likely to pay attention to her, the occasional song might break out. You may also receive "gifts": Another round of fast-passes, better seats for a show, etc.
posted by madajb at 3:09 PM on September 12, 2008 [1 favorite]

Yes, yes, yes to jedicus. I have never heard of a meal plan covering V&A's and it's a very memorable experience to eat there. Not cheap, but so worth it.
posted by crinklebat at 7:17 PM on September 12, 2008

And if what they mean when they say your meals have been paid for is that they've purchased the Disney Dining Plan, you could splurge on a fabulous bottle of wine or champagne in addition to the above, as that won't be included in the plan as far as I recall.

When will you be there? Food and Wine Festival will offer you lots of opportunities to splurge on dining experiences for them, if you'll be there during it.
posted by purenitrous at 3:42 PM on September 13, 2008

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