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Old 04-07-2013, 10:29 AM   #16
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I think we here on the boards read so much about what others have received that we expect way too much. So Jimmie got a cupcake, special wishes from the characters, sparkles on the table, a signed postcard, etc. at one restaurant. Now Janie is going and Janie's mom expects her to get the same. But Janie only gets a cupcake so now Janie's mom is upset. Or, Janie is a bit shy the waiter decides maybe not to draw attention to her. Or whatever.

It's not Disney's fault for not gushing out tons of things for every celebration. It's our fault for expecting too much.
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Old 04-07-2013, 10:46 AM   #17
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DW and I will be at Disney next Dec. (2014) celebrating our 40th anniversary. Really it will be our 41st but we already took our big trip for this year. Plan on getting the celebrate buttons, but other than maybe a few greetings we are not expecting anything special. If we have anything other than greetings, that would be extra to me.
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Old 04-07-2013, 10:53 AM   #18
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We went for DH's b-day in 2010. He wore the button for 2 days and I noted it on the ADR at 3 places (Biergarten, Le Cellier-actual day, and Whispering Canyon) They acknowledged it at Biergarten in the show like they do and he had to stand up, Le Cellier we ordered dessert and they put Happy Birthday on the plate and said it was on them, and they sang and gave him a cupcake at WCC (fun!). When he wore the button many people said Happy Birthday, but at our dinner at Mama Melrose, where he was wearing the button but it was not on the ADR, I don't think they even said Happy Birthday. So it really is hit or miss.

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Old 04-07-2013, 10:57 AM   #19
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We just went. It was a twenty day trip. We averaged one sit down meal a day. My husband noted my fortieth birthday on all reservations and I wore a button. Not one single acknowledgement at any meal.
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Old 04-07-2013, 11:26 AM   #20
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It's so unrealistic for people to think that they will receive some kind of acknowledgement because they note a celebration on all their ADR's that were probably made six months in advance.

If you want something special done for a loved one at a particular restaurant on a particular day, pull your server aside at some point during the meal, explain the celebration and ask what (if anything) they do. Maybe they have a special song they sing, but don't expect or ask for freebies.

For example, we always go to Disney on my husband's birthday. We go somewhere different each year. I always pull the server aside and say, we will be ordering dessert and today is my husband's birthday. Can you put a candle on his dessert or will you sing happy birthday when you bring the dessert. Sometimes they say no, they don't do that here, but they always do something like write happy birthday on his dessert plate and we sing happy birthday to him as a family.

The point is, don't leave it up to pixie dust. Take matters into your own hands and you will never be disappointed.
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Old 04-07-2013, 11:38 AM   #21
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Thanks, the responses and variations are interesting. I definitely was not expecting anything, especially for a graduation as opposed to birthday or anniversary, my only disappointment was that my daughter missed the one place that did acknowledge her graduation. But it did get me thinking why such a big deal is made about it when the reservations are set. For my son I think we will just pick his favorite place and ask when we check in if they would do the confetti on the table.
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Old 04-07-2013, 11:40 AM   #22
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We were in WDW back in October for our 25th anniversary. Got nothing at all. And yes it was noted on all our reservations.

I was just in the Dominican Republic for my birthday. Got back from the beach and the house keeping staff decorated my room with balloons, streamers, and rose petals. Left two bottles of champagne and a fruit tray. That night at dinner they brought out a huge chocolate moose cake and about 10 staff members sang to me. Oh and because it was my birthday and our friends were repeat guests we were upgraded to the VIP section of the resort when we checked in.

We are repeat guest (over 25 times) to Disney and do not get upgrades. Just saying...
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Old 04-07-2013, 11:56 AM   #23
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my DD 8 was Happy Birthday Princess all the time! At 1900 Park Fare she was even given a special "glass slipper" White Chocolate cake with "Happy Birthday Emily" written on the plate with Raspberry sauce, a BIG hit. I did mention when I called in The dinning Reservation ( I did not do this one on line) that it was her birthday.
She loved all the attention!

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Old 04-07-2013, 01:03 PM   #24
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When we celebrate our DD b-day, a lot of places have given them cupcakes and sing. When we put anniversary, Dh and I have had some special threats at signature restaurants.
When we put graduation for my brother and sister last year, they got nothing. Don't know what to tell you.
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Old 04-07-2013, 03:16 PM   #25
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Just wanted to say that seeing the differences first hand between how my DH was treated and how I was treated, it does make you feel bad. How many times do we hear that Disney is the best at customer service? We do hear this a lot, they are in the business of selling magic and memories.

For the PP who mentioned their Plaza experience...the castmember chatting up high school girls was definitely acting inappropriately, and should have definitely done something to make your celebration special. Sometimes I really think Disney doesn't have enough people 'on the ball' or good managers around. So many times we see employees slacking off with no supervision at all.

As a PP said, we shouldn't expect freebies, sure, I get that... but to be devil's advocate here: what at the buttons for and the ADR notes for? They have the stuff already (the cupcakes, the champagne toasts, the cards, the confetti, candles) there at the disposal of cast members to allow them to sprinkle pixie dust. The tools are there for them to make it happen.

In the future, I will be sure to do more on our end to make celebrations special rather than relying on them to provide the pixie dust. It's worth the money to me to order a special cake, and it would be very memorable. If I have to buy a bag of sparkles or confetti from the store to put on our own table, I might just do that.

I just think that is comes down to the castmembers. I think it's just smart from a business perspective to go the extra mile for customers. Being nice is FREE right? Those birthday cupcakes were baked to be given away, and hopefully not thrown away? It makes a huge difference to be wished congratulations or Happy birthday. Have you ever had a total stranger wish you Happy Birthday at Disney? It's thoughtful and kind, and certainly wasn't expected, but it's wonderful.
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Old 04-07-2013, 03:21 PM   #26
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We've received a couple of "congratulations" cupcakes for anniversaries and during our honeymoon. I've only ever noted our anniversary on actual anniversary meals, not the whole time we're there though. Most of any recognition we've received has been at signature restaurants. I wanted to make a meal special at California Grill so I purchased a specialty cake for my husband. I think it's so popular for people to note any and everything on their reservations that it's really the luck of the draw. I certainly never expect anything and half of the time I forget that I even noted it since I made the reservation 6 months ago so it's a nice surprise.
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Old 04-07-2013, 03:56 PM   #27
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We have had very good experiences with our celebrations being recognized. We have gone for both our anniversary and our birthdays. At check-in we were given our buttons. We wore them for a few days and had lots of CM's wishing us Happy Birthday or Happy Anniversary. I like to wish other people Happy Birthday or Happy Anniversary when I see their buttons.

We were not expecting anything else but we did receive a few extras like cupcakes at 'Ohana, confetti and cupcakes at Crystal Palace, champagne at Whispering Canyon Cafe and Coral Reef. We received a special dessert at Cape May and at the Garden Grill. At Le Cellier they wrote Happy Anniversary on our dessert plate.

We were also picked to be Family of the Day at Epcot and we were chosen to open the Lion King Show because the CM's saw our buttons and commented on our celebration, then asked if we would like to celebrate by opening the park or the show. We also were listening to Voices of Liberty singing when a CM said he had a phone call for us, it was Mickey wishing us a Happy Anniversary.

We have also gotten the signed birthday card in our room from Mickey and the gang. All of these were unexpected and a happy surprise which we enjoyed very much.

We also do our own celebrations, we order cakes from the Boardwalk Bakery for whatever occasion we are celebrating.

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Old 04-07-2013, 04:49 PM   #28
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The funniest one that we had was when we ate supper at CM on the night of the girl's b-day. They were pretty worn out by then and not in the best of the moods. As soon as we sat down, our server came up and handed them each a cupcake and gave us a lighter and a handful of candles. He said that way we could have a birthday picture with each character as they came by. DDs were getting cranky, but DS was in a great mood - so we have pictures of him with birthday cupcake and all of the characters.

At CRT we paid for a package and had balloon, a full sized cake for each girl, they got the glass slippers, etc.

This could be totally my take, but I think that honeymooners and young birthday kids get a little more attention. Not that they get anything more than confetti and a cupcake, but the cast members see a little more in tune with the littler kids.
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Old 04-07-2013, 07:18 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by brertoad View Post

As a PP said, we shouldn't expect freebies, sure, I get that... but to be devil's advocate here: what at the buttons for and the ADR notes for? They have the stuff already (the cupcakes, the champagne toasts, the cards, the confetti, candles) there at the disposal of cast members to allow them to sprinkle pixie dust. The tools are there for them to make it happen.
I think the buttons are just to get you excited and put you in the right frame of mind at Disney. There are so many people wearing buttons at restaurants (most of them birthday buttons or 1st time visit buttons).

Why not just put confetti and cupcakes at every table? Then everyone can feel special!
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Old 04-07-2013, 07:27 PM   #30
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For birthdays, anniversies, honeymoons, and other celebrations . . .

1) It is a matter of the CM's personal initiative.
. . . depends upon how much they like you as a guest
. . . it always helps to wear a Happy Birthday button
. . . depends if they feel like doing anything special today
. . . depends upon the phase of the moon
2) CM's can do a lot, or they can do nothing at all - they have immense control.
. . . they are under no obligation to give goodies
. . . they are under no obligation to even acknowledge your special day
. . . but, they can go way overboard and give lots of gifts to a guest
3) The CM's have a lot of leeway of things to do or not do for you if they wish
4) Some of the things a CM can do for free are
. . . table with Mickey confetti
. . . best table location
. . . special personalized menu
. . . character-autographed birthday cards
. . . balloons
. . . wine or champagne or Shirley Temples
. . . appetizers or desserts
. . . cakes
. . . cupcake with candle (almost always available for the asking)
. . . placemats autographed by characters
. . . free appy or free dessert
. . . ride an attraction with a character
5) Other items CM's can give for free
. . . room full of balloons and/or flowers
. . . fruit basket or wine basket in hotel room
. . . individual fastpasses or booklets of several fastpasses
. . . food and snack items (candy, popcorn, sundries)
. . . room uogrades
. . . attraction rides with characters

NOTE: Hundreds or even thousands of folks are celebrating everyday
at WDW. If they gave an item to all of them it would be too much time
and too much money.
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