Stuart S. (NDD#47) (44 Posts)

Stuart is the DDL resident Geek Dad and claims New York as his birthplace. Currently, though, he resides in New Jersey and is a husband and father of two as well as a huge Disney World, Springsteen, Yankee, and NY Ranger fan. He wakes up and goes to sleep thinking about Disney World. He listens to Disney podcasts to and from work and at night before sleep. He drives his family nuts talking about Disney and is always planning their next Disney World trip. In addition, he is known to always volunteer to help extended family and friends plan their next trip. Stuart's personal blog is He can also be found on twitter by following @disneygeekdad.

As many of you know my wife and will be sailing on Lou Mongello’s WDW Radio Show Dream Cruise on February 27, 2011. We plan on arriving a day early in order to spend time at Epcot in Walt Disney World.

While Lou has planned pre- and post-cruise events one of our fellow cruisers, Nolan, @NWinTN on Twitter has planned a lunch at Via Napoli. So, this past Friday while I was having a late dinner with my family I tweeted how I was thinking about the Via Napoli lunch. That caused a small exchange of tweets between me and Tammy, @voyageofariel on Twitter. Tammy and her family will also be on the cruise and she too will be at Via Napoli for lunch but she is also celebrating a very special day, her birthday.

Whether it’s a birthday, anniversary or some other celebratory occasion I have heard and read stories about how cast members really go out of their way to make guests feel exceptional on their special day. Starting with your resort check in or by going to guest relations at any of the parks (City Hall in the Magic Kingdom) they will present you with a pin denoting your special celebration sure to get the attention of cast members. If you’re celebrating a special occasion the magic might just begin with a wake up call from Mickey himself. If you’re dining on property (sit down meal) make sure you inform the restaurant of the celebration for an added surprise or two. There’s no telling what surprises a cast member may have in store for you!

With all the times my family has been to Walt Disney World none of our trips has ever fallen on one of our birthdays or mine and my wife’s wedding anniversary. Well, that’s about to change. Even though my wife and I are considering the cruise a belated wedding anniversary (we will be married 20 years this November) it’s not the only thing we’re celebrating. My birthday next year coincides with the last day of the cruise.

I know my wife is going to make sure Disney knows it’s my birthday and yes, I will wear the birthday pin. Yet, I’m not one to make a big deal of my birthday and I always try to treat it like any other day but, like it or not my next birthday will be very different than any other. It will be the first time since my kids were born that I will be celebrating my birthday without them. It will also be the very first time I will be celebrating my birthday on Disney property and in one of the parks.

After finding out that Tammy will be celebrating her birthday at Disney I started to think about how I felt knowing I’ll be on property for my own birthday. I’m both nervous and excited. I’m nervous because I’ve never been comfortable receiving special attention and excited because I will be in my favorite place in the entire world with many of my friends.

Though my birthday happens to be on a day I will be on property, any day I’m at Disney is a special occasion and I don’t need anything to celebrate to feel that way. The cast members have always done an outstanding job making me and my family feel extra special whenever we have visited the parks.

So, I will wear the birthday pin but rather than think of it as a symbol in recognition of my birthday I will view it as a badge of honor to be worn with pride at being able to spend a day in a place I dearly love and with friends I care a great deal for.

(Photo contributed by NDM #118)

Contributed by: Stuart S. (NDD #47).  Stuart is our resident Disney geek and creator of Disney Geek Dad.


  1. Stuart,

    I agree anytime in WDW is a great time, but I have to tell you, this past Nov. I was able to be in WDW to celebrate my Bday and the experiance is something I will hold dear to my heart. This yr my youngest was turning 11 in Aug. and she said all she wanted was to be in WDW for her Bday. Well with pending life situations we were not sure if we would be able to do it. Then I started thinking how I felt and how special it was for me. So we go it planned and she had a whole week in WDW and she go to meet J.L. and her wonderful daughter Margo, those two became fast friends, so how wonderful is that memory? For me it is priceless nothing can warm a mothers heart more than how my daughter still talks about how special that trip was for her.

  2. I spent many a birthday celebration at the MK for Night of Joy (NOJ) since my birthday always fell the weekend before NOJ which was usually on or around Labor Day weekend…a time that I didnt want to be at the Parks in any way shape or form.I do have to agree though that any day at a Disney Park is reason enough for me to celebrate! 8(:-D

    BTW I will be on Lou’s Cruise too giving myself a late 40th Birthday Celebration! 8(:-D
    KD < 8(:-D NDA #5

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