🎂'Affordable, low-maintenance:’ Yes, you can still have a party at McDonald’s

Grimace birthday sparks McDonald’s birthday party nostalgia

ORLANDO, Fla. – Remember McDonald’s birthday parties?

The restaurant chain is celebrating the birthday of one of its own beloved characters, Grimace. He’s Ronald McDonald’s friend and is known for his purple, fuzzy body.

Grimace is celebrating his 51st birthday with a special limited-edition meal and purple shake, encouraging visitors to round up their meal totals to the nearest dollar to support Ronald McDonald House Charities.

The Ronald McDonald House provides financial assistance for lodging and food for families with children receiving life-saving treatment at hospitals in Central Florida.

But the promotion is also bringing back some nostalgic memories of the classic McDonald’s birthday parties. And they’re still being offered today!

“He’s mysterious, he’s purple. What is he, other than your friend? You get to interpret that and it makes it that much more fun,” McDonald’s superfan Victoria Dominato said.

Ronald McDonald and Grimace (Copyright 2023 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

Celebrating 51 years as Ronald McDonald’s bestie, Grimace is bringing back the nostalgia of a McDonald’s birthday parties introduced in the 1970s.

[Enter to win a McDonald’s birthday party pack for 10]

“I think it reminds you of childhood and happiness and things just being easy and enjoying the moment,” Emma Milligan said.

The picture below shows Emma Milligan when she was 3 years old, wearing the iconic Ronald hat at her McDonald’s birthday party more than 20 years ago.

Emma Milligan's 3rd birthday party at McDonald's (Copyright 2023 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

“I know my mom was so excited when I asked for a McDonald’s birthday party because McDonald’s birthdays are so low maintenance for parents but are the best for kids,” Milligan said. “There’s a simplistic beauty in a McDonald’s birthday. Being the youngest of three girls, it was so hands off for my mom and dad. Everyone just showed up, socks on and we had the absolute time of our lives.”

McDonald’s parties range in price depending on location and number of guests and includes Happy Meals, goodie bags, party hats, decorations and even the classic Ronald McDonald birthday cake.

News 6 Investigative Reporter Mike Deforest at a McDonald's Birthday Party when he was 7 (Copyright 2023 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

Even some of our News 6 talent have memories of their parties under the golden arches. News 6 investigative reporter Mike DeForest shared this photo. He’s the kid on the wearing a birthday hat.

“Me and my mom look back at it and laugh. It just brings back some nostalgic memories about McDonald’s and spending time with family and friends, and you can even create them now 20 years later,” Milligan said.

You have to schedule birthday parties ahead of time. You just have to call your local McDonald’s for details and pricing.

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About the Author:

Crystal Moyer is a morning news anchor who joined the News 6 team in 2020.