**I recieved free products in order to host the Disney Side @Home Celebration. The opinions expressed here are my own**
Whew!! This past week has been a whirlwind of activities. Having just returned from Walt Disney World (WDW)for the Princess Half Marathon weekend (and running 22.4 miles!) meant not just having a ton of post vacation laundry, but it also was crunch time for getting things ready for my Disney Side @Home Celebration party. While I am a bit of a procrastinator, setting a party date for three days after I returned from race weekend was probably not the best choice. However, since the party had to take place during these last two weeks in February, planing for a post vacation party was a better option than trying to pull it off before our trip. Three days did not allow much time for preparation and to add to the mix my son, 10, broke his finger during basketball practice Thursday night. So on top of trying to get things ready for the party, I had to get him in to see the doctor for x-rays and a cast/splint. Unfortunately, the earliest appointment they had on Friday was 3:10. With our party starting at 5:30, I wasn’t sure that we would be finished in time to get back for the party. I set up a message Facebook group so I could keep the parents of our guests up to date on our status. While we were so excited for our party and would be so very disappointed to have to cancel, my son’s health comes first and so we had prepared ourselves for the possibility of having to postpone or cancel our celebration. Luckily, the orthopedic was able to get us in an out very quickly. The x-rays showed a most definitive break and since the break is in an area that could not be casted, he was fitted with a splint that was very well wrapped. After receiving care instructions, we were out and on our way home in time for the party to begin as planned!
Our theme was “A Few of Our Favorite Disney Things”. Part of the party planning challenge for me was trying to create a party that would be exciting for all my kids. Since my kids range in age from 2-13, that is no easy task. Plus, I have a mix of boys and girls..so we could not just settle on a Cars or Princess theme. Hence, the idea of incorporating our favorite Disney things into one big celebration seemed to be the best idea. Plus, I could also incorporate those things that I love about Disney into the party as well 🙂
We had a total of 14 kids and 4 adults (not including myself and my husband) attend the party and had equal number of boys and girls. Upon arrival our guest were invited to take pictures in our photo booth. Just about 100 balloons in classic Mickey colors were used to make the backdrop for our booth. My DD8 blew up just about ALL of those herself! Once photos were taken, guest mingled while we waited for all to arrive. Of course, we had our Main Street Electrical Parade music playing! Once everyone arrived and had their photos taken it was time for the games to begin. While our main level had a the Classic Mickey theme, our basement was decorated in honor of Toy Story–Baby Girl’s favorite. We used Buzz Lightyear colors for balloons and ceiling decorations, had set up some of our favorite Toy Story stuffed animals. Our first game was bingo. I did not use the bingo game that came in the kit, as I had more kids than the kit bingo set provided. I found a great little free printable set online. It also was a picture bingo game, so all of the kids could participate–even the younger, non-reader guests. My son, 13, was the official bingo caller. I had planned on playing several rounds of the game, however the first round took almost a half hour of our party time. Our lucky winner was able to chose a Mickey shaped sucker. I had picked up a couple of bundles while we were at WDW. They are relatively inexpensive and kids love suckers–especially ones shaped like Mickey!
Our next game was my variation of cookie walk. I used the runDisney ChEAR cards to write the names of runDisney races–one on each card. I also wrote the names of those races I chose for the game on little squares of paper. I then placed the cards on the floor in a circle. Each kid stood on a square and while music played (and of course, we had to use a few songs from the Frozen soundtrack for this game), they moved from square to square. When the music stopped, one of the little square papers were drawn from the bowl and whom ever was standing on that race was the winner. We continued until everyone had a chance to win and had a Mickey sucker.
Then it was time to eat. We headed back upstairs, where our kitchen was decorated in the classic Mickey theme. My daughter, 5, made a “Chef Mickey’s” sign to hang over the table. Chef Mickey’s is one of our favorite restaurants and one of our most favorite things to eat while on a Disney vacation are Mickey shaped waffles. So we decided to do a “build your own Mickey waffle” bar. Using a Mickey shaped waffle iron, my husband made about 60 or so waffles. Guest could choose from a variety of toppings–strawberries, cherries, sprinkles, caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, sprinkles, chocolate chips and of course, whipped cream. The kids LOVED being able to choose their own toppings. We also served Mickey shaped grilled cheese sandwiches, fruit, mickey shaped banana chocolate chip muffins, cheese and crackers. I also attempted to make Dole Whip floats using the recipe provided in our Disney Side kit. It wasn’t an exact match to what you would find at Walt Disney World or Disneyland, but it sure was good!
Once everyone had finished eating, I had one more game for us to play–Hidden Mickey. One of our favorite things to do while on a Disney vacation is finding Hidden Mickeys. So I just had to incorporate that into our party. I cut out mickey heads and Minnie bows out of card stock and wrote numbers on each cut out. I then hid the cut outs around the house. The kids were then sent on a hunt to look for a cut out–black mickey head for the boys and pink Minnie bow for the girls. The kids were also instructed that if they were older than 6, they had to find a cut out that had a number 7 or greater. This was because the cut outs with the numbers 1-6 were hidden lower and in easy to find spots for the younger kids. Plus I wanted the older kids to be challenged. Once the kids found a cut out, they were given a prize. The prizes were wrapped and had numbers written on them. The numbers corresponded to the number on the cut outs. The prizes varies from pens, to stationary sets, to jumbo erasers. All were, of course, Disney themed, and were found in the dollar section at Target. After everyone had opened their prizes it was time for cupcakes. The chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting were topped with Mickey sprinkles. Cupcakes are always a hit but cupcakes that are baked in Mickey themed cupcake liners just taste a little better!
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and so did our party. But our guests did not leave empty handed. The kids went home with a TON of goodies that came with our party kit and that made going home a little easier.
I think the party was a HUGE success. One of the best parts of this party was planning it with my kids. From the moment I told them we were selected to host a Disney Side @Home Celebration, they were so very excited to be a part of this event. Each of my children helped with coming up with ideas, preparing things for the party, and even cleaning the house WITHOUT COMPLAINING. That is true DISNEY MAGIC! I would like to thank all of the sponsors that helped bring a little Disney to a very cold and snowy Indiana, especially Disney, Maria Bailey, MomSelect, HP, and American Tourister. Both the kids and adults had a great time sharing in my family’s love for Disney and we had an incredible time bring a little bit of magic to them 🙂