If you don’t like parties, you might want to skip my blog this week. If you don’t like Disney, no worries (although it makes me wonder what’s wrong with you that you don’t like Disney?) While I threw a Disney-themed party, I think there were good enough ideas to apply to just about any party: kids party, adults-only party, or a family party.
First of all, let’s talk about what #DisneySide means and why I threw a party for it. Here’s how Disney puts it:
What’s your Disney Side? It’s the side you simply can’t wait to share. It’s the side of you that laughs more, screams more, and just plain lives life to the fullest. It’s the side of you that comes out to play the moment you and your family step through the gates of a Disney theme park.
And that’s pretty much how it is in our family. I never thought I’d be that person that plans vacations to Disney over and over again. I mean, it is a big world after all. But there’s something about the consistency of fun with a Disney vacation that keeps my family coming back for more. So much so, that my neighbors frequently say, You’re going to Disney again?
But many of them have been with their families so they get it. And more importantly, they love it. And that’s step 1 of planning your #DisneySide party.
1. Invite people that will come.
I’m lucky to live in a very social neighborhood. Not only do people like to attend parties, but they also like to throw them. Being in the blogging world, I throw a lot of unusual parties, often with a branded theme. I usually have to explain I’M NOT SELLING ANYTHING but everyone is so social they’d probably come even if I was.
2. Make it a family party.
Kid parties often make me glad that I only have one kid. I mean, I love kids. Just not a lot of them for an extended period of time. Adult parties are awesome too. I can actually have a grown up conversation and not worry too much about how many glasses of wine I’ve had. But babysitters are expensive and my son won’t go to sleep for anyone but me.
I made it clear on the invitation that this was a family party and used this site called Punchbowl because they had free themed Disney invitations!
3. Have activities for the kids.
I’ve hosted plenty of parties where my house gets trashed and it’s not because I’m reliving my college days. When the grown-ups get together, we tend to have a few drinks and congregate in the kitchen to chat while the kids leave cheese curls and juice boxes all over the house.
This time, I gave an introductory speech telling them where the party would be and where it would not. Then I introduced all of the activities in each room and told them about the incoming food and the games and the PRIZES. Everyone knew what they could do and where they could go. And the adults still congregated in the kitchen.
I did plan plenty of activities that involved the family since that’s such an important part of the Disney experience. More to come on that.
4. Plenty of food and drink for all.
I know my neighbors and I know that we all generally enjoy adult beverages. But at a Disney party? You bet. In fact, I heard many of the dads in attendance mention being less than thrilled at going to a “Disney party.” Until they heard about the cocktails.
I kept the food simple, kid-friendly, and requiring no utensils. I had plenty of juice and water. And as for those adult beverages? I had two Disney-themed cocktails that got everyone in the spirit of fun.
5. Commit to the theme.
If you’re going to have a Disney party, MAKE IT A DISNEY PARTY. Yes, I played Disney music. Yes, I had a running slideshow on my TV of all the Nally family adventures at Disney. Yes, I even crafted.
Although this party has been on my calendar for quite some time, I really started the planning in earnest just two days before the party and I finished it just as the doorbell was ringing for the first guest. When I was working on some ideas, I asked other party hosts for their suggestions and they said, Well, what’s your theme?
Naturally, I said DISNEY! I guess some of them actually narrowed down the field to Mickey Mouse or Disney Princesses or a movie theme for Oscar night. I couldn’t pick so I ended up with four rooms, each with a different theme. The games and activities centered around Disney Parks, Disney movies, and even Disney dress-up.
Sounds awesome, you say. I’d love to know more. I’d love to hear each and everything you did to make this party successful. And I’d really like to know more about those Disney cocktails.
Well, my friends, you are in luck. This week, I’m showing my #DisneySide every day because I’ve finally done something Pinterest-worthy and I’m going to make sure I milk it for everything I can. Stay tuned for al the details on food, drinks, decorations, games, activities, and crafts!
(In the meantime, you can read about all of the #DisneySide parties out there over on the Disney Sisters site.)