Disclosure: I was provided products to host a Disney Side @Home Celebration. The opinions are my own.
A while back I excitedly shared that I was selected to host a Disney Side @Home Celebration. Then I shared some of our party prep for the big day. I even hopped about the Magical Blogorail to Ride the Rails and share a sneak peek at some of our party fun. Today I’d like to share lots more information about our party. In an effort to not turn this into a novel (I could talk about Disney for hours!), I’m just going to highlight the party here. Stay tuned for additional posts on how to recreate the crafts and learn more detailed information from the stations we had at our party. I’m also going to throw a couple more notes out there: I planned this party to be much more crafty until my three little darlings wanted to get involved and start helping. I followed their lead and scrapped a lot of the “cutesy” stuff I’d planned to let their Disney Sides shine through. Also, my pictures are not that fantastic and were taken during my setting up for the party. During the party, I gave my guests my attention and didn’t spend a lot of time snapping pictures. Now that the details are out of the way, are you ready to party??
For our party, we had nine different stations. There’s so much about Disney that you could talk about (are you noticing a theme here?) that I struggled with finding a theme or focus for our party. Several of my guests are in the midst of planning their own Disney vacations so I decided that would be my overall theme. That’s still a pretty broad topic so the stations helped me to decide on the most important information to share as quickly and efficiently as possible. Each station had a yummy treat to sample, information and an activity for the adults and children to do. Just like when you’re at Disney, things go more smoothly when the kids are quiet and entertained. I didn’t want people to just read information during the party so lots of questions were also encouraged. A handful of my guests were also Disney “experts” that helped share experiences and tips with other guests. Nothing gets someone more excited about visiting Disney than hearing other people excitedly talk about their trips and memories! Another personal goal of mine was to show my guests how many things you could do for free while at Disney World! I gathered materials on a trip before the party to use to support this point. My guests were honestly shocked that there were so many free things inside and outside the parks!
Station 1: Station 1 was our welcome station. Here were the drinks (Coke products of course because that’s what you’d find in the parks along with water and Monsters University Juicy Juice boxes for the kids), pins for pin trading (purchased from eBay) and business cards for this fantastic website as well as our preferred travel agent Joe DeFazio from Off to Neverland Travel.
Station 2: Next we stopped at Station 2 to learn more about Walt Disney World. Here the snack was banana bread from Disneyland. While snacking, the adults were able to browse through planning books and park maps while the kids made bead creations or foam pictures (for the smaller guests). Here the freebies were the park maps.
Station 3: Next stop on our Disney Side party route was Station 3 which was dedicated to holidays and celebrations in the parks. Information on Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and celebration buttons were available. The snack offered here was chicken pot pie from Walt Disney World and the freebies were the buttons.
Station 4: Next we learned about packing at Station 4 where I got to show off my new American Tourister luggage! My favorite packing tip is packing with zip top baggies so I shared lots of tips here about different ways to use bags when you’re packing your suitcase and park bag. The kid’s activity doubled as the snack at this station – make your own trail mix! We had cereals, pretzels, chocolate candies, graham crackers and our Ocean Spray Craisins. This is also the station that I shared information about my friend Mary’s site dedicated to preserving your magical memories: Capturing Magical Memories.
Station 5: Now that we’re all packed up, we headed off to learn about autographs, characters and pictures! This was our photo booth station so we didn’t have a snack here (you don’t want food in your teeth!) but there was still tons of fun. We pulled out our Mickey ear hats, Glow with the Show ears, Minnie Mouse ear headband and some other cute props for people to use in their pictures. While waiting, my guests got to see different autograph books we’d made and used in past trips (including the Guide to the Magic for Kids book and autograph book!).
Station 6: Station 6 brought attention to the details. Here we had samples of what you’d find in your hotel room when you stay on property (highlighted the free movies and activities they had staying with the freebie theme). Here the kids picked Duffy or Perry to color like they would at the Kidcot stations around EPCOT.
Station 7: Here we learned lots about how to bring the magic back home with you after your trip. Our Celebrations Magazines were out on display as well as information on the Magical Blogorail and The Disney Driven Life. Here I used Disney DVD cases as a decoration because having Disney movie nights is a great way to keep the magic alive between trips. Guests snacks on Mickey shaped cookies while the kids used watercolors to paint their favorite Disney characters.
Station 9: Last but certainly not least was the goody table!! Each child got a party gift and each family got to choose a gift. The smaller things for the kids included Disney fruit snacks and Disney Pez dispensers. For the family gifts, in addition to the fantastic HP Photo Paper and “So This is Love” prints we were sent for hosting the party, I scoured our town for Disney themed items on clearance after Valentines Day. Target and Walgreens had lots of great things like the adorable giant stuffed Mickey, Princess Sofia and Mickey Mouse cupcake kits and cute Mickey and Minnie stationary. I found a Smash book scrapbook at Michaels for guests that want to keep track of their Disney trip. Publix also had super cute Mickey and Minnie reusable shopping bags that I picked up as gifts. I also threw in a game that you could play on the drive to Disney or while you’re waiting in line. I also had a Thirty One bag and a couple of gift certificates gifted to me for my guests because I love packing in Thirty One for my trips and in the parks. To keep your hotel room smelling like home, Scentsy warmers are perfect and travel so well. A dear friend gifted a couple of lucky guests with a plug in wall warmer and full sized warmer and melts. Finally, I painted some flower pots inspired by Mickey and Minnie and put those out as well. Everyone loved the selection and I loved sharing the different products and why I chose them.
Overall we covered a lot of ground in the couple of hours that our party lasted. Most importantly, we all took time out of our crazy busy lives to spend time with each other. I’m so thankful our shared love of Disney brought us all together to get to spend some face to face quality time together. Things went so well in fact that I’m hosting a Disney themed “girls night out” in a couple of weeks and we’ll also be hosting a movie night outside under the stars once a month this spring/summer/fall with our friends and neighbors. Sharing something that brings so much love and happiness to me just brings a smile to my face.
Did you host a Disney Side party? What should I have added to my party?