Monday, November 19, 2012

Disneyland Birthday Party

Oh where to start???  This party was many months in the planning.  There were two ways I could have gone with it.  One, a mainly Mickey Mouse party, there are lots of supplies for this kind of party.  The other way I could have gone would be a truly Disneyland themed party which would include a lot of do-it-yourself projects.  Thank goodness for Pinterest where i could compile all my ideas.  

On my first search I turned up two blogs for Disney themes parties.  One was Disneyland and the other was Walt Disney World  Then I continued to do searches for Mickey themed parties to gain inspiration.  From these I formed a plan.  I throw two parties, one for my son’s school friends and one for family and family friends.  My vision with these parties was to bring the magic of Disneyland into our home. 

Etsy was a huge part in the party.  From the invitations to the ears to the vintage pieces, I was able to find it on that website.

The basics of my decorations were simple colors based on Mickey Mouse; red table clothes, black plates, yellow napkins and plastic ware, and white cups. 

I then decided each area of the house would represent the different lands of Disneyland.  To designate each land, I mod-podged 18x24 inch canvas panels of each land using pictures I have taken throughout my trips to Disneyland.  Adventureland/New Orleans Square was located by our snake and tarantula cages.  I also pinned up some toucans in honor of the Tiki Room.  Frontierland was in our family room, with a special Frontierland outfitters sign locating  where the kids picked up some party goods at the start of the party.  Fantasyland was in the dining room where we hung Chinese lanterns over the table honoring the tea cup ride.  Tomorrowland was in the kitchen since most of the plants in tomorrowland are edible.  Toon Town/Critter Country led out to the backyard that also doubled as the Penny Arcade.  There was also an area dedicated to the Disney Gallery featuring photo albums of previous trips plus our collection of Disneyland books. 

Then I came up with the idea of creating a photo collage of my son’s trips to Disneyland in the shape of Mickey Mouse.  My husband is very handy.  I found an article through a Google search from Duke University that explained the mathematical equation of the ratio of Mickey’s ears to his the size of his head.
He then cut out of cardboard and assembled a large Mickey head onto which I again mod-podged a collage of pictures.

Leading up the walkway to our house were quotes form Disney movies that I found on this blog:  Even though this isn’t in Disneyland, it is the essence of Disney.  There was pending rain for our party, so my sister and I wrapped the quotes in Packing tape and taped them to paint stir sticks that we got from Orchard Supply Hardware.  Then the morning of the party, my son and I put them in our lawn. 

The windows of our house were adorned with Poster Art from the parks found online.  The stair railing in our house were also adorned with poster art that I took personally with my camera from our most recent trip to Disneyland. 

Sitting around the house were vases filled with various themed antenna balls purchased throughout the years at Disneyland.  I also spent some time on etsy and found vintage plate, salt and pepper shakers, serving forks and even a tru-vue view finder from the 50’s.  These items sat among the treat tables and on display in my makeshift art gallery.

I think my most favorite piece of decoration besides the photo-collaged Mickey head is the Castle with fireworks.  Inspired by this blog, and other pinterest recommendations, I took my photo on a flash drive down to staples.  I asked for an engineer print the size of three feet by four feet.  I had my husband bring home a piece of cardboard that matched in size.  We attached the print by using spray adhesive.  I know the photo is hung using a hefty piece of fishing line but that’s all I know.  My sister made the fireworks based on the pictures in the blog and then my husband hung those as well.  And I found something interesting that I have yet to find referenced in Disneyland books, though it could definitely be out there.  Right in the middle of the scroll work on the castle, is a very definitive D.  Until I had this huge picture in front of me, it has always escaped my attention.

Two parties mean twice the food.  Not only twice the food, but there are two different people to be catering to, kids versus adults.  I tossed around many ideas for food.  Two ideas that didn’t make it were Mickey shaped hamburgers and Mickey shaped sandwiches.   For both parties, I made signs designating what the food being served was called.

I decided for the kid party to do more Mickey shaped food than Disneyland food.  There was the Mickey chicken tenders you can get at Costco, mini corn dogs, small packs of carrot sticks, the Brothers-All-Natural dehydrated Apple slices that are sold in the park, Mickey shaped pretzels with cheese sauce to dip them in, Mickeyroni and cheese bought in Disneyland and churros.  The churros were a cheater recipe and amazingly good.  Baked puff pastry, dipped in butter and rolled in cinnamon and sugar.  They are AMAZING!!!!  I also made pizza squares with Mickey heads; pepperoni for the head and olives for the ears.

For the adult party, I got most of the recipes from here : .  I did buy a Disney cookbook but actually liked the recipes that Disneyland has given out over the years.  It took awhile to set up this menu and even then there was a lot of different foods.  We had Cesar salad from Blue Bayou; Cole slaw, corn bread and ribs from the round up bbq; safari skewers and spicy beef skewers from Bengal bbq, sour cream and chive whipped potatoes form the Napa Rose; count down chicken fussilli pasta form Red Rocket’s Pizza Port; fresh cut vegetables and dip, soft pretzels, more churros, and even Dole Whips.  To drink we have Jungle Juleps from the long gone Tahitian Terrace as well as the Mint Juleps from the Mint Julep bar.  The food was AMAZING.  I had a bit of help in the kitchen to bring it all together and it was magical.

On the cavities I gave people.  In true Disney fashion, I had an abundance of sweet treats available to party guests.  I did my best in making Snickerdoodles, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, Tigger Tails, Chocolate dipped pretzel rods, and Mickey Mouse rice krispy treats both regular and chocolate dipped.  For the kids I made cupcakes with Oreos for Mickey ears.  For the cake I decoration I made a Mickey Mouse ear hat.  I took a photo copy of my ear hat, cut out the logo, and taped it to the front of the cake.  Behind the hat, I made a replica of the Original Disneyland Marquee.  I printed a photo from the Internet, mounted it on card stock then glued it to Popsicle sticks. 

For the last two years, I haven’t had traditional birthday games.  I create activity areas for the kids have with.  After they got outfitted they had a variety of things from which to choose.  We had face painting, cookie decorating (idea from this site: ), a fun foto area, and the Penny Arcade area.  In the arcade area outside, there was a bounce house, a basketball arcade game, a pachinko machine and a frontier shooting game.  During the party the birthday boy held a magic show filled with tricks purchased at the Disneyland Magic Shoppe.  And then we also had a piñata that I made form this website:

The goodie bags were awesome thanks to the wonderful cast members of the Disneyland resort.   I was able to fulfill my vision by getting small bags to use as the actual goodie bags.  Online, I found color sheets from the various rides and made coloring books.  I also found a template of a Mickey Mouse paper airplane from the spoonful website.   I was able to purchase the arm bandz in Mickey Mouse shapes from Party City.  I also included maps of Disneyland and info pamphlet about Disneyland. I purchased Disney Pez from Amazon and then Disney chocolates while in Disneyland.   I also threw in a few glow sticks.  Basically I was trying to fill it with things you may buy or find in Disneyland.

The second part to the goodie bags were actually picked out when the guests arrived at the party.  I had a table set up called Frontierland Outfitters.  Here, guests could pick out ears, find their name tags, pick up a lanyard and some Mardi Gras beads, and pins you can only get in Disneyland.  Again, MANY MANY THANKS to the cast members of Disneyland for this generous donation to the party.  It really made it extra special.

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