I received promotional items for participating in this campaign. All opinions are my own.
Everyone can use a little bit of that Disney magic between visits, right? The #DisneySide @ Home campaign allowed us to do just that- and we had a blast!
I applied to host a #DisneySide @ Home Celebration a few months back, through a campaign being run by Mom Select and Disney Parks. In exchange for receiving a party planning kit, I agreed to share my experience on my blog and social media channels.
Half of the excitement was waiting for the party planning box to be delivered! As soon as it arrived, we got right to work planning all kinds of celebratory details for our #DisneySide @ Home event. The kit contained activity ideas, decorating supplies, giveaways for our guests, and more.
My sister and her family came to town to help us celebrate. As I wrote about in this party planning post
, the visit was a big deal! These people are not only our actual family, but they're our Disney
family as well- and we had not all been together in the same place at the same time since a trip several years ago to Walt Disney World.
When deciding on the theme for our party, my mind kept going back to one of our favorite parts of any Disney vacation: pin trading. I knew I wanted to incorporate this special activity into our celebration.
In addition to our main pin trading idea, we planned Disney-themed food, recreated a few special dishes and park/resort experiences, and played party games.
Without further ado, here are some of the highlights from our celebration...
We are big fans of pin trading in this family! My nieces and nephews are especially adept at it, having taken to it immediately during their first big whole-family trip. The excitement of the hunt, the interaction with Cast Members, and the satisfaction of building sets and collections are all part of the magic for us. Every one of us- young and old alike- gets into pin trading. In advance of our celebration, I ordered a few sets of authentic park pins to give out as prizes and to share with everyone for trading fun. My sister's family packed up their pins and brought their collections to town for the celebration. All sorts of trades were made during the party- a few sets were completed, and my sweet niece even made sure I ended up with a very special pin that I had my eye on from her collection.
Recreating favorite experiences from parks & resorts:
As I've shared previously, my daughter and I once had a very magical experience
with a Cast Member creating silhouettes in the Magic Kingdom. The silhouette booth was one of the special experiences we recreated for our party. Instead of cutting silhouettes, we traced them. A bright photography light shining on sketch paper allowed us to create silhouettes almost
as special as those found on Main Street.
Another attempt at recreating a favorite was a visit to Senses Spa
... at-home style! While my dining room was far from a duplicate of this luxury indulgence, a little imagination combined with a great masseuse-in-training really did provide a relaxing break from the day's excitement.
I tried my hand at recreating a few of our favorite Disney foods- the Smoky Portabello Soup from Artist Point, and the Nutella & Fresh Fruit Waffle from Sleepy Hollow in Liberty Square. In case you couldn't tell (ha!), the authentic Disney dishes are in the the top photos below, and my attempts are on the bottom...
We also made some Mickey pretzels and rice krispie treats...gluten-free style. One of our guests was gluten-free, so I made gf versions of pretzels and krispie treats. The results were...mixed. Everyone pretty much agreed that these treats looked a lot better than they tasted. Both were fine immediately after they were made, but when revisited later in the party- rock
Activities and Games:
A set of Hanes t-shirts was included in our party planning package, so I attempted a Mickey head tie dye project I found online. Once again, mixed results. I suppose they weren't bad for my first attempt at tie dying in decades, but the Mickey heads on some of the shirts came out looking more like hearts than heads. Fun, though- and great quality shirts.
Our main game was Disney Bingo. These cards have great photos, divided into categories such as parks, characters, attractions, and resorts.
As fun as these photos were to peruse, I'm not sure the design was right for an actual game of bingo. There wasn't a whole lot of variety between the cards, so due either to the card design or a massive coincidence
- 5 out of 6 players called Bingo all on the same call...twice. Fortunately, we had lots of little giveaways to award all the prize winners!
All in all, our #DisneySide @ Home Celebration was a great success! We had a fantastic time reliving some of our past park experiences, and planning for new ones to come. Special thanks to Mom Select and Disney Parks, for including me in this campaign! Everyone is encouraged to plan their own #DisneySide @ Home Celebration- visit disneysidecelebrations.com for ideas!