Having #DisneySide fun in a winter “wonderland”

Our DisneySide cake!

I agreed to host a DisneySide party months back, in December, more than a month before Mother Nature decided to unleash her snowy fury on Boston to the tune of 108.6 inches of the white stuff. So, it was with massive trepidation that I attempted to pull off a party in the middle of the rather messy February school vacation week. In fact, I was so thrown off my game that I didn’t remember to take pictures of most of it because I was so busy running the party that I kinda sorta forgot to record it. Oops.

Even so, we had a blast–and that’s the main point here. All of the kids in attendance are big Disney fans, whether they specialize in Princesses, Planes, or Cars. And, of course, you have the “less young” attendees who adore all of the above plus the wonderfulness that is Marvel and Star Wars.

Going back to the beginning, the lovely folks at MomSelect and Disney offered bloggers the opportunity to host a party to show off their “DisneySide”, and this was my second year in a row taking them up on the offer. Last year’s party was a ton of fun, and the kids were clamoring to do it all over again!

Hostess supplies provided by MomSelect and Disney

The wonderful box of goodies supplied by MomSelect and Disney

This year, I received a nice box stuffed to the gills with items for hosting the party, including: goody bag items for the guests (like photo paper packs from HP and luggage tags from Disney Parks), party supplies (plates, napkins, cups, etc.), and giveaway items/hostess gifts (including a ginormous pack of laundry detergent pods). We hit Party City a few days before the main event and stocked up on some additional things to toss into the goody bags, so each one was stuffed with all kinds of Disney items for everyone in the family to enjoy!

Since the party was in the early afternoon, we didn’t want to spoil appetites. We also had A TON of food left over last year due to my over-provisioning, so this year we pared it back a little. This year, we put out the “100 Acre Food”: a selection of fresh veggies and fruits for the kids to chew on. The hostess box also included a Tie-Dye Cake Mix from Duff Goldman’s line, and I set out to make that bad boy my own. I must say, the results were spectacular and rather tasty to boot!

A cut slice of the DisneySide cake, made with the Duff Goldman Tie-Die Cake Mix

Lovely Duff Goldman Tie-Dye cake Is Lovely

I set aside a bunch of the gifts for the kids and parents alike, and we had a series of Disney-themed games with each game’s winner receiving a prize. First up: Wonderball. The kids passed a Little Mermaid ball while sitting in a circle and singing the “Wonderball” song, and the last kiddo standing won a Palace Pet!

Next up, we did Disney Trivia, using the cards provided in the hostess box. Again, the winner won a Palace Pet! (and was truly psyched, because these things are ADORABLE)

Game supplies from the hostess box

A great selection of fun things–like games, including “Pin the Smile on the Mickey” and Disney Trivia

Another game included in the hostess box was the “Pin the Smile on the Mickey”, and each kiddo took a turn sticking their mouth on the Mickey taped to the wall. The winning kiddo took home a fantastic Wilton cake pan shaped like Mickey Mouse’s head! Our train-shaped Wilton cake pan has gotten some good use in our house, and those are GREAT pans, so that Mickey pan is going to be good for years of adorable cakes.

Little by little, we gave away all of the prizes (including the laundry detergent!) and distributed the goody bags, and then the horde of children made their way outside to sled on the mountains of snow we’d piled up over the last few weeks. Everyone had a blast inside, playing and getting sugared up, and then they burned it off on the sledding hills.

Goody bag contents

The goody bags we put together–with minor additions from a trip to Party City

Of course, the big payoff is in the fact that we’re already thinking about our NEXT trip to Disney World and, while we were in Austin for a wedding the other weekend, a friend decided to plan a last-minute trip to Disney World. Since our experience was still so fresh in my mind, I was able to share a ton of advice with her (including the blog post I wrote from what I learned on our trip).

It was exhausting having so many kids in our house (I feel truly happy to have only TWO that I call my own), but the crowd had a blast, and their parents (some of whom stayed and some of whom came for the sledding) all reported happy, tired children. Mission accomplished!


I received free products to use when hosting the Disney Side @Home Celebration. As with every other post on this site, all of the opinions expressed here are very much my own. The free products included the giveaway items mentioned above, party supplies, and party favors for my guests. This party was sponsored by MomSelect and Disney Parks and I greatly appreciate their including me!

I have a bad case of DISNEY FEVER

We really only get to do one BIG family trip a year, and this was the year that dh and I decided we’d want to take the kids to DISNEY. I kinda feel like you have to go capslocky when it comes to DISNEY because of what DISNEY represents to me: fun, family, a sense of wonder, and something for kids of all ages. I’ve been a fan of DISNEY movies since I was very small, but the one and only time I’ve gone to DISNEY was when my parents took us to Disneyland on a trip to LA nearly 30 years ago.

So, this year is a big deal for us since it’s the first time that the kids will experience DISNEY up close and personal. My parents offered to defray some of the costs of the trip, so we’re all headed to Florida to DisneyWorld. DH has been to World before, I’ve only ever been to Land, and the kids have only seen the parks during the Disney Christmas Parade that gets televised every year. It took me about 10 minutes last night to explain to my daughter that Nick Cannon DOESN’T work at Disneyland. (“No, honey, he’s an actor. He’s married to a singer.” Her: “Who is he married to?” Me: “Mariah Carey” Her: “Who’s that?” Me: “She’s a singer. Um…I’m not sure what she’s done recently, but she was a big star when I was younger.” Her: “…”)

We’d kept the trip under wraps, so we had to come up with a big unveiling. In this case, DH took a page from the same book his mom used with him and his brother: putting the message on a puzzle. I got a 25-piece magnetic puzzle from Target, and dh wrote a message on it announcing the trip, and then we hid the pieces. Four baggies with 6 pieces each were stashed around the house, with the 25th piece wrapped in a box and placed under the tree with a clue that led the kids to the first bag. Each hidden bag had a clue that led them to the next, and when they’d collected them all they put together the puzzle.

Naturally, the kids lost their nut when they found out we were going to DISNEY, and once I was able to take the two guidebooks we bought out of hiding, dd threw herself headlong into learning everything she could about the attractions and events. Needless to say, the kids are extremely excited, and I have the feeling that this will be probably the best trip they’ve been on yet.

We wanted to wait until we thought they were old enough to remember it and enjoy it. Since ds is turning 5 this year, he’s old enough to get it – and dd (who’s 7) has been on our case for several years to get to DISNEY, just like all of her friends. It was exhausting trying to find a hotel that would work for both family’s myriad needs, but once we did, it was easy as pie getting our booking done over the phone. We’ve since been customizing pieces through the My Disney Experience part of their website and researching through the guidebooks we’ve acquired and the Disney website.

And so, it was with great surprise (and excitement) that I opened the email saying that I was picked to host a #DisneySide @Home party. I have a box that weighs nearly as much as my four-year-old coming to my house, packed with some amount of swag and party supplies, and I get to spend time with friends squeeing about DISNEY and showing off my “Disney side” (easily seen in the part of my personality that has NO shame or self-consciousness about walking around wearing dd’s sequined Minnie Mouse ears).

Mind you, I’m not someone who has gotten numb to any of this. I know people who’ve been to DISNEY so many times that they talk about it like they’re going to just any old amusement park. Honestly, I never want to go to DISNEY so often that it loses its magic for me, although A) I could never afford that, especially since we don’t live in Florida, and B) I don’t understand how you could lose appreciation for all that magic. Then again, I’m the kind of person who appreciates it when a hotel has bath sheets instead of cheesecloth squares posing as bath towels, so there’s that.

In any event, between the planning for our big family DISNEY trip and now the planning for this #DisneySide @Home party, I think everything’s coming up DISNEY in our house right now. And I think I’m okay with that…