Anniversaries, surprises, and Orlando: a Geeky trip to Disney and Harry Potter.

On Monday, September 28 in the VERY early morning, I plan to wake up the Kid, and head to Florida to go to the parks at Disney and Harry Potter parks at Universal. Currently, she has no idea, and I’m not even sure I will tell her when she wakes up. I may wait until we get closer into the Orlando area. I really hope it will be a fun trip.

Monday also happens to be the 7th anniversary of the day I was admitted to the hospital 20 weeks and 5 days pregnant with our twins. Little did I know that I would still be in that same hospital bed 110 days later. What an interesting time that was for our family, but it took a toll on the Kid who was only 3.5 years old at the time.

The Kid has been having some self esteem issues due to someone close to her making her feel “less than”. I am hoping this trip, with just the two of us, will help her remember that being her Geeky self, is the best way to be.

The two Harry Potter parks at Universal and several parks at Disney are on the list of places to visit. What are your “must go to” places in Orlando? What are some SUPER GEEKY things to do at Universal and Disney? Let us know, and I’ll let you know how our trip is going on our Facebook page, Twitter feed, and Instagram page. Make sure to follow along!

DisneySide, party, 2015, Disney Parks

2015 DisneySide Party–The Art of Disney

Show Your Disney Side
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that one of my Geeks is all things Disney and to show my DisneySide whenever possible. After our trip last year to see the Mouse, this has only intensified. I was so thrilled to have another opportunity to host a DisneySide party this year. As usual, Disney Parks, and all of the other sponsors, were amazing to send all kinds of goodies to help us throw the party and show our DisneySide.

DisneySide Party Box Reveal

Check out all of the goodies that Disney Parks, Beyond Beef, Palace Pets, and Duff sent. The party box was filled to the brim with party supplies, cake supplies, party games, prizes, favors, recipes, and decorations.

Last year, our DisneySide party was full of fun, food, friends, and family, and it was LARGE! We had a blast, but this year, I wanted to keep it smaller. I wanted to focus on one of my favorite elements of Disney–the Art of Disney. Since the beginning, Walt Disney and the Disney Company have always put ingenuity, innovation, and creativity first. As a homeschooling parent, these are some of the core values that I try to instill in my children. One of the best ways that Disney shows these elements in what they do is by their art and design, so I decided that the Art of Disney would be my theme this year.

DisneySide, party, art party, mouse, mickey, decorations, rainbow, colorful, theme, party, disney parks

With the Art of Disney theme, our DisneySide was easily shown through a pallet of color.

 

DisneySide Art of Disney Party Decorations

There were Mickeys and more hidden Mickeys everywhere.

With the theme decided, I was able to come up with several ideas  for projects to do during the party. I decided on watercolor (with nail polish) picture frames, design your own cup, freestyle paintings, and to make sure the kids’ clothes stayed clean-ish (thanks to all for cleaning all of the paint off of the towels and shirts that it did get on), a decorate your own art apron–all with a DisneySide spin.

The aprons were a big hit! A friend was nice enough to make some iron-on mouse heads. It was really easy to iron onto the 3 for $5 aprons I got at Hobby Lobby. I have visions of Bubba using his to help me cook in the kitchen. He told me during the prep for the party that he would really like to be a chef at Disney since they took such great care of him and his gluten issues while we were there.

DisneySide; Apron Project; Mickey; Disney; Art Party; Design your own apron

The kids had a blast designing their own Mickey art aprons. They were all so different and colorful!

In the South, if there is a party, there has to be food. Lots and lots of food. Because the party was small, I didn’t have to go too crazy, but from the silence of the guests while eating, I assume that they liked it. Kids can always be a little picky, so as a parent, I always try to have a variety of food that I know most kids will eat.

Disney. DisneySide, food, party food, Mickey, Mickey Mouse, party food, art of disney, art party

You know, since I’m from the South, we had to have tons of food.

As you can imagine, they loved being able to decorate their own cupcakes. I wasn’t able to use the awesome Duff Tie Dye Cake Mix for our party, since my son could not eat those particular goodies, but I’m planning on using it for our pre-Spring Break fun in the Kid’s Irish Dance class. Oh, I have plans for that mix!

DisneySide Art Cupcakes

I’m not sure what they liked more, decorating the cupcakes or eating them!

We moved onto making our frames. This was so much fun, so make sure to check out the tutorial. Of course, you can make these with any sort of decoration, but why wouldn’t we show our DisneySide in everything we do! They turned out so wonderfully, and they were perfect for the HP Photopaper that we got in our box. I’m in the process of sending several DisneySide pictures to each family that will fit perfectly inside the frames.

disneyside frame nail polish marbling watercolor

Aren’t all of these amazing! They were so easy, a little messy, and a ton of fun to make. Make sure to check out our tutorial on how to make them.

Our next artistic ode to Disney was a super simple Dollar Tree DIY cup. Prior to the party, I used the provided interior paper and added a Mickey head sticker. The kids LOVED being able to show their DisneySide on their cups knowing that they would be able to take them home and use them immediately.

DisneySide Cup Project

It’s really important to get Mickey juuuust right.

Our last project was free painting. I showed the kids a few pictures of Disney concept art that illustrated many different styles of art. I explained that, at Disney, creativity drives much of what you see as the finished product in the parks and on the screen. Being creative and thinking outside the box are cornerstone’s of how Disney is run, and it was time for them to get a chance to be as creative as they wanted to be on a real canvas with real paint. They had a blast, and their creations were amazing.

DisneySide Free Paint

It was the first time most of our guests had ever painted on a canvas or canvas board. They had so much fun being creative however they chose.

Our DisneySide bingo and Pin the Smile on Mickey were so much fun. Everyone at the party loved playing those games, and it got seriously competitive. The amazing prizes included in our box made the games even more fun! The nail polish, Mickey card games, and Palace Pets were loved by all of our winners!

Pin the Smile on Mickey

Our DisneySide Pin the Smile on Mickey and Disney Bingo were highly competitive. The prizes included in our boxes were so amazing!

All of our guests went away with an awesome arty gift basket that had the DisneySide Word search, DisneySide Match Up, Disney Parks luggage tag, Disney pencils, Beyond Meat coupon, painting supplies, and some Disney soap and a washcloth…because, you gotta clean up after creating amazing pieces of art, right?

DisneySide Favors

All of our guests left with activities, crafts, and a few things to clean up the small messes that are sometimes made when you are as creative as they are.

Thank you to all of the amazing sponsors and facilitators:

Disney Parks
Duff’s Cake MixHP Create Memories You’ll Keep
All
(got all of that paint out of our clothes perfectly!)
Snuggle
Wisk
Beyond Meat

A special thanks to my friend Nathan McFarland for helping me take pictures throughout the event. Thanks to all of our guests, MomSelect, and Disney Parks. It wouldn’t have been as much fun without you! We all had the most amazing time showing off our DisneySide!

Disney sent some of the products you see for us to throw a party, mmm-kay. The opinions and fun had with my kids are all my own.