My son and I are big Disney fans. We live a little over an hour from Walt Disney World and are frequent visitors. We’ve celebrated two of my son’s birthdays as well as several holidays in the parks. We’ve attended Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. We enjoy going all out for these events- and I have absolutely no problem dressing as my favorite Disney Villain when most everyone is all about the princesses,
When the invitation came to apply to host a Disney Side At Home party, there was no doubt in my mind that I’d apply. I was thrilled to be chosen, and was blown away when I received the party package. It was HUGE! I think it weight in at 24 pounds- I couldn’t even begin to imagine what was inside. The parties were sponsored by Disney, HP and American Tourister, and the box was full of goodies from all three.
I waited until my son was at school to open the box, that way I could look through everything without little hands helping themselves. When I opened the box, I was amazed to find an incredible rolling American Tourister suitcase! It is black with red lining and accents, and plenty of pockets. The suitcase was filled to the brim with party supplies and giveaways from the generous party hosts. I could NOT wait to begin to plan my party.
I decided to make my party a girl’s night that coincided with a visit from my good friend Kaytie (who blogs at Confessions of a Viking Wife.) We don’t get to see each other often enough since her move to Colorado a few years ago- and she often says she misses my cooking! I got busy perusing Pinterest to see what I could find..and decided to make dinner, plenty of Disney Parks inspired sweet treats, and a gorgeous and bright Sangria. Even though I *really* enjoy dressing up as a villain, I set up a table of beauty products and perfume fit for a princess for all of my girls to enjoy.
For dinner, I decided to go with a slow cooker recipe so I had more time to focus on my sweet treats, since that is what I am known for by my friends. I found 2 pulled pork taco recipes on Pinterest, and I combined elements of each to come up with my recipe. I served the tacos with an Avocado Cilantro and Lime Cream and a Cilantro Lime Slaw. The pork and accompaniments were big hits..even with the littlest Disney fans at the party.
I’m known as a baker…so I spent two days making the sweet treats I featured at my party. There were several that could be taken home and enjoyed later, that way my girls could share with their families. The box of party goodies included adorable Mickey themed cookie cutters, so I made cutout cookies and provided chinese takeout containers so everyone could take more home. I love the process of making cutouts, time consuming as it may be. I’ve learned some tips over the past several years to make baking and decorating easier, so I’m always looking for an excuse to try them out.
Two of the treats I drool over when every time I’m in the Magic Kingdom are the massive character shaped caramel apples and the chocolate dipped marshmallows. I’ve had the marshmallows in the park, but I’ve never tried an apple- while they do appear to be the size of my head, I have a hard time paying $9.95 for an apple. So! I decided to use a caramel recipe I’ve tried before and see if I could recreate these apples and marshmallows. I was flying by the seat of my pants, and it was definitely a learning process…but in the end I ended up with respectable Mickey caramel apples and marshmallows on a stick. These took an enormous amount of time, but I learned some tricks for next time…and was able to sent my girls home with marshmallows and apples to share. My little guy and I shared an apple and it was as incredibly delicious as I’d hoped it would be.
In my Pinterest searching frenzy, I came across two treats I’ve heard of but have never come across in the parks.The first is the Grapefruit Cake that is served at The Hollywood Brown Derby in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. .I’m not a big grapefruit fan, but I love making cakes and the fact that it called for blood orange syrup sealed the deal. Supposedly this cake is a big hit at the restaurant and if you ask nicely the server will give you the recipe. I went ahead and made the cake and while it tasted amazing, it looked like a disaster. For some reason, I am completely unable to make a cream cheese frosting that isn’t runny. I don’t know what the problem is, as I’ve mastered American as well as Swiss Meringue Buttercream. It wasn’t pretty but it was tasty!
The second treat I was curious to try was The Grey Stuff that is served at Be Our Guest in the new Fantasyland at The Magic Kingdom. Beauty And The Beast is one of my favorite Disney films, and I know you know the song… “Try the grey stuff, it’s delicious- don’t believe me, ask the dishes!” I was curious as to what, exactly, The Grey Stuff was so I decided to find out…and I loved it! The recipe I used doesn’t come from the park itself, but from someone who tried to replicate what they had in the park. It’s definitely worth a try!
Girls night wouldn’t be complete without wine, so I made a pitcher of Blood Orange Sangria that was both pretty and tasty. I lucked into actually finding blood oranges at the store, so I bought a bunch. The recipe also calls for strawberries, raspberries and an apple, so it must be good for you if it includes so much fruit!
The giveaways provided by Disney and HP were great for goody bags…and preparing goody bags is one of my son’s obsessions. He prepares goody bags all on his own, for no reason at all. It’s quite entertaining…Happy Tuesday- here’s some goodies! In addition to a few disney goodies I found for our bags, the party sponsors provided :
- HP Photo Card Packs
- runDisney bracelets, car window clings and ChEar cards
- Disney stickers and tattoos
- Disney “So This Is Love” prints
- Recipes from The Chew
- The Muppets Most Wanted calendar cards
- Craisin snack packs
This Disney Side At Home party experience was so much fun for me-I am all for any opportunity I get to show my Disney Side. You can visit disneysidecelebrations.com for free printables, activities,recipes and party ideas for your own Disney Side At Home Celebration. I have all of the recipes I used (or those I used for inspiration) on my Disney Side Pinterest Board if you’d like to check them out.