Friday the 13th Villains #DisneySide @Home Celebration

Written by Amy Bechtol, Our Ghost Host

***I received free products to promote the #DisneySide campaign. The thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.***

“Congratulations! You’ve been selected to host a Villains #DisneySide @Home Celebration for tweens!” What a magical email to receive! Spreading Disney pixie dust is one of my favorite things to do. After being notified that I was selected to be a party hostess, I was sent a huge box full of goodies to help throw my party. My box included a full size box of All Mighty Pacs, samples of Wisk and Snuggle, a Duff Tie-Dye Premium Cake Mix, Wilton sprinkles, Kellogg’s Disney Fairies fruit snacks, two boxes of Twinings Herbal Tea, a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse cake pan, My Image Bracelet Maker, a free sample and coupons for Beyond Beef, HP photo paper, six bottles of nail polish, Princessa nail files, two Disney Villains puzzles, Disney luggage tags, a Disney vacation planning dvd and movie pins for the live action Cinderella film. There were also lots of villains themed decorations, a table cloth, plates, napkins, cups, directions for Disney inspired nail art, Disney bingo, Disney trivia, pin the smile on Mickey, Disney character word searches and a Disney quote and attraction match up game. I was given a hostess kit with ideas on how to use my goodies, recipes and various instructions. Zip-a-dee-doo-dah! I felt like I hit the Disney party lottery!

Considering the fact that I was to invite a minimum of 10 tweens, I quickly decided to find a location outside of my home to host my party. You see, I am not a foolish mortal after all! I contacted my local civic center and was able to book a room for FREE! I chose to hold my villains party on the most appropriate day I could think of in February, Friday the 13th. Only two of my kids are officially tweens so I decided to broaden my age range to include my youngest daughter who is 7. I ultimately invited 11 kids to the party in addition to 3 of my own. All 14 kids were able to attend and of them, only 2 had never visited the Walt Disney World Resort. The age range of the kids was 7-13 and to my surprise, they were easy to please.

My party planning took about a week to do. I made several trips to Dollar Tree and Target collecting Disney themed prizes for the games. I made use of the Disneyland 60th anniversary diamond paper crafts that were in my party kit and stuffed them with the Kellogg’s fruit snacks and other small candies for each kid. I ended up making each family an additional goody bag consisting of a Disney luggage tag, nail file and a photo copy of the directions for Disney inspired designs, a package of HP photo paper, a Cinderella pin and Mickey shaped pretzels. I was also able to provide each family with a full size product from one of my favorite companies, frogg toggs. I have been using Chilly Pads while traveling to Disney in the hot summer months for years. Check them out online at www.chillypad.com. Thanks to frogg toggs for their generous donation!

The kids had a blast playing games including a cup stacking relay race, a “guess which villain am I” game, match the villain to their movie, Disney bingo, pin the smile on Mickey, Disney trivia, and match the Disney quote to the attraction. To my surprise, their favorite game was the Disney word search! They loved it! They also enjoyed our light snack of popcorn, Mickey tie-dye cake and Ghoul-aid juice pouches. I loved engaging the kids in talking about all things Disney and how to show your Disney Side daily. Perhaps the best part of the party was a compliment I received at the end of the evening from one of the guests. She told me two hours wasn’t long enough because she had so much fun that it only felt like 15 minutes. Priceless!

Spreading Disney magic is so much fun! Enjoy a look at some pictures from my sinister soiree!

Friday The 13th #DisneySide @Home Celebration Flipagram

If you’d like to join in the fun, visit http://www.disneysidecelebrations.com/ for inspiration on how to host your own Disney Side celebration!

Amy is a wife and mom of 4 kids, who loves all things Disney. She is a regular on the weekly episodes of the MouseQuest Podcast. Follow her on Twitter @uccats97.

Episode 107: Showing our #DisneySide!

Welcome to the MouseQuest Podcast- Your guide in the quest for the perfect Disney vacation. This is episode number 107. Recently Dawn, Amy, and Marci were invited to show their #DisneySide through something we all love – hosting a party. These three love planning parties, and Disney themed parties are even better! The team received a hostess kit that included many fun items to use throughout the parties. Dawn and Amy hosted Villains themed parties, and Marci’s was a multi-generational celebration. In this episode, they will share all the details about the parties – the food, the decor, the games, and most important – how they were able to show their #DisneySide throughout the entire process. We hope this inspires you to throw your very own #DisneySide party and perhaps some of our ideas will help in the planning!

Please note: The members of this podcast did receive free products for our parties. And All of our thoughts and ideas shared to you through our podcasts, photos and videos are our own and we do not represent the Disney company or its affiliates in any way.

Appearing this week are Amy Bechtol, Dawn Gosdin, and Marci Smith.

Connect with us!

MouseQuest on Twitter: @MQPodcast

Amy Bechtol on Twitter: @uccats97

Dawn Gosdin on Twitter: @logpey Blog: Dawn’s Dorky Diary

Rich Grady on Twitter: @michigansahd

To submit a question for the show, please go to the MouseQuest Podcast website, or send an email to question@mqpodcast.com.

Yo Ho Let’s Go! Are You Ready for a Pirate Play Date?

I received free products in order to host a #DisneyKids Jake and the Neverland Pirates Preschool Play Date. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Written By: Marci Smith

Ahoy maties! Thar be adventure ahead!

When I received the email invitation to host a #DisneyKids Jake and the Neverland Pirates Preschool Play Date, I was so excited! I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but my family and I LOVE all things Disney. My kids are big fans of Disney Junior and they were more than willing to help me plan a pirate play date for them and their friends. This is the tale of our adventure.

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Getting a #DisneyKids Package in the Mail is Awesome:

Our big party box arrived swiftly and held so many treasures for our play date! It was quite the task keeping the kids away from the package of goodies until the party date arrived, especially with so much in there! We received:

  • A TON of Jake and the Neverland Pirates Party Supplies: Themed plates, cups, napkins, party hats, tablecloth, and centerpieces just to name a few…
  • Great Munchies: Kellogg’s Super Mario Brothers fruit snacks, Clif Kids ZBAR Protein and Crunchmaster Grammy Snacks – all delicious!
  • Pirate Loot: What would a pirate play date be without treasure? The kids loved the Gold Doubloon Necklaces, Mini Spy Glasses, Eye Patches, and Bouncy Cannon Balls.
  • Disney Parks Planning DVDs and Luggage Tags: Great for the parents! If you’d like to get your very own planning DVD for FREE and learn more about planning a Disney Vacation, fill out THIS FORM.
  • Cool Extras: An awesome MegaBloks Hot Wheels set, Kinetic Sand and Sandbox, Mickey Mouse Chore Charts, coloring pages, themed games, and balloons. So much fun!

The Plan; or lack thereof:

I’m a planner. I love lists and organization. My gatherings are usually planned out in detail months in advance. Unfortunately, the past two months have been INSANE in the Smith household. I’m sure many of you can empathize; kids, school, home, pets, work; the list just goes on and on and ON. I even designed and printed super cute invitations that I just never found the time to mail!! Sad, isn’t it?

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Then, when I finally set the date, invited guests, and had our plan in motion…Elsa went crazy. Our small town was covered in nearly a foot of snow and it had to be postponed. While the kids loved it, I panicked. Most of our guests would be away for the holiday weekend and Sunday was the last day I could host this play date. Thankfully, I was able to pull it together and our guests had a great time! It was far from smooth sailing, but what would a pirate adventure be without some waves?

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The Event:

I enlisted the help of my 8-year-old daughter and got to work. She set up a super cute table where all the guests could visit and snack while I made up an area for Pirate dress-up. My son has a Skull Rock play set and Bucky Pirate Ship with a LOT of Peter Pan and Jake toy figures. The kids all loved dressing as pirates and playing with the toys from the show. They especially loved our Pirate Treasure Maps. During our last trip to Walt Disney World we played an interactive game in Magic Kingdom called ‘A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas.’ We were given a map that led us around Adventureland in search of treasure that Captain Jack Sparrow was trying to find. Once you found the clues and treasure you could continue the game with a new map or be on your way. We played 3 of 5 games and both the kids really enjoyed it. I would definitely recommend trying it out during your next trip!

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Three of the older kids really had fun putting together the Mega Bloks Hot Wheels car. Although the box said ages 5 and up the two 8-year-olds in the bunch enjoyed this the most. One activity that all the kids loved regardless of their age was the Kinetic Sand. I buried some of the pirate treasure in it and let them go nuts! I think we were all really surprised by the consistency. The sand was very soft, squishy, and moist but not messy at all. It did not stick to our hands or other surfaces and was very easy to clean up. I’m sure I’ll be buying more of it for my kids!

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Our play date was scheduled from 2:00pm to 4:00pm. This is prime snack time in toddler world. We made sure to have some fun and healthy things to munch on. Some highlights were the Gold Doubloon Chocolate Cupcakes (fun), multigrain tortilla chips with salsa and fresh fruit with Crunchmaster Grammy Crisps (healthy).

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I added the Clif Kids ZBARS Protein, Super Mario Brothers fruit snacks and some other goodies into the kids treat bags. My daughter has loved Clif bars for a while now and was ecstatic when she saw them in our play date box. In hindsight, I should have just let her eat them then because unfortunately they were out of date by the time we had our party. Of course I didn’t realize it until after it was over and everyone had gone home. To all of my guests, I’m sorry! I blame Captain Hook!

In the end, our Jake and the Neverland Pirates Preschool Play Date was a success! The kids had fun, the snacks were delicious, and it’s always great to spend time with friends and talk Disney. I’m so glad to have been selected as a host and look forward to my next #DisneySide party!

MouseQuest would like to thank BSM Media, Mom Select, Disney Parks, and products sponsored by MegaBloks, Clif Kids and Kellogg’s for all of our amazing party snacks and supplies!

If you’re looking for ideas to host a #DisneySide Celebration of your own, be sure to visit them on the web for amazing ideas!

I received free products in order to host a #DisneyKids Jake and the Neverland Pirates Preschool Play date. The opinions expressed here are my own.

How to Have an At-Home Disney Wedding

Written by: Amy Yacullo

You’re getting married!! Congratulations!! You’ve dreamed of this day all your life—going to Disney, getting married in front of the castle, riding in Cinderella’s Coach, taking your fireworks cruise, paying the bill… wait, what?! All that costs how much? Suddenly, your dreams of a Disney wedding are shattered.

Never fear, the Disney Wedding Bloggess is here!! I had two weddings; one in Disney and one in my home state of Connecticut. My goal with the CT wedding was to bring as much Disney to the event as possible without it being an in-your-face Disney-fest. I feel (and have been told) that I succeeded quite beautifully in my goal and now, dear reader, I’d like to show you how I did it. Whether you’re looking to have an all-out Disney extravaganza or just a few nods to Disney here and there, follow these tips and you’re sure to have an amazing Disney-style wedding.

COLORS

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The most basic (and easiest) way to evoke Disney in your wedding is to choose colors that represent “Disney.” Whether it be a particular character, ride, resort, or other aspect of Disney, color is an amazing way to subtly hinting at your favorite Disney thing. For my CT wedding, I chose the colors red, yellow, white, and black. Who do those remind you of? Mickey Mouse, of course!! You could easily use color to evoke your favorite Princess (blue and silver for Cinderella, purple and yellow for Rapunzel, red, green, and purple for Ariel…the list goes on and on…) or place (silver and blue can be used to represent Cinderella Castle, pastels fall under Small World territory, burgundy, gold, and black can take you to the Tower of Terror…). You can then use those colors everywhere—your bridesmaid’s dresses, the groomsmen’s ties, tablecloths, napkins, chair ties…the possibilities are truly endless!!

CEREMONY

This is probably the easiest of all—include Disney quotes and references in your ceremony. The bridesmaids walked down the aisle to “Behind the Waterfall “ from the now-defunct Wonders of Life pavilion soundtrack. I walked down to “Waiting for the Lights” from Rapunzel. Our recessional was “Married Life” from UP. There are so many pieces of music that Disney has to offer; the possibilities are literally endless!! And when anyone mentions Disney, the phrase “Happily Ever After” springs to mind– that’s an easy one to add to the end of the ceremony. You can also have a reading of a Disney song—my sister read the lyrics of “One Song” from Snow White during our ceremony. Throw in a quote from your favorite Disney movie that’s meaningful to you. You can easily come up with plenty of ideas just by flipping through a Disney book or doing a quick Internet search.

PICTURES

PROPS!! Props are the easiest and best way to bring Disney to your Floralpictures. Whether you want to go bold and use an ear hat, include a pair of Disney lapel pins, or go subtle and have the groomsmen wear Disney socks and ties, you can do whatever your heart desires! You can even go as far as to have your florist make a hidden Mickey out of pearls and contact Disney floral and purchase some Swarovski crystal Mickey heads to include in your Mickey-inspired bouquet….

The best part is, a lot of Disney touches can go unnoticed to the untrained eye, so you don’t have to worry about the pictures looking “childish” or “tacky” (which shouldn’t really matter because if they make you happy, then your pictures are perfect and beautiful).

FOOD 

This one might be a little tricky depending on your caterer, but I’m sure you can work with them if there’s something you want badly. Beer cheese soup shooters (to evoke Le Cellier steakhouse) sound like an awesome passes appetizer, don’t they? How about some banana pudding to represent your new ‘Ohana? Maybe you want to have a popcorn machine and some fresh baked cookies to make your venue smell like Main Street, U.S.A.?

THE CAKE(S)

 By far, my cakes were my favorite Disney touches at our wedding. First things first: your cake topper. You can find pre-made Disney wedding cake toppers online—everything from beautiful Lenox pieces to lovingly homemade Disney toppers are out there. You can buy the bride and groom ear hat ornaments or Vinylmations and use those. You can even go so far as to find an amazing artist who will custom-paint a pair of blank Vinylmation characters to look like you and your partner…

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As for designs on the cake, you can have your baker write “And they lived happily ever after” on the tiers, have a hidden Mickey in the back, or do what I asked my baker to do and substitute Mickey heads for a typical Swiss Dot pattern.

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And for your groom, you can get a groom’s cake that pays homage to his favorite Disney park, ride, movie, or character.

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RECEPTION

Wine glassesA great reception starts with great music—who needs the cha-cha slide? Have your first dance to Beauty and the Beast or shake your groove thang to “Stand Out” from A Goofy Movie. Once again, the possibilities are truly endless!!

 Grab a pair of champagne flutes with Mickey and Minnie (or another favorite Disney couple) on them—you can get those easily from Arribas Bros on Main Street USA (or the internet) or from someone online.

Your guestbook, centerpieces, and favors can all be Disney themed too!! Get a Disney autograph book or two and have your guests sign those instead of the typical guest book. You can even get a few of the big, 9” Vinylmations and have your guests sign those in different colored sharpie markers! Name each table after a Disney movie or character. You can theme the centerpieces to each table, or they can match your overall color scheme. And for favors? How about some Vinylmation shaped soaps (easily found online) or Mickey head shaped chocolates?

 At the end of the day, your wedding will be amazing no matter what. Regardless of if you use every suggestion here or if you only use one or two, the most important part of your Disney wedding is love. Celebrate your love with the people you love most in the world—that’s what a wedding is all about. It will be a magical day, I promise.

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Amy is a 20-something Disney fanatic living with her Disney Prince in New Jersey. She has dedicated her life to all things Disney and is debating naming her first child Ariel. When not blogging, she likes playing video games, reading, and snuggling with her Disney-named cats. You can find her online at www.shortfatandsassy.com.

Wedding pictures in this post taken by Dana Lane of Dana Lane Photography.

A “Frozen Summer Fun” Family Game Night!

Written By: Marci Smith

When I read about all of the amazing Frozen events coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios this summer, I was ecstatic! Our family LOVES Frozen, and can belt out “Let it Go” with the best of them. Yesterday was the official beginning of “Frozen Summer Fun” at Walt Disney World, and although we won’t be able to experience it for a few more weeks, I decided to surprise my kids with some Frozen fun of our own! What better way to kick off a great summer than with a Frozen themed family game night? My kids really enjoy playing games, and I knew this would be a great way to make it even more special.

Party planning is one of my absolute favorite things to do. In this particular case I had a short time-frame and limited budget, so I knew I wanted to keep it simple. To organize my thoughts, I did what I do best…I made a list. Lists are amazing, and I use them frequently.

First, I thought about what snacks we could have during our game night. One of the greatest things about Frozen is that it lends itself to so much creativity when it comes to themed foods. I began with Kristoff’s Ice Blocks (blue Jell-O cubes), Elsa’s Frozen Hearts (heart shaped Rice Krispie treats dipped in blue sugar) and Marshmallow’s Snowballs (white cheddar popcorn). To create a snow-like centerpiece, we had a white cake fluffed with shaved coconut. It was surrounded by five mini chocolate cupcakes topped with character rings. To finish off our frosty foods, the kids were able to ‘Help Sven Build a Snowman’. Vanilla ice cream, mini M&Ms, pretzel sticks and candy corn turned into uniquely decorated snowmen. I knew the kids would love it!

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Next I focused on the decorations. Creating an indoor blizzard in July is a challenge in and of itself, but doing it on a limited budget is something else altogether! I decided to make my own. After rummaging around in my craft drawer, I found some gorgeous foil snowflakes I found on clearance at Target many moons ago. I also had some card stock, so I went online and gathered some great images from the movie to create food labels and a snowflake that I taped to a skewer and used as a cake topper. My favorite part of the décor was Olaf’s personal flurry, which I made out of some of the white cheddar popcorn! I strung it up with a needle and white thread then fastened it to the ceiling. I surrounded the cake pedestal with white serving napkins and voila! – A winter wonderland on my dining room table.

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The last piece of the puzzle was the entertainment. Of course we would play all of our favorite songs from the movie to enhance the atmosphere, but what about the game? You can’t have a Frozen family game night without a game. However, I didn’t have a Frozen themed board game and really didn’t want to go out and buy one. Once again, I tapped into my creative side and made my own. If your kids are like mine, they’ve probably seen the movie at least three million times. They know the songs, the story, the characters…almost every word by heart. I wanted to come up with something that would be challenging but still easy enough for them to win. Frozen “Who Said It?” was born! The game consists of 48 cards. Each card has a quote from the movie and a picture of the character that said it. One person chooses a card and reads the quote, then whoever guesses the correct character first gets the card. At the end of the game when all the cards are gone, the player with the most cards wins. Even though it was a really simple game, we had the best time! The kids both loved the playing it and were laughing hysterically at each other as they tried each time to say the line exactly as the character had in the movie. It was so much fun to watch them together, and in the end, only two cards separated them. So although they are 5 and 7, neither of them felt as if the game was too easy or too hard. It worked really well for their ages, which was great!

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I had a great time coming up with some “Frozen Summer Fun” for my family, and I am beyond excited to visit Disney’s Hollywood Studios this summer and experience some of the amazing things they have planned! If you would like to learn more about “Frozen Summer Fun”, be sure to check out the Disney Parks Blog.

DOWNLOAD the Frozen Card Game and other Printables:

Cards Page 1

Cards Page 2

Cards Page 3

Cards Page 4

Cards Back

Snowflake

Snack Labels

Episode 62: #DisneySide @Home Celebrations

Welcome to the MouseQuest Podcast- Your guide in the quest for the perfect Disney vacation. This is episode number 62. This week on the show we will conclude our #DisneySide series by talking about the very thing that started it all… our @Home Celebrations! Beginning on February 15th, Disney fans from around the country started hosting their parties and will continue doing so until March 1st. A couple of us here at MouseQuest hosted our parties last weekend and some of us are still planning, but we have all the details and are very excited to share our #DisneySide with you.

Please note that we all received free products to aid in our party planning including the Celebration Host Kit. All of our thoughts and ideas shared to you through our podcasts, photos and videos are our own and we do not represent the Disney company or its affiliates in any way.

Appearing this week are Lisa Cameron, Marge Gerwels, Marci Smith, and Gayle Turner.

To submit a question for the show, please go to the MouseQuest Podcast website, or send an email to question@mqpodcast.com.

Episode 60: Showing Your DisneySide at Home

Welcome to the MouseQuest Podcast- Your guide in the quest for the perfect Disney vacation. This is episode number 60. This week on the show we will continue our discussion on showing your DisneySide! Today we will talk about some fun ways you can show how much you love Disney right in your own home. I’m excited to share some of the things that my family and I love to do and I can’t wait to hear what my fellow Disney crazies do as well.

Please note: As a selected host a DisneySide @Home Celebration we did receive products that would help us in the party planning process. All of the information we are sharing with you including our opinions, ideas, tweets, instagram photos, videos, etc. are all our own and we do not represent the Disney company or it’s affiliates in any way.

Questions this week include:

  • For Disney superfans like us it’s next to impossible not to think about something Disney on a daily basis. What are some things your family likes to do to show your DisneySide when you’re at home?
  • Coming home from an incredible Disney vacation can be kind of a let down, especially if you’re an uber planner and have been consumed by vacation planning for months on end. Now that the trip’s over, what does your family do to shake the post Disney trip blues and show your DisneySide?
  • One of my favorite ways to show my DisneySide is to eat food that reminds me of Disney. What are some fun snacks or yummy recipes that you’ve used to show your DisneySide when you’re at home?
  • With all the snow days we’ve had this year, sometimes it can be a challenge to keep the kids (and us!) from going stir crazy. I love to do projects with my kids and play games with my kids on snowy days. What are some fun things you like to do with your kids that show your family’s DisneySide?
  • If you could choose one thing to do to show your DisneySide with your family, what would it be?

Appearing this week are Amy Bechtol, Kelly Collins, Dawn Gosdin, Rich Grady, and Marci Smith.

To submit a question for the show, please go to the MouseQuest Podcast website, or send an email to question@mqpodcast.com.

Episode 59: DisneySide Party Planning

Welcome to the MouseQuest Podcast- Your guide in the quest for the perfect Disney vacation. This is episode number 59. This episode is all about showing your Disney Side! A few weeks ago many moms and dads from across the Social Media world applied to to host a very special DisneySide @ Home Celebration. We are SO excited to share that a number of regular guests on the show have been chosen as hosts and we are going to talk about what a DisneySide @ Home Celebration entails as well as some of our party planning currently in the works.

Please note that those who were selected to host an @Home Celebration did receive products that would help us in the party planning process. All of the information we are sharing with you including our opinions, ideas, tweets, Instagram photos, videos, etc. are all our own and we do not represent the Disney company or it’s affiliates in any way. Questions this week include:

  • First, let’s just quickly explain to anyone who may not be familiar with what we’re talking about, how did you find out about the DisneySide @Home Celebration?
  • I know I was really excited to receive my party planning package in the mail. I think a lot of the people who were selected received many of the same things, but what was in your package?
  • Can you share some of your DisneySide @Home Party planning ideas with us?
  • Where can our listeners learn more about your DisneySide Celebration?
  • For those listening who would love to be included on something like this in the future, what would you recommend that they do? Are there any good online groups to join in order to be considered for a future event?

Appearing this week are Amy Bechtol, Dawn Gosdin, Marci Smith, and Gayle Turner.

To submit a question for the show, please go to the MouseQuest Podcast website, or send an email to question@mqpodcast.com.