I have said it before and I'll say it again, but there is something inherently magical about Disney.
It doesn't matter if you are an über-fan or simply find it difficult to name your child's favorite character without realizing that the car or toy or princess or superhero is connected back to that same mouse, Disney holds a special spot in our lives and our culture.
And, as much as I have always been awed and amazed at the wonder, care and imagination that goes into everything and anything Disney, it has increased infinitely now that I can see it through the eyes of my children. The way that they giggle over photos of our visits to the parks, the way that their eyes light up when they have a chance to meet their favorite characters, the way that they can't wait to see the little bonus clip at the end of the credits of Disney movies...
What can I say? The way that they love Disney touches my heart in its own magical way! Therefore, if we're called upon to...
...there is never any doubt that we are thrilled to join in and host our own Disney Side @Home Celebration!
If you're somehow unfamiliar with Disney's theme phrase "Disney Side," they define it as that fun-loving adventurous spirit that comes out to play when you're feeling the Disney magic! Whether you show your Disney Side through fashion, food, or your favorite characters, or frequent visits to Disney Parks, it's time to let it shine. Gather your fellow Disney fans, grab your Mickey ears and prepare to sprinkle some pixie dust on those who cross your path as you let your Disney Side take over!
No matter where you search for #DisneySide (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and more) or how many times you visit DisneySide.com, you're sure to love seeing all of the fantastic ways that people near and far are showing off their Disney spirit!
As for us, it didn't matter that we didn't have a specific event in mind to celebrate, we were still more than ready to include some Disney love into an afternoon of fun... and then a box of goodies arrived that took our excitement an entirely new level. You just never know what might be inside a box from Disney and this one was just about overflowing with entertainment!
Food, decorations, invitations, toys, games, activities... what more could we need? It was time to invite some friends over and have some Disney fun!
Although we weren't planning on serving a full spread of food at our party, I still wanted to have snacks for the kids (and their parents) to munch on. Besides, what sort of fun would a Disney Side @Home Celebration be without a sweet treat or two in the shape of the main mouse himself?
Which is why it was time to pull together a few simple ingredients, a little creativity, and a shaped pan to come up with an adorable plate oozing with the delicious flavor and aroma of Mickey Mouse Monkey Bread.
It may not have turned out a mirror image of Mickey, but you can tell it's him if you use your imagination, right?
Here, does this help?
The kids could tell, that's what mattered!
Plus, our Mickey Mouse Monkey Bread not only represented Mickey in its full form, but, as Little Sister B pointed out, looked like mouse ears when pulled apart, too!
So much fun and full of sticky goodness from the first bite to the last! Plus, this Monkey Bread couldn't have been much easier to make. I opted to try a recipe posted from The Pioneer Woman and, as I suspected, it barely took any work before this was in the oven.
Mickey Mouse Monkey Bread
3 cans regular (non-flaky) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1 cup sugar
2-3 tsp cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
½ cup brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly spray Mickey Mouse shaped pan with cooking spray.
Open cans of biscuits and cut each biscuit into quarters. Set aside.
Combine sugar with cinnamon in a 1 gallon zip bag and shake to mix evenly.
Drop all of the biscuit quarters into the cinnamon-sugar mix, seal closed and shake until all pieces are coated with cinnamon-sugar. Spread evenly in prepared pan.
Melt butter and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring for a few minutes until the two are thoroughly mixed. Pour mixture over biscuit pieces in pan.
Bake for 30-40 minutes until the crust is a deep dark brown on top. Cool for 15-30 minutes before turning over onto plate to serve.
While the Mickey Mouse Monkey Bread was a hit in its own right (obviously!), the kids also had a blast playing all sorts of games and activities throughout the afternoon.
The Disney Trivia cards (did you know that Mickey Mouse was originally voiced by Walt Disney himself? Or that Disneyland Resort is the #1 most-Instagrammed place in the U.S.?) included questions that puzzled even a few adults, Pin The Smile On Mickey brought a whole lot of laughter to the participants...
...while the Disney Word Searches and Disney Bingo were a blast to return to time and again.
We lucked out with a tiny bit of warm weather (you never know what the temperatures will be in the Midwest in early spring!) and the kids were also able to play indoors as well as out.
Between the fun that Disney provided (there are a ton of downloads available for anyone to print off!), the addition of our many princess costumes, Disney tattoos, and the ability to burn a little energy jumping on our trampoline, the afternoon was a complete success!
As usual, if we had had more time, there were a whole slew of Disney crafts, Disney movies, Disney make-believe and more that we would have enjoyed as well... the options are endless and I have no doubt that we'll be including them into future parties. The love for Disney is universal!
Plus, if we ever manage to get through our own list of ideas, there is no shortage of recipes, activities, themes and more to inspire just about anyone at DisneySideCelebrations.com. There is absolutely something for everyone!
As much fun as our simple (but still completely enjoyable) Disney Side @Home Celebration was, it did have the unfortunate side effect of making us yearn for a bit of the real thing — particularly when a few of the kids stopped to work on their My Family Tree of Life Poster.
If you've been to Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World, then the amazing tree in the center of this poster will look familiar to you.
This is one place that my kids haven't been to see (actually Big Sister E was there when she was a toddler, so she only remembers the tree from photographs) but, what they don't know is that they are going to be seeing this exact tree in person in just a few weeks... shhh! Can't wait to surprise them!!
In the meantime, as one added bonus to our celebration, our kittens have been in love with the box and packaging from our original Disney Side box.
They play in it, they sleep in it, they run and jump into it, they pull out strands of paper and chase them around the house... there's no explanation other than that they must love Disney just as much as we do!
So, we've clearly got Disney on the brain around here. How do you show your Disney Side?
Other than the hostess gift pack I received from Disney Parks and Mom Select in order to facilitate and inspire our party, I was not compensated or enticed to do this post in any way. This post is solely my honest opinion about our #DisneySide!