Disclaimer: I received free products in order to host the Disney Side @Home Celebration through MomSelect and Disney Parks as part of the #DisneySide campaign. I also received my HP Envy 5530 printer for free as part of my involvement with a blogger program through HP. The opinions expressed here are my own.
We had a rolling celebration this year for Eva’s birthday, since our house is small and it’s tough to fit all of the parties and all of the party people in at the same time. One of our parties had a special Disney twist to it – allergy-free Disney! I received the chance to host a Disney Side @Home party and decided that the Disney side I wanted to celebrate was how awesome Disney is at being a vacation destination for people with severe food allergies.
On our trip last month, we felt completely safe while at the Disney parks. Believe me, that’s a huge thing for our family! It’s so tough to eat out with Eva, especially as we get farther away from the children’s hospital and the doctors we know. Being able to relax and not have food be this terrible scary thing we have to deal with really does make the difference between just being somewhere different vs. being on vacation.
Because our theme was allergy-free food, I did a Disney parks spin on the brunch menu (keeping everything nut-free of course). We had corndogs (actually pancakes wrapped around sausage), watermelon slices, Mickey Ice Cream Bar cookies, deviled eggs, bacon, and a hidden Mickey birthday cake that was absolutely loaded with pink frosting per the birthday girl’s wish. We also had a pineapple juice and ginger ale punch as a nod to the classic Dole Whips.
I don’t know if any of you long-term readers noticed, but this is the first year that I did store-bought decorations instead of doing some elaborate DIY creations. I have to admit that I felt really bad about it, but I was putting a lot of time into the menu and some of the party activities and it just sort of slid away from me. Funny thing – I’m just as happy with those store decorations as I am with anything I ever made and they were a lot cheaper. Maybe made-by-Mom isn’t always the way to go?
I was pretty proud of my photo booth, though. I put a bin of Mickey hats and other accessories out and covered up a doorway with gold fringe and a hanging Mickey to create a photo booth background. The results were a lot of fun and I was able to print out photostrips for people to take home.
Superfluous shot of my photo booth helpers:
Another little decor thing that I did was to print out these dumbos on the HP Envy and then string them at the bottom of some sky blue balloons. I know not everyone likes to deal with them, but I think balloons just make a party and I wanted these ones to have a little extra Disney-ness. (Yes, there were Mickey balloons as well. Of course.)
Guests took home swag, including some things I picked up and other things that were sent in my Disney Side @Home Celebration kit. Everyone got stickers, tattoos, a runDisney bracelet, a Muppets calendar for the new movie coming out later this month, some HP photo cards, a bag of nut-free snacks including Craisins, a cute Disney print, and t-shirts that I personalized for each of the guests. Some had to do with allergies (like this one) and others just had the person’s name and a Disney design. That was a lot of fun – never used fabric markers before!
It was great to share what we know about allergies and Disney and I think everyone had a good time chatting and putting on the mouse ears and watching the Disney vacation DVD we had playing in the background. The best part of the party is how much fun Eva had, though. Little birthday girl is pretty darn spoiled by the wonderful people in her life!