When I first learned I had been selected to host a Disney Side Party, I jumped at the opportunity (much like any opportunity I have to partner with Disney).
The timing was perfect, the #DisneySide campaign aligned with my son’s upcoming birthday and we thought this would be a piece of cake to organize.
But if I’m being honest, I actually ended up with a lot of angst trying to pinpoint what our family’s Disney Side would be.
After all, the four of us have a very unique backgrounds and personalities.
For starters, my husband grew up in South Florida and his parents were at Disney World’s opening-day back in the 70s.
I on the other hand didn’t get to go until my teenage years and even then, I spent more time at the Disney resorts that I did inside the park.
While our two kids have ‘grown up Disney’, being a boy and a girl 19 months apart, we’ve run the gamut from Little Einstein’s and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse through Sophia the First and Jake and the Neverland Pirates.
And let’s not get me started on trying to pick a favorite Disney movie amongst us. (Other than the fact that our household has been singing “Let It Go” nonstop for the past three months…)
So as my son’s birthday approached and the theme for our Disney Side @ Home Celebration still had yet to be decided upon, I took a step back.
Instead of trying to compete with all the other fabulous Disney Side Celebrations (although you can find a lot of great ideas at DisneySideCelebration.com) or compare our family to other Disney-loving families, I thought about what made us love Disney in the first place.
Ultimately, for us, Disney represents a realization of dreams: both in the Walt Disney’s vision of bringing Disney World to life in the first place and in what the continuation of his vision embodies for everyone that believes in it.
It also represents a literal realization of our dreams as a family.
Back when we were about to give birth to our first child, my mentor gave us some stellar advice. She said,
“The things you buy your children will eventually end up under a bed or in a garage sale, but the memories you make with them will last forever.”
Seeing as we were living in South Florida at the time (and knew that would not be the case forever), we invested in Disney World season passes for our family. And yes, I said invested. We gave up other expendable line items on the budget for the sake of putting any of our extra income into this memory-making fund.
And when relatives asked what we wanted for holidays, we weren’t shy to share our dreams.
Our family lived in South Florida for a total of seven years together and I cannot tell you exactly how many times we went to Disney World during that time, except that it is upwards of dozens upon dozens.
Those magical moments are ones we will forever cherish as a family.
So ultimately, when it came time to decide upon a theme for our Disney Side party, what better representation of Disney dreams is there then the mouse himself? That’s right, Mickey Mouse.
We celebrated with Mickey plates, Mickey cups, Mickey artwork, Mickey games and more. But we had to make Mickey a little sweeter and even larger than life.
We did exactly that with a Mickey sandwich cookie.
Get your own Disney Mickey Mouse & Friends Party Kit
Ultimately, I don’t believe Disney came up with the Disney Side campaign to make us compare ourselves to one another, but rather, to share what makes each of us individuals. After all, isn’t that the true magic of Disney? Even though everyone in the world is so different, we can all share one, simple love…a love that all started with a mouse