Max’s birthday was back in April and I thought I’d escaped throwing him a party. The thought of a bunch of 3 year olds running riot when I was 6 months pregnant just wasn’t appealing, and as Max didn’t seem to be bothered, we decided that we’d make his party next year really special instead. But just a month after his birthday he started asking us to have a party – and suddenly he seemed to have cottoned on to everything that happens at a party, despite only having been to one in his life. “Max have party… my friends come… have cake… play games?” I was starting to feel all the guilt!
So when The Disney Store got in touch to ask if we’d like to team up with them to throw a little get together using their Party Planning Service, it seemed like fate was smiling on us. How could I refuse?
Planning your Party
The Disney Store make planning your party so simple. It’s a free online service and it gives you access to a dashboard where you can plan all the aspects of your party – invitations, guest list, theme ideas, products, games, itineraries, and thank you cards.
There are a great range of themes to choose from – Frozen, Cars, Moana, The Little Mermaid, Spiderman, Star Wars, Disney Princess or you could go for the ever popular Mickey Mouse. Max is a huge Toy Story fan, I must have watched all three films about 50 times with him while I was pregnant, so a Toy Story party was an easy choice for us. Once you’ve chosen your theme, you can view all the products available that fit with that theme – tableware, decorations, party bag ideas, and activities. The fact that it’s all grouped together makes it so easy to put together your party, rather than scouring the shops for products.
It’s easy to draft your invitations online, or print and send if you prefer. We chose the online version, and I loved that we could chose from two Toy Story designs and then just send out by email. It was a lovely activity to do with Max – he chose the design and understood that we were sending the invitations to his friends. We invited Max’s cousins, and my two blogger friends Dear Bear and Beany and Life Is Knutts and their children. It was obviously very easy to RSVP, as we had our 4 guests all RSVP within an hour! No chasing up required.
I loved the Inspiring Ideas section. It was like a mini Pinterest board of Toy Story party ideas for food, games, cakes, and you could see what other real life people had done. Great if you’re like me and somewhat lacking on the creative ideas front.
My only complaint about the dashboard and the planning aspect was the lack of choice in the Thank You cards. There was only a limited selection – Cars, The Little Mermaid, Mickey Mouse – and no Toy Story one, which was a bit disappointing.
Styling our Toy Story Party
When our box of goodies arrived, Max couldn’t have been more excited. He felt so special – he’d chosen the theme himself and as we unpacked the box his eyes lit up. “I got deccy-ayshuns!” he announced to his Daddy when he got home!
We got Toy Story plates and cups, straws, tablecloth, and alien green cutlery to match everything. For activities we went for a Pin the Badge on the Sheriff game, and the classic Pass the Parcel – thankfully we had enough stickers, keyrings, and badges to make sure that everyone got a prize.
The cake is always a big part of the party for me – and for Max too! I’d invited my lovely friend Gemma and her little boy, and Gemma is an amazingly talented baker and runs her own company, Little Gem Bakes. She sent me an ideas board and we decided on a set of alien cupcakes.
I couldn’t resist adding extra balloons and dressing the room a bit with all of Max’s Toy Story toys, and a last minute Etsy purchased tassel garland from Paper Street Dolls. You could easily make something like this yourself, but hey, I’m lazy and it was short notice!
I put all the decorations together the day before the party, while Max was at nursery, and I think his little face when he got home says it all – he demanded I take a photo!
To Infinity, and Beyond!
The day of our Toy Story party rolled around and Max couldn’t have been more excited. He was so busy jumping around the house that he turned to me at 9.15 and announced, “Mummy, I’m tired” – a first for Max! But once his friends arrived for the party he got a second wind and he was away (aside from a few expected meltdowns!)
We played Pin the Badge on the Sheriff which went down a lot better than I’d expected. The kit from The Disney Store contained everything we needed for it apart from blu tack to pin it to the window – the poster, badge stickers, and even a blindfold. I was doubtful that Max would wear the blindfold, but once he’d seen his friends do it, there was no way he was going to miss out.
Pass the Parcel went down a treat too – our group of 3 year olds embraced the concept far better than I’d expected and were perfectly happy to pass the parcel on – although my 6 month old niece was less happy to lose her brightly coloured new toy! I have to confess that Max was adamant that he wanted one of the Buzz Lightyear keyrings as his prize, so we had strategically wrapped each layer containing a Buzz keyring in a particular wrapping paper – it was my husband’s job to stop the music at the right time 🙂
Thankfully he managed it and we avoided the epic tantrum we had been worrying would rear it’s head!
We set up the table for the party food and the silence that descended as they started to eat was amazing. For a table full of fussy eaters, I was amazed that I had to head back out to the kitchen to make another round of sandwiches. Apparently all food tastes better on a Toy Story plate. And no-one was going to be left out when I asked who wanted cake!
The cakes were absolutely amazing. Check out these little alien guys – every time I saw them I wanted to utter “The Claw!”
There’s nothing better than a cake that turns your whole mouth blue!
I have to admit that, although our party left me absolutely exhausted, I loved every minute of it. It was worth it all to see the massive smile on Max’s face – he felt so special, and he loved choosing the theme and being involved in planning everything. He’s been talking about his Toy Story party for days now and I hope it’s a memory that will stay with him forever.
Disney really is the stuff that kid’s dreams are made of – thank you so much to The Disney Store for allowing me to throw Max a party he’ll remember, and a huge thank you to all of Max’s little friends for coming along to celebrate with him.
Disclosure: We were kindly sent the Disney Store items for the party in exchange for this post. All words and opinions are my own