A Disneyland Birthday Party at Home

by Jenna Kahl, contributing writer
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Fall is here, and I am once again confronted with "guiding" my oldest daughter as she chooses the theme for her upcoming birthday party. We have officially run through the list of usual topics: Princesses, Hawaiian Luau, Doc McStuffins and the ever-popular Little Mermaid. When I asked her to name her favorite things, she kept coming back to Disneyland, and I kept trying to get her to choose something else that came with pre-made party plates and goody bags. But, alas, after a few days of back and forth, we have landed on the idea that Disneyland is the perfect theme for a birthday, even if it's not a birthday at the Disneyland Resort.

Without going right to Pinterest, we started really simple with her selecting two of her favorite colors to serve as the foundation of the decorations. Aqua and pink were the winners. So after securing plates, napkins, and other essentials in the two party colors, we were on our way.


Churros at the Disneyland Resort are always yummy! Photo by Jenna Kahl.

Food

The food was actually the easiest and tastiest place to start, although a Disneyland corn dog is definitely better. We went with the classics: corn dogs, churros, popcorn and a pineapple punch, as a tribute to Dole Whip (recipe below). If you are looking for something more substantial you can easily find Mickey Mouse chicken nuggets at most larger grocery store chains, as well.

If food themed around Disneyland Resort treats and snacks is too difficult, you can always consider foods that reflect the rides and attractions of the Disneyland Resort, and you have tons of options: from pirates and cowboys to space rangers and jungle explorers—the possibilities are endless!

"Dole Whip" Punch

  • ½ gallon pineapple sherbet
  • 1 bottle of Sprite/7-Up (2 liter)
  • 1 can (64 ounces) pineapple juice

Jungle Cruise Bugs: gummy worms and bugs in cups of chocolate pudding with Oreo crumb topping.

Mad Tea Party Tea Sandwiches: Peanut Butter and Jelly are a favorite, but don't forget adult combos for the parents of younger party guests.

Space Mountain Out of this World Mix: Popcorn, M&Ms and other fun mix-ins make an out-of-this-world party snack.

Decorations & Music

Consider making Mickey Mouse ears out of construction paper for a simple birthday hat, you can even add a birthday hat onto the ears to add a little extra something.

In order to set the mood, don't forget to crank up some classic Disney tunes or the Disneyland Resort soundtrack.

Entertainment

My daughter is a huge fan of the Toy Story Midway Mania attraction at Disney California Adventure Park, which was a great starting point for party games. Almost all the supplies you need can usually be found at the Dollar Store and can include balloon pop, ring toss, and bean bag toss. You can also theme different games for each land within the Resort, including a Pirates of the Caribbean treasure hunt and a crazy Toon Town dizzy bat relay race.

Planning a birthday party with a Disneyland Resort theme is great and has tons of flexibility to pick and plan the things that you and your little one love the best. If you want to go all out, you can find great Disneyland vintage posters, maps, and tickets online and create some really inviting and unique party decorations, as well.

Happy Birthday!