So you’ve finally booked your Walt Disney World vacation and you’ve never been so excited!! Your Showcase the World Travel Advisor is sending you weekly tips and personalized recommendations, but what else can you do as you sit waiting for your check in date to finally get here?
One of my family’s favorite ways to get excited for a trip is Themed Disney Movie Nights. If you know me at all, you know I LOVE A THEME!!! We make an entire evening themed to the movie we are going to watch, complete with a menu and activities.
Here is how to plan your very own Disney Movie Night.
Choose a Movie
Now with Disney+ you have access to almost every movie in their archives, from classics like Peter Pan to modern favorites like Frozen, hidden gems like Emperor’s New Groove to even live action musicals you may not have even heard of, like The Happiest Millionaire. (This is one of my favorites and you should definitely check it out!)
I like to select our movies based on things we have planned during our trip. If we are staying at the Grand Floridian movies set during the Victorian/Edwardian period that inspired the resort like Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan and Summer Magic will all make the list. If we are staying at Port Orleans, you bet we will be watching Princess and the Frog.
If this is your first time visiting Walt Disney World and are unsure of where to start, check out the video I did on the 5 Movies You Should Watch Before Your First Trip.
Decide on a Menu
Next, decide on your menu. If you are pressed for time, you can choose the movie based on what you can get quickly. I love pizza for a Toy Story movie night or takeout Indian for the Jungle Book. Whenever possible I like to choose food items that are eaten or mentioned during the movie like spaghetti for Lady and the Tramp, sandwiches, soup, roast and ice cream for Frozen, and of course, ratatouille for Ratatouille.
If the menu items aren’t that obvious one of the things I like to do is look at the origins of the fairytale or book that the movie is based on. For a Snow White movie night I look up some German delicacies and may do a pork dish with apples of course, and a black forest cake. Cinderella’s french origins inspired a menu of pumpkin soup, cassoulet and pear tartine.
Keep it simple or get as elaborate as you feel comfortable with.
Need some ideas? A Magical Kingdom Called Home has some amazing Disney-inspired recipes.
Plan a Game/Craft/Activity
This is where Pinterest comes in handy. I have a board there filled with all sorts of fun Disney crafts and activities, if something doesn’t jump out of you from there, simply type in the name of the movie and craft or activity and I am positive you will find something.
Some of my favorite activities from past movie nights are playing croquet for Alice in Wonderland, bowling for buzzards for the Lion King and hula dancing for Lilo and Stitch.
If you are planning on decorating for your movie night, do some crafts with your kids in the days leading up to the movie night.
Decide if You Want to Decorate
I never do anything partially. A themed movie night means my living room is going to transform into a scene from a movie. I have a large collection of party and event supplies from my previous career in events management so I can often pull items from there to set the scene, but I realize that is probably not the case for you. You can often find fun inexpensive items at the Target Dollar Spot, Dollar Store or Oriental Trading.
I am personally not a fan of tableware with characters on it so I will search for something that feels like it would have come out of the movie. Like a circus tent for Dumbo, London skyline for 101 Dalmations or sea creatures for Finding Nemo.
To extend the excitement of the movie night you can do crafts with your kids in the days leading up to movie night that serve as decorations. You could make some paper plate jellyfish for the Little Mermaid, paper lanterns for Tangled, or papel picado for Coco.
Get pumped up for your upcoming vacation with my exclusive Disney bundle, which includes even more recommendations for the perfect movie night! You’ll receive six monthly boxes filled with Disney inspired crafts, recipes, movie nights, books, my favorite travel items, and planning resources to help your family get excited for your trip. Sign up early for a chance to win one for FREE!
Showcase the World is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC associates program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Showcase the World also participates in other affiliate programs and may earn a commission for purchases made through links on this site.