It’s hard to follow up DMN: Aladdin when you had incredible food, cocktails, an awesome tablescape and a HOOKAH, so I knew I had to do something fun and completely different to not have a huge DMN slump. Enter Toy Story, the first Disney/Pixar collaboration and one that my generation remembers going to the movies to see. It was so cool to sit and see this new type of animation on the big screen!
Although I was happy that this wouldn’t be another big fancy dinner theme, I didn’t want it to be too “partyish”-feeling, like you were at a birthday versus a Disney Movie Night. The inciting incident in the movie is when Buzz is knocked out of the window and he and Woody end up lost and at Pizza Planet. What kid didn’t watch that and want to go to the Pizza Planet arcade like Andy?! Movie, meet theme!
Of course, we had to have pizza and beer (what’s a good DMN without a booze, am I right?!), but I also wanted it to have an arcade feel. I broke out the Wii Play and decided the living room would be the arcade-type area where we could play some games while waiting for the pizza to arrive. The only way I could think to incorporate “The Claw” (without spending money on making the actual Claw- remember we are on a dollar store budget here) was to create the feel of one of the glass boxes filled with toys. So I took all of Jacs’ stuffed animals and piled them on the mantle squeezed all together as if they were squished in the box. I also cut out some planet shapes for the windows and “star” cutouts for the tile to represent how many tickets it would take to buy the various stuffed animals. I also wanted a nod to the prize area where you redeem your tickets at the arcade. For the island area, I recreated the Pizza Planet sign that is on the delivery truck that Woody and Buzz catch a ride on. This helped bring the arcade feel into the dining area without having more toys or games in there.
Along with the Wii games, I also wanted to be silly and have fun since it was a less formal “dinner,” so I made photo booth props from the movie and made a photo booth area. The “frame” for the photo booth was poster board cut out like an Etch A Sketch, and I used my Cricut Craftroom to create the various nods to the characters out of card stock. I also cut out some eyebrows out of a scrap of black vinyl so they would actually stick on our faces. I found some stick-on mustaches from the dollar store, so I couldn’t resist adding those to the prop mix. We had so much fun being silly and laughing at ourselves, especially the eyebrows!
It wouldn’t be a proper DMN if we also didn’t have themed attire. I dressed in black with a Vexcon skull sticker to represent Sid, Jeff wore his camo pantsand Chris wore his camo shoes for the army men, Jacs wore her pink and white swing top for Bo Peep, Courtnei was Buzz and even had her infinity bracelet on, Ivy begrudgingly wore my black cowboy hat for Woody and Jeff Sr. and Donna came as Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head.
Now y’all know me and my DMNs and know that although it is a family movie night, we still have to have a themed cocktail. Well, this one had two. (Don’t judge, it’s not nice.) Along with beer and wine (we Rawls women don’t drink beer so we have to have wine with our pizza. I know, I know, high maintenance, but that’s just the way it is), we had my favorite themed drinks to date. The actual cocktail was a Salty Slinky Dog (thank you Zeal mixer-bottle balls, for the free nod to the slinky) which was the traditional vodka and grapefruit juice with a salted rim. Then we had my favorite party addition, the Jell-O shot. BUT this wasn’t your traditional Jell-O shot! I actually outdid my Mardi Gras king cake Jell-O shots from DMN: The Princess and the Frog – these were
Say it with me in your best Woody voice: “There’s a snake in my boot!” Yes, folks, we had Fuzzy Navel (colored brown) Jell-O shots in cowboy boot shot glasses with gummy worms for the snake! AHHHH!!! (Can you tell these were my favorite?!)
Since we were drinking vodka before the pizza arrived, I figured we should have at least one thing to munch on so I had Mr. Potato Head chips for a snack. For our wine, I used the dollar store glasses I had from my first ever DMN, Lady and the Tramp, and cut out small alien eyes to stick on them so we would have themed drinks to go along with the Salty Slinky Dogs.
Since the adults have the signature cocktail for fun, I always have something to occupy Jacs while we adults are visiting. At first I thought it might be hard to find a craft for her but I had another dollar store win. I found a paintable piggy bank for Hamm, a Mrs. Potato Head Puzzle, Mr. Potato Head stickers and a Toy Story bath book. Since they were all a dollar and I couldn’t decide, I bought them all. Jacs
is obsessed with loves puzzles so I was super excited for the Potato Head. I didn’t want to give her a bath in between dinner and the movie so I gave her pink sidewalk chalk to color the bank with.
I didn’t do an actual tablescape for this one; I knew we would need room for the pizzas “family style” on the table, so I set out the plates, silverware, napkins and photo booth props. Then I filled in with some dollar store ring pops and the popcorn bags and tickets I had left over from DMN: Dumbo. It didn’t feel blank but was easily brushed aside once the food got there.
The sideboard was another story. Like I said, I didn’t want it to feel too birthday-party-ish, but I also wanted a themed dessert table, so some of that couldn’t be helped. The background, of course, had to be the cloud wallpaper in Andy’s room. For the light blue I used a dollar store tablecloth and just cut out clouds and the logo out of card stock using my Cricut and Craftroom.
For the desserts we had Hamm cookies, Alien cupcakes and (my favorite) Potato Head cake pops. I was so scared to attempt the pops- I mean, when you’re working with sugar, chocolate and candy coating it’s not like things can’t go wrong, and I did NOT want to end up on a Pinterest Fail meme. But, thank you to the baking gods, all went well and I had a seamless blast making them. Some of them are cuter than others, but when you have a two year old “helping” you and you’re trying to get her to NOT eat all your supplies all while your coating quickly hardens, you get what you get. The aliens were green velvet cupcakes with neon-green-tinted cream cheese buttercream with candy eyes, black icing gel for the mouth and a green sour straw for the antenna. Hamm was actually harder than I thought, since the sugar cookies were soft and a couple broke on me, but they were store-bought cookies and strawberry frosting with the nostrils, eyes and brows cut from sugar paper scraps using my Cake Cricut.
I was really happy with how the sideboard turned out, and even though it was more party-ish, it still fit the theme of being fun and laid back. And even though we were all full of delicious Johnny’s pizza, we still ate the majority of the desserts. That, my friend, is how you know they were good! Since there wasn’t any cooking, the clean up was a breeze and we actually got to start the movie before dark. Jacs loved it and said that Buzz was her favorite ’cause he was so silly. A great time was had by all.
Stay tuned next month (when we will hopefully not bring dishonor on our cow) when we present DMN: Mulan!
**Side note: A HUGE thank you to Mrs. Bachelor Girl of mrsbachelorgirl.net for the help with my first ever blog post. My liver thanks you for helping me bypass the Kim Crawford overload of sav blanc while googling comma use. *disclaimer – I wrote the paragraph with the outfits and Jacs’ crafts post-edit, please absolve her of any errors.
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