Disney themed dinner party
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How to Host a Fancy Disney Themed Dinner Party

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Well, friends, I finally had my Disney themed dinner party. It may have been a month late, but it happened, and that is the important thing. We did have a few little issues getting it all together, but for the most part it was a lot of fun and we got to hang out with some new people. They even appreciated the silliness of a Disney theme at an elegant adult party, with one of my guests bringing crowns for all the ladies. You can’t get much fancier than that! I did learn one thing about my fancy dinner parties – hosting them while 7 1/2 months pregnant with a toddler is just a teensy bit exhausting. Try it. You’ll see.

Anyway, let’s get on with it. Hosting a fancy dinner party is a ton of work, and I usually only do it once a year because that’s how long it takes me to figure out everything I want to do. Hosting a fancy Disney themed dinner party took me a little over a year, and I’ll be honest, I still want to try fifteen more recipes to see if it is possible to come up with the most perfect Disney dinner anyone has ever seen. Of course, I did eventually have to give up and go with what I had, or I’d never have another dinner party again, and I simply can’t have that.

The Invitations

Surprisingly, the invitations were my first problem. I used Punchbowl to create some free online ones (I wasn’t a very green hostess for the most part, but I tried to have at least one thing not ruin the earth). They had Disney character invitations you could use for free, so that was about perfect. I picked a Beauty and the Beast one because it said “Be Our Guest,” and not “Birthday Party for a Small Child.” The invitations actually worked fine for a Disney themed dinner party, although I was a little worried about sending something pretty childish to strangers. That’s where the real problem was – strangers.

I’ve lived in Knoxville less than a year and I work from home, so I have a pretty small circle of friends right now. We usually have about seven to ten people at our dinner parties, and we were set for six this time around. I had to special order the meat (venison) for this particular dinner, so I waited as long as I could to get RSVPs, then ordered for eight. I really didn’t think we’d wind up with anyone else. The two people I already considered friends couldn’t come, and our guest list had two people we legitimately didn’t know even at that point. But, my husband operated in the shadows and somehow we got us to ten after I’d already ordered. Luckily only nine showed, but still, we were a little short on meat. Lesson: Don’t let your husband know where the invitations are.

The Decor

Hey, did you guys notice I put “fancy” in my post title? That’s right. This was not a Disney themed dinner party with little Disney figurines all over the place. Plus I’m super lazy when it comes to decorating, because, well, more decorating more cleaning, which means more time out of my day. So I stuck with very simple table decor. I had already planned on using Beauty and the Beast for this because I’d left poor Belle and Co. off the menu, and when I found those Punchbowl invitations I knew it was meant to be. Now, if you have a bunch of old candlesticks or some fabulous rose holders lying around, you can probably do a better job than I did, but I’m okay with that.

My main goal here was to get a yellow table runner and some roses. Everyone knows Belle wears that fabulous yellow dress and the whole movie revolves around a single rose, so I thought it would be pretty easy to get the theme across. I found some bright yellow fabric at Walmart, when I wasn’t even looking for it, which is not surprising at  Walmart. I could have made it into an actual table runner, but my sewing machine is broken and I want a two-sided one anyway, so I just left the thing folded up long ways and put it on the table. Then I put a single rose in three different vases and sprinkled some rose petals around. Wah-lah. Super easy, but still both Disney and grown-up.

The Disney Themed Dinner Party Menu

Here we are. The most important part! If you’re going to throw a Disney themed dinner party meant for adults, it’s all about the food. I mentioned that we had strangers at our party, but I’ve previously mentioned you should not invite picky people.  How would I know if they were picky if I didn’t know them? Well, in this case, the strangers were my mom’s coworker and her sister-in-law, who came knowing what kind of food was going to be served. We got really lucky with the rest, and now I have new foodie friends. Hooray! Anyway, it was really important they not be picky, because my menu included beets, venison, and sushi.

I add recipe ideas to my to-do list all year long. Eventually I’ll give them a try or delete them.

How did my menu come out with such a strange assortment of dishes?  Blame it on Disney. First, I went through all the films I could think of and wrote down specific dishes that were already in the movies. Next, I wrote down different foods that appear in the movies. You know, bananas in The Jungle Book, corn in Pocahontas, porridge in every single Disney movie ever, and don’t forget the variety of talking animal meat (muhuhahaha). Then came practicing, combining, and ultimately deciding on the dishes I felt would best fit the theme that I could also cook. They were not all literal. I’m sharing my menu, but there are so many more options. I barely scratched the surface. If you decide to try this, if you can come up with a dish that fits a Disney name, that’s really all you need to do.

The Menu

Disney Themed Dinner Party Menu

Appetizers

Alice’s Trippy Stuffed Mushrooms (Alice in Wonderland)

Was Alice on mushrooms when she went down the rabbit hole? I don’t think that’s what Lewis Carroll meant, but either way she eats them. These have some spice to it to give them a little kick. It also worked to kick off the Disney themed dinner party with a classic character since most of my guests weren’t up to date on all the new movies (and neither am I). Oh, and FYI, the dish titles are all links to recipes.

This Could Have Been You Sebastian Crab Cakes (The Little Mermaid)

Remember the scene where Sebastian escaped the cook’s pot? Well, I used imitation crab, so I know it’s not Sebastian, but still, it could’ve been. These were also spicy and served with an aioli sauce.

Drink pairing: The Enchanted Rose Cocktail (sweet to counter all the spicy)

Amuse-Bouche & Bread

Bruce’s Fish are Friends not Food Nori Rolls (Finding Nemo)

Amuse-bouches typically aren’t put on a menu, so you won’t see them on mine, but they did get served. I have no recipe to link because I just made them. It’s a nori sheet, sushi rice (here’s a recipe for that), cucumbers, pickled radishes, and avocado. There’s no fish so I didn’t worry too much about serving sushi, but it is really important to practice this one if you’re going to try it. Oh, and I drizzled this sauce on top to look pretty.

The Tramp’s Scavenged Breadsticks (Lady & the Tramp)

Also not on the menu, this is the one thing that was already on the table when I started serving. I used a copycat Olive Garden recipe and made the dough in a breadmaker. Also, if you don’t have a good non-stick surface, I recommend these non-stick silicon mats. My grandma got them for me and I love them. I used them for the nori rolls too.

Salad

The Evil Queen’s Definitely not Poisoned Apple Salad (Snow White and the Seven Dwarves)

I made this recipe myself when I got obsessed with using beets and my husband wouldn’t eat them. My plan must have worked because only one person left the beets on the plate, and it wasn’t even Hubby. I do tell everyone it’s okay not to eat everything, by the way. I certainly don’t.

Drink Pairing: Sauvignon Blanc (earthy to go with beets – also served it for the nori roll)

Soup

Pocahontas Grows a Lot of Corn Soup (Pocahontas)

Serving soup when it’s hot is always a concern of mine, so I choose something with fresh veggies. This one’s spicy. And you guys, Pocahontas totally does grow a lot of corn.

Drink Pairing: Riesling – a little sweet to go with the spice

Main Dish & Side

Bambi’s Mom (Bambi)

What? Too soon? Not soon enough, I say. She died in 1923, you guys, unless the book was supposed to take place in the future. No meat needs to age that much! I don’t have a recipe for this either. It wasn’t venison season so I ordered it through Highbourne Deer Farms, and it was delicious. I only used olive oil, salt, and pepper to season, then grilled it. Just don’t make my mistake and overcook half of it, I was getting tired of getting up and down by then.

Remy’s Ratatouille (Ratatouille)

This is the only dish specific to a movie that made it onto my menu. Weird, huh? You could use any version of this, but I’ll be honest, I did not practice enough to make it look beautiful. It tasted fine though. Roasted vegetables, not really that hard.

Drink Pairing: Pinot Noir – I wanted rioja but my sister couldn’t find it, so we went with the next best choice for red meat and roasted veggies.

Dessert

 How ‘Bout a Little More Baklava Cheesecake (Aladdin)

Yes, that’s right, I remembered one tiny little line in one song in Aladdin, and it turned into my whole dessert. I can make baklava, but it’s not as pretty, so I turned it into a cheesecake. This recipe works fine, but I cut the honey, cooked it about twenty minutes longer than suggested, and skipped the whole topping. Instead I sprinkled plain walnuts then drizzled honey for looks. Also, if you’re not  phyllo dough expert, it is not going to stand up as beautifully as the recipe creator makes it seem. Mine only had one piece left standing and I considered that highly successful.

Drink Pairing: We had both Port and Sparkling Wine – cheesecake is impossible to pair with, and baklava’s not much better

Organization Tips

I am a huge advocate for properly planning your Disney themed dinner party in advance, but I totally messed up this time. My son would not sleep Friday night so I didn’t get anything done in advance. That meant I had to get up at 6:00 A.M. to make up for it on Saturday. I also would not have survived if my mom hadn’t come to baby-sit. My sister came to help cook, but she wound up taking over baby duties after my mom left. I did manage to get everything done in time, but the dinner took longer than it normally does and we did not get a chance to clean at all. For the record, my husband was in class all day, so he actually couldn’t help. He did clean everything the next day though!

To alleviate some of the dish pain, we had to reuse our forks and knives, and we used the fancy Costco disposable plates for each course, in different sizes of course. Each person got a real wine glass, but a plastic cup for water. I usually plate dishes in advance, but I didn’t have room in my fridge, so I did feel rushed. Overall, though, it was a great party. We got to make new friends and even played a little Cards Against Humanity afterwards (come on – we served Bambi’s Mom, you knew we were awful people). I hope this menu helps you out and you enjoy your own Disney themed dinner party one day!

Disney dinner parties for adults can be elegant and fun! #disney

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36 Comments

  1. I am in love with this!
    Paige X
    http://paigemargaretblog.blogspot.co.nz

  2. Wow! This looked so fun! Nice work!

  3. Oh my goodness! I love the menu names! So cute! It sounds like a really fun party. I need to live closer so I can get an invite to one of your parties! LOL

    1. Beth Davidson says:

      Well, come on down if you pass through Tennessee! We don’t care who shows up at our house, so long as they don’t mind dogs. 🙂

  4. A Disney themed dinner party is a great idea! I love that you shared so much with us! This is going to be helpful for a future reference.

  5. Oh wow, your Disney gourmet looks amazing! I have to learn to do more this kind of multicourse dishes. 🙂 Thank you for sharing the tips for a theme party, I’m sure this is helpful for Disney fans.

    1. Beth Davidson says:

      Thank you! Multi-course is a pain, so I only recommend it for special occasions. Normally if you come to my house for dinner you get a main and a side…but always wine. 🙂

  6. You’re definitely a very creative person, the Disney Themed Dinner Party Menu was a delight for reader’s eyes, I can easily imagine how appetizing must have been for your guests.
    I would love to participate to a fancy dinner party organized by you, looks like a lot of fun there.

  7. How cute – I love this idea! I would love to throw a party with all of these tips!
    Emily xx
    http://www.underthescottishrain.com

  8. Everything looks amazing, especially the baklava cheese cake 🙂

  9. This is so funny and clever. What a cute idea!

    1. Beth Davidson says:

      Thanks! Much funnier than executing our Hunger Games idea. 🙂

  10. I’ve never attended or throw a dinner party. Now, I’m intrigued about doing both. Although, mine would probably be peasant themed and budgeted. I don’t know how you did all of this that far along in your pregnancy. Kudos.

    1. Beth Davidson says:

      Thanks! I did have to bring a barstool up to the counter for chopping and rolling. Lol. Honestly, after all the movie foods I looked at, you could probably throw a Disney peasant dinner in a heartbeat. You never really think about how many poor young scavengers are in Disney movies until you realize the only soup they all eat is porridge. But I do recommend a dinner party whether you theme it or not. The first one I did was before I finished grad school and cost about $60 for 10 people. Not too bad.

  11. I would have never thought to have a Disney themed party as an adult. It looks elegant and very exciting for all those that will attend.

  12. I totally love this idea! The menu is especially awesome because you did your research and let yourself be inspired. And the rose is a great final touch.

  13. This is so precious! I love Disney way too much and those menu names are adorable!

    1. Beth Davidson says:

      Thank you! I really only stuck with this theme because I couldn’t stop coming up with ridiculous menu names. 🙂

  14. I never thought to hold a Disney themed party for adults, but I can see the fun in it now. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

  15. This all looks so yummy and wonderful! So well pulled off!

    XO-Lisa
    http://www.thatssodarling.com

  16. Your posts are details and explains each step. Thanks so much for these tips. I’ll totally host a Disney party in the future.

  17. Everything looks so yummy! Coming over!

  18. Looks like a great party! You did an amazing job on the food!

  19. This is great! You went all out! We did a casual version of this with our supper club last weekend: https://www.suburbansoiree.com/blog-1/2018/3/6/a-magical-supper-club-disney-theme

    1. Beth Davidson says:

      Wow, I love the Up house!

  20. This is so awesome! I love all the names you came up with, so clever! And it all sounds delicious. But girl, I can’t believe you did this all 71/2 months pregnant, I am impressed!

    1. Beth Davidson says:

      Being pregnant was really not the issue, it was my older son being crazy that slowed me down! This year’s party is going to be really interesting since I’ll have two of them.

  21. Love this idea. Would have never thought of it.
    Cristy
    http://happyfamilyblog.com

  22. My hubby would NEVER agree to this, but I love this idea so much that I’m going to do it and just not tell him LOL. Such a super cute theme.

    1. Beth Davidson says:

      Oh no, really? My husband was all in once I said “Bambi’s Mom.” He actually gets really into my fancy dinner parties and thinks the more off-the-wall theme the better.

  23. Oh this dinner party is fabulous! We love incorporating Disney into food ideas for kids parties, but never thought about an adult party- what a great idea.

    1. Beth Davidson says:

      We take our themes very seriously around here. Lol. My sister suggested Hunger Games, but we decided against fighting to the death over dinner.

  24. The way the beets color the apples red is pure genius! What a fun dinner party! How do I get invited next time 🙂

    1. Beth Davidson says:

      Rainbow theme sometime next month, come on down to Knoxville! 🙂

  25. What a fun idea! I love all the details!!

  26. This is such a fun idea for all Disney lovers! What a great menu idea. I love it!

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