WDW Radio Blog writers Alyssa Wiseman and Kendall Foreman’s families each enjoyed the wonderful experience of celebrating their respective son’s first birthday this year. In this joint post, each mom will share her personal ideas for creating an unforgettable birthday party. Of course, it almost goes without saying that the central part of a great birthday party is the theme, and in both cases, that decision was made easy by their sons. Absent of prodding (honestly)—but with a little help from their mommies turning on Disney Junior—both boys fell in love with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. So, with a little help from Toodles and the Handy Helpers, their parents decided to Mousekedo what it took to give their sons merry and memorable birthdays. During the weeks prior to each party, Alyssa and Kendall spent time discussing, brainstorming and sharing ideas. After the cake was washed off, the wrapping paper was thrown away, and the gifts had been lovingly placed in the nursery, both moms had the same idea – to share their experiences with WDW Radio Blog readers. What follows is each mom’s four category breakdown of her tiny club member’s party. Perhaps their experiences will inspire you should you choose to throw a Mickey Mouse themed party for your little one(s)!
Before we purchased or made anything, my husband and I decided to make our son’s first birthday an intimate gathering for close family. With the goals of making it exciting in the moment and memorable for a lifetime, he and I began planning our little one’s special day. Keeping a budget in mind, he and I set out to fashion many of the decorations ourselves. Several of the ideas he and I used resulted from moments of inspiration and brainstorming. For example, my husband came up with the idea to make the realistic clubhouse windows. Still other designs he and I made were discovered on Pintrest. Everything we made was either designed on the computer and printed or cut and pasted using solid colored scrapbook paper and a Fab Five-themed Scrapbook pack. All of the materials utilized were purchased at Wal-Mart, Hobby Lobby and a locally owned party store. I can tell you that, leading up to the party, I spent a great deal of time with scissors and glue in my hands. While much of it was busy work, I can honestly say crafting each decoration was a labor of love and great fun, too. Although, I must admit, this is one of those times when I found myself wishing I owned a Cricut machine.
For some reason, the first birthday party comes with lots of planning and wanting everything to be perfect. At first we weren’t sure what the theme would be, but after Walt started squealing in delight each time Mickey Mouse Clubhouse came on, I knew that was it and that it would just be special for him. I also knew that I did not want to spend lots of money, but had several months to start working on making my own decorations. I set out to make our home into the Clubhouse and make our 1-year old son super happy! I began looking for birthday decorations on, where else, Pinterest and that is the best place to find all types of inspiration, and sometimes instructions, on all types of birthday party themes. I couldn’t believe how much fun it became finding and recreating decorations on my own. I do need to make the statement that I was able to use a Cricut machine for some of the pieces, but only the door sign, monthly picture labels, and the stars in the center pieces. I found an idea online of an entire wall of streamers, and it looked amazing and so simple that I went to our local dollar store and bought the streamers in blue, red, green, and yellow. I ended up only using half of each roll of the streamers for the wall and it looked amazing as a backdrop for our cake and was so cheap! My last crafty idea was little Mickey head cutouts (which would be easy to trace and cut by hand), with the month number written on it and then hung on ribbon with tiny clothes pins! It was a fun way to see Walt’s growth over the past year.
Momma’s tip: if you have a really good themed birthday party and are part of any children’s or moms shopping pages on Facebook, it’s really easy to sell your decorations to other moms who need decorations and want readymade crafts. I was able to recover some of the money I had spent making the decorations and made another mom happy that she didn’t have to craft!
Food and Tableware
I purchased the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse plates and cups available in the party section at Wal-Mart. I used red utensils and bright yellow napkins that were neatly banded with handcrafted Mickey Mouse hand napkin wraps—the pattern for which Alyssa very kindly shared with me. While my husband and I went the easy route by ordering pizza for everyone, he and I did make special Mickey head-shaped Rice Krispies treats on a stick! We pressed the prepared Rice Krispies mixture into a Mickey head cookie cutter, pushed in a popsicle stick, and used a baggie (the same way you would a pastry bag) to squeeze melted chocolate into the shape of a classic Mickey ear hat.
Food was super simple for us and included: “hot diggity dogs,” toppings bar for the hotdogs, and then various sides. I was going to come up with a fun name for all of the food such as Pete’s potato salad, Minnie’s mac and cheese, and Mickey’s meatballs, but I ran out of time. We used paper plates, napkins, and silverware in multiple colors that can often be found on the TV show. Then my husband printed out sheets of little Mickey gloves and after cutting them out, I made napkin rings, and they were our “handy helpers!” Again I bought most of the tableware and tinsel from our local dollar store and saved a ton!
Based upon our son’s decided preference for meats and veggies as well as his deep dislike of messy hands, my husband and I were confident that our birthday boy would not like or might even be afraid of his cake. With those things in mind, the decision was made to opt out of purchasing or making a large cake; instead, simple cupcakes seemed a better choice. This worked out wonderfully! I ordered cupcakes with blue airbrushed icing for guests, and made sure my son’s cupcake was just white. Before the party began, I added Mickey picks, which I purchased at a local cake supply store.
The cake is where I spent most of my budget, but I knew I wanted something special! I found a local lady who makes specialty cakes out of her home, and her work is amazing. I sent her tons of pictures of what I liked and the result was perfect. She nailed the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse logo and decorations. One special thing she also did was offer to make a little smash cake that was also themed like the cake, just for baby. Ours ended up being a little Mickey hat (with white frosting because you don’t want black), and the ears were made from Rice Krispie treats and covered in fondant. They were so good and reminded me of the Mickey treats you get at the parks!!
When it came time for presents, our family members were more than a little excited to indulge our son in his love of the famous Mouse. As you can see in the photo, he received several Mickey and Fab Five items as gifts. The Mickey Mouse Club pajamas, Goofy one-piece pajamas, Mickey sweater and matching hat, Mickey Mouse pull-along suitcase, stuffed Mickey, and the miniature Mickey and friends all came from disneystore.com. The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse DVD was purchased at Toys R’ Us. I found the Mickey Mouse puffer vest at H&M – I highly recommend checking out the selection of Disney items available in the children’s, women’s and men’s departments there.
Our little one-year-old was blessed by so many friends bringing him presents that he was a little overwhelmed! After opening only one present he toddled off to play with each new toy while I kept opening. We received lots of Disney items such as: Big Hero 6, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse search and find, Doc McStuffins Pet Vet Squibbles toy (which was introduced at the D23 Expo), and lots of Melissa and Doug Disney toys! If you have never heard of Melissa and Doug, it is a line of hands-on, mostly wooden, toys and puzzles. Most of their toys are learning or imaginative toys that encourage sorting, cooking, building, and stacking. They have partnered with Disney to create some adorable toys with Winnie the Pooh & Friends and Mickey & Pals! I am in love with these toys, and Walt plays with them all during various times of the day!
(Photos accompanying “The Foremans” are from the personal collection of Kendall Foreman. Photos accompanying “The Wisemans” and the lead photo are from the personal collection of Alyssa Wiseman.)
Kendall is an editor and contributing writer for WDW Radio. She began visiting Walt Disney World in 1991 with her family and has continued to visit the resort with her husband. Her home-away-from-home is Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, and she believes a perfect day at WDW includes a dip in the Lava Pool, a ride on Splash Mountain and a Pineapple Dole Whip. Follow her on Twitter @kl_foreman.
Alyssa Wiseman (also known as ajwiseman09 in the box), her husband Brandon and son Walt reside in central Indiana (too far from Disney) with their 4 year shih tzu London Bridget and brand new Bulldog, Maggie Mae. She and her family enjoy traveling to Disney several times a year to see what is new and enjoy classic Disney. While traveling, and at home, Alyssa is frequently shopping for Disney products and making a list of items to buy while in the parks. Please follow Alyssa on twitter @ajwiseman09.