Thursday, March 14, 2019

Ben's Disney Birthday: Part II

Now presenting: The Happiest Birthday Party on Earth!

Part II of Ben's Disneyland birthday party is finally here! Ready to recap all of the fun the magical night had in store for us, our guests and of course, our little birthday mouseketeer! Read on to hear about all fo the festivities...
**If you'd like to read Part I of the recap, as well as find information about the Disney Events planning process and more CLICK HERE.**

Let's get this party started!
Ben's big birthday party was ready to begin! Our guests all met in the lobby of the Grand Californian as our official party meeting point. Once we were all there, everyone received a special wrist band and birthday button to celebrate our little Ben. Once we were all gathered (in everyone's best Disney style, too) we were escorted into the park via our own Special Event guides.
I just have to say how amazing all of our guests looked! On Ben's invite, we asked if everyone could dress in their "Disney Best" meaning any way they wanted to interpret the style, whether though a DisneyBound, a favorite character's costume, or their own unique spin on Disney. And let me tell you.... they all delivered in the style department. A group of my cousins, all of whom have never Disney Bounded before, all dressed up as Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and totally rocked it. My dad even fully committed and was Donald to my mom (& mother in law's) Daisy! Hours before the party he even went out and bought a Donald Duck hoodie because he wanted even MORE duck style. Way to go dad!

First Look
As we were being escorted into the park, our Special Events guide asked if we wanted to walk ahead to have a "first look" at the party venue over at Disney Jr Theatre. Much like we did during our wedding back in 2010 right next door in the Animation Academy... walking into Ben's birthday venue for the first time was.... breathtaking! There were giant smiles, a few happy tears and a whole lot of gratitude to the entire team and our amazing planner, Danielle, who brought Ben's birthday vision to life. We had only discussed the decor via emails and phone calls, so to see everything in real life was utterly amazing.

During the planning process we were asked to provide photos for a slideshow to be shown during the event. We thought the photos would just be projected on the smaller screens in the venue, but to our surprise they were being shown right on the main screen of the room. It was incredible to see our little Ben and our loved one's faces/images projected on the big screen!

Once we were able to soak in the magic of Ben's party venue, our guests had finally made their way in. Their reactions were another highlight of the night. They were all as surprised and enchanted by the magic as we were!

Eat your heart (& rainbows) out!
Having an event at Disney is special. But what takes your event to the next level? DISNEY FOOD! Disney knows how to bring the magic when it comes to their culinary creations. The chefs crafted up a special menu for our event that featured everything that was special to us, from PB&J themed dishes like "Mac and P" (literally what it sounds like.. a mac and cheese with peanut butter... and yes it was DELICIOUS) to rainbow themed desserts!

Our full menu:
-Rainbow array of fruits with a coconut chia pudding dip (I literally could have eaten a gallon of this, so good!)
-Mac and P
-Pizza Egg Rolls (Which I'm hearing was added to this year's DCA Food & Wine festival menu and a hit! It was a hit with our guests too!)
-Bulgogi quesadillas
-Pork Belly Banh Mi sandwiches (my personal favorite!)
-Loaded Waffle Fries

The Disney Central Bakery team once again hit it out of the park with their special rainbow themed desserts for our Ben. Seriously, we love the Disney Baking Team so much!
-Rainbow Mousse 
-Chocolate cake pops
-Character cupcakes (this was such a hit!)

Cake
We had alternating layers of Pineapple Dole Whip cake and the famous Churro cake!

A very special guest!
It truly wouldn't be a complete birthday party at Disney if the big cheese himself didn't show up for a visit. After chowing down on some delectable party eats and getting to mingle and catch up with our guests it was time for cake. Our pal Mickey decided to stop by to help us with the cake cutting, along with take some adorable photos with our guests and the birthday boy.
There's actually different outfit options you can request for Mickey and other Disney pals to come out in for your event. We just mentioned that we wanted a celebration type of Mickey outfit and boy oh boy did Disney deliver! Mickey came out in an adorable birthday hat and his classic outfit...which just so happened to match Ben's entire outfit perfectly! Honestly, this wasn't planned, it just ended up being true Disney magic.

A kiss goodnight & a balloon parade
As it's kind of become a tradition for our events, we always like to plan a little "kiss goodnight" for our guests, a little something special to end the night and make it more *magical*. For our wedding we surprised our guests with a private ride on Soarin', at our 5yr, pretty much everything was a surprise, but the big finale was the party right in front of Sleeping Beauty's Castle, along with 60th anniversary Mickey and Minnie visiting. So for Ben's birthday we wanted to do something equally as fun!
We originally had a viewing of World of Color to end the night for our guests. It would have been perfect for our little rainbow with the colorful theme. Unfortunately, the refurb schedule was extended and about 3 weeks prior to our event we had to find a replacement option. We were looking into an after hours ride on something within Carsland, but then the option for a showing of a different kind came up. We were initially given an alternate option for the Disneyland fireworks, but knowing how fickle the weather could be we didn't want to chance our odds. We thought about other fun ideas and one that popped up? Fantasmic! It's a show that I've loved since childhood and one that we knew our guests would truly enjoy. But we've never seen anyone add this option on before, so we didn't even know if it would be possible... but of course, our amazing planner and the Parks team made some magic happen and we got our fantastic Fantasmic! finale for the evening!

So after our Mickey cameo, we thanked our guests for coming to celebrate with us and then announced our Fantasmic Kiss Goodnight to everyone! We gathered out things, said goodbye to the Disney Jr Theatre and headed over to Disneyland for the finale to Ben's party!

As our guests were getting their things together to walk over to Disneyland, we were told we could take the fun balloon bouquets around the room, if anyone would want them. Almost everyone decided to a bunch with them and it ended up creating a makeshift "Ben's Birthday Balloon Parade" as we were escorted through Disneyland for our show viewing!

Thankful
So Ben's Disneyland Birthday ended with a literal *bang* with Fantasmic! and the fireworks show that happened right after. Our guests capped off the night by doing a huge group "Happy Birthday" song before we all said goodnight!
Thankful. Thankful doesn't even begin to cover what PB and I felt for our loved ones celebrating with us for our baby's milestone. Thankful can't being to describe how we feel towards the amazing Disney team, the chef's, the guides, the crew behind the scenes, and most of all, our planner Danielle and the Disney Events team that made this entire evening come to life. We are truly thankful for yet another magical event in our adventure book for our little Ben. Here's to a lifetime more birthdays filled with as much magic, love and happiness ahead! 💜

** All photos on this post were shot by the amazing Andrew & Tiffany from White Rabbit Photo Boutique aka the most magical photography team on Earth! They are the kindest and most talented photo team around! **







1 comment

  1. Amazing!! wow, such a perfect way to celebrate 1 year! looks like all the magic unfolded beautifully! love every detail!

    ReplyDelete

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Maira Gall