Disclaimer: This is going to be long!
Yes, I am stalling. I am working on posts from our actual trip to Disney, but I don’t have all my photos yet. And what good is a blog post about Disney without a thousand photos? None. So, be patient with me – they’re coming.
As part of our preparation for Disney World, I made a list of movies I wanted Caedmon and Honor to see. I mean, how can you fully appreciate the Swiss Family Robinson Tree House if you’ve never seen the movie? Or understand how cool the Dumbo ride is if you aren’t fully educated about flying elephants and their magic feathers? You get the idea.
So, that list? Ended up being over 20 movies. Yes, two-zero. Plus. Some were movies Caedmon had never even heard of. A couple were being released over the summer. And others were movies they’d already seen, but I knew would be fun to watch together. I tried to scatter new and old ones so they wouldn’t get bored. And I wanted to add an activity, meal, or snack to make it more fun and memorable. A few of my ideas came from blogs found via Pinterest, but a lot of them were suggested by my friends and family when I got stuck with creativity. (I’m not very creative, if you hadn’t figured it out yet.)
We watched one movie per week (usually), on a schedule I planned out soon after we made our reservations. I made a few adjustments, but having the schedule was a big help. And I don’t know whether to be proud or ashamed that of all the movies on the list, there were only about four of them we didn’t own.
So, let’s get started!
Pinnochio – No special activity for this one. This was the week of Honor’s birthday, so we were busy birthday partying!
The Little Mermaid – We watched this one at Mom and Dad’s since they own it and we didn’t. No special activity, other than watching it at Cini and Papa Duke’s house with family! Oh, and I sang along with all the songs. That counts, right?
The Chronicles of Narnia – This one, we also watched at Mom and Dad’s while we were there visiting. There might’ve been some balloon-sword play with cousins.
Lady and the Tramp – We had spaghetti and meatballs for dinner!
The Incredibles – “Hero” sandwiches, chips, and Apple Pie a la “Edna” Mode (Edna’s my favorite!).
The Jungle Book – Chocolate covered banana bites. (These were really good! Like, addictive-good!)
Beauty and the Beast – Root beer floats. (We resisted the urge to have an angry mob with torches and pitchforks running down the neighborhood streets, or burying a clock in Jell-o, as suggested by my sisters.)
101 Dalmatians – I decided the neighbors wouldn’t appreciate us having our own “twilight bark,” so I made (Spotted) Oreo Milkshakes. Well, they were supposed to be spotted. I put the Oreos in sooner than I should’ve, so they ended up a little more chocolatey-looking than I intended. But they still tasted good! Honor certainly approved.
Peter Pan – Waffle Cone Tee-Pees and Second Star to the Right Cookies with Pixie Dust.
I found the Tee-Pee idea by using trusty ol’ Google. This lady had a fabulous Peter Pan party, and I was only too happy to copy one of her ideas. Don’t click over there right now. It’ll put me to shame. Shame, I tell you. I know the Indian part was not a “big” part of the movie, but I love that part! We had a Peter Pan record (as in vinyl) when I was a kid, and I listened to that thing over and over again. I danced to that Indian song more times than I can count.
And I know I was stretching it with the cookies. I already had round cookies baked and in the freezer. So I figured I could dress them up a little, and the kids would love them. I was right. They loved the stars and “pixie dust”.
Brave – I actually hadn’t seen this one yet (I know!), so I asked friends on Twitter and Facebook for ideas. They had great ones…that I ended up not using. Well, I used one. Husband had been out of town and we’d tried a few days of potty training (which we found out we weren’t ready for), and I needed a break. So we had Gummy Bears. But my kids love gummies, so they enjoyed themselves. There are no pictures because, well, they’re…Gummy Bears.
Winnie the Pooh (Springtime with Roo) – I know. I should’ve gotten way more creative with this and done something with honey and carrots or orange with black stripes. And I could’ve. But it was summer, we were dealing with the baseball schedule, among other things. So? We had Piglet’s (Chocolate) Mud Pie.
Monsters Inc./Monsters University – This one was a little different. Caedmon has seen Monsters, Inc. many times, and was looking forward to seeing Monsters University. I was planning on taking him, but he and Husband ended up going on their camping trip. Caedmon loved it.
We still did our regular movie night at home with Monsters, Inc., though. We ate Froot Loops and some place-and-bake cookies with Mike Wazowski that I just happened to find at the grocery store. Planning this one the week after the release of Monsters University was a big win for us.
Caedmon placed his Froot Loops in a line, trying to get Honor to follow him and pick them up. It didn’t work out so well.
The Lion King – “Timon and Pumba’s Grubs” (gummy worms) and chocolate covered banana bites.
Yes, you’re reading that correctly. The chocolate covered banana bites we had for The Jungle Book kept haunting my taste buds' dreams. So I made them again, mainly for me. Everyone else enjoyed my leftovers, though.
They also loved “Timon and Pumba’s Grubs” (gummy worms). Who doesn’t love gummy worms?
Alice in Wonderland – UnBirthday Tea Party! I wanted to do something a bit different, so we had a full-on tea party. Well, sort of. It was a blast, so I gave it its own post. We just used things we already had at home, wore funny hats, ate cake, and drank sparkling Cherry Limeade from coffee mugs. (Caedmon’s one caveat was that he was not drinking tea.) Oz even made it into our picture this time!
The cake I made for this one was a bit more elaborate than I planned. But it was a special request from Caedmon, and he was quite insistent. He loved it.
For weeks, every time Honor would sit in a different seat at the kitchen table, she’d say, “Clean cup! Move down!” I love it!
Swiss Family Robinson – Coconut bomb (water balloon) fight! I’d been waiting for this one all summer. It was so much fun, I also gave it its own post. The water balloon fight was a hit with the kids, and so was the movie. We ended up watching it four times that week.
Dumbo – “Circus” hot dogs & (Nutter Butter) Peanut Cookies with apples and caramel dip. It just so happened that Sonic was having $1 hot dog day that week. So we made that part of our movie night with Sonic hot dogs for dinner and (Nutter Butter) Peanut Cookies and apples with caramel dip for a movie treat.
Finding Nemo – “Ocean” Jell-o and Rainbow Goldfish. I was going to get all creative and make a goldfish-shaped cake. But this week, that just wasn’t going to work with our schedule. So I offered the kids blue Jell-o and Rainbow Goldfish. They were elated.
We also practiced making fish faces.
Cars/Cars 2 – I let Caedmon choose which one of these he wanted to watch, and he chose Cars 2. We had Mater’s (Fried) Taters for dinner,
and Luigi’s (Chocolate covered donut) Tires and Flo’s Cherry Limeade for dessert.
Planes – Caedmon’s birthday was coming up when this movie was released. Instead of a party, we treated him and a couple of his friends to the movie and ice cream. He loved it!
Cinderella – Breakfast in bed. Sort of.
There were no pumpkins, no fairy godmothers, and no glass slippers at our house. And certainly no mice. While I contemplated making the kids clean the whole house Cinderella-style, I decided that might be frowned upon. By a lot of people. Who are not me. So instead, I thought it would be fun for the kids to have breakfast in bed, like Anastasia, Drusilla, and Lady Tremaine.
Of course, this posed a problem because, well, they’re little kids. And they wake up early. And they’re messy. So it was more of a “mid-morning snack in bed.” But it was fun and they loved it. Honor was still in pajamas – that makes it count as breakfast, right?
Toy Story marathon – “Pizza Planet” Pizza
My plan had been to let them choose one of the three movies to watch since we own them all. But there was a Toy Story marathon on TV one Sunday afternoon, so we took advantage of it, and they watched parts of all three. I made homemade “Pizza Planet” pizza (no baby dolls were fed pizza in the making of this photo, just FYI), and Caedmon played with his army men while we watched.
Mary Poppins – I had grand plans for this one. In reality, all we ended up doing was making our own sidewalk chalk drawings on the driveway. And we did it after we watched the movie. Caedmon had never seen Mary Poppins and really enjoyed the magic of it. And, after watching it, sidewalk chalk drawings will never be quite the same.
We did watch other Disney movies during this time – several, in fact. They just didn’t make the “countdown” cut.
Tangled is one that I wanted to have on our official list that just didn’t make it. I really wanted to make a Gooey Chocolate Skillet Cake to go with it, but we just didn’t make it happen – “officially,” anyway.
We also watched Up, but there was no way I was blowing up a million balloons and letting my kids float around or going hunting for some strange bird named Kevin. And I don’t want to talk about the possibility of squirrels in my life again, even fake ones.
Robin Hood was also one we watched, but didn’t make the official countdown list. Caedmon got a kick out of the archery, and I’m glad I didn’t have to try to come up with an archery competition to go with that one!
Aladdin was on TV, and Caedmon watched bits and pieces of it. It’s not his favorite, and I think it’s because he doesn’t quite “get” the Genie and his humor just yet. Give him a couple of years. Maybe by our next trip countdown he’ll appreciate it more. (Yes, we’ll be doing this again!)
I am so glad we did this countdown. It was a lot of fun, and Caedmon watched movies he wouldn’t have chosen otherwise. It was also great to be able to point things out when we were in the parks that came from the movies we’d seen. It helped him connect the magic, I think. Honor even recognized some things from the movies. And it helped instill a love of Disney in my kids’ movie repertoires.
My work here is done.