When my kids were growing up I used to love doing a fun Disney themed movie night for them every Sunday. Some weeks we went all out with a themed dinner and dessert and even decorated the house. Some weekends when things were more crazy we opted for themed snacks and a quiet night snuggling on the couch.
We even dragged out the air mattress, blankets, and even occasionally popped up a tent in the living room. We collected everything from cotton candy machine to inflatable movie screens over the years. There were nights when all the kids in the neighborhood would come down and we would have our own makeshift outdoor movie theatre complete with a concession stand and sno-cone maker. Sitting outside under the stars with Indiana Jones playing and tiki torches lit up, I heard the sounds of kids laughing and making amazing memories. The adults loved it too!
Even though my kids are grown up now they occasionally tell me about how they remember those nights. Its something I decided that I wanted to start doing again for them, for us as a family. Even if they may to to busy that night doing their own “grown up” things I wanted that to be an option for them. Something they can always return to whenever they need comfort.
Related- Disney Date Night Ideas
Whether you have young kids, older kids, its just you and your partner, or you are single, a Disney movie night can bring some joy and comfort into your life. You ever notice if you have a bad day and watch something funny how you just feel better? Try some of my Disney movie night ideas out and see if its something you want to make part of your families traditions.
The best thing is you don’t have to spend a lot of money or go crazy. Its up to you to go all out or keep it simple. We purchased things to use for our movie nights over the years, but even the nights we didn’t go all out, we still had a great time. You will be surprised what you can find in just laying around the house!
ALICE IN WONDERLAND / MAD TEA PARTY MOVIE NIGHT
“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense”
We have had a few Mad Tea Parties over the years and one of the most fun things is how creative we could get on a budget. Bonus is that nothing has to match! Bring out your mixed match tea pots, cups, and plates. Even the chairs don’t have to match. When it comes to the menu we went with small sandwiches cut out with shaped cookie cutters, mini muffins, cheese cut out into shapes with cookie cutters, crackers, fruit, etc. . Mini versions of just about anything worked. Small frosted sugar cookies with Try Me, Eat Me, and Take One were fun and easy to make. Little miniature glass bottles filled with juice and small tags that read ” Drink me” made for a perfect table setting.
You can keep it simple or get more elaborate. We made the Queens Card Soldiers out of foam board from the dollar tree and dollar craft paints. Paint sticks worked great to create arms and legs and dish gloves for hands . All again from the local dollar stores. Looks how cute they came out!
Use your imagination. Do you have deck of cards or a chess set around? What about a bunch of old hats? Even a colorful sheet can double as a long table cloth in a pinch. Kids don’t like tea? Fill a tea pot with chocolate. Were all mad here. There are no rules!
You can even stretch the fun out by making the day before a fun craft or baking day. We made the little creatures from Tulgey Woods out of floral foam and clothespins. Saturday we would bake and craft. Sunday we would have our family night. If life is to hectic in your house you could always do a monthly family night and let the kids work on projects over the weekends. It keeps them busy and gives them something to look forward to.
INDIANA JONES MOVIE NIGHT
If your kids are into adventure then they will love an Indiana Jones themed movie night. We have had several of these over the years and it was hands down the most popular of the parties that we threw. I started out by organizing a scavenger hunt with clues given out. I saved brown paper bags from the grocery store and ripped them up into smaller notebook sizes pieces. I then wrote out clues leading from one place to another . I then crumpled the paper, stained it with a tea bag and burned the edges for a authentic effect. Leave this task for the adults. Plus you don’t want the kids to know what’s ahead. I even created a code they would have to decipher.
We had a basement at the time where I hung up several flat sheets I got from the store to create separate maze like spaces so you couldnt see what was around the corner. On the sheets I used permanent marker and acrylic paints from the Dollar Store to write out clues in hieroglyphics . I even had a glow in the dark paint clues that they had to hold a flashlight on to be able to get the clues to show up. Grass hula skirts made for great table skirting. Old lanterns, canteens, and shovels made for an authentic archeological camp site. Glow Sticks and flashlights helped guide the intrepid explorers through danger. Play the Indiana Jones soundtrack in the background and it helps to create an atmosphere of excitement.
Plastic jewels, artificial vines and ferns, old pottery and even some old skeletons from Halloween really made for a exciting adventure. These parties were such a hit that eventually we invested in help from family and purchased a fog machine and other effects to really pull out all the stops. A well timed large boulder (painted yoga ball) was released down the stairs sending the explorers in all directions. If a clue was answered incorrectly poisonous gas a.k.a. the fog machine was released.
Chocolate Rice Crispy cereal made great chocolate boulder balls. A Mayan Pyramid cake with a scene from Indiana Jones 4, The Crystal Skull was a lot of fun to make with the kids. A pyramid themed cake with graham cracker sand and blue icing Nile river sets the tone for all the fun to come. Ultimately the professor was rescued, treasures were found, cake consumed, Indiana Jones was played and the night was a hit.
ONE UPON A TIME MOVIE NIGHT
Once Upon a Time is a fantasy drama adventure that aired on ABC for seven seasons. My family is a big fan of the series and we decided to do a big family party for to celebrate the new season. We even posted it on social media and got comments and likes from the actors and producers of the show. The time with family and the excitement of watching the show together made for great memories. If you are interested in watching this series it is available on Disney Plus.
Even if you are not familiar with the series you might get some ideas for Disney themed parties from some of the pictures. The series revolves around many famous storybook characters, The Evil Queen and Snow White are two of the main characters but Belle, Hook, Cinderella, Pinocchio and more have major roles as well. As my kids were now older this became a great way for my daughter and I to reconnect and still have our family night movie time.
You created our own wishing well using foam board and cardboard and dowels. Tuelle netting and colored lights added a little extra magic. Our dinner table was imagined as Hook’s table on the Jolly Roger. WE used a flat bedsheet to create a sail and added a hidden fan in bring it to life. An old map, pirate flag, lantern, and of course a hook, made it look as if Hook himself was about to sit down to dinner. We printed out the Wanted Snow White poster and pierced it with a arrow and hung it in a netting with vines. Our oval mirror from Ikea made a perfect Magic Mirror for the Evil Queen. The girls dressed up as Snow White and Tinkerbelle.
Magic Beans a.k.a. white jelly beans, cookies that looked like apples, and toadstool muffins were just some of the items on the menu. We made the Evil Queens heart box and even propped it open and lit the inside. The spellbook and the heart box were made with items from a popular local craft store and very inexpensive. Glass bottles filled with colored water doubled as magical potions. You can find many sizes and styles of bottles at your local dollar and craft stores.
OTHER DISNEY MOVIE NIGHT IDEAS
There are so many great Disney movies and shows to build a great family night around. Here are some pictures from some of our other parties.
Monsters Inc. night was often requested. We didn’t go all out for these but we always made these Mike Wazowski cookies. We just iced regular cookies, dipped in green sprinkles, added a white chocolate wafer eye and that’s it!
Star Wars night came about after mom got tired of breaking up lightsaber battles. We made the cake earlier in the day and after dinner popped in some Star Wars movies. We melted come chocolate on a cookie sheet and then froze it a bit. We took it out about 10 minutes later cracked it and placed it on a iced orange cake along with Star Wars Lego figures. A chocolate Rice Crispy mixture served as the volcano base. You can bet they ate dinner great that day knowing what was waiting for dessert!
I hope I gave you some great ideas for a movie night of your own. Whether you have little ones or are just chilling with your cat its important to take time to create happy spaces for yourself and just make memories. I encourage you to put in your favorite Disney movie tonight and enjoy!