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Disney Movie Nights (tips, ideas, themes)

Disney Movie Nights (tips, ideas, themes)

With the introduction of Disney+ it is easier than ever to watch (or re-watch) your favorite Disney movies.

Disney Movie Nights have long been a tradition in our family, and now we’re compiling some of our favorites for you to try at home, too.

Ready to have some fun?

Disney Movie Night tips

We want to make sure that the idea of throwing a Disney Movie Night isn’t overwhelming.

In the age of Pinterest and social media it may feel like in order to have a good time you have to go all out and spend a lot of time and money.

But that isn’t true.

Just the act of sitting down and watching something with the ones you love is enough.

But, if you adore a good themed party and/or if you have the time or energy to do something more, we have some ideas to help you get going.

Hosting a movie night across multiple households?

Families and friends separated by distance can still come together with a Disney Movie Night.

While not the same as sitting in the same room, many of the activities and suggestions below can be done and shared digitally with loved ones.

One of our favorite ways to stay connected as a group (especially in groups that have a wide-range of ages and technical skills) is through Facebook.

Consider creating a private Facebook Group for movie nights, and invite others to join you in the fun.

Use the group to share pictures, digital invitations for upcoming Movie Nights, ideas on activities, etc.

You can even post polls on what movies to watch next.

Then, set a time when you can all watch the movie.

Each household can watch on their own or you could make use of a tool like Netflix Party or Disney Plus Party which allows Chrome users to create watch parties where everybody can view the same thing together. 

What to plan for

In our house, our Disney Movie Nights consisted of us picking 1 movie to build our entire evening around. We’d eat a themed meal, do a themed activity, and then watch the movie together.

How elaborate or how much time we spent on each of those items varied depending on the time we had (or even on our energy levels!).

General tips

  • If you want something to look forward to, consider sending out “invitations” to family members. If your kids are good at waiting, you can even send them out a few days beforehand. Otherwise, you can hang a sign announcing the fun or pass out invites the morning of your event. Don’t overthink this: an invite doesn’t have to be anything fancy! 
  • If you are sticking close to home, consider a change in venue where you are. Is food in the living room off limits? Maybe you can make it a special treat to have a carpet picnic. Do you have space outdoors? Maybe you can eat or do a themed-craft out there. The idea is to break away from what you usually do to make the time special.
  • Regularly scheduled movie nights can be a great way to countdown a trip to Disney World. Pick a day of the week and host weekly celebrations to keep the anticipation for the trip building.

Decorations

  • Don’t be afraid to keep it simple when it comes to decorations. Never, ever underestimate the power of a $1 table cloth from Dollar Tree. They make it easy to set the mood and they are perfect when paired with inexpensive pieces of color-coordinating construction paper used as place mats.

  • If you have kids in the house they likely have toys or books that can be used for decorations, too. Having a Star Wars-themed night? Have them collect all their Star Wars toys and use those as centerpieces. 

  • If you want to do more, Dollar Tree and party stores are great places to find inexpensive items like streamers or balloons, or even character-themed supplies like plates.

Activity

  • When planning your start time, keep in mind the ages of your participants. In some instances it may make sense to make it a Disney Movie Day instead of a Disney Movie Night. You may also find it helpful to not do everything back to back. Maybe do the activity in the morning, the meal at lunch, and the movie at night. You know the attention span (and stamina!) of your family the best.
  • The activities listed for each movie are just suggestions. Use them as inspiration for coming up with your own ideas that are perfectly suited for your family.
  • A lot of times, keeping it simple may make the most sense. Anything can become an activity. For example, you may have a board game or a coloring book that fits the movie you’ve selected. Make that your group activity. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Trust us on this: the purpose of the entire thing is to be intentional with spending time with people you care about, NOT to make yourself miserable planning the “perfect” event.

Princess and the Frog

  • If you’re looking for easy and cheap supplies, we have found you can do a LOT with a large package of construction paper, kid-friendly glue, scissors, and crayons or markers.
  • Boxes are another handy item to keep on hand for activities. You can make a lot of different things with empty boxes. Plus, with so many people getting things via the mail, most of us have more than enough boxes on hand to use for crafts.

Meal

  • Adding a themed meal can make things even more fun, but just because it is themed doesn’t mean it has to be elaborate.
  • For example, if you’re planning to watch Lady and the Tramp you can serve spaghetti. Gonna watch The Princess and the Frog? How about making red beans and rice (you can even find easy boxed versions!). If you feel crafty, you can make a menu listing off the fun names for each item.

Red Beans and Rice

  • The simple act of changing the name of an every day item can make it special. If you’ve ever gone to one of the dessert parties at Disney World you’ll know what we mean because Disney are experts at doing this very thing. For example, if you’re watching The Incredibles, you can serve sub sandwiches and call them “hero” subs. See what we did there?
  • If your chosen movie is connected to a restaurant at Disney World, you could even search out recipes from there to serve.

Themed Movie Night Ideas

 

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