Have you seen this #DisneySide commercial? It's hilarious! I'm loving all the ways that people are showing their Disney Sides, but this is definitely my favorite, because it shows a ordinary dad showing his Disney Side in an ordinary DIY store. Although Disneyland and Walt Disney World are the best places to show your Disney Side, unfortunately it's not always possible to enjoy time there. Much as we would like to, we can't spend every day in a Disney park, so we have to bring the Disney magic home with us and keep it alive until the next time we visit!
Fortunately, there are so many fun ways to show your Disney Side, even when your next Disney vacation is miles away. Here are my favorite ways to celebrate our Disney Side when we can't be inside a Disney park:
Wear a Mickey shirt
One of the easiest ways to keep the magic alive at home is to dress the part! Disney merchandise is everywhere, and you can get Disney-themed apparel at practically any retailer in town. Even Alfie, who doesn't normally wear Disney tees even inside the park, loves wearing the Jack Skellington tee I gave him last year.
"Disney-fy" your accessories
If Disney apparel isn't your style, sprinkle some pixie dust on your accessories. Seeing Minnie Mouse on my phone every time I pick it up always makes me smile.
Munch on Disney food
Do you find yourself craving Disney park treats? Make them at home! Mickey pancakes, Mickey cookies, Mickey beignets, churros, turkey legs, corn dogs -- even my all-time favorite Dole Pineapple Whip -- can all be enjoyed at home. The taste might not be exactly the same as the real thing, but they're close enough to bring back those magical memories.
Watch a live Disney show
Disney adds heaps of pixie dust to their stage shows, so they are a cut above the rest, just like everything they do! Current Disney Broadway productions include The Lion King, Newsies and Aladdin. I had the pleasure of watching Beauty and the Beast on Broadway many years ago, and again in San Francisco a few years ago, and it is one of the most entertaining productions around. The Lion King remains on my bucket list, and now that Frozen is going to Broadway, I've got another show to watch :) If you don't live near a city with a Disney theatrical production, never fear. Disney has some great live touring shows: Disney Live, Disney Live Jr, and Disney on Ice! These productions tour all over the country, and they feature amazing singers, dancers and special effects. We watch Disney on Ice practically every time it comes into town!
Watch Disney on the silver screen
Last week I listed all the movies I want to see in theatres this year, and a quarter of them were Disney moveis! Disney theatrical releases in 2014 include: Muppets Most Wanted, Captain America: Winter Soldier, Bears, Million Dollar Arm, Maleficent, Planes: Fire and Rescue, Guardians of the Galaxy and Into the Woods.
Visit a Disney Museum
You don't have to pay theme park prices to get your fill of Disney memorabilia. There are several Disney museums scattered across the country, and if you're lucky enough to live near them (or are planning a trip nearby), they're definitely worth a visit.
* The Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco, CA celebrates the life and legacy of Walt Disney.
* The Walt Disney Hometown Museum is located in Walt's hometown of Marceline, Missouri. The museum contains letters, family artifacts, and other memorabilia.
* There's talk of Walt Disney's birth home in Chicago, IL being turned into a museum. Right now it's privately owned, so you can't enter, but you can still drive by 2156 N. Tripp Avenue to pay homage to Walt's birthplace.
* Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry is currently running a special exhibition featuring over 300 artifacts owned by the Walt Disney Company. Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives, presented by D23: The Official Disney Fan Club runs at the museum until May 2014.
* Walt Disney Concert Hall doesn't have any Disney memorabilia that I'm aware of (I could be wrong: I haven't visited the place myself), but the place is gorgeous, one of the few examples of modern architecture that I really admire (and I do speak from personal experience: I've seen the outside of the building!). The hall offers free self-guided and guided audio tours which I'd love to do someday.
Look for Hidden Mickeys
Hunting for Hidden Mickeys is a popular park activity... but Hidden Mickeys are all around, even outside the parks! A drop of juice, a strangely-shaped cheese puff, a dalmatian's spot, a puffy cloud, a bowl of Cheerios cereal.... almost anything can hide a Hidden Mickey! It's surprising how many you can find if you keep your eyes open. Hidden Mickey Hunting is a game you and your family can play anywhere, anytime.
Throw a DisneySide party
Every day is a celebration at a Disney park, so why not throw a Disney party at home? Any occasion is a great opportunity to celebrate your Disney Side: a birthday party, a graduation party, a baby shower, a Halloween party, a Valentine's party, anything! You don't even need an occasion to throw a Disney movie marathon session, a Disney-themed game night, or a Disney-themed playdate. Whether it's family members only or the whole neighborhood is invited, throwing in Mickey, Minnie, a Disney Princess, Buzz Lightyear, Lightning McQueen, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, or any Disney character is sure to make the event magical!
Disclosure: I did not receive a sample or monetary compensation for this post. I will be hosting a #DisneySide @Home celebration featuring party favors and accessories provided by Disney and MomSelect. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.