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Princess Party Planning 101: 10 Lessons Learned from Disney

This past month I’ve been in party mode. We just threw a massive bash to celebrate my daughter’s Bat Mitzvah. Where has the time gone? How can she be 13 already? I feel like I should burst into song here. It seems like just yesterday I was buying her princess costumes and watching Mulan with her.

Happily she still loves to watch Disney flms (and Mulan) is still a favorite. As party plans swirled around my head, and our celebration got bigger and crazier, I’ve often thought about the princesses that were so much a part of the stories of her young life. Life lessons abound in these films. But so do party planning lessons.  I’m not talking about how to make princess cupcakes or a Mickey Mouse Ice cream cake. There are a million posts out there about executing Disney themed party decor and favors. But not so many about the parties IN Disney films and the larger lessons learned about entertaining. Princess party planning 101!

I’ve actually learned a lot of lessons about how to plan parties that will delight guests and how to avoid common party pitfalls, just by watching Disney movies and particularly the “princess” ones. Favors and cakes are great – but sage party planning advice is what really makes a party awesome – no matter what you serve or send home in a goody bag.

Just consider the following good advice gleaned from these ten classic films:

  • Princess Party Planning 101 1 of 11
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  • Get By With a Little Help From Your Friends 2 of 11
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    It's amazing what you can accomplish with the help of a few good friends. I know that I could not pull off a party without the help of my best buddies. I would not even try it! Mulan's friends may be small in size, but their heart and help were the recipe for her success in all she attempted. 

  • Pick a Color Scheme: Paint With all The Colors of the Wind 3 of 11
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    Color is important for a party! Paint with all the colors of the wind, or just pick a couple of signature colors. For my daughter's recent event we were inspired by sunset colors - teal, orange, gold and shades of pink in the lighting. Not too dissimilar from the colors of this Pocahontas image. 

  • Mind Your Guest List 4 of 11
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    The last thing you want to do is snub a guest. Aurora was cursed by Maleficent because she was not invited to a party for the baby princess. The other guests tried to mitigate the problem, and that put them in an awkward position as well. Not that you have to invite evil witches to your party, but you should be aware of anyone who might feel slighted or snubbed by being left off the guest list, and plan accordingly to avoid hurt feelings. It could save a lot of trouble later! 

  • Meet in The Middle 5 of 11
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    When Ariel married Eric, the wedding took place at sea aboard a boat. This was thoughtful to all their guests as both families were able to comfortably attend. Sometimes, in the interest of all guests, you have to meet halfway. This may mean planning a party in an unfamiliar location, or modifying your plans to accommodate guests with differences, but this is just part of the fun! 

  • Timing is Everything 6 of 11
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    Cinderella had to be outta there by midnight. Had she lingered longer, she would not have made the dramatic exit that defines her story. Timing is everything at parties. Start times, end times, food serving times... all should be perfectly planned. Ideally you should come up with an itinerary. Hopefully all will proceed smoothly and nobody will turn into a pumpkin. 

  • Select a Signature Theme or Activity – Go BIG! 7 of 11
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    Every year on Rapunzel's birthday, the lanterns are released. It's a tradition, and it's dramatic. Having a signature activity or tradition that surrounds your event gives it structure, purpose and beauty. It also makes for a memorable affair. Go big with your signature! 

  • Gather Family Round the Table 8 of 11
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    There's something magical about the dinner table. It's where the best stories come out. Every time. Family stories become legend as they are told and retold  - just like the family stories that Merida delights her younger siblings with.  Set the scene for storytelling by creating comfy spaces for your guests to gather and eat together. 

  • Dress For Dinner 9 of 11
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    Make your parties pop, and make guests comfortable by suggesting the appropriate attire. It's always a treat to see how people "clean up" and getting a little dressed for the occasion makes things feel different, new and special. You may see someone in a whole new light. 

  • Step Outside Your Comfort Zone 10 of 11
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    Pushing limits makes for an exciting parties. Maybe it's a matter of serving an unusual dish, or trying a new activity. Candied ants? Sumo wrestling in a blow up suit?  The best, most memorable parties are the ones where you step outside your comfort zone and try something new or surprising. Just look at how it worked out for Princess Tiana... 

     

  • Embrace Diversity 11 of 11
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    Parties are a great opportunity to introduce all your friends to each other. We all have friends from different places, phases, and parts of our lives and sometimes they can feel a little mismatched. Maybe our family doesn't share the same politics or religion as our friends. But as long as your guests are able to be polite and keep a somewhat open mind... go for it! Variety is the spice of life. A party where everyone looks and acts the same is a boring affair indeed! 

Photos Credit: Disney.com

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