There’s a new princess coming to town (July 22nd to be precise!) and we are super excited about it!
My 4-year-old daughter has been a fan of Disney Junior’s Sofia the First for quite some time now, so when we heard about their new princess spin-off show Elena of Avalor we couldn’t wait! Princess Elena is extra special for us since we come from Mexican heritage and her persona and fairytale kingdom are inspired by Latin cultures and folklore. The stories are also influenced by traditions that are familiar to Hispanic and Latino families.
Growing up, I remember wishing there was a princess who looked more like me, and it makes me so happy to see this new character that’s culturally inclusive for children and families. Even though my daughter is only a quarter Mexican and may not “look the part,” it is still a part of her, and I’m excited for us to watch this show to share that piece with her. In addition to the cultural diversity Elena will bring, she will also no doubt be another good role model for my young daughter to look to, much like Sofia who we love. Princess Elena’s stories will present children with positive messages about the importance of family and traditions, as well as leadership, resilience, diversity, and compassion. These are all important qualities that I hope to instill in my daughter, and qualities that I know many of my friends are working to instill in their daughter as well. So hosting a summer party to celebrate the premiere of Elena of Avalor was a perfect fit! The bright color scheme was just right for this summery, sunny weather.
The best part about hosting this party was that Disney already had a good chunk of the decor and activities, available to download and print. I typically tend to avoid pre-made party decor and favors, but these were so cute! In addition to the cute factor, having pre-made items saved me SO much time in DIY projects, which is a huge win in my book. There was an adorable banner, a table runner that doubled as a coloring activity for little guests, and pre-made craft activities. Pretty much the only thing I had to add was food, a few flowers, and crafting utensils (think: markers, tape, scissors, etc.).
For food, I kept things simple and mostly store-bought, but tried to add in a bit of Mexican flare. A fresh fruit salad with chili powder was my favorite — a snack my abuelita (aka grandmother) used to love. I wasn’t sure how our little guests would feel about the spice of the chili powder, so I kept it in a small bowl next to the fruit and encouraged them to sprinkle a little pinch on their portion. Some of the kids weren’t into the spiciness, but others seemed to really love it!
I also included mini tacos, chips and salsa, carrots with guacamole, and a few little dulces y pasteles (sweets and pastries) for good measure.
I think the lemonade in Princess Elena cups may have been the favorite for our little guests though, since juice always seems like such a special treat!
Summer parties are always the most fun, because mess is kept to a minimum since the kids can mostly just run around outside, but we also had quite a few fun craft projects, including DIY scepters like the one Elena has and little cardboard cut-outs of her sidekick Skylar — a magical jaquin (half jaguar, half bird). The kids loved working on the projects and they didn’t require a ton of prep or extra supplies.
As a fun gift for guests, I made these braided bracelets that look just like the one Elena wears in the show. They would make a really fun DIY project for older kids, but given the young age of our party guests I decided to make them as favors instead.
After enjoying an afternoon full of fun and festivities, my daughter and her friends were excited to “meet” this lovely new princess once the show debuts. I told the girls that Elena would have a lot of the characteristics that we liked about Sofia and that she was kind, responsible, caring, curious, brave, and confident. My daughter and I were able to have a good conversation later that day about what these traits mean and why they were important not only for princesses, but for everyone. She has already been asking if she can get a “fancy Princess Elena dress-up dress.” We had the best time and we are so excited to watch the premiere of Elena of Avalor!
Elena of Avalor premieres on Disney Junior and Channel on July 22 at 7 PM.