Star Wars Movie Night Fun!

Star Wars Movie Night Fun!

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Teal loop. Today we are sharing fun ideas for a Star Wars themed movie night.


 

The Star Wars franchise is a pretty popular thing at our house. We geek out together over Star Wars and have themed parties, movie nights, and infuse the Force into pretty much any and everything we can. If you saw our Christmas picture a couple years ago, you know that we like to have fun together.

In order to stay away from re-inventing any wheels, because honestly who has time for that?! I’ll share a few fun activities and food ideas that we have created over the years that would make for a whole lot of fun for your next Star Wars themed movie night or event!

1| pick a MOVIE

First things, first. Which movie are you going to watch? I am going to focus only on the live-action films, not any animated features or shows. There are seven main films that are available for purchase and/or download today:

  • Episode I – The Phantom Menace
  • Episode II – Attack of the Clones
  • Episode III – Revenge of the Sith
  • Episode IV – A New Hope
  • Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back
  • Episode VI – Return of the Jedi
  • Episode VII – The Force Awakens

Soon, we will be able to add Rogue One: A Star Wars Story to the mix (set in between Episodes III & IV. But, for now, we have Episodes I-VII).

Being the nut that I am, when presented with this opportunity to write about a Star Wars themed movie night, I wanted to write about the made for TV film, Ewoks: The Battle for Endor. Why? Because they are cuddly and cute, feisty and fearless. Also, it has been ages since I’ve seen it (released in 1985) and I thought it would be fun to introduce the kids to the world of the Wookies.

Photo © Lucasfilm Photo © Lucasfilm

Sadly, after a ton of searching, we found that both Ewoks films (Caravan of Courage and The Battle for Endor) were removed from the Star Wars Canon and now the only places you can watch them are on sketchy online sites or youtube… unless you have a VHS player and score one at a thrift store. You can also order a copy of the films from Amazon for the price of a really cute handbag. I happened to see a combo release DVD on Amazon, new for $189. Say what?! Well, my grand idea was somewhat thwarted, but I will admit that I found a YouTube link for Battle for Endor. It was not great quality, but it did the job.

Wicket is probably my favorite creature ever. If I didn’t already have a name for my future French bulldog puppy, I’d name it Wicket. LOL.

So, first things first, pick a movie that everyone agrees on, or make it a marathon and watch them all! From there, you can choose to cater your party food, activities and decor to that specific show.

2| Food & Drinks

Disclaimer, I am not a food blogger, but you knew that. I am an “ooooh that recipe pin on Pinterest looks amazing” or, “those cupcakes might be do-able,” type of person. I also have numerous Pinterest fails, but you will never see them because I ate them and forgot to post the pictures. C’est la vie.

When Daddy is a photographer and designer plus a Star Wars fanatic, you have to make epic birthday invitations. :)  When Daddy is a photographer and designer plus a Star Wars fanatic, you have to make epic birthday invitations. 🙂

Here is an example of some delicious treats that I made for our son’s “Episode X” Star Wars themed Dark Side party.

Pick easy and quick foods, nothing too crazy, because you don’t want to be so exhausted from cooking in the kitchen that you fall asleep watching the movie!

The chocolate dipped pretzel light sabers and Chewbacca chow were quick, easy and just enough salty and sweet! Here are the recipes!

Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Rods

  • Pretzel Rods
  • CandiQuik White Chocolate
  • Food Coloring
  • Wax paper

Depending on how many light saber options, you know, dark or light side, will determine how many bowls of coloring that you need.

  1. Melt the chocolate according to the package instructions
  2. Add food coloring to create the hue you want
  3. dip your pretzel rods and lay flat on wax paper to dry

Chewbacca Chow (aka muddy buddies or puppy chow by chex)

Easy-peasy, right? That’s how I like it.

You’re going to need to wash down all of the delicious treats, so one of our family favorite beverages is Boba Fett Soda. Coffee mate no longer sells the Star Wars themed bottles, but you can still use the Italian Crème Soda flavor!

3| Dress like the Force

Grab your favorite Star Wars pajamas. You can find them almost anywhere nowadays. For our family Christmas picture we bought pjs from Kohl’s and Target.

And there you have it! A fairly quick and easy way to add the Force to your next Star Wars themed movie or party night!

 


For Star Wars movie night ideas,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


Here is the map of Magical Blogorail Teal | Movie Night | Star Wars Loop:

 

Return of The Main Street Electrical Parade

Return of The Main Street Electrical Parade

 

Photo © Scott Brinegar/Disneyland Photo © Scott Brinegar/Disneyland Photo © Scott Brinegar/Disneyland Photo © Scott Brinegar/Disneyland

I grew up watching the Main Street Electrical Parade and cried when it left Disneyland Park in 1996. Then, I rejoiced when it came back for a run at Disney California Adventure in 2001, just in time for our first daughter to experience the magic. Then, it left again in 2010.

Guys – I am crying again because it just came back to Disneyland Park and it will run through Sunday,  June 18, 2017.

I happened to watch the parade with Sarah last weekend, we had a long day and got to Disneyland late, but managed to squeeze into a spot near Pixie Hollow for the viewing. It wasn’t a terrible view, I felt the surrounding of trees framed some of my photos well. However, next trip we are going to try out  one of the Dining Packages (Blue Bayou (sit down) or Aladdin’s Oasis (grab-n-go)). I’m pretty sure I need that gluten free Monte Cristo, but we shall see what the hubby says about that. LOL.

Photo © Scott Brinegar/Disneyland Photo © Scott Brinegar/Disneyland

The Blue Fairy and Casey Jr. Train floats are not part of this parade (sad face, Blue Fairy was my favorite), but they’ve added Tinkerbell and some Pixie Hollow fairies. However, they did have the original introduction train with Goofy at the wheel, pulling a giant drum that lights up, “Disneyland Presents…The Main Street Electrical Parade.”

Check out Disney Parks’ YouTube channel for videos on attractions and upcoming events!

Annual Passholders

Are you an Annual Passholder? Disneyland is running its AP Days at Disneyland Park event now through March 9, 2017; Visit daily from 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM (AP Welcome Center at Tomorrowland Starcade). Historical video screenings will be at 5:00 PM, 6:30 PM and 8:00 PM daily (Main Street Opera House).

Side Note: Passholders must present a valid Annual Passport to receive benefits.

Guests begin to line up along Main Street U.S.A. a couple of hours before in order to catch a glimpse of the electric lights, so be prepared. It should also be noted that the parade may be cancelled due to weather, so check the forecast before your visit!

Photo © Scott Brinegar/Disneyland Photo © Scott Brinegar/Disneyland

Sweet Treats

Not only is the parade magical, but the themed food is, too! Grab some hot chocolate and a treat.

Here are some adorable caramel and chocolate dipped caterpillar marshmallow sticks and snail cake pops!!

Are you excited about the return of this Disneyland classic?

Spread Magic

 

Lunar New Year at Disneyland Resort

Lunar New Year at Disneyland Resort

It’s the year of the Rooster! Happy Chinese New Year! Disneyland Resort has been celebrating Chinese Lunar New Year from January 20th – February 5th!

Photo: Sarah Brow Photo: Sarah Brow

Here’s a quick guide to what you’ll find in the various areas:

Paradise Park

  • “Hurry Home New Year’s Celebration”
  • Acrobats of China
  • Performance Corridor
  • Mulan’s New Year Procession
  • Face Painting
  • Kids Crafts

Market Places

  • Korea
  • China
  • Vietnam

Paradise Gardens

  • Paradise Garden Bandstand
  • Disney Characters in their Lunar New year attire
  • Artisans
  • Lucky Wishing Wall
  • Annual Pass Area

Paradise Park

Photo: Sarah Brow

At Paradise Park you will find entertainment for the Lunar New Year Celebration, including the “Hurry Home – Lunar New Year Celebration!” 

This special World of Color nighttime spectacular, features Academy Award-winning composer, Tan Dun (“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”). 

Here’s a look behind-the-scenes:

Performance Corridor

Within Paradise Park, you will also find the Performance Corridor, where kids get complimentary face-painting, make fun crafts, and can watch various acts, like the Acrobats of China and even Mulan’s New Year Procession. 

market places

Enjoy bites and sips from the various cultures of China, Korea, and Vietnam.

Paradise Gardens

In Paradise Gardens you can find some of your favorite Disney characters dressed in their Lunar New Year attire! Isn’t Minnie gorgeous?!

Wishing wall and calligraphy

Here you can leave your New Year’s wishes on the Wishing Wall and watch as the calligraphy artists draw your name.

Chinese Zodiac animal sign

Not sure what your Chinese zodiac animal sign is? No worries, look for the year you were born, to find out which animal you are. I am the Year of the Dragon and Camille is the Year of the Rooster!

disneyland AP (Annual Pass) Area

Are you a Disneyland Resort Annual Pass Holder? The AP area is open daily from 11:00am – 7:00pm.

The AP section is located in the back of Paradise gardens; show your annual pass to gain exclusive access to this area.

Ap Exclusives include:

  • Take your picture in front of the AP photo wall
  • Hang your wish on the wish wall
  • Receive a map of Lunar New Year events
  • AP sticker
  • Enter to win a trip to China!

Wishing you all the best Lunar New Year!

See ya real soon!
xo, Sarah

 

Rock the Dots in Everyday Minnie Style on National Polka Dot Day!

Rock the Dots in Everyday Minnie Style on National Polka Dot Day!

If you’re obsessed with Minnie, like many of us that are Disney fanatics, you’ll be excited to know that January 22nd is National Polka Dot day!

In honor of the true wearer of polka dots, Minnie Mouse, my dear friend and Disney sister – Sarah, has so graciously shared her closet and curated some magical outfit inspiration for us! This is also a great time to announce that Sarah will be joining Sparks of Magic as my partner in crime, focusing on Disney Lifestyle! Yay!


Minnie Mouse inspired outfits are not just for Disney Parks, so I put together some of my favorite looks to inspire Disney magic for your everyday lives.

 

The office look

Who says your office look has to be all business? Add a Minnie Mouse shirt to your business attire, like a pencil skirt or slacks, to add a little Disney magic to any outfit. Need to dress it up more? Top it off with a blazer!

Swing into spring!

The magic is in the details with this Minnie-inspired look. We paired a swing skirt with a polka dotted top, then finished it with a black cardigan. We added some touches of Disney magic with our Disney-inspired Minnie Mouse vans and Minnie Mouse earrings.

Yoo-hoo, Valentine!

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we put together a  look that is sure to charm your sweetheart.

When Minnie Mouse made her debut in 1928, her accessories included a tiny red flower hat, which inspired this vintage hat. We kept the vintage look going and paired it with a red vintage swing dress and of course Minnie Mouse-inspired wedges.

The Casual look

Minnie mouse is all about the bows so when I saw this scarf at disneyland I had to buy it. I paired it with a red jacket, inspired by Minnie Mouse’s red dress for those chilly spring mornings.

Traveling this spring?

Travel in style with this Minnie Mouse-inspired casual look, so you can #rockthedots across the country! Minnie Mouse’s signature bow dazzles the front, and of course, we can’t forget about Mickey on this fun luggage piece!


We would love to hear about and see your favorite Minnie Mouse inspired looks! Share them on instagram with #rockthedots and #sparksofmagic!

xo, Sarah

I am a twenty-something entrepreneur, vintage model, newbie blogger and Disney enthusiast. I have always had a passion for all things Disney. Camille and I met working for Disney Baby in 2012, and instantly became best friends. We decided to collaborate for the #rockthedots campaign and look forward to working together in the future!

 

Holidays at Disneyland Park 2016

Holidays at Disneyland Park 2016

It’s here, It’s here!

 

Image © Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort Image © Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort

It’s the merriest time of year at Disneyland Resort. From now until January 8, 2017, you can enjoy the holiday season at the Happiest Place on Earth!

Holidays are my favorite, and holidays at Disney Parks with my family and/or friends are the best. Here’s what you can expect to see and experience at Disneyland Resort this holiday season.

“it’s a small world” celebrates its 20th holiday presentation

 

Image © Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort Image © Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort

If you know me at all, you know that “it’s a small world” is my favorite attraction. I honestly love the song, as annoying as it may be to most people.  The holiday version intertwines “Jingle Bells” and “Deck the Halls,” adding the right amount of Christmas magic. Get ready to set sail on “The Merriest Attraction on Earth!”

Here we are for the #Disneyland60 holiday fun! Here we are for the #Disneyland60 holiday fun!

Since the attraction is celebrating its 20th holiday season, you might notice “Hidden 20s” sprinkled throughout. This will give my competitive kids some extra motivation to ride with me this season – whoever finds the most hidden 20s will get a churro! 🙂

Fun facts:

  • It took nearly three dozen cast members 35 days to install the exterior and 18 days for the interior decor
  • There are over 400,000 lights that illuminate the plaza from the exterior to the trees, shops, and topiaries
  • The happy clock in the front dons a Santa hat and every quarter hour, there is a 3D-projection show presented by Siemens
  • Inside, your senses will awaken to whiffs of peppermint and fresh pine

Jack’s Back – Haunted Mansion Holiday

Image © Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort

Image © Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort

Image © Paul Brinegar/Disneyland Resort Image © Paul Brinegar/Disneyland Resort

 

What’s this?! Jack Skellington and his friends have taken over the Haunted Mansion. In traditional holiday fashion, we watch the Nightmare Before Christmas right after Halloween to usher in the holiday. Half of the fun is looking at all of the intricate details within the ride, and who doesn’t love seeing Zero flying around!

“believe…in holiday magic” fireworks

 

Image © Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort Image © Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort

 

Cozy up on Main Street, U.S.A., with a cup of hot chocolate to see the fireworks light up the night over Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle. This is my favorite way to end the night, and not to mention one of the best things is the snowfall finale. I believe in Holiday magic… do you?

Hop onto the Jingle Cruise

 

Image © Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort Image © Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort

 

If you thought sailing on the Jungle Cruise was fun, wait until you see it spruced up for the holiday season. The Skipper is still full of jokes, and the ambience is merry and bright!

what are you waiting for?

If you’re like me and like to plan last minute trips, make sure to check out Get Away Today (affiliate link) and save on an awesome vacation package to the Merriest Place on Earth! I am so excited to spend some time at Disneyland Resort this Holiday Season with some of my favorite people on earth!

Which attraction or experience are you looking forward to the most?

Spread Magic

 

A Whirlwind Day at Disney Social Media Moms Celebration | On the Road at Disneyland Resort

A Whirlwind Day at Disney Social Media Moms Celebration | On the Road at Disneyland Resort

August 24th was an exceptional and magical whirlwind. I was invited to attend a special one day event: Disney Social Media Moms Celebration: On the Road at Disneyland Resort (you can check out the event using #DisneySMMCDLR). Just in time to experience the final weeks of Disneyland Resort’s 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration.

I love to catch up with old friends and make new ones, and Disney events bring all kinds of magic to the party, too! We enjoyed a delicious buffet breakfast, were gifted with lots of fun, Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park admission, Disneyland 60th swag; but most importantly to me, I left with my heart absolutely overflowing, and my mind blown by the Disney team, and surprise guests, who both inspired and empowered us to keep moving forward as moms and entrepreneurs.

NEW! and Coming Soon to Disney Parks

One of my favorite experiences about Disney influencer events is all of the magic that we get to hear about behind the scenes. There is so much to say about each, but I will just touch on the highlights. Thank you to Michele Himmelberg, Director of Public Relations – Disneyland Resort, for sharing all of the upcoming fun. Let’s start with the holiday season that is almost upon us!

In case you missed it, Disneyland is currently undergoing spook-tacular Halloween season enhancements! The Haunted Mansion is currently closed, as Sandy Claws does his annual decorating. Don’t fret though, because doors will open for the ghoulish attraction with a Nightmare Before Christmas theme on September 9th.

Image © Disney Image © Disney

This will also be the FINAL Halloween at Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. For me, it is bittersweet. I will always love TOT, but I am looking forward to the new attraction in 2017. I highly suggest that you visit before TOT becomes Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission Breakout! The attraction will close its doors in January 2017.

GUYS – We were given complimentary FAST PASS tickets to experience the new enhancements of one of our family’s favorite attractions, which is now Soarin’ Around the World. Personally, I loved the new version and it gave me the travel bug! I’ve never been outside of the US, so flying over the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France might have gotten me a little teary eyed. It’s beautiful. All of imagery coupled with the different scents 🙂 within the attraction are pretty awesome! My girls rated it 5 stars! I will be honest, I was sad that I did not get to see Frozen – Live at the Hyperion, but it is on my “to-do” for my next trip!

Image © Disney Image © Disney

Disney’s Frozen – November ushers in my favorite holiday of all time – Christmas! In time for winter season, you will find Disney’s Frozen – Live at the Hyperion at Disney California Adventure Park. If you’re on the East coast, Frozen Ever After is the new attraction at Walt Disney World, and if you’re setting sail, Frozen – A Musical Spectacular will be featured this fall on Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Wonder.

Image © Disney Image © Disney

Disney’s MOANA – If you know me, you also know that our family has a serious love for the islands of the Pacific. We loved Disney’s Lilo & Stitch franchise, and honestly I think MOANA will be one of my favorite princesses. The film will be released 11/23/16, the weekend of my 35th birthday!

We were treated to exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, and it was AMAZING. We were not able to take any photos or have our technology out, otherwise a very kind security guard would kindly remind and potentially remove us. All I can share with you, is that this is a MUST SEE film. I’m not talking about just a film for 2016, but a must-see for a lifetime. The themes of empowerment, following your heart, learning about who your ancestors were and who you are meant to be, are extremely strong in the film.

We heard from Amy Smeed, the first female co-head of animation on a feature film and was interesting to hear how the animation process and story is developed. The amounts of research that the Studios put in to really capture the essence of the cultures presented is more than commendable. I am so happy that Auli’i Cravalho was cast as Moana. A native to Hawai’i, she truly embodies the Aloha spirit and she brings so much life and vibrance to her character.

Image © Disney Image © Disney

Disney Cruise Line – I’ve not had the pleasure to set sail with DCL yet, but we found out that the fleet will be adding two new cruise ships soon: one in 2021; another in 2023. They will also return to Galveston, Texas in 2017, with sailings to the Caribbean and the Bahamas. For West coast cruisers, the Disney Wonder will return to San Diego in September and October 2017 for sailings to Baja and the Mexican Riviera.

Image © Disney Image © Disney

PandoraThe World of AVATAR – Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom is preparing for the opening of a new, beautiful world based on James Cameron’s AVATAR, in 2017. It has been amazing to watch the ideas for this magical place take shape over the last few years. I had my first peek at Pandora’s arrival when I explored Disney23 Expo in 2013. Then, when I worked the D23 Expo in 2015 with Imagineering, I was in even more awe as we walked through the exhibit and saw the creations and mini replicas of what was to come. The concept art is breathtaking. I can’t wait to ride down the Na’vi River.

Social Media Tips

What’s a social media conference without touching on social media?! As always, Disney “does it better” and offered us insider tips on how they manage their conversations and content for the public, and gave insight on putting that into action for our own brands and blogs. The theme for me was really to work towards adding more video content to my blog and social media platforms. Before we get into the tips, make sure you bookmark: Disney Parks Blog – it is the ultimate site for Disney Parks news and events! The team is active on social media as well, so stay connected!

Here are highlights from our speakers and Disney team members:

Erin Glover (Social Media Director, Disneyland) is always fun to learn from. She is engaging, witty, and extremely knowledgeable. I had the pleasure of learning the basics about the process a couple of years ago, and I was excited to learn more. This time around, I really honed in on her tips for syndicating and sharing content. Many times, I write and then that’s it. When I was doing work for other companies on social media, I ended up neglecting my own social media channels. Did you know that there are over 100 authors for the Disney Parks Blog?! That’s a lot of writing! My ultimate takeaway: Syndicate, Integrate and Share. Ask myself, “how can I optimize my content to work well for each specific channel?”

Victoria Lim (Managing Editor, Disney Parks) shared on maximizing digital content through apps. I’m not a huge fan of being in front of the camera, but I do see the value and importance of it with my content. This was the first time I’d heard Victoria share, in real life (I’ve followed her presentations via social media)  and I was happy to hear her tips and tricks on video. My daughters are obsessed with video, and will be helping me get my booty in gear with producing for my blog. Some of the apps that Victoria talked about were Magisto, Videolicious, Quik, and WeVideo. My ultimate takeaway: Be ready to film content. Don’t go TMZ style [when videotaping]. Have a steady shot. 

Surprise Guests

Drumroll, please… we were treated to chat with Tiffani Thiessen, (aka Kelly Kapowski – for you Saved by the Bell fans) and Ginger Zee (ABC News & Good Morning America). Listening to Tiffani and Ginger speak on motherhood, working outside (and inside) the home, balancing their passions and everything else was awe-inspiring. It was an honor to hear their stories and I left empowered as a mom with many hats.

As moms, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to have everything “just right.” Honestly, when is it ever up to our standards and/or expectations? I’m contemplating these statements more and more since being home from this event, and I am excited to share my thoughts on them soon.

Thank you to my friend Jindy of FlowersCroon.com for the awesome picture! Thank you to my friend Jindy of FlowersCroon.com for the awesome picture!

The entire day was such a treat. I was exhausted, inspired and bursting at the seams with excitement. I was blessed to not only be invited, but to have the ability to take the day off and make the 300+ mile drive down with my husband and two of our girls! We all had a fantastic time. I always look forward to participating in Disney events as opportunities arise. I hope there are many more in my future! Thank you to the Disney events team for including me!

Spread Magic

I was hosted at the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration On the Road at Disneyland Resort and my family received complimentary park admission and a swag bag. I paid for all travel costs incurred. All thoughts expressed are my own and I’d like to think they are pretty magical. Follow the fun on social media to see the many bloggers that experienced #DisneySMMCDLR!