by Character Diva
When Local Diva first brought up the idea of us doing Disney family movie nights, I was excited. It was something I had seen done on Pinterest, but had never attempted to do one before. But I’m always up for a fun Disney party, and even though my creations usually aren’t Pinterest worthy as far as presentation goes, I thought it’d be fun and was up to the challenge.
My 3 ½ year old (and even my 20 month old) love helping in the kitchen. So when I pulled out a couple of my Disney cookbooks and told them we were going to make something, Little Princess and Little Man were elated. Little Princess quickly pointed out the sea turtle cupcakes, to which Little Man heartily agreed. I was already planning on doing a Finding Nemo theme, so it kinda worked out perfectly.
Figuring out the dessert section was easy. Thanks to the Disney Family website, I already had ideas for a Jellyfish cake (complete with Marlin and Dory bouncing on top), and I knew my kids approved of the cupcakes with Squirt on them. I also figured that instead of the traditional popcorn and a movie, we would do whole grain goldfish crackers a movie. So I had the snacks covered, but what about the actual dinner?
At first, I was thinking about doing shells and cheese, but seeing as we were having goldfish crackers, I thought that might be too similar. So I went with this recipe from Pillsbury for Taco-Stuffed Pasta Shells. I had never tried it, but I figured it would include more food groups (always a plus when planning a meal), and my family liked tacos. J Plus, I figured it’d just be cruel to plan a Finding Nemo night with fishsticks or seafood on the menu. (After all, as Bruce and his shark friends teach us, fish are friends, not food!) I ended up pairing it with a Caesar Salad (not quite seaweed, but it worked), and voila- A quick and easy dinner!
Now I also wanted some kind of activity to do besides dinner and the movie, so I used the Bobbing for Nemo game on the Disney Family Website. Instead of a pool, I ended up just filling up a large Tupperware dish full of water and put the sponges in that. Disney Diva Tip: We are fortunate enough to live near an Aquarium, so we also took our kids to that to check out the fish and marine life, and that can be a great activity too! Or you can always go to your local pet store and check out the tropical fish there too. 🙂
The kids loved it! We had a great time, and they really enjoyed dinner, the activity, and of course the movie. I’m definitely looking forward to all of our future family Disney movie nights! What about you? How many of you have thrown a Disney Movie Night, and what did you guys do?
Sea Turtle Cupcake Ingredients (the original recipe can be found here: or a similar one can be found in “The Disney Princess Cookbook”, by Cynthia Littlefield, p.118-119. I also decided to throw in a few octopi, so some cupcakes were topped with those instead of turtles).
Trolli Sour Brite Octopus
Mini Chocolate Chips
Blue & White Frosting
Dots (If you can find the normal gumdrops, those would probably look better)
Peach Gummy Rings
Gummy Orange Slices
Marlin & Dory Jellyfish Cake (The original recipe can be found here)
Ivory Vanilla Fondant (I couldn’t find marzipan, so I used fondant instead)
Food Coloring (Blue, Orange, Yellow & Black)
Pink Writing Frosting
Seaweed Caesar Salad (Just your standard Caesar Salad)
“Fish are Friends, Not Food” Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells Casserole (The original recipe can be found here…. My modified directions are below. Also, instead of draining the hamburger afterwards, since we always buy super lean hamburger, my husband just mixed that with the taco seasoning and salsa to come up with our “taco seasoning”).
12 oz. Uncooked Jumbo Pasta Shells, (cooked, rinsed and drained)
1 ½ lbs. Hamburger
2 ½ Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 ¼ Cups Diced Tomatoes
Salsa (To Taste)
2 Packets of Taco Seasoning
Whole-Grain Goldfish Crackers (because being whole-grain makes them healthy, right?) 😉