Dumbo’s Big Top Birthday

Dumbo party montage…top left (going clockwise): peanut butter cookies with strawberry frosting cut into elephant shapes were the take home favors (I put them in little cellophane bags, but sadly didn’t get a photo), Dumbo centerpiece, “Don’t Just Fly Soar,” Dumbo poster, Dumbo cupcake for the birthday girl, Emily, Little Dumbo with birthday sign.

This was such a fun theme to do. Anyone that knows me, knows that when I do a theme that I like to go all out. It was so fun creating a circus atmosphere for this little party. The birthday girl’s favorite Disney movie is Dumbo, so that is how this theme came to be. I had a few Dumbo items on hand, bought some and I (and my niece) made the rest. It’s fun to pick the color palette for a theme. I knew I wanted to do bright colors with some patterns of stripes (reminding one of a circus tent) and polka dots.

Table set for Emily’s 27 th birthday party.

I had the striped runner, so I began there with the tablescape. I found the adorable elephant napkins at World Market and even got them on clearance. These two components gave me the spring board to create. I used a strand of colored lights down the middle of the runner. The centerpiece was a stuffed Dumbo I had with bright ribbons coming out of the bowl in which he sat. I sprinkled some birthday confetti down the runner as well.

The Dumbo table setting …the napkin read, “The greatest day..kick up your heels.”

I did a casual, but whimsical place setting. The dinner plate is a ceramic white one with scallop edges that I got at Crate & Barrel a few years ago. I got polka dot square plates for the salad dish. On top of that was a red and white striped silverware holder. It was another find from Crate & Barrel. It was used at the store for 4th of July. When I purchased them, I thought they would also be great for Christmas and Valentine’s…and now for a Dumbo party. I added a noisemaker and at the birthday girl’s setting , I put a cute Happy Birthday necklace she later took home. For place cards I put character names instead of the party goers’ names. We each got a character for the evening. Naturally, Emily, being the birthday girl, was Dumbo.

Some of the circus food… top left (going clockwise): Peanut butter cookie dough ball (we know how much Dumbo loves peanuts) with animal cookies, Casey Junior Vegetable train (was this fun to do … various colored peppers were the cars, cucumbers for the wheels attached by toothpicks ..various veggies were in the car to use as dippers for a nearby dip…I had an engine and tracks, so that added to the effect). Strongman barbells made of pretzel sticks with olives on ends (so easy to do), Elephant cupcake from a local shop called The Cake Cottage, Parmesan bowls held the salad and were the main course.

I enjoy making food to fit the theme. The peanut butter dip was from Pinterest. It’s covered in Reese’s Pieces and has animal cookies for dippers. I’ve made several versions of these cookie dips and they have all been a party favorite.The veggie train brought the Dumbo story to life and was so functional. Another Pinterest idea! I tweaked it a bit adding the toy engine and track. The strongman’s barbells were the easiest of all. Just olives stuck on pretzels! The adorable elephant cupcake was designed by a wonderful shop called, The Cake Cottage. I try to mix goodies with healthy things. Since we had so many sweets. I went with a salad as the main course. My husband made the Parmesan bowls. They are simply shredded Parmesan fried together. Poured into pan like a big pancake ( make sure it’s enough to make the bowl.) My husband then took a wide glass and draped it over to make the shape. The salad was a ready made mix with some goodies added like dried cranberries and candied nuts. We had bleu cheese dressing with it.

I like to have activities at my little themed parties. The Dumbo’s Big Top Party had photo booth props (some of my favorites were the lion mask and hula hoop), I made up a Disney trivia version for our Scattegories game, and we watched Disney’s Dumbo. Our doggie, Lady, dressed for the circus, too. The flower decor was so fun. I took a popcorn container I had and filled it with white carnations to make it look like a box of popcorn. It was simple to do, but came out looking so good!

I always like to have some activities planned for my parties. For Dumbo, we watched the movie, played a Disney trivia game. We also had a photo booth with props I made or purchased. I bought the hula hoop and lion mask, so my guests could pretend to be a lion jumping through a hoop. I love to mix up the paper props with actual props. I almost always do a photo booth. People like it and it’s a fun memory maker. I also love to dress up in theme. I’m wearing a polka dot dress with a feather scarf (the feathers are a nod to Dumbo’s feather that helps him fly.) I also try to have our dog, Lady, decked in theme costume, too.

Our hutch changed out for party theme… because I’m a Disney fan and collector, I have many things on hand to use. I made the little 27 circus elephant sign for Emily’s birthday. The Dumbo decor on top of hutch is actually one of my purses.

I really like to create the mood of the theme. Wherever I can, I decorate to that theme. I changed out the hutch near the table we ate at. I had another game table decorated. The kitchen peninsula had the themed food and some decor. Our fireplace had an elephant garland draped across. It all helps guest enter into the spirit.

My niece and I made these cute elephant cookies for party favors. They were peanut butter roll out cookies with strawberry frosting. We placed them in little cellophane bags and sent them home with our guests.

I love to send my guests off with party favors. These peanut butter cookies filled with strawberry icing were perfect. The cute elephant shapes let them enjoy the theme just a little longer. This was such a fun theme to do. It was a memorable time. There are so many great party supplies you can buy to help you get started. I love Etsy, Party City, Amazon, and The Disney Store for sources to these. I also enjoy creating the themed food and some of the decor. Pinterest is a wonderful source for these ideas.

My niece, Courtney with the birthday girl, Emily.

We enjoyed our evening in the Big Top with our favorite Disney elephant and his friends. Disney parties are some of my favorite themes to do, I will be sharing 3 more I’ve done in the next few weeks.