Dinner and a movie, a typical date or family night, right? Ever thought about jazzing it up with some Disney flair? There are so many unique and fun ways to incorporate your favorite Disney movie and theme your fun, family or date night! Missing the parks and want to bring the magic home? With the EPCOT Flower & Garden Festival kicking off on March 1st, how about picking your favorite festival snack and cocktail and adding a Disney movie? It’s a great way to bring the festival to you when you can’t be in the parks. Let’s explore all the ways.
Preparing for a Disney-Themed Night
Preparing for a Disney-themed date or family night is a ton of fun! Be sure to include the whole family in planning the night. Here are some ideas:
1. Choose a Disney movie
First things first, you want to select your favorite Disney movie. You can draw inspiration from the movie and it’ll be easier to theme the rest of the night once a movie is chosen. It can be a classic Walt Disney film such as Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty or a newer release like Moana or Tangled.
2. Plan your Menu
This part is super fun! Once you’ve chosen your movie, it’s time to plan your themed menu. Consider choosing foods that are related to the movie location or theme. For example, if you’re watching “The Little Mermaid”, you might choose to make seafood dishes such as shrimp cocktail or fish and chips. If you’re watching “Toy Story”, you might decide to make snacks like popcorn and hot dogs – more of a party theme.
3. Set the Scene
Create a cozy and comfortable space for your movie night. Bring out all the blankets and pillows for everyone to get comfortable while eating and watching the movie. Also consider dimming the lights or even adding candles to create a cozy atmosphere.
4. Decorate the Room
Similar to setting the scene, consider decorating to the theme of the movie. For example, if you are watching “Tangled” you might want to consider hanging paper lanterns from the ceiling, or if you are watching “UP”, you might cover the room with balloons!
5. Dress up!
How fun! Take your movie night theme to the next level by dressing up as one of the characters from your chosen movie. This could be as simple as wearing Mickey ears or as elaborate as a full Disney-themed costume.
6. Enjoy time with Family and Friends
Finally, it’s time to enjoy your Disney dinner and movie night! Don’t forget to take photos and share them with family and friends. Show off your fun night and inspire others to create their own movie night!
Classic Movie Night Options!
Because we are embarking on the EPCOT Flower & Garden Festival, I thought it might be fun to coordinate a classic Disney movie with some of the treats and cocktails highlighted at the festival.
Here are some examples of movies paired with treats from the festival that you can choose from for your next family date night!
- Coco – Mexico
- Mulan – China
- Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty, Aristocats, Hunchback of Notre Dame – France
- Pinocchio, Luca – Italy
- Aladdin – Morocco
Movie Night Example!
Let’s showcase a Coco/Mexican themed night! I’m a little biased because I adore the movie Coco and absolutely love Mexican food, so this themed night is a win win for me!
If you haven’t seen Coco, it is incredibly beautiful story of a young boy, Miguel, who pursues his dreams of playing guitar, despite his family banning music altogether after his great-grandfather left his great-grandmother to become a musician. Miguel’s journey is heartwarming and touching. You will fall in love with the story, music and animation. It’s an instant classic.
If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the official trailer:
Movie: Coco (Mexico)
Menu ideas (featured at the festival):
- Taco Vampiro: Barbacoa Beef in a Corn Tortilla with crispy grilled monterey jack cheese, salsa ranchera, and esquites
- Classic Margarita or La Cava del Tequila’s infamous Avocado Margarita
Tacos Vampiro (or Vampire Tacos)
These tacos are delicious!! They are named Vampire Tacos because of the red tint that the salsa leaves on the tortilla. So, how do you make them? Here’s a recipe for you to try at home!
Recipe credit: https://tasty.co/recipe/vampire-tacos
Ingredients for 3 servings:
- 1 lb flank steak
- ½ cup soy sauce
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 4 packages corn tortillas
- 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- ⅔ cup mayonnaise
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 2 chipotle peppers, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup guacamole
- 1 cup pico de gallo
- ½ cup queso fresco, cotija cheese
- 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, optional
- Combine steak and marinade ingredients in a large plastic storage bag or bowl. Toss to coat. Marinade at least 1 hour or up to 24.
- Remove meat from marinade, discard.
- Heat a grill, grill pan or large saute pan to high heat. Cook to desired doneness. Allow the meat to rest at least 10 minutes before thinly slicing against the grain.
- To prepare the sauce, combine mayo, chipotles, lime juice and salt. Stir to combine.
- Heat a saute pan to medium heat.
- Place one corn tortilla in the pan, sprinkle about ¼ cup (25 G) cheddar cheese on top. Cover with a second corn tortilla. Cook just until the cheese is melted, flipping once. The tortillas should be soft and pliable, not crispy.
- To assemble the tacos, top the corn tortillas with a spoonful of guacamole.
- Add a few slices of steak, then top with pico de gallo, cotija cheese and some of the sauce. Garnish with cilantro if desired.
Recipe credit: https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/classic_margarita/
- 1 1/2 ounces blanco tequila (also called plato or silver tequila)
- 1 ounce orange liqueur, such as triple sec, Cointreau, or Grand Marnier
- 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
- Plenty of kosher or flake salt for glass, optional (do not use iodized salt)
- Ice cubes, optional
- Lime wedges for garnish, optional
Place the tequila, orange liqueur, and lime juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake for 10 seconds, and then strain into a prepared cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime wedge if desired.
Avocado Margarita – La Cava Del Tequila – Epcot
This is the Disney recipe straight from La Cava Del Tequila!
- 2 oz tequila blanco
- 1.5 oz melon liquor
- 1 oz orange liqueur
- 1.5 oz agave nectar
- 1/4 avocado
- 1 oz fresh lime juice
- 1 tbsp hibiscus salt (you can purchase hibiscus salt from various locations, I included one here for your convenience)
- Mix all the ingredients in a blender with 3/4 cup of ice and blend until smooth.
- Serve in a margarita glass lined with hibiscus salt.
Movie Night Decorations
Coco is VERY colorful and vibrant. You can decorate your movie space with very bright and colorful flowers, candles, anything Day of the Dead themed including napkins, plates, cake toppers, cookies, and more! This website has a ton of adorable Day of the Dead themed party decorations that you can easily incorporate into your movie night. Amazon also has a ton of Mexican themed party supplies including balloons, party banners, and more. Whatever you decide to do, be sure to make it super colorful and full of life!
Give this movie night a try! Or try your own based on your personal preferences. There are so many movie and food combinations you can choose from! I do think it’s fun to pair up a movie with the current ongoing festival at EPCOT. Bring some of the amazing festival magic home and enjoy special treats and cocktails!
For the full list of menus at this year’s festival, visit here for inspiration!