I’ve discovered as a parent of two toddler boys that simplicity can be perfection. For my 4 years old’s first birthday I went all out. I rented a venue, got the overpriced cake, had a kids station, had food catered, spent hundreds on decorations, hired a photographer, and hired a birthday invitation designer. Yes. WAY too much for any birthday, but it was my first child’s first birthday so moms tend to get a bit out of control during that monumental time.
Not only do I understand the expense isn’t necessary I now have two vocal toddlers that are impressed by the smallest of celebrations as long as it’s themed around their favorite Disney characters. This December I celebrated my youngest turning 2 with a simple Toy Story Birthday celebration incorporating his favorite person Buzz Lightyear. If you’re searching for a Disney themed celebration but don’t want to stress over the top details and want to keep it simplistic you’re speaking my language. Here’s Toy Story themed Birthday party inspiration and tips on how to host a Disney themed party with a limited decor and small budget in mind.
- Collect Toy Story themed toys throughout the year! My boys both love Toy Story and the toys are classics that will never go out of style or be unwanted by all toddlers. Last Christmas we got the Birthday boy a Woody and Buzz, for his Birthday we got him Rex, for his brothers Birthday he got Slinky Dog and then family members gifted a few Toy Story toys throughout the year for celebrations too. I couldn’t imagine buying all these toys at once and it feels good to let them just select or receive one for specific reasons. The kids get to enjoy the toy in every way and they quickly become favorites and go-to toys when we travel too before it’s Birthday party time. I think adding in their favorite toys to a small Birthday display adds in a new unique level of character. My Sebastian yelled with excitement when he noticed his toys on the table around his cake… “me me me” is what he said meaning those are mine, oh my gosh! Such a cute moment. We also kept this past years Halloween costumes (Woody and Buzz) to let them wear during the party too. No costume, toy, or decorative piece is off limits when it comes to incorporating it into the Birthday party.
- Select the one thing you want to put emphasis or more of a budget into. For some people this is photography, but for us this is always the cake. Cakes speak to me and while that might sound silly to some, nothing beats a fun Toy Story themed Birthday cake that everyone gets to dive into. Don’t stress over every aspect and put energy into the thing that means the most and showcases the most of Toy Story for your little one.
- Opt for a cake or cupcakes with a specific character from Toy Story to keep the simplicity key. My Sebastian is head over heels for Buzz Lightyear so I knew a Buzz themed cake was exactly what he would want. This cake brought my boy so much joy he wasn’t sure if he would eat it. I met with a local cake baker and together we designed a simple cake without over the top decorative pieces that showcased buzz perfectly. Once I brought the cake home I added his Buzz bubble machine to the top of the cake instead of opting for a dramatic fondant cake topper and we all loved it. Let our Buzz cake be an inspiration for a Toy Story character specific sweet display.
- Set the table and/or table display without the toddler being present. We were very good about slowly pulling all the Toy Story toys out of the playroom and placing them on the table surrounding the cake without the toddlers being in the room. This adds a level of dramatic surprise and gives me time to set things up. Be sure to capture the moment your little toddler sees his display with his favorite toys.
This type of Disney inspired toddler birthday celebration is hands down my favorite. It’s intimate, it’s detailed, it includes the child’s favorite toys, it includes a unique themed cake, and it will make your favorite Toy Story fan light up with pure joy. From planning lavish parties to decorating a small table display with Disney toys I’ve done it all and my preference will always be on the less is more as I watch my children reaction of happiness spread throughout a room filled with loved ones. Disney gets it right with the characters, the toys, and the movies leaving us little room to “get it wrong” when it comes to showing off our toddlers favorite movie during their Birthday celebration. Happy Disney themed Birthday celebrating!
You can find me pushing a double stroller through the magic most days.
I’m a toddler boy mom that has a passion for Florida living and all things Disney! As a Florida native and self proclaimed Disney staycation pro, I look forward to guiding you through the magic.