You just booked your Princess or Super Hero Character for your child's birthday party....now what? We wanted to share our 11 Party Planning Tips for Parents on how you can have the most successful Princess or Super Hero Party for your child!
#1 - Prepare the Space
Dancing Princess Parties does include dancing and moving games in all of our party packages. This means the space you are using should be clear of large furniture or the furniture should be moved to the side to ensure that all characters and party guests can move safely. If you're hosting your party in your home, we suggest a basement, garage or a family room that provides adequate moving space. If you aren't sure which space will work best, please let us know! We are happy to help you determine the best room. Also remember that many of our characters are not available for outside parties in certain conditions. Please be sure you read up on our Outdoor Party Policy to determine if an outdoors party will be possible for your day! When prepping the space, please be sure there is a chair for the character to sit in as they will need to sit for Introductions, Coronation, Happy Birthday Song, Storytime, Sing a longs and other activities.
Be sure that the party location is marked clearly! If the party is at your home, we recommend hanging a balloon or banner on your mailbox or in a visible spot so our hosts can locate your home quickly. If at a Venue, please be sure that Venue staff are made aware of us coming and advise them to help guide us to the correct event room.
#2 - Be Prepared for Late Arrivals
Party Guests tend to arrive 15 to 20 minutes late. Therefore, we always recommend that you plan for the character to arrive 20-30 minutes after your party guests. This way you can ensure everyone is there when the character arrives. For example if your party starts at 1:00, the character should arrive at 1:30pm. Our characters cannot delay the start time of a party to wait for guests to arrive, if they do there will be activities that will need to be trimmed from the event as they cannot extend past the scheduled end time as this may cause them to be late to another child's birthday.
#3 - Food Free
We do recommend that party guests remain free of food while the character is present (this includes candy and gum). Since we are moving and dancing we highly recommend that all food is served after the party and not during or before. We recommend this for several reasons:
#4 - Only one Entertainer at a Time
We know parents love having as much entertainment as possible to keep kids excited about the party, however, we highly recommend that you only have one entertainer present at a time. This includes additional features such as bouncy houses, face painters, magicians etc. All of these add ons can be very confusing for young guests and will cause a lot of distraction. We ask that while we are at your party that we are the only entertainment provided and the remainder of entertainment should happen after we depart.
#5 - Prep your Guests
Although we know surprises can be fun, it's always best to prepare all of your guests and the birthday child that a character is coming! Not all children will react the same to a character. They may freeze up and become really shy and not want to leave mom's side. Some kids, especially younger ones, can still be very fearful of people in costumes, the last thing we want is to make someone cry or scare them. Sometimes they could get overly excited putting themselves and other's safety at risk. It is our recommendation that all guests are told ahead of time that a character is coming so parents can properly prepare their child.
#6 - Dim the Noise
We know that parents of little ones often like to stay nearby so they can watch and take pictures of their child with the character. We have no problem with this, however, it is very very important that party guests who are not participating are quiet and respectful of the character. It is very hard to keep the attention of the kids if they cannot hear what is being asked of them. We recommend one of two things. Either parents are in another room completely where they cannot be seen or heard, or they are participating like an audience would at a show.
#7 - Less is More
Dancing Princess Parties places a limit on guest count for a reason. The more children there are to manage, the harder it becomes to ensure everyone has that magical experience. You wouldn't want to have to try and talk to the characters at Disney World with 20 other families fighting for their attention at the same time. It's magical because it's just you and your family enjoying that alone time with the characters. We want that same experience for your birthday party. We find the perfect guest list is 8 kids. We know it's not always possible to trim the guest list, so some things to consider when inviting guests: Consider their ages. Our parties are recommended for children ages 3-7. Children under 3 may not always participate. Children over the age of 7 tend to recognize that the performer is someone in costume. We don't want the magic to be ruined because an older child spills the beans. We also get asked a lot about boys. We always include boys in our parties when they are there. Please let us know how many boys will be at the party when you send us your final head count so we can be sure we have activities planned that include them in the fun.
#8 - Believe in Magic
Our characters are trained to remain in character at all times. If there is a question or an issue that you need to address with the character that may cause them to break character, we ask that you address them away from the children. We do not want to ruin the magic for the party guests. Our character will also respect the magic if they need to address something with you.
#9 - Dress up is Allowed
We love when everyone at the party is dressed up like their favorite characters! However, we also want to be sure that the costumes still allow for moving safely. Some costumes (ie mermaid fins, large hoop skirts, super hero masks etc) may restrict movement or create a safety hazard if children trip on their clothing or can't see. We recommend letting guests know that dress up is encouraged, but to also consider safety. We also suggest that party guests wear a change of clothes under costumes as they can get hot when moving and dancing! We want them to able to remove any layers that may make them uncomfortable.
#10 - Be prepared for photos and videos!
Be sure that your phone, and the phones of your guests, have plenty of room for photos and videos. Parents are always welcome to take photos and videos during the party as long as it does not interfere with the activity or distract the kids. Also be sure that all party guests are aware ahead of time that our packages only include 1 photo with the birthday child and one group photo. We do not usually have time for individual photos with all guests unless the appropriate package has been purchased to include the extra time. We don't want to disappoint anyone if our performer has to leave to get to their next party and couldn't get that private photo with everyone.
#11 - Communicate Special Requests
Please review your original confirmation email and be sure that you understand everything that is included in your party package. If there is a special request (ie: Sing happy birthday while cutting the cake, or a special photo with grandma and birthday child etc). Please communicate that with us prior to the party to ensure that our character can fit it in!