I remember when my son was a tiny baby, and seeing older boys obsessing over this silly red car with eyes. I didn’t really get the appeal, but figured this particular car just had some clever marketing, because his. face. was. everywhere. I secretely hoped that my son wouldn’t fall victim to this red car’s magic power. Then he turned 2 1/2 and watched the movie Cars while we were in Maine and the obsession began. All he could talk about was cars, his favorite color became red and it made me realize how much I do not like playing with cars. I did however appreciate the change from boring Thomas the Tank Engine.
So when it came time to start planning his 3rd birthday party, Lightening McQueen took the lead. After watching the movie a billion times, I noticed a cute vintage billboard as you entered the town that said “Welcome to Radiator Springs,” so I adapted something similar for the backdrop of the dessert table which set the scenery for the entire party. We incorporated real cactus plants and other rustic elements to match the look and feel of the old fashion town. We also displayed food to match all of the characters like Sally’s cozy cones, Mater’s taters, Luigi’s tower of tires and Sheriff’s stop lights. I also created some custom labels for some soup cans to look like oil cans that said different happy birthday messages. One of my favorite aspects of the party was the favors for the kids. We had little wooden cars that each held their own personal Radiator Springs driver’s license with their name and photo. They also received a trophy (Piston cup) with official cars pez dispensers and a little car.
For games we had pin the buck teeth on mater, a McQueen piñata, large cardboard cars to race with, a craft table to make their own license tag and everyone’s favorite, face painting at Ramone’s house of body art. My favorite moment was when we brought out the cupcake with a candle for him to blow out. His jaw literally dropped.
Photography: Vitalic Photo
Photo booth: Snap Booth
Design & Artwork: Chrissy Trujillo
Cartoon Characters: Disney Family
Face painter: Judy Face Painting
Wooden cars: Oriental Trading
Cone drinking cups: Amazon
McQueen shirt: Disney Store
Treats: The Grandparents