All American fare served in a Route 66 diner with a magical twist after dark
I cannot watch the movie Cars without tearing up. If you haven’t seen it, I recommend watching it with a box of tissues nearby. A race car ends up in a forgotten Route 66 town and learns that speed and winning isn’t as important as taking the long route and enjoying the people and things around you. I actually have a lump in my throat just thinking about the ending race!
Cars was such a fun theme for Disney Dinners because a casual diner setting is the polar opposite of so many of my other dinners. I used paper napkins and plastic burger baskets, for Mater’s sake! Here’s how you can celebrate Route 66 at a Cars dinner party for adults!
“They’re driving right by, they don’t even know what they’re missing.” – Lightning McQueen
The Rose Table is in no way affiliated with The Walt Disney Company.
Photography courtesy of My Curly Adventures.
I think this is my dad’s favorite Disney Dinner to date. He was utterly charmed by the nostalgia walking through the dining room the day before and that’s exactly what I was going for. I hung racing flags from the dining room doorway that matched the checkered table cloth on the table. My chalkboard read “Kate’s V8 Cafe” and I replaced my wall art with vintage car posters and a Route 66 sign. If you look close, you’ll also notice a car that looks very much like the Hudson Hornet on one of the signs.
“I didn’t come all this way to see you quit.” – Doc Hudson
Most notably though was the neon. In the film, Lightning McQueen is able to light up the rundown Radiator Springs for his beloved Sally and she gets to see the town in its former neon glory while all the cars cruise around to the charming song Sh-Boom. It’s a major point in the movie and at Disney’s California Adventure, they play Sh-Boom and light up Cars Land with neon lights every night at sunset. A wanna-be imagineer myself, I also played Sh-Boom after the sun went down and lit up my dining room with neon lights. (I wish I could have included the song in my video recap but, alas, copyright laws prohibit it so please hum it while you’re watching the video.)
I had a neon cactus on top of my chain cabinet, real neon lights all over my dishes inside the cabinet, blinking blue glow sticks propped up on my side table, pink lights outlining my dining room window, and green lights outlining the dining room doorway.
Neon is quite expensive, as it turns out, so I cheated by using pink and green Christmas lights to illuminate the room and give the affective of neon lights. It looked positively magical in person. It’s amazing how lighting can affect an atmosphere.
This table makes me happy. It’s so yesteryear! This black and white checkered table cloth could not be less expensive but totally did the trick. I had a neon lightning bolt for Lightning McQueen as the centerpiece flanked with flowers, a diner straw container, plus ketchup and mustard right on the table. My photographer even said, “Wow, there’s not a lot on the table this time!” Yep, and that’s on purpose. I wanted simple for this party.
I styled my side table with sunflowers and a galvanized metal bucket full of vintage sodas with a sign that looked awfully similar to Doc Hudson.
I wanted cheap flowers that would look appropriate in a diner. I wanted daisies but alas, my store didn’t have any and just like you, I get my flowers at the grocery store, not a fancy florist, so I’m at the mercy of whatever they have in stock. I settled on white and yellow mums in mason jars plus cheerful sunflowers for the side table.
The Place Settings
Did you ever think you’d see the day when paper napkins appeared at a Disney Dinner? This is the simplest place setting to date. All I did was set a red burger basket at each place along with a white paper napkin, fork for mac ‘n’ cheese overflow, coke bottle, and water. That’s it!
This has got to be the best Disney Dinner music wise. I turned on an oldies channel (the Maltshop Favorites channel on DirectTv to be exact) and could not stop hopping and jiving all night long.
For this month’s Disney Bounding, I chose Flo, the first time I’ve dressed as a character that isn’t the lead. I happened to have this very 1950s mint green dress so I went with it, pairing the frock with white pumps and a curly pony tail tied with a white ribbon. I love my guest’s looks for this party. Check ’em out!
I actually did not make a signature cocktail during the dinner hour because it would be so off-theme for an old fashioned diner. Instead I served Coca-Cola in old fashioned bottles and served boozy milkshakes for dessert.
I went with classic American diner fare for Cars with a bit of a Disney twist. I was determined to serve bread cones, since that’s one of the signature items available at Cars Land in Disney’s California Adventure. Paired with a slider, you don’t need an appetizer before this hearty main course! For dessert, I made photogenic boozy milkshakes topped with dark chocolate doughnut tires.
“I must scream it to the world, my excitement from the top of someplace very high!” – Luigi
This mini version of an all-American classic has a Hidden Mickey made out of pickles. Don’t forget the tow-maters! Get the recipe here.
This is for all my Disneyland fans out there. These bread cones are as fun to make as they are to eat. The possibilities are endless when it comes to stuffing them! I stuffed mine with bacon mac ‘n’ cheese for Cars. Get the recipe here.
Bacon Mac ‘n’ Cheese
This crockpot recipe could not be easier – you don’t even have to cook the noodles before throwing everything in your slow cooker! It’s so creamy, you’ll wonder why you ever bothered with another kind of mac ‘n’ cheese. Get the recipe here.
You might not even believe that there’s alcohol in this amaretto milkshake. They go down really smooth and look stunning topped with whipped cream, a cherry, and a dark chocolate doughnut on the side. Get the recipe here.
Dark Chocolate Doughnuts
These super soft dark chocolate doughnuts take just minutes to make. Get the recipe here.
“It’s even better than I pictured it.” – Sally
Stay tuned because next month is Disney Dinners: Coco!
Watch the video highlights:
Make your own magic,