Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Our Jungle Cruise Pun Party: Full House Tour!

Our Jungle Cruise Pun Party was last weekend, and bots and babes, it was soooo gooood. For the first time since Covid John and I packed our house with amazingly creative friends, every one in costume, and we played games, ate, laughed, hugged, caught up with people we hadn't seen in years, and hugged some more.

We partied from 6pm 'til 2am, by which point my voice was completely gone, so I spent all of Sunday whisper-croaking to John between naps and cups of hot tea. It was a long week just finishing everything for the party, so I'm still bone-tired - but also way too excited to wait any longer to show you THE GOODS.

John and I've been working to photograph and video every last detail for you, so I hope you're ready for a pun party barrage. Despite only having a little over a month to work on this, we still managed to cram in a bunch of builds: decorations, games, a custom scavenger-hunt, the works!

SO.

::eyebrow waggle::

Shall we start with the house tour?


The sun doesn't set 'til 8pm here in Orlando, so most of our party areas have both a day and night look. By day our front door looked like this; by night it had a flickering orange spotlight for a fire effect. (You'll see video of that at the end.) The sign is pink foam - details here - the spears are craft foam and PVC pipe, and the netting was a lucky thrift find, only $3!

Once you step inside, you get your first big wow moment:

Ta-daa!

Our JC boat photo opp has a shimmering foil waterfall behind it, kept in motion by a small fan. The paper flowers are hooked onto thin strips of plastic lattice, which is in turn hung on the wall with Command strips.

The boat is open on the right side, so you can walk behind and through the falls to the room beyond.

Beside the boat is the most labor-intensive thing we've ever made with our Cricut, our Skipper Menu:

(click to embiggen - did you catch the Moana reference?)

The board is made of pink foam insulation that I striéd with red paint to give an aged wood effect. Everything else is vinyl we designed and cut on our Cricut. (This foam board is re-purposed from the Winnie-the-Pooh baby shower we threw a few weeks ago, as are some of the big paper flowers!)

These inflatable monkeys from Amazon were a last-minute addition, but so worth it. Only $15 for 4!

And so stinkin' cute.

The other three are hanging out over the dining room table:



The rainbow paper garland is from Walmart.

Our boat has a wheel that turns and a throttle that moves, for those exciting action shots:


It's also on wheels, so we can move it completely out of the way if necessary:

This makes a great spot for big group photos... assuming you remember to take any.

::guilty side-eye::

Turning around, here's a look at the front door and front sitting room:


You might recognize that dashing figure in the back from our Labyrinth party - but don't worry, Jareth came in costume to fit the theme:


WHAT.

Listen, sometimes when you're a couple of grown adults you have to dress your life-sized Jareth the goblin king cut-out in a pith helmet and mustache and make dik-dik jokes. It's the law. Somewhere. Probably.

The dik-dik is that small deer-like creature, by the way. #TheMoreYouKnow

In case you're new here and missed our "Deck The Halls With Balls of Bowie" Labyrinth party, this is a ball toss game. The balls are blue, squishy, and powdered. It's a hoot.

(I've been telling John to throw Jareth away for years, btw, but it's his favorite party game and he refused, hiding the king in the garage instead. So now I guess we have a new yearly tradition.)


Speaking of doors, here's the sign on our bedroom door:


15 points if you get the non-Jungle Cruise geek reference. It's an obscure one, but I believe in you.

Because our house isn't huge - about 1400 square feet - and we like to invite a lot of people to our parties, we have to use every square inch of space, and this time we also requested staggered arrival times. By spreading folks throughout the house and deck we comfortably fit about 35 people, and with the staggered arrivals (some people arrived while others were leaving) I think we could even host up to 50. Good thing, too, since this was our cut-down list. So to everyone I couldn't invite: next time!

With that many people, I also make it a priority to have one designated quiet room for folks with anxiety. Having friendly cats in there is a nice bonus for anyone feeling panicky.

Random pic of the boat cruising over Jareth's way:


Right. Now let's head through the waterfall to the back room. (Awwww yeeeeeah.)

This room has the most dramatic day-to-night transition. First, some daytime shots:


This room isn't too different than how it usually looks; we just moved the furniture around and brought in tables & chairs to create 4 separate seating areas.



I can almost hear Skipper Claptrap back there announcing "And now, the 8th wonder of the world: The backside of water! AAAA!"







John spent a week hunting down large fake plants on FB Marketplace, and he cleaned up, y'all. This 8 foot bamboo tree was only $20, and like new! So tall it touches the ceiling tiles, and so cool, we're definitely keeping it.


John also found some enormous hanging plants for $5 each, which we turned into those wall plants and extra hanging ones for the deck. The wall planters themselves are from our DIY Toy Bin tutorial, remember that? (So glad we hung onto those!)

I'll share more detail shots when I post the Scavenger Hunt, but for now here's a pretty vignette:


Art by Bianca Roman-Stumpff - who was there, and I can't wait to show you her costume, omigosh.

We already have a fantasy/adventurer's vibe back here, it just needed more plants and a little more dramatic lighting.


Speaking of, let's shift this room into PAR-TAY TIME NIGHT MODE:

WOOT! WOOT!


Yesssss

I told John I wanted to paint the whole house with rainbow lights for this party, and this room is everything I hoped for.

I'd forgotten our circle shelves even HAD a rainbow mode, so we switched those on, then added these fantastic LED floodlights in each corner, also set to a rainbow fade. That side of the room is now constantly shifting color, and combined with the warm Edison lights, candles, and stained glass, it's positively dreamy.


The new flood lights are also staying. We're keeping the rainbow room year-round!



More remnants from the Labyrinth party.

Our last big gathering area is through these stained glass doors:



...which lead to our backyard deck:



This deck was probably the most work, since it needed so many repairs. (We hadn't used it since before 2020.) We had to replace several rotted boards, jack up a sagging section, replace the legs on all the benches, sand everything down, re-paint the house walls, etc. That's one reason I like hosting big parties, though; it makes us take care of house work we wouldn't do otherwise.

Daytime shot:



We removed the old hanging bench and replaced it with a game I named "I Wet My Plants." (Full disclosure: I actually started with the name, then made up a game to fit it.)



The object is to knock off these roses using a squirt gun, and so long as the wind wasn't blowing them over first, it was great fun. We made everything ourselves: the rose "stems" are PVC pipes, and the roses are ping-pong balls with petals hot-glued around them. The roses are attached to the stems with ribbon, so they don't fall too far.


Basket of squirt guns. These come in packs of 3 at Dollar Tree, so we bought a bunch to cut down on re-fills.

It was so windy even packing tape and duck tape could barely hold our table cloths down, bah:



Even though the tables don't look ideal, I do love the flower arrangements John helped me make last-minute:



We used more scrap pink foam board as the bases, then jammed in $10 worth of flowers and ferns from Walmart, plus plastic LED candles I already had.



Due to the wind we ended up hot-gluing these straight to the plastic table clothes - which totally worked!

Y'all know how I struggle with flower arranging, so John had to get me started: he added most of the florals, then I came back and "fixed" them. We made 2 large and one small, one for each table:



Like the back room, the deck totally transformed at night:


We added a Christmas light railing, green and purple motion lights in the tree canopy and along the fence line, and color-changing LED strip lights under both eaves of the house. The strips are peel-and-stick and blend in seamlessly with the white undersides of our eaves  - so we get rainbows out here, too! (I don't know how weather-proof those LED strips are, but for only $10, I'm up for the gamble.)




Another deck game, this one's "For The Halibut":


This is a $12 toddler pool and a $22 magnetic fishing game. Together, they made a reel splash. Some friends dragged chairs over and sat chatting while they fished, haha.

Oh, and we found the outdoor rug on the curb!

Aight, punsters, let's end our tour with the most popular room in the house:

The bathroom.

We made this sign using a $3 thrifted frame and our trusty Cricut.

We didn't have enough time this party to go ALL out, so unfortunately the bathroom didn't get a life-sized animatronic elephant trunk emerging from behind the shower curtain to squirt people in the face when they were least expecting it.

I know, it's tragic.

Here's what we did do, though:



Over the throne we have my DIY Huffle-Plants and a Trader Sam's Hair Tonic display:



I've been meaning to add a vintage label to this old bottle for years, and considering John usually handles the graphic design I'm really chuffed with what I cobbled together on my own. Just needs a little more aging; the paper's too clean:

(Click to embiggen.)

And since John kept Herman's head I sculpted for our Beetlejuice Halloween display, of course he had to come out and play, too. I just "re-potted" him into a votive glass.

Across from the throne we have more Jungle Cruise themed art, this time by John:


To save money on custom printing we tile-printed the art on our home printer, taped the pieces together, and popped it into a thrifted frame. You can barely see the seams, though, right?

The small print reads, "Inspiring Explorers To Boldly Go Since 1937."

Now, I know what you're thinking:

"Hang on, a Star Trek joke in a Jungle Cruise bathroom?!"

That's right.

WE CROSSED THE STREAMS.

Don't worry, Suki is hear to give me pained, judgemental looks in your stead.

:D

Also in the bathroom, a couple of Bowtruckles sneaking around our exotic plant display:

Nothing new here, just a pretty angle of our dragon faucet:

The faucet sink plate keeps corroding - this is our 2nd or 3rd replacement - but the faucet itself is going strong.

That's Venetian plaster on the walls, btw; a glass smooth, waxed wall finish John and I applied ourselves eons ago. It's what we used to do for a living, back in our pre-internet days. I don't know why I'm telling you this. My brain is apparently wandering off to look at shiny things now.

Now listen, if you're sad the house tour is over, don't be; there's more! John broke out his fancy gimbal and did a little walk-through for us with jaunty music, check it out:



Now you can see all the rainbow lights and shimmery waterfall in action.

This has only been the house tour; I still have LOTS more to show you. Next time I'll post a parade of the hilarious and creative costumes our friends wore, plus show you some of the punny foods and drinks. And finally, I have our custom Jungle Cruise scavenger hunt that I'm planning to give away as a free template, so you can host your own! I'll take you through all of our punny clues, props, red herrings, and silliness, and show you what you need to make your own and how to modify the hunt to fit your space. You definitely don't want to miss what we gave away as prizes, either, so stay tuned.

As always all the Amazon links in this post use my referral code, and anything you purchase through them gives a little back to help support my dreams of building animatronic elephant trunks and dressing up Jareth to fit the season, so thank you. You can also bookmark the Epbot Amazon shop for easy access, or to browse my lists of favorite things.



Or hey, if you're not an Amazon shopper but want to throw a few dollars my way for making you laugh, you can support me directly through Paypal! Or by sharing this post with your friends! You know, the cool ones. The ones who are pro-ridiculous. The ones who say, "Hey, you're a garbage can, not a garbage CAN'T." Yeah. Bring me those friends.

Now I'm off to nap. Again. Love you!

16 comments:

  1. The butterfly is brilliant! You need to make more for John's man cave ;^}
    ~SM3

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    1. Thx! We have several more visual puns tucked around the house; I'm saving the rest for my Scavenger Hunt post. :D

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  2. "The lights had probably gone....so had the stairs!"

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    1. The problem is that this lavatory isn't disused... ;)

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  3. Love the Jareth game. Nice touch.

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  4. Is there a filing cabinet in the bedroom?

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  5. Oh my word, I know I say this every time, but I LOVE you guys and your content always inspires and makes me happy. I want to live in your universe. I'd also enjoy a good hour inside each of your brains. This party looks so fun and the decorations are fantastic! I think my favourite is that boat- which blows my mind -and as always your lighting, lighting makes such a difference! Well done!

    Back in the day I lived in the Mojave desert of SoCal where the wind blows 24/7 360 days a year... one trick we used for outdoor table clothes was buying the cheapest cotton *fitted* sheets, finding the colours we wanted or dyed them the colours we needed; and then if necessary we would take up a side/length seams to make an even more tight fit around a table. The elastic holds the cloth to the table in strong winds without clips or tape. If you want length you can add it by putting the fitted sheet on the table top, marking and then adding strategically placed velcro strips to the edges of the table (corners definitely, but also in center sections to prevent sagging) where you can then wrap another piece of flat, pleated, or gathered cloth by just velcro-ing it to the edge as a wrap around.

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  6. And yea, I caught the H2G2 reference in the sign! Bravo, kudos, and may you always know where your towel is! 🥰🥰🥰

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  7. I'm not really a party person, but every time y'all throw one, I wish I could be there. This looks AMAZING and I'm so happy to hear everyone had fun

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    1. Same! Being around even half that many people would be overwhelming for me but dang, I wish I lived there and was your friend and could hang out!

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  8. PLEASE make that inspiration falls image available. It'd be PERFECT for my cheeky nature themed bathroom.

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  9. From now on all my red cups will be labeled. I LOVE it!!

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  10. I dream of having as awesome of parties as you do someday!

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  11. HITCHHIKERS! OMG! That made my day, I've actually been wanting to put a "Beware the Leopard" sign on my bathroom door for years, but I could never figure out how to do it in a way that matched the decor...

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  12. The backside of water made me grin like the Cheshire Cat. You both did a fantastic job with the decorations, pictures, and video.

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