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Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Best Disney Halloween Costumes

You'll want something unique, so pick a "less popular" character.

Or a popular character in a less popular outfit.

Or a sidekick.

Tutus are always fun.

Going as a duo? Pick your favorite Disney couple.

Or favorite Disney enemies.

Or get creative.

Don't be afraid to play around with makeup.

Or try gender-bending costumes.

For families or friend groups, choose a movie with a large cast.

Choose something specific to the Disney Parks.

Or keep it OG style.

Happy Halloween!

Disney During Halloween

Disney Darling has already posted about Mickey's Not So Scary at Magic Kingdom, but there are plenty of other activities to partake in during Halloween!

Club Villain
New at Hollywood Studios is Club Villain! Here you can dance and dine with your favorite villains such as Dr. Facilier and Maleficient. Club Villain is only open on specific nights (usually during the weekends) and you will have to make a reservation.

Food and Wine Festival at EPCOT
Food and Wine is one of my favorite events at Walt Disney World. Along the World Showcase are stands featuring food and drinks from various countries such as Scotland,  Greece and South Korea. There are also decorative topiaries, concerts and culinary demonstrations. There is no extra charge to attend this event. All you need is a regular entrance ticket to EPCOT.

Visit the Water Parks
Yes, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach are still open in September and October! And they will be far less crowded than during the summer months. But it will still be warm enough in Florida to want to go swimming.

Watch Hallowishes
If you do not have a party ticket, or would like to see the fireworks again, you can head down to the Polynesian Resort and watch the show on the beach.

Dress Up
You do not have to attend the party to wear a costume! Just make sure to adhere to guidelines. Kids can dress up in the Pirates League or Bibbidi Bobbidi Bootique. Be sure to make a reservation for these makeovers! If adults do not want to go full-out, you can Disney Bound. Disney Bounding is dressing up subtly like a Disney character.

Quick Tips for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party

If you want to, you can stay in Magic Kingdom all day long. You will need a regular Magic Kingdom park entrance ticket. A few hours before the party starts, wristband stations will open up inside the park. Find one by consulting either a map. A Cast Member will scan your party ticket and give you a wristband. This wristband will prevent you from getting kicked out at 7pm!

It is okay to leave the park, change into your costume at the hotel and then come back to the park in time for the party.

You can even visit other parks on the day you will attend your party.

You do not have to show up right at 7pm. Lines to get into MK will shorten around 8-9pm. 

Costume Tips:
Make sure your costume is comfortable enough to walk around in for hours.

Make sure to follow the costume guidelines or you will be asked to leave the party.

Make sure your costume is weather appropriate. It will not be much fun if you are either sweating or freezing.

With everyone in costumes, it may be tricky to recognize your family if you get separated. Make a game plan in case this were to happen, especially if you have little ones. 

The more creative and unique your costume is, the more attention you will get from characters, parade performers and other Cast Members. 

Boo To You Parade:
The second Boo To You parade is less crowded than the first.

The parade starts in Frontierland and ends on Main Street, like the FOF parade. 

Watch for the grave diggers. Definitely the coolest part!

You can buy music to this parade on a CD at some of the stores, including the Emporium and World of Disney. 

What To Eat:
You can make dining reservations during the party! Be Our Guest, Cinderella Royal Table and the Crystal Palace will be open. 

Try the special party treats! Outside of Storybook Circus you can try candy corn flavored ice cream. Gaston's Tavern will have a special Halloween cupcake. 

What To Do:
Most rides will be open during the parade. However, you can ride these anytime. I recommend skipping the rides in favor of doing party exclusive activities. 

If you do want to hit the rides, do so during one of the castle shows or one of the parades. There will be less of a wait!

If you are a character hunter, take advantage of the party! There will be meet and greets for rare characters, such as Cruella de Ville, Jafar and the Genie. And common characters, such as Pooh and Mickey, will be dressed up in Halloween costumes!

The Hallowishes firework show is not to be missed! It is, in my opinion, the best firework show at the Magic Kingdom. Check your party map for the time it will begin. And don't worry about getting a good seat - they're all fantastic! The Hallowishes fireworks are so big that you will be able to see them anywhere you are standing. 

Party Merch:
If there are any left over, Halloween merchandise *might* be marked down starting November 1st. You can choose to wait until then to purchase a T shirt. 

Exclusive party merchandise is only sold in specific locations. These will be marked on the map. Be sure to pay attention to this so you do not waste your time wandering into the wrong stores!

You do NOT need to bring a bag for trick or treating. Cast Members will supply you with one, and they're a fun keepsake for following Halloweens!

Each station is marked by a pumpkin on the map. There are also pumpkin signs throughout the park to make them more easy to find.

For less of a wait, go to the stations that are in the back of the park.

If a certain station has your favorite candy, you can go back in line for seconds...or thirds...or tenths!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Halloween Party Guide

Ticket Prices
It does cost to attend this special event. Tickets cost between $70-95. It is cheaper to buy tickets in advanced online. The closer the party is to October 31st, the more expensive the tickets will be. If you are looking to save money, you'll want to pick a September date. The parties will also be less crowded in September and early October. 

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party Dates:

  • September 02
  • September 08
  • September 11
  • September 13
  • September 16
  • September 18
  • September 20
  • September 23
  • September 25
  • September 29
  • September 30
  • October 02
  • October 04
  • October 06
  • October 07
  • October 10
  • October 11
  • October 13
  • October 14
  • October 16
  • October 18
  • October 20
  • October 21
  • October 23
  • October 25
  • October 27
  • October 28
  • October 30
  • October 31

    The party officially starts at 7pm and will end at midnight. If you are planning on going to the Magic Kingdom during a party day and you do not have a party ticket, you will be asked to leave at 7. If you are planning on going to the Magic Kingdom before the party, and you already have a party ticket, then you can remain in the park all day. You will have to find a wristband station before 7pm in order to obtain your wristband. There are wristband stations throughout the park. Look at a map or ask a Cast Member in order to find one. 

    Character Meet and Greets
    The Halloween Party has special meet and greets, including villains, rare characters and the Fab 4 dressed in special Halloween costumes. Check the party times guide and map for specific information.

    Trick or Treat Stations
    There are candy stations throughout the park. They are marked by a pumpkin sign. 

    There are so many great shows during the Halloween party. There is a dance party on the Tomorrowland Stage with Mike and Sulley from Monsters, Inc. There is Club Villain in Frontierland where you can dance with villains such as Cruella Deville. On the castle stage during selected times, the Hocus Pocus Villain Spectatular will show. Instead of the Main Street Electrical Parade, there will be Mickey's Boo To You Parade. And there will be a special Halloween edition of Celebrate the Magic and Wishes firework shows. Check the Party map for exact times.

    Where To Eat
    You can reserve a table for restaurants such as Be Our Guest, Cinderella's Royal Table and the Crystal Palace. 
    There are several quick service places open, such as:
    • Casey's Corner
    • Plaza Ice Cream Parlor
    • Main Street Bakery
    • Popcorn carts
    • Aloha Isle
    • Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe 
    • Westward Ho
    • Columbia Harbour House (open until 8:00pm)
    • Liberty Square Market (open until 9:00pm)
    • Sleepy Hollow
    • Storybook Treats
    • Gaston's Tavern
    • The Friar's Nook (open until 10:00pm)
    • Pinocchio Village Haus (open until 8:00pm)
    • Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe 
    • The Lunching Pad (limited menu after 9:00pm)
    • Cool Ship (open until 11:00pm)
    If you want to satisfy your sweet tooth without hunting down a candy station, you can try one of the speciality snacks served during the party. These include cupcakes, cookies and candy corn flavored ice cream

    Halloween party exclusive Merch is located in select gift shops. There are T shirts and Magic Bands for sale on Main Street and a pin at the Frontierland Trading Post. You do not have to pick up these during the party. You can wait until a day or two after. Just show your wristband or a picture of you at the Halloween Party to Cast Member and they will retrieve the item you wish to purchase. 

    Disney does have some guidelines when it comes to costumes, but most people can still very creative with their costumes. If you are looking for a unique costume, I suggest picking something from a less popular Disney movie (Hercules, Robin Hood, The Rescuers...) or something park themed (Fantasyland, an old fastpass paper ticket...). Your costume does NOT have to be Disney. You can dress up as almost anything. 

    Thursday, August 11, 2016

    Are the Disney Princesses Good Role Models? Part 3: Aurora

    When I was a young child, one of my favorite princesses was Aurora. I remember admiring her for the way she carried herself. There was something about her that was enduring, and I was captivated by her.

    Not everyone feels the same way. Aurora is often overlooked by a lot of Disney fans.

    When talking about Aurora, a Disney expert said, "Aurora is not the innocent that Snow White was, nor even Cinderella. She has a dignity. She's just a princess...but she comes off as a queen." This is one way in which Aurora could be considered a good role model. She is has a sense of dignity and carries herself well. She is polite towards others and confident in herself. She acts like a queen. 

    One of Aurora's biggest criticisms is that she does not speak much during her movie. In fact, she has only 18 lines that span only 18 minutes of her movie. It is very difficult to develop a character in 18 lines, but if any can do it, Disney can. They told an entire love story in just 5 minutes with NO dialogue, and that scene in UP! touched everyone's hearts. In those 18 lines, we learn that Aurora is kind, clever, a romantic, a dreamer, and a bit of a rebel. We learn that Aurora feels as is she is overprotected by her aunts. Her only friends are the woodland creatures because she was not allowed to meet anyone. She is funny, playing along with the owl that pretends to dance with her.

    Lots of people admire Jasmine for refusing to marry a stranger. "If I do marry, I want it to be for love" she tells her father. But people forget that Aurora and Phillip did this first. Phillip is betrothed to the Princess from the day she was born. But then he meets a girl - Briar Rose - and falls in love with her. So, he rides off on his trusty steed to tell his father, King Hubert. At first, his father is furious. But Phillip is persistent. "This is the 14th century, after all!" Come on, dad. Get with the times. King Hubert realizes that Phillip is right. Phillip is happy and in love, and that's all that really matters.

    After meeting a stranger in the woods, Aurora waltzes into the cottage to tell her aunts the good news. It is then that her aunts reveal to her that she is a Princess, and therefore must marry a Prince. This is why Aurora is upset. Not because she does not want to be a Princess, but because she is forced to marry someone she does not love.

    Another criticism Aurora gets is that she "married a man she just met". Even though Phillip did not spend much time with Aurora, he still loves her. He escapes a dungeon, faces against an army's flying arrows, cuts through a thorn forest and fights off a dragon. He does all of this just to save Aurora and her kingdom.  Well, if there was ever a man who risked his own life to fight a dragon just to save me, I'd marry him too! I'd snatch that man up real quick! After all, isn't that what love is about? Sacrifice?

    Yet another criticism Aurora gets is that "she doesn't do anything" and that "she only has her good looks". Sure, Aurora may not be as tough as Mulan or as smart as Belle, and she is beautiful. But what's wrong with that? Feminism is about letting girls be who they want to be. And if a girl chooses to wear pink dresses and fall in love, what's so wrong about that?

    Where to Meet Toy Story Characters

    Magic Kingdom
    Disney's most popular cowboys, Woody and Jessie, meet in the front of Frontierland. They can be found between the hours of 10am and 5pm.

    Buzz Lightyears can be discovered next to his ride in Tomorrowland. The Space Ranger meets between 10am and 7pm.

    Hollywood Studios
    Everyone's favorite Pixar duo meet everyday from park open to park close. They can be found right across from the Toy Story Midway Mania ride. The line for this location is usually about a half hour long. The queue is decorated and full of fun picture opportunities, so you can snap away while waiting.

    Sometimes the Green Army Men will make appearances by the Toy Story Midway Mania ride. They do not sign autographs, but you they will interact with guests and take pictures. 

    NOTE: Please do not shout "Andy's Coming!" at the toys. This popular "tip" has been circulating the internet for years, and it's false. Nothing will happen.