It all started with my husband. It was his idea, okay?
19 months ago when we made reservations for our October 2015 family vacation to Disney World, my husband told me about Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. I’d never, ever heard about it before. A Halloween party at Disney World? Okay! He told me that the event is ticketed, that you pay a per-person fee to attend. That all of the Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party events are at Magic Kingdom. That there are cool Halloween parades and special shows at the castle, and that everybody dresses up in costumes!
I wasn’t 100% sure about this Halloween party and dressing up at Disney World business, but my husband was super excited, so why not?! I was working part-time when we booked our Disney World vacation and we had the funds to cover the extra cost, so we went ahead and set the money aside for tickets.
The time came. We bought our tickets to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.
Then came the real debate. What kind of costumes were we going to wear?
Our first thought was to dress up as the Sofia the First family. After all, we’re a family of five, just like Sofia’s. We’re huge Sofia the First fans, and our youngest already had a beautiful Sofia the First costume from last year’s Halloween. But when the rubber hit the road, we realized it was going to be challenging to find full ballgowns for me and my oldest daughter. And proper coats for the boys were going to be near impossible to replicate. So we ditched that idea.
We had other ideas, too.
My absolute favorite idea was for us to be the old versions of Carl & Ellie from the movie “Up.” I thought it would be quaint, sweet and easy to replicate. Our two oldest kids could be the kid versions of Carl & Ellie, then our daughter would be the Doug the Dog or Russell, the little boy scout who joined Carl on his adventures.
But my husband won the costume idea contest. Or should I say, I LET him win?! He wanted me to be Mary Poppins. He’d be Bert. Our two oldest children would be Michael & Jane Banks. And our littlest would be a penguin. Okay, alright! He won. Agreeing to this particular idea meant that I was agreeing to wear the most outrageous and attention-getting costume of our whole family. Basically, I was going to have to wear a wedding dress around Disney World. And…ummm…in case you don’t know me, it’s not typically in my nature to want to be so attention grabbing. Why such drama?! Anyway…I decided we’d go for it! After all, who doesn’t love Mary Poppins? And if I was going to have to dress up and be all dramatic, I might as well be Mary.
We started looking for costume pieces at thrift stores. I found a $19.99 wedding dress at Goodwill that just needed a little altering, and a $3.00 red belt at Clothes Mentor that was perfect for Mary’s red-cinched waistline. We found a really old-fashioned white dress at Goodwill for my daughter to be Jane, some Once Upon a Child shorts for my son to be Michael, and the tiniest red and white candy striped dress at Once Upon a Child for my daughter to be Mini Mary. White super-clearance shorts and shirt for my husband, and a great deal vest off eBay, and we were set to go! Oh yeah…it took us forever to find, but I finally found a hat at a local antique store for $8 and ripped it apart to make it into a proper Mary hat. The whole thing came together VERY smoothly.
The big day came! We spent all day at Magic Kingdom on rides and attractions. We enjoyed an early dinner at Crystal Palace, then made our way back to our Disney Resort to change into costumes for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party! It took 45 minutes for five of us to get ready. Again, it was pretty slick. We made our way back fast, as the event had an official start time. We were going to be a bit late, and we didn’t want to miss the night’s opening event, a Halloween parade down Magic Kingdom’s Main Street!
So…I have to admit. The night was pretty cool. It wasn’t perfect. We had a few tiffs. But all in all, I have great memories of our evening at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party!
First of all, I knew we were going to create a scene leaving the Disney Resort in our Mary Poppins costumes (much more of a scene than I ever like to make). Thankfully, we were at a DISNEY Resort, which helped everyone understand WHERE we were going and WHY we were dressed up so crazy! Everyone knew it’s the month of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. Yes, that’s where we were headed. Thank goodness they all understood! We got a bunch of looks, smiles and sincere compliments on our costumes as we made our way out of the Disney Resort and towards the shuttles to Magic Kingdom.
I made a quick FaceTime call to my dad on our way to the shuttle. It was his birthday and I was bound and determined to wish him Happy Birthday before any more time passed! My parents thoroughly enjoyed seeing us in full costume before we boarded the shuttle for Magic Kingdom. My dad said that being able to see us in costume was the only birthday gift he needed. Before we knew it, the shuttle was rounding the corner, so I shut down FaceTime so we could load and make our way to the Halloween Party!
We were one of only three families on the shuttle. They complimented us on our costumes and we chatted a bit before the shuttle turned pitch black! I sat in the way back and center of the shuttle (where there was space for my big Mary Poppins wedding dress), with our two oldest next to me, and my husband and youngest to the side. I felt a little silly wearing a gown and big hat on the shuttle, but if there’s one place to wear that kind of get up, it’s Disney World on Halloween. Luckily, I was up for it and had been preparing for months, so it was easy to get in the mood and in character with the family.
We got off the shuttle and made our way to the gates to pick up our Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party wristbands! Most people were in costumes and the place had turned into full-on Halloween since we’d left the Park a couple hours prior. I have to admit, it was pretty cool. I’ll always remember a Disney cast member telling us “You’re in for a real treat,” right before we went through the gates to Magic Kingdom. A treat, for sure!
We stood in a long line for photographs in front of the castle. After all, I wasn’t getting five people dressed up in all this gear for nothing! We needed to capture this moment and this memory properly! A superhero family was rocking it in line behind us. Most everyone was dressed up in some sort of gig. No need to feel out of place here!
After photos, we made our way further down Main Street, but not too far! We wanted to get awesome seats for the parade that was about to start. I plopped down on the Main Street curb with my big ‘ol Mary Poppins Dress. Mini Mary and Michael sat down next to me, and Bert went to grab some snacks with Jane. While they were gone, I chatted with the over-the-top Star Wars family seated next to us, watched people get photographed in their costumes, and took a photograph with a couple little girls who loved Mary Poppins.
Mickey’s Boo To You Halloween Parade was awesome. My favorites were the headless horseman, the villains and the dancing princess zombies. Super cool and unique Disney World experience.
After the parade, we went trick-or-treating around the park in our costumes. They gave each child a bag and had stations set up around Magic Kingdom where you could get candy. Yes, it was great fun for the kids and extra fun to walk around the Park in full costume! As you can imagine, we got plenty of looks and compliments. Most people were dressed up, yes. But we didn’t see any other Mary Poppins get-ups the whole night, so our costume was unique and probably eye catching for that reason!
After trick-or-treating, we had a bit of an argument as to whether we should catch the Halloween stage and light show at the castle followed by fireworks, or go on as many rides as we could while crowds were lighter. I really wanted to see the castle show and fireworks since they were both Halloween-themed, so we found a grassy spot to rest and watch as a family.
I definitely had a moment there – on the grassy greens of Magic Kingdom’s castle – in my Mary Poppins costume. The castle light show and fireworks were beautiful. There was our little family…dressed up in our Mary Poppins get-ups. It was a cheesy, sweet, wholesome kind of Halloween magic.
After fireworks, a mom approached and said her daughter was a HUGE fan of Mary Poppins. She wondered if her daughters could greet me and get some photos. I said YES. Why not? This was a sweet mama and her girls. As I was getting photographed with those girls, a small lined formed with another family waiting for photographs with Mary (me). It was sweet. Super sweet. After all, these little girls thought I was the real Mary Poppins, the real Disney World version of Mary Poppins. I wasn’t some mom dressed up. To them, I was Mary Poppins! That made it all the sweeter, and me all the more comfortable with what was happening. So I took the photos and got in character as much as I could muster. This was a once-in-a lifetime thing. Nobody’s forming a line to see me as Mary Poppins again!
Surprising enough, it was already getting quite late. We were having a great time, but it was 10:30 p.m. Our Mini Mary had a LONG first day of travel the day before, and a VERY LONG day at Magic Kingdom. She needed to go to bed. So Bert stayed to go on another hour and a half of rides with Michael, and I made my way back to our Disney Resort with Jane and Mini Mary.
My husband was feeling incredibly bad that I had to leave early from Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party after all the work and preparation we’d done with the costumes. I didn’t feel bad. I’d had a great time. It was worth the extra effort, even if Jane, Mini Mary and I had to leave a little early. Bert and Michael had an amazing time going on as many rides as they wanted before Magic Kingdom closed. I’m pretty sure they even watched the second run of the Halloween Parade later that night. Jane, Mini Mary and I went back to the hotel, greeted and got photographs with an elderly Mary Poppins fan in the Resort’s dining room, and plopped in bed for a good night’s sleep.
Totally worth it. Fun. Unique. A once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Yes, we highly recommend Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. And yes, I even recommend dressing up in your costumes of choice.
It was totally my husband’s idea. And a good idea at that.
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