Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

Attending Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party was a long time in the making! Every year when fall would start to creep up we debated the idea of getting tickets. We attended Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party before so we wanted to check this event off of our list as well. We also love Halloween (cute version, not horror) so attending this event felt like the ultimate Halloween event to attend.

MNSSHP takes place at the Magic Kingdom from 7pm- closing time. However, Disney lets you enter the park at 4PM (yay). Tickets to MNSSHP is not priced at a regular day ticket, however its pretty close. So with that said, I would personally recommend going to this event if you have previously visited the Magic Kingdom on a “regular” day and received the “magic of Disney.” I recommend this because of (1) the price of the tickets are close to a regular day ticket, (2) the length of the event/time you will be in the park is less than a regular day ticket, (3) several rides are closed during MNSSHP, (4) the parades, shows, and fireworks are different than what you would see on a regular day trip.

TIP: Buy your tickets as early as possible because they can sell out.

DSC00301

 

There’s a lot of special entertainment at MNSSHP including the BOO TO YOU parade, a great fireworks show, special Fall/Halloween decorations and lighting, unique (villain) character meet & greets, trick or treating through the park, and even just seeing other guests in Halloween costumes makes it a fun and unique experience!

 

 

As I mentioned before, the party officially starts at 7 p.m., which is when all of the party entertainment begins, but guests can enter with their Halloween Party tickets as early as 4 p.m. You will see plenty of other guests arriving at 4 p.m., and Cast Members in their Halloween outfit.

IMG_1318

Wear a costume! Almost everyone wears a costume to some degree and you’re honestly going to have a lot more fun if you do. You’re spending a good chunk of money to attend one of these parties; it only makes sense to get the full effect. It was fun to see what everyone (of all ages) wore and to see how creative some people and groups got.

ACS_0180

One thing I really enjoyed about MNSSHP was the characters! Usually during special tickets events characters that are not usually out, will make appearances. Also, the “regular” MK characters were dressed up in costumes for Halloween as well! For example, the 100 acres woods characters each had costumes on (Winnie the Pooh is a bumble bee, Tigger is a pirate, etc). Typically, characters have meet and greet stations but many of the unique characters that made an appearance for this event were floaters. Meaning they got to walk around the park freely (accompanied by a character attendant of course).

Mike and I dressed up as Pongo and Perdita from 101 Dalmatians. We got so many compliments and it was fun spotting out other fellow Dalmatians in the park. The highlight was when Cruella Da Vil spotted us across a crowd of people and pushed everyone out of the way yelling “PUPPIES, come to me my darlings!” and squeezed us tight when she got a hold of us. Everyone around us loved it as well.  IMG_1590

There are special Halloween snacks you can purchase during the event hours only. I got this Maleficent inspired ice cream!   Trick or treating around Magic kingdom is fun! Once MNSSHP officially starts you can get a trick or treating bag at any of the trick or treating stations. There are several spots to treat or treat, some lines look longer than others but they all move FAST! We made tried to hit up all of the stations and get as much candy as possible. The cast members are generous! They give big handfuls of candy. As I mentioned, several rides are closed during MNSSHP, that’s because those ride areas become trick or treating stations.

DSC00368.JPG

The Boo to You parade was so good. Make sure to get yourself a front row seat early! Mike and I got dinner at Pecos, nachos and tacos to be exact. We took our trays out and sat down behind the parade ropes. We ate our dinner while we waited for the parade to start (40 mins). We figure we could either eat our dinner inside the restaurant and possibly not have a good view of the parade or take outside and eat it while sitting on the “front row curb.” There were two parts of the parade that made me jump, only because I was expecting the loud noise or the screams. The headless horseman was also a crowd favorite!

The Hocus Pocus show on the Magic Kingdom stage was nostalgic! I mean, the movie is such an iconic part of Fall/Halloween now. I was pretty surprised to see so many little kids know the words to many of the songs or to even really know the movie. Their parts are doing something right by passing down the movie to the next generation <3.

The MNSSHP fireworks were amazing! Definitely “darker”, villain-ish, and everything you would expect Halloween fireworks at Disney to be. They did not disappoint!

For both the Hocus Pocus show and the fireworks make sure to get to your viewing spot early. The area gets crowded and everyone wants a good viewing spot!

It was a fun event, I am glad we experienced it. I think over the entire trip and cost of the event was worth it. However, I think that once you’ve experienced the party once (it doesn’t change much year-to-year), you might determine that it’s simply too expensive to experience again. For a one-time event, it’s worth it if your budget allows.

Watch our MNSSHP video here.

IMG_1603

 

We Scare because we Care

We made these costumes for a Halloween 5K race and they were so fun to make. These costumes were super EASY to create and inexpensive. Each outfit cost less than $20!

We got our shirts from Michaels Craft Store. My tip is to use a 50% or 40% (more common) coupon when the shirts are on regular price. They have good sale’s on shirts often and if you are lucky, you’ll come across a 20% off on sale items coupon. If you are a teacher, you can add your teacher discount on top of the coupons! Our shirts turned out to cost under $3 each.

We used felt sheets from Michaels Craft Store to make Mike Wazowski’s eye and mouth, as well as the Sully spots. Each felt sheet cost 40 cents! For Mike we used 2 felt sheets of white, 2 black, and 1 blue. For Sully, we used 3 sheets of purple.

We used different size bowls as stencils for the Mike Wazowski’s eyes. After cutting out the circles we hot glued the layers together. We then traced the mouthpieces with a pen prior to cutting out the black part and white teeth for Mike Wazowski’s mouth. We hot glued those two mouth layers together. We then hot glued each set onto the green shirt.

For Sully, we cut out different sized spots and hot glued each one onto the shirt. Make sure to put cardboard or some sort of barrier inside the shirt so that the hot glue doesn’t go through to the other side.

Our hard hats were the most expensive item from our costume. Each one cost $13 from Amazon. We got blue hard hats since thats the color of the hats used in the movie, however you can find yellow hard hats for about $5 on Amazon if you prefer. We printed out the logo from Monster’s Inc. and taped it onto the hard hat. We opted to use tape for the hard hat incase we wanted to use the hard hat in the future for a different costume or purpose.

We received so many compliments on how cute these costumes were! Let me know if you try making these, I would love to see how they turn out.

Three 5K’s in a row

So in April, Mike signed up for three 5K’s on back to back Saturdays! I like to say I got Mike into running when I suggested he start to run to burn off steam. After all, like Elle Woods said, “exercise gives you endorphins”, right! Mike started signing up for 5K’s last year by doing the RAINN 5K and the Roberto Clemente Middle School 5K. This year, he signed for those again.

The first 5K of the month was on Saturday, April 7th for the Clarksburg 5K. I signed up spontaneously when he went to pick up his race packet the night before. Worst decision ever. I had not trained at all and the weather was absolutely horrible. I believe it was in the 20 degrees and I had not dressed appropriately because I assumed I would get warm from running. Nope, it didn’t happen because I spent more of my time speed walking due to not being able to breathe through the running in freezing temperatures. Mike was so sweet though. He stayed with me throughout the entire course. I felt so bad because I was obviously holding him back, so not only is his time (which he usually cares about) going to be “late,” but it also meant I was keeping him in the cold weather longer. Luckily, I somehow survived and crossed the finish like. Looking back, I can’t decide which was worse… the freezing temperature or having completed the course and no medals being given. The Start/Finish area had a lot of vendors and snacks to give out, which was nice!

The second 5K of the month was on April 14th. Mike did the Roberto Clemente Middle School 5K. We randomly found it last year and all the money went to the school. It’s nice to know that the funds were fully helping a school. I grabbed myself a good book and waited for Mike at the finish line to make sure I got the picture shot of him crossing the finish line, since I completely missed it last year!

The third 5K of the month was on Saturday, the 21st, to benefit RAINN. Mike signed up for this one last year as well (you can read about it here). This year, the race was virtual and I signed up to run it as well. We got out packet a couple of days before race day in the mail. It included a shirt and race bib. Even though we had all day to complete our 5K, we started our run super early morning because we had a wedding later that day.

I think we are likely to do these all again next year and hopefully the races I sign up for will give out medals, so I can finally earn one from a 5K. For some reason, whenever Mike signs up by himself, they always give out medals but when I sign up they aren’t provided. They aren’t important but I kind of just want one.

 

A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

Summary: Its an emotional and funny story of a dog that goes through multiple lives trying to figure out what its purpose is. It gives commentary from a dog’s point of view on how humans live and relationships within families and with pets.

Opinion: I saw the movie first, I tired not to but I did. I cried several times throughout the movie and literally laughed out loud. I don’t know if I was more emotional because I had just gone through a scare with my own dog but it got to me. My verdict is that although the movie was good! The book was simply better. The book had a lot of commentary from the dog and everything was from the dog’s point of view, but the author also does a great job at describing things, so we know exactly what is going on. The book dove more deeply into each “family” that the dog lived with and what it gained and learned from each of its lives. It was all tied beautify at the end. I won’t spoil the ending but it was different than the movie! I’ll leave the review stating that the dog really is a good boy!

And I also can’t stop looking at my own pup and wonder what he is thinking or how he views things!

 

One year of seeing 20/20!

At the age of 24, I decided to have corrective eye surgery. I knew my vision wasn’t perfect. I got my first set of reading glasses when I was in high school, but rarely wore them. In college, I had an eye doctor tell me that my vision had gotten so bad that she highly recommended I get contact lenses. She told me I was almost legally blind… which although it did scare me, I felt she was being dramatic. She kept telling me that I would notice the difference between just wearing glasses versus contact lenses … and I did! But I hated it. I hated contacts. In fact, it took me over an hour to put them on the first time. Thankfully, I got better at it, I just hated it. Since my prescription was so high, I wasn’t even able to get colored contacts, which let’s face is… it’s the only perk of contacts. Well, I decided to wear my contacts only when needed and for the most part, stick with my glasses. When I ran out of contacts, about a year later, I realized how expensive they were!! At my yearly eye exam, I learned that my vision had gotten worse, and so had my astigmatism. So I picked out new frames for glasses and ordered the “test” contact lenses in my new prescription, but because the prescription was so high I was told it could take 3 weeks to get the test contact lenses and after that another week or so if I order a pack of them. It was all becoming a bit much and realizing how bad my vision was… I asked my eye doctor if I would be a candidate for Lasik. She said no and that my vision was so bad that there isn’t enough research on the consequences and success of Lasik on my level of astigmatism.
At this point, my mother had already had LASIK eye surgery (bad eye sight runs in the maternal side of the family). So, with my mom’s encouragement, I decided to get a second opinion from her eye surgeon. After a consultation, I was told that I was not a candidate for LASIK.
My heart was crushed, and I almost wanted to cry because I knew that my eye sight would only get worse. At the age of 24, you don’t think about losing you sight as you get older. I then got some great news…. PRK surgery was still an option! I knew a little about PRK so I was extremely happy that I was a candidate! PRK stands for Photo Refractive Keratectomy. The difference between LASIK and PRK is that in LASIK, an incision/flap is made to make the correction; PRK, the top layer is basically scrubbed off to make the correction.
I scheduled my PRK surgery for an evening in February 2017, specifically the Thursday before President’s Day weekend. There was a good amount of paper work to fill out and a few surgeries scheduled, so there was a bit of a wait time – However, I spent it reading the cutest get-well letters from my husband’s first grade class ❤
The procedure from the time I entered the room to when I exited took less than 15 minutes. I laid down on a chair (similar to the dentist chair but way comfier) and was given a teddy bear to hold on it (gave me something to do with my hands/distract me).
I am not sure if the surgeon used a sticky pad/tape or a clump but something was put on me to keep my eyes from closing –it didn’t hurt at all, I didn’t even feel it. Which is why I can’t exactly tell what was used (I am sure I was told at the time).
The surgeon commented on my astigmatism and told me he would try to fully correct it and the goal was to get me to 20/20 vision. I was administered different drops into my eyes and instructed to look straight up into a red dot. While the laser is going it smells like burning hair but there weren’t any weird noises and I didn’t feel a single thing! The actual lasering takes seconds per eye. As soon as the lasering was done, I was administered more drops and the surgeon put band aid contacts on my eyes. The surgeon told me he was able to fully correct my astigmatism. He told me I had 20/20 vision and when I got up from the chair, I glanced at the eye test chart that was on the wall in front of me and I couldn’t believe it… I was able tor read every single letter on the chart, without putting effort in to it. I had stared at this chart before the surgery, only being able to read the top line.
I was then taken to a dark room where my band aid contacts were checked again, just to be extra sure that they were okay. I was given a little bag that had a starter pack of eye drops, sunglasses, googles, and post op care instructions. I was given a prescription for pain killers and other eye drops, one of which was steroids.
I wore my googles to sleep that night and for at least the rest of the week. When I wasn’t sleeping, I wore the sunglasses. I stayed indoors for at least 3-4 days and tried to stay in darkness as long as possible for proper healing and to avoid light sensitivity. I had absolutely no discomfort or pain after the eye surgery.
After the long weekend, I returned to work on Wednesday (I decided to take an extra day even though I was okay).
The most important thing for a healthy recovery is to follow the post care instructions!! Wear the goggles, wear sun glasses, make sure to use all eye drops without missing a dose!
I just had my one-year post op exam and I am still 20/20! Its amazing to be able to see so clear. PRK has been one of the best decisions and investments I have made!