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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Second Year Anniversary

The second year of marriage was sweet bliss. I’ve heard a lot of people say that the first year is the best because couples are still in the “newlywed honeymoon” phase, but in my opinion, the second year has been the best. By the second year, you’ve gone through an adjustment period of living together and have a better idea on how to work together, such as schedules, finances, chores, goals, etc.

We went into our second year of marriage outlining some of our joint goals for the year. These goals included saving up “x” amount of money, going on more dates, and working on communication, among some other things. Growth, individually and together, is so important in a relationship and I truly believe it’s important to keep setting goals (individually and as a couple).

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On June 10th, we checked into the same hotel where we stayed the weekend of our wedding. After dropping our belongings off in our room, we walked around the property. We found the cutest gazebo out by the pool area. We had planned on ordering carry-out, but decided to eat at the hotel’s restaurant, Copper Mill. No regrets here! Mike was super proud of me for the way I took charge and ordered the food. If you’ve ever gone out to eat with me, you know that for some reason I get a little anxious when ordering. Then, I end up either ordering whatever the last person got or something totally random that I probably wasn’t even thinking of getting. I ordered the following for us, which we highly recommend:

-Tater-tots with sauce

-Angus Burgers with fries

-Big Chocolate Chip cookies

-A flight of beers (Mike ordered this one, I just know they were non-IPA’s)

The service was great! We got checked on a several times, water was refilled several times, a bug actually flew into one of Mike’s beer flight cups and our server ended up bringing back a full size glass to replace it, so Mike was happy.

After stuffing our faces with so much food, we spent the rest of the evening watching Hawaii 5-O (one of the shows we like to binge watch together). We also did a cold face mask by OleHenriksen. You know what they say, “couples who do face mask together stay together, right?! “ Haha. It was my first time using this face mask and I loved it! It made my face feel nice and cool while it was on me, which felt amazing, considering how hot the weekend had been. When Mike tried it, he mentioned that the facemask felt minty and left his face feeling fresh (agreed).

On June 11th, our anniversary, we slept in and then made our way back to the hotel restaurant, Copper Mill, to get breakfast from the buffet. Eggs, waffles, chicken sausage, and a little bacon…. It was all good! I think sometimes hotel restaurants don’t have the best reviews, but Copper Mill is definitely top notch.

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Mike is so thoughtful! He got this “Two Years Married” cotton print that has how much time we have been married detailed. I can’t wait to frame it 😊 He also got me a shirt that has the “Mawaige” quote from the Princess Bride. Mike always quotes and his impression makes me laugh so hard!

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After checking out, we went to drop stuff off at our house and planned a trip to Linganore Winery for wine tasting and small picnic. We LOVE Linganore Winery! We haven’t done a tasting in a while, so we were delighted to know that there were a bunch of new wines added. We bought two bottles, one to drink there and another to take home. We sat outside, ate our sandwiches and finished each other’s sentences (see what I did there? haha), and goofed around with my polaroid camera.

We finished our evening celebrating our cotton year WITH cotton candy ❤

 

Redskins Draft Fest and 5K

I’ve never been a football fan. I own a Cowboys Jersey, but only because I wanted a football jersey when I was in high school and I liked their team colors. On April 28th, Mike and I met up with friends and coworkers for a tailgate at the Redskin’s Stadium. The Redskin’s Draft Fest is an event where fans can come to the stadium for free. Essentially it’s a huge event to celebrate the new draft picks. A lot of people tailgate, but there is also food and beverages for sale inside the stadium. The field has a lot of activities set up for people to do. These include catching a football thrown from one of the practice machines, see if you can make a field goal, a moon bounce, and performances by the cheerleaders. There were also current players, fresh draft picks, and veteran players for meet and greets. There was a huge line to be able to enter the team’s pressroom and the locker room. We waited in line but I must say, it was a bit disappointing. Perhaps it’s because we entered closer to the end of the event but the locker room was bare and not set up, other than the lockers of three players. It was neat to see the Super Bowl trophies they won. After all, I’ll never be that close to a Super Bowl trophy again!

Mike also participated in the 5K run that was held in the stadium this morning. In a previous blog post I mentioned Mike did three 5K’s in April but I forgot about this one! He is a 5K running machine! It was a little bit of a pricy entrance fee since he signed up the week of, but worth it for the experience. Although, he said it was one of the toughest 5K’s he has ran due to all of the hills in the course! Glad I was only there to take pictures!

Check out the vlog we posted from the event!

 

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.

 

An Afternoon well spent at Disney Springs

My husband put together this video of our walk through Disney Springs from our most recent trip! What is your favorite part of Disney Springs?!

Citizen Girl

cgaFrom the authors of The Nanny Diaries. This was a hard book to finish. After reading the first chapter I thought I would like the book, maybe even find it relatable to my life. I was so wrong! The book starts off with Girl (yup, that’s her name), working for a feminist non-profit, under one of those bosses that should have retired already. She gets fired and attends a networking event (with her pre-teen brother…what?) and then somehow in life gets hired at MyCompany (yup, that’s the name of the company). The majority of the book is her boss, Guy (yup, that’s his name), giving her tasks with zero direction or explanation and Girl having to ask 100000x about how to get it done. Ultimately, “MyCompany” fails at what it is trying to accomplish and needs to get rebranded by- Manly (yup, that’s her name) from the bank. I WONT SPOIL WHAT TYPE OF COMPANY IT BECOMES.
I guess the book is meant to be a satire of corporate consultation? It does have some very tough issues like feminism, sex trafficking, and glass ceilings. It shows that anyone can become a hypocrite and sacrifice their own moral ideas to make money and keep their job.
The writing was choppy. Characters and situations were not properly introduced and I found myself flipping through pages I had already read just to make sure I didn’t miss something. I hate leaving a book unfinished so I was really hoping the book would get better.
I kept wondering, “Am I missing something or maybe I should try to see it from a different point of view?” Citizen girl can be found on Amazon.  If you’ve read the book… please leave your opinion in the comments! I am genuinely interested.

 

25, A Quarter of a Century!

This past Saturday I turned 25, one of those milestone birthdays. I’m still trying to process how I feel about it; I mean I am a quarter of a century now! There may have been a slight midlife crisis. I decided to do kind things on the week leading up to my birthday.  I…

1.       Picked up trash. I live across from a school and now that it’s summer I’ve noticed a big increase in the amount of trash that is left on the field and court. I play tennis and often take the dog(s) and my niece over to the field and courts to run around and it’s not a pretty sight with all the trash. I took gloves and a trash bag and picked up as much as I could.

2.       I brought in chocolate chip cookies (store bought) to work! It was Thursday and I thought having nice treats helps push through the day!

3.       I left flowers at the cemetery.  This might sound morbid and it wasn’t my original idea but it turned out to be a memory I’ll remember forever. I got a dozen white roses and placed a single rose on different tombstones throughout the cemetery. My husband’s biological father was laid to rest in this specific cemetery, so we walked around until we found his spot. It was my husband’s first time visiting and we realized that his dad’s birthday was just the day before. It was over all an endearing moment.

4.       Donate food to the women’s shelter. I went through my pantry and picked out all the canned goods that would be expiring in the next few weeks. I also went to my local grocery store and bought a few items, such as cereal, pastas, and more canned goods.

5.       Donate different items to the Children’s Hospital. I spent the morning of my birthday dropping off coloring books and crayons. I had never been to the Children’s Hospital but got to see a little of all the great things that they do there to help children. There was an artist at the lobby who was playing guitar and singing. I also got to see children talking live at the Ryan Seacrest studio. I did have plans to donate blood as well (it would have been my first time) but unfortunately my iron levels were too low.

In the past, my birthdays were always big. Big as in, growing up I always had a party… clowns and puppeteers were included! As a teen and young adult, I always celebrated with a lot of friends – sometimes ALL week long. This year, I really wanted to keep it simple. I spent the evening at home having dinner and cake with my family – followed by opening presents! Afterwards, I went out for a few drinks with my husband at a new restaurant that opened a few minutes away from my house. I can’t wait to see what being twenty-five brings me, but it’s still weird to think I am closer to thirty than ever before.