Halloween Hoot(s)

We're elbow-deep in Halloween-goodness this week!

This past Saturday we attended not one but two local Halloween events: our Downtown trick-or-treating and our neighborhood park's 'Halloween Hoot'. They were a few hours apart, so we were able to attend both. Viola chose to wear her new Limited Edition Sleeping Beauty costume, and Evangeline wore her Sofia the First costume (which she's finally, mostly, grown into!) 

We had done the Downtown trick-or-treating years ago when Viola was little, and had had a really good time. Essentially, all the businesses on main street set out candy (and coupons!) and the kids are able to enjoy a relatively safe trick-or-treating experience in the daylight hours. This year, however, it was absolutely packed. (I blame the beautiful weather). We're talking Walt Disney World at peak season level crowds. 15 minute line for a lousy kitkat bar? Totally not worth it. After about 10 minutes I was totally frazzled by the crowd and was ready to call it quits... but the kids were totally into it, alas.

We did get to take our picture with this guy!!

(I was pretty psyched, but I don't think the girls even knew who he was!) 

Eventually we made our way to the downtown salon which was giving away free face painting, free tattoos, and free manicures to the kids. Viola, Eva, and the friend who was with us all got their nails painted and their cheeks painted. It was a nice escape from the crowd, too! 


Compare to Viola participating in the same trick-or-treat in 2010 when she was the same age as Eva is now! :-) You can see just from these pictures that these how much less crowded it was.


A few hours later and we were at it again--- this time at our local neighborhood park for the "Halloween Hoot". A decorated trail through the park's wooded nature area, with kid-friendly decorated treat stations along the way. The trick-or-treat trail ended at the park pavilion where there was a storyteller telling "ghost stories" (not really scary), apple cider, donuts, and warm fires to chase away the chill. 

Viola got spooked by a cardboard cut-out of a zombie in the woods (in broad daylight) but fortunately one of the Elsas helped her work through her fears. I think she said something about "letting it go", I can't be sure.... 

Viola got spooked by a cardboard cut-out of a zombie in the woods (in broad daylight) but fortunately one of the Elsas helped her work through her fears. I think she said something about "letting it go", I can't be sure.... 

This was our first year doing the Hoot and it was fantastic--- certainly compared to the craziness of the Downtown trick-or-treating. I can't wait to do it again next year! Maybe we could even sponsor a trick-or-treat station! (Last week's Trunk-or-Treat success (we won first place!) has gone straight to my head!)

Disney on Ice (2014)

This past weekend we attended Disney on Ice: Princesses and Heroes. I don't know whether it's an urban legend or not, but I've read that the Disney Princess franchise was started because of a Disney on Ice show, variations on this account: 

"Former Nike, Inc. executive Andy Mooney was appointed chairman of The Walt Disney Company's Disney Consumer Products division in the late 1990s. While attending his first Disney on Ice show, Mooney noticed that several young girls attending the show were dressed in princess attire that were not authentic Disney products."They were generic princess products they’d appended to a Halloween costume," Mooney told The New York Times. Concerned by this, Mooney addressed the company the following morning and encouraged them to commence work on a legitimate Disney Princess franchise in January 2000." (wikipedia

In honor of that, I always let the girls dress up when we do a Disney on Ice show (this is our third). This year, though, I added the stipulation that they couldn't dress up as Elsa--- a good thing, too,  because we would have lost them in the sea of Elsas!  Viola chose to wear her Limited Edition Anna dress (which is very warm) and Evangeline picked Sleeping Beauty with a heavy pink cloak that I recently snagged from our local thrift store (for $2!) --- sometimes when we've attended Disney on Ice in the past it's been very cold, while other times fairly warm, so I dress the girls in layers and over the years have picked up a few cloaks like Eva wore as an alternative to covering their beautiful dresses in winter coats, which always seems like a shame! 

We purchased our tickets for Princesses and Heroes several months ago. Sometime between then and now, the Frozen characters were added to the lineup. The girls were thrilled --- the entire stadium was thrilled.  There's something magical about a crowd full of girls singing along to Let It Go--- at this point, I know lots of parents are getting sick of the song/franchise, but I still think it's charming the way the kids are so, so into it. I was surprised by the crowds reaction to Olaf, too. He was extremely popular.

The Frozen sequence covered most of the second act of the show, and it was very well done. I'd love to take the girls to see the Disney on Ice: Frozen, but we will be headed out to Walt Disney World right around the time it comes to our local stadium. Priorities, people. 

I took a video of the show but I wasn't sure about the rules of sharing it here--- I know many bloggers record shows to share in their reviews, but I didn't want to risk it. Instead, here is the official "first look" of the Frozen on Ice show from the official Disney channel. It was all this and more in person... really, really exciting. Just imagine it with about 2,000 kids singing along and it will be like you were there! :-)

I'm really glad that they added highlights from Frozen to the Princesses & Heroes show, which included For the First Time in Forever, Let it Go, the Let it Go reprise, In Summer, and an extra Let it Go reprise. We would definitely be going to see the full show if it weren't so close to our trip! All-in-all we were really impressed with the production quality of this show: there were acrobatic tricks that had me covering my eyes with worry (catapults on skates?! what?!) and a giant fire breathing dragon that had Viola jumping out of her seat with excitement.

It was pretty hard to keep the kids in their seats, actually. They all wanted to dance to their favorite songs! "You know what this show needs?" my husband commented at one point: "A toddler mosh pit". 

One bit of advice for parents attending Disney on Ice shows: considering bringing your own light-up whirly-gig toys. We usually do, but we've burned them all out, so we promised the girls we would pick them up new light-up-somethings this time. SO EXPENSIVE.