Well, I'm not as young as I used to be, so we wound up just doing Disney Springs and then heading back to the hotel to unwind a bit before the Halloween party.
The Disney Christmas store had this great life size postcard on the outside wall.
And one of the toy shops had this massively enormous Duffy bear, dressed in Halloween style.
We bought a couple of pins, but I kinda wish I'd picked up this one of Minnie as a Japanese fashion "Mori Girl."
A Kermit and Miss Piggie made of greenery.
After resting up at our hotel for a few hours, we got dressed up in our Robin Hood and Maid Marian costumes my mom and I had spent numerous hours putting together.
The costumes were a hit, and we got our biggest response from the Cast Members, which to me is the biggest compliment. And surprisingly not as many "Hey Peter Pan!" comments as we were expecting.
One lady was walking away and thought we were out of earshot when she said "oh she makes the perfect Maid Marian!" Sometimes the compliments you weren't meant to hear are the most flattering.
We asked a CM at the front gates to take some pictures as soon as we arrived, just in case our noses rubbed off or something.
And of course we needed some castle shots in our finery too.
I had made trick or treat bags for us with pictures of our characters. Tom discovered that holding his like this looked like a sack of loot, and became an accessory to the costume. :)
Since we wound up buying the Disney Memory Maker photos after our trip, we got a few special shots like this one of us holding Tinker Bell.
And this little animated picture, which would have been better if we weren't standing there grinning like all was normal. LOL
At about 4:45 we headed over to the Storybook Circus area to join the line to meet Jack and Sally from A Nightmare Before Christmas. Even though the Halloween party doesn't officially start until 7pm, the popularity of Jack and Sally's meet and greet was disastrous on the night of the first party this year (people reporting 3 and 4 hours in line, having to cut the line before everyone met them), so they are the only characters who come out before 7.
We had a pretty good spot in line...not too many ahead of us.
We stood and talked with the dad and his two kids behind us in line. The dad was dressed as Kurt Russell in Big Trouble in Little China. Anyway, Tom confessed to them my secret...I was nervous to meet Jack, because in person, he reminded me of an alien from the end credits of Star Trek: TOS that always scared me as a kid. I described the alien, and the dad pulled out his phone. Apparently he carves pumpkins as a hobby, and he showed me this.
Let's all sing together now...Iiiiit's a small world aaaaafter allll.....
Anyway, Jack and Sally wound up coming out at about 5:30, and they were delightful.
I had gifts for them, but hadn't had enough time to make anything. I got Jack a very Burton-esque pumpkin from Hobby Lobby...
And I got Sally a miniature sewing machine for on-the-go repairs.
The gifts were a hit! We posed for pictures and off we went.
We had a photopass photographer take pictures of us on this side of the castle, as there were more trees and greenery (better for Robin Hood)
Then it was time to meet the Big Cheese in his Halloween attire. No fastpasses are useable at parties, so we had to wait in line for him. It was worth it though!
Just look at our grins to be able to not only meet but talk to Mickey Mouse!
He asked us where we were from, and we told him Ohio. "Ohio!" he said. "That's in Canada, right?"
I love this picture below because to me it looks like two people honored and elated to meet a visiting dignitary or the Queen or something.
Then of course we posed for pictures.
Next on the must-do list was getting pictures with Pooh and friends, for the simple reason that Piglet...my favorite fur character in all of Disney...is only meetable at the Halloween party, and at Crystal Palace breakfast (later that week we had reservations)
Lots of hugs all around, because really there are few characters as huggable as the ones from Pooh's Corner.
Piglet got shy when I told him he was my favorite.
We had heard the trick or treating was especially good at the Tiki Room. Personally we discovered that this is true if crowds are low and it's easy to go to all four barrels (they are two and two, so when crowds are thick you're kind of expected to visit one of the two side by side, but if they're low you can go to every barrel), but if it's busy, we think the trick or treat trail from the Storybook Circus area to Tomorrowland is better.
But anyway, since we were over by the Tiki Room, it was time.
Time for me to try my first Dole Whip.
Mmmm yes. Dole Whip.
After this, we meandered over to Frontierland and got good seats for the Halloween parade. It was marvelous....one of those things you can see online, but it's not nearly the same. The glow of the costumes, the smell of the fog....the music. Ahh it was wonderful.
The whole thing starts with the headless horseman. (Awful video, sorry)
and then the Cadaver Dans serenade you while you wait for the main parade.
No parade video or photos...I was too busy enjoying.
Then we wandered over to the Haunted Mansion, which as I already mentioned is my very favorite ever.
The fastpass line was at 13 minutes...something they only do at the Haunted Mansion, and somewhat rare to see. So I tried to get a picture of the time.
...and a Haunted Mansion maid photobombed my picture.
We wound up standing and talking to her for a little while and got a picture together.
And then Tom pointed out that if we wanted to be on the last ride of the night at midnight, we had to get going. We did, we were, and it was eerily magical.
Goodnight, Leota. Goodnight, Haunted Mansion. Tomorrow we are going to Hollywood Studios!