The Weekly Peanut, Issue 187
AKA- WE WENT TO OUR FIRST HALLOWEEN PARTY OF THE SEASON.
Because, honestly, I don't have a whole lot else to write about this week and that recap is going to take up the grand bulk of this issue.
On the health front, D's pretty well-recovered. A very sporadic wet cough will sometimes come out, but they are becoming fewer and fewer with each passing day. The roid rage is also, thank GAWD, no where in sight. D's actually been... pretty awesome. She's working out with Daddy (the weightlifting was the only way we could get her to NOT "ninja warrior" all over the couch").
She's also eating again. She's not hugely branching out, but she's been better about at least trying. Daphne ordered her own shorti at wawa for the first time. And ate it. Avocado is the only green food she willingly eats (but she tried some kale in a stir fry the other day).
She's also decided she really likes mushrooms. "Soft mushrooms" specifically. Yet another person in the house to fight me over the mushrooms in any dinner we make. I think this also means it might be time to take her to Kobe for the first time. She also told me she "really likes broccoli" and had some with her dinner Tuesday.
She also helped Daddy fold his clean laundry. And did a really good job. Kid loves to fold stuff.
Sunday was our first planned Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party of the season, and D was seriously excited about it. Her costume has been waiting in her closet for a few weeks, and other than a brief test-run we did for a little photo shoot last week, it's gone largely untouched.
Ever since D started watching Hocus Pocus last year, she has been asking for a Sarah costume. D doesn't ask for a lot of costumes by name, but this one she has never relented about. At first I thought I might try to make it myself, but like so many things, time got away from me. In the end, I collaborated with D's Fairy Godmother, Sharan, to pull together the full look, and D was just over the moon about it. She was super in character the whole night, singing Sarah's song, galloping around chanting "AMOK AMOK AMOK."
We got to the park just as Festival of Fantasy was ending. Beelined to grab our wristbands. Met up with Amanda and Maddie. We decided that, with the heat of the afternoon, D would hold off on her costume for a bit. Even though the party doesn't officially start until 7, a few special character meeting opportunities start early. Amanda went to grab a spot in line for Jack and Sally while Ian and I entertained the girls.
The girls really wanted to watch Friendship Faire; Ian and I really wanted to bask in the shade. So we compromised by standing in front of Casey's Corner and enjoying the a/c blasting from the doors. Ran into a bunch of friends. Ashley hung out for a while and let D show her the "treasure map" (D warned her about all the sharks that were in every body of water on property).
A few minutes before 5, Ian and I took the girls to catch up with Amanda. I left them to Jack and Sally while I crossed the park to grab a spot in line for one of the other early start "big ticket" party items: meeting the 7 Dwarfs. D had treats to hand out: bags of Pumpkin Spice Puppy Chow with little Halloween ornaments she'd painted and a photo tag.
Ian grabbed the video for this meet. I love how D has gone from being intimidated by Jack to almost completely ignoring Sally. The whole conversation between Jack and D about witches is too perfect. We reunited in line for the Dwarfs with just 20 minutes to spare. Perfect to get Daphne into her costume. Our friend, Chris, also joined us while we were waiting.
D surprised me by gravitating to Grumpy for most of the time. The Dwarfs were fantastic, each with their own personalities (Doc immediately charged forward to try to take charge of the treat bag handout, Maddie ran away from Sneezy when he almost sneezed on her...). We didn't want to push our time too much, since their line is so popular, but I feel like the girls could have stayed there for ages playing with each of the dwarfs. So much fun.
Nice job on the group shot, photopass. It's not 6:30. The party hasn't even started yet, and we've already accomplished 2 of the biggest potential timesucks. My OCD brain is doing back flips of happiness. The girls asked to go on the Under the Sea ride, since we were right there and there was no line. Also the best air conditioning in the whole park. Last year we really fell in love with MNSSHP, but the sell-out crowds meant that how much we could accomplish in a night was generally limited. Still endlessly fun, but limited. This year's crowds are definitely less than last year's so far. Another favorite aspect of MNSSHP (other than the shows, parade, characters) is seeing all the guests' halloween costumes. We ran into some friends who had some of my favorite costumes of the evening and headed into the grotto with them.
The party had just started as we were leaving, and I knew there was a character in Tomorrowland I really wanted to visit for the first time.
D seemed reluctant at first, but as soon as she got her hands on Lotso, she couldn't stop petting him. Every photo, she's stroking his paw. "Mommy... he didn't smell like Strawberries." It was bound to fade eventually, kid. Another great costume moment happened as we were exiting. A group of people dressed as the Toy Story Aliens were right next to us meeting Buzz Lightyear. Buzz freaked out and marched them over with him to meet Lotso, too. So cute. We found ourselves drawn over to the Monster's Inc. dance party, which was mostly empty. Needleman came right over to give D a big hug and turned around to pose for a picture (dance party characters don't usually do this when it's crowded).
D came over to me, staring at the horizon to the west. "Mommy... the sun is rising!" Do you mean setting, kid? "The sun is setting! Dat means... it's almost night! AND WE GET TO SEE BOO TO YOU PARADE!" And then she started jumping up and down and silent screaming. My kid loves Boo To You. Even more than I realized. She was asking about it all weekend, all day, constantly. Any plan I discussed with her would be followed up with "and den we see Boo To You when it dark?" We made our way toward the hub around 7:30. I was very surprised by how empty it was compared to past years at this time. Half the area in front of the stage was roped off for some reserved and/or handicapped viewing, but there was NOBODY there. The Hocus Pocus show last year was an absolute madhouse (I never got any closer than about 10 deep for any shows). While the earliest posted show wasn't until around 9, I'd heard rumors they might do a pre-parade show if it was dark enough for the castle projections. So we took a gamble and camped out right in front hoping for an 8 p.m. Boo To You.
The girls had no problem keeping themselves entertained.
D still hasn't 100% nailed down the rules of Duck, Duck, Goose. Right around 8 p.m., an announcement came that there would, indeed, be a Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular starting in just a few minutes. HOORAY. I felt like we'd been hitting the MNSSHP Karma Jackpot all night. Our dear friend, Brooke (back from a 7 month stint on Disney Cruise Lines) caught up to us to watch the show.
Given Daphne's obsessive watching of this show on YouTube for the past year, I was not surprised by her enthusiasm or the frequent squeals of glee as each character made their debut. Sarah, Shadow Man, Oogie Boogie, and Maleficent all got huge reactions from her. Any trepidation she had toward villains last year is definitely dissipating.
There were a few very minor costuming tweaks from last year, and the lighting was much improved. Overall I still stand by my statement from last year that this is my favorite thing WDW has ever done, and I really wish it was available more often than 2 short months of the year. The show ended, and we turned around to find a packed hub. Not surprising, since Boo To You was due to kick off in moments. We decided to make a run for Town Square (I use the term run loosely, since we had to wriggle our way through the throngs of the hub and main street) and hope we could still get a decent spot.
Town Square was almost empty. MNSSHP jackpot, y'all. Honestly it looked like how it did last year for second parade rather than first. And only about 15 minutes until the parade was due to arrive.
Our friend Cat also happened to be stationed right next to our spot, and we got to stand with Mimi and Liza, too. Last year's Creepa Crew pre-parade was updated to be the Zootopia crew this year. Daphne met Crew member, Shelby, and clung to her side for the little costume promenade they did. One time Shelby dropped Daphne's hand to clap along, and D kept following her reaching for her hand, looking lost. So cute.
The girls retreated to their spots with their lollipops and waited for Boo To You. And waited. We could hear the music coming down Main Street, but it seemed to be taking forever. As it turns out, Vanellope's candy float had broken down and was having to be towed down the route. The downside to this? The slower pace meant no choreography for the parade performers. The upside? No choreography means the characters are free to roam at their leisure and the girls got to interact with everybody a lot more.
Vanellope's float got stuck going back into the barn, which means the villains unit was pretty much camped out right in front of us for several minutes. Zero complaints from us as the girls got to have extra time with everybody, and we even saw a little impromptu dance-off between Oogie Boogie and Jafar.
Of course, this also means we definitely have to do more parties so we can see the choreography, especially in the new Sugar Rush unit. It's a little after 9 p.m. We've already accomplished so much, and the girls have school in the morning, so we decided to call it a night with fervent promises to the girls that we'd watch Hallowishes at our next party.
The girls were great about it. We boarded onto an almost empty monorail, and had nobody to fight our way past to get all the way back to our cars. I still can't get over what an absolutely perfect night we had. And we still have at least one more party to catch a few more things we didn't get to (fireworks, Tarzan and Jane, Aladdin and Abu...). Plus we still have plenty of treat bags to hand out...