Halloween was just never my thing, for a lot of reasons. My family really didn’t celebrate it and I had a negative experience at a haunted house as a kid, so I never enjoyed being scared for fun. My husband trick or treated some, but that was about the extent of it. When our daughter was very young, I served on staff at a church and in the 90’s churches typically did not celebrate Halloween in any way – actually it was rather discouraged. We usually had some type of alternative church “harvest” event on Halloween night, so we just never did Halloween…until the church and Disney collided one fateful year.
I had visited Disney World as a child, but my husband had never. He husband was way out of shape at the time and had not had good experiences at other theme parks, so was really against the whole idea of going to Disney World. On our first “real” family vacation, we went to Chicago to visit the American Girl store, and it was near Disney Quest. We were all gamers, so we went and had a lot of fun… because of this, I got him to go at least once to Disney World. When we planned our first Disney vacation, we thought it was a once in a lifetime trip…but after the first time he was surprised how awesome it was, and we were hooked!
Around that same time, our church decided to have a Trunk or Treat for the kids in the neighborhoods surrounding the church. A Trunk or Treat is an event that can be set up as a fall festival. The cars are typically decorated with the trunks open for kids to walk around and trick or treat throughout the parking lot. Nothing scary, but friendly jack-o-lanterns and all of the typical “nice” Halloween décor was prevalent, including costumes (though we are only now getting close to decorating ourselves!) But our car was participating, and so for the first time, we needed decorations… and what company produces more friendly Halloween décor than any other (probably?) The Walt Disney Corporation.
We started decorating our car each year so that it was “really not so scary” but fun with pumpkin Mickey lights and other decorations we found or made that were Disney themed. After we moved and attended churches that did not have a Trunk or Treat, we decided that our house would be the fun house where kids would see not so scary Disney decorations when they rang our door bell. Wearing our Halloween themed ears from Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party, we would sit on our porch with the Boo to You Parade music playing from speakers set up in our front windows.
In the house where we lived previously, Halloween was an amazing time. Almost every house was decorated, and it was an amazing block party atmosphere. So we upped our game greatly with more lights, music, etc. Our current neighborhood… not so much. Our house is the only one with lights, or any sign that Halloween is a thing… but we still decorate.
Mickey’s Not So Scary Party is now a yearly event for us. Not only do we attend at Disney World each year we can, but we host our own version of the Not So Scary Party at our home for our family. We decorate, watch some Disney Halloween movie, then watch the Not So Scary park entertainment from YouTube such as the official Disney Parks video of Boo To You Parade or from other people like All Central Florida, who gave us a great version of the Sanderson Sister’s Spooktacular this year.
Every year though, we laugh at how our fascination with Halloween started strangely enough, with our church and Disney. Embracing the fun aspects of the night and connect with our community – sharing our obsession of all things Disney with kids in our family and neighborhood!