Links to Amazon are affiliate links.
This year Lindsay joined our crew and both Casey and Robyn were unable to come. With only three of us there was a VERY clear costume that HAD to be done:
We decided very smoothly who should be which character and then each did our best to hunt for supplies at thrift shops and goodwill etc. We did all get out capes from Amazon (link for capes here, we were all impressed with them!) and then got together at Katie’s house to put our costumes together.
Katie and I got our creative juices flowing with my skirt 😉 It was a team effort!
Popcorn for a treat!
Katie added marshmallows and it made the ammmmazing
Lindsay is so dang creative and crafty and it just comes SO naturally to her!!!
I like to do a run through in full costume and even did my makeup to be a test run for the real deal and to help me know what to pack.
Pretty happy with finished results! I love a diy costume!
We headed down on Sunday Sept 17th. It was roughly a week since Irma and poor Lindsay had just gotten her power back. I’m so thankful we went when we did as we missed any traffic related to Irma but were still close enough to it that all the tolls were free and the park was empty 😉
Being mine and Katie’s third year we have it down to a pretty exact science as far as a game plan goes. We leave around 8ish on the day of the halloween party, get lunch, check in and get ready, and head to MK! Lindsay hadn’t ever had Panera before (I know crrrrazy right?!?!) so it was a must-do for lunch! Even with their weird tea we enjoyed it!
This year was our first year not staying on property. We’ve always stayed on property because a) it feels safest b) it’s convent and c) you get free parking. Right now I’m an annual pass holder so my parking is included. The hotels we’ve stayed at are always the all-star type ones and they are just junky (yup, I’m saying it…the “cheap” Disney hotels are CHEAP and JUNKY).
When I went on my first solo trip with a couple friends early last year we stayed off property and had a GREAT experience. HUGE room, tons of space, and SUPER close to the parks. This room was 1,000 times nicer than the rooms we’ve stayed at on property and was WAY cheaper too. So we decided to try it out!
If you’re looking to visit Disney and wanting an off-property hotel super close to the parks then Springhill Suites at Flamingo Crossing is a great choice!
Lindsay drove and omg she must be a super driver or something because we left her house at 8, made a stop on the way for potty break, and still made it to the hotel by 11! I couldn’t believe how quick we got there! I think leaving from her house is probably why (and I just realized that when typing haha) because she lives a good 20-30 min south of my house hahahaha
We were there so early that I was SUPER nervous if we’d be allowed to check in or not. One advantage to a Disney hotel is that you can check in at any time, whereas most hotels are a 4 pm check in time. This hotel was AWESOME though. We were able to check in right away. We got to our room and it was dirty haha so we went back down and had about a 10 min wait for a new room but they were so, so great about it and gave us all free snacks and apologized over and over about the mix up.
We had TONS of time to just take our time and get ready to go! (And comparing makeup stashes haha)
Katie went all out…even having me paint her hair!
Katie’s shadow was AWESOME.
Ready to go!
We thought it’d take us like 15 min to get from the hotel to the parking lot but it was under 10. Seriously great place to stay!
First ride of the day…the parking tram!
Then the monorail!
The only negative of the day was the wait to get in the gates. They don’t let you in until 4 and they were sticklers about it on this party date (I will say though that they weren’t sticklers about it when I went again a few weeks later with Zach and the kids). It’s a toss up as to if they’ll let you in before 4 or not but on this day it was a stern 4 pm entrance time and where we were in line was just directly in the sun. We were SO HOT. It was a miserable feeling but once we got in we never really felt that hot again!
Fastpass for Buzz!
Downside of just three people is someone has to ride solo but none of us minded 🙂
Of course the Sanderson Sisters would easily defeat Zurg
(insert wicked sounding cackle here)
My favorite spot for castle photos is in the hub by Tomorrowland and The Plaza restaurant. I’ve always had great luck there and there usually isn’t a lot of people in the shots. This photo pass photographer was into it. She had us do all sorts of things and told us to come find her in a certain spot later to take more (which we didn’t follow through with)
We also got a few of the more traditional Main Street Castle pics!
Baby Bump’s first trip! I’m over the moon excited for Lindsay and her family as they welcome this precious gift in March! Disney while pregnant is no joke and she never complained ONCE. Katie and I were constantly saying “do you need water? need to rest? you ok?” and she was a TROOPER!
Character meet and greets are so fun as a group so I always try to snag fast passes for them and try to do different characters on each of our girl’s trips!
Tiana was SO GREAT. She thought we were hilarious and loved us putting the spell on her. And was a little scared when I started telling her how instead of children I’d like to find some frogs to eat (I know the Sanderson Sisters didn’t eat the children but it’s confusing to always say “steal their youth” so I went with that we ate them instead haha).
Rapunzel just didn’t understand our thing. Maybe she didn’t get our costumes? She was just not as fun as Tiana!
Mickey though? He was THE BEST. I love love love these pics!
The lighting with Mickey is SO good. Our photo pass pics always turn out so great with him, if you’re wanting to do a cute Disney photo a fastpass to meet Talking Mickey (although he had a cold this night and wasn’t able to talk) it a great idea! These turn out better than castle pics in my opinion!
Something Katie really wanted to do was Country Bears which is totally a classic and a fav of mine. It was made even better by these ADORABLE friends who dressed like the Sun Bonnets. SO PRECIOUS. The cast member was freaking out about it which made it even more fun! What a creative, simple and memorable costume.
These kind of costumes are my favorites! I love park specific costumes!
Aren’t they so cute how they sat up front with them? I love it!
Had to get our solo costume pics!
Each year we’ve gotten more “into it” with the costumes. The first year we weren’t really sure how hardcore people went and since it was our first time we really stuck to more of a comfortable park look and less costume-ish. Last year we also weren’t AS dead-on in the costumes but more of a fun take on them. This year though? This year we were very close to the actual characters and people LOVED IT. It made it even more fun because we got so much attention and tons of people asked for pictures with us and just seeing their reactions to our costumes was awesome.
My FAVORITE thing about this night was Katie. We’ve been friends for over a decade and are opposites in a lot of ways. I’m team oversharer and Katie is much, much more private. I’m super extroverted and she’s more introverted. But dressed as Winifred? Katie was ALL about the attention. It was hilarious and awesome and kept cracking me up haha. I love me some Katie and now feel like Winifred is a member of our crew too! It was just SO FUN!
We have learned with the Halloween party to EAT EARLY. A lot of places close when the party starts and this time the restaurant we wanted to eat at closed even earlier. Blah. So we ended up getting random food which worked out for me because it was super close to my fav pretzel and iced coke!
(that hair is on FIRE with that sun haha)
We saw the cutest Hei Hei!
It’s a Small World!
I heard rumor that they might be changing Pirates because of the wench scene so I made sure to take a pic in case it doesn’t stay much longer!
We aren’t no wenches but we don’t mind being called witches 😉
During the parties they have a LOT more photo pass photographers which is so fun! I loved that they had them set up at the rides and experiences where there usually isn’t someone! Such a great opportunity for fun shots!
Tiki room was converted to a candy pick up spot. LAME for no Tiki by YAY for candy 😉
Another favorite moment of the night happened at the Christmas Shop where I was getting an ornament and a random guy came over and asked a cast member where he could meet the Sanderson Sisters. I thought maybe he was being funny and was like wanting to talk to us or maybe like hitting on me or something but it turned out he really did want to meet the legit Sanderson Sisters (who don’t have a meet and greet). We ended up doing a whole meet and greet of our own with this guy and his whole family. I wish we’d gotten photos of us with all these people because I bet they were so funny. We kept being in character and just like saying we wanted the children haha. Even the kids all loved it (which I didn’t realize so many kids would have seen Hocus Pocus? I don’t know if my kids would like it or if it’s appropriate? Thoughts?). It was just SO FUN. Totally wish I could be a Disney Princess and get to do that all the time haha!
I loved seeing the other costumes too. People come up with the MOST creative ideas! I mean look how awesome this is? What a simple concept and a huge impact. LOVE IT.
Our main goal was to have an awesome spot for the Hocus Pocus show b/c DUH we were IN IT haha (obviously we weren’t really). That meant we also had a sweet spot for the fireworks show which was great! We all got to sit and rest and load up on water and snack on candy.
Our girls! I LOVED being so close because we could really SEE the show and oh my goodness it was awesome and the talent is just AMAZING.
We also found a great spot for the parade. If you’re attending MNSSHP then a great spot is near the Christmas Shop in Liberty Square/Frontierland area. It’s very well lit right there which is great for the kids (I think near the castle is a little spookier b/c it’s so dark) and it’s where the parade starts so it’s over quicker. AND since the headless horseman rides prior to the parade it’s more close together in the timing.
FINALLY we got to see the headless horseman!!! We’ve yet to see him any of the years we’ve been and he was WORTH THE WAIT!
The parade is really so fun…Katie didn’t watch it with us last year (the crowds in front of castle are insane) but did this year and loved it too! It really is a great spot to watch because it’s not nearly as crowded and we were even able to sit down the whole time!
One of our big missions for the night was to get our beloved Candy Corn Icecream. This year they moved the location to Tomorrowland and we just didn’t make our way back there until the very end of the night. But y’all? This was SUCH a perfect note to end on. None of us were in a rush to leave so we just sat and ate our treats and people watched and relaxed a bit. Our hopes were to wait out the rush of people leaving the parks following the last parade of the night. In the past we’ve been in the mass of people and you just end up waiting to get the monorail, waiting for the parking tram, so why not just wait to leave instead!
Not a candy corn fan, but we still love her 😉
Gotta feeeeed that baby!
We met a few other Sanderson Sisters throughout the night but none were as excited to see us as these girls were. It was so fun that they were into it like we were 😉
End of the night pic!
Lindsay HAD to be EXHAUSTED, b/c pregnant, but otherwise we all felt really good still. It felt like a much more relaxed vibe than it has in years prior. I think Katie and I have done it three times now so we just have a good system down? We also all just were very down for whatever so it’s hard to leave disappointed when there isn’t anything you were dying to do ya know? We rode some rides, did all the Halloween related stuff, got lots of candy, and just had fun and let the night take us where it took us! Interacting with all the other people in costume was really so fun and all the weird conversations we ended up having (pimple popping videos? whhhhat?) added that extra element of fun too! It was also SUCH a low crowd that it made it really relaxed too! I mean yeah it was still tons of people but none of the lines were very long or anything and I think Irma was our friend 😉 Plus this was the first year we didn’t have a SINGLE drop of rain and the first year we used fanny packs (genius move Katie!) so those elements def helped us not be as tired and wore out!
We thought we were so awesome and waiting out the crowds but we’d forgotten that right at midnight the Sanderson Sisters did one last show. Oops.
We just slow rolled walking out and took our time to get some last pics!
Had to cast one last spell 😉
Sleepy, cuddly, and so #ontrend
We got back around 1:30ish and all were asleep by 2:30. The hotel we stayed at had free breakfast, including MICKEY WAFFLES, so we had to have it and they stopped it pretty early. So not much sleep was had, but it was worth it 😉
Sorting the candy!!!
We really didn’t have to rush one bit to leave, it was wonderful having late check out and just taking our time. We got ready and went to TJMaxx, 5 Below (first time visiting one!), Home Goods, and the Disney Character Warehouse! We just took our time shopping it up 🙂
And we hit up O’Charley’s for some lunch!
A caffeine fix for the ride home 😉
It was SUCH a wonderful time away! The day we headed home was the day before Zach and I met Mama E so this trip served as a wonderful distraction from the nerves I was feeling. Katie and Lindsay have known each other since high school and I’ve known Lindsay since Kye was a baby but this trip was really a chance for both Katie and I to get to know Lindsay even better and it was SO great. We had so much fun thinking up baby names for us both on the ride home 😉
We’re so glad to have Lindsay join our MNSSHP crew and hope next year it works out where all 5 of us can go together!!! I’m so thankful for my awesome “squad” and the fun memories we make together (and thankful to Zach for always being so supportive of my girl time needs!).