Sunday, October 20, 2013

Halloween Costumes: The Littlest Disney Cast Member

(Let's not talk about how long it's been since my last post... Yes, a lot has happened since and I have been crazy busy. You'll get to hear about it all... eventually.)

Last year we began an annual Halloween tradition with Lilly. We let Lilly have two costumes. One we get to choose for her for our night at Mickey's Halloween party in Disneyland. For the actual day of Halloween, Lilly can choose to be anything she wants to be. Andy and I are HUGE Disney nerds. HUGE. So each year we do a family theme for Disney's Halloween event and each year we try to make Lilly's costume as unique as possible.

Last year Lilly was a Haunted Mansion Maid, because at the time the Haunted Mansion was her favorite Disney attraction. Andy wore his Nightmare Before Christmas shirt (his costume had to be last minute because he was working so much and traveling a lot around that time) and I made myself a black poodle skirt with Zero (from the Nightmare Before Christmas) on it instead of a poodle!

Last years Haunted Mansion Maid costume. This was the first thing I ever really sewed!This year I decided to make Lilly a Disneyland tour guide costume and we would be her tour group! This costume was a little easier to pull off. Last year I searched for months for a pattern that resembled the Haunted Mansion cast member costume so I would have to make minimal changes and additions. Then I searched for three solid weeks for a fabric that even slightly resembled the material used in the actual Mansion Maid costumes. That costume was the first real thing I ever sewed! It took twenty hours to make. Ten hours each day slaving over a tiny dress and I loved every minute of it!

Above: The beginnings of the maid costume. I sewed that part entirely by hand before I borrowed a sewing machine!Below: The finishd product!Above: the Zero applique I made for my black poodle skirt

This year we sort of waited a while and changed our mind a few times too. First we decided to be Ralph, Vanellope and Felix from Disney's Wreck It Ralph. It was a good thing we changed our minds because one in ten families we saw that night had that very same idea. We chose the tour guide costume because of its nostalgic feel, its simplicity, and because Lilly loves to tell us where to go when we are at Disneyland!

Before I made the costume we made a couple of research trips to the park to check out the details of the tour guides outfits. I learned that the exact plaid pattern used is called "Royal Steward Tartan". I even managed to find a mini version of that same plaid at the craft store! I used a circle skirt pattern I already had for the skirt, but I had to make the vest pattern myself. I used one of Lilly's t-shirts for reference and drew out the pattern on large sheet of butcher paper. Lilly wore my old Disneyland name tag, which we added her name to with a label maker. One of the comments I got most was "How did you make such a realistic looking Disney name tag!?" I almost didn't want to tell them we just used an actual name tag.

I used metallic gold paper to create the big "D" tour guide pin and I painstakingly tried to cover a regular old baseball cap with navy velvet using a glue gun. It did the trick, but up close you could see my shoddy workmanship. Covering a baseball cap with anything is much more difficult than you would think.

Lilly's favorite part of her costume were the shoes. I looked everywhere for reasonably priced black mary-jane shoes in her size, but all I could find were these glittery ones with one inch heels. Heels in toddler size! I kept searching for flat shoes, but the heels were all I could find and Lilly was obsessed with her "grown up girl"shoes, so I figured it was ok. Call me old fashioned, but I think three is too young for heels.

About to cut the"Royal Steward Tartan"fabric!

We decided to wear retro looking clothes as Lilly's tour group instead of just going in our everyday clothes because getting dressed up is just fun!

Finally it was time to show off our costumes! We did not expect the reaction Lilly's costume received.

First thing we wanted to do was stop off at Guest Relations to get a photo of Lilly with some tour guides because we just though that it would make a cute photo. We didn't even get 20 feet away from the tour booth when they saw us coming. Tour guides came rushing out of booth to see Lilly! They taught Lilly how to stand like a tour guide and posed for photos. Then they took out their phones and took photos of their own! One very lovely tour guide took Lilly's hand and lead her to City Hall so the other Guest Relations cast members could see her costume. All the cast members and managers came flooding out of the back to see. They even gave Lilly a tour guide pin and retractable ID holder that is exclusive to Guest Relations cast members. Lilly loves that ID badge holder so much she slept with it that night! (Until I noticed she was wrapping the string pretty tightly around her fingers, so I took it away to save for her when she is a little older).

Above: Showing off her costume to the tour guides!Below: Posing like a real tour guideAbove: Heading to City Hall to show off her costumeBelow: Lilly receiving her new ID badge holder from a Guest Relations managerBelow: Her new Guest Relations exclusive ID badge holder and pinFor the rest of the night we were stopped every we went. I couldn't believe it! Her Mansion maid costume didn't quite get that same response last year, so I wasn't expecting anything different. Or at least I didn't think it was as popular. One of my proudest moments that night was when Cinderella's stepmother, Lady Tremaine, took me aside after the photo and asked "Does she happen to also have a Haunted Mansion Maid costume?" I was so excited that last years costume made such an impression on Lady Tremaine, she remembered it, and us, an entire year later!

Lots of people asked to take Lilly's photo. I always tell them that they have to ask Lilly if it is ok with her. I'm sure a day will come when she refuses, but for now she loves the attention!

Above: Riding on Winnie the Pooh shortly before it broke down and we had to be evacuated. Lilly was sad, but we pointed out how special it is that she got to see Winnie the Pooh and his bee hive slippers up close and she thought that was very cool.Below: Lilly made friends with some Mouseketeers!Above: Cinderella's step sisters and stepmother. Lilly thought they were very funny. Before we left she said to them "My feet like you very much" and Anastasia (left) said it was the best compliment she ever received. My kid is so weird!Below: Lilly with her tour group in front of It's a Small World.Below: This will probably end up being our holiday card photo. It's rare we are all dressed so neatly!We had a great time at the event! We got TONS of candy and saw lots of people in really creative costumes. Now Lilly is working on her costume for actual Halloween. She has changed her mind more than fifty times. Some of her ideas included a tea pot, spider-man, a ghost, a camera, candy corn, and a piece of paper. Yes, for three days she was pretty sure she wanted to be a piece of paper for Halloween. We think she has decided to be a Sleeping Beauty Zombie (pretty creative! I am impressed she thought of that all on her own!) because she hasn't changed her mind for over a week now. We'll see what happens as Halloween gets closer.
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