Category: Hallowe’en

Disney Parks

Check out this great Disney mash-up made by Lindsay McCutcheon!

We have a family vacation to Disney World coming up soon and I wanted to blog about some the helpful hints for planning for trips like this:

  • During Disney World’s slow season they offer special incentives to attract people to the parks. For example, with the package that we bought, we have 7-Day “Park Hopper” tickets, our hotel room, and FREE “Quick Service” Dining Plans to use the week that we are there. G-Man is turning 10 a few days before we go and qualifies for the adult meal plan which will work out great. His tastes have moved beyond the “hot dogs, chicken nuggets, and pizza” that seems to fill most of the kid’s menu options at the majority of the restaurants.
  • We had a lot of success booking with a travel agent rather than through Disney Park itself. Once those annual free dining plans vacations are available,  travel agencies buy a large number of rooms during that season. Trying to book directly through Disney didn’t work for us but going through Small World Vacations worked great!
  • Finding your way around Disneyland in California or Paris is relatively easy. These parks are a reasonable size to get a grip on. However, Disney World in Florida is massive and you really need to do some homework before you go. It feels sort of counter-intuitive to have so much research to do before a relaxing family vacation but, if you are like us, being prepared and feeling like you are making educated decisions really helps with our family’s economy and enjoyment.
  • Disney’s website is a good start for reading about attractions, special occasions, hotels, and dining. It is also where you will make all of your reservations for Fast Passes (basically a reservation for major rides), dining, and buying any of the other extra bells and whistles you want. Example – Disney has a photo service, they deliver special presents to your room or dining table, etc.
  • There are many excellent resources to help you wrap your head around Fast Passes, dining plans, restaurants, whether to stay on-site or not, which hotel to chose, how early you need to make all of the all-important reservations. My favourites are Touring Plans, Disney Food Blog, and Mouse Savers. Touring Plans publishes guidebooks of course but one of their major assets is their planning software on their website that helps you to create itineraries that minimize your wait times. If you are thinking about taking a trip to Disney World, try planning at least a 6 months (or more) in advance so that you can pick the best time period for you. Restaurant reservations begin 180 days before your date and they fill up VERY QUICKLY. There are different levels of dining plans. If you chose the “Quick Service” option like us there is only ONE “table service” restaurant that you can make a reservation at – “Be Our Guest” it takes a dedicated plan of attack to score those seats.
  • We chose to take advantage of the sale on dining plans but we are also super excited to go during Disney’s Halloween season so that we can go to the “Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.” This is the only time that you can enter the park in costume. Plus, Halloween is awesome. And trick-or-treating at Disney sounds super awesome!

A Quick Revisit to Horror Themes

As JBot has proven in his Horror Film Series that he posted last October, he is the horror movie expert in this house. Personally, I absolutely love watching movies with JBot but am… well… an easy target for jump scares. And I am a proud feminist. And I am absolutely terrified of clowns and possessed dolls.

So, when JBot wants to watch The Conjuring I quickly find something else to do.

Far, far away.

I’ve paid my dues in the early years of our relationship, JBot caught me up on many classic 80’s slasher movies and foreign cult classics. However, if the kids are asleep and we feel like watching a flick, I will happily watch a horror movie if it is funny — TUCKER & DALE VS. EVIL!! CABIN IN THE WOODS!! or its representation of women is somewhere in the twenty-first century. Hush was a sweet scary movie to watch. I’m not sure if it fits the trope of The Final Girl but it was definitely suspenseful and intelligent.

Hallowe’en Media for Kids


I meant to post this sooner but was feeling like I needed to take care of my school responsibilities first. So, to essentially bookmark some of our family favourites to revisit again in the Hallowe’ens to come, here are some of our favourites of the season:

“The Riboflavin song” a.k.a. “Monster Jerk” by Don Hinson & the Rigamorticians

We first heard this song ages ago on some corny Hallowe’en music compilation that we downloaded. Now it just ain’t Hallowe’en unless we all dance dorkily to it!

“The Tailypo: A Ghost Story,”  told by Joanna Galdone


JBot is ever-so-good at reading this old folktale in a super creepy way. It is now family tradition to whisper “taaaaaailypo” in a menacing way to each other.


Thanks a lot, JBot.

The Stop-motion films of Henry Selick & Laika

Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), Coraline (2009), ParaNorman (2012).

When quizzed about what he thought was the scariest movie he had seen, G-Man said without hesitation “Coraline.” Man, TRex was really into it when she was, like, three. It was rather creepy to say the least when she would quote “ba ba buttons” and then giggle manically…

Again, it just ain’t Hallowe’en unless we hear this music:

Yo Gabba Gabba, The Shiny Toy Guns sing “Halloween at the House of Spooks”

Trex was way into this one this year.

Young Frankenstein (1974)

We showed this to G-Man last year. HUGE HIT.

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