Halloween Party – Disney Style

RM-Disney-Halloween-Decorations3I love Halloween!  – The decorations, the spooky vibe, the fall-ish-ness of pumpkins and falling leaves, the Disney touches…if you’ve been hanging out here with me for a while…heck! even if you’re new here, clearly “Living a Disney Life” hints at what you can expect from me!  Especially at Halloween!

The difficult part of this season for me is that we live pretty much in the middle of nowhere.  In the 10 years we’ve lived in our house, we’ve had literally a total of three trick-or-treaters.  RM-Halloween-Front-DoorIf you want candy from my house, you have to drive here specifically.  While I grew up walking door to door on Halloween in our huge subdivision, gathering up ridiculous amounts of sweets, we had to drive our children trick-or-treating over about 10 square miles to hit the homes of aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, and best friends.RM-Disney-Halloween-Mickey-O-LanternRM-Halloween-Decorations-Foyer

I love holiday decorating – doesn’t matter much what holiday, you can bet I’m going all out with the decorations.  It might be an obsession, but that’s the way it is.  This year I decided to throw a small costume party for The Fam and a few of our friends.  Maybe I wanted an excuse to dress up, maybe I wanted an excuse to see my children, maybe I just wanted to show off my super-awesome-amazing decorations (no room went unadorned).  Who cares?  Party!!!RM-Halloween-Party-Invitation

Halloween Party – Disney Style

We picked a date, ordered the invitations, assembled the guest list and got busy with the party prep!  RM-Halloween-Decorations-Spider-Web RM-Halloween-Decorations-Powder-Room RM-Halloween-Decorations-Piano RM-Halloween-Decorations-Library RM-Halloween-Decorations-Greeters RM-Halloween-Decorations-Dining-Room2 RM-Halloween-Decorations-Dining-Room RM-Halloween-Decorations-Bowl-of-SkullsRaymond and I decided we’d go as Cruella (I had fun with the makeup!) and Jasper while Junior chose Captain America.  Joseph and I cooked all afternoon & by 7:00 pm, we were all set (He and his girlfriend, Lyndsey are the cute Jurassic World couple in the party pics, Megan’s the adorable Princess Leia).RM-CruellaRM-Halloween-Costumes-Cruella-and-Jasper RM-Halloween-Costume-Captain-America

What a great time we had!  Rain prevented us from making the party indoor/outdoor, but there was plenty of food, music, and games.  I love it when people embrace the spirit of a gathering and there was no shortage of creative, creepy, and elaborate costumes!  I can only hope that everyone had as much fun as we did!


I’ll leave you with some party highlights – SO many great costumes!!!  It was like having a house full of celebrities and deranged monsters!  Happy Halloween, Everyone! RM-Halloween-Costumes-Steampunk RM-Halloween-Costumes-ScaryRM-Halloween-Costumes-Jurassic-World2 RM-Halloween-Costumes-Katy-and-Left-Shark RM-Halloween-Costumes-Jack&Coke RM-Halloween-Costume-Princess-Leia RM-Halloween-Costume-Pope RM-Halloween-Costume-Horror RM-Halloween-Costume-Fred-Flintstone

Disney Women of a Certain Age

RM-Halloween-Jack-O-LanternHalloween is right around the corner.  I love this time of the year so much and I go all out with the spooky decorations.  We’re having a little get together to celebrate the season and, as expected, I’m adding Disney touches here and there.  We’ve invited our friends to a costume party and, me being me, I want to wear a Disney costume to this shindig.  Therein lies my problem.  I’m past the princess age and too mature for the cute stuff.  What’s the deal?  Think about it – most of the women my age in Disney movies are either evil or dead.  How depressing!  And challenging

Disney Women of a Certain Age

Mulan’s mom was alive and so were Andy’s mom in the Toy Stories, Helen Parr in the Incredibles and Mrs. Darling in Peter Pan.  Would anyone know who I was if I tried to dress up as one of them? Yes, Elastigirl!  Absolutely NO to the spandex.  I don’t think so.  Who do you remember the most?  I’ll tell you – Evil middle-aged women!  Be it queen, step-mother, magical-baby-stealing-hag, or fur-obsessed dog-napper – those are the stand-outs.RM-Disney-Halloween-Decorations

Alas, my options are limited.(No, I can never pass up the opportunity to say, “alas”.)  Think about Bambi, Snow White, Tarzan, Cinderella, and Anna & Elsa – their moms are all gone (a.k.a. deceased).  Dumbo’s mom!  Yeah…No.  WHO?  Who can I be?  I am running out of time to decide.  I guess I’ll have to go with “mature” and evil.  Check back this weekend over on the Facebook page and see who I end up as.  Any suggestions?RM-Disney-Halloween-Mickey-O-Lantern

I’m pretty secure with being the age I am – I’m all about being age-appropriate (yet trendy and stylish) – Honestly, this costume thing is quite a challenge!

Are you dressing up in a Disney-themed costume?  I’d love to hear all about it.  Maybe I can live vicariously through your fancy Belle or Rapunzel costume.  Or Jessie or Bo Peep or Snow White…

Happy Halloween!!!RM-Disney-Halloween-Decorations2

Review: Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Museum of Science and IndustryRecently, through an unexpected twist of fate, I found myself in Chicago.  While I did immediately think deep-dish pizza, quickly on the heels of that thought was a more serious one.  There’s a temporary exhibit I’d heard about (October 16, 2013-January 4, 2015) at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry called Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives.  I had no idea if it would be possible to fit a visit to the museum into my schedule, but I vowed to try my best and, as luck would have it, I had an extra long lunch break that allowed me to make the trip.

My Chicago-visiting coworker was kind enough to go on the adventure with me, so we dashed out of our business meetings and into a cab.  We figured we could spend almost an hour in the exhibit before we had to make it back to our next meeting.  Luckily, an hour was just enough to see everything (but not linger over any one display, sadly).  The Disney Christmas Displaynumber and variety of items in the exhibit was amazing and for a Disney geek like me, it was indescribably fun!

Much like Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World, the exhibit uses multimedia to describe 90 years of Walt Disney – from the man and his early beginnings in animation to the company he built and its recent accomplishments in entertainment.  Presented by D23 (The Official Disney Fan Club), nearly 300 artifacts, awards, props, costumes, papers, film clips, and more – all presented in well-organized, easily navigated exhibits that offered delightful surprises around every turn.

The exhibits touch on nearly everything having to do with Disney entertainment – and Walt, Mickey, and Mesince I’m what I’d call a well-rounded Disney fan, that suited me to a tee!  Disney history, animation techniques and processes, and television and movies were the most-emphasized aspects.  So much to see, so little time!  I wanted to dash from display to display, but I made myself slow down and move through the rooms with some semblance of order.  It was SO difficult, but my best chance of not missing a thing.  Everywhere I looked was something amazing.

Here are a few of my favorite displays:


Early Disney Cartoon

The Disney Brothers


Oswald the Lucky Rabbit

Disney’s early animation was thoroughly explained.  This included a wonderful video of Walt Disney discussing how they added music and sound to movies for the first time and what the challenges were to getting it right.  Oswald’s heartbreaking story was told.Walt and Mickey MerchandiseDisney Toys and BooksThere was a great section devoted to early Disney collectibles.  Some of the toys were absolutely incredible and some were a little bit scary.  It’s funny how different Mickey looked back in the day.Key Steps in AnimationLive Kitten ModelsMuch of the exhibit was devoted to detailing all the various steps in animating a movie.  I could do an entire post on just that part of the exhibit – it was fascinating and very thorough.  Visitors can get an excellent idea about all the components that have to work together to make an animated film “work”.Walt Disney's Christmas List Reproduction of Walt Disney's OfficeThere were also displays that brought Walt Disney, the man, to life.  Like his Christmas lists and a re-creation of his office.  One of the items included in this area was a small-ish brass birdcage.  Purchased in New Orleans, this little automated bird provided some pretty big inspiration!  There was an entire section of the exhibit devoted to the history of Disney animatronics.Mechanical Bird in Cage New Orleans Bird Cage InspirationAnimatronics DisplaySprinkled throughout the exhibit, in chronological order, were maquettes used for the animation of our favorite Disney films.  Maquettes are small ceramic figurines that help animators draw characters from various angles.  The early figures were a little rough around the edges, but all were adorable and captured each character’s true personality.Jiminy MaquetteMaquette DisplayMrs. Potts Maquette Disney television history was well represented.  Great programs like the Mickey Mouse Club and Fess Parker playing Davy Crockett had great displays!  Earhat and Coonskin cap included!!!Mickey Mouse Club Annette's Mouseketeer Costume Davy Crockett Fess Parker DisplayAs visitors moved along from decade to decade, display to display, they’re always reminded that first and foremost, Walt Disney was a man with incredible vision.Working Walt Portrait Walt Disney Legacy of Walt DisneyWhile relatively little space was devoted to Disney theme parks, the artifacts and information included on certain rides and attractions was super cool!  There was a video near the Small World doll showing how the figures were made.  Haunted Mansion is one of my most favorite attractions and there were some pretty awesome Mansion artifacts!Small World Doll Phineas the Ghost Haunted Mansion Tomb Stone Haunted Mansion Ghost Bride Ghost Bride DescriptionI’m not doing justice to the movie memorabilia, information and displays – again, that would take another post to cover.  Mary Poppins was very well represented as were some of Walt Disney’s other live action movies like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.  This was the part of the exhibit where I really wished I’d had more time to linger.Mousketeer Annette's CostumeToward the very end, there were costume displays from several movies including Enchanted, Alice in Wonderland, Pirates of the Caribbean, Maleficent, and many more.  Alice's Dress Mad Hatter Costume Maleficent CostumeAs one would expect, there was quite a hefty Frozen section as well.  Yes, this movie was overly represented compared to most other movies.  I’ll say no more.Art of FrozenElsaOlafKristoffSvenFinally, there was an Animation Academy where guests could learn to draw a Disney character.  If I hadn’t been so pressed for time, I would have jumped right on in! Animation Academy As it was, our hour was up by the time we reached the movie costumes and we made our way back out of the museum and resumed our day.  Even though it was a mad dash to and from the museum with barely enough time to see what wonders the exhibit held, my visit to see the Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives was completely worth the effort.