by JollyFrogger Diva
I’ve said it before but in case you missed it, Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I love the cool crisp feel of the air around Halloween, I love seeing the creativity of other people’s costumes, and I love the challenge and thrill of coming up with the perfect costume for myself and my family.
Ever since I had children, I’ve loved coming up with family themed costumes so everyone can get in on the fun. Given my love for all things Disney, that gives me an easy place to start when looking for the current year’s theme. Maybe you want to bring a little Disney to your local Halloween events or maybe you plan to attend Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (you can read Orange Bird Devo’s review of the 2017 party here). Whatever your reason, here’s a look at my process so you too can bring a little Disney to your Halloween.
Step 1: Pick Your Theme
To find inspiration for your theme, start by thinking about your favorite Disney storybook, movie, or TV show. When the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie came out, I definitely used that as my inspiration for a Halloween costume. I found a nice Jack Sparrow hat at a Halloween costume store and proceeded to spend several Halloween seasons perfecting my pirate look.
Picking a theme gets a bit more difficult when you have kids- you have to consider their favorite characters as well and try to find something that everyone is happy with. You could always go with separate themes for each child, but I like to try to find a way to get the whole family involved in one theme. Until this year, we’ve let my oldest daughter pick a costume and then found a way to match everyone else’s costumes to her. My youngest daughter is getting old enough now to have her own preferences, however, so it may be that we soon move to each parent dressing to match one child’s theme so that everyone is happy. Luckily, Moana is a big hit with both girls right now, so this year our plan is to let my youngest be baby Moana and the rest of us will recycle our costumes from last year to allow my oldest to be grown-up Moana, DH to be Maui, and me to be Te Fiti, although we may make some upgrades or changes along the way.
Step 2: Consider Who Will Participate
I think it’s a lot of fun to have a costume theme that the whole family can participate in. However the number of people willing to participate may limit or change your theme. For example, now that there are four people in our immediate family, it could be difficult to pick a theme like the PJ Masks, since there are only three main characters. A little creativity might expand your options, as not everyone needs to be a main character. It’s also important to consider how much the other people are wiling to commit. My Father, for example, does not like costumes but is willing to participate if we find a way make his costume mostly out of every-day clothes. When we visited Disney World last, we used ribbon and tape to create him a Hook-inspired costume to match our Jake and the Neverland Pirates theme so he could stay comfortable while still having some fun.
Step 3: Where Will You Wear It?
It’s important to consider location and whether before deciding on a costume design. Some places such as Walt Disney World have rules for the types and lengths of costumes adults can wear, so you’ll need to be sure you plan an outfit that adheres to those rules. The weather is also something you’ll want to consider. On our daughter’s first trip to Walt Disney World, we chose a Monster’s Inc. theme. We found a Sully costume for my husband that was a rather thick, fur covered shirt. While October can mean cool nights where we live, Florida is still usually hot and humid. His costume shirt was definitely too warm for walking around the parks all night, but he was a trooper and wore it anyway since it allowed for some really wonderful pictures.
Depending on where you live, it may also be important to consider alterations that can be made should the weather end up too cold for the chosen costume. I can remember trying to dress up as a belly dancer one Halloween as a child, only to have it be uncharacteristically cold and snow just in time for trick-or-treating. I had to wear a heavy costume over my costume, which was no fun. This past Halloween, my oldest daughter chose to dress as Elena of Avalor for one Halloween event we attended. Once again, we experienced unusually cold weather, so I had to find a way to dress her in layers while still maintaining her costume. Since she had chosen a long dress, I had her wear sweatpants underneath and I found a long-sleeve Elena shirt in her drawer that was the right color to match her dress. She was much warmer than she would have been in just her costume, but she still felt like a princess.
Step 4: Get Creative
You do not have to spend a fortune to outfit your whole family. Sure, you can go and purchase full costumes for your whole family, and your pictures will look amazing, but I prefer a more budget-friendly approach. My first step when considering a costume is to look in my closet and see what I already own that would work for our theme. If I don’t have what I need, I look to see if I can buy something to use for my costume that I can reuse later as a regular piece of clothing or for a future costume. One Halloween, my oldest decided she wanted to be Rapunzel. DH chose his Flynn costume from items he had in his closet. I was fortunate that a costume I had used several years ago was close to the style of what Mother Gothel wears, even if it wasn’t the right color. In the end, we all ended up fully costumed for less than $20.
For the girls, I have been lucky that most of their costumes came from dress-up clothes we already owned. We usually attend several Halloween events each year, and my oldest rarely likes to be the same character twice, so buying a new costume each time would be prohibitively expensive. If you don’t have a large selection of dress-up clothes on hand, consider purchasing any costumes in a size or two larger, so they can wear them for dress-up clothes after Halloween is over. You may even be able to re-use them next year if your child still loves the character. Character Diva has a great idea on what to do with leftover costumes that you can check out here. When we visited the beach last Fall, my oldest wore her Moana dress one afternoon and we were able to get some wonderful pictures made.
Diva Tip: If you’re in need of a costume for your little one, check out Mom Approved Costumes. Their costumes are non-itchy, won’t get glitter all over everything, and most importantly they’re washable. Our Moana dress, which we purchased from Mom Approved Costumes has been worn frequently and well-loved and still looks brand new even after several washes.
You could also consider sewing your own costume pieces, if you’ve got those skills. I have never been successful at producing anything decent looking using a sewing machine, but I am fortunate to know several people who can sew well. For our Jake and the Neverland Pirates costumes, my husband had a friend of his sew him a Jake vest and my Mother helped me sew my vest for my Cubby costume. Sewing your own pieces might be a bit pricier and definitely more time-consuming, but a custom made piece can really elevate your costume.
So there you have it- my tips for adding a little Disney to your Halloween, whether it’s celebrated at home or at one of the Disney parks. If you need help planning your next trip or just want a free quote, contact Patricia at All for Dreams Travel.