This was the second story I submitted to Disney Dads and thanks to Juliane and her fine editing, I think it came out pretty good. My version was a little longer and just had some different entry points in the writing and a little different flow. If you’d like to check out the difference, please head to the Disney Dads website and read it for yourself! They have a great site, especially for fathers who just want to be good fathers.
I think one of the keys to great parenting is spending quality time with your kids. Whether it’s playing games at home, reading a book together, or cooking in the kitchen, any time you get to have quality time with your kids is an opportunity to build memories that last a lifetime.
Last Halloween, my daughter Emma and I found ourselves in an unusual pickle. My oldest daughter, Eve, was going to school in Georgia, and my wife, Cassie was going to be out-of-town on a business trip. For the first time ever we would be by ourselves on Halloween. It seemed weird to be trick-or-treating without the other half of our family so I thought why not do something really different this year! Do something that will make it a special Daddy / Daughter event! With that in mind, we bought tickets for Mickey’s Halloween Party and it turned out to be a BLAST!
We both got dressed up for the occasion. She was Snow White – I think this was her sixth different princess in a row – and I was Russell from UP! We got there early and went on a few rides together in costume before the party started (admission three hours early is one of the perks of the party). We bought some popcorn in a special Mickey ghost bucket, took pictures in front of the Halloween tree, and went on both Haunted Mansion Holiday and Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy. And then the party started!
As everyone else was filing out of the park, we got to stay in! We quickly headed to our first trick-or-treat station and already started piling on the candy. The smiles from my little girl as we went from station to station getting some great candy made me smile all the more – and I have to admit, it was a lot of fun getting to join in the fun and do some trick-or-treating myself. Usually, only the kids get to do it, but at Disneyland, everyone gets to participate. I was surprised at how great the candy was, and they often had a healthy option if you wanted it like apple slices and carrots, but I bypassed those and went for the chocolate. Very quickly we filled up two and a half bags! Here’s a tip: Bring a backpack to cart around your candy treasure. You’ll need it.
Soon the lines got to be pretty long and took a while just to get to the stations, but by then we had our fill of candy. Instead we went on some more rides, nibbled on candy all night long, and just had a blast! The lines were so much shorter than on normal days at the park and so we got to ride everything we wanted to with very little wait. Lines that normally take 30 minutes to an hour we were able to go through in about half that time or less. We had such a great time, we’re going again this year! I think I’ll dress up as Nerd Mickey this year – kind of a tribute to my blog. I wonder if Emma is going for a record seven princesses in a row or if she’ll go for something different. I can’t wait to find out. Your kids only stay young for so long. Make the most of every moment you have with them. If you find yourself alone for holidays, do something special and take them to Mickey’s Halloween Party. Or even if you’re not alone – just go for the “howl” of it. You’ll be glad you did.