This time, it was to celebrate the retirement of a very special lady: My Fabulous Mother! As if the cruise and her retirement weren’t reason enough to be excited, add the element of Halloween!
As soon as I realized the timing of our cruise would coincide with the launch of Disney’s Halloween on the High Seas, I spent months brainstorming costumes ideas for the group, stateroom decorations and what we would wear on the ever popular Pirate Night! I am a planner in every sense of the word. In my former life, I was a media planner and spent countless late nights perfecting flow charts that displayed, in a colorful array, when advertisers would run various commercials. Ever since I could remember I would pour over travel books doing endless research on every family vacation I’ve ever taken. I meticulously plan the menu for Christmas dinners and Mother’s Day brunches and include a detailed preparation and cook time schedule to ensure everything goes off without a hitch! Some (ok, most) might call me crazy. I’d like to think of myself as just extremely organized (with a slight obsessive streak).
However, it is this quality that makes me a great asset to go on vacation with! I will plan it all so that you don’t have to worry about a thing! This proved true when my whole family boarded the beautiful Disney Dream. After we got to our room and the luggage arrived, I pulled out the stateroom door decorations I had made for everyone. This included Halloween decor and a special retirement banner for my parents’ room. TIP: Glue magnets on anything you want to use to decorate as Disney does not allow any adhesives on the doors. I just got some round magnets at Michaels and used my hot glue gun.
The first thing you will notice about cruising during Halloween on the High Seas, is the giant Pumpkin Tree. As expected from Disney, the tree isn’t just a massive structure that resides in the atrium for decorative purposes. It actually evolves as the cruise continues. The first night, there is a story time around the tree given by The Caretaker. He tells the story of the tree and finishes by inviting everyone to write their name on a “pumpkin seed” to help the tree return to glory. The next day the atrium is filled with pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns! TIP: Get there very early, especially with little ones. All of the themed activities are highly attended, so getting there early will allow the shorter crew to grab a seat up front, helping hold their interest.
Mickey’s Mouse-querade Party
When my family saw this listed in the itinerary, they asked me what I had planned for our costumes. To keep packing to a minimum, I opted to have us dress up as Monopoly. Prior to leaving, I had made all of us t-shirts with an iconic space or card from the classic board game. My little one was Mr. Monopoly, drawn on mustache, top hat and all. TIP: I must warn you. This gets extremely crowded. As of last year, it was a bit unorganized and we weren’t sure exactly what was supposed to happen. There are candy stations set up around the atrium and a few games that the kids can play. The highlight is when all of the Disney characters come down in their own Halloween costumes and dance with the crowd. Baby girl was 2 at the time and I think a bit overwhelmed by everything going on.
Other things that are available during the Halloween on the High Seas, were special themed drinks and sweets. There was the Franken Fusion Colada for nonalcoholic drinkers. While this looked extremely festive and very cool, with all of the candy and Disney magic stimulation, I am not sure I would advise giving it to your toddler (at least Baby Girl was DEFINITELY not going to get it!) For the adult beverage, Disney imagined up Spooky Juice, with white rum, grenadine and blue curaçao with floating “eye balls”. I also recall the elegantly done chocolate cake shaped like a spider. I guarantee this will be the ONLY time I will write elegant and spider in the same sentence.
However, we did not attend A Nightmare Before Christmas (Sing and Scream version) followed by a meet and greet with Jack Skellington and Sally. (I have heard that this should not be missed! These are rare Disney characters to meet, so if you have your autograph books, don’t miss it!). They also had fitting movies playing on the deck throughout the cruise.
I could write a whole section on Disney Cruise Line in general (and I may!) but wanted to share my thoughts as tis the season for all spooky fun! While, some of the themed activities still have room to improve, we enjoyed Halloween on the High Seas. I absolutely love Disney and adore the fun of Halloween, so when these are combined, I am one ghoulishly happy mummy!