If I could change the world
I’d make it Halloween
Every single day
And also have world peace
Maybe world peace should be first…
World peace and THEN Halloween
Wait, let me start over.
– Mean Girls (Original Broadway Soundtrack), #9, “Sexy”
Anyone who knows me, knows I don’t mess around when it comes to two things: Disneyland and dressing up for any theme, occasion, competition, or holiday. My favorite holiday of the year has always been Halloween. Why? Because it’s ALL about the costumes and enjoying quality time with my friends and family! Combining Disney and Halloween allows me to unleash my creativity and let my imagination run wild. Each costume I’ve worn, from my childhood experiences to attending Disney costume events, holds a special place in my heart. Halloween is like another “Thanksgiving” or “Christmas” event for me. It’s personal. It’s intimate. It’s always been a big deal to me. Join me as I share my journey of how Disney and Halloween costumes have become an important part of my life and helped shape who I am and the things I love today.
Growing up, my parents wanted to give us the world, and that they did. My dad introduced me to the magic of Disney. He worked so hard to provide a beautiful life for our family and took us to Disneyland every chance he got! He’s known for being super extra (like father, like daughter), therefore he always went the extra mile – taking us to see every Disney movie in theaters, and then buying us every movie when it came out on VHS. For the most part, the love for Disney was OUR thing. Father and daughter… Daddy’s girl… Das me! I believe it’s safe to say that my childhood was filled with magic. As a result, my adoration for Disney grew stronger over time.
As Halloween approached each year, my mom would ask me what I wanted to be for Halloween. Much to her dismay, I was always a Disney Princess or something cute… like a ballerina. Sugar, spice, and everything nice. She always begged me to be a witch or something spooky. But NOPE, not this girl! With every costume, she had one rule that limited my costume game… it had to have sleeves. Those trick-or-treat hustlin’ nights were “too cold” and she refused to be one of those moms who would put turtlenecks under the costumes (or hide them over a jacket). Mi gente… IYKYK. My mom also had a seamstress who custom made all our costumes because as an immigrant, she understood the American value of having a good, impressive, and warm costume. Her desire to see us enjoy the festivities in style reflects her unwavering commitment as a mother. She’s not just a regular mom, she’s a cool mom. The costume-making process absolutely fascinated me. I enjoyed collaborating with the seamstress by adding my own creative touches to bring our ideas to life. You guys… a baby costume monster was born right then and there.
As I grew older, my love for both Disney and costumes grew into a unique tradition.
When I discovered D23 (Disney Fan Event Convention), it blew my mind. When I would attend, not only was I amongst “my tribe” of people who are fans like me, but the costumes that many wore were unbelievably over-the-top.
I call D23 the “Disney MET Gala” because of how artistically detailed and elaborate the costumes are. You don’t have to be a fan to recognize that the creativity is next-level. I learned that D23 would hold a costume contest each year called the “Mousequerade” – get it? Ugh! SO GOOD. In order to participate in the Mousequerade, you not only had to sign-up and submit photos of you and your costume, but would have to be selected by THEIR committee in order to ACTUALLY participate and compete. I decided to shoot my shot and dress like Princess Jasmine… and out of hundreds and hundreds of people, I was 1 of 10 selected for the character category… and became a finalist!!!
I was up against people dressed as characters, heroes, mash-ups, villains, and attractions… yes, ATTRACTIONS that had moving trains, doom buggies, flying Dumbos, etc. that moved around on their OUTFITS and didn’t fall off. I told you it’s over the top. It felt like I was in a Miss America competition. …annnnnd, world peace! Even though I didn’t win, the experience was AWESOME. Every single finalist I encountered was so kind and supportive. I loved it so much that I needed to get my friends involved the next time as villains and became finalists as well. To have been a part of the Mousequerade competition TWICE was a true blessing.
Disney and creating costumes hold a special place in my heart. From my childhood memories of Disney films and trips to Disneyland, to D23, to the tradition of attending the Mousequerade, each costume has contributed to a lifetime of creativity, bonding, and joy. The combination of Disney and costumes allows me to express myself, celebrate the magic of imagination, and spend quality time with loved ones. This is a tradition I will continue to pass down to future generations, sharing the wonders of Disney and the joy of dressing up in costumes.