Day 12, Part 2: Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party—in Costume!

Although we weren’t knocked out by Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, we’d been kinda curious about Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party since the time our dinner reservation at Tony’s Town Square got us a sneak peek at the party without a ticket.

When Disneyland announced that it was moving its Halloween party from California Adventure to actual Disneyland that year, we suddenly became interested in that one for the first time, and soon I’d hatched a plan to try the parties on both coasts—in costume!

I’d been trying to think of a Disney character Patrick could be and retain his beard (not easy—have you seen the grooming standards for cast members?). We were so enamored of Tokyo Disneyland’s Tower of Terror that its bearded proprietor, Harrison Hightower III, seemed like a natural choice.

 

Our Inspiration Pictures


I just wasn’t sure how we’d do the costume, since neither of us is good enough at sewing to make an entire suit. I didn’t really get inspired to try it until I chanced upon a ring that was a ringer (ba-da-bump!) for the jewel in Hightower’s cravat.

For some reason, acquiring that one piece opened the floodgates of creativity, and I was off on a hunt for the rest of the costume pieces. Spats, gloves, and white dye for Patrick’s beard were the easy part. We spent a morning in Downtown LA’s Fashion District scouring menswear stores for a purple double-breasted suit—no small feat, considering that double-breasted suits of any color have been out of style since the late ‘90s. All the shop owners kept telling us to go see this one guy; when we got there, he rooted around in the dusty racks at the back of his store and turned up THE PERFECT SUIT—not only was it double-breasted and purple, it was exactly Patrick’s unusual size! All that was left was to find red and gold checkered material for the trim and the fez, which took a bit of doing, but I eventually found success in an upholstery fabrics shop. (Later I was looking closer at that second inspiration picture and realized that Hightower’s coat is actually a floor-length dressing gown or overcoat, not a suit coat. But, really, we got pretty dang close, considering!)

The next element was re-creating Shiriki Utundu, the idol who leads Hightower to his doom. This was easy for Patrick cuz he builds and performs puppets for a living. The idea was to make Shiriki Utundu a puppet and stuff one arm of the suit so that Patrick could secretly perform the idol while it appeared he was just carrying him. The seamstress we hired to create the collar, cuffs, pocket flaps and fez for the costume also helped us cut a hole in the shirt and suit coat for Patrick to get his arm through. He designed the puppet based on this bobblehead toy we’d brought back from Japan.



Shiriki Utundu was carved out of foam and painted in acrylic. Patrick installed battery-operated tea lights behind the eyes and armor breastplate, which was my favorite part of the whole effect.

The finished costume


It was a no-brainer that Constance, the black-widow bride from Haunted Mansion, would want to hook up with a high-roller like Hightower, so my costume choice was easy. It was also pretty easy to assemble once I stopped looking for actual Edwardian wedding gowns (too small… and expensive!) and started looking for 1980s Edwardian-revival Gunne Sax dresses on eBay and Etsy. The trick was to find just the right lace on the bodice. When I did, all I had to do was add a tea-dyed lace collar and long petticoat (to lengthen the skirt). I’m not crazy about how dark the petticoat turned out or how white the cheap lace boots looked though… I made a veil out of tulle and a plastic comb the way they tell you to in budget wedding books. Then I got strands of fake pearls to represent each of Constance’s husbands and a hatchet for bumping off Hightower. I think I mentioned in the last update that I added a Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings purse at the last minute (thanks to Merchandise Guest Services’ hotel delivery!) to hold our tickets, IDs, and other stuff that I usually make Patrick carry (with only one useable arm, he was off the hook this time).

The inspiration


The finished costume


Getting into this getup while on vacation meant bringing a huge suitcase. Patrick dyed his beard and eyebrows while I wrestled with my hair and cursed my decision not to hire Patricia LeJeune to do it for me! I can’t remember how we got to the Magic Kingdom to meet the Roots, so lets pretend it was by golden chariot. We were very excited to have our first MNSSHP experience be with the Nate & Jensey because they are pros and could show us the ropes.

Now, if you will indulge me, I have one hundred million bazillion Root photos to show you…!

I guess other people dressed up besides us…?


That year, the Disney Parks Blog was posting shots of the best MNSSHP costumes every week, and we were bound and determined to be included. So we vowed to stalk every PhotoPass photographer we could find. Afterward, we were dealt a crushing blow each week as we failed to turn up on the blog (turns out they only used night shots and we got tired of photog stalking around dusk. Boooo!).

This was the first time we were asked to pose for pictures with other guests. We were so flattered! What we didn’t find out until later was that most of them thought we were cast members!

Somehow the stroller just drains the “sinister” right outta this pic!


 

As we made our way through Adventureland, the Roots got recognized by a friendly pair of DISers (we, of course, were COMPLETELY unrecognizable!). I am kicking myself for not writing down their names—if you’re out there, I’m sorry!!!

“Psst…. Just so you know, I am TERRIBLE with names!”


“That’s OK, I’ve already forgotten yours!”


Adventureland was the perfect backdrop for an adventurer such as Harrison Hightower. Let the mugging commence!

The hatchet as sun-shield…


“Move along, move along—nothing to see here!”


Why, it’s the Old Prospector!


“What, you’ve never seen a Halloween costume before? Oh wait, he’s, like, 2—maybe he actually hasn’t!”


 

Hey, HE totally challenged ME!


 

I kept trying, but do you know how hard it is to get away with murder in broad daylight inside a theme park?!

So this was when we finally figured out that people thought we were cast members. This entire family took turns posing with us, and then someone—maybe the cast member in this first shot?—told them we didn’t work for Disney, and they apologized profusely. But we didn’t care! Any excuse to ham it up for the camera…

Only a handful of people actually knew who Patrick was supposed to be, and most of them were cast members. Including this one!

…And this one!

Patrick really enjoyed being in character. He would ramble pompously about his wealth and his treasures and show off Shiriki Utundu.

Next year for Halloween, I’m gonna be what Jensey’s being!


“Thank you, thank you… we’ll be here all week!”


 

“All right, smile real big for the photo we’re not gonna put on the Disney Parks Blog!”


Really, Disney Parks Blog? Not even this one? It’s so HAMMY!


This little kid LOVED the Shiriki Utundu puppet!


Up Next, MNSSHP Part II: Less Us, More Parades, Fireworks, etc.!!!

 

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32 Responses
  • Austin
    March 4, 2014

    Ummmm if I ever see you guys at Mickey’s Halloween Party in these costumes I really, really want a photo with you two. I love the Harrison Hightower costume!

    • Carrie
      March 4, 2014

      Can do, chief!

  • Kathy Novice
    November 11, 2013

    Wow, you two really look like professional cast members!!! Everything looks authentic to the smallest details. How did you walk in those heels? And on a side note, how did you carry your belongings around the park? I only saw 1 small wrist bag in the picture. Surely you had more stuffs?

    • Carrie
      November 18, 2013

      Ohhhhhh, those heels. I just put them in the Goodwill pile last night! Soooo uncomfortable… Jensey and Nate let us stash some things in their camera bag, but my purse turned out to be surprisingly roomy!

  • Matt Bateman
    September 3, 2012

    OMG – those costumes are amazing – I love the fact that you chose Harrison Hightower III – and Shiriki Utundu was incredible. Disney could not have made a better puppet themselves.

    • Carrie
      September 3, 2012

      Thanks for the kind words!

  • Kim
    July 18, 2012

    So I just spent the last 2 weeks of my “free time” @[email protected] reading all your reports and pretty much every aspect of your site. So naturally I am now listening to your podcast and oh my god, your voice is so soothing! xD I have a new Teresa Echols!

    • Carrie
      July 18, 2012

      BWAAhahahaaa! Maybe I should release a series of relaxation (or insomnia-curing) recordings!

  • Singerroo
    May 8, 2012

    Absolutely LOVE your costumes but especially Harrison Hightower III (or Sansei as they say in Japanese!). I have a small cell phone charm Shiriki Utundu that hangs on my desk at work and would you believe no one has EVER asked about it?

    • Carrie
      May 8, 2012

      Maybe they’re afraid to! 😀

  • Adam
    March 11, 2012

    As a huge fan of the Tokyo DisneySea Tower of Terror (and Shiriki Utundu in general), I have to ask… Is Patrick open to the idea of making another one of those Shiriki puppets? I’d be very interested to get a quote for one of my own, as I simply don’t have the skills to make something as impressive as that, but would definitely be interested in buying one if the option were available!

    • Carrie
      March 12, 2012

      Hi Adam! I will ask him and let you know. I do know that Swazzle is super-swamped with work right now, so it might be a bit before he had the time, if he had the time. Thanks for your interest!

    • Carrie
      March 15, 2012

      OK, I talked to Patrick, and he said that he can’t make a Shiriki Utundu puppet to sell because it’s a copyrighted Disney character. 🙁 Sorry about that!

  • Ben
    November 29, 2011

    Your costumes are beyond amazing! I love reading all of your TR’s so much 🙂

    • lurkyloo
      November 29, 2011

      Well thanks! 🙂

  • Dommiebatsch
    November 3, 2011

    I just wanted to let you know that I love love lovvvveee Patrick’s Hightower costume. And I would never have remembered the long coat if you hadn’t mentioned it! Best haloween costume
    Ever!!! How are you ever gong to top it for next (this?) year?

    Ps. Love Jensey’s ears too. I have the same hairclips from Tokyo Although I ways tend to place them
    Lopsided on my head

    • lurkyloo
      November 3, 2011

      Me too! I got some Marie cat ears in Tokyo, and they’re never placed quite right!

  • Pinkgirl
    October 30, 2011

    WOW! Amazing photos, you really do look as though you were CMs. Patrick’s use of his eyebrows are just beyond fantastic.

    • lurkyloo
      October 30, 2011

      Hee hee hee! I’ll have to pass that compliment along!

  • Chilly
    October 29, 2011

    The costumes are brilliant, and the photos are great (obviously), how is your house not covered in Roots photos, or is it?

    • lurkyloo
      October 30, 2011

      Oh it is… I’ve managed to reduce the shrine to one wall in the dining room, but for a while the whole hall was plastered too!

  • Carla
    October 28, 2011

    Forgive me for sounding like a texting teenager here—but OMG, you guys look AWESOME!!! It must have been a blast!

    • lurkyloo
      October 29, 2011

      OMG, thank u! LOL! It was a ton of fun, but mostly cuz we got to experience the party with Nathensey. 😉

  • BorkBorkBork
    October 28, 2011

    You guys look amazing and you got such fabulous pictures to document your hard work. I’ve been waiting for this installment!

    • lurkyloo
      October 29, 2011

      Thanks! I hope to have the next installment of MNSSHP up this weekend!

  • Heather
    October 28, 2011

    The costumes came out great! The first black and white of you sneaking up behind Patrick with the ax should definitely be your Christmas card. How did your feet do in those shoes? They looked painful…

    • lurkyloo
      October 28, 2011

      Good eye—they were painful! But they were the best of a bad bunch of cheap-o costume shoes I got from the Halloween store. Actually, the whole costume was super-uncomfortable, especially in muggy Florida. At the end of the night I couldn’t wait to get out of it!

  • Hope
    October 28, 2011

    No wonder people thought you were real cast members. Your outfits were terrific!

    • lurkyloo
      October 28, 2011

      Hey, thanks!

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