While pondering what to write about for my Halloween edition of The E-Ticket Life (part of our 13 Days of Halloween celebration), I realized a trend in television episodes dedicated to the holiday. From Community to Family Guy to The Simpsons‘ infamous annual “Treehouse of Horror” specials, Halloween show comes with three stories. And so I’ve decided to break this blog into three tales, each with their own “frightening” element. Any questions, comments, or concerns? Too late.
In a classic episode of Seinfeld, the gang forgets where they parked at the mall leading them to spend hours wandering through the garage trying to find their car. See, it’s funny because who would forget something so simple as where they left their vehicle? Well…
I had never gone to Disneyland on Halloween night until one night 2009. My friend Grainne (you can read about how scandalous a friendship this was in my book) and I decided to go on a whim since both of us were off that night. However, since I had to work in the morning, I told her that I didn’t want to stay too late.
When we arrived, it was clear that park was pretty packed. This was back when the Halloween parties took place in Disney’s California Adventure, leaving other guests to enjoy the original park. This was also the first year that Disneyland had the Halloween Screams fireworks show and the only one that they weren’t exclusive to the hard-ticket parties.
Since I had already seen the show and the park was busy beyond enjoyment, I hatched the plan to sneak out before the fireworks in order to beat traffic out of the Mickey and Friends parking structure and out of Anaheim. We made our way out of the park with no issue and made it back to the parking deck in record time. That’s where the trouble came in.
Grainne and I both thought we’d remembered turning before the exit lane which sits in the middle of each level. However, after a good 30 minutes of searching, that was proving untrue. Annoyingly, the fireworks we tried to outrun were being launched in the distance, setting off car alarms while we hunted.
Finally, we decided to check the other half of the lot just in case. Sure enough, we were parked just on the other side of the divide. We then remembered we were about to turn into the lane we thought we parked in but a Cast Member directed us over to the other spot at the last second. Luckily, we still managed to get home without too much traffic but I’ve paid extra attention to my parking number ever since.
The Party’s Over
This morning, I opened my Timehop to find a picture of me at Mickey’s Halloween Party or whatever they called it in 2010. In the photo, I’m wearing a white coat, red shirt, black tie, glasses, and an “emo wig” that I combined to create my costume: Gideon Graves from Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Also in the photo are Sally (from The Nightmare Before Christmas), my ex-girlfriend, her brother, and her best friend. Tellingly, my ex — whom we’ll call “Molly” — and I are not standing together.
I had nearly forgotten about this until seeing the Timehop this morning, but this Halloween party was actually cited as the beginning of the end for that relationship. Molly and I decided to buy tickets for that year’s Halloween party as 1) it was the first that would be held in Disneyland as opposed to across the esplanade and 2) it would be a fun date night for the two of us. However, a few weeks later she informed me that her brother and friend wanted to come along as well. Incidentally, my friend Luke had tickets to the same party so, instead of denying her +2, I just decided to invite Luke as well.
Luke and I met up earlier in the day in order to do some work for our podcast, The Disneyland Gazette, and waited outside of the gates at Disneyland for Molly to show up with our tickets. She was running late and so Luke graciously offered to wait with me as the crowds grew. Eventually she made it and we introduced everyone to each other.
At this point, I should probably tell you that I was not a big fan Molly’s friend or of her brother. It didn’t help that they seemed to be palling around while I stayed behind with Luke. Thinking as it probably wouldn’t matter to them anyway, I informed her that Luke and I were going to break off for a bit to get some pictures and video for the site. This happened a few times throughout the night but we’d meet up again each time.
When the night ended, we went our separate ways. I decided to let go of the frustration I felt that night and never mentioned it to Molly. Well… until she brought it up.
One day I was sitting at her house watching Pirates of the Carribean on TV. I could tell something was wrong, but, like most women, she denied it whenever I asked. Finally, she started crying and told me that she could no longer be with me. Her reason was actually pretty laughable, but I won’t go into it here.
That was it for then, but, as the weeks went on, we continued to talk. She even invited me over to her family’s house for Thanksgiving. But, when I asked why we weren’t actually together anymore, one of her biggest strikes was when I “ditched them” at the Halloween party when she wanted to spend time with me. I, of course, tried to argue this, but it was no use — the party was over.
The Halloween Marathon
For the past few years, my good friend Aaron Wallace has hosted a Halloween Movie Marathon at this house. He and his friends — also known as The Hollywood Tower Film Society — have an elaborate nomination and voting process in place to narrow their selections down for a two-night event. In addition to the winning films being screened, there are also short films shown at intermission and lots and lots of Halloween-themed culinary treats to go around.
In October 2014, I had planned a trip to Walt Disney World in order to experience the parks during my favorite time of year. Since I was going to be in town, Aaron and the rest of the Society were kind enough to include me in the voting process and choose a day that I would be there as the date of their first marathon. I had seen photos and tweets from these events for some time and was very excited to participate… especially since I was going to get to eat that delicious looking food!
While Aaron and I usually go to a theme park on each day of my trips, we skipped this tradition on marathon day in order to prepare his apartment for the event. This at least meant that we could sleep in a little later than we normally did while trying to make the most of my East Coast visit. However, when I woke up I didn’t feel quite right — even with the extra sleep.
At first I thought my slight sniffles could just be attributed to the fact that Aaron likes to keep his apartment at a brisk 67 degrees (or something like that). When we hit up Starbucks as part of our last minute supply run, I got my favorite green tea lemonade which usually serves to make me feel better in such cases. However, as the day went on I just felt worse and worse.
I tried to watch one of the first selections — the Olsen Twins classic Double, Double Toil and Trouble — sitting far away from everyone else as to not infect them. However, after 15 or 20 minutes, I retired to Aaron’s room to lay down. Based on my shivering and the wild dreams I was having while half-conscious, it was clear I had a fever.
Eventually, everyone left and Aaron walked into his room to find me on the floor with a hood pulled over my head and a pile of blankets covering me. I went back out to my air mattress where I slept for the rest of the night. We had reservations at Sanaa the next day, but I could only bring myself to eat bread. Alas, the trip was over after that and I had to fly home soon after lunch. Luckily by that point I was feeling much better, but I now get even more jealous when I see photos from the Hollywood Tower Film Society’s events. One day…
Kyle is a writer living in Springfield, MO. His deep love of Disney and other pop culture finds its way into his stories, scripts, and tweets. His first book “The E-Ticket Life: Stories, Essays, and Lessons Learned from My Decidedly Disney Travels” is available in paperback and for Kindle. http://amzn.to/1CStAhV