Saturday, October 30, 2004

Halloween Eve

It's October 30, Halloween Eve, which I suppose is an ironic moniker, since Halloween itself is the eve of All Saints Day. There had been some debate on the Front Porch (the community intranet) over whether there would be any trick-or-treaters out on October 30. Halloween tends to become a bit controversial because it brings in droves of out-of-town kids, some of whom even arrive on buses. This means lots of traffic, and some people claim that they have literally gone through thousands of pieces of candy. Others claim that would be physically impossible and that we should be honored that people actually go out of their way to come to our town, and thus the debates start.

Being in East Village, I can't really offer an opinion because my house is out of the direct line of fire. Most of the mob scene is concentrated in Main Village because it's the easiest place to find. Most people stay right on the main street, Celebration Avenue, so of course they take the brunt of the onslaught. I don't think many visitors are even aware that Celebration has multiple "villages," let alone any idea of how to get to them.

Personally, I love Halloween and trick-or-treaters. This year, we have to fly back to the Midwest on the Sunday, and we'll be boarding the plane just as things are getting into high gear in Celebration. But next year, I will be home for the holiday, and I hope that we'll get lots of kids because I get a real kick out of putting on a show for them.

Many years back, when my husband and I lived in a townhouse, we would do a little routine. We had one of those scary sound-effects tapes playing in the background, and he would answer the door dressed in a bloody, ripped t-shirt, with a dangling handcuff on his wrist. He'd thrust candy at the kids and say, "Quick! Take it and go before SHE gets here!" Then I'd pop up, decked out in a Grim Reaper-type get-up. I'd grab him by the handcuff, yell, "What, you escaped?! Get back in the cellar!" and start stabbing him with a bloody plastic knife as I slammed the door.

Our house eventually got a reputation. The most amusing moment was when a group of kids came while my husband was taking a potty break. I answered the door, and one little boy, who had obviously been there before and had come back with a group of friends, said, "Aw...where's the show?" I said, "Just give us five and come back!"

We also had another good comment on the Halloween after our home was all but destroyed by a flood in the upstairs bathroom while we were out of town for the weekend. We returned to find the ceilings caved in and the walls damaged so badly that the house had to be gutted down to the studs. It was unliveable for three months, but we returned for the day to give out candy and do our routine for the trick or treaters. One little boy noticed the uncovered beams and studs and the damage that was still visible (the flood had only happened a week earlier). He said in awe, "Wow! Did you do that just for Halloween?!"

We'll have to think of something good to do here in Celebration. I have a large front porch, so next year I will rig up some sort of creepshow. I heard that there will be signs this year to direct the influx to different villages. If that is a success, I'll know I can count on lots of kids next year, so I can go whole hog. The cool thing is, we'll fit right in as Celebration has some really neat and creative decorations. My favorites are the house in North Village that has Area 52, as well as lots of other cool stuff, in the front yard and the one decked out in a pirate theme in South Village. There is also a "jungle house" right on Celebration Avenue.

Meanwhile, even though the final consensus on the Front Porch was that trick-or-treating would be on the 31st only, we made sure that we were prepared tonight with candy, and I turned on the porch light. Sure enough, we did get a handful of kids. I was pleased, as I hate the thought of missing the "official" holiday tomorrow. I was born in late Octoberm so Halloween has always been my favorite holiday, edging out even Christmas.

Tonight we move the clocks back, so that means an extra hour of sleep. It will come in handy, as we woke up bright and early this morning to have breakfast with Richie and Betsy, the real estate agents who found us our home. Even though we've owned it for a year now, we still keep in touch (they actually live not too far from us). Since I had stayed up too late the night before, as usual, I know I'll be dragging come tomorrow. But I can never resist the chocolate chip pancakes at Max's (Market Street Cafe).

After a pleasant breakfast and chat, my husband and I headed over to Epcot to check out the Food and Wine Festival. With all the years we've been visiting Disney, this is the first time we've ever made it to the festival. It was a neat opportunity to "graze around the world." In addition to the usual countries, there were some special ones visiting for the festival, such as Ireland, Poland, and South Africa. The portions are sample-sized (although some are pretty generous) and the prices are reasonable, so you can try many different options without getting overly full.

In case you're wondering what sort of things they serve, here is what I stuffed my face with today: leek soup and whiskey flan (Ireland), Durban spiced chicken (South Africa), marinated lamb (Australia), lobster corn chowder and apple cranberry tart (America), chicken Ticca (India), cherry wine (Poland), cheese soup and maple walnut fudge (Canada), and a lamb gyro (Greece). My husband had similar items to me, and he also tried the mussels from New Zealand. Then we capped it off with fish and chips at the British pavillion. That wasn't a special item for the festival, but it's one of our favorite quick snacks at Epcot.

We wanted to ride Test Track, but the first time we went over, the singles line was shut down due to a medical emergency (when the park is crowded, the singles line is the only way to ride). The second time, the whole ride was shut down due to technical difficulties. So instead, my husband rode Mission Space, which I avoid since I can't handle spinning rides. I can ride a roller coaster all day long with no ill effects, but spin me around and I'm done for. Then we went over to Ellen's Energy Adventure, which we haven't done in a while.

There are lots of special events going on in conjunction with the festival, such as cooking demonstrations and exhibits. There are special entertainers, too; we ended up leaving when the park started getting noticably more crowded with people packing in to see the night's performance by "Survivor."

Now it's back home and time to do some work. My travel agency runs pretty much seven days a week, and there were requests for quotes waiting for me when we got home. But it doesn't seem so much like work when I can do it sitting out on my front porch, running my laptop off our wireless connection. I specialize in Disney cruises, and it always tickles me when I call the cruise line office for a quote because it's literally right down the street. (If you want to see just what kind of Disney cruise obsessive I am, visit my website at or my travel agency site at

Tomorrow will come all too quickly, and hopefully we'll get some trick-or-treaters before we have to leave. If not, I noticed that my husband purchased some of his personal favorites, so I know that any leftovers won't go to waste.

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