(Glow in the Dark)Easy Cheese

Anyone getting the Mitch Hedberg joke in the title wins a thousand internets!

Yesterday I talked about ways to eliminate “the gimmes” at Disney, by being prepared with some little trinkets for the kiddos. This, as previously stated, is fairly conventional wisdom amongst the Disney intelligentsia, and if you didn’t already know it, you learn those tricks pretty fast.

I am going to cover a specific area of Disney merch that I don’t think gets a whole lot of airplay in the blogosphere, and either it really should, or my even thinking it does is simply further evidence that I am distracted by shiny objects. This is in the arena of Light Up Nighttime Crap.

You know the crap I am talking about, yes? The spinner thingies mentioned yesterday, the glow sticks, that weird string sculpture thing that looks like you could perform a pretty clean limb removal with it and is thus as scary as it is pretty, and my personal favourite, the weird laughing skull necklace jobbie. As soon as the parade times start rolling around and people are lining up, out trundle cast members with carts groaning with more phosphorescence than the Marianas Trench. They wander about, catching the eyes of every child in a 500 foot radius. Guilty little secret, I also look rather longingly at the sparkling goodies as well, thinking how much fun the parade would be if I, too, was glowing and glittery, standing in the midst of all that light. It is pretty enticing.

A quick side note on, what to me, is NOT enticing. Giant freakin’ balloons. Ok, I know the ubiquitous Mickey balloon has been around possibly longer than written language, and a fresh new day at the parks with all those colourful heads bobbing down Main Street are perpetually screaming “WHEE!!!” in my inner child’s memory, too. But seriously. At night they drag out fistfuls of these sparkletastic monstrosities and sell them to people ABOUT TO LEAVE. That’s right, not only are they larger than my first apartment and destined to flicker and die like a Tamigutchi  pet just as your child is most getting attached to it, but there are people who buy them just to have them for all of an hour or so, and then struggle out of the parks and onto buses, monorails, and boats to plague passengers around them.

And it looks like a one man Pride parade, but enough about the upside.

The stuff on the magical glowing cart of wonders always starts to reel me in, however. But I am remaining strong, and have some ideas for how to fab up for the next parade for a much lower cost.

The easiest thing to do, of course, is load up on glow sticks. OUTSIDE the park, mind.  The same trip where I purchased my niece’s friend her sweet little Mickey ear headband, I also grabbed a couple of packs of glow sticks. At 99cents each, they were a bargain compared to park prices, and had a nice little side effect. The rain had just darn near ruined Kaylee’s very first Disney trip, by various nefarious means and after an late afternoon lull, had returned with a soggy vengeance. I was grumpy, the girls were grumpy, my husband was grumpy. We were dodging rain as we worked on about hour thirteen of our day and we were ready to give up. We ducked under the eaves of the far side of the Columbia Harbor House, near the staircase there. As we plunked down on the stairs, I remembered the glowsticks in my bag. “Time to be fabulous!” I called out, and we proceeded to rip open the bags and make bracelets, and in the case of the husband, a necklace, to adorn ourselves to wander through the night. It was an unexpected pick me up, and all evening, and during the ride home, seeing those little glowing circles felt like we were bringing a bit of magic home, even though we had brought it with us in the first place.

As for other sparkly wonders, the sky’s the limit and the fleamarket is your friend. All those cheesy lightup gadgets can be obtained there; the stuff isn’t even specifically Disney themed for the most part, except for the odd light up ears. Stuff the kids can wear (or the adults, for that matter) is the most fun, because it means no one has to carry anything in their hands to be lost. Even those light up ears, which are just round light up circles of tubing, can be duplicated with a little craftiness with two glow sticks and a dollar store headband. Wire all the pieces together and you are set! Consider painting a message on a tshirt in glow in the dark fabric paint. How cute would little Hitchhiking Ghosts look next to the parade? As always, you are only limited by your imagination and how much of the glowy goo you can have near your person before your start registering high on the nearest Geiger counter.

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2 responses »

  1. Excellent ideas! I hate to admit that both my son and I are particularly attracted to those roaming glowing carts of goodies and they are the kind of thing that for some reason I have never thought about pre-purchasing. I usually allow him one park souvinier purchase per visit and this cart always causes him stress. “I really want (insert glowy object here) but it’s not really Disney so I don’t want it to be my one thing.” I’ll have to start hunting now to be ready on the next trip. I hope i can find one of those weird spinny things or something similiar. I can just picture his face now as he starts his glow cart dilema and I am able to whip something just as useless and enticing out of my bag for him!

    • It’s truly amazing how much that little moment of stopping to have a glow break relaxed us! I faced the same dilemma; I hate the idea of buying of buying a non-Disney souvenir, but….shiny! Glowy! Glad these ideas helped!

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