My witch princess is back for Halloween 2016, better than ever! New skirt! Flower power hat! Epic wig! I’ve got it all now! This costume group is the best and I just love being in it, being with my Merida and Snow, love seeing our photos, everything about Witch Princesses is the best. I wish this night never ended.
The Night Jill Skellington Met Jack and Sally: MNSSHP 2014
It was the perfect night for a Halloween celebration at the Magic Kingdom. The sky was cleared, the sun was setting and the guests wore their best costumes. I stepped out of the car placing my Jack Skellington top hat and paced towards the tram. There’s something spectacular about my hat, it’s comparable to a hero’s face mask. Once I put it on, it’s like I’m a completely different person.
And tonight’s persona was none other than Jill Skellington.
Jill Skellington is my inspired look to my all time favorite character in the world, Jack Skellington. I’ve been wearing the costume for 5 years in a row but every year I enhance the look and make it look new. I’ve been going to MNSSHP for 4 years, but I’ve never MET Jack wearing my outfit, so this was my primary goal for the night. If I could record a memory of our interaction, it would make my heart soar.
We arrived at the Magic Kingdom exactly at 7:07pm, seven minutes late but nevertheless right on time. I received various compliments for my costume from cast members and I was very pleased. If the cast members were impressed, maybe there was a chance Jack would love it too.
I direct my mother towards the line and by glance I could tell it was more than an hour wait, which wasn’t too bad. I originally waited 4 hours to meet Jack when he first arrived at WDW so this wasn’t a challenge, but my sister wanted to trick or treat so I was scared about the time. We waited patiently, people watching and testing out my camera during the night. The Boo to You Parade was going through our route and we managed to see the Creeper Crew led by Phineas and Ferb, they were an excellent group and filled with great entertainment. The Headless Horseman galloped his way through Main Street sweeping his Pumpkin Head towards the audience in a graceful yet terrifying manner.
At this point, the parade was about to pass and I was already just feet away from Jack. I took his autograph card and slipped in into my camera bag adjusting the setting on it. I handed the camera to my mother and just as the lady in front of me walked away, I (nervously) took small steps towards Jack and Sally.
It was so surreal.
Sally gasped and Jack looked stunned. The ragdoll turned to the skeleton man in absolute awe as she stared at my outfit. “Look Jack, she even has her stiches!”
I made my way between them already grinning from ear to ear. “Why aren’t you lovely! She’s got her hat and her stitches lined perfectly, just like you Jack!”
“Oh thank you, so much!”
“Yes! This is quite intriguing! Very fascinating!”, Jack leaned forward to examine my dress and Sally did the same, making the two seem as if they were bowing at my presence. “Thank you, I tried my best to honor you, Jack”
“We’re even wearing the same shoes! Oh, but you’re smarter, my socks keep slipping, maybe I should wear them high too”.
“And your stitches are perfectly lined. Sally has stitches like yours too!”, said Jack.
“That’s right! I have stitches all over me! Even on my leg, I can even detach them! I can show you!”
“Oh no! We don’t want that to happen!”, I say, turning to the ragdoll and shook my hands.
“And look Jack, her bowtie’s just like yours!”
“It IS! How delightful!”
“I tried to find one, but it’s not as great as yours Jack”, I let him know.
“Well you look absolutely terrifying if I do say so myself!”
At this point, the photographer redirects us to take a picture and we all pose for it. Jack stepped forward and offered me his arm and I just couldn’t believe it. I have taken photos with multiple princes and male characters at Disney, and they each offer me their arms at some point. It’s a sweet and kind gesture but I always felt bad because I never really connected to them as much as I love Jack Skellington. I was the little girl who watched others wish for princes to sweep them off their feet while I secretly hoped Jack would take me to Halloween Town. I’ve met him several times but he’s never once done it. So when he offered me his arm, I was lost at words.
This simple gesture was all I ever wanted. Somewhere inside me, a little girl’s wish came true.
The photographer took plenty of photos, and just when I thought it was over Sally stepped aside and said, “Jack, I think the next photo should be for two Pumpkin Kings, don’t you think?”
I dropped my jaw. I’ve always wanted to pose with Jack by himself with my costume and here was Sally the Ragdoll suggesting the idea as if she read my mind. I couldn’t believe it.
“That’s a good idea Sally!”, Jack pulled away from me to stand at my side and said so sweetly, “Let’s pose as Pumpkin Kings, just place your hand on your chest and raise your other hand in the air”.
Bear in mind that I recently had an experience this year where a character told me to pose and I did but it wasn’t the correct posture so the photo came out odd. This usually happens because a character will just show you the pose and hope you’ll imitate them. But Jack, he gave me directions and I felt so sure it was going to be an epic photo. I trusted him.
So I struck a pose.
Sally cheered and came to my side, and because she was so sweet to me, I asked her for a hug. And she happily returned it.
My next request was also a child’s dream…to ask Jack for a hug as well. I grew up with a conservative morality so hugging Disney characters is a big step for me, I always try to ask them permission before I do it. I was scared that Jack would say no, after all, the pumpkin king doesn’t really go around hugging people…but I asked.
And he did.
It was the most honest and sincere embrace I’ve ever given. It was thank you on my end. For all the years that Jack’s kept me happy, for being that fantastic, strange and beautiful character that’s inspired me since I was a kid. I love that skeleton man. So. Much.
In character, Jack returned the hug and slowly pulled away telling me, “I’m not familiar with this “hug” but I’m growing fond of it”.
“It’s a sign of affection”, I say.
“A lot of my affection usually goes to Sally, but the feeling is quite nice”.
“Then a sign of appreciation it is!”, I smile.
“Indeed! I hope you have a terrifying night!”
“Thank you, Jack!”
And with that, I walked away.
I grinned, I laughed, I smiled, I openly fangirled about my experience all night. The rest of the night was filled with lovely comments from people of all ages, including a 3 year old boy who blushed when I said ‘Hello”.
It was the greatest night of my life, and this moment was everything I hope for.
Halloween will always be my favorite holiday to celebrate, because every minute I spend planning it, I always think back on the skeleton man who inspired me in the first place.