Thanks to the incredible kindness and generosity of some friends, the Lady of the Manners was able to attend one of her all-time favorite annual events, Bats Day at the Fun Park. An event that combines two of the things that are incredibly dear to the Lady of the Manners: goths and Disneyland!
Yes, really. The Lady of the Manners is a huge, HUGE fan of Disney theme parks, and visiting one of her favorite places in the company of crowds of other spooky-minded folks is one of the best things ever.
Bats Day started back in 1999, when the promoters for the goth/industrial/deathrock clubs Absynthe and Release the Bats combined forces to organize a meet-up for local goths who wanted to go to Disneyland, with a turn-out of around 80 people; the meet-up the following year had over 200 people, and the numbers have just keep growing. The event now includes a separate fancy dinner and a dance night of spooky music, and the “Black Market” vendor fair is full of gorgeous items to tempt you into opening your pocketbook before you find yourself in the merchandising mazes of the park itself.
To be very clear: Bats Day is in NO WAY an official event associated with the Walt Disney Company. But park management is aware of the annual gathering of the black-clad masses: all the Nightmare Before Christmas and Haunted Mansion merchandise are fully stocked, purple and black cupcakes and bat-shaped cookies featuring Mickey Mouse’s familiar face appear in the bakeries, and cast members at the park wish people a Happy Bats Day.
Bats Day is, well, magical. If you’re someone who doesn’t like Disney and/or is not thrilled at the notion of facing the swarms of humanity at a theme park, then going to Bats Day is not for you. But for many goths, a group outing to Disneyland is a dream come true — and not just for the perkygoths! Bats Day is one of those rare multi-generational goth events, where entire families of spooky folks can spend time together. There’s the traditional Bats Day group photo in front of the Castle:
A photo meet for the babybats:
And the joy of meeting up with other goths whom you hardly ever get to see!
JameyB from Spooky Inc., with the Lady of the Manners.
Batty from Azrael’s Accomplice Couture, Queenie from Pocket Full of Posiez, and the Lady of the Manners.
In the Lady of the Manners’ opinion, one of the ideas at the heart of goth is to have a sense of wonder, of longing to be transported (if just for a little while) to a fantastical world where experiences are heightened. And while some people are strongly dedicated to the nihilistic, I wear black to match my tortured soul, the world is ashes side of the goth subculture, there are a lot of goths who appreciate the more whimsical side of dark wonder, too. Plus, Disney villains! Maleficent! The Evil Queen from Snow White! Many, many goths started their lifelong appreciation of a darker aesthetic after their first viewing of a cartoon with a charismatic villain. Not to mention that the contrast between one of the world’s most popular sunny vacation spots and hordes of black-clad goths roaming around is a visual treat.
Speaking of the sunny SoCal weather and the layers of black clothing many goths prefer: the Lady of the Manners suspects that one of the top questions Bats Day attendees are asked is “Aren’t you too warm, dressed like that?” But most of the gothy types that the Lady of the Manners saw were all wearing lightweight fabrics and carrying parasols to bring a shady spot wherever they went. The Lady of the Manners herself spent the weekend living in lightweight lace dresses over black sundresses in natural fibers, an enormous sun hat, and copious amounts of powder sunblock. (With the occasional stop to soak a handkerchief in cold water and tuck it into her bodice.)
The Lady of the Manners loves, LOVES Bats Day, and is grateful beyond words to her friends who made the trip possible for her. It was a magical time, and she very much hopes she can manage the time and finances to return for future gatherings. After all, she made the trip to her spiritual home only fifteen times (during this visit, anyway), and that obviously isn’t enough, because the management still hasn’t offered her the rental agreement paperwork!
Hurry back …
Obviously, 3 days with additional partial days is not enough. Next time, a full week!
Sounds like an awesome event. It’s great vein able to find events that are kid friendly also.
As many times as I’ve been to DisneyLand (oh how I love it!!!), I have *not* managed to go during Bats Day. There always seems to be some schedule conflict. Sad panda me.
I am so glad that you were able to come out thus year. Glad we were able to chat for a bit. Would have liked to talk more but I had so many things to take care of that weekend. Hope to hang out again soon.
We’ve been going to the Bats Day Black Market for the past two years but never had the chance to attend the spooky trip to Disneyland. Next year we are definitely going to the park! AND with my son in tow for the Baby Bat photo! Hope to see you in the future!
Still so sad I missed you..T_T But I did see Queenie, always a delight to see her she’s the sweetest!
Hi, Lady of the Manners. I was wondering if you could answer my question or help me in any way, since I go on this site frequently. It’s been a lifesaver.
I’m a thirteen year old baby bat. My mother STRONGLY DISLIKES, shall we put it that way, my style and the things I like. I’m a frequent shopper at Hot Topic (they do have some great stuff) and I’ve pined for black nail polish for as long as I can remember, honestly. But my mom won’t have any of it. She refuses to listen to me and buys me clothes I hate (think Miley Cyrus shorts meet neon billboards). And she KNOWS I hate them because I complain about them frequently.
I’ve asked for black nail polish once or twice, and she says when I’m in eighth grade. Well, here I am, waiting for my bottle of black.
However, when I asked her (politely, even offering to pay for it myself!) she shouted at me that she’s been “lax” about my clothing by that it’s really stupid and weird and that I’m never going to get black polish so I should just save my breath.
I admit I do have a terrible temper. And I’m ashamed to say I lost it right then. I replied that it didn’t matter because I’d be leaving this God-forsaken house in five years so she should keep her shirt on and bear with me.
Now I’m in my room crying because I feel like I’m a terrible person and that my mother hates me (which I know isn’t true). I know I made mistakes, but I don’t know how to fix them. An apology seems too small, too insignificant. And it feels she doesn’t deserve one, but I know she does. Please help me!
I’ll be working at Disneyworld for a year from next month, and I’m coming all the way from Norway! That’ll be fun.
But tomorrow I’m going to Germany for Wave Gotik Treffen, so I can have a last vacation to wear elaborate clothing and stuff before I start working!
I absolutely love your outfit. Perfect for the Summer of Goth!
I shutter to think of the lines at the haunted mansion!
I plan on trying to go in 2015…..
I wish one day to go to Bats Day At the Park myself. I grew up loving Disney movies and I still love them to this day and when I stumbled upon this most wondrous event through Sebastian Columbine when she made a video with her and her friends having a glorious day at the park. Two of my favourite things perfectly together. I wish I could go but being a college student. It’s hard.