Finding ways to make Halloween special this year was no easy feat. Kids spend months looking forward to the sugar-fueled holiday, planning costumes and trick-or-treat routes to get the most impressive and brag-worthy candy haul. This year, trick-or-treating was iffy and Halloween traditions were interrupted – but that didn’t stop parents from creating new traditions to make the day stand out. Some parents channeled their creativity into making impressive costumes or fun Halloween activities, others were busy building things for their community.
But one New York dad poured his effort into making his daughter’s Caribbean dream come true.
Caribbean, as in “Pirates of the” – and it all started a few years ago with a simple request. Tony DeMatteo’s daughter loved the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, and a few years ago, she requested a Pirates-themed Halloween. Last year, DeMatteo came through with an enormously impressive display, but he was far from finished fulfilling his daughter’s request.
“I’m a big fan of Halloween,” DeMatteo told FOX. “It’s been growing bigger and bigger each year. I always try to out-do myself.”
DeMatteo is far from alone in creating his over-the-top Halloween display. Part of the fun is getting his kids involved as well, making both the process and the end result a cherished family memory.
“They help me build it. They play on it, and they like the attention they get too,” DeMatteo said. “I really don’t have a background in this. I just do it for fun.”
DeMatteo has no background in carpentry or pirate affairs (that we know of), yet this year’s Halloween display looked like it was straight out of Disneyland. The 50-foot pirate ship was equipped with lights, fog machines, fake cannons, and it was sturdy enough to be the coolest temporary playground his kids will likely ever have the privilege of using (that is, until next Halloween).
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I LOVE these photos of the ship by Jim Conners!!! #halloween #halloweendecor #halloweenprops #pirateship #pirates #piratesofthecaribbean #jacksparrow #props #decor #disneyimagineering #disneyworld #disneyland #memories #forthekids #waltdisneyworld #photography #photooftheday #photo #photographylovers @disney @waltdisneyworld @disneyparksblog
“It might look expensive, but it really was inexpensive,” DeMatteo explained, citing that he received all of the wood for free over the year and many of the items he accumulated over time. “It takes a lot of time, but it’s not so much work, when you’re having fun.”
For those who attended the light and music-filled show, DeMatteo only asked that people bring donations for a local food pantry. The enormous turnout combined with the fact that people were likely itching for something to shake up the monotony of the past few months meant that DeMatteo’s garage was filled to the brim with canned goods to donate.
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THIS IS AMAZING! The 30-min custom sound track I made for the ship is mixed with the best music from all 4 POTC movies and peppered with all kinds of sound effects too. Here is a sample of what you – might – see. 🤞😉 The show plays outdoors Wed-Sun dusk until 830ish Heavy rain or high winds will cancel the show. Some effects can’t be used in rain & the sails will be rolled up to prevent wind damage. 15 Ambush Lane churchville 14428 Please drive slowly and please be respectful of the neighborhood 👍 Street parking only. Stay Covid-Safe. Show Music should also be playing on 88.7 FM. More detailed pictures on Instagram @megamariohalloween **The music in this video is from the POTC soundtrack by Hans Zimmer “Mermaids” This is free, for the kids, and benefits the Open Door Mission of Rochester, NY. Food donations are appreciated. Let’s overwhelm them with donations to help those in need! Visit opendoormission.com for a list of urgent needs. ❤ They will be on site with Captain Jack Oct 30th 5-8pm. Thank you for the nice comments! They really mean a lot to me! #halloween #halloweendecor #halloweenprops #pirateship #pirates #halloweenprep #halloweencountdown #decor #decorate #halloweendecorations #halloweenvibes #halloween🎃 #overthetop #chili @Disney @waltdisneyworld @disneyparksblog
This crafty family is already thinking about next year’s Halloween display. If DeMatteo is truly set on outdoing himself once again, we fully expect this crafty dad to somehow Halloween-ize his entire neighborhood. Honestly, we can’t wait.