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First Timers Guide to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Disney World

Last year I had the chance to attend Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Disney World. I was visiting for a conference and had my (then) 5-month old daughter in tow. I didn’t do much research to prepare but these are a few things I gleaned from the visit. Here are my 20 first timer tips for taking on the Halloween Party at Disney World!

Please note that I use affiliate links in my posts. Clicking through and purchasing through the link helps me in a small financial way, thank you!

1. You Need a Special Event Ticket, Not a Park Ticket

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is a “special ticket” event. You do NOT need a regular Park ticket to attend. You need to purchase the event ticket only. Prices for the event vary, depending upon the date you attend.

Planning to attend Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party? Here's the first timers guide with 20 can't-miss tips!

2. The Party’s at Magic Kingdom

If you’re going to use a Park ticket to visit the Magic Kingdom in the morning, understand that this Park ticket doesn’t include the Halloween Party. This means you won’t be able to stay and Cast Members will be strategically clearing out the Park (Halloween Party-goers receive a special wristband designating them to stay for the party). If you have a Park ticket and not a Party ticket, you’ll be asked to leave at 7 pm.


3. Sleep In & Rest During the Day

With party hours extending to midnight, my suggestion is to take it easy during the day. The party ends at midnight and then you still have to walk to transportation and get back to your room. It was nearly 1:30 am by the time I rolled into bed!

Try and sleep in. Spend time relaxing at the Resort. Take a nap if possible. Save your ticket and skip going to the Parks that day. You’ll want to save your energy for the Party!

Planning to attend Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party? Here's the first timers guide with 20 can't-miss tips!

4. Tricky Weather

“Darn, It’s Hot!”

“Hey, Now It’s Raining!”

Keep an eye on the weather report. It’s likely going to be VERY hot and humid during the Party. On my visit it was already hot and then it sprinkled and the humidity shot up. I was wearing leggings and a tank with a shirt over the top. That shirt came off pretty quickly! Bring a poncho if rain is in the forecast.

Planning to attend Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party? Here's the first timers guide with 20 can't-miss tips!

5. Plan Your Costumes

Speaking of heat and humidity, you don’t want to be overdressed in an elaborate costume. I mean, Sully from Monsters Inc. is a great costume but TOTALLY not appropriate for the Party because you’ll be way too hot. I suggest lightweight and layers. This way you can take things off as needed.

Adults are allowed to dress in costume for the Party event only. Be sure to check out the costume guidelines first.

Lots of families go with a costume theme, like all the characters from Peter Pan, Inside Out or Alice in Wonderland. Search Pinterest for lots of dressing up Disney ideas.

Nobody says you have to wear a costume, but it is a fun way to get into the Party spirit. Consider Disneybounding! Or just wear a simple Halloween or Fall-themed tee or face paint.

Planning to attend Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party? Here's the first timers guide with 20 can't-miss tips!

6. My Disney Experience

Pre-party be sure to do your research and plan out a bit of your evening. Those 5 hours of Party time go very quickly and if there are certain things you want to see and do, try and schedule them out. The My Disney Experience app is free to download on your phone. You’ll be able to schedule showtimes into the app along with keeping track of dining reservations.


7. You Can Get In Early

Though the Halloween Party at Disney World actually kick starts at 7 pm, guests with the special event ticket are actually allowed to enter much earlier! You’ll be allowed to enter at 4 pm with your Party ticket. Plan to arrive earlier to pass through the crowds at security. Then at 4 pm on the dot you’ll be permitted into the Park!

Planning to attend Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party? Here's the first timers guide with 20 can't-miss tips!

8. Get a Guide Map

As you enter the Park, Cast Members will be handing out small treat bags for collecting candy along with a guide map. This guide map is your key to the evening’s activities. It includes times of the shows, which attractions are open, character greeting locations, what restaurants are serving food and where guests can trick-or-treat.

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9. No FastPass During the Party (But Here’s a Trick)

True, there won’t be any FastPass distribution during the actual Party (7 pm to midnight) but here’s a little trick. With your special event ticket, you will be able to book FastPass from 4 pm to 7 pm! I was able to pre-schedule two FastPass on the day of the event before the Party began.

Planning to attend Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party? Here's the first timers guide with 20 can't-miss tips!

3 extra hours before the Party so we went on rides!

10. Eat Early

Advance Dining Reservations will be available during the Halloween Party so book those early to dine at your favorite Magic Kingdom full-service restaurant. However I would suggest that you try to eat before 7 pm so as not to “waste” your precious Party time.

Also many of the dining locations will close during the Party so your choices will be more limited and lines for quick service will be longer. Check your guide map to verify which locations will be available. I ended up eating a boring burger & fries at Cosmic Ray’s because my first choices were either booked full or were closed.


11. Plan Your Evening

Cadaver Dans Barbershop Quartet will sing in Frontierland.

Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular happens 3 times each Party night. Singing, dancing and slightly spooky fun. This is a LOUD show and several villains appear, so if your kids are particularly nervous, you could choose to skip this. The last show of the evening is the least crowded.

Happy HalloWishes Firework show happens only once per Party night. I recommend finding a place to view it in front of Cinderella Castle at least 30 minutes early.

Boo-to-You Halloween Parade happens twice. Keep reading for why I suggest watching BOTH shows!

Planning to attend Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party? Here's the first timers guide with 20 can't-miss tips!

12. Party First, Candy Later

Everyone, even the grown ups, are encouraged to trick-or-treat. But don’t jump into a treat line right away. Lines will be extraordinarily long at the beginning of the Party. If your little ones can hold out, consider taking advantage of the shorter ride lines and Halloween Party shows first. Then trick-or-treat after 10 pm when the lines are considerable shorter.

13. Special Bags for Those With Allergies

Concerned about food allergies? Request a special bag from Cast Members who are handing out treat bags & guide maps. This teal colored bag will signify a food allergy. Cast Members at the various treat stations will hand out teal tokens. These tokens can be redeemed at special locations for allergy-friendly treats like cookies, gummy worms or even non-food Halloween crafts.

14. Watch the Parade Twice

Yes, the Boo-to-You Halloween Parade is that good! The Parade happens twice each night and I waited to watch the second showing. I was kicking myself for not watching it the first time too, because I LOVED it! The Headless Horseman, the elaborate floats, Gravediggers, favorite characters and the catchy theme music is not-to-miss. My favorite was the Haunted Mansion float (trust me, you’re going to want to watch it twice!)

Planning to attend Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party at Disney World? Here's the first timers guide with 20 can't-miss tips!

15. Want to See Characters? Expect a LOOONG Wait

Looking forward to meeting with Jack Skellington and Sally? How about Snow White and ALL 7 dwarves? I’ve heard of wait times hovering around 2 hours! With the Party only lasting a total of 5 hours, I’d think twice before spending so much time waiting in a line for one photo op.

16. What’s Open & What’s Not

Some attractions do not stay open during the Halloween Party. For instance, Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room and Jungle Cruise are open only as treat locations to distribute candy. However Pirates of the Caribbean is open as both an attraction and as a treat location. Check your guide map before promising any rides to your kids and verify the attraction will be available!


17. MemoryMaker Photo Ops & Magic Shots

PhotoPass photographers will be located around the Park taking special photos during the Party. They will be available at character meetings to take pictures with their camera or even your own. Magic Shots and Animated Magic Shots will be taken at several locations – Magic Kingdom Main Entrance, Haunted Mansion, Town Square, Main Street, U.S.A. and Liberty Square. You’ll pose, the photo will be taken and you won’t know what surprise characters will show up in your photograph!

Planning to attend Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party at Disney World? Here's the first timers guide with 20 can't-miss tips!

18. Happy HalloWishes is a Must-See

I love a Disney fireworks show and this one is AWESOME! I sat on one of the grassy areas in the hub (about 30 minutes before the show began). I had no problem finding a place to sit and the view of the show was perfect. I wore my Made with Magic Mickey Ear Hat and the ears lit up and flashed alone with the music for the show, it was so much fun!

19. Tips for Little Ones

When I visited Magic Kingdom with my preschooler he was able to stay up past midnight. However that’s because I’d kept him on West coast time so it was really only 9 pm for him!

If your kiddos are used to going to bed earlier than when the clock strikes midnight, consider that you may be leaving the Party early to get them to bed. Depending upon your child’s temperament (and how much candy was consumed) there might be an epic meltdown. Or take advantage of the earlier timed events and then let the kids fall asleep in their stroller.

Planning on taking a baby to the Halloween Party at Disney World? Check out my Disney Baby post.

Planning to attend Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party at Disney World? Here's the first timers guide with 20 can't-miss tips!

20. Things to Bring with You

  • If you have kids under 5 (or a child who will fall asleep early) definitely bring a stroller.
  • Glow sticks allow you to find family in the dark
  • If you want to collect LOTS of candy, bring an extra trick-or-treat bag
  • Pack in healthy snacks and bottled water to off-set the treats

Planning to attend Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party at Disney World? Here's the first timers guide with 20 can't-miss tips!

 

 

Magical Halloween Tricks and Treats at Disneyland in Fall

Have you ever been to Disneyland during the fall season? I think it’s my favorite time to visit (but of course, it’s always a good time to go to Disneyland!) With Halloween events, amazing decor and special tricks and treats, Disneyland in fall is a special time. Here’s what to do when visiting Disneyland in fall.

Tricks and Treats – Disneyland in Fall

There are so many magical reasons to visit Disneyland in fall. And so many wonderful things to experience. This year will prove to be the best ever, with the addition of many new treats! Disney California Adventure park will be getting into the Halloween spirit for 2017. Keep reading for the new attractions, decorations and fun coming to Disneyland in fall.

Please note that I use affiliate links in my posts. Clicking through and purchasing helps me in a small financial way, thank you!

Halloween Time at Disneyland in Fall is full of tricks and treats for the entire family!

Mickey’s Halloween Party

On designated days from Sept 20th – Oct 31st (Halloween night!) Disneyland sells party tickets to an exclusive Halloween party event called Mickey’s Halloween Party. The cost is slightly less than a regular day ticket and the party lasts five hours but you can get into the park three hours earlier, so that’s eight hours of Disneyland fun. My family has never been to this special event but I’m crossing my fingers that I’ll be able to make it this year!

Halloween Time at Disneyland in Fall is full of tricks and treats for the entire family!

Adults and kids can dress in costume and trick or treat throughout the park. There are also dance parties and lots of character photo ops. There’s a special “Halloween Screams” fireworks show and”Frightfully Fun Parade” in addition to enjoying almost all the regular attractions.

This event sells out pretty quickly so get your tickets and start planning out your costumes. Need costume help? Check out my post on how to make budget-friendly costumes!

NEW for 2017

  • Souvenir Disney PhotoPass photos taken during the event, with unlimited PhotoPass downloads to enjoy later
  • Starting this year, guests can visit both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park with special event ticket during Mickey’s Halloween Party. Disney California Adventure will be featured for the first time as part of the pre-party mix-in for Mickey’s Halloween Party. Guests will be able to visit Disney California Adventure as well as Disneyland during the three hours prior to the beginning of the party in Disneyland.


Disneyland Weather in Fall

The weather is almost always still very warm in SoCal during the fall months. It doesn’t give you much of the “autumn” feel but it’s great for enjoying the park and you can swim in the resort pools without the summer crowds.

The temperature usually drops in the evenings, so definitely bring a light sweater or jacket just in case.

Check out my post about what to do at Disneyland when it’s hot.

Halloween Time at Disneyland {www.savingupfordisney}

Fall Crowds

The crowds are usually a little bit smaller in fall than in the summer. This trend isn’t always true however because fall weekends can be jam-packed. Annual pass holders that were blocked out all summer will be returning to the Parks and this brings in plenty of crowds.

You may experience lighter crowds on the days of Mickey’s Halloween Party. But take note that the operating hours are often shorter to compensate. So while you won’t wait in astronomical lines for the most part, you also won’t be spending as much time in the park as you might in the summer. There also may be some ride closures so check the Disney Parks schedule before you go.


Autumn Decor

The Disneyland decorations for fall are fantastic! Disney is known for their detail, of course. All over the park you will find decor to put you in the seasonal mood (even if the warm weather tells you otherwise!). There will be lots of places for photo ops, including a Pumpkin Festival on Main Street.

Don’t miss taking your photo in front of the enormous Mickey jack o’ lantern. And take time to admire the hundreds of one-of-a-kind hand carved pumpkins lining the street.

Halloween Time at Disneyland in Fall is full of tricks and treats for the entire family!

There is a traditional Dia de los Muertos skelton display in Frontierland. Sugar-skull inspired face painting is offered here and there are Mexican treats for sale

New for 2017:

  • Oogie Boogie’s oversized silhouette beckons guests through the main entrance of the Disney California Adventure park.
  • Headless Horseman statue offers a menacing presence on Buena Vista Street that’s simply spine-chilling.
  • Hold onto your hats as swarms of black bats coil ‘round Carthay Circle’s Bell Tower
Halloween Time at Disneyland in Fall is full of tricks and treats for the entire family!

Photo Credit: Disney Parks

  • Haul-O-Ween hits Cars Land and turns Radiator Springs into Radiator Screams! Scary the Scarecar will stand guard over the entrance to Route 66, a preview to the Haul-O-Ween transformation awaiting guests in Cars Land. With Fillmore’s Jack-Oil Lanterns, the web spun over Flo’s by a Spider-Car, and the Cozy Cone dressed up in car-stumes, the townsfolk turn Radiator Springs into Radiator Screams.

Slightly Spooky Rides & Attractions

The “Nightmare Before Christmas” themed Haunted Mansion Holiday is a can’t miss! It gets more elaborate year after year. Haunted Mansion Holiday is also a completely different experience from the usual Haunted Mansion attraction.

Halloween Time at Disneyland in Fall is full of tricks and treats for the entire family!

Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy takes over Space Mountain at Disneyland in fall. My kids have said it’s quite scary!

There is also a tour (additional cost) that celebrates the spooky, Disney’s Happiest Haunts Tour.

New for 2017:

  • The annual Haunted Mansion Holiday gingerbread house, presents a new design each year. This year it’s Oogie Boogie! He’s appearing as a 7-foot-tall cookie on the table in the Mansion ballroom.
  • Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters and Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree with both be decorated for Halloween with themed music and décor! These attractions will transform with Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree turning spooky as the Graveyard JamBOOree, and Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters to become Luigi’s Honkin’ Haul-O-Ween.


Characters in Costume

One of the best things about Disneyland in fall is how the characters dress in Halloween costume! It really makes that meet & greet extra special when the characters are wearing extra special fun outfits.

Halloween Time at Disneyland in Fall is full of tricks and treats for the entire family!

New for 2017:

  • For the first time, Cars Land in Disney California Adventure will be decorated for Halloween, err Haul-O-Ween. Citizens of Radiator Springs will wear their Halloween costumes and decorate their respective homes for the season. Lightning McQueen, Mater, Cruz, Red and DJ will be all dressed up–as a super hero, a “van-pire,” a pirate, a clown and a punk rocker, ready to go “trunk-or-treating.”

Halloween Time at Disneyland in Fall is full of tricks and treats for the entire family!


For more Disney Halloween fun,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!