We have a Guest Blog for you by Maggie Moore regarding planning your Disney trip around Halloween time! Enjoy! ~M
What to Expect When You’re Expecting the Perfect Disney Halloween Party… By Maggie Moore
I have always been a Disney person. I’ve been to Disney as a child and as an early adult. I managed to get my husband hooked and we went for our Honeymoon. We took our children for the first time and last year, my first Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.
I have always been a pretty easy going person when it comes to a fun and adventurous trip. But don’t let that fool you, I’m a planner. Having empty spaces on my calendar is just boring. So when a Disney trip comes along and I have the option to plan and Fastpass+ everything, you can bet I will! Last October was no exception. Our children were almost two and almost four years at the time of our trip. When you have small children you need to make those mental notes…things need to work around THEM, not how much can I pack into one experience. Yes, I’m paying for a ticket to this extra event and yes, I want to enjoy all I can. Just remember…How can I truly enjoy this event with a child who is done. Not just done, but D-O-N-E, DONE!
*What to Expect tip number 1* – No matter how perfect you want this trip to be and cram in as much as you can in a few hours the day holds…don’t. This trip is going to be perfect! This is you and your child’s magical place! ANY amount of fun and excitement they have can and WILL be enough. Their bodies and minds will have sensory overload the moment you walk into the park! If you think it’s not perfect…in their mind, this is as my daughter said to me, “Mommy this is the greatest day of my life!” THAT my friends will give you the PERFECT Disney Halloween Party.
We opted to schedule yet still have fun! We chose to sleep in and have a late breakfast on our Friday morning of the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, (MNSSHP).
*What to Expect tip number 2* – Remember Disney is on Eastern Standard Time. Our little ones are used to Central Standard Time. Don’t expect to wake up at 7 am EST and your kids will be perfectly happy angels. That would be 6 am CST on their little body’s time, earlier than normal. This is why we chose to have a ‘late’ breakfast to start our day at Chef Mickey’s. This is our staple breakfast!
We stayed at POP and took the bus to the Magic Kingdom, rode one stop over on the Monorail and then went to the Contemporary. After enjoying our breakfast we didn’t rush. We walked around the Contemporary and took the time to start the tradition of penny pressing. Make sure to have plenty of quarters and shiny pennies to press!
After we pressed our pennies we rode the Monorail around once. (Consider this a FREE ride for the kids! They’ll love the “train” ride!) This is also prime time for them to learn the phrase, “Please stand clear of the doors. ¡Por favor manténgase alejado de las puertas!” It’s a family favorite around here!
*What to Expect tip number 3* – Most people often wonder, “How will I get from resort to resort?” We took the bus from the Contemporary to Downtown Disney. From Downtown Disney we then found the POP Resort bus and got a peaceful ride to our resort. Even if you drive to your resort and consider driving to these places, don’t. You more than likely don’t know the routes to take and save your troubles of fighting with the other members of your car trying to figure out where to go. Let the professionals do it for you and enjoy your views!
We got back to our resort in time to have a few hours to have chill time before our MNSSHP! This is a GREAT and FREE time to walk around your resort and get some pictures by items! The kids love looking at the larger than life features before nap time!
After our naps we then changed into our costumes and headed over to the Magic Kingdom! We chose to get there at 4pm when they will allow you to enter with your ticket for the party. Entering for the party isn’t terrible if you tell yourself…there are a good bit of people doing the exact same thing. They will NOT run out of candy. The rides WILL still be running when you get in. There are PLENTY of picture opportunities before dark. THERE…IS…NO…NEED…TO…PUSH…AND…SHOVE!
*What to Expect tip number 4* – When you are entering the gate you will have to show your ticket for every person 3 years and up so have them ready! This saves confusion and stress.
Once you enter the gates there are Cast Members who will put a special bracelet on your wrist. This will acknowledge you have a ticket and can stay past the 7pm time for others to leave. We were told the wrist bands change nightly so do not think you can sneak in the next night at 4 pm to get in free. Also there are Cast Members who are passing out the Small to Medium sized bags. For us, these bags were perfect. We were so thankful for the experience I didn’t feel I needed to selfishly teach my children to snatch up as much candy as we could. Teaching moments friends. And remember…you’re going to have to carry it around the rest of the night and do not want to drag around an extra grocery tote size bag of heavy stuff unless you’re allowing yourself to have shopping item room.
Now remember how I said I was a planner? I planned a Fastpass+ to get to meet Cinderella. At the time this was my daughter’s FAVORITE! (We’ve moved on to Elsa, but whatever I’m gonna Let It Go! ) We HUALED it through the Magic Kingdom and made it to the Cinderella Meet and Greet. This is the moment you will bring yourself to tears and laugh at your dad for crying like a baby when his baby girl (granddaughter, but not me the first born ) sees Cinderella and have their moment.
After we decided to get our picture in front of the castle. Watching all the other families all dressed up with their costumes was GREAT! We all lined up and took ours too!
When we entered the park we also received a special park map showing us where all the candy stations would be located. We first started in Tomorrowland. Disney made it very easy for us to find the locations by the giant topiaries set up with inflatable Mickey pumpkin heads that lit up. Find the Mickey…find the candy! There is a path that leads from Space Mountain back to the Fantasyland expansion. We took this and had about 4 candy stops along the way. You can continue on this route and eventually make your way around the whole park.
*What to Expect tip number 4* – Make your children say “Trick or Treat” and MAKE THEM SAY THANK YOU! We came across a few groups of people who continually ran from barrel to barrel. (Remember I said they won’t run out of candy. Each station had two huge barrels FULL of candy.) These children and adults would dart past you to get their bags jam packed. I watched many kids run up, hold open their bags, receive candy and run. No thank you, no appreciation. I wouldn’t encourage this behavior. It doesn’t make it fun for anyone. My daughter anticipated asking and thanking at each station. She was so proud of herself.
Once you’ve ridden some rides, done some Trick or Treating and wondered what next? Dinner. Get dinner because most places will close down and this will limit your options for food. You might also consider a large lunch or early dinner before you come to the park so you aren’t hungry. If you do get some food, I’d recommend Casey’s, get yourself a spot along the parade route where you can also watch the fireworks.
*What to Expect tip number 5* – Do NOT expect to be able to walk right up to the curb and find yourself a seat for the fireworks and parade 10 minuts before they start. There are people who have sat and waited for their spots when it was still daylight. This will not win you any friends by pushing your way in. Cast Members DO pass out some candy, not major, but they pass out candy in the parade.
When the fireworks are over I suggest to stay where you are. Have someone in the group hold your spot, go to the potty (remember I have toddlers) and come back. Enjoy your candy you’ve received, get a cupcake from the bakery or something. Keep your spot and enjoy the parade!
When the parade is over this is the time to get in those last minute rides! One of the perks of getting the extra ticket to the MNSSHP is the fact that people who are not wearing that lovely wrist band they gave you when you came into the park must leave around 7pm. This cuts crowds WAY down! So use this time to ride rides. Walk around and enjoy all the aspects of the park. Get those gorgeous castle shots.
If you’re on the fence about this event, I say GO! If you have small children I wouldn’t waste a ticket to spend all day in the park. Have a pool day, a resort day or something relaxing so your morning after with candy hang over isn’t a miserable one with the kiddies! And remember, enjoy the experience. Do not set a standard that lives up so high in your own mind. Expect the unexpected and take time to enjoy the extreme delight on your child’s face!