Tips for visiting Disney's Halloween party
Halloween already? Yep, it’s apparently never too soon to dress up your little boos to collect candy around the Magic Kingdom at the annual select nights called Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. It's starting up Tuesday, running Tuesday and Friday nights in September and then picks up more dates in October Disney aims for cheeky gags over gore, so there’s a parade that starts with a finely dressed fellow on a galloping horse — only he has no head.
Our Disney mom, Suzannah DiMarzio, offers these tips for enjoying this separate-ticket event:
The Magic Kingdom has been turned into an autumn wonderland once again; colorful foliage, pumpkins and Mickey-shaped jack-o-lanterns adorn Main Street, U.S.A. and spill over into Liberty Square as well. The seasonal change means that Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is right around the corner with the first event being held next Tuesday, Sept. 11 and continuing throughout the next two months. This annual hard-ticketed event is a family favorite, complete with costumes, parades and shows, special fireworks, and of course, trick-or-treating for all ages.
This year, the much adored "Treat Trail" will return to the walkway between Tomorrowland and the all-new Storybook Circus area of the new Fantasyland. This area was closed last year, due to construction of the Storybook Circus section and was missed by regulars of the party.
Here are some more insider tips to get the most treat for your tricks:
Weekday Dates Are Less Crowded - No matter which date you pick, you'll enjoy fewer crowds and waits for rides and attractions than normal, because it is a special limited-ticket event. However, to ensure even more elbow room choose a weekday night. My kids have enjoyed riding "the mountains" of the Magic Kingdom (Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain) over and over all night, with no wait!
Arrive Early - While the party technically begins at 7 p.m., the park will usually start letting party guests in as early as 4 p.m. (subject to change, but that's been our experience). You will be given a wristband upon entrance with your special ticket, so make sure you receive that before entering the park. Once you do, you'll be all set to enjoy attractions and dining before the party events begin.
White Balloons Mark Treat Spots - You'll be given a map noting the locations of all trick-or-treat spots, but all you need to do is look for the giant light-up balloons throughout the Magic Kingdom to find the goodies. Don't forget that Treat Trail mentioned above from the Storybook Circus train station to Tomorrowland.
The Second Boo-to-You Parade is Less Crowded - This parade is without a doubt my favorite and is a don't-miss experience. To see it with less crowds, stick around for the second parade later in the night, when many families head home after the fireworks. Make sure you are there for the start of the parade to catch the riding of the Headless Horseman along the parade route. New this year, for guests viewing the parade from Main Street, U.S.A., a new pre-parade, the Not-So-Scary Street Jam! dance party, will take place after the Headless Horseman passes and before the “Boo-To-You Parade” begins.
Don't Skip a Treat Station - Yes, each spot has pretty much the same candy or treats (and healthy options too), but some spots have a special item or two that may not be at any other location. For example, last year, Pinocchio's Village Haus area had yummy Werther's candies that weren't found anywhere else. It's not a guarantee, but you never know what you might find!
Don't Be Afraid to Dress Up - This is the one and only time that adults can dress in costume inside a Disney theme park, why not take advantage? You won't be alone, there are some amazing costumes each year, so don't leave all the fun to the kids. If dressing up isn't your thing, there are some fun T-shirt "costumes" sold throughout the park as well as special event-only merchandise to choose from.
Here are the dates: Sept, 11, 14, 18, 21, 25, 28, 30. Oct. 4, 5, 8, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 21, 23, 25, 26, 28, 30, 31, and Nov. 2. Some dates have discounted prices and annual passholder or other discounts may be available for advance purchases.
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Follow Suzannah on her blog ZannaLand.com