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 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:
Find the treats: 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.
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. Then 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 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.
The second parade is less crowded: This parade is without a doubt my favorite and is a don't-miss experience. To see it with less of a crowd, 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. New this year, for guests watching from Main Street, a preparade, the Not-So-Scary Street Jam! dance party, will take place after the Headless Horseman passes and before the "Boo-To-You Parade" begins.
Suzannah DiMarzio. Follow her blog at zannaland.com.