This year my family and I attended the first night of Mickey’s Halloween Party. As always, we had a total blast! This was our fourth (or maybe fifth or sixth, I’ve lost count) year going, and we really seem to have things down to a science now. Here’s how we “do” Mickey’s Halloween party.
We got our priorities straight: The candy is great and this is what the kids really want, but the candy isn’t the best part of the night, in my opinion. The rides have super short lines (except for Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy and Haunted Mansion Holiday), so we go on the rides after ONE trick-or-treat location. The lines for the candy trails are much longer in the beginning of the night, but since the kids are dying to dig in to some candy, we stand in line for one (maybe two) and then hit the rides.
Trust me when I tell you that it is totally worth waiting until later in the evening for candy. This year, we split up and my husband took the older boys on rides and trick-or-treating while my youngest son and I watched Paint the Night and fireworks. They walked on every ride and right up to all of the trick-or-treat stations with no wait. After the parade, my youngest and I went through the Town Square trick-or-treat trail without any other guests around. This was quite different from what we experienced earlier in the evening.
We ate dinner before the party started: In the past, we’ve opted to eat at the party. Mostly, this was because we were stuck in crazy LA traffic getting to the party and couldn’t eat beforehand. This year, we pulled the kids out of school at noon so that we could get there early. (I apologize to my kids’ school if they are reading this. ) We enjoyed a delicious dinner at the PCH Grille at Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel before we went into the parks. (I will have a full review of the new buffet on the blog very soon.)
Simplified costumes: We LOVE dressing up for Halloween and over the years have put together some pretty elaborate costumes. This year, we decided to take it down a notch for a few reasons. First and foremost, my kids usually get sick of their costumes the more tired they get. I can’t begin to count how many years my kids have stripped away pieces of their costumes while waiting for the Halloween Screams fireworks to start. This year, I kept the costumes cool and made it easy for them to peel away layers. (And also made it so the costume pieces they did peel off could easily fit in my bag. (No swords or large accessories this year!) I also went ahead and said NO to elaborate makeup. There’s nothing worse than a kid smearing the makeup he’s sick of all over the place and whining about it.
My son Aidan dressed as Walt Disney. If you want to dress your little guy as Walt for Halloween, click here for full details and pdfs for creating Walt’s tie tack and name tag. (Exclusive to our blog!)
And speaking of simplified costumes, this year my husband and I decided not to dress up. Again, I love dressing up, but we decided not to put the extra pressure on ourselves and went for comfort. (Plus, our house is under construction and we couldn’t find our costume box! Stop by my personal blog and you can check out what we have going on.)
We took our time: Because Mickey’s Halloween Party is shorter than a regular park day, the tendancy is to rush, rush, rush. This year, we took our time and didn’t stress out about running from one place to the next and had a really lovely time. If we hadn’t taken our time, we would have missed out on seeing great families who did take their costumes to the next level like this:
Stay the night on property: When it comes to late Disneyland nights, there is one lifesaver my family cannot do without, and that’s staying on property. We live in LA and that drive back once the kids have “hit the wall” can be excruciating. Heck, just getting them back to the structure once they’re “done” can feel like torture. We stayed at the Disneyland Hotel, and it was so wonderful to be able to quickly head back and have the kids in bed within 20 minutes of leaving the parks.
Tickets are already sold out for this year’s halloween parties. If you are interested in going next year, follow our blog on Facebook and Twitter to find out as soon as the dates and purchasing info are released.
Learn more about Mickey’s Halloween Party with these informative posts (all updated as of October 2015):
- 12 tips for taking babies, toddlers and preschoolers to Mickey’s Halloween Party
- 5 expert tips to know before heading to Mickey’s Halloween Party
- The basics parents need to know about Mickey’s Halloween Party