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This year’s Mickey’s Halloween Parties are in full swing, and mostly sold out, at Disneyland Resort. This fun, special ticketed event costs families a pretty penny, so it makes sense that you would want to get the most bang for your buck. I am here to share all the tips for Mickey’s Halloween Party so that you can be the pumpkin king (or queen) at the end of the night.
I just took my oldest to Mickey’s Halloween Party and met up with my friend, and Disneyland with Kids co-founder Jessica from The Happiest Blog On Earth. (By the way, we talk about Mickey’s Halloween Party and more in the Disneyland with Kids eBook which you can buy for instant download or on Amazon) It was a ton of fun, and I definitely found some ways to make the most of my time at the party.
I won’t do a long drawn out intro, because you are here for all those tips and tricks. I have covered the basics of Disneyland’s Mickey’s Halloween Party and just Halloween time in general before, so let’s just get to the tips to make you feel like that $100+ ticket was totally worth every penny.
Disclosure: I paid for our tickets to Mickey’s Halloween Party, but Disneyland did provide me with two complimentary tickets so I could update my Halloween Time Post.
Top 10 Tips For Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland
1. When To Arrive
Mickey’s Halloween Party allows guests entrance into either park (Disney California Adventure or Disneyland) up to three hours before the party begins. So if your party starts at 6:00 pm you can enter a park at 3:00. If you show up at the park at 2:45, you won’t be in the park at 3:00. Lines for parking, security, and even just into the park can get pretty long. I suggest arriving an hour before your entrance time. You may even luck out and they let people in early. This year guests made it into DCA around 3:30.
2. Check Your Costumes
One of the best parts of Mickey’s Halloween Party is that it is the one time of year that adults are permitted to wear costumes into Disneyland. This is super fun, and you can definitely go from simple to all-out. BUT STOP! There are several rules for costumes that must be followed. Be sure to check out the costume guidelines on Disneyland’s website before heading to the parks.
On top of the park’s guidelines, really think about the comfort of your outfit. Our group decided to go as characters from Disney Pixar’s Inside Out. Fun right? Well, we originally were going to use body paint to make us the right colors…except it was hot and muggy. So we opted out. We did, however, have wigs for myself and my friend. Those wigs were great…except they were hot and itchy. So really think about your comfort level. Something we did right though is that our costumes were able to include regular clothing… so we were definitely comfortable on that level.
3. Storing Your Stuff
While the days during September and October can be pretty hot, the nights can get pretty cool. You will want to have hoodies, blankets for the parade, and maybe even some snacks and other items avilable. But if you don’t have a stroller, and don’t want to carry all of that stuff around, you will want to rent a locker. Except lockers can go pretty quickly on Main Street. If you are an Annual Passholder, or have a ticket you are using earlier in the day, grab a locker in the morning. If you aren’t, grab a locker first thing as they tend to run out.
4. Should You Use A Park Ticket For The Morning?
Speaking of getting a locker the morning of…. many people wonder if you should use a park ticket for the morning and then the party ticket that evening so your get a full day in the parks. The answer is….maybe. If you already had a five day park hopper, and added on the party, and the day would go to waste…sure go a few hours in the morning. Otherwise…NO! It is much better to have a relaxing morning (maybe do a character meal in one of the Disneyland Resort Hotels) and take a mid-day nap before heading to the party. Especially if you have younger kids.
5. DAS and Mickey’s Halloween Party
If you or a child utilize Disney’s Disability Access Service (DAS), you may be wondering if a similar service will be available during the party. Seeing as there is no MaxPass or Fastpass service during the party. The DAS is available during the party, though for many rides you will not use it. In fact, the only rides we saw activily using the system were Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy and Haunted Mansion. All the other rides were basically a 5 minute wait or less, so you did not need to use the service. Even if you did, most still had you use the standard entrance.
So why get it? Well, if you want to do Haunted Mansion Holiday or Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy, you will want the DAS as both those lines were very long. Some of the Fantasyland rides also had slightly longer lines that at times may utilize it, so it is a good idea to get it all set up in the three hours of park time prior to the party.
6. Is It Possible To Do All The Things????
Have you heard about how the crowds are so small you can to everything at Disneyland during the Halloween party? All the rides, the fireworks, the parade, and get all the candy. That is what circled around in the Disneyland with Kids Facebook Group, so we had a few people that were a bit underwhelmed with the results. Sothis tip is to set realistic expectations, and to make a game plan. If you can, get a copy of the party map before hand to start making a game plan.
While you will be able to do some of it all, if your goal is all the rides, you may have to settle for less candy, or no parade. During just the party hours, we were able to get in 6 rides, most of the Trick or Treat Trails, and both the Fireworks and the Parades.
We had heard others say they had done all the rides during the party. Not sure if we just had bad luck with rides (Pirates got backed up while we were on it, Haunted Mansion Holiday we redeemed a DAS return time to have to wait a while to get in because someone lost their candy in the elevator room) or if others maybe meant they got in all the “big rides” but our 6 rides were a far cry from the 20 that were open during the party.
I definitely think you can do a lot, but maybe not all the rides, all the candy, meet all the characters and see all the shows.
7. Get All The Candy
Okay, so if Candy is your goal, then you can easily get plenty. We had a member of DwK say that they only got two handfuls of candy at the first party. So going into the second party I was ready to be disappointed. Guys… we got so much candy. But I think I know why some people are not getting as much.
The candy situation can be a bit confusing. So there are Trick or Treat Trails, and each one has 3-8 stations within it. Each candy station will give 3 pieces. (Literally counted them out. Rarely saw them not count out exactly 3 pieces per person.) The carts with healthier options gave one item per person, until closer to the end of the night.
I think some people may not realize there is more than one trail. there are trails all over the park…and you can do them over and over. We only did trails once, and I think we even missed a trail or two.
TIP: Bring your own bag or back pack if candy is your main goal because the small bags they give you will not be enough.
Sad thing… we saw many people who had multiple bags and would just ask the cast members to fill all of them. Many claimed it was for their kids. I am sorry, and I rarely post parenting rants on here, but if all 6 of your kids are unable to walk the Trick or Treat trail (or at least ride a stroller through them) don’t do it for them. NOPE! This is eventually going to ruin it for everyone else…
Also, Disneyland gives out good candy. No bubble gum that breaks your jaw when you try to chew it, or tiny knock-off suckers. Nope. We are talking Hershey’s, Butter Fingers, Snickers, and more.
8. Where To Watch The Fireworks
So where should you watch the fireworks? Well, my friend Jessica found that Main Street was perfect for watching the fireworks and catching the projections on the castle and the buildings. But if you don’t mind missing the projections, we found that we were able to see and hear everything else from the Rivers of America, where there also happened to be a Trick or Treat Trail. There was also hardly anybody there so we were all able to sit comfortably to watch the fireworks.
9. The Frightfully Fun Parade at Disneyland
So, there were things I loved about this parade, and one grievance. I loved all the villains and the floats were amazing. My grievance was that there was like a mile of space between each float. Normally the parades have a few floats or dance groups, then a break, but this parade had a break between each session. It turned a 5-10 minute parade into a 20 minute parade, wasting precious time doing other things.
If you don’t want to have to sit and wait for the parade, grab the second showing after the fireworks. There was still plenty of seating available when the parade started. We watched from the benches near the Alice In Wonderland restrooms.
10. Characters and Photos
One of the great things about Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland is that you can meet lots of rarely seen characters. Plus, photos are included with your party ticket, so you get all those character meet and greet shots, plus other Halloween photos. Except the lines for these are long. I strongly suggest getting your park shots (like in front of the Mickey Jack-o-Lantern) during the first three hours before the party.
If characters are a big must for you, just know that you will need to give up something else to fit them in. Maybe it is Trick or Treating, or the parade, or even some rides, but it will be something. Lines are long to meet most of the characters, and one meet and greet could take you up to 30 minutes.
I hope these tips help you make the most of your time at Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland. I definitely felt it was worth the cost and will be going again in the future.
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