What is the obsession with Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party? The same allure that the magical castle exudes... only add sugar, more magic and rare appearances that Disney World keeps tucked away and hidden from us at all other times of the year. Can you imagine? Disney World more magical? Say whaaaaa? And get this: SHORTER LINES! Yaaaaaaaasssss. Take my money. The Adventurous Alfords have been several times but this was my first time as a blogger. I ate the snacks, I said "trick or treat" and posed with goulash goons. I did it ALLLLL. I did it for anyone that wants the know how on doing the halloween party big. It can be overwhelming the first time. And as pricey as Disney can be, you want to be prepared and most important... to enjoy every minute of it! Read on, fellow mouseketeers.
If you are a seasoned Disney World ap veteran or you are not, the following is important as far as fast passes go. Only one fast pass can be reserved between 4pm and 6pm on the evening of your Halloween party. Fast passes can not be booked during actual party hours. So you can only get one fast pass for the afternoon of your party ticket. (Honestly you don’t need it, the waits are less than 30 min at the most) The only fast pass worth snagging, if you are so lucky with such a small window, is the super popular, seven dwarfs mine train coaster. Otherwise, don’t sweat the fast pass for this one night. You do not want to be confined to any extra time windows with your already strict schedule for the evening. So relax. And don't fret those constant checks for fast past availability unless you are dead set on a 10 minute mine train wait.
Jack and Sally:
Most important tip: party starts at 7 but the park allows you entry at 4 o’clock sharp! Get there by 3:30 and hop in line. Sometimes security alone can take 15 minutes. Trust me when I say, you do not want to waste a second of your time. Pro tip: If you are unfortunately a few minutes AFTER 4 o’clock, chances are the Jack and Sally line is already well over an hour wait. They start photographing with guests at 4:30pm. But guests start waiting to stampede the doors at 4pm for a chance at being one of the firsts to see the iconic duo. Once in line, have one person from your group make a Starbucks run and maybe even a toy/ goodie run and bring it back to the line to help pass the time. We got to the jack and sally line at 4:45 and it was already an hour and a half wait. I usually would not wait for such a long time for a character meet, but my kids are currently obsessed with the creepy couple and so we knew we would have to wait. This is where we had a Starbucks picnic and tried out the “amuck amuck amuck” cupcake. See the snacks section below for the Alford rating. This is also where we gave the kids their jack and sally toys (that I had bought off eBay weeks prior to our trip which was a Huge money saver!).
That iconic castle pic, though:
Once the Jack and Sally meet was complete and we were all jacked up on Sanderson sugar, we made our way to the far right to collect our candy bags and some full size candy bars to start our night! The cast members will direct you down the bag collection alley. There are several photo ops in this area but not worth the wait since there are dozens of better opportunities throughout the entire park. At the very end of this walk-through, there is a spot up against a small garden fence where you can see the castle in full. Have someone take your photo here! The picture is even better than taking one on Main Street because there are no photo crashers in the background! And since no one really knows about this, you don’t have to wait in a photo line, score!
Skip some rides, but not the shows!
Wait times are very low during the party events which may tempt you to ride as many rides as possible. If that’s the goal, by all means, it’s completely achievable. But don’t forget to enjoy the exclusive Halloween party perks like trick or treating, the fireworks show, the hocus pocus show, the parade and the dance parties. The kids enjoy them so much and these shows will surely delight your spooktacular expectations. With that being said, there is definitely a layout and schedule to ensure the biggest bang for your buck. I will give an illustration below with the The Adventurous Alfords agenda hi-lighted in yellow. Must sees will be circled in green. Just remember, the rides will be there 365 days a year, the specialty shows will not. Pro Tip: If you can't decide which rides can NOT be skipped, check your map. Some rides have a special Halloween Twist added exclusively for party goers. Remember though, these twists will only begin at 7pm.
Give me all the snacks:
The Halloween snacks are an experience all on their own. I tried to hit all of the specialty featured treats but for obvious reasons this was almost impossible, all while trying to hit all the events and a ton of rides while making trick or treat pit stops. I really didn’t think my body could physically handle any more sugar. Ha! But I did hit most and let me tell you, much different from the Christmas party, I loved every single thing I tried. I’ll give you the ratings to help you decide.
*The “Amuck, Amuck, Amuck” cupcake. We collectively gave this a 7 out of 10 on must try treats! The only down fall is there is WAY more icing than cake and the icing itself is green and black! If keeping your little one’s costumes clean is important, then avoid this snack. Just left the Bibbity Bobbity boutique? I repeat, avoid this treat! Looking for a fun Instagram photo op and hints of peanut butter and buttercream frosting? This is your jam! I believe this cup cake is the Main Street Bakery's seasonal equivalent to the Ralph and Vanellope cupcake from the Christmas party last year. No one in the fam liked that peppermint treat so I was a tad apprehensive about purchasing this pricey dessert, but it delivered!
*Next on the list was the Lots-O-Burger. Ya’ll, ya’ll, ya’ll. Costing a whopping $15 (that includes fries and NO drink) I was a little worried about this specialty food. But with a rating of 9.5 out of 10.... worth every single penny! A beef patty topped with melted Brie, strawberry bacon jam, and a fried onion ring, it will absolutely hit the spot for dinner! The only downfall? It wasn’t bigger! Pro tip: dip yo french fries in that left over brie fondue. O. M. G. It's a little much for kids but no worries, Cosmic Ray's Starlight cafe has a few options for kids too! Don't forget that the Descendance Party is also here from 7pm to 12:00am.
*The Jack and Sally cake pops. The first bite was pretty much all icing. I was ready to throw in the towel. However, I stuck with it and was pleasantly shocked at how delicious the strawberry cake and crispies danced on the taste buds. The kids gave it a solid nine but I thought that was a little too kind, I mean, they're foodie amateurs, right? But they were $7 each so my final score came in at a solid 8. Much easier to eat than the "Amuck" cupcake, and a little less icing made it was fantastic! Don't forget to enjoy this while watching all of the entertaining shows in front of the castle. And located at the snack cart near Cinderella's castle makes it a breeze to get to while your group settles into their seats.
Not everything is open like regular park hours:
Food lines for dinner choices are long due to fewer choices during party hours. Lots of usual dining spots close at 7 to accommodate designated trick or treat spots. Plan accordingly. Also closed for the party, Dumbo's playground! WHAT? It's my kids' favorite so this was a little hard to swallow. Alas, the elephants still fly high, you just can't play while waiting in line. The indoor playground was used for character photo lines. Boooo! This could possibly change at future parties, just be aware so you don't pull a Chrissy and yell "who's ready to play on Dumbo's playground?!!!" just before being told, "Sorry folks, this area is closed". Yea, big fail.
Restaurant that is open all night:
The Cosmic Ray's Cafe in Tomorrowland is open the entirety of the party. We made this a late dinner choice and enjoyed our lots-o-burgers and chicken fingers while watching the kiddos dance at the Descendants dance party. Afterwards, We headed over to the castle. This was around 9:30, and only a few steps away from the cafe. We were able to grab a seat nestled right between the castle and the famous Walt and Mickey statue. This spot was a perfect viewing spot for the Disney's "Not So Spooky Spectacular" show that starts at 10:15pm, followed by the "Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular" show at 10:45pm, followed by the 11:15pm "Boo to You" parade just before closing time. You get a solid hour of entertainment while resting your tired plutos. During the shows, we enjoyed the Jack and Sally cake pops. The Halloween firework show is amazing!!! A must see!! This strategic plan will keep you from back tracking, and creating more time for the rides at the beginning of your party. If the 11:15 parade is just too late, the is an earlier showing at 9:15pm, however, this is something that will need to be timed appropriately into your plans.
Masks are strictly prohibited, however, if you bring a mask and it does make it past security, like ours did, you may or may not be able to wear it for photographs only and only if you dare. Garrett was asked to remove his once and that's when we realized the rule that we missed. This is the second year Garrett wore a mask. The first year he was never asked to remove it. But to be on the safe side please see all of the up to date costume rules and guidelines here: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/faq/parks/dress/?int_cmp=INS-intWDWtoWDW-Costumes
I highly discourage breaking these rules as we did. We corrected the problem quickly and suggest face paint as an alternative. Get creative with your choice. In years past, we have invested in our costumes due to the fact that they were worn for the party AND for halloween at home. But this year my kids wanted to be one thing for the party and one thing for halloween. So we really had to be creative to not go 'costume broke'.
There are several items that are for sale only to guest of the party so don't forget to do a little shopping. This is always something we do when walking out of the park and calling it a night.
Be aware that there are designated allergy-friendly centers throughout the park for trick or treaters with food allergies. These areas are marked on the map by a turquoise Mickey pumpkin.
Where to stay:
If you are able to stay in a Walt Disney World resort, go for it! They do not disappoint! However, if you are on a very tight budget and do not mind staying 6 miles from the parks (about a 10-15 minute drive with traffic) I highly recommend Magic Moment Resort & Kids Club! They are fabulous with loads of fun for kids and shockingly low prices that include breakfast. The breakfast is not the best but hey, for the price, you can't beat it. Type in the code MM1 during check out to ensure the lowest possible rate! Visit www.magicmomentresort.com for rates.
Well that's it you guys. It was an absolute blast and completely, not so scary. Pace yourself and know what's most important to you before you go. Make a list if you have to. You can even print the 2019 map off of your computer and make a game plan. And so, as Mickey would say, "Boo to You!" Happy Halloween.
The Adventurous Alfords