When we first decided to that we’d be taking a trip to Disneyland in the fall, my first goal was to made sure our trip coincided with one of the special Mickey’s Halloween Parties on select nights. These parties bring extra special magic to the Halloween season.
Our family attended last night’s Mickey’s Halloween Party and had a ton of fun. My boys dressed as identical Woody characters from Toy Story. My dad wore a Buzz LightYear t-shirt. While lots of people were in costume, I’d say more of the adults were not. While my kids were absolutely adorable as Woody, we weren’t going to win any prizes for Most Creative. My favorite was a family who decked out as the cast of Peter Pan. There was Peter, Captain Hook, Tiger Lily, and Smee. My other favorite was a new set of parents who did a Mary Poppins theme. Mom was Mary, dad was Bert, and their newborn baby was a chimney cleaner. Even the stroller was decorated to look like a chimney sweep cart.
TIP: Wear comfortable shoes with your costume. Disneyland is not the place to wear the highheels that match your outfit. Your feet will thank me in the morning.
We arrived early, as party goers are invited into the park 3 hours before the party starts. That gave us additional time in the park to enjoy rides and food that wouldn’t stay open during the celebration. I’ve been to Disneyland so many times as a kid and an adult, that I don’t bother picking up a map anymore. However, it is very important to pick up a party map when you enter. The map will show you the locations Treat or Treat stops, dining options, dance parties, and even shops that offer Halloween-themed merchandise and goodies. But even the map doesn’t reveal all the fun activities in store. Be prepared for some surprises!
TIP: Use the early time in the evening to enjoy some rides. More of the crowd is focused on the Trick or Treat stations. We walked on to nearly every ride without any wait. Save the Trick or Treating until after 9:00pm. You’ll still get the same candy, but without the crowd.
The Trick or Treat stations were a hit with my toddler. This is his first real Halloween experience and I wasn’t sure how he was going to react to everyone in costume. My older son loved getting oodles and oodles of candy. I loved that there were healthy options too. Those healthy treats were nicely sprinkled in and made it easy for me to respond with “Eat some freeze dried apples” when he asked for yet another candy.
TIP: While some cast members just handed out the healthy treats with the candy, be sure to ask for it. Every station has it. If you have allergies (like nuts), the cast members will select the candies in their bins that are nut-free for you.
What really made my night was the special Halloween fireworks show and Costume Parade. As Disneyland veterans, we usually skip these activities since that gives us extra time to ride an attraction. This time, I made it a point to stop and enjoy these two events. The Costume Parade is short and sweet with all your favorite characters in costume. I teared up a little when Snow White caught the eye of a pint-sized Snow White in the crowd and curtsied to her. I’ve never seen a little girl feel more proud. It was precious. The Halloween Screams fireworks show starts with Jack Skellington as “Master of Scare-omonies.” It’s spooky but not creepy. There’s a piece for all your favorite villains.
TIP: Get to “the hub” at least an hour early to get good seats. Sitting on a bench makes you more comfortable while you wait, but everyone stands during the show. Go to the later parade; lots of folks will have cleared out by then and you can make it your last treat before you head out.
I think my favorite part of Mickey’s Halloween party was the transformation of the park itself. Everyone gets to enjoy the Halloween themed park until the end of October. I think this may be my new favorite time of the year to be at Disneyland!
Disclosure: Disney has provided me with select accommodations in exchange for a series of posts. The opinions expressed above are mine. For tips on vacationing at Disneyland with families, check out my personal blog Who’s the Boss?