Disney at Halloween, the not-so-scary way

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By Kaylee Johnson
Campus News

During my recent Disney World trip I attended Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party for the first time. It was a wonderful experience, but it surely was not what I expected. Here are 10 honest tips for that outing and what and what not to do during the five hour ticketed event:

1. Rest during the day. The Halloween Parties technically start at seven o’clock, but they will start letting you in at four o’clock. I highly recommend spending the day at your resort pool or taking a Sleeping Beauty worthy nap, because the night is high impact and the issue is not walking, it’s standing.

2. Do not arrive with unrealistic expectations. I have been to Disney Parks many times, yet August 25th was my first time attending Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party! I was under the impression that the ticketed event would be much more exclusive than it actually was. The lines for the characters ranged from forty five minutes for Lotso from Toy Story, to four hours for Moana! I also thought I would be able to meet every character and have time to trick or treat, but I quickly realized I only had time for one character meet and greet. My family and I decided to wait on the Seven Dwarfs line, which was 3 hours. I do not think I would wait on that line ever again. It was August in Florida, so it was extremely hot and un-self aware twenty-somethings took selfies with each dwarf while a line of people rolled their eyes.

3. Watch Boo to You. Mickey’s Boo to You Halloween Parade was fantastic and highly interactive. I sat right in front of The Confectionary on Main Street U.S.A. To be safe you should claim your seat twenty minutes before the parade begins. Keep your camera out during the parade, as you never know when Haunted Mansion ballroom dancers will twirl your way.

4. Go on a few rides. Fastpasses are not distributed during the Halloween Party, but they do not need to be since the average wait times range from zero to twenty minutes. If you are not a character lover, try to go on as many rides as you can. Rides like Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train are especially fun to ride at night because you can see Magic Kingdom lit up while falling down a mountain or whipping around train tracks!

5. Skip the heavy costumes. I saw many people in ball gowns, footed pajamas and coats. Those same people walked out miserably as the rain started to pour down. Keep it casual; remember that Disney requires a lot of walking and standing in Florida heat. I wore a lightweight Belle dress; it was just enough to be festive without being over the top.

6. Do not overlook trick or treating. I had so much fun trick or treating during the Halloween Party! Cast members were so generous with the candy that we had to get an extra bag! This is the only opportunity for college students to trick or treat and not have eyes rolled at them, so I strongly recommend enjoying it.

7. Shop on Main Street during Hallowishes. The shops were empty during the fireworks and I was able to buy the limited edition Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party Alex and Ani. Use this pro tip if one of your Disney pet peeves is shopping in crowded gift shops.

8. Wear sneakers. Standing on line will tire your legs out, but you will feel much better the next day if you wear good quality sneakers rather than flip flops, sandals or boots. Who cares if your sneakers clash with your costume? Take care of yourself in Disney by taking breaks, wearing appropriate attire and drinking lots of water.

9. Eat well before the party. We ate at Crystal Palace around four o’clock and we never felt hungry during the Halloween Party. If you want to do a Halloween snack food crawl, be sure to hit all of the restaurants listed on your Halloween Party map. Every year Disney announces new snacks, such as candy corn ice cream, dirt and worms, and Haunted Mansion themed desserts.

10. Have fun! So many visitors were fussing so much over their costumes and long wait times that they forgot to enjoy themselves. Take it easy and make memories. Do not fret over making the perfect costume or the weather. I suggest being spontaneous and taking a few short breaks. You will not have time to do everything, so use the five-hour block wisely.