My daughter and I dressed as Boo and Sully at Mickey's Halloween Party
Finally. After years and years of wishing to go to Mickey’s Halloween Party, I did it. And let me tell you, it was a ton of fun! I’ll be honest, I’m positive that my experience as a parent was majorly different than the experience of many others who bring older children, or go in groups with only adults. As always, there is so much more to think about with a baby involved, and it’s not as simple as just “winging it.” Since I had absolutely no experience with Mickey’s Halloween Party, I had no way to plan properly. I made sure I was as prepared as I would be for any day in Disney, but I definitely didn’t know what things I had to do differently for the party. So as always, I was a guinea pig, and I have a ton of important tips for you if you’re joining in the festivities. So in this column, I’ll go over my experience and what we did, and what tips I would give to other parents with young ones.
Now, I already did a column piece outlining all that the party has to offer and why it may or may not be right for you. To recap, the major attractions are the “Frightfully Fun Parade,” the “Halloween Screams” fireworks show, trick-or-treating, shorter ride times, and rare and scary character meet and greets. While to some, that may not seem like an overwhelming amount to do, it is. Oh boy, it is. Especially with a baby in tow.
We actually stayed at Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, which I loved, so we went back before the party to change. The party officially started at 6 PM, although Mickey’s ToonTown opened an hour before, at 5 p.m. When we got into the park at 4 p.m., we immediately got a bite to eat, because we knew we would probably forget to in the chaos of the party. I’m extremely glad we did that, because I’m sure that we would’ve skipped eating that night.
When my daughter was done nibbling on her mac and cheese, we went into ToonTown. ToonTown was packed. I should’ve expected this since it was the first party activity that was open, however, I wanted to at least get something out of the way. We only did one trail there and skipped the rest of the land since it was so crowded.
We then went to other trails throughout Fantasyland as they opened and took in everything around us. Our bags were filled after about four trails, so we started dumping them into the cargo space in my daughter’s stroller.
Huge tip: Bring a stroller with large cargo space during the party. There is no way you want to lug around a huge bag and a baby all night.
After a few trails, we went to ride Thunder Mountain, Haunted Mansion, Splash Mountain, and Indiana Jones. It was insane how fast we got on them. We rode Ghost Galaxy a handful of times, and we didn’t even have to do rider switch with the other adults in the party, because there was no line to bypass. I will say, as the night went on, the wait times for Ghost Galaxy and Haunted Mansion did go up by 30+ minutes at times so I recommend riding them earlier.
After we went on a couple rides, we hit the treat trails again. At this point, we were overwhelmed with the amount of candy we were getting. So instead, we went to try and get a Pumpkin Spice Churro or beignets. Both of those lines were packed, so we just pushed the stroller around a bit, and took in all of the costumes. Although that may not seem like a lot of activities, it had already taken up a huge chunk of our night, and through our fun stroll, we quickly realized that parade spots were filling up fast.
While the rest of my family found a spot for the parade, I went to the Baby Care Center and changed my daughter into her pjs. I knew this was going to be a long night, and she was already getting tired. I then went to Starbucks and got her a warm, whole milk, so that she could sip on it while we waited for the parade. She ended up falling asleep in her stroller while we waited for the parade to start, so I put the cover over the stroller, and placed her ear-covers over her ears, which ended up being pointless because the sound was too loud.
Once the parade started, she woke straight up and wanted to see what was happening. I’m honestly glad she did, because I wanted her to see the parade. It was so much fun, a little spooky, but overall, frightfully fun!
At the end, my mother volunteered to take my daughter back to the hotel to get some much-needed rest. While we walked them to the end of Main Street, the fireworks show started. Now, I hate fireworks. They terrify me. But I was far enough away to where I was fine, and we got an amazing view, and a ton of space. We watched the entire show, and it was a perfect way to end the night. My daughter loved the pretty glitter bombs (fireworks, but really, that’s all they are.)
Once they left, my brother and I went on the rest of the rides we wanted to go on, and even watched the Cadaver Dans for a bit. We realized that we missed the dance party in Tomorrowland, where we wanted to take my daughter; we missed the trail in Launch Bay that we were dying to see; and we missed every single photo-op. Every single one.
So...from my experience, and what we did wrong and right, here are my tips for my fellow brave parents out there who are going to Mickey’s Halloween Party:
Do ToonTown early, since it’s a party activity that opens before anything else. However, be realistic and know you’ll probably only get one trail in, and that’s fine. You’ll get more candy than you’ve ever wanted.
Buy a bag, bring a bag, or bring a pillow case. The bag they give you fits two trail’s worth of goodies, as many of the trails includes bigger bags of chips, crackers, or freeze-dried apples.
Speaking of freeze-dried apples, if you’re like me and you have an almost one-year-old who likes little snacks to munch on, those apples are perfect! At some of the trails, ask to just get bags of those in lieu of the candy or crackers. Let your little one eat them off a tray while you walk around.
While talking about a tray, it’s important to mention, as always, a proper stroller. My daughter has one that has a tray in front of her, so she happily ate her apples. The stroller also has a ton of cargo space, so we put the candy bag there so that no one had to carry the weight.
Don’t do too many trails. It’s unnecessary. You get way too much candy anyway. Do a couple, and then do photo-ops and meet and greets. There are so many, and they’re worth so much more than goodies.
Eat before the party! You will most likely be swept up in the chaos of the party, and forget to grab food. I mean, there’s seriously too much stuff to do. Eat before.
Stake out a spot early for the parade. Keep in mind this is a “rare” parade, so everyone wants to see it.
I had so much fun with my daughter, and she had a blast. This will definitely become a yearly tradition, and I know that with all of those tips in mind, we will have a perfect trip next time. If you and your baby are going to Mickey’s Halloween Party, have an amazing time! It is chaotic, but completely worth it. With these tips in mind, you’re sure to have a screaming good time.