Something I love about my kids: they are AH-mazing little travelers. Traveling is one of my favorite things ever and I am so glad these babies of mine get so excited to hop in the car, sing on the drive, snack at Chick-Fil-A or In-N-Out, and squeal while they pick out beds (and jump on them) at the hotel.
They are always up for an adventure. So am I!
I know this post is a bit different than I have done in the past but I thought it would be fun to add in travel posts to the blog. They may be few and far between but I think they will be fun.
I wanted to start with just our favorite place: Disneyland!
Honestly, Disneyland is my second home. We’ve gone a few times a year, every year, since I was 4 years old. Then the beautiful day came when I lived in Southern California for a few years after college and became an Annual Passholder. Best. Thing. Ever. Disneyland whenever you want it? Yes please.
I don’t have an annual pass anymore; however, living in Las Vegas, we are just under a 4 hour car ride to get to Disneyland so it’s pretty easy to get over there. And I won’t lie: I find a good reason every few months as why we HAVE to go.
One of our very favorite times of year at the Disneyland Resort is during Halloween. The park gets a nice makeover with Mickey pumpkins and fall decorations everywhere. It’s not scary Halloween- it’s fun Halloween! And we love it.
The last 3 years we have attended Mickey’s Halloween Party which is a special evening Disneyland holds select nights through the end of September and all of October. It rides and trick-or-treating and special parades and special character meet and greets.
And it is SO MUCH FUN!
You don’t need a General Admission pass to get in – just the Mickey’s Halloween Party pass. The party starts at 6 or 7 pm but with the pass you get into the park 3 hours earlier so you can enjoy some rides before the party starts! Once the party begins, the park gets shut down to “regular” guests and is open only to those with a Mickey’s Halloween Party pass.
If you are planning on going this year, or even thinking about it, here are some tips and tricks we found the past few years that might help you out at the party!!
Sleep in the morning off and have a relaxing day!!
So we don’t buy General Admission passes for the day of the party. It is SUCH a full and long night, we like to be fresh and ready to go hit the party. We found walking around the parks all day PLUS the party is a little too much on the kids (and frankly us too)! So I suggest: sleep in the morning of the party. Have a leisurely breakfast. Go stroll through the shops at Downtown Disney, enjoy the hotel pool a bit, or drive about 20 minutes west and visit the beach for a few hours. Just plan on being back at your hotel and ready to go about an hour before you plan to leave for Disneyland. Also, have your costumes packed in a backpack if you don’t want to wear them right away. That’s what we do…. Just so the kids don’t feel too cumbersome or hot while it is still daylight hours. You can put them in the bottom of your stroller or stash them in a locker (small fee) when you get to the park.
Take advantage of the early entry hours!!
A super nice advantage of the Mickey’s Halloween Party passes is that you get into the park 3 hours before the event starts! The park will be open to the general admission people then though… It might seem a little crowded but don’t worry. It will thin out once the party starts. Those 3 hours are a great time to hit those rides you know you DON’T want to miss! So get in that Matterhorn line and cross it off your list of things to do!
Bring extra tote bags for candy!
So a big part of the Mickey’s Halloween Party is the trick-or-treating! There are candy stations set up all over the park that are filled with candy! (Don’t worry! There are healthy options too!!) They give you a small bag to put your candy in when you enter the park; however, with that many stations it overflows quickly. So bring in your reusable shopping bags or a backpack to place the excess candy in.
The Haunted Mansion WILL be busy.
The Haunted Mansion gets made over with the Nightmare Before Christmas theme and it’s a crowd favorite at Halloween. It WILL be busy. There will be a line all night for it. Therefore the candy line in front of it will be busy as well. I found the best time to hit up the Haunted Mansion is later into the night.
The candy lines furthest from Haunted Mansion will NOT be busy.
Because everyone is headed to New Orleans Square, I find the other “lands” to be not as busy. Especially as it gets later in the evening. Which means the trick-or-treating candy lines are not as long. So head to Tomorrowland and Fantasyland first and then head back to Main Street, and then try Frontierland and New Orleans Square. I find the quietest place later on in the evening is Critter Country. There are a few candy lines there you can walk right through. You can meet the Winnie the Pooh characters. It’s pretty much walk right on to Splash Mountain. And the best place to shop without a crowd? Right there in Pooh Corner.
Plan your character meet and greets out!
Does your kid want to meet Captain America? The Princesses? Jack the Skeleton? Plan it out! There are SO many amazing characters out and about during Mickey’s Halloween Party and they are usually all stationed in specific areas. For example, the Princesses will be in the Fantasy Faire theatre right by the castle. So find out who your kids really want to meet and make sure you visit. I love the characters at Halloweentime. Goofy and Donald become pirates. Jack Sparrow shows up. The Winnie the Pooh characters are in costumes. It’s so much fun.
Try those seasonal treats!
Okay, yes, absolutely get a corn dog while you are at Disneyland because they are THE BEST EVER. And snag that churro. But, don’t miss out on all of the amazingly, delicious Autumn flavored treats while you are there. Some to add to your list: Apple Pie funnel cake at Hungry Bear Restaurant in Critter Country, Butterscotch Beignets at the French Market and Cafe Orleans in New Orleans Square, and Bat Mickey cookies and Pumpkin Cheesecake at the Jolly Holiday Bakery on Main Street. Oh! And don’t forget those Mickey Mouse Pumpkin caramel apples found throughout the park!
Bring a stroller, or mini wagon, or rent one!
If you are bringing kids, I highly suggest bringing or renting a stroller. The party goes till 11 pm or Midnight (depending on the day you go). They will be exhausted. Also, you will have a ton of candy that will get heavy as you carry it everywhere. Trust me.
Sleeping kids means date night!
My kids are little so they always all fall asleep before the night is over. But my husband and I turn that into a kind-of date night! We walk around and look at lights. Grab some extra candy. Watch the late parade. And probably grab a snack and coffee to enjoy. Don’t leave just because the kids fell asleep – enjoy it!
We seriously love Mickey’s Halloween Party! It’s always so much fun and entertaining! I think it’s close to my favorite time at the park….. right behind Christmas! If you have any questions, let me know! Or if you have any other tips, feel free to add them in the comments below! 🙂
If you are looking to find tickets and dates, visit the Mickey’s Halloween Party website.
Happy travels friends!