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Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is easily my favorite event at Disney World. Attending it with two kids under the age of 3…not so easy! Here are some of my toddler-taming tips for the happiest place on earth at the spookiest time of year!

Here’s what I suggest:

  • Make a plan: It’s a known fact in my household that everything we do has a spreadsheet itinerary to go along with it. Usually, this annoys my husband. In this instance? He THANKED me! You can never know too much when it comes to these events, so do your research! For example, did you know that you can actually enter the park at 4 with your ticket, even though the party starts at 7?
  • Consult the family: Who wants to see what? There are multiple character greetings around the park, and NOT enough time to see them all. Have everyone pick ONE, and find out how long the lines are going to be, that way nobody’s disappointed. FYI, Mickey and Minnie are dressed up in the theater…IN AIR CONDITIONING!
  • Enjoy the party: If you are headed to the parks for more than one day, I would suggest planning a second Magic Kingdom outing. MK alone is worth a couple days out of your schedule, and when you add character greetings, trick or treating, and special parades and events, there’s just NO WAY to do it all. Plan another day for rides and restaurants, and enjoy the Party while you can.
  • Hit the dance floor first: My daughter was going through a MAJOR “Toy Story” phase during last year’s trip, and luckily for us, there was a dance party with Woody and Jessie in Frontierland (There is also one with Goofy and Stitch in Tomorrowland). We rushed through the park at 6:45 and stood at the doors waiting for the party to begin. We were the first people in Pioneer Hall, and she got a good ten minutes of solo dance time with the two of them!
  • Bring glow sticks: Take my word for it. This is a night time event, and no child wants to pass up the merchandise carts selling glow sticks. Bring your own from the dollar store and save some money!
  • Make the parade a priority: The MNSSHP parade is amazing, and you will see the majority of the characters that are out around the park for meet and greets. Sitting through the parade and seeing all of the characters calmed my daughter’s desire to scream every time we passed a meet-and-greet (“remember honey, you got to see her during the parade”). Make sure you get a spot at least 30 minutes early though, which brings me to my next point:
  • Pack snacks, and eat beforehand: Once the party starts and your kids are filling their buckets with candy, the thought of a sit down dinner sounds like torture. We made a 4pm dinner reservation at “Trails End” at Fort Wilderness, and took a boat over to the party, that way she was full and only asked for a couple of pieces of candy throughout the night. Also, either plan on saving their candy for the parade, or pack some snacks and little activities for the long wait for the start.
  • Bring a bucket: Yes, Disney provides little bags for trick or treating, but those suckers only last for a couple of stops before they’re full (they give SCOOPS of candy at each stop). Bring a regular trick or treating bucket to fill up.
And my final, most important toddler tip:
  • LIGHT CLOTHING!!!!! For every happy little princess we saw skipping through the park, there were two hot, crying, miserable kids. It is FLORIDA and our nights don’t cool down much at all. If you don’t want to purchase a second costume for your trip down, or can’t find a weather appropriate one, plan on something simple: A tiara, pirate hat, face paint, or fairy wings go a long way with a toddler’s imagination!