by D’land Hubby
We’ve recently posted our first article on Mickey’s Halloween Party. I know you want to know the top tips about your visit. Here are our top 7 tips for Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland.
#1) GET THERE EARLY
If there is only one tip that you should follow is to get to the party EARLY. Your ticket allows you entry into Disneyland 3 hours early. My suggestion is to arrive 2-3 hours before the party begins. We left home with plenty of time to spare and got stuck in the horrible LA/OC traffic. We arrived at the park about 5:45 pm. We got stick in line for the parking structure and had to take an extra 10-15 minutes to park (this could also be because we went on a Friday night). We had to wait for the tram but that moved fairly quickly. We were asked to use specific turnstiles whose lines were much longer. We didn’t get into the park until about 6:15 ish. We went to get dinner at Holly Jolly Bakery and spent at least 30 minutes waiting in line and waiting for our food.
#2) Plan Where you want to be when the park closes/the party starts
Since we were eating at the Holly Jolly Bakery at the time that Disneyland officially closed we got to see the transition from the daytime guests to the party guests. We didn’t have a lot of seating when we got to the bakery and could watch as thousands of guests left the park. Our suggestions are: a) Find a place deep in the park to enjoy when the party begins. The park does offer two pre-party locations (Big Thunder Ranch and Toon Town) to keep you occupied while the party gets started and b) If you arrive late I would suggest finding a place to hide on Main Street for about 15-20 minutes when most of the daytime guests have already left. Also, be prepared to show your wrist band to every cast member you see for the first hour or so. This is how they usher out those who do not belong.
#3) Hit the Rides First
The attraction lines are very short and most rides are well under 20 minutes long. Everyone seems to head for the Trick or Treat Stations early so you might want to get in line for an attraction or four. We walked past Star Tours and Buzz Lightyear with almost no one in line. We wondered why Astro Orbiter was closed until we realized no one waiting to get onto the attraction. The longest line we encountered was Holiday Haunted Mansion at 20-30 minutes long (although it seemed shorter) and I would guess Space Mountain might also be that long, even though we never looked at the wait times. The ride times should also diminish the later you get. The last hour of the party might be best spent going from attraction to attraction while you save some of the time in the middle for other activities.
#4) Trick or Treat Later
Trick or Treating lines get quite long during the beginning of the party. We found a few of the lines that looked to be 10 minutes, or longer, before getting to the candy station. If you wait an hour you will notice a big reduction in the length of the lines. Better yet, wait for a few hours and by the halfway point you will see those long lines become only a few people. One of the things that we appreciated was that most of the candy stations were set up as a “trail.” Each trail consisted somewhere between three to five candy stations. Each trail seemed to have one candy station that had a bottle neck (not sure why) but others you could walk right up to a Cast Member and they would hand you some candy. They do have “healthy” options if you prefer, just ask. Also, we asked a few different times for a new candy bag as the ones given to us ripped easily. I also asked one of the retail locations for a bag and explained about our ripped bag and they were nice enough to give us a bag. Don’t forget to ask nicely instead of demanding it from the Cast Member. Feel free to bring your own reusable bag and I found that having a backpack to place all of the candy was a lot easier to carry on my back instead of holding a bag all night. And for those who do not know, Adults are allowed to Trick or Treat all by themselves. No kids needed!
#5) Pick which entertainment options you’d like and plan for it.
If you want to plan for watching the parade then you will need to plan for it. Plan to arrive early for your spot. Ask the Cast Members which direction the parade is going before finding your spot. If you sit towards the start of the parade route it will be there during the scheduled time. If you are sitting at the end of the route you will have to wait another 5-15 minutes depending on your location. If you have small kids you should try to watch the first parade but if you don’t have small kids then you might want to catch the later parade. The same information is true for the fireworks. If you want to watch the fireworks in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle then you’ll need to plan to be standing in your location for an hour before the fireworks start. Please don’t forget the Disneyland is unable to accommodate for mother nature and numerous things can cancel the fireworks at a moments notice. We were able to see the fireworks over by the Rivers of America when they mysteriously stopped about 5 minutes into the show. About 20 minutes later an announcement was made that due to the weather (wind) that the fireworks had to be cancelled. Many of these cancellations are due to fire code restrictions and not due to a Disney employee trying to ruin your party. Other entertainment offerings also include the Monsters U Dance Party (Tomorrowland) and the Cadaver Dans (Rivers of America). Personally, we are not a dancing family so we only watched a few minutes of the Dance party and we just happened to see the Cadaver Dans when we were by the Rivers of America. After watching the Cadaver Dans, I’m not sure I would go out of my way to see them, but it was nice to see them while we were there.
#6) Plan your Route
Two of the things we wanted to see during the party were the Stormtroopers and Phineas & Ferb so we decided to head straight for Tomorrowland about 20 minutes after the party started. At that point the park was still trying to usher the last remaining day guests off that they really didn’t have any of the characters out. My suggestion would be to plan your course backwards from logical thinking. We should have headed to the west side of the park and visited Adventureland, New Orleans Square, and Critter Country first. We would have eventually made our way to Tomorrowland and gotten to see the Storm Troopers and Phineas & Ferb. As it was, we got through our “loop” through the park by about 11 pm and were too tired to head back into Tomorrowland. I guess this means we have to go back next year! Whatever your goal (attractions, entertainment, trick or treat) plan your course of action appropriately.
#7) Find the Characters
The park will host a variety of characters throughout the park. During normal operating hours some of these characters can demand an hour long wait. Jack Skellington and Sally had a 10-20 minute line when we spotted them two different times outside of the Haunted Mansion. This is a short line compared to daytime lines. Mickey and Minnie had the longest line in the park. Our guess was that 100-200 guests were in line on the tail behind Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. We decided that the time it would take to get a picture with Mickey and Minnie wasn’t worth it so we moved on. Other characters have even shorter lines. If your interested in seeing some of the characters that don’t normally make it out in the park (Villains, Phineas & Ferb, Stormtroopers) then plan to stop by at least an hour after the party begins.
I hope that these tips are helpful in preparing you for a fun and exciting evening at Mickey’s Halloween Party. Did we miss something on the list, please leave a comment below explaining your idea to add!