If you and your family will be heading to Mickey's Halloween Party, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Get there early: You can enter Disneyland three hours before the party starts as a "mix-in."
- Deal with dinner before the party: When the party starts only some, not all, of the restaurants will be open for dining, which means you may experience longer lines or not be able to get what you've been craving. If you will be eating during the party, I recommend heading over to the Hungry Bear Restaurant in Critter Country where the lines are short and the seating is plentiful. Lines at restaurants like the Stage Door Cafe that are right along the flow of guests entering the party tend to be really crowded. If at all possible, I recommend eating during the mix-in portion of your visit or on your way to the resort so that you can enjoy as much time as possible out in the park.
- Stroll in comfort: Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring a stroller for little ones. If your children aren't used to staying up late, the stroller may buy you a little extra time at the party.
- Get a map: This may sound basic, but even for seasoned vets, a map is helpful for finding all of the trick-or-treat locations.
- Do everything in one area before moving on: With such limited time in the park, be sure to do everything in one area so that you don't waste time backtracking.
- Prioritize: There are a lot of things to do at the party and some of the lines can be long. Discuss with your family ahead of time the things you really want to do--i.e. see the fireworks, take a picture with the characters, etc. Trick-or-treating is great, but with so many other fun things to do, keep in mind that the candy is just candy you can get anywhere but the experiences are only available at Disneyland. (Learn more about the trick-or-treating part by clicking here.)
- Dress up and have fun: I dress up my kids on many of our visits to the resort. As an adult, this is your time to live out your (secret) dream of dressing up and walking around Disneyland. Sitting on the ground at Central Plaza in my Snow White dress and huge puffy skirt was so surreal!
- Bring layers: Come in your costume but bring jackets or sweaters.
- Bring a camera that takes good pictures at night.
- Know your limits: If you have a child who turns into a monster if they aren't in bed by 8p.m., it's important to know his or her limits and yours as well. Have a plan for how you will deal with a child who just can't "take it" anymore or consider whether you should put off attending the party until your child is a little older.
- Beware of the smear: If your child will be wearing any makeup with his or her costume, I highly recommend bringing makeup remover wipes because they WILL get sick of it or smear it everywhere about halfway through the night.
- Don't forget the jammies: Consider bringing your child's jammies so that you can slip them straight into bed when you get back to the hotel or back home.
Want to know more about Mickey's Halloween Party?
**This post has been significantly updated since it was originally published in 2011.**