Six Christies

Make It Simple Mommy

Tag: #vacation (page 1 of 9)

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party 2017: 10 Reasons To Go, 8 Simple Tips to Help You Enjoy While There, and 4 Important Considerations On If You Should Go

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is held during the fall months at Magic Kingdom Theme Park, and has been around for quite some time now, and I have had plenty of chances to attend, but for one reason or another I never seemed to make the party. Last year, during our annual visit that changed, and our family has agreed this event needs to be added to our yearly Disney vacation to do list. While this is  a Halloween Party and there are plenty of “ghostly” figures around it is all in good fun, and kept light as to not scare the kiddos.

**SIMPLE TIP: If your little one is extremely skittish/ or afraid be aware that while ghosts don’t roam the park you may find “ghostly” entertainment around the Haunted Mansion. The parade also features ghosts, skeleton grave diggers, and plenty of Disney Villains. While I would not consider any portion of this party “frightening”, very sensitive littles may be afraid. If you are debating because your kiddo has an extremely active imagination or is scared by mild images you may want to sit this one out for the time being.

**SIMPLE TIP: Grab a guide map (or two) when you enter the park. The maps will have all the show times, and trick or treat locations for the party.

  1. Mickey’s “Boo-To-You” Halloween Parade
    • It is my opinion that this parade is one of the best. From the Headless Horseman before the floats begin to come through, to the grave diggers putting on a “sparking” show this parade has a great “wow” factor and should not be missed. **SIMPLE TIP: The parade route is the same as any other parade so find a viewing spot in Liberty Square or Frontierland. (They tend to be less crowded than Main Street U.S.A.)
  2. The special shows
    • There is just something about a night time show on the stage at Cinderella Castle. This show is currently a Hocus Pocus theme and the Sanderson Sisters do not disappoint.
  3. Unique Character Greetings
    •  Always wanted a photo with all Seven Dwarfs, or Jack Skellington and Sally? This party is the place for it, you will see many “rarely seen” characters, and have the opportunity to take photos with many of these characters. Keep in mind, most of these specialty characters do not/will not sign autographs. **SIMPLE TIP: Characters who are greeting specifically for the party will not arrive at greeting locations until after the party begins at 7 p.m. Guests who want photos with the very rarely seen characters will start to line up as soon as admittance to the party begins; if your priority is a certain photo be prepared to get in line very early (as early as 4 p.m.)
  4. Character Dance Party
    • In Tomorrowland, close to the Carousel Of Progress there is a fantastic dance party suitable for everyone from toddler crowd all the way through the grandparents. **SIMPLE TIP: The characters at the dance party are not “greeting guests” or posing for photos. You can snap a couple of quick fun shots, so keep your camera ready and handy.

      Dance Party with Sully will make all your monster-y dreams come true

  5. Trick or Treating (Allergy Friendly Options too!!)
    • Trick or Treat Bags are given out as you enter the party. The Trick or Treat stops give out handfuls of candy so be ready to receive a seasons worth of candy in a short time. They also have cute trick or treat buckets for sale.  **SIMPLE TIP: The allergy friendly treats are kept completely separate from the regular areas, your kiddos can still trick or treat in the regular areas but make sure to ask for a teal  trick or treat bag. Instead of candy, they will receive teal tokens that can be exchanged at the allergy friendly stop. There are usually two exchange locations.
  6. Photo Pass “Magic Shots”
    • These cute shots are unique to the party and like all “magic shots”, you have no idea what you are getting until you see the photo. **SIMPLE TIP: The bigger (or more committed) you can make your pose (or face) the better the magic shot will turn out. Don’t worry about looking “just right” or having a great smile in these photos, just have fun!
  7. Happy Hallo-Wishes
    • This fireworks show is incredible, and has a fun soundtrack to go along with the explosions.
  8. Event specific merchandise
    • While not necessarily an extensive selection, you will find event exclusive t-shirts, trading pins, and last year’s party even included a magic band.
  9. Costumes, costumes, and more costumes(a.k.a. we all get to play dress up!!)
    • There are some pretty specific guidelines so be sure check that your costume idea falls within the parameters. While Disney is in the

      At Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party the ghosts aren’t only inside the Haunted Mansion

      business of making magic, not squashing it, failure to adhere to the costume guidelines may result in denied entrance or expulsion from the park.

  10. Attraction wait times
    • While not guaranteed, since most party-goers are there for the specific party events many popular attractions have significantly shorter waits than normal. This is especially true during the first (earliest) parade of the evening if you are up for catching the later parade. Keep in mind that not all attractions are open for the party.
  • Bonus: You can enter the park at 4 p.m.! Even though the party does not begin until 7, ticket holders can enter Magic Kingdom Park beginning at 4. For our family, this means a morning at the pool or Disney Springs, a late lunch/early dinner, and then party time!!!

Now for the downside….

  • The Cost
    • While the cost of this event is completely in-line with other seasonal events, concerts, and shows, this cost on top of the expected vacation costs can feel quite expensive.
  • The Crowds
    • While only a limited number of tickets are sold, parties often sell out and can feel extremely crowded since everyone is wanting to do the same party specific activities.  **SIMPLE TIP: Parties earlier in the season tend to be less crowded than dates closer to Halloween.
  • The Weather
    • Fall is peak season for tropical weather, so you may find yourself in some seriously bad weather during the party. It is exceptionally rare, but the party can be cancelled if the weatheris bad enough. Be aware that it is not policy for Disney to give refunds if you think the weather is too bad to attend
  • Not all restaurants, retail shops, snack carts, and attractions are open.
    • Most are, but not all.

Head to the party early and be prepared to stay late. Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party should be added to every Walt Disney World bucket list! Have a great time and Boo To You!!

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party will run on select nights beginning in August 2017


As was rumored, the “Free Dining” promotion for travels in August – December 2017 has been released. This promotion is very limited and restricted to a handful of dates. If you are lucky enough to get one of these promotions, awesome! If you don’t, well perhaps it wasn’t meant to be – keep your eyes open for other promotions that may be released in the coming months; perhaps one of the others will be a better fit for your travel plans**. Regardless, if you are headed to Walt Disney World and plan to eat while you are at the resort, you will need a plan. The coveted castle dining reservation is like spotting an endangered species in just the right light of the day. Those who are well prepared snap an incredible photograph, and those who aren’t, scare the poor animal away while fumbling for the camera.

Golden brown and simply sweet. Mickey waffles do not disappoint.

The promotion released this morning offers the Quick Service Dining Plan for stays at Value and Moderate Resort Hotels and the “regular” Disney Dining Plan for stays at Deluxe Resort Hotels.  It is also worth mentioning that the dining plan has changed, and no longer includes desert with every meal, the offer is now 2 meals (either Quick Service or Full Service depending on your plan) and 2 snack credits per day.

There are a multitude of way to “do” Disney, but on the two extremes you have: 1. those who plan every moment of the day from attractions (order and timing), to dining, to resort downtime and 2. those who show up to “Disney World” (i.e. The Magic Kingdom), walk right up to Cinderella Castle, and expect to immediately be seated and dine with the princesses…with no advance planning…in July…over the 4th (if you are unfamiliar with the crowd calendars, this is one of the busiest times of the year).

The latter crowd tends to end up journeying right back down Main Street U.S.A., and into City Hall – (otherwise known as Guest Relations) demanding to know why they were blissfully unaware that the “castle” reservation is one of the most difficult to get, and absolutely must be made well in advance of your trip (read: 180 days ahead). This crowd generally has to step back, take a very deep breath, and change their entire vacation strategy – or get a strategy in the first place.

We fall somewhere in the middle of these two types.

180 days prior to the start of a Walt Disney World Resort vacation, guests can begin booking advance dining reservations (also known as ADR’s). We have just passed our 180 day window for our September trip, and I have painstakingly planned, and re-planned our days to fit the restaurants where we would like to dine. I will continue to tweak our plan right up until our trip, as our plans tend to change around based on what the kiddos would like to do. Please remember, all changes or cancellations need to be completed 24 hours before the reservation to avoid a “no-show” fee.

Planning Disney Dining is like a delicate dance, perfectly balanced between the right choices (character, casual, or fine dining to name a few), and right times (trust me, that 9 p.m. ADR might seem ok months away from your trip; in reality, you don’t want your toddler eating dinner at 9 pm cranky and tired) for your family, with whatever ADR’s are available. Obviously, the earlier you book, the better the availability of both times, and restaurants.

Our strategy is  pretty simple: lots of food options (buffet) and entertainment (because I like to eat rather than entertain/argue with my children at meal times). We largely book character buffet meals, and though you have to time your trips to the buffet just right, (in order to not miss the circulating characters) this kills two birds with one stone: the kiddos get autographs and pictures and your whole traveling party gets a full

Chef Mickey’s Breakfast

tummy and some down time. I’m not usually a huge buffet fan, but Disney makes it so easy, entertaining, and convenient.

So, how does your family “do” Disney dining? I’d love to hear about your favorite Walt Disney World Resort ADR’s.

*Let me caveat all of this by saying: yes, it is possible (but highly unlikely) to get lucky and totally rack up on last minute ADR’s.

** While Disney does tend to release many promotions throughout the year, planning on getting a discount or special deal is never a good idea – they are not guaranteed and often very limited. Booking your stay with the intention of adding a promotion later tends to lead to aggravation and disappointment.

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