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Saturday, October 31, 2015

Dressing Up With Mickey & Friends

Happy Halloween, everyone! I hope you're all out being someone, or something, else while it's acceptable, getting your candy on. I know I am, for more than the first time this season. My first Halloween outing was earlier this month at Walt Disney World. There's nothing like a Disney party, because everyone's a kid, whether you're 2 or 102. As you know, barely a year goes by without us making some pilgrimage to some Disney park and this year, Orlando win out. It was 100% so we could check out the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter expansion at Universal, but I'll get to that goodness in another post.

Mickey's Not-So-Scary-Halloween Party

If you've never visited Disney on a holiday, drop everything you're doing and start planning, because it is everything. I prefer Halloween, because school is in, it's less crowded, you get to dress up, the weather normally doesn't suck and everyone gets to trick or treat. Yup, everyone! Here are some other reasons:

Characters Dress Up

Mickey and the gang get in on the Halloween fun, too. Your normal characters come out in full costume (more so than usual) for pictures, making then highly sought after opportunities

Villians and Other Rare Character Sightings
Ever wonder why you never see Jafar or the Evil Queen or those nasty stepsisters? They're reserved for precisely these events. You'll also see characters like Tarzan, the cast of The Country Bear, Brer Fox and Captain Jack Sparrow.

Lines to meet and greet these characters can be loooooong, so be prepared to wait and possibly pick and choose. This year, I saw much less than normal, but it was also the very start if the partying for the season. Sometimes you get lucky and you can swoop in, get some photos and be on to the next thing before the crowds start up again. That's happened to me with the Winnie the Pooh, Tigger and Piglet group.

Did I Mention Candy?
Everyone with a MNSSHP ticket gets a candy bag upon entry. There are treat stations set up all around the park. Your map will tell you where and cast members have special Mickey light-up signs to guide you. We don't necessarily even want to eat all the candy, but it's included and it's fun and then we don't have to buy candy for trick-or-treaters.

Awesome Seasonal Shows
I'll admit it. Sometimes just the shows are worth the price of admission. They always center around the villains and this year WDW had a Hocus Pocus theme. The Sanderson sisters were back and calling on their "friends" to help throw the biggest, baddest bash ever. From where I was standing, I would have sworn the real Winifred, Sarah and Mary were there. That's how good the costumes were.

Aside from the castle show (strategize ways to get around that don't involve the castle, because you aren't getting in there), there is a fantastic parade. The Boo To You Parade always starts off with the Headless Horseman. I see they've gotten him to slow down his horse, so people can actually see him and get pictures. Alas, I was still to slow. Everyone gets a spot in the parade: the villains, your face characters and even obscure ones like the traveling ghosts. It's not to be missed. Wait out the night and do the second parade later in the evening and stake out a spot near the start. You won't have to jostle as much for s place to stand or wait to get across the road. Plus, when others are just seeing the beginning, you can be riding rides, getting pics or collecting candy.

Shorter Lines
Because everyone's there for candy, dance parties and Rare Character photo opps, the lines for the rides that are open are usually super short. Sometimes they add a Halloween twist to rides, like Space Mountain.

Special Magic Photos
You can always get some pretty special photos throughout the year, including the ones where they magic in a Disney thing into your photo. During Halloween, these magic pics take on a fun and sinister feel.

The Decorations

I love Halloween and harvest season. Disney overhauls their park every night the party is on by putting out an obscene amount of jack-o-lanterns, Disney-fied scarecrows, orange bunting and so much more. There are quite a few funky Halloween projections throughout the park as well. The more you look, the more you see. Plus there's a fantastic score of Halloween music in the background.

The Halloween Fireworks Are (Ooh) AHHmazing
Okay, yes. The fireworks are always amazing, but the Halloween ones are particularly awesome. They revolve around those sinister villains you rarely see, giving them a ghoulish vibe. The castle is used as a backdrop, so you'll want to get front and center for them, because the castle projections are half the fun.

If you decide that Halloween at Disney is for you, and I think you should, find a costume that isn't super involved, but still creative (you'll have to pack it) and plan to spend the morning and afternoon doing something else, because staying there for 16 hours is super tiring. You can get in a few hours before the party starts with your ticket, so you can enjoy the park before some of the rides close and get in a quick dinner before the fun starts.

What's your favorite time of year to visit Disney?

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