Recap: Mickey's Halloween Party
Last week, we took an epic day off of work and headed down to Mickey's Halloween Party at the Disneyland Resort. Here is my full recap of the event and our night!
Since we go to Disneyland often, we didn't feel the need to race into the park once we arrived, since the pre-party didn't start until 5pm in Toontown. We arrived around 12:30pm and made our way to our favorite place, Trader Sam's. To keep in theme, I ordered the Zombie Head cocktail and even splurged for the souvenir cup this time. Definitely worth it for a fun reminder of the evening to take home. We spent some time there before changing locations and plopping down at Hearthstone Lounge in the Grand Californian. Here we got another round (the Magical Star cocktail was quite fruity and was indeed magical!) and enjoyed the indoor space before heading back into the heat. It was 105 degrees the day we went!
Here are a few basic notes about the party for those who aren't acquainted with it:
This is a separate ticketed event - even for passholders
You receive early admission (3 hours prior to party time) with your special event ticket
Disney will begin removing people from the park as it gets closer to the party starting, and they are really good about this
You get a wristband upon entry and a map, which will be your guide to all of the many treat trail locations throughout the park
All rides are operational during the party and waits are often minimal
For the first time this year, MaxPass and Photopass downloads are included in your special event ticket!
Here are my thoughts on the event overall:
1) The park looks amazing with all of the décor at night. This is one of the highlights for me. Disney pulls out all the stops with the entertainment, decorations, Halloween themed food offerings and more. 2) You get loads of free candy and treats. Yes, can you buy the same stuff at Target? Of course. But it's fun to feel like a kid and collect your "loot" throughout the night. There also seemed to be a lot more treat trails this year, and they did a great job laying them all out. 3) This year's ticket included PhotoPass and MaxPass. We were able to utilize MaxPass fastpass during the 3 hour period before the party started, and PhotoPass during the event. Since we are annual passholders, we don't feel the need to ever purchase these things when we come, but it was nice to have them to try out for a night. They even had a special Annual Passholders photo spot - see our photo below!
4) The staff did a really good job managing the event this year. There were some people (don't people ruin everything!?) who were standing in front of us for the Frightfully Fun Parade, and they were told they needed to sit as they weren't at the back of the viewing area. So they were ignoring orders and totally blocking our view, after we had gotten there before they did to get a spot. Disney staff went out of their way to ensure these people moved out of our way since they knew we got there first. 5) The new parade and the Cadaver Dans were awesome, and made the night extra festive. Sadly, the fireworks were cancelled due to high winds which was pretty disappointing, but I know there's not much they can do because of the fire hazard.
Negatives: 1) Honestly, my biggest issue this year was the price. We pay good money for our annual passes, and the fact that our discount was $5 on our tickets was a little insulting. $105 per person to attend this event when you pay hundreds for a pass is pretty ridiculous. It also does not include parking anymore, so that is added on top of it. I just hate feeling like we continue to get ripped off by Disney, because we do enjoy going so much. It's just a bit insane with what they are charging now. I'm also shocked at how many people actually paid it (ourselves included) because it wasn't like the park was anywhere near empty! Tips: 1) For passholders only: do what we did and don't feel the need to race into the park early! Go enjoy a themed cocktail at one of the many options in Downtown Disney or the Disneyland Hotel. 2) Bring a tote and/or backpack of your own. They give you a small bag for your candy, and usually after one treat trail our little bag was already full. We used those and then dumped the contents into the larger bag to carry around. We had a backpack for waters and a tote, and by the end of the night they were both BURSTING. And we only went through the treat trails one time! 3) Bring your own glow in the dark items! Yes, I am an adult. But I just had to grab the $3 glow wand from Target in the Halloween aisle. You get to enjoy a little glow in the dark fun during the parade without spending $16 on something from the park!