Aug 31

Things to Do at Disney World That You Might Not Know About

If you haven’t had the time to really research about Disney, you might not know about some of the fun things to do.  So I thought I would suggest some.  If your favorite thing to do isn’t on here be sure to list it below.

  1. Pirates and Pal Fireworks Cruise
  2. Dessert party and special seating for the fireworks in the Magic Kingdom called Tomorrowland Terrace Dessert Party
  3. Specialty Cruises
  4. Pirates League
  5. Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
  6. Grab a late night dessert at a Signature restaurant (time it right and you can watch the fireworks at some of them)
  7. Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party during the early fall right up to Halloween
  8. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party early November until right before Christmas
  9. Enjoy a movie outdoors at the resorts
  10. Campfire and singalong at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort
  11. Grab a fishing pole and fish over at Port Orleans Resort
  12. Take a carriage ride at Fort Wilderness (sleigh rides during the Christmas season)
  13. Go to Downtown Disney – this is free, no park ticket needed
  14. Go on a hidden Mickey hunt – this is free and I know it is at the Wilderness Lodge and I am sure it is at other resorts too.  Ask at the front desk of the resort

These are just a few of the things you can do.  Did your favorite make the list?  If not, please feel free to add it here.

 

 

Aug 29

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party – Tips and Tricks

It is my pleasure to welcome Megan!  She has some awesome tips and tid-bits for navigating the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.  I hope you find her suggestions and tricks as helpful as I did!  Thanks Megan.

 

Tips and Tid-Bits for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party:

Let me preface this by saying, we are generally cheap when it comes to “frivolous” extras at Disney.  We don’t do Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, we don’t buy the obligatory princess dresses, we don’t even buy the awesome Disney balloons but we do splurge on MNSSHP.  It is absolutely worth the extra money, BUT it is more worth it if you do it correctly, fully informed, and with a plan for the night.

Before you leave home:

Weeks, even months, in advance decide on what costume you will wear.  I am not a person who likes dressing up but dressing in costume for MNSSHP makes the total experience.  The characters’ and cast members’ interaction with you (with your costume) is partly what makes the night so much fun.  Play along with them!  Last year we saw a wide array from people completely clueless and not dressed up at all to amazingly elaborate costumes ranging from classic cereal box characters to Harry Potter.  There was a guest hanging out at the Villain Mix and Mingle dressed as Captain Hook and his costume was far more believable and detailed than Disney’s Captain Hook who was on stage.  Be sure to think practically about function when deciding on a costume.  Photo0139FourBySixIt is still hot in September and October and you are going to be walking miles through Magic Kingdom and riding rides. You don’t want pieces of your costume flying off on Space Mountain or to have to end the night early from wearing non-practical shoes. If you enjoy dressing up then this is your opportunity to go all out and, on the other hand, if costumes are not really your thing then think of fun ways to create a simple clever costume (such as white t-shirt made to look like a Fast Pass using fabric markers.) You can go as elaborate as you like or as simple as you but bottom line is DRESS UP.  You will be glad you did.

Buying tickets:

*NOTE: This does not work for October parties as the closer to Halloween it is, the more likely parties are to sell-out.

I am completely a Type A planner, but we do not buy our MNSSHP tickets before we leave home.  Why?  Because the party goes on as planned no matter the weather.  Even if it is pouring rain, the party will go on, but I do not want to pay $200+ to be walking around soaking wet in a costume.  The headless horseman does not ride on rainy or wet nights either.  Here’s how we work the system so-to-speak: you can still buy party tickets at the advance rate up until the day before the party so we check the weather the day before the party and buy tickets online from our resort room (or you can do this at the concierge desk or MK’s City Hall.)  This year we are at Disney for a week, which means we are there for 2 parties (Tuesday and Friday.)  We will check the weather Monday night and if it looks good for Tuesday night then Tuesday is the party we will attend.  Weekday parties always are less crowded. If the weather for Tuesday looks iffy, then we still have the option of attending the Friday party instead.

During the party tips and recommendations:

First partygoers get in at 4pm. The schedule and ticket says the party starts at 7pm but they let ticket holders in at 4pm. You want to eat supper very early so as not to spend precious party time eating later. Last year we ate at Cosmic Rays in Tomorrowland at 5pm and it wasn’t busy yet but when we walked by later the line was out the door. Not all restaurants are open during the party so the few places which are open get packed quickly.  If you are going to make it to midnight, you need to prioritize eating first before the party officially starts.

If meeting the Seven Dwarfs or Jack & Sally is a priority for you then immediately after eating, you need to get in line for them.  The line for the Seven Dwarfs often starts forming as early as 5:30pm while the characters don’t come out until 7pm.  Unless seeing the Dwarfs or Jack & Sally is on your Disney bucket list then I would suggest skipping them or else be prepared to spend a large chunk of time in line.

I recommend you see the first Villain Mix and Mingle (in front of castle) at 7:45pm then get out of there before the first parade starts.  SKIP the first Boo to You parade at 8:15pm–the vast majority will go to this parade, but you want to be riding rides or meeting characters while everyone else is watching the first parade.  You want to go back to the castle by 9:15ish to watch Hallowishes fireworks.  After the fireworks are over, STAY TO THE LEFT (you will be swimming up stream as everyone else heads to the exit) and head to Frontierland to watch the second parade at 10:30pm.  The parade starts in Frontierland so as soon as the parade passes you can be among the first people back on rides while everyone else on Main Street is still waiting on the parade.

You’ll thank me later:

My #1 most important tip is do NOT waste time trick or treating!  Wait until after 11pm to go to candy stops and they will fill your bag full.  Cast members were begging us to take extra bags with us. One CM let me stand at his barrel and pick out all the Snickers I wanted and he gave our daughter every Reese’s PB cup he could find. The candy line next to Peter Pan’s Flight about 8pm is my version of Hades on Earth.  Because you’re smart and know these tips, you can walk by waving at all the silly people standing in line for candy knowing you will get bags full later.  All the people with screaming small children stand in lines for 30+minutes JUST to get candy early in the party, but if you wait until the end of the party the CMs are trying to give away everything they have.  After 10:30pm the park is nearly deserted to the point that we were feeling a little like the Kingdom Keepers!  The party ends at 12am, but, a la Cinderella, you do not have to be out of the park by midnight.  You can be standing in line for a ride at 11:59pm and they will let you ride and likewise if you are standing in line to meet a character. They do not rush you out of the park at midnight on the dot so take advantage of every minute of party time you have—you paid for it!  Get your money’s worth.  Plus it is really fun and makes for great photo ops to be walking down an empty Main Street.

There is so much more I could go into such as Photo Pass opportunities (Haunted Mansion has a must-do photo) during the party and the Dance Parties (ugh we skip these!) but hopefully this has given you a good overview of MNSSHP so that you can make the most of your time at this fantastic special event.

Everyone was seething with jealously when she went on break and stopped to take a quick photo with our girls.  Talk about once-in-a-lifetime photo!

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My name is Megan and I  am blessed with 1 husband, 2 daughters (11 and 7) and 3 dogs.  I grew up going to Disney and love sharing tips and tricks with friends and family so they too can have the most magical Disney experience possible.  Along with going to MNSSHP again this fall, l am excited about experiencing the International Food & Wine Festival for the first time this year.