Maximize your Disney World Halloween
Ahh, Fall! One of the most rad times of the year to head to Walt Disney World. Florida weather starts to get cooler, Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival is on for the big kids, and most importantly, it’s time to celebrate my very favorite trickery and candy based holiday- Halloween. But, how can a family (or a bear) cram as much spooky magic as possible into their Disney World Halloween vacation? Well, grab yourself a handful of candy corn, and a venti PSL.
- Let your resort room scream “This is Halloween!”
- Dress (up) for success
- Sneak a peek at Hallowishes
- Make the most of those photo ops!
- “Treat” yourself smart
1) Let your resort room scream “This is Halloween!”
Want to start the Halloween party before you leave home? Get the family pumped for your Disney World Halloween vacation by picking out easily packable decorations for the window at your resort. As soon as you arrive the Halloween fun can begin.
While you unpack, jam out to a villainous Disney tunes playlist and sip a little spider cider. Let the kiddies help to turn your resort room window into something pretty spooky. Add purple and orange holiday lights, (fake) spiders and cobwebs (I hope you remembered tape), and window clings. Your one of a kind monstrous creation will share a little Halloween fun with everyone who sees it.
Plus, at some Disney resorts, having a jazzy window may actually allow you to find your room faster. I’m lookin’ at you, Caribbean Beach.
2.) Dress (up) for success
Is your fam attending Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party? If so, it’s time for a family costume.
After reviewing Disney’s Costume Guidelines, allow a bear to dispense a little Hallo-wisdom, BE PREPARED! Your entire family will most likely be pretty tired as they walk (and sweat) their way through a long night of partying. Keep your costumes comfy, simple and poncho-coverable for a more rad time.
If your kiddo does decide to go full costume at MNSSHP be sure to bring a change of clothes in case your little one gets “over” wearing it. It’s also a good idea to bring your own snacks. While there are many trick-or-treat stations, limited food choices during the event may have long lines. Make most of party time by not standing in line for food.
Weather (Don’t get your fur wet!)
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Pary coincides with Florida’s hurricane season and is generally not canceled due to weather.
Potential rain is not the time for awkward props and accessories, or itchy, furry, tights, or unbreathable fabrics, kids. Those fancy plastic shoes may look regal on your little princess but blistery feet do not. Don’t forget, you have a long week of magic ahead of you.
Have you heard of Disney Bounding? Oooohohohoh, kids! Google it- but briefly. Bounding is when you dress up as your fav Disney characters in a modern and fashionable sort of way by wearing representative colors, patterns, and accessories. Disney Bounding looks GREAT in groups, is comfortable and is completely appropriate on any Disney day- even if you aren’t attending the party. Plus, its bro-friendly, meaning even the most challenging of dads may find themselves willing to join in on the fun. Everyone is comfortable, your squad looks rad and life is grand.
3.) Sneak a peek at Hallowishes
Couldn’t score tickets for MNSSHP? No Big! You don’t need a ticket to check out the Hallowishes fireworks show. Scoff, scoff! The Magic Kingdom resorts located around the Seven Seas Lagoon all offer some sweet viewing areas for the nightly fireworks, which means on Disney World Halloween Party nights, you and your fam can totally enjoy Hallowishes!
At the Contemporary Resort, you’ll have a fab view from the 4th-floor viewing platform or bridge that adjoins to Bay Lake Tower.
If you make your way over to the Polynesian Village Resort, grab some snacks and sips, park your crew at the beach and you’ll have an incredible straight on view of the show from across the lagoon.
For something a little more low-key, check out the marina at the Grand Floridian. Piped in soundtrack can be heard from Gasparilla Island Grill and the boat dock near Narcoossee’s. Plus, you’re so close to Magic Kingdom, you’ll be able to hear it even without nearby speakers if your squad is of the quieter variety.
4.) Make the most of those photo ops!
Magic Kingdom explodes with Halloweenity every fall season. In fact, this year it went full pumpkin spice by Labor Day weekend. As soon as you go through the gates, everywhere you look there are awesome, amazing, and hilarious Halloween decorations.
The decorations give your family the opportunity to take some awesome, amazing and hilarious Halloween photos. Main Street USA is suddenly home to I-don’t-know-how-many jack-o’-lanterns and scarecrows, all ready to make the perfect backdrop for your family’s spooktastic antics.
Photopass and Memory Maker
This time of year is also a great time to track down a Photopass photographer and ask them about Magic Shots. While some Magic Shots are Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party exclusives, you never know what tricks or treats might be up your photographer’s sleeve. While you’re at it, ask them to take a family pic with your phone or camera so mom can finally get in the shot.
Remember, vacations only last until you get home, but the photos you take stay on your phone forever. Do your future self a favor, and do like the dinosaurs did and get a couple of those bad boys printed and maybe even framed. You’ll be glad you did.
5.) “Treat” yourself smart
Let’s face it. We want to eat all the treats. All. The. Treats. Especially during the Halloween season. I do my best to exercise some form of control, for my health, vacay stamina, and to keep things cool with my magical accountant. As I do not enjoy feeling deprived, I like to schedule a reasonable number of “Treat Yourself Days” during each Disney World vacation. Allow me to explain.
So, you and the fam are on Day 1 of what is sure to be the most magical and spooktastic vacation week in the history of vacations. While walking through parks, suddenly, everybody’s breakfast is starting to wear off. Without warning, you or a smaller member of your party, find their nose pushed up against the case at Main Street Confectionery.
Instead of jumping all over that 6-pieces-of-fudge “deal” you decide to add (in this example) fudge, to The List of what you might want on Treat Yourself Day. Then, choose to grab something more reasonable to share as a group or make a nearly-as-delicious-but-less-splurgy choice from somewhere a few feet up the road.
“But, Wallace” you say, “we are on vacation, and it’s Halloween! Do you know how much we will be walking? Can we not enjoy this candy corn laden bounty?!?” I’m here to say, ‘you will!’. You have your treat days ahead of you and (SPOILER) no one is necessarily going to remember everything, or even want to eat everything on The List, nor will it be comfortable or practical, so prioritization takes over. And, OF COURSE, there will still be some Halloweenie and sugary kinds of treats to be had outside of TYD. Hello? You’re on vacation! In Disney! During arguably the most treat-centric of all holidays! It’s just about everyone having more control, attempting to avoid sugar crashes and “no”-based meltdowns while making better, more conscious choices. The odds are already stacked against your senses, bellies, and wallet!
There is still plenty of fun to be had. Go ahead and order that smiling Jack Skellington caramel apple, and have a cast member cut him into pieces so you and your whole family can devour him as you imagine him singing “This is Halloween.” Yikes, if that doesn’t add a heap of creepy spookiness to your Disney World Halloween vacation I don’t know what will.
Hopefully, this list gave you some new ideas about how to maximize your Disney World Halloween celebration.
Can you think of any other fun and off the beaten path ways a family or a bear can get their spooky on in Disney? I’d love to know! Let me know in the comments! Looking forward to hearing from you!