OK, yes, I know that it is May. I haven’t completely lost my mind. What I have done is lost myself in thinking about the fall at Disney World. Everyone knows fall is the best time of year. Well, if everyone is Hubby and me. This is the season we crave all year and one thing that always comes to mind when we are thinking about fall is Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. There is nothing like Halloween at Disney World. My favorite holiday by far, Halloween is something deeply ingrained in my heart, but being in Disney for it awakened that love to a new level. If you have the incredible good fortune to be heading to Disney during a time when the party is in swing, I can’t stress enough how much I recommend buying tickets to go. There are many reasons why this is always one of the best nights of the entire year, whether we go when the calendar says it’s still officially summer or make the pilgrimage to be in the Magic Kingdom on Halloween night itself. One of the best reasons, however, is the trick-or-treating.
I’ll give you a fun fact about me here. I hated trick-or-treating when I was a child. Hated it. I hated walking up to the doors. I hated ringing the doorbells. I hated saying trick-or-treat. I hated people talking to me unless they were telling me how beautiful I looked in my costume. Halloween was my favorite then, too, but I didn’t want to do the neighborhood tour. I wanted to dress up. I liked the spooky (not gory, not terrifying) stuff. That was Halloween. I stopped trick-or-treating at six.
And resumed in my late twenties.
That’s when I went to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP) for the first time. You see, everyone gets to trick-or-treat at Disney. Every guest, young and old, gets a treat bag when checking in for the party. Note that if you are able to head in early (because in years past your party ticket actually got you in at four, not seven. Bonus!) you might not immediately get your bag, but as soon as seven approaches, visit the nearest Halloween bedecked cast member and they will give you one. When we went for Halloween night the bag came with another bag inside pre-stuffed with treats including full-sized bags of M&Ms and full-sized kind bars. Amazing.
Now, these bags are teeny and because the cast members are very generous, you can fill them up in two or three stops easily. You have a choice here. You can either fill it up and move on with your life. You can pour it out into your backpack and keep going. Or you can bring your own bag. I recommend the latter. Grab your favorite Halloween bag, bucket, or decorated pillowcase and go for it. They will pile in the candy, so the bigger your vessel and the more stops you hit, the more impressive your final haul.
Which brings me to my next hint…go back for seconds. And thirds. And fourths. And elevenths. Unlike the grouchy lady who lives on the corner and gives everybody a single Tootsie Roll and yells at you if she thinks you have already been to her house, Disney happily invites extra visits to the treat stops. Obviously you have to get back in line in between, but if you are roaming around and happen to see the same stop you have already visited, swing through again. If a certain stop seems lonely and doesn’t have a visitor, do a few laps through. Just remember to smile enthusiastically and say “Trick-or-treat!” followed by a “thank you”. Mickey wouldn’t want anything less. Our favorite go-to spot for multiple treat hits is near Buzz Lightyear. We went through the line eight times and the cast members just giggled and greeted us with handfuls of candy each time.
Now let’s talk treats. Each year the treats vary depending on what company sponsors the party. There have been known to be Peeps, M&Ms, Snickers bars, Tootsie Rolls, Dove bars, and tons more. Check out the map online when it is released and you’ll see a mention of the brand so you can give a good guess at the types of candy you’ll rake in. We were collecting not just for my own little one and my candy-loving husband, but also for the underprivileged elementary school class my brother’s girlfriend teaches, so we were all motivated to gather as much as we could. Being vegan, I can’t eat the treats. I didn’t mind because they were all going to a good place. If I was in need of treats, or if you have a dietary restriction, allergy, or just don’t want your child gorging on candy, this next section is for you.
If you are up on the Halloween trends you might have noticed teal pumpkins becoming popular in recent years. The presence of one of these pumpkins on a porch means that the house has allergy-friendly treats, usually non-food items like Play-Doh or small toys. In Disney, teal means the same thing. Even those who can’t indulge in traditional candy can enjoy trick-or-treating with plenty of treats at the end. Just check your map for one of the allergy friendly spots and pick up a teal bag. At each treat location you’ll be given a teal token in lieu of treats. Don’t get discouraged by the handfuls of treats others are getting. Those tokens will pay off at the end. When you are done touring the candy spots, head to City Hall at the front of Main Street. When you turn in your tokens, you’ll get your choice of a wide variety of treats designed for all the Big 8 allergies (or vegans). Rice milk chocolate, gummies, and more are up for sweets, and little toys are available for those not wanting edible treats.
Trick-or-treating through the Magic Kingdom is so much fun. You feel like a child again — or like an adult who doesn’t hate this kind of trick-or-treating. You can also have the joy of pouring all of your haul out onto your resort bed and taking a ridiculous picture to make everyone at home jealous.
Taryn was born and raised, and still lives in Richmond, Virginia. Neither she nor her husband ever had the opportunity to visit Walt Disney World when they were children, but when their daughter Avalon came along, they decided she was not going to follow in their footsteps. They brought Avalon for the first time when she was 3 and have been hooked ever since. Now along with Taryn’s mother and equally Disney-loving older brother, they go “home” at least once a year, and by the time she is staring longingly at Cinderella Castle from the ferry on their last night, Taryn is well on her way to planning the next trip. As a group consisting of two adults with Asperger’s, including one who is also vegan, a very accommodating husband, an only child, a senior, and a service dog, they are a pretty special family, but Taryn is excited to show that the World really is The Most Magical Place on Earth and that there is a place there for everyone. When she isn’t thinking about her next Disney adventure and trying to come up with a Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party costume that will beat her Oozma Kappa nerd look, she is a professional blogger and novelist, but Taryn also likes to indulge her Disney passion on her Etsy shop It’s Better in Vinyl.