A few days ago, I posted Chez Bro’s sad tale of woe – What do you do when Disney’s Halloween party event is “all sold out”?. Chez Bro, SIL and Nieceling have been attending Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP) on October 31st for several years, but this year they were not able to get tickets.
I’ve been scouring the internet since I heard, trying to come up with a list of things that they could try that would be amusing and fun, yet would not cost them the $150 per ticket that some evil Cretins sellers on eBay are asking. I did a lot of my research on AllEars.net and I also read posts on a few message boards and went through my own trip reports from years past. Here’s what I’ve come up with! Don’t forget – click the photos to be taken to larger versions of them for more detail.
1. TOUR THE RESORTS
One year that I was in the World during Halloween, I met someone for brunch at the Polynesian and found that there was a pumpkin carving contest going on at that resort! Apparently, the contest was open to both Cast Members and Guests. The resulting works of art were spread out on tables in the lobby and numbered. Ballots were provided, and anyone walking by could fill one out and drop it in the box. I voted for Captain Jack Sparrow!
When I arrived back at my own resort – I was staying at Port Orleans French Quarter that year – I found a flyer had been dropped on my desk in my room, announcing that there would be a costume parade and Trick or Treating around the resort that evening, followed by spooky stories and snacks around a campfire on Ol’ Man Island (there was a small fee for a smores kit).
I think probably most of the on-site Disney resorts are going to be planning similar activities for Halloween night. If you’re staying at a Disney resort, call the front desk and find out what sort of Halloween activities are scheduled. Ask which resorts are doing pumpkin-carving contests while you have them on the phone. You can then plan your evening around resort-hopping to see all the pumpkins, and even make reservations at one of the resort restaurants for dinner.
2. TAKE A STROLL DOWN THE BOARDWALK
Here’s a photo I snapped around Halloween one year. You know how they say “Welcome Home!” when you check into a Disney Vacation Club resort? Well I think some people take that VERY literally! They come prepared to decorate their balconies for Halloween. While I cannot picture myself stashing Halloween decorations in my luggage, to each their own. I know that a lot of people DO come prepared to decorate their doors and their windows, when it isn’t even Halloween. Far be it for me to squelch the spirit of Disney!
The Boardwalk is a fun place on a normal night. There’s a guy who does magic shows, a guy who plays a piano that he drives around on a bicycle (!), and a bunch of other “streetmosphere” type performers roaming around. You can rent a surrey – a bicycle built for four – and make a couple of loops around the lake. Of course, there are also dining and shopping opportunities, in addition to the fun. I think a pleasant evening can be had. And if you’re standing in the right spot, you might be able to see the fireworks from EPCOT at 9:00 PM. Speaking of fireworks…
3. THE VIEW FROM THE POLY BEACH
One year, my friends and I met up for an evening of fun at the Polynesian. First we had a few cocktails at the Tambu Lounge. We then proceeded to Ohana, where we had a delicious dinner and a few more cocktails. After dinner – nope, we were NOT done having cocktails! There’s a bar out by the pool, so we all trooped out there to enjoy the night in the company and camaraderie of friends. Well, lo and behold, it was a MNSSHP night over at the Magic Kingdom, and the Poly was piping in the music from the parade! As if that wasn’t enough – check out the view of the 360* fireworks from the Poly beach! We were so happy that we wandered out there; it was a real unexpected treat. Thanks to Coastal for use of the photo!
4. BOOK A FIREWORKS CRUISE
There are fireworks cruises that operate out of the Magic Kingdom Resorts (Wilderness Lodge, Contemporary, Polynesian and Grand Floridian). You pay a fee, get aboard, and get out to the lake to watch the show. Music is piped into the boat. Call 407-WDW-PLAY or press the “Information” button on your WDW hotel room phone to find out the details and make reservations. I hear it looks lovely from the lake.
5. TAKE A “FREE FIREWORKS CRUISE”
This one is a little risky, because the timing might not go your way. I read in someone’s trip report that you can take a boat from The Wilderness Lodge resort over to the Magic Kingdom, and if you get on at just the right time, you will be halfway across the lake when the fireworks start at the Magic Kingdom! They recommended that you find out what time the fireworks start and get on the boat no sooner than 15 minutes before the fireworks are scheduled to start. The writer even said that the boat seemed to slow down as they approached the dock at the Magic Kingdom; it was like the captain was trying to give the Guests aboard the boat an opportunity to finish watching before they had to all troop off.
6. TRY DOWNTOWN DISNEY
Alas, Pleasure Island is closed now, so one can no longer depend upon the clubs there to provide some entertainment. But I did read, again in someone’s trip report, that in years past, there were streetmosphere performers at Downtown Disney, and Trick or Treat opportunities at the shops and restaurants. Performers in the past included a magician and a witch. This is another case where I would call first – use the 407-WDW-PLAY number, or use the “Information” button from your Disney resort room phone. There may even be information available at the front desk in your Disney hotel.
Disney Halloween Costumes are available on Amazon.com and other places on the internet. They are also available in most of the shops at Walt Disney World – chiefly, pirate and princess costumes – but they are really expensive. A couple of years back, I looked at a Princess Jasmine costume for Nieceling and all told – tiara, jewelry, shoes, wig, costume – it was over $100!!!! So here’s what I would try. If you don’t want to schlep a costume with you in your luggage, you can find out what the lead time is for an internet order and time your order to have it delivered to your resort in time for your arrival. Even if it arrives a couple of days ahead of your own arrival, you can call the resort and let them know that the package is coming and they will hold it for you.
7. TRY FORT WILDERNESS
Ft Wilderness has hay rides/carriage rides each evening, along with the camp fire and sing-along plus classic Disney movie. Bring hot dogs, marshmallows and sticks or buy a smores kit once you get there. I’ve read reports that on Halloween, the hay ride or carriage ride might be themed with the very spooky story of the headless horseman… I also happen to know that the rides are sold out on Halloween night for this year. Here comes that number again, just because you don’t want to trust what some chick said on her blog – you want to get real information from Disney themselves. Call 407-WDW-PLAY to find out specific details about the evening activities at Fort Wilderness.
OK – that’s it. That’s all I got. Among these 7 things, there has to be SOMETHING that appeals to Chez Bro and da fam. Personally, I’m laying money on the free fireworks cruise. If anyone can pull that off, it’s Chez Bro. You’ve never seen him in action. Trust me, he could sell a stereo to a deaf man! If anyone can get that boat to leave the dock at just the right time to catch the MNSSHP fireworks, it’s him.
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