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Mickey’s Halloween Party!

I’ve wanted to visit Disneyland in costume ever since I was too old to visit Disneyland in costume. I thought that I might never get my chance, until I found out about an event where guests of all ages are invited to wear a costume to Disneyland: Mickey’s Halloween Party.

Choosing a costume to wear to the party was my first challenge. I would love to visit Disneyland dressed as Belle, my favorite Disney princess, but I planned to ride the rides during the event, and getting on and off the rides in an adult-sized princess dress, could be a challenge. Plus, I’ve never seen a Belle dress for sale that is nearly as beautiful as the one that the “real” Belle wears at Disneyland. I settled on dressing as Red Ridinghood because I like that character a lot (I once played Little Red Ridinghood in a community theater production of Into the Woods) and it would be easy to enjoy the rides at Disneyland in that outfit. Thanks to my crafty mom, I already had a handmade red apron and red velvet cape.

On Friday, October 4th, 2013, my friend and I arrived about two hours before the event started (event ticket holders were allowed to enter the park up to three hours before the event).

Mickey's Halloween Party sign (left) and entrance to Disneyland decked out for Halloween (right)
Cast members ready to hand out trick-or-treat bags to event guests 
A cute pumpkin greeted us as we made our way to Main Street. 
A cute pumpkin greeted guests at the entrance to Main Street
Disneyland guests lined the sidewalks, waiting for Mickey’s Soundsational Parade to start. As I walked up the street, I had my first magical moment. Little girls saw me and delightedly shouted, “Little Red Ridinghood,” as I passed! I turned back to them and smiled.

Inspired by the Disney Dream Portrait series photos (of actors portraying Disney characters) by the incredible Annie Leibovitz, I wanted to get a magical photo of me “in character,” with Sleeping Beauty Castle as a backdrop. My friend played photographer and captured a very sweet image. 
Me posing in character with Sleeping Beauty castle
Then we went off to experience some rides. Unfortunately, with daytime Disneyland guests trying to get in their last rides before they would be shooed from the park, many of the ride queues were very long. The queues for Haunted Mansion Holiday and Pirates of the Caribbean stretched past the thresholds of the rides and well onto the walkways. We finally found a reasonable queue in Fantasyland, a 30-minute wait for Peter Pan’s Flight.  
One of my fellow guests posing in character
After our flight, we made a quick stop at Snow White Grotto (which had been roped off earlier, during the parade) for a photo.
Me posing in character in Snow White Grotto
Soon, Mickey’s Halloween Party was officially underway. I pulled out the Disney treat bag that had been given to me when I entered the park and strolled a nearly empty Trick-or-Treat trail where Cast Members handed out handfuls of fun-sized packages of some of my favorite snacks, including Hershey’s chocolate bars, Kit Kats, Almond Joys, Snickers, M&Ms, and Kettle potato chips! 

 Cast Members ready to offer complimentary snacks to party guests at a Trick-or-Treat stop
I enjoyed some of my treats as we wandered through a now-much-emptier park. My friend and I were pleasantly surprised that, even on this sold-out night, ride wait times during the event were actually reasonable. We hopped on the Matterhorn Bobsleds after about a 15-minute wait and rode Storybook Land Canal Boats with no wait at all! When the Cast Member at the Storybook Land Canal Boats saw me, he greeted me as Little Red Ridinghood and warned me about the wolf! Very cute!

We moved on to Tomorrowland and rode Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage and Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, each with only a five-minute wait! We waited about 20-minutes for Star Tours—The Adventures Continue and 20-minutes for Space Mountain: Ghost Galaxy. During the outdoor portion of the queue for Space Mountain we were entertained by an intermittent projection and sound effects "show" on the exterior of the ride. The realistic-looking effects made it appear as though something was pounding through the shell of the ride and then covering it in evil slime!  
Projections on Space Mountain gave it a spooky appearance
After a 20-minute wait for Indiana Jones Adventure, we caught the second showing of the Mickey’s Costume Cavalcade mini-parade.  

 A float in Mickey's Costume Party Cavalcade
Then we headed off to see Tigger, or so I hoped. There were eleven different Character Greeting locations listed on our event map. The list indicated that characters from Winnie the Pooh & Friends would be in Critter Country. We headed there, stopping at any Trick-or-Treat stop along the way that had a short queue. It surprised me that some treat stops had extremely long queues, while other stops nearby had little to no wait. The Trick-or-Treat stop along Rivers of America always seemed to be busy, however we waited here while enjoying Cadaver Dans' Halloween-themed songs as they floated on a candle-lit raft on the misty, foggy river. (They gave four performances that evening.)

 Cadaver Dans sang as they floated on Rivers of America
It was already after eleven when we finally arrived in Critter Country. I went to the photo spot where I’ve seen Tigger on past visits and found it empty except for two Cast Members. I asked them if the Character Greetings were already done for the day. One of the Cast Members smiled and told me that Pooh had just gone for some honey, but that he’d be back in about five minutes, along with Rabbit… and TIGGER! We joined the incredibly short queue behind two families. Sure enough, a few minutes later, Pooh, Rabbit, and Tigger arrived and waved hello to us. Moments later, I got an adorable photo, one of my favorite photos of the night.  
Tigger, me, and Rabbit
 After riding the Many Adventures of Winnie Pooh ride (no wait), we joined possibly the longest queue of the night, a 30-minute queue for Haunted Mansion Holiday. We popped out of the ride with just enough time for one final go on my favorite Disneyland ride: Indiana Jones Adventure, now with a slightly-shorter 15-minute wait. When we emerged from Indiana Jones Adventure, we followed the exiting masses and took a final stroll down Main Street, followed by a much longer stroll to my friend's car for the traffic-free drive home.

Was Mickey’s Halloween Party worth the price of the special event tickets?

Visiting Disneyland in a costume was fun, plus I got great photos with the castle and some of the characters. For me, that was the highlight of the experience. Unfortunately, due to extreme Santa Ana winds, the Halloween Screams fireworks show was cancelled during that night's event. Based on the Halloween-themed Disneyland fireworks show that I saw years ago, I’m sure that the Halloween Screams fireworks show would have been another highlight.

Once Mickey’s Halloween Party started, the wait times for the rides were similar to those on a pleasant, lower-crowd Disneyland day, and so we got the chance to experience quite a few of Disneyland’s best rides that night, including the Halloween-themed versions of the Haunted Mansion and Space Mountain. All this at less than the price of a one-day ticket to Disneyland. For me, Mickey’s Halloween Party was absolutely worth the price of admission.

I did this in 2013 in Anaheim, California, USA.

Jen is also known as J.W. Lynne, a best selling author of eleven novels. Click on any of the titles below to see the book on Amazon!

THE UNKNOWN: Eight kids learn the shocking reason why they were kidnapped.

ABOVE THE SKY: A girl lives in a world where touching her soulmate is forbidden.

: A teen is locked in a bunker to take a simulated trip to the moon.

KID DOCS: An experimental program turns kids into doctors.

WILD ANIMAL SCHOOL: A girl falls in love with a boy at an exotic animal ranch.

WHAT HE DIDN'T TELL ME: A traumatized girl meets a boy with a horrible secret.

IF I TELL: A teen wonders if her father is a serial killer.

Besides reading books and dreaming up stories to write, Jen's favorite activities are singing along to musical theater soundtracks and hiking in California's beautiful parks.

**Jen's books are available on Kindle Unlimited.**
Jen's video review of Mickey's Halloween Party: