Saturday, October 5, 2013

Trick or Treating at Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party

My favorite time of year to go to Disney World is in the fall. I absolutely adore going to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party. And one of the best parts of the Party is the Trick or Treating. Last year, Disney handed out a whopping 215 tons of candy at the parties.

When you check in for the party, at the Rose Garden or the gate, you are handed your party wristbands, a map, and a small, gift-bag sized trick or treat bag. In the past, the bag has advertised the latest Disney movies, such as TinkerBell or Wall-E. The bags are easy to carry and fairly sturdy, however, if your child has a favorite bag or bucket they'd prefer, that's perfectly okay.

There are several Trick or Treat Trails set up around the Magic Kingdom. The Trails, as well as additional candy stops, are marked on the party map. The first two years that I attended the party, the Trails were Alice in Wonderland themed, with Cast Members dressed as playing cards handing out the candy. Along the Trails, we got a surprise meeting with the Queen of Hearts and the White Rabbit. This past year, there were new trails, including one at Splash Mountain. The candy distribution is generous and we've found the Cast Members to be very friendly and in the spirit of Halloween. Most Cast Members will give each person a large handful of candy at each stop along the trail. Some Cast Members will wait for the kids to say "Trick or Treat" before handing out candy, and you should remember to say "Thank you!" too.

A surprise meeting with the Queen of Hearts
Disney is very generous with the candy that they hand out during MNSSHP. The candy varies, but is usually a good mix of popular varieties including Butterfinger, Hersheys, Skittles, Twix, Laffy Taffy, Heath Bars, Smarties, Nestle Crunch, Reese's peanut butter cups, Tootsie Rolls, Twizzlers, and more. In the past, there were also small boxes of raisins for a healthy option and also little extras that were handed out at some stops in lieu of candy. One year, we got packs of Winnie the Pooh Halloween memory cards. Another year, we got Jack Skellington stencils that were made of a nice sturdy plastic. Last year, at the Jungle Cruise stop, you could even get bananas instead of candy. One of our favorite treats was the Jake and the Neverland Pirates fruit snacks. And Disney has also added several locations where you can trade in your candy for healthier alternatives, including sugar-free, allergen-free, and non-candy options.

You never know what you might find on the Trick or Treat Trails. In previous years, near the Haunted Mansion, was a trail that led down to the Riverboat landing. A ghostly ship's captain bearing a lamp haunted a fog-enshrouded area at the bottom of the stairs. Last year, Disney added a new Riverboat stop that was less spooky and lots of fun: a Mardi Gras party from the Princess and the Frog.

Our giant haul of candy!

The Trick or Treat Trails are a great way to pass the time while waiting for the Boo to You parades or dance parties to start, or walking from one area of the park to another. We usually use our small bags while walking the trails, but dump the candy into a single backpack when it becomes too much to easily carry or when going on rides. The Trails are rarely busy if you attend a party in September or even early October. We haven't ususally had to wait for more than one group to finish before getting our candy or having a chance to interact with the characters. We really enjoyed the unexpectedly calm pace at a park that is often quite frenetic.

At the end of the night, don't forget to get your bag topped off as you exit the gate. In 2009, the top of candy was giant Ghiradelli caramel filled chocolate bars. And each of us got six! Last year, it was individually wrapped Peeps in Halloween colors. So if you're planning to attend Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween party, be sure to make time for Trick or Treating. It's definitely worth it!

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