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Old 08-27-2013, 08:18 AM   #16
Icecoldpenguin
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Originally Posted by JanaDee View Post
OP, I understand your frustration with the parties at MK. Five of our seven nights has a party at MK.
WOW how did you accomplish that good luck? lol ok its not really good luck but at least you have some choices. I kind of feel for you
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Old 08-27-2013, 08:21 AM   #17
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OP, I understand your frustration with the parties at MK. Five of our seven nights has a party at MK.
We had that same scenario last year. We ended up getting the hopper option (our only trip with hoppers). We found that hitting MK on party days and then going elsewhere at night was a good strategy. Good luck!
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Old 08-27-2013, 08:26 AM   #18
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Saturday will be extraordinarily crowded at Epcot's World Showcase as it is the opening weekend of the Food & Wine Festival.
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Old 08-27-2013, 08:35 AM   #19
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Ok wow and no I don't have kiddos although I did just get married and I am working on that but that is neither here nor there. I as a kid did not like Epcot very much. I still don't like Epcot very much. Other than for character meet and greets it just feels like a lot of walking with not much pay out. I know there are those that LOVE it but I don't. I think small kids would want to see the animals at AK and maybe even all the fun cool stuff at hollywood studios including Disney Junior and the animation building. But seeing as how the OP goes to CA a lot in the past many of these things can be found at DL or CA.
Your response sounds a bit defensive. I was not trying to offend you in any way. Just trying to help OP gather as much info as possible. Sorry if you took offense to me asking. Of course not all children will like EPCOT, but my advice was coming from years of experience with small children, and I was curious if your advice was, as well.
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Old 08-27-2013, 08:52 AM   #20
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Other than Soarin' and Test Track, my kids aren't the least bit interested in Epcot.

If I had kids the same age as OP, I'd skip Epcot or make it a short half day.
I think this depends on the kids. Like Smitch, I think it's a great park for children. Mine love it (they are 10, 8, 5, and 1). Granted, the baby isn't interested in Epcot, but she's not interested in MK or AK, either. However, if that Saturday is food and wine feat at Epcot, I'd avoid it like the plague.

OP, we went to MNSSHP a few years back and were able to get on all the rides we wanted to, see the parade, and trick-or-treat. I just looked up the date and we went on a Friday. We had an absolute blast. It was fun to dress up with the kids.

I'd probably go to AK or Epcot for the day, then head to MK for the party. If you go to Epcot, you can take the monorail to TTC, then to MK. You could also take the ferry from TTC to MK. Go to AK on Saturday, or head back to MK if you feel you missed anything.
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Old 08-27-2013, 08:53 AM   #21
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I also think it is inconvenient, 4 of our 6 days have MNSSHP.
We've been before to the party and I'd rather avoid it this time as we're not much into Halloween (and because of the cost $) ...but it's not much the fact that the park close early but sad that we'll miss Wishes. Yes, we will go on a day that have Wishes but you never know the weather and it makes planning a little bit harder.

I guess we could try on watching Hallowishes from the Poly but it's not the same...

So in the case of OP, I would opt for AK on friday and MK on saturday... a level 4 crowd is probably not that bad with a good touring plan.
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Old 08-27-2013, 08:55 AM   #22
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I also think it is inconvenient, 4 of our 6 days have MNSSHP.
We've been before to the party and I'd rather avoid it this time as we're not much into Halloween (and because of the $) ...but it's not much the fact that the park closes early but sad that we'll miss Wishes. Yes, we will go on a day that have Wishes but you never know the weather and it makes planning a little bit harder.

I guess we could try on watching Hallowishes from the Poly but it's not the same...
Another option is to book the pirates and pals voyage on a party night. The fireworks from the lagoon were great, and the EWP passes right by the boat.
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Old 08-28-2013, 12:16 AM   #23
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Thanks, all, for your insights and advice. Some great options to consider. We appreciate everyone who chimed in.

Based on the descriptions here, we're actually starting to consider the possibility of attending MNSSHP on Friday, perhaps finding something else to do for the first part of the day and entering at 4pm.

Are ride lines really that short during the party? Is it due to a lack of crowds, or are the crowds just generally busy with other activities in the park?

How large of a percentage of guests dress up? Are all rides operational and normally scheduled shows still happening?

Thanks again, guys.
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Old 08-28-2013, 12:31 AM   #24
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Another option is to book the pirates and pals voyage on a party night. The fireworks from the lagoon were great, and the EWP passes right by the boat.
I was thinking about doing the Pirate and Pals voyage one night... as a surprise... Do you think it was worth the money? I was talking to my DN8 today and he was telling me how excited he was about seeing fireworks and it made me think about it again.
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Old 08-28-2013, 12:43 AM   #25
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Thanks, all, for your insights and advice. Some great options to consider. We appreciate everyone who chimed in.

Based on the descriptions here, we're actually starting to consider the possibility of attending MNSSHP on Friday, perhaps finding something else to do for the first part of the day and entering at 4pm.

Are ride lines really that short during the party? Is it due to a lack of crowds, or are the crowds just generally busy with other activities in the park?

How large of a percentage of guests dress up? Are all rides operational and normally scheduled shows still happening?

Thanks again, guys.
People are very busy with other things like trick or treating, dance parties nd hair acted meets. The closer to halloween the busier and weekend nights like Friday do draw more locals. But we have never waited over 15 minutes on a party night and that was for haunted mansion.

It's so much fun.
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Old 08-28-2013, 04:52 AM   #26
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Don't know the percentage of people and kids who dress up, but there's a number of them, if look in any direction. You could do something as simple as decorating a T-Shirt, or just wearing a light-up necklace. The problem with costumes is that Florida can be hot and muggy after dark. If you're wearing a costume over regular clothes you might get sweaty. Kids, too, especially under a full mask -- make-up would be better. You have to "dress-up light," such as themed accessories but not a complete outfit.

The parade is held twice, and the second one is less crowded. You can watch it all the way to Frontierland, away from the crowded hub in front of the Castle. Be sure to see Hallowishes. Don't wait 'til the last minute to get situated for it -- it's just too crowded. It is one of the best themed fireworks shows you'll ever see.

Many restaurants won't be open. In Tomorrowland, Cosmic Ray's will be open and there's loads of choices there. In Frontierland there will be Pecos Bill's. Also, Casey's Corner on Main St USA.

There is a brochure with parade map and event times, but I couldn't find it. Maybe not available yet. It's good to download one and have a plan for character greets, parade times, etc.
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Old 08-28-2013, 05:07 AM   #27
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I think that you will be fine going to MK in the morning or to the party(providing you think you kids can stay up that late). I cannot remember if you said that your cruise was before or after, but if you are doing the parks first your kids might be less tired at night because of the time differance.

I would check out a guide and decide on what rides you want to do. Many are very similar to the ones at Disneyland.


I also agree not to go to EPCOT. There really is not much for young kids outside of coloring and meet and greets.
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Old 08-28-2013, 08:00 AM   #28
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I was thinking about doing the Pirate and Pals voyage one night... as a surprise... Do you think it was worth the money? I was talking to my DN8 today and he was telling me how excited he was about seeing fireworks and it made me think about it again.
Worth every penny! We surprised our kids with it last year, and we all had a great time. I highly recommend it!
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Old 08-28-2013, 08:01 AM   #29
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There really is not much for young kids outside of coloring and meet and greets.
We spend 3 days at EPCOT, and we don't even color!
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Old 08-28-2013, 09:03 AM   #30
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Our family will be spending a few days at Disney World following a cruise next month. Our two park days will be Friday, September 27, and Saturday, September 28. We're longtime Disneyland annual passholders, but this will be our first trip to Orlando. Our kids are 7, 4, and 2.

The two parks that we're interested in visiting on this trip are Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom, and in reviewing Touringplans.com, it looked like the best plan of attack would be Magic Kingdom Friday (Crowd Rating = 1.1) and Animal Kingdom Saturday (Crowd Rating = 1.6) We are big fans of low crowds, so this seemed perfect.

Then came a bit of a wrench in the works - looks like Mickey's Halloween Party is on the Friday we were planning on going to MK. It's my understanding that this means we essentially get kicked out of the park (for which we will have already paid full price - ouch) at 7pm, and have to pay $250 ($60ish each x 4) to get back in (or to stay in). Is that right? Seems a bit unfair, but what do I know. . .
Unfair to whom? For people who love the Halloween parties (and people do love the Halloween parties), they'd think it unfair to cancel some parties, because then the remaining ones would be too crowded. And really ... it's not unfair at all -- the dates of the parties have been out, and reflected in park hours, since May. It's not like Disney suddenly sprung this on guests. I can definitely see how it'd be frustrating if you're just now planning and just now seeing it. But they do try to be as proactive as possible so that people know the hours way in advance.

It's interesting that you also paid "full price" for your day at DAK, which ends at 6pm ... but that doesn't seem to be an issue. Yet an MK day that ends at 7pm is. I know that the dollar value of a day at MK is more than the dollar value of a day at DAK, but still. If you keep your current plan, you'll have ten hours at MK (9am-7pm) on a day with a crowd rating of 1.1. Even with three kids in tow, I can't imagine not being able to see everything you wanted to (twice) in that amount of time.

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So, the alternative would be to switch our two days, and go to AK on Friday (Crowd Rating 1.5 - about the same as Saturday), and MK on Saturday (Crowd Rating 4, so considerably more busy than Friday)

So - my questions for you smarties are:

How great is the Halloween Party? Worth going to? Worth $250 extra?
It's a great party -- well worth the price for me and my family. Whether it's worth it for your family would depend on whether you really get into Halloween and whether your kids are into trick or treating and character greetings and dance parties. It's a really expensive ticket if all you want to do is ride rides, and I think you'd end up discovering that you covered MK between 9am-7pm that day and don't need the extra ride time. If your kids are true Halloween Kids (my sister's kids like it more than Christmas!), it's a must-do. If you're just looking for extra ride time, then I'd pass.

Something else to consider ... the parade, stage shows and character greetings you'd see at MNSSHP are totally different than the ones you'll see at MK during the day. So if you're into parades and shows, then it can also be worth it. But if your MK day becomes entering for the Halloween party at 4pm and staying through to the end, you will miss the "regular" day parade, and any shows or character greetings that normally take place during regular daily operation. So no Opening Show, no "Dream Along with Mickey", no day parade, none of the morning atmosphere groups, etc. You'll have special Halloween versions of most of those things, but if the classic Dapper Dans is on your list of things to see, you'll be missing them in favor of the Halloween-ized "Cadaver Dans".

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How much busier would a Crowd Rating of 4 be than a Crowd Rating of 1? I know Touringplans isn't always the most reliable, but generally speaking, does anyone have a frame of reference for this kind of thing?
Not really as noticable as you'd think. The difference between a 1.1 and a 7.5 is huge. Between a 1 and a 4 ... not as big. Even at a 4, you'll have plenty of time to see everything you want, but you'll also have more time on MK's "4" day, since it's open until midnight.

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