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Old 09-03-2012, 02:06 PM   #1
ksdisneyfan
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Strategy for Halloween Party Nights?

We are going to our first Halloween party this year--one of the Monday night parties. I'm trying to plan out my night at least a little bit but am not sure what will work out best. By the way, it will be me, DH, and our 4 munchkins.

We plan to get to the park at 3 p.m. and stay until close. Is it crazy busy from 3 p.m. until the party officially starts? Should we not even plan on rides during that time? Should we start trick or treating at 6 p.m. when the party starts and get that out of the way? Or should we head for the photo ops with the villians before lines get long?

Any tips are greatly appreciated! Would love to hear your plans! Can't wait for Halloween time!
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Old 09-03-2012, 02:32 PM   #2
guynhawaii
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Plans

Aloha,

Don't know the age of your children. Based upon my family's experience (kids are now 11 and 10), we do the following for Halloween Party nights which we attend:

1. Stay at DLR and enjoy early entry. Stay in the park through lunch. After lunch go back to the hotel for a good nap.
2. Return to DL at 4 PM with our party tickets . 4 PM is the earliest Halloween Party guests can check-in.
3. Dine around 5 PM. The party officially starts at 7 PM. Hit the rides, enjoy the fireworks, parade and atmosphere. Hit the candy only with small lines. Hit the candy later at night when the lines get smaller.
4. Enjoy the party to closing.

There is an outstanding Halloween thread here on DIS for other great advice.
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Old 09-03-2012, 02:56 PM   #3
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Are you going on a Monday or Tuesday (judging by your entry time)? I don't know that the parks will be that bad from 3-6, though we'll probably know better once people report their 2012 party experiences here.

When we went on a Friday party in 2010 (entry time at 4), the parks got busier from 4-7, but the crowds did NOT dissipate at the party start time (which was 7). We were able to get a FP at 4 PM, so I would look into picking up one when you enter. You almost certainly should be able to get a FP for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and MAYBE for a slower loading ride instead. I'm planning to check on Space Mountain and Star Tours when we come in at 3 PM this year.

At party entry time, I'd suggest you be far away from Main Street and Adventureland, and maybe away from New Orleans Square. All the people entering for the party will be coming on to Main Street so it will probably be crazy busy. I don't know where you DO want to be when the party officially starts...I'm still trying to puzzle that out myself.

Trick or treating should get less busy as the night wears on. If you see a trick or treat trail going in the direction you're traveling but the line is long, I'd suggest you just skip the treat trail. We ended up waiting a lot shuffling between Frontierland and Fantasyland because we figured we might as well just wait in the candy line. I don't think that was the right decision.

I'm not sure how the lines will be for villain photo ops; IF it's like previous years, villains will be available outside of party hours as well. It is probably not a bad idea to scope out a party-exclusive meet-and-greet right at party start time, though...I just don't know when the best time will be to meet the villains, or even where they will be this year.
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Old 09-03-2012, 03:36 PM   #4
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Thanks for some good insight! I will try for FPs once we get into the park. We are going on a Monday, so yes I'll be waiting to hear those trip reports about the Monday and Tuesday night party experiences too

Maybe at party start time, we'll go to some of the trick or treat paths that are more off of the beaten path (if there are some?)!
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Old 09-03-2012, 04:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksdisneyfan
Thanks for some good insight! I will try for FPs once we get into the park. We are going on a Monday, so yes I'll be waiting to hear those trip reports about the Monday and Tuesday night party experiences too

Maybe at party start time, we'll go to some of the trick or treat paths that are more off of the beaten path (if there are some?)!
I thought parties were only on Tues or Fri??

On Tues you can get in at 3pm. So my plan is to enter at 3pm, grab a Space Mtn FP, head to toontown for DS to get his picture taken with Mickey. He's going as Sorceror Mickey so we MUST have a pic of them together & I'm worried about not being able to get one as the night goes on. Then do a few rides, have dinner while the crowds come & go at official party start time. Then trick or treating, stake out our parade & fireworks spot followed by trick or treating & a few rides.

Just hoping we will have time for it all!
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Old 09-03-2012, 04:35 PM   #6
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We are planning on going Fri. Oct. 19th. Is it going to be terrible/awful? We'll be going no matter what I think. We're mainly interested in a few rides, the "parade", character M&Gs, and a few rides--especially the Haunted Mansion. I do have one question. I know that they have a tour. Does it only run on party nights?
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Old 09-03-2012, 04:47 PM   #7
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We're going to our first Halloween Party too... I thought FP weren't available during the event? Can you get one earlier before the party and use it during?
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Old 09-03-2012, 04:56 PM   #8
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@chrissiecutie: They have a couple of parties on Monday nights instead of Tuesdays this year.

@interstate70s: I haven't heard about FPs not being available during the party and if you can use FPs during the party. Anyone know that for sure?
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Old 09-03-2012, 05:38 PM   #9
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Very interested as well. Last time we went on a Tuesday but that was when it was in DCA and I did not find the treat lines very long or it very difficult to walk around crowd wise. We are going on Monday Oct 15 this year and am a little concerned about how busy people say it is and how long the treat lines are in DL.
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Old 09-03-2012, 06:36 PM   #10
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Unless something changes, Fastpasses are not available during the party. You probably can't use them during the party. (I once read someone who said they used a FP that they got earlier during the party, but I wouldn't try it.)

However, you CAN get in the park 3 hours before the party starts, and your ticket will work like any other ticket as far as getting FPs. There will almost certainly be FPs available for Big Thunder Mountain, for example, if you are in the parks 3 hours before the party starts. You can get that FP and use it prior to the party's start. I'm not sure if Space Mountain will have FPs available 3 hours prior to the park's official closing, but I figure we can check.

I believe there are some treat paths "off the beaten path." I understand they do one in the Golden Horseshoe, and last year I heard there was one in PotC's queue, so I'm hoping they'll possibly have one somewhere around Indy this year. In 2010, sometimes the trail going one direction was crazy but the trail (for the same stops) going the other direction was just fine. I recall hearing Critter Country's was good too.

I would always plan for the park to be very very crowded from party start time and at least until fireworks are over...it may or may not be that bad, but I know in 2010 I expected very light crowds and I thought the crowds were very heavy. If I'd expected crowds I would not have been disappointed.
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Old 09-03-2012, 07:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eeee-va View Post
Unless something changes, Fastpasses are not available during the party. You probably can't use them during the party. (I once read someone who said they used a FP that they got earlier during the party, but I wouldn't try it.)

However, you CAN get in the park 3 hours before the party starts, and your ticket will work like any other ticket as far as getting FPs. There will almost certainly be FPs available for Big Thunder Mountain, for example, if you are in the parks 3 hours before the party starts. You can get that FP and use it prior to the party's start. I'm not sure if Space Mountain will have FPs available 3 hours prior to the park's official closing, but I figure we can check.

I believe there are some treat paths "off the beaten path." I understand they do one in the Golden Horseshoe, and last year I heard there was one in PotC's queue, so I'm hoping they'll possibly have one somewhere around Indy this year. In 2010, sometimes the trail going one direction was crazy but the trail (for the same stops) going the other direction was just fine. I recall hearing Critter Country's was good too.

I would always plan for the park to be very very crowded from party start time and at least until fireworks are over...it may or may not be that bad, but I know in 2010 I expected very light crowds and I thought the crowds were very heavy. If I'd expected crowds I would not have been disappointed.

This was my thought as well. I'm still not sure on my plan of attack. I think I might plan that day next to shore up the details... it's not too practical for us to eat in the Park during dinner hours as one of our party isn't coming to the Party and I don't want to ditch them too early.
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Old 09-04-2012, 11:17 AM   #12
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We've attended MHP the past 2 yrs in a row on Tues. nites with our 2 young DS's.

Between the time party entry starts and the time the party officially begins there will be an influx in guests and the park will be more crowded but as this is a Mon. not as crowded as a Fri. would be. My advice is to eat an early dinner somewhere in the park before the party starts so as not to waste party time eating. Then if you're hungry later in the evening have a snack.

It's been a priority for us both yrs. to have a photo with Mickey & Minnie in their Halloween attire. They've been over near Big Thunder Ranch historically and the first ppl begin getting in line for them a half hr. before the party starts. We do the same so we can get our meet & greet/photo out of the way first thing and proceed immediately to the nearest trick-or-treat trail (no line since it's so far back in the park). Last year Woody was in the Big Thunder Ranch area and we saw him next. Only waited a few min in line.

Frankly we stay OUT of Fantasyland and away from the Fantasyland trick-or-treat trails. Too crowded with kidlets. Prefer to do FL during reg pk hours.

We like small world mall for watching the (1st) cavalcade. It's not been crowded and that's where the cavalcade has been starting. Then we pick our spot for the fireworks 25 min. before start time. Are content to watch from slightly farther back on Main St. but best viewing area is hub, of course. Then you don't miss any of the effects/projection on castle. Would have to stake out your spot much earlier there.

Weather will play a role. If it happens to rain the night you're there, the party will likely be less crowded. Don't let it dampen your spirits or dissuade you though. Buy ponchos and soldier on! I promise you'll still have a great time!

When it comes to MHP everyone has different priorities. Determine yours beforehand. Is it rides? Trick-or-treating? Character meet & greets? Wandering around soaking up atmosphere and admiring decor? Shopping? Making sure you don't leave without having a caramel apple or sampling that seasonal dessert sold at the Jolly Holiday? Decide what you want to do about dinner and plan how you want to spend your nite. Then as soon as the parties begin, scour disboards/micechat for ppl's party reports and the official party map. These can be very helpful in planning your own experience.

Have a spooktacular time!!!
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Old 09-04-2012, 12:01 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guynhawaii View Post
3. Dine around 5 PM.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MagicMomma1 View Post
My advice is to eat an early dinner somewhere in the park before the party starts so as not to waste party time eating. Then if you're hungry later in the evening have a snack.

THIS!!!!!! is probably the best advice ever!!!





Weather will play a role. If it happens to rain the night you're there, the party will likely be less crowded. Don't let it dampen your spirits or dissuade you though. Buy ponchos and soldier on! I promise you'll still have a great time!

I have to say that rain in Oct. should probably be the least of your concerns...you ever hear of that song "It never rains in CA"?? well they wrote that song for a reason

When it comes to MHP everyone has different priorities. Determine yours beforehand. Is it rides? Trick-or-treating? Character meet & greets? Wandering around soaking up atmosphere and admiring decor? Shopping?

good advice...as for myself, I have never ever gone in with a strategy and Ive gone to every halloween party at DL with the exception of the very first one...I totally just go with the flow..well ok, with one exception...my priority for the night is the fireworks so I will camp out like 3 hours beforehand hahaha
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Old 09-04-2012, 12:02 PM   #14
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I don't mean to thread jack, but I don't want to start another thread on the same topic. I also need help on my strategy for a Friday night party (Oct. 12).

Our main goals are fireworks, parade, and character. We may ride one or two rides or stop at a few candy trails, but if we don't, that's fine too. We will be in the park in the park in the morning, and will take a break and arrive back around 3:30 to 4. What is the best plan for us? Including a meal would be great as well!

Also, it will be me (16) and my mom.
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Old 09-04-2012, 12:27 PM   #15
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I'd also like somebody to help me plan, since this will be our first Halloween party. I have 4 kids ages 8, 6 (turning 7 the first day of our trip!), 3 & 1.5. We have APs and will at the parks a total of 4 days, so rides will not be a priority for us. I would say that character meet & greets would be - can anybody give me an idea of where other characters might be (thanks for the heads up about Mickey & Minnie!). I've heard the villians are over by IASW? Are there any "party only" characters? Then I would say trick or treating - I've heard this is better to do later in the nights...but I obviously don't want to make it too late. The ones in the back of the park are better? We'll have a stroller for the little one, so I don't want to get caught in huge traffic jams, like it sounds like Fantasyland will be.

Oh we have dinner reservations at 4:50 at Cafe Orleans for the Friday Oct 19th party. Is that a good location/time?
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