Hey guys! So I’m gonna be churning out a couple posts this week, just because I’ve been going to some really great places this month. The first one is a real classic: Florida Disney World! Where dreams come true, and you can buy just about whatever you want in the shape of Mickey Mouse’s face.
The month of October usually finds theme parks offering Halloween deals. Universal Studios, the other famous theme park in Orlando, Florida, had a Halloween fright night on October 20, opening its doors in the afternoon right up to 2 am. I’m not sure if riding a rollercoaster in the dead of night is more or less scary, but it sounds like an experience either way. Disney World, of course, took the kid-friendly angle: lots and lots of candy, AKA Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween, which runs throughout the month of October on Thursdays through to Sundays.
To anyone who thinks I should have chosen the Universal Studios deal instead: I had one and a half bags of candy, two sets of Mickey Mouse ears, and a billion photos of me in front of the castle at sunset by the end of that night. What would Universal have given me? Memories of travelling at high speeds in the dark. I could have just got on a plane.
When I went to visit my friend in Japan after high school graduation, she took me to Tokyo Disneyland. The day before we went, she spread out a bunch of maps of Disneyland and DisneySea on her kitchen table and took on a tone of total seriousness. ‘How fast are you willing to run?’ she asked. There’s a lot of prior planning involved when it comes to going to Disney parks, because otherwise, you just spend too much time waiting, and not enough time getting to go on rides that you really want.
But the trick to going to kid-centric events is this: during those cute parades where children get to wave at all their favourite Disney characters, the lines to the bigger rides are relatively empty. If you run, you might get away with a 50-minute wait for famous rides like Space Mountain or Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, which might take up to two hours on a normal day. We even got to go on relatively new Pirates of the Caribbean ride after waiting only about 15 minutes.
The other thing about kid-friendly Halloween events that I’ve mentioned already: trick-or-treat is involved. All throughout the park, there are ‘candy stops’ where park attendants will place a generous handful of candy, from M&Ms to Starbursts into your bag. I don’t think I will ever outgrow being satisfied about getting loads of free candy.
Halloween also means that Disney World relaxes its usually strict policy of ‘no Disney costumes’; this is mostly to ensure the fantasy of going to Disney World to meet the real Princess Elsa or Jack Sparrow isn’t ruined for the kids. But during these events, everything is fair game. To name a few highlights; Wendy, Peter Pan, Captain Hook, and Tinkerbell standing in line for Peter Pan’s Flight; a highly accurate Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas; a trio consisting of Moana, Te Fiti (complete with green hair, makeup, and flowers all over), and Te Kā who actually glowed orange.
By the end of the night, there was also a fireworks display and one last parade to watch, maybe even sitting down so you can rest your sore feet. People also take one last look at the shops lining Main Street, picking out that last T-shirt or mouse ears you wanted to get your hands on. At the end of the day, with a good quality souvenir and lots of photos, you’ll have some wonderful things to remember all the magic in Disney by.