Teenagers looking for candy handouts get theirs with a side-order of stink-eye. No one coos and ahhs over high school kids in costume. No, once you hit the big one-three, it's time for a grown-up Halloween, with parties filled with gore and guts, not silliness and sweets.
Thanks heavens, then, for Mickey's Halloween Party at Disneyland, where kids of any age can continue to trick-or-treat.
Disney's moved the west-coast version of its family-friendly Halloween event across the esplanade this year, to allow World of Color to run uninterrupted over at California Adventure. Disneyland's already tricked-out for "Halloween Time," with day guests enjoying holiday decor, the "Nightmare Before Christmas"-themed Haunted Mansion Holiday and the "Ghost Galaxy" overlay on Space Mountain.
Mickey's Halloween Party, a night-time event which requires a separate admission, throws in a Halloween-themed parade and fireworks, dance parties and, of course, unlimited trick-or-treating. Disney's set up seven zones around Disneyland Park where visitors can file past workers handing out fistfuls of candy. Party-goers can enter the park as early as 4 pm in advance of the party's official 7 pm start. (At 7, Disneyland cast members start directing any day guests without the party's purple wristbands to the park's exit.)
Here's a tip: Don't start your evening with the candy hand-outs. Wait out the initial rush, then start with the candy zones farthest from the castle, which will be significantly less crowded. During Mickey's Halloween Party, the longest lines in the park are for the candy. But you paid for the rides and shows, too. Go enjoy those while everyone else queues for the sweets.
Or, take a moment to banter with Disney's family-friendly take on a "scareactor" - such as this scarecrow, "hanging out" on the hub:
The party provides the only opportunity this year to see Disneyland's Halloween-themed fireworks show, "Halloween Screams." Disney villains, from Cruella de Vil to Maleficent, take turns in the spotlight as pyro blasts above Sleeping Beauty's Castle.
We'd intended to see the second, less-crowded showing of the "Mickey's Costume Calvacade" parade, but by its showtime at 10:30, we were too busy enjoying unlimited re-rides on Splash Mountain to head over to the other side of the park for the show. Whenever the Splash crew asks, "Hey, do you just want to stay in the log for another ride?" who's gonna say no? :^)
By the party's end at midnight, we were exhausted from playing in the park, sweaty from this Southern California heat wave… and laden with Disneyland's Halloween candy.
Mickey's Halloween Party runs October 5, 8, 12, 15, 19, 22, 26, 29 and 31. Tickets range from $49-$59, with discounts for annual passholders, but no cheaper price for children. To order online, visit www.disneyland.com/party.Tweet
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