Advice for next visit

May 15, 2017, 7:06 AM

Hoping for some more advice
1/ We are going to be at wdw last week of september and first week of October. I notice that 'Rivers of Light' at Animal kingdom isn't mentioned at all - the parks closing varies between 7pm and 9pm. Does this mean it's not going to be on or they just haven't scheduled it yet? (Though all the shows at the other parks are scheduled)
2/ I've never been to Mickey's Halloween Party - is it worth the extra cash for two adults? is it true that most of the rides are open and viturally no lines? I'm not really into trick or treating etc. but is it worth paying the extra cash to get a few hours of rides with short lines?


Replies (8)

Edited: May 15, 2017, 8:30 AM

1. Both could be true since not scheduling it means it won't be going on. Since its so far ahead, they could schedule it later. That show seems to be having lots of problems. You may want to check back later to see if its coming back or they are taking a hiatus to fix it.

2. Yes, it's worth it if you never been there before. Part of the fun is the trick or treating so you'll be missing out if you don't do a few. Don't expect short lines. Fastpass is usually not working during special events. Some rides may not be working and many shows are not shown either. Instead, you might get some Halloween shows. Disney has been selling out, meaning big crowds. Feels less crowded on a weekday and earlier in the season so late Sept and early Oct is less crowded.

May 15, 2017, 9:11 AM

I'm traveling in mid-October, and have been waiting for the Rivers of Light Dining Package to open for ADRs in October to no avail. My guess is that Disney is waiting to lock in days/times for the nighttime show beyond September until they have a better feel for how many shows they need to offer after PtWOA opens next week. Disney frequently makes tweaks to their calendar based on popularity and expected resort capacity. After running every single day through most of the summer, Rivers of Light is only scheduled to operate 4 nights a week in September. I wouldn't be surprised if schedule changes and October ROL performances are announced in early June.

MNNSHP is a blast, though I think it's as much fun for the trick or treat trails as it is for the slightly shorter lines. Let me detail...

1. The biggest advantage I find in the MNSSHP is that you can spend 8+ hours in the MK at a reduced admission price. Unless you're getting a 6-10-day non-hopping pass, the price for the MNSSHP is a less expensive than any other admission media. As has been noted before regarding the MNSSHP, guests with tickets to the party can enter the MK at 4PM (before the party starts), and can enjoy the park before the party officially starts at 7 PM.

2. Exclusive characters. For repeat Disney visitors that tire of getting pictures with the same characters over and over again (even those that know about Character-a-palooza at DHS), MNSSHP offers some unique photo opportunities. Most popular among them are Jack Skelington and Sally, Malificent, Ursula, Old Hag (from Snow White), and ALL 7 Dwarfs simultaneously. Additionally, many of the traditional characters also are wearing special outfits for the party. If you're a Disney character seeker, MNSSHP is a must.

3. Exclusive shows/parade. The MNSSHP Parade is one of the best Disney does (I've never seen Paint the Night though). Also, the Halloween castle/fireworks show is pretty impressive using tons of projections on the castle, though if it doesn't change for this year, it may be inferior to Happily Every After.

4. Candy. If you have the forethought to bring some extra collapsible bags, you can gather enough candy through the trick or treat trails to satisfy 3 neighborhoods full of kids.

5. Rides. Yes, the MNSSHP is a ticketed, limited admission event, but don't expect the rides to be walk-on, and not all rides are operating. Popular attractions like 7DMT and Space Mountain may still have lines reaching the hour mark through the first half of the party. However, if you have the stamina, the last hour of the event (after the last fireworks show) can see lines shrink to unusually short waits. As noted above, FP+ is not operating during the party, so you're stuck in the standby line, but that also means that everyone else is too. You can reserve FP+ times for the hours between 4 PM and 6 PM just like a normal park guest, but after that, it's first come, first served through the standby line.

6. Costumes. Guests are allowed to dress in costume (within reason for adults), and you typically can spend the entire event admiring the creativity and dedication of other guests in the park. Families usually dress together in a singular theme, and it's quite fun to see what others do - great way to pass the time people watching while waiting for the parade/fireworks.

I like to approach MNSSHP as an extra MK day, but also as a day to maybe spend at a water park. We've also used the MNSSHP as an arrival day activity (we usually drive to Florida from the DC Area overnight) giving us time to settle into our hotel before starting our theme park adventure (typically spend 10-14 days). I highly recommend NOT using a normal Disney admission day on the same day that you spend at the MNSSHP - you'd essentially be wasting that on a half-day of touring (9 AM to 4 PM).

May 15, 2017, 9:23 AM

Hi all that is a really great help, we have the unlimited 14 day pass, so no problems with how we use day tickets. I think we may try the MNSSHP, though maybe it's busier than i thought:-S

many thanks

Edited: May 15, 2017, 9:34 AM

Some further advice....thinking ahead to reserving fast passes, I am looking at how to schedule days. Some websites say use the extra magic hours (we are staying at a disney resort), but then others say, no it makes the park more crowded and others advice to use the EMH and park hop.

My question - in people's experience do EMH really make the parks THAT much busier that day or is it really a relatively small difference? i.e are we talking a 45 min line instead of a 40 min or a much greater difference.

We can park hop with our tickets, we plan to use the EMH to a point, but am not a big fan of park hopping - by the time you've walked out the first park, and driven or got transport to the next place, it takes a lot of time (which can feel a bit wasted) and some effort

Any advice

Edited: May 15, 2017, 10:24 AM

I do feel that if you're staying at the Disney resort, you should take advantage of EMH, particularly evening EMH (which can be an extra 2-3 hours when even resort guests grow tired and just go back to their rooms). However, EMH do make those parks more crowded, which is easily demonstrated by looking at the wait times for attractions on the MyDisneyExperience app (easily 10-20% higher on EMH days than on normal operating hours). I've seen it, so taking advantage of EMH with hopping can result in some significant time savings, but it really depends on your priorities and how you like to tour the parks (see everything versus just the highlights/favorites).

I think hopping can be advantageous when planned appropriately. For instance, DHS is easily a half-day park. If you've already seen the Galactic Spectacular and Fantasmic!, it makes sense to spend the first half of an EMH morning hours day there and then hop to MK or EPCOT. The hop also allows you to grab a meal at Disney Springs or one of the resorts. As the parks have expanded their offerings, you can spend a full day in just about every one of them and not see everything. Since you said you have 14-day unlimited passes, hopping is probably really just a waste of time. Honestly, 14 straight days of WDW would drive me crazy (never gone more than 6 days at Disney on a single trip), but to each they're own.

May 15, 2017, 1:26 PM

Thanks that's helpful advice. We have a 14 day ticket as it just came as an offer with the vacation package - it was $350 for 14 days unlimited, which was cheaper that anything else we could get, even a 7 day base ticket was more. We will probably only spend 6 or 7 days/part days at disney, plus go to universal and couple of state parks and the coast for a day or two

May 15, 2017, 1:52 PM

I would jump on that ticket in a second, quite a deal you nabbed there even if you're not using all 14 days.

May 15, 2017, 2:28 PM

Yeah, that's what we thought. In fact the whole vacation cost $1425 per person - for flights from the UK, 14 nights at Disney All Stars Music and the 14 day tickets (with memory maker thrown in). Seemed like a great deal :-)

Thanks again for all the advice!

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