Mickey's Halloween Party: Trick-or-treating for the rest of us

September 20, 2012, 8:55 AM · When did you (or your children) stop trick-or-treating?

Halloween candy

I suspect that, for many, once someone gets to middle-school age, trick-or-treating on Halloween begins to fade into childhood memory. Kids in double-digits are more often likely to get a disapproving look along with their candy. Friends might start laughing or sneering at classmates who still choose to dress up and work the neighborhood.

But some kids love trick-or-treating, and don't want to give it up.

If you look young enough, I suppose you can keep trick-or-treating for a long time. One of my wife's college friends was small enough that she could pass for a child and get away with trick-or-treating well into graduate school. But what do you if you're a normal-sized middle- or high-school student who just wants to keep being a kid for one more night?

Fortunately, for people who live in Southern California or the Orlando area, we have an out: Mickey's Halloween Party. (Throw in a "Not-So-Scary" if you live in Orlando.) At the Disney Halloween party, everyone can trick-or-treat and no one's going to look at you funny for getting your candy fix. That makes this party a great alternative for families with kids who are at that "in between" age when they still want to dress up and collect candy, even if some of the neighbors don't approve. Heck, it's a fun option for grown-ups who'd like to get their own candy stash, too, without having to raid their kids'.

C'mon. Raise your hand if you've ever enforced the "daddy tax" or the "mommy tax."

At Mickey's Halloween Party, everyone in the family can dress up (or not), grab a bag and fill it up with candy all evening long. Or if candy's not your thing, you can enjoy ride time on several of Disneyland's or the Magic Kingdom's top attractions, a special fireworks show, and a Halloween parade. Both parks put out many Halloween-themed sweets for sale, for anyone looking for a non-candy treat.

Trick or treating at Disneyland

Fireworks at the Magic Kingdom

This year, I've heard that visitors with diet restrictions, including nut allergies, can go to City Hall in the Magic Kingdom to exchange the candy they collect during the evening for more acceptable treats. (Disneyland's party hasn't started yet, so I haven't heard if the same policy will be in effect on the west coast, too. *Update: See the comments.)

If you go, here's my number-one tip: Go as deep into the park as you can, as far away from the castle as possible, before you start collecting candy. Disney distributes candy in several zones around the park, and the ones nearest the castle can be mobbed with nearly hour-long waits early in the evening on some nights. Start at the far edges of the park and work your way in - the opposite approach that most families will take.

And don't be afraid to hit some rides while lots of other visitors queue up for the sweets. Disney won't run out if you wait until later in the evening to fill your bags. Disney trucks in a ton of candy for each night. That's not a euphemism. They literally have one ton (or more) of candy on hand for each night of the party.

Trick-or-treating doesn't have to end with elementary school. You can keep on acting like a kid on Halloween. That's why I love living in Southern California, where every fall we can go to Mickey's Halloween Party.

Mickey's Halloween Party runs at Disneyland on select nights from Sept. 28 - Oct. 31, with tickets from $54-$69.

Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party runs at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom on select nights from now through Nov. 2, with tickets from $56-$70.

Replies (13)

September 20, 2012 at 9:02 AM · I went to Disneyland's version last year. You don't need to go to City Hall. You can already ask for healthy treats at the various stations. They offered apples slices, raisins, and carrot sticks. They are high quality treats. The apple slices are especially great for everyone to snack on throughout the night.

If you're stuck with lots of candy, I give them out at my home on Halloween.

Anyways, my kid doesn't restrict the trick and treating to only on Halloween. There are plenty of other opportunities for Halloween celebrating. It seems like every year is getting much much better with the holiday. The whole month of October is the Great Pumpkin.

September 20, 2012 at 9:27 AM · I went to MNSSHP Friday night, and my trip report should be up soon.
September 20, 2012 at 1:37 PM · Couple of years ago, I took a walk through Hershey's Trick or Treat area with two bags, explaining that one was for a dear friend who was sick and unable to join me, but I'd see her the next day (truth, actually.). They filled both of my bags and were very nice about it.

Yeah, yeah, I know..it ain't Disney. So shoot me.

September 20, 2012 at 12:00 PM · Wifey and I have been going to this for years. A great time every year. Mickey's Boo-To-You Halloween Parade is one of the best period. Plus night-time rides on Big Thunder is so awesome. I wholeheartedly echo Robert's recommendation.
September 20, 2012 at 1:21 PM · Hey, I brought an extra bag too to Disneyland. They filled it without question. I ended up with tons of candy. I gave away a large portion on Halloween and brought a bag to work.
September 20, 2012 at 2:01 PM · I stopped eating candy a long time ago, and I have been without cavities in my teeth for a long time (knocking wood)
So trick-or-treating doesn't appeal to me anymore. Roles have switched, and now it's me who gives candy to the kids who knock at my door. Problem is when there is some candy left at the end of the day, and sugar-temptation starts to kick in.

I have fond memories of trick-or-treating when I was a kid in the late 70s, and we did it in our neighborhood; I supppose that nowadays is safer to do it at the Disney parks.

September 20, 2012 at 2:29 PM · I trick or treated every year until my senior year of college - and that year and every year since I went to Not So Scary instead so I've been trick or treating every single year of my life! I love Halloween and I could not imagine not begging for candy. I have a peanut allergy so I used to take two bags around at the Disney party and just end up with one bag of candy that I could eat, but this year I will trade out at guest relations - so I can have two bags to take home!
September 21, 2012 at 7:52 AM · By the way, Robert, you should not place a picture like that first one in a spot where it can be seen so easily by a diabetic. Shame on you. :( J/K, of course. Some of my favorites, including Reese's PB Cups and Snickers, are well represented.
September 21, 2012 at 8:26 AM · Snickers, Mike?


September 21, 2012 at 9:47 AM · I worked as a cast member at a few of these in Anaheim last year and have to say it has tainted the entire trick 'r treating experience for me. God willing I won't be too bitter to take my kids in 10 years ;).
September 21, 2012 at 4:44 PM · Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party works on all levels of Halloween, except the scary part! The weather is usually pretty nice, the candy is plentiful, and there are plenty of adult only groups wondering the park! Universal does their Halloween Event Well, but so does Disney!

I second the Boo to You Halloween Parade! It is a must see!

September 22, 2012 at 4:25 PM · If anyone wonders, the first picture was the single-person haul from the first time when went to the Mickey party at Disneyland, a few years back. Love the brand-name stuff.

Now what I'd really love Disney to do would be a trick-or-treat party at Epcot, with candy from each of the lands in World Showcase. That. Would. Be. Awesome.

September 23, 2012 at 4:07 PM · That's some expensive candy

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