If you have never been to Mickey's Halloween Party, here are just a few tips - and need to knows. It is definitely NOT a comprehensive list, but you'll get a good idea. (Full disclaimer? The Halloween Party sells out weeks in advance. If you do not have tickets for this year, start planning for next year!)
The Halloween party is a separately ticketed event. Your normal Disney admission ticket will NOT get you into the party. Nor will your party tickets get you regular admission for a day at Disney. They are two totally separate things. However. Your party ticket does get you into Disney a few hours before the party officially begins, and you'll want to take full advantage of those extra hours! If you are planning a trip to Disneyland during their Halloween season (September - October), be sure to avoid going to the park on any of the party days if you do not plan on attending the party. Why? You will get kicked out of the park early! Nobody wants to spend massive amounts of money for Disney tickets just to get kicked out of the park early.
Dress up!! This is the one time Disney will allow adults to enter the parks in costume. There are a few safety regulations that your costumes must meet, but they're fairly simple and require just basic common sense. Obviously, our family went with a Disney theme, however use your imagination and have fun! I would suggest making children's costumes relatively easy: you want them to be safe, comfortable and be able to make it to the bathroom easily enough. I would also skip lots of accessories. Even our face masks were getting annoying by the end of the day. Little kids get tired of carrying them and end up devastated if their sword/crown/whatever ends up broken or lost.
When you arrive, all party guests will line up in a perfectly, Disney-organized fashion. You will receive a wristband and a trick or treat bag. Once you enter the park, do NOT worry about hitting all the trick or treat stations first!! (We learned this the hard way). Enjoy the rides, wander around, eat some yummy food. The candy lines are ridiculously long at the beginning of the party. At the end of the night, the lines are non-existent and you can get as many treats as your heart desires. And obviously, because it's Disney, they are good treats. The best Halloween candy options you could ask for. Suggestion? Bring an extra bag for everybody. I'm not kidding when I say you'll end up with more treats than you could possibly use in one Halloween season. And that's per person. Not per family. (**While the rest of my family was stocking up on all the candy, I opted to get the "healthy" treats each time. I used those treats for school lunches and/or after school snacks for months after we got home).
As far as scheduling goes, try to avoid fall break times! We went during our school's fall break, and it was insanely busy. I will never do that again. If we go in the future, I will take my kids out of school for a couple of days. This is how we spent this particular Disney trip:
Day 1: Morning at Downtown Disney
Afternoon/Rest of the Night at Mickey's Halloween Party
Days 2 & 3: Park Hopper passes to split between Disneyland & California Adventure.
Next time, we will do:
Day 1: Disneyland regular admission
Day 2: Downtown Disney/Halloween Party
Day 3: Disnelyand OR California Adventure regular admission
I feel like the second schedule will be easier for my kids (who are younger), and makes it a bit less overwhelming for them. It also allows a bit of a down time on the second day. With small kids, I feel like park hopper passes are a waste of money; you can't really move fast enough to fully enjoy both parks with little legs.
I think I hit all the biggest lessons we learned during our first Halloween Party trip. If you are wanting to plan a Disney trip, I highly suggest Get Away Today Vacations. They make it so easy! And, if you're just looking for everyday tips and suggestions about getting the most out of your trip to Disneyland, I suggest following Disney Land Tour Guide on Instagram. I have been to Disney MANY times, but I keep learning new tips and tricks from her!