Disney World Resort Halloween 2015 Schedule

by josh on September 26, 2015

Here’s a look at what the Disney World resorts will be doing for Halloween this year. Note that the Parks themselves don’t really celebrate Halloween during regular Park hours. At Magic Kingdom, Mickey’s Halloween Party is already sold out on October 31st, which falls on a Saturday this year.

Day guests can enjoy the daytime ambiance on Main Street up through Liberty Square, though the rest of the Park remains untouched as far as decorations are concerned. Other than Halloween merchandise and a few food and drink items, the other Parks don’t do anything specific for Halloween. It seems extremely unlikely that Disney Springs will offer trick-or-treating.

Here’s the resort schedules:

All-Star Music:

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The Thursday before the first day of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival is the unofficial launch of the event. It’s billed as a cast member preview and the booths (or Festival Marketplaces as Disney calls them) typically open up beginning around 11am. From here on out, the Marketplaces will open daily by 11am and continue operating through regular Park close. On busier weekends, you may see booths open up 15 to 30 minutes earlier. A few tips on experiencing the Festival:

Weekends are very crowded. And not like, “Oh my gosh the wait at Test Track is posted as 40 minutes!!!!!!” crowded.

But like this crowded:

Larger: http://www.easywdw.com/reports10/thefear.jpg.

This isn’t a holiday or anything. It’s 1:45pm on the first Saturday in October. Saturdays are almost always the busiest day of the week at Food and Wine, followed by Friday nights and Sundays. Avoid these days if possible.

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We’ll pop into Jaques Lapointe’s Hangar (that’s hangar with an ‘a’) Bar, grab dinner at THe BoAtHOUse, stare at pictures of walls, and try to remember that all of Disney Springs will be constructed in less time than it took to build the Mine Train ride.

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Larger: http://www.easywdw.com/reports13/chinese_theater.jpg

We’ll take a minute to pop around Hollywood Studios. The stage in front of the TCL Chinese Theater has come down, restoring the view down Hollywood Boulevard.

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Pop Century Debuts Pretty Crazy New Menu

by josh on September 19, 2015

It’s been a while since we visited the Pop Century Resort. Those of you that accidentally clicked “follow” on my Twitter account have probably seen me rambling about Pop Century’s new quick service menu for some time. It’s not every day Disney starts putting crab meat on $15 quick service hamburgers or starts selling sundaes with “Six Flavors of Ice Cream, Brownie, Banana, Pop Tarts, M&Ms, Gummy Worms, Marshmallows, Rainbow Jimmies, Chocolate Fudge, Caramel Sauce, Whipped Cream and Maraschino Cherry.” And who calls sprinkles, “jimmies?” Probably the same person that is Putting cheddar cheese on apple pie. Seriously northeast, cut it out.

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Mickey’s Party season has begun in earnest with the first Halloween Party selling out. Typically, the event starts about a week earlier in the month and the first few Halloween Parties are some of the least crowded of the year. That’s historically different than the Christmas Party, which typically sells out its first few Parties due to the Veterans Day holiday and marathon crowds.

I used to cover the event in a lot of detail. You can check out 2013′s 5000+ word/100+ picture look at strategizing your evening. But it’s such a nightmare to cover with the crowds and humidity that it’s just not worth it. And I don’t think I recommend going to the Mickey’s Parties at all anymore. The Party is a great opportunity to visit the major attractions with short waits, but the character lines are endless and there aren’t nearly enough of them, the parade route is congested, trick or treat lines are stupid long, and the iPads and shoulder kids make seeing the shows and fireworks frustrating. My advice to those considering attending a Party is to don’t, unless you’re looking at September 20th or 22nd, which should be relatively manageable. Or if you do, be aware of what you’re getting yourself into and plan accordingly.

The fact is that “crowds” or “the number of people in the Park” is significantly lower than just about any other day of the year. But with so few people interested in the usual rides and so much going on around Cinderella Castle that it “feels” much more crowded. And I think this year it’s gotten to the point where it’s not enjoyable if your priorities are the Hocus Pocus show, Boo to You Parade, HalloWishes, trick or treating, and special characters. That’s really what you’re paying the $75 for, I think.

Larger: http://www.easywdw.com/reports13/mk91515.jpg

This is a look at wait times during the day on Tuesday September 15th, which was the first Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. 4pm is highlighted because that’s the time Party goers can enter the Park with their Party tickets. 7pm is highlighted because that’s when the Party starts. As you can see, wait times for the majority of the attractions are short or nonexistent after 7pm. Peter Pan’s Flight and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train are the two exceptions. You’re best served putting either off until about 11:15pm if you’re planning to see the 12am Hocus Pocus show or saving Peter Pan for around 11:30pm and then getting in line for Mine Train at 11:59pm if you’re not.

Daytime wait times are manageable for the most part, though high FastPass+ distribution rates continue to push wait times up higher at historically secondary attractions.

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We’ll spend some time inside Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto and take a stroll around the resort to check on construction, in addition to grabbing dinner at Captain Cook’s and seeing if there’s any fresh resort-specific merchandise available.

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September Disney World Merchandise Update Part 3

by josh on September 15, 2015

Continued from Part 1 and Part 2.

Mouse Gear continued:

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September Disney World Merchandise Update Part 2

by josh on September 15, 2015

Continued from Part 1.

World of Disney at Downtown Disney:

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September Disney World Merchandise Update Part 1

by josh on September 15, 2015

It’s merchandise roundup time again. Most of the following items are new-ish. A few of them probably aren’t. We’ll start with some Halloween stragglers from the original update. Unfortunately, Lisa is headed to Tampa next week and then off to Chicago for graduate school, so she won’t be picking up too many more items for you. But you do have a couple of days to get those orders into lisa@theparkshopper.com or there’s always the Shop Disney Parks app or mail order.

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