Every year one of the highlights of our fall is the Not So Scary Halloween Party! It is our natural transition to fall since Florida doesn’t have the cool breezes and leaves falling from the trees. One of my favorite parts of the party is planning a not so scary family costume. I wanted to share some tips with you to help you plan your costume the right way.
We have always been a Disney family. We love the experience and the Not So Scary Halloween Party is a favorite moment for us every year! We have been able to score candy, laugh with friends, enjoy parades, and make some special memories. However, I have one child with some sensory issues. It’s important for us to find ways to enjoy Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party with sensory issues!
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party with Sensory Issues
It is important to note that every child has different sensory issues. I can only speak to my daughter’s unique issues and how I meet her needs. However, I am hoping some of this will translate well for you.
Plan Costumes with Sensory Issues in Mind
You don’t have to spend long on Pinterest to see that there are some incredible costumes that you can wear to Disney for the party. While it is completely possible to pull off a fantastic costume, it is equally important to remember your child’s unique situation. Here are a few things to consider as you plan your costume.
- Do they overheat easily? – Florida is very hot. With parties starting as early as August, heavier costumes will not be your friend. Make sure to account for the heat as you plan.
- Are there itchy/scratchy/rough… parts of the costume? – While a costume may look amazing, if it has a sensory component that will irritate your child it isn’t worth it. See if you can find an alternative approach that will still look amazing without bothering your child.
- Can you weave in fidgets or other sensory seeking tools? – If you have a sensory seeker, can you make some of their favorite feelings a part of the costume? That could mean adding something they can fidget with in the park or bringing essential oils to override a poor sensory smell experience.
- What about chewies? – Chewies are a great option for sensory seekers. Things like thumb sucking in the park can leave your child with a cold as there are meany germs. Find a fun way to include their chewie in their costume.
Ask your cast members any questions you might have!
The Disney cast members are a wealth of information! Don’t be afraid to ask them about places to hide from overwhelming sounds, when certain things are scheduled, or for a different walking route to avoid the crowds. I have found that asking a cast member for help can change our whole experience at the party.
Research the party in advance.
I will add some general facts that apply to sensory sensitive people to the bottom of this post. Make sure to spend some time preparing in advance. If you have a child who is sensory sensitive, live actors like the one pictured above in the Pirates queue can take a fun ride into a horrible meltdown. It is important to be aware of changes like this that might cause a bad experience.
— More Than a Homeschool Mom (@meagan_real) September 1, 2018
Know Your Safe Spaces
We love the party. Do you know what my daughter doesn’t love? Fireworks! They will send her into a full anxiety attack in a matter of seconds. I used to try to push her to overcome this. Now I understand her fear and help her to find a safe space to wait them out. Here are a few options we have found if you have a child who can’t handle the fireworks or needs an escape from the crowds.
- Pirates of the Caribbean Ride or Bathrooms
- Mickey’s Philarmagic – For this one we were able to go thru the treat stops and watch the small movie without hitting a space of sensory overload. This is a great spot during fireworks as they aren’t able to be heard as well.
- Meet Mickey at Town Square Theater
- Haunted Mansion – If your child is afraid of the stretching room scene, they can ask for a card to skip it and move straight onto the ride. My daughter can’t handle the stretching room but will ride the ride with us.
- It’s a Small World – This ride is near the castle so your mileage may vary on this one but it is a longer ride and in a darker area.
Take advantage of treat spots.
Treat stops are a great option for a sensory person to find a smile. Not only do they have great treats but as the party goes on, the lines get smaller. If you want a special treat to cool off, head to Tom Sawyer Island for cold applesauce. If you have a child with food allergies, make sure to grab an allergy friendly bag and they will give you chips to pick up allergy friendly candy.
Know the party schedule.
- Hocus Pocus Villain Spectacular – 8:30 PM, 10:45 PM, 12:00 AM
- Boo to You Parade – 9:15 & 11:15
- Hallowishes Fireworks – 10:15 PM
Know what each thing features.
- Hocus Pocus Villain Spectacular – Some small fireworks. Smoke effects. Villains who can be more scary. Some smaller stage pyro effects. Heavy Crowds.
- Boo to You Parade – Shovel dancers who scrape the shovels on the ground and make loud noises. Heavy crowds. Dancing group of ghosts lets out a loud shrieking scream during performance. (I will be linking a video below with the full parade if you need to see it beforehand to see if your child can handle it.)
- Hallowishes Fireworks – Very loud fireworks with a massive finally. Large crowds.
Know your transportation options.
At the end of the party, it can be very crowded. You have a few options here. You can either leave the party during the 11:15 parade to avoid the crowds or you can take the ferry. By taking the ferry you will avoid the larger crowds you will see at the monorail. If you are taking the monorail be prepared for very large crowds and minimal space to move around.
Watch the parades and shows before you go.
Boo To You Parade
Hocus Pocus Villain Spectacular
Happy Hallowishes Fireworks
Please note that Disney provided our tickets and our lunch cards to facilitate our review. However, all opinions are 100% my own.
The family and I had the chance to head out to Disney’s Blizzard Beach water park to explore some of the fun things they have to offer. We spent the whole day checking out the park and enjoying all they have to offer. I am going to take a few minutes to share some Blizzard Beach tips and tricks. I also hope to answer some of your questions about the park.
Blizzard Beach Tips and Tricks
These tips come from our experience in the park. If you have additional tips, please comment and let me know so I can update this post.
Are there any character meet and greets at Blizzard Beach?
One of the things Disney is most known for are their character meet and greets. There’s just something about seeing a character come to life that you have seen in your favorite movies. At Blizzard Beach you can meet Goofy. The best part about the Goofy meet and greet is that it is at the beginning of the water park so that you can get a great picture before heading into the water.
Are there any good photo opportunities at Blizzard Beach?
One of the amazing things about this water park are all of the amazing opportunities to get a fun picture. Whether you are snapping a pic with a family of snow people or standing in front of a giant Mickey made of pool floats, you are sure to get some amazing pictures!
How much are lockers at Blizzard Beach and how big are lockers at Blizzard Beach?
If you are thinking about bringing a camera for fun pictures or bringing your phone to catch up with someone you may want to purchase a locker. A small locker rental is $10 and a large rental is $15. You can pay for your locker with cash or cards. The $10 locker held my DSLR camera bag, my phone and I could have put more in there. The $15 locker could hold 2 backpacks.
How can I stay hydrated at Blizzard Beach?
There are a few options to stay hydrated in the summer heat at Blizzard Beach. You can pack your own water bottles. I suggest freezing them so they melt throughout the day and you can continue to enjoy cold drinks. There are also water fountains around the park and most restaurants will give you a cup of water.
If you are after the best value for your money, the cup pictured above is $11.99 plus tax and will give you free refills for the entire day! Talk about a great way to enjoy a cold drink and take home a souvenir.
What food options are there at Blizzard Beach?
There are multiple restaurants at Blizzard beach that you can try out. Whether you grab a foot long hot dog at Avalunch or eating a Blizzard Cheddar Burger at Lottawatta Lodge you are sure to find a filling meal for a reasonable price!
Are you a vegan or a vegetarian? Lottawata Lodge has menu options just for you!
You can also bring in your own food as long as you don’t bring in glass bottles.
Do I need to wear shoes at Blizzard Beach?
Flip flops or swim shoes can be a help but they aren’t required. Blizzard Beach does two things to help keep your feet cool in the park. There is ample shade to help keep the sidewalks cooler. They also have water sprayers on many of the paths to spray your feet with cool water and keep the ground cooler.
Are there options for preschoolers at Blizzard Beach?
One of the fabulous things about Blizzard Beach is that many of the areas are fun for the whole family. That said, you can also take your youngest adventurers to Tike’s Peak which is an area designed just for them! Feel free to grab a lounge chair and watch your little one have a blast.
What options are there at Blizzard Beach for elementary aged kids?
If you want to let your older kids have a ton of fun, take them over to Ski Patrol Training Camp and grab yourself a comfortable chair or go play in the water with them. They can go down water slides, challenge an obstacle course, or go down a zip line! They even add a dance party to the mix for a really fun experience.
Are life jackets provided at Blizzard Beach?
Life jackets like the ones pictured above are provided at the entry of areas where they will be needed. These are free and are very helpful in the wave pool and lazy river.
Where can I cool off and relax at Blizzard Beach?
Is it getting a bit warm for you? Want to skip out of the thrill rides or wave pools? Make sure to head over to the lazy river that is almost a mile long. Grab a float and sail away. There are even some fun areas where you can get cooled off with some special surprises. I honestly could have floated around this all day and not moved to anything else.
How intense is the wave pool at Blizzard Beach?
We are huge fans of a good quality wave pool but some can be a bit rougher than others. The Blizzard Beach wave pool does something really fun! They let you go out in pool floats and ride on the waves. I do recommend making sure younger children wear a life jacket as it can get rougher the deeper you go.
Are there fun options for families at Blizzard Beach?
With rides like the ones above families can have a ton of fun together racing or laughing down a water slide. With so many family friendly rides there will be multiple chances to spend some good quality family time.
Are there options for people who don’t want to climb at Blizzard Beach?
If you are thinking about riding Summit Plummet but don’t want to climb the stairs they have a fun option for you. You can ride the ski lift up.
What if I forget my towels at Blizzard Beach?
You can either rent a towel or buy your towels from the gift shop for a fun souvenir. I am a big fan of the orange Mickey one.
What if I lose my child at Blizzard Beach?
Blizzard Beach has an amazing system in place to help take care of a situation where children might get lost. They will entertain your children at this hut while they coordinate with security to get you safely reunited with your child.