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