2 girls, 1 week in a holiday villa in Orlando – Disney Springs

On our last full vacation day, we headed to Disney Springs to check out the changes.

We parked in the multi-storey Orange car park – undercover so keeping the car cooler for our return, lots of spaces and good location into Disney Springs by the bowling at Splitsville and the new Coca Cola World.

Starting our visit on the terrace of Coca Cola World (3 storeys of Coke branded products) we took in the view and got our bearings.

We made our way through the new undercover shopping arcade – to the outside stores.  What an absolutely fabulous setting, fountains, palm trees with pristine shop fronts.  We had a quick browse in Kate Spade before making our way to The Boathouse for our lunch reservation.

Lunch at the Boathouse was everything we had hoped for – great service, good quality food, nice selection and the crafted cocktails were the best!

After lunch we made our way to the Disney and Lego stores before going back to the new stores including Under Armour, Sephora, Zara and Ugg.

Taking a mid afternoon break, we went to Sprinkles for a cupcake desert.  I had been looking forward to trying the cupcake ATM out, however, it was out of order.  We went in and order a cupcake sundae – a cupcake cut in half with a scoop of ice-cream in the middle. For us, the product didn’t live up to the hype – I’m not sure we would return – particularly as there is Ghirardelli which serves amazing ice creams.

All shopped out and appetites well and truly satisfied we headed home, just ahead of a very  nasty storm!

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

Tickets for Disney’s Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party which is held annually at the Magic Kingdom are now on sale.

We love going to the Halloween party as it is a separately ticketed event – so you don’t have to have a ticket for Disney – just the event.  Officially the event opens at 7pm, however, you can gain entry from 4pm and as the tickets are usually cheaper that the day ticket with entrance numbers limited it is a great way to see the park, experience the main rides, enjoy special extras like trick or treating and a special Halloween parade.

Even as you enter the park you start to see all the beautiful little extra details – pumpkins, ghosts, autumn displays – all tastefully done and fun so as not to scare the younger children.

Having said all that this year I have noticed that there has been a large uplift in prices for some of the dates – depending on which day you decide to attend, you may pay significantly more than previously.

The Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party 2016 ticket prices range from to $72-$105 for adults and $67-$100 for children (ages 3-9) without tax. Children under 3 are free.  Disney have added an additional 4 dates this year with the party running on select dates from September 2nd to October 31st

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party 2016 dates are as follows:

September 2, 8, 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 23, 25, 29, 30
October 2, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21, 23, 25, 27, 28, 30, 31

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party Advance Ticket Dates By Price

$72 adults/$67 children: September 2, 8, 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 25

$79 adults/$74 children: September 29, 30

$85 adults/$80 children: September 23

$86 adults/$81 children: October 2, 6

$91 adults/$86 children: October 4, 10, 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 23, 25, 27

$95 adults/$90 children: October 7, 14, 21, 28, 30

$105 adults/$100 children: October 31

The cheaper the ticket, the quieter the day as a general rule with the 31st October understandably being the busy day of all.

So what can you expect and is it worth the money?  For us the answer is yes.  If you only have a few days in Orlando and want to just do one park, why not consider just doing this event – it would be cheaper and less busy?

Get there for 4pm, the entrances are divided at that time for general admission one side and Halloween party admission at the other.  You receive a wrist band on entrance and are given a bag for your trick or treating (the trick or treating does not begin though until 7pm when the event officially opens).

From 7pm all the main rides remain open, you cannot fast pass them, but as the numbers are controlled there is generally no need to.  There are 2 parades – Boo to You!  which start with a headless horseman – the parade is worth viewing and the quieter of the 2 is the 2nd one.  The Hallowishes Fireworks display is extremely good too.  When we have visited the event we have never experienced any long queues and have never queued for longer than 20 minutes for anything!

Trick or treating is available all night and the queues are a lot quieter towards the end of the evening.

The final and key thing to mention is about the wearing of costumes.  Late 2015, Disney instituted tighter security procedures for entering the parks (we have been asked to go through the metal detector on a couple of occasions now) and banned costumes for adults. The guidance for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party have now been published and are as follows:

  • Disney may deny admission to anyone or remove anyone who is wearing attire that is considered inappropriate or could detract from other guests’ experiences.
  • Guests may dress as their favorite characters, but cannot pose for pictures or sign autographs.
  • Costumes must be family-friendly and not obstructive, offensive, violent or objectionable.
  • Costumes must not contain weapons that resemble or could be mistaken for real weapons.
  • Costumes may not contain sharp or pointed objects, or materials that might strike another guest.
  • Guests who do not abide by the guidelines may be refused entry or removed unless their costumes can be modified to acceptable standards.

For guests ages 14 and up:

  • Layered costumes or costume props that surround the entire body are strongly discouraged and subject to additional security screening.
  • Costumes may not reach or drag the ground.
  • Capes should not go below the waist.
  • Themed T-shirts, shirts, sweatshirts and hats are OK to wear
  • Transparent wings, plastic light sabers, toy swords and tutus are OK. Headwear must not cover the face.
  • Masks are not allowed.

For guests ages 13 and under:

  • Costumes and some masks may be worn

So there you have it – more information can be found and tickets may be purchased at MNSSHP