1. You can enter early!
The party festivities officially begin at 7:00 pm sharp, but guests with a ticket to the party may enter using that ticket as early as 4:00pm. If you are using a regular Magic Way Ticket, you do NOT need to exit the park. There are locations that will allow you to scan your party ticket and receive your wristband while still in the park after 4pm. Some guests choose to relax at their resort and save a day on their park tickets. If you enter at 4:00, you might want to take in some headliner rides before the party starts.
2. Am I forced to leave the Magic Kingdom if I don’t have ticket?
Well, no one is going to grab your arm and pull you out, but once the party begins at 7:00 pm, the Cast Members begin doing a sweep looking for those who don’t have wristbands. If you forgot to get your wristband, just go to the nearest station. If you wish to stay and attend the party, you can purchase a ticket at the front of the park, if it isn’t sold out.
3. I have dining reservations for 6:45 at Liberty Tree Tavern, can I eat, watch the parade and stay around?
NOPE. Once your meal is completed at a Table Service restaurant, you’ll be kindly escorted all the way to the front gate by and super nice Cast Member who will kindly remind you that you can purchase a ticket and stay around if you wish!
4. Make sure the little ones get an afternoon nap.
You feel like you can get them to soldier-on from 6:00am wake up to midnight, but you’re wrong. Your kids will become grumpy, demanding and even combative because they are tired! As a matter of fact, you probably will too! Don’t try to squeeze out every dollar of your vacation, get some rest!.
5. Don’t waste your precious party time.
You only get 5 hours of actual party time (8 hours total), so don’t waste that $15.00 per hour per person eating Table Service, riding things you can do anytime or collecting candy early in the party. Get in line for 7 Dwarves or Jack and Sally early! The line is usually pretty long for Dwarves by 6:15pm and the Jack and Sally line usually forms around 5:30pm.
6. Wear a costume!
At least 50% of the people at any party will be in costume, both children and adults. The other 61% are just wandering around lost, looking for a piece of candy. My brother and I dressed as human character locators last year and the characters and Cast Members loved it. We had many characters in parades pointing us out. Make sure your costume is very lightweight. It gets very hot and humid in Florida.
7. Bring a poncho
It has rained on at least half the parties I’ve attended. It’s often an hour or less, so they continue with the party. On rare occasions that both parades are cancelled, guest services may offer a refund or free park ticket. Be prepared for the fall monsoons, it is hurricane season in Florida.
8. Watch the parade and fireworks.
These are two of the best entertainment options at Walt Disney World. I recommend seeing the SECOND parade because the crowds are lighter and view the fireworks between Casey’s Corner and the Tip Board on Main Street for the best view. The best spots always go early for these events. The schedules are on the Show schedule above.
9. Check out the Villains Mix and Mingle
The Mix and Mingle is a brief stage show
followed by a short time of meet and greets with Disney villains that are usually very difficult or impossible to find otherwise. You can find great info in the characters section.
10. Dance the night away with Disney Villains or Monsters Inc charactes.
There are two great dance parties that allow you to dance with some of your favorite characters. They don’t sign autographs, but they are a lot of fun and may even pose for a photo.
11. Hitch a ride with some ghosts
There are usually two or three special locations where photopass photographers take your photo with Hitchhiking Ghosts. . If they take the photo with your camera, it’s just a giant blank area and you look like real dorks.