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The Cupcake Caravan

DIY // DEVOS // DISNEY

My Tips for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

Attending Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party can be overwhelming to a first timer, even if they consider themselves Disney experts. 

The five hour party isn’t long enough to meet all of the characters, see the shows, parades, fireworks, shop for merchandise, go trick or treating, go on rides, and eat. I was certainly disoriented, but I did the best I could to prioritize. 

Below, I’ve included pictures of my park map. I suggest going over this map ahead of your trip and making a schedule based around the entertainment showtimes you don’t want to miss. I would also recommend using the map to figure out which candy trails are closest to the character meet and greets you want to hit. As you will notice, the map does indicate where character locations are, but it doesn’t include which characters will meet there! I researched ahead of time and found some helpful information HERE; however, this information is not 100% accurate. 

Speaking of characters, it’s impossible to meet all of them so pick who you want to meet the most and get in line for them as soon as possible. Some character lines are as long as 2-3 hours!!!! BUT if you are entering the park with a MNSSHP ticket only, you can enter as early as 4pm. Use this time to get in line for the top priority characters: Jack and Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas and the Seven Dwarves from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. I recommend looking over the character list, choosing three, and ordering them by importance. Finish the characters first, follow up with the fireworks, view the second parade, and WATCH THE AMAZING CASTLE SHOW. 

Skip the rides. The lines for rides may be shorter, but you are paying for the party. If you want to experience as much exclusive MNSSHP entertainment as possible, you cannot afford to waste your time going on rides that are open literally any other time. 

If your group is large enough, take turns waiting in line for characters while other group members do candy trails or shopping. I went to the party by myself, but I noticed many people around me were splitting up to get candy for everyone in the group, meet other characters, hold spots for the parade/fireworks, go on rides, or grab food. 

Don’t waste time getting dinner inside the park. Bring water, snacks, and Subway. Next time, I will definitely bring my own dinner. Not only does it give you something to do while you’re waiting in line, but MNSSHP is no walk in the park so it will keep you from passing out. Some people don’t know this, but you are definitely allowed to bring food into the park. I’ve even seen guests take in ice chests! 

If you are going with children, make them nap beforehand. There is really no way children (or adults, to be honest) can play in a park all day and keep going straight through the party. The party is absolutely exhausting and demands every piece of your remaining energy. I was worn out by the end of it (actually, halfway through), and I had done nothing all day leading up to it! You will get more out of what you paid for if you rest beforehand. The kids will be happier, and it’s likely the adults will be too. 

Finally, wear a costume! Or even better, wear a Disney costume or coordinate with your group. Part of the fun of MNSSHP is seeing what other people wear, and pictures with characters will be 10,000x better if you coordinate. This is your one chance to go all out and dress up in costume at a Disney park so the possibilities for pictures are endless. 

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Fall Favorites

Here in Florida, we don’t really know what fall is, but since I’m from a different part of the country (a part where leaves actually change color and you need to wear a sweater outside), I’m desperately trying to bring some fall into this always-over-95 degrees, Sunshine State. 

That means. . . baking some yummy pumpkin spice muffins and gingerbread. . . smelling pumpkin candles. . . this adorable fox mug. He is my best friend.

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I’m also loving these wonderful girls: the first is Hannah, my best friend for about three years now, and the second is Priscilla, my former roommate and honorary sister. Exploring Magic Kingdom and late-night dinners after work wouldn’t be the same without them. 

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Did I already mention candles??? Oh well, candles make everything better! And lately, I’ve been lighting them every chance I get. I love the Better Homes & Garden Spiced Pumpkin Pie and Exotic Amber Woods scents. They also go really well with my traditional Friday night hot baths. Yeah, I know how to pamper myself, and I’m proud of it. 

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Bangs are another fall favorite (even if they’re fake. . .say WHAT?!) Yeah, the bangs are kind of a facade. I learned the simple trick from the wisdom of Pinterest

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Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party 

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And finally, what would a Fall Favorites post be without the Pumpkin Spice Latte (also know as the #PSL)? 

Since it’s still a million degrees in Florida, I’ve been drinking the frappuccino version. 

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And I’m still watching Gilmore Girls, in case you’re wondering. I’ve never loved something that ruins my life this much. 

My First Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

On September 22, a lifelong dream of mine came true. I got to go to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party!

Rarely seen characters, the Sanderson sisters from Hocus Pocus, amazing Halloween fireworks, and candy. . . . . sound fun?? Keep reading to follow my night at MNSSHP.

I arrived at the Magic Kingdom parking lot around 5:40pm and headed straight to Fantasyland for the seven dwarves line. I got in line around 6:15pm and met the dwarves around 8:30pm. While I hated to lose an hour and a half of the party, it was well worth it since I was dressed as Snow White (my favorite princess). The dwarves loved my outfit! 

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After I met the dwarves, I raced over to Adventureland to meet Captain Jack Sparrow. I arrived to his line around 8:45pm, and after he returned from checking on his ship, I met him around 9:30pm. 

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I’m only including these times to give you an idea of how the party works. The lines for characters, as well as travel time from one location to another, is drastically different than attending the park on a normal day. 

After I met Jack (I’m sorry, Captain Jack), I hurried to find a spot for the firework show, Happy Hallowishes. I headed back through Liberty Square and spotted the Old Hag from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. I had no idea she was going to be out so it was a great surprise! 

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After I met the Old Hag, Celebrate the Magic was ending and Happy Hallowishes was beginning. Celebrate the Magic was the same show except for a villain-themed ending. Similar to Wishes (the regular Magic Kingdom fireworks show), Happy Hallowishes is set to the Disney villain’s songs and includes perimeter fireworks.

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As soon as Happy Hallowishes ended, people were lining up for the second Mickey’s Boo to You Halloween Parade. I got a spot in front of the castle and near the hub and watched Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular from a distance.

The parade ended up being one of my favorite parts of MNSSHP. It begins with the Headless Horseman and includes a Haunted Mansion segment, rarely seen villain characters (such as Pain and Panic from Hercules and The Lion King hyenas), as well as a scented candy float! 

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After the parade, crowds were already surrounding the castle for the final Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular, a brand new show starring the Sanderson sisters of Hocus Pocus. I figured this showing would be less crowded since it started when the party ended (12am), but I was wrong. The area was so packed, I was extremely limited in taking pictures. There are five different showings so I recommend finding a spot early on. The show itself is fantastic, and I was really glad I took the time to watch Hocus Pocus beforehand. 

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Afterwards, I headed to the Emporium to purchase merchandise that can only be purchased during the parties. I bought a black, long-sleeved party shirt and the limited edition pin. You can view both HERE.

If you want more time to shop, I suggest visiting the Emporium sooner. As I was in line to check out, cast members were locking the doors. 

Since the party ended at midnight, the only thing left to do was take pictures of Main Street, which was lit up beautifully for the event. Photopass photographers were out until after 1am so I took a handful of pictures with them and got a few shots of an almost empty Main Street U.S.A. 

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During the party, I completed two candy trails: one at the Enchanted Tiki Room and one by the Liberty Belle Riverboat. Honestly, I was disappointed with how much candy I got, but there really wasn’t time to complete more candy trails. I didn’t even hit Storybook Circus or Tomorrowland. 

If you are planning to attend the party, be on the lookout for an upcoming post on my tips to get the most out of the limited time you have to finish everything. I will be attending the party again on October 27th, and I’m looking forward to meeting some different characters, seeing the special Haunted Mansion entertainment, watching Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular and Mickey’s Boo to You Halloween Parade again, and trying the candy corn-flavored soft serve ice cream! 

The Caravan is Back!

I know my readers assume I don’t love them anymore, but I have REALLY good reasons for parking the Caravan for the past seven months.

I was having the time of my life at Walt Disney World.

Not only did I work long hours, but I wanted to spend all of my available time at the parks with my friends. I wasn’t sure how long I would be able to stay so I wanted to make the most of every single moment. 

Now that I’m settled into a new routine, I want to catch you up on all of my exciting adventures and wonderful memories. So you’re invited to follow me through a quick review of the past seven months! 

The weekend before I began my college program, my mom and I visited the Magic Kingdom. One of the highlights was getting to meet Elsa and Anna!

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After I checked in, it wasn’t long until I went to my first training session at Disney: Traditions. Here, I learned the secrets to Disney’s outstanding guest service, toured the utilidors, and received my official Cast Member name tag. 

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After Traditions, I was free to play in the parks with the greatest friends ever: the Exit Buddies. I met this wonderful group of girls on one of the DCP Facebook groups, and we applied to live together in housing. 

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The following week, I began training in my location: Sunset Ranch Market at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I worked as a Quick Service Food & Beverage Cast Member. For part of my training, I was allowed to try the various menu items offered at our restaurants, including these incredible cupcakes!

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Sunset Ranch Market is located on Sunset Boulevard and themed after a 1940s Los Angeles Farmers Market. I sold everything from turkey legs to ice cream to pizza to Mickey-shaped pretzels and mac and cheese hot dogs. Yes, isn’t my sunflower outfit adorable?!

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On my days off, I usually paid a visit to my boss. . .

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or spent time in the parks with my wonderful roommate, Chelsea (also one of the Exit Buddies).

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I had about seven different roommates come and go during my time in Disney housing, but one of them was Priscilla. She is basically like a sister to me, and I will never forget some of the things Chelsea, Priscilla, and I did on our college program. It sounds cliche, but I am grateful to have friends like them. 

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I also had the opportunity to experience Dapper Day, an event in which hundreds of vintage clothing enthusiasts gather to tour the parks in authentic retro clothing, hair, and accessories. 

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I also met characters from my absolute favorite Disney movie, Tangled. Meeting Flynn Rider was a dream come true. He even did the smolder and showed me the crown in his satchel!

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I was also fortunate enough to complete two Disney classes during the spring: Exploring Guest Service and Disney Heritage. Both had fantastic and engaging teachers and significantly broadened my knowledge of Disney history and trivia.

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About halfway through my program, my family came to visit! We had the best time eating at our favorite restaurants and celebrating my sister Joy’s birthday. 

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Not long after my family left, my boyfriend arrived. We celebrated our anniversary and his very first trip to Walt Disney World! 

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Then, I experienced my favorite part of my college program so far: Star Wars Weekends. 

Before Star Wars Weekends, I had only seen a few of the films for a school project. I wasn’t into it then and didn’t know who any of the characters were or basic plots. When SWW started, I saw the firework show from my work location one night while I was closing. I was so impressed I decided to go when I was off. After the first weekend, I happened to be off every Saturday and Sunday so I went and completely fell in love. 

SWW is flawless. The character meet and greets, parade, celebrity appearances, merchandise, specialty food, and most importantly, the fireworks are probably one of the best things I’ve ever experienced at a Disney park. 

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#exitbuddiesroyaladventure

The Exit Buddies and I took on the challenge of meeting every single princess and visiting all of the parks in one day, and we succeeded! The day began with breakfast at Akhersus in Epcot, where we met Belle, Cinderella, Aurora, Snow White, and Ariel, continued in the World Showcase, where we met Jasmine and Mulan, continued to Animal Kingdom, where we met Pocahontas, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, where we met Sofia the First, and ended in Magic Kingdom, where we met Anna, Elsa, Rapunzel, and Tiana. We even dressed as our favorite princesses. Can you guess mine? 

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Before I knew it, my time as a Cast Member at Sunset Ranch Market ended, and I clocked out of my last shift. 

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I graduated! 

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(so did the rest of the Exit Buddies)

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After an amazing seven months, how could I leave!? I am thankful God gave me the opportunity to extend my college program into a new role (actually, my dream role) as a Fairy Godmother in Training at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. 

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Working at the boutique is nothing short of pure magic. 

Everyday, I make children’s dreams come true by transforming them into beautiful princesses and telling them stories. Yes, I work long hours and am often exhausted, but I couldn’t ask for a more rewarding job. I work inside Cinderella’s Castle and live my own dream come true every single day: a reward for those difficult hours spent in quick service. 

Thank you for following my journey here at WDW and stay tuned for more updates. 

Have a magical day.

Is. 41:10

I Moved to DisneyWorld

10420384_1567779000143718_531150951428474539_nThis week, I moved to the most magical place on earth to begin my Disney College Program!

Continue reading “I Moved to DisneyWorld”

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