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My brain thinks about a year out in part because that is one of the ways our family saves You can often get stuff for next year at discount prices this year. That is true for buying winter coats in April, Christmas decorations in January, and Halloween costumes in November. This strategy does have some downsides as you are guessing at tastes, sizes, etc. but it can also be a pretty great way to plan ahead and save.
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party:
This strategy holds true not just for merchandise, but for award travel. For years we have wanted to take (not so little) C to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at Disney World, but we wanted to wait until she was the right age to stay up late and enjoy the festivities. This means we have targeted next October when she will be closing in on six years old to head to the House of Haunted Mouse.
If you aren’t familiar with Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween, every September and October they have certain nights where the Disney Parks transform into “Not So Scary” parties complete with special parades, villain themed fireworks, trick-or-treat stations, themed costumes, and more.. These are “after hours” events that require a special ticket that costs somewhere in the $60 – $80 range. The Magic Kingdom closes at 7PM on those nights for anyone who doesn’t have the special tickets. Your “Not So Scary” tickets get you entrance to the park from 4PM – 12AM, so you don’t need to burn a day or park admission in addition to the special event ticket, as long as you delay your park day until 4PM.
These are very popular nights for the parks, and my favorite spots at Disney World to stay on points, the Swan or Dolphin, get booked up for peak weekend nights in October. However, if you look at October 2015, every single weekend night currently has standard room availability. This means you have your choice of nights to head to the Not So Scary party using 10,000 SPG points per night to cover your on-park lodging. They only do those parties on select nights, but every Friday and Saturday night in October was on the list, so if you pick an October 2015 weekend, you can feel pretty safe that the Halloween themed events will be going on at the park.
There is no downside to this strategy as you can cancel your room on points without penalty for quite a long time to come. So, as you are dealing with your candy hangovers and looking ahead, consider using your SPG points to lock in some rooms at Disney for next October.
Double Rewards at Pottery Barn:
On a somewhat related subject, if you are looking to grab some clearance Halloween themed decorations or costumes from Pottery Barn or Pottery Barn Kids (or anything else for that matter), note that Pottery Barn is doing their annual (?) “double rewards” days until November 3rd. This means you can get 20% back in rewards rather than the standard 10% when using their store credit card. This stacks nicely with the sale prices on some of their Halloween gear, and you can still go through a shopping portal to earn some miles in the process.