This isn’t just a bunch of hocus pocus, this is Halloween! This spooktacular seasonal event takes place on select nights in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Park from September through October, and don’t worry – it’s merry, not scary!
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (“MNSSHP”) is a frightfully festive and fun fall event that transforms Main Street U.S.A. (and the rest of the Magic Kingdom) into the happiest Halloween haunt on Earth! Since the event is merry – not scary, it is a chance for guests of all ages to participate in classic fall festivities with a Disney-twist such as dressing up in costume, Halloween parades, and of course trick-or-treating!
For more on our Fall 2016 trip to the Walt Disney World Resort, follow along on Day 1 of our Fall 2016 Walt Disney World Vlog
Travel with us to Walt Disney World, check-in to our Disney Deluxe Resort featuring a room tour, review fabulous Disney Dining at both Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resort & Disney’s Contemporary Resort, and have a spooktacular time at our very first Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (event details below)!
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is a separately ticketed event for the Magic Kingdom Park which means standard park admission to the Magic Kingdom with your Theme Park Tickets, Multi-Day Tickets, Florida Resident Tickets, or Annual Passes will not get you admission into the Park after the Party begins, but this is one event you can’t miss! From scarecrows and pumpkins to monster cupcakes and character meets, this party has something for everyone.
The Cost – The prices per person are based on a tiered system which means the price per person (child or adult) varies based on the specific date you choose to attend the party. Since the party prices are based on your date of choice, tickets for MNSSHP range from as low as $67.00 per child and $74.00 per adult guest (plus tax) and as high as $100.00 in price. As the party dates get closer to the actual holiday of Halloween, the ticket price per person increases. The dates for MNSSHP change annually, but for 2017 trip the event dates total a record number of 32 parties and the dates are as follows:
August: 25th & 29th
September: 1st, 7th, 10th, 12th, 15th, 17th, 19th, 22nd, 24th, 26th & 29th
October: 1st, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 9th, 10th, 12th, 13th, 15th, 17th, 19th, 20th, 22nd, 24th, 26th, 27th, 29th & 31th
For reference, Disney considers an “Adult” any guest of 10 years old and up. A “Child” is defined as a guest between the ages of 3 – 9 years old. As always, a child under the age of 3 is admitted to all Disney Parks and Events FREE of charge (and for that reason they are the luckiest Walt Disney World guests).
Discounts are available for Disney Vacation Club Members and Annual Passholders.
Advance Purchase – The nice thing about this wickedly fun event is that tickets can be purchased directly from the Walt Disney World website. Once our tickets were purchased online (we purchased ours about a month before the event), they were then seamlessly linked to our Magic Bands and our My Disney Experience Account.
If you are planning to attend your first or next Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, we highly recommend you purchase your tickets in advance. We cannot stress this enough! Sadly, there were a number of guests with children in costume attempting to purchase tickets on the night of our party, but with it being a sold-out event they were unable to get in. This broke our hearts!
Arrive Early – It’s a little known fact (why don’t they publicize this more?) that guests attending MNSSHP are allowed admission to the party as early as 4:00 p.m., even if you do not have regular park admission. However, the party festivities do not begin until 7:00 p.m. If you enter at 4:00 p.m., you may still be fighting the regular guest crowds, but at least you can get inside and snap some shots of all the incredible Halloween decorations!
Although we’ve been to a number of special events at Walt Disney World over the years, this year was the first time we attended Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. This year the first night of the party just so happened to coincide with the first night of our trip to The World. We took the coincidence as a sign, and since we’re nighttime park hoppers – this event fit perfectly into our Friday.
On the night of our party, the Magic Kingdom closed at 7:00 p.m. to regular ticket holders, and party guests were required to obtain a party-specific wristband in order to remain in the park after-hours. Our evening began with a fantastic dinner at the California Grill in Disney’s Contemporary Resort (which we review in our Day 1 Vlog) and afterwards we entered the Magic Kingdom Park through its touch-point-turnstiles around 7:00 p.m., we were greeted by Cast Members almost immediately with wristbands. This was a welcome change (Great job Disney!) from past ticketed events (E-Ticket Nights) where we were forced to wait in long lines once inside the park all for an event wristband.
After we made our way through the underpass of Main Street Station and into Town Square, it was obvious that a mass-exodus was occurring in our direction down Main Street. Cast Members were directing partygoers through a backstage area between Tony’s Town Square and the Chapeau. To us, this area looked equally as crowded since this is where guests can fill up on autumnal goodies. However, we came to ride some rides and that is where we headed.
Travel Note: Head counter-clockwise when exploring the park during MNSSHP
With the regular guests exiting the Park, it was a bit crowded as we made our way down Main Street U.S.A. Once we arrived at the hub, it appeared that the majority of the party guests were making their way toward Tomorrowland. In result, we decided to head for Liberty Square to visit with some Grim Grinning Ghosts. As we made our way across the bridge from the hub and into Liberty Square, we were stopped by a wall of Cast Members who were checking to make sure only guests with wristbands went beyond this point. We saw a number of Cast Members explaining to day guests that the park was now closed to regular guests and politely asking them to make their way to the exit.
When we arrived in Liberty Square, character performers were out in full force. One of the Haunted Mansion’s 999 happy haunts, Madame Carlotta, really got the party started as she shared her haunting tale while making her way through the Haunted Mansion queue. Other storytellers were found throughout the Haunted Mansion queue, and the Mansion Butlers and Maids were dressed to the nines for the special occasion. While riding the Haunted Mansion at night is always a favorite of ours, riding on this particular evening it was unforgettable.
Rides – This is what we came for! Although not all of the rides are open, and may be used for other purposes, most are. For example, The Enchanted Tiki Room was not showing on the evening of our party, however, the venue was used as part of a Treat Trail which meant party goers could pass through the queue and into the show room where candy was generously distributed by Cast Members.
Fast Pass + reservations are not offered during the party itself, but trust us – they are not needed. However, if you arrive early to the party, guests are able to make Fast Pass + reservations between the 4:00 – 7:00 window.
During our party, the lines for rides were little to almost no wait. This is a luxury that is not often afforded to us as ordinary Magic Kingdom Park guests, and we took full advantage. Afterall, it’s not everyday that we are able to walk onto Space Mountain with no wait!
Treat Trails – After Mansion, we made our way to Frontierland to ride Splash Mountain. Along the way, we visited a number of Treat Trails where partygoers can fill up their goodie bags (which are provided upon entrance to the Party) with generous portions of Peeps and Mars brand treats like M&M’s, 3 Musketeers, MilkyWays, Snickers, Skittles, Dove Chocolate Bars. With all of this variety, there is sure to be something for candy lovers of all kinds.
In our opinion, Disney did a great job including guests with food sensitivities. Trick-or-treating is available to all guests of MNSSHP. All guests, including those with dietary restrictions, visit the same Treat Trails, but instead of Mars & Peeps candy they are provided teal tokens which can then be exchanged (one-for-one) at the allergy-friendly center for a whole host of both food (Smarties, Gummy Bears, Surf Sweets Organic Jelly Beans, Enjoy Life Foods, etc.) and non-food goodies. Guests with food allergies have the option to use a solid blue treat bag which makes them more identifiable during the Treat Trails, however, they are also allowed to use the standard bags advertising Beauty & the Beast/Moana that are used at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland.
It was great to see all guests treated equally. At this year’s party, the allergy-friendly centers were located at the Heritage House near the Hall of Presidents in Liberty Square and the Town Square Theater between Main Street Station and Tony’s Town Square. At both centers, partygoers with dietary restrictions are provided an overview by some very helpful Cast Members of their treat options based upon their food sensitivities. We thought these were great and easy to find locations (Great Job Disney!).
The Treat Trails were easy to spot with their oversize-inflatable candy corns. The lines may appear long, but don’t be discouraged as they are fun and move very fast. We also made it a point to visit the Treat Trails early. If you wait too late, the Boo-To-You Parade crowds might make it difficult for you to Trick-or-Treat in areas like Liberty Square and Fantasyland. Also, once the Parades, Shows, and Fireworks are over – the Treat Trails become very crowded. Our advice, Trick-or-Treat early and often!
Throughout the Treat Trails the Cast Members, while singing and dancing their way through the night, are also very generous with their (GIANT) handfuls of candy. They even encouraged us to get back in line and visit with them again for a second and third time! At first we shared one treat bag, but by the time we made our way into Adventureland our bag was full and it was time for a new one. We also noticed that each Land had its own soundtrack jamming in the background (where you would normally here the area’s traditional music loop) while we made our way through the various Treat Trails. This music was mostly upbeat contemporary hits (Ariana Grande, Justin Beeber, etc.) with a few Halloween themed-jams thrown in. The Cast Members were singing and dancing along while we quickly made our way through the Treat Trail lines, and they weren’t afraid to chat with us to find out what other rides we’ve ridden, candy we’ve seen, or music we’d heard throughout the Park that night. One Cast Member in particular was very disappointed that we had heard 1990’s hits elsewhere in the Park and they hadn’t! We can’t say enough how great the Cast Members at MNSSHP are. They really do their best to make sure everyone has a frighteningly fun time!
Travel Note: Bring a backpack, etc. to store your treats and any souvenirs while you ride any of the Magic Kingdom’s Mountain Range attractions.
Riding the rides with our treat bags (once they began to fill up) was also a challenge. In all honesty, we had not really done much planning ahead for this party. Fortunately, we had the foresight to bring a backpack with us that night, and that helped out tremendously.
Travel Note: This isn’t the only opportunity to trick-or-treat at the Walt Disney World Resort. For guests who are visiting over the Halloween holiday, free trick-or-treating is offered at Walt Disney World Resort hotels on Halloween night!
Character Meet & Greets – These meet & greets (photo-ops) are a huge draw for this event. However, this is one thing that requires a lot of waiting, so be prepared to spend a lot of your evening in lines. If you are a character lover, this is your opportunity to grab an autograph or snap a insta-worthy shot with some of the rarest of Disney characters! A number of Disney characters will also be dressed in their Halloween costumes which means they will not be in their traditional attire, such as Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Donald, Daisy, Pluto, and Chip & Dale. This can be both a positive or a negative depending on your preference, but it is something that is not advertised everywhere and we think it is important for character lovers to know beforehand.
Perhaps the two most popular character meets of the party were Jack & Sally from the Nightmare Before Christmas and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. These are the lines that start forming the earliest, and in some cases they appeared to be forming before the party officially began at 7:00 p.m. If this is on your must-do list, we suggest you arrive early. in order to line up for these characters. All Seven Dwarfs along with Snow White can be found in the Storybook Circus tent, and their line begins to form around 6:30 p.m. Jack & Sally are tucked away into the forest Gazebo which sits just at the edge of Liberty Square. This is the gazebo where you will often find Tiana of “The Princess & the Frog,” and this spot also offers great views of Cinderella Castle while you wait in line for your photo-opp with Jack & Sally who’s line begins to form around 4:30 p.m. A few other characters worth checking out are:
- Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum with the Queen of Hearts from Alice In Wonderland
- You can find Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore & Piglet at the far end of the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh dark ride in Fantasyland
- Buzz Lightyear & Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear between Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin and the Tomorrowland Theater
Halloween Costumes – When it comes to costumes, some guests of MNSSHP really pull out all the stops with their homemade costumes! Although we were really impressed with so many of the incredible costumes at MNSSHP, we ourselves did not dress up. Our main priority in attending the party was riding the rides without the lines, so costumes were honestly never even on our radar (and frankly, we just aren’t that creative). However, there were so many insanely imaginative and absolutely adorable costumes at the party. The best way to pass time in any of the short lines that we did encounter was with costume spotting! The one that stood out the most to us was an entire family dressed as 101 Dalmatians (Mom, Dad, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, etc.) and then one small little girl in the group dressed as Cruella Deville – fur coat, wig and all.
If you are thinking about dressing up for your first or next MNSSHP, make sure you take a moment to read the Walt Disney World Resort’s Costume Guidelines. Afterwards, let your creative juices flow!
This is not the Halloween Edition of Project Runway. You do not have to sport the fanciest or most expensive costume by any means. Some of the best costumes we saw were unique and all D.I.Y. Also, make sure you plan your costume accordingly. We experienced scattered showers on the evening of our party, and the temperatures were still a bit warm for those in full costume. A lot of guests had umbrellas incorporated into their costumes which was absolutely brilliant (think Mary Poppins)! Our advice would be to plan a costume that’s flexible and allows you to do the things you want. If you’re planning to ride the rides, make sure to wear something you can ride comfortably. Also, with the Florida heat it’s a good idea to plan on wearing a costume that keeps you cool. Partygoers in lightweight costumes seemed to be enjoying it the most. Perhaps if we were more creative, we would’ve joined in on the fun but there is always next year!
There are also a few extra offerings (available at an additional cost) exclusive to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party-goers:
Shop – If you’re a fan of Disney Parks Seasonal Merchandise than you will not be disappointed with what the folks at Disney Merchandising have come up with for the Halloween Season! Exclusive party merchandise from T-Shirts to Magic Bands and other accessories can all be purchased throughout the Park during the party, but if you are looking for the best places to spot party-specific merchandise, here they are:
- The Emporium, the largest retail space in Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park
- Box Office Gifts located in Town Square upon entering the Magic Kingdom Park’s right-hand side entrance
- Mickey’s Star Traders located in Tomorrowland as one of the two retail spaces guests exit into from Stich’s Great Escape
- Big Top Souvenirs located near Dumbo in New Fantasyland
If you attend Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and purchase any party T-Shirts, Pins or other merchandise, let us know. We’d love to see your MNSSHP Haul!
Eat – Just like they’ve done with merchandise, Disney has done a terror-ific job of creating inventive Halloween-themed treats for its party-goers. There are a number of party-specific treats available during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, and we could spend all night eating our way around the Magic Kingdom Park. End your night with a bite of a delicious Pumpkin Spice or Worms & Dirt Cupcake and a refreshing Ghoulish Strawberry-Lemonade Slushy, and don’t forget the Candy-Corn Soft Serve Ice Cream available in Fantasyland!
PhotoPass – If you are a fan of Disney’s PhotoPass Service, there are a number of party-specific Magic Shots offered for purchase during the party. At various PhotoPass locations, PhotoPass Photographers will capture a hauntingly-good photo for you and your fellow party-goers, and afterwards a little Disney Magic will be added to really make your party photos stand out! There are also a number of boo-tiful backdrops that shouldn’t be missed even if your looking to snap a few shots (minus the Magic) of your own. Remember, Disney’s PhotoPass Photographers are always willing to capture the shot on your personal camera free-of-charge, so don’t be afraid to ask!
HalloWishes Dessert Party – Although we’ve experienced the Christmas-themed Holiday Wishes Dessert Party, we have not attended a HalloWishes Dessert Party, but we absolutely plan to add it to our future MNSSHP list.
The Dessert Party is a separately ticketed package which offers access to a private event for viewing both the Boo-To-You Parade and HalloWishes fireworks show. Reservations for the Dessert Party can not yet be arranged online and are only available to be made by phone. The price for the package is $69.00 for adults and $39.00 for children.
Hocus Pocus Villan Spelltacular – One of our all-time favorite Halloween movies is Hocus Pocus, and we were so excited about Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party when we had heard there was a Hocus Pocus themed performance.
The show takes place four times during the evening:
8:00 p.m., 10:15 p.m., 9:40 p.m. & one final show at Midnight.
The Hocus Pocus Villains Spelltacular was incredible! Whoever cast the Sanderson Sisters for this performance did a fantastic job! Their likeness was uncanny, and there were so many hauntingly familiar instances (“I put a spell on you…”) where we really felt as if Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy were actually onstage reprising their roles.
Boo-To-You Parade – The Boo-To-You Parade occurs twice during your night at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. The first Parade begins at 8:30 p.m., and the second at 11:15 p.m. From the music to the performers, this was one of the best Disney parades we’ve seen at a Disney Park. Just before the Boo-To-You Parade begins, the lights are dimmed, and Disney sets the evening’s mood with a hauntingly impressive Headless Horseman galloping down Main Street U.S.A. (or through Frontierland/Liberty Square depending on where you watch the parade). We were also really blown away by the character selection as well. It was refreshing to see the Haunted Mansion characters, Wreck-It Ralph, and the Country Bears get some Parade love. The first Parade seemed far more crowded than the second and understandably since parents want to get their little ones in bed! If you plan to see the Parade, we recommend you try to
stay awake to catch the second Parade at 11:15 p.m. which may offer you a better view with less crowds. Both showings of the Boo-To-You Parade are exactly the same, so there is no need to see both. Otherwise, be prepared to line up at least 45 minutes to an hour before the first Parade begins at 8:30 p.m. in order to grab a good spot.
HalloWishes – We ended our night with an impromptu and completely unplanned viewing of HalloWishes, (Yes, it still retains the “Wishes!” name even after Wishes! itself is no more), the event’s exclusive Halloween-themed fireworks show, from Tomorrowland. The show takes place at 10:15 p.m., and this is the only time of the year that guests can see this particular fireworks show. These fireworks were extraordinary. The most popular spot to watch the show is from the hub area immediately in front of Cinderella’s Castle. However, with the Magic Kingdom’s new fireworks launch area allowing guests incredible views from just about anywhere in the Park, we sacrificed viewing the Celebrate the Magic Castle Show for our own less-crowded version of the fireworks viewing from Tommorrowland.
The fireworks were spooktacular, and it was great hear a number of our favorite Disney Villains featured in the show’s soundtrack. For those interested, a HalloWishes dessert party is also offered during this event for an additional fee (in addition to your party admission) of $69.00 per adult and $39.00 for children 3-11 years of age. Although we have attended Wishes dessert parties in the past (which we absolutely loved the HolidayWishes dessert party!), we have not attended a HalloWishes dessert party, but we hope to in the future.
- Pick the best and least-crowded night for you based on your dates of travel. Certain nights are more crowded than others (the closer to Halloween, the more busy the event becomes)
- If you aren’t Annual Passholders, save money and purchase one less day of park tickets based on your party date. You won’t be able to enter the park until 4:00 p.m., but this gives you the opportunity to have a Resort day (LINK TO GRAND DAY)! (Example: Purchase a 4 Day Park Pass, with your fifth day being MNSSHP.
Have a game plan! Obviously, we didn’t do this because it was our first party and the only goal we had was to ride the rides. However, had we done some research (taken a nap during the day), and planned out our night better, we would’ve been able to accomplish a lot more than we did. Since this was a travel day for us, we were already running on empty by the time we got to the party. We were happy with the amount of things we did do, but next time we attend MNSSHP we hope to be able to see/do more. Obviously it’s not possible, at least for us, to see and do everything in one night. Between the parade, shows, fireworks, character meets, trick or treating, and the rides, there is a lot to take on at MNSSHP. Decide what is important to you, and budget your time accordingly.
- If you can, arrive early. As stated above, partygoers are allowed admission as early as 4:00 p.m., so get their early if you can.
- Plan your party attire accordingly – Aside from Hurricane Matthew, MNSSHP will go on as planned regardless of weather conditions. On the night of our party, we had pockets of sunshine and episodes of drenching rain.
We prefer to do the events of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party in the following order:
- 4:00 Arrive to MK
- 7:00 – 9:00 – Rides, Trick-or-Treating & Character Meets
- 9:20 Hocus Pocus Villains Spectacular
- 10:00 HalloWishes
- 10:30 – 11:00 Rides, Trick-or-Treating & Character Meets
- 11:15 Boo to You Parade
After all of this you may be asking yourself, “is Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party worth it” For us, the answer is a resounding YES!
We had a blast riding the rides (with no lines!) and running around to all of the Treat Trails throughout the Magic Kingdom Park. Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party has easily become one of our favorite ticketed events at the Walt Disney World Resort.
Value – If you are a park guest during this time of the year, the value for the dollar paid in our opinion is unmatched. The ticket price per adult on the night of the party we attended was $72.00. For two adults to attend the party ($72.00 x 2), the price came to $144.00. After tax ($9.36), our total cost for the party was $153.56 (US). The cost for us to attend the party for 8 hours (from 4:00 p.m. – Midnight) was significantly less than a 1-Day Park Ticket (which came to $165.08 each =$330.16 + tax) would have been for each of us.
Amenities – Not only are guests receiving admission into the Magic Kingdom Park for the night, but guests are also receiving specially-themed entertainment (including fireworks, stage shows, and character meets), delicious candy and treats, and access to some of the most popular rides without the lines.
We’re Night Owls – Since the Magic Kingdom closes early (7:00 p.m.) on nights when the party occurs, the party fits into our natural pattern of park hopping. Since we spend our days at our Resort or doing non-park related activities, we are primarily late-night park hoppers.
However, there are a few drawbacks to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party:
- For regularly ticketed park guests who aren’t attending the party, the Magic Kingdom closes early and their park visit will be cut short.
- Since the dates of the party fall during Hurricane Season (June 1 to November 30) in Florida, there is always a chance for bad weather.
Are you planning to attend Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party on an upcoming trip to the Walt Disney World Resort? If so, we hope you have a boo-tiful evening! We’d love to hear about your party plans, costume ideas, and of course answer any questions that you might have!
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