Planning is the Key
Planning to attend Mickeys Not So Scary Halloween Party is a great way to celebrate the season at Disney World. Like all things Disney, you are going to get the best experience at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party with some pre-planning.This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
First of all, you will need to decide what night of your trip you will want to attend. Tickets for 2019 have recently gone on sale with the first party on August 16th and the last on November 1st. This is a popular event and they have added more dates this year. Historically, the first and last party will sell out as well as parties over the Labor Day weekend. I would assume that this year the November 1st party may also sell out as it is also the Wine and Dine race weekend. Tuesday and Sunday parties will likely be less crowded than the Thursday and Friday night parties. Ticket prices for this event run from $79-$135 for adults and $74-$130 for 9 and under. You can see all of the dates and order tickets here.
I recommend not doing any park time other than the party on the day you attend. With your Halloween Party ticket, you can enter the Magic Kingdom at 4:00 and the party goes till 12:00. This is a long enough day and you get the most bang for your buck if you stay for the entire party.
The park officially closes at 6:00 and the party starts at 7:00. This is more of a transition time from regular park hours to special event hours. You will get a wristband identifying you as a party guest when you enter the park with your ticket.
There are several extra events that make the Halloween Party special. With so many options it is difficult to fit in all of the fun in a short amount of time. Here are the things you will need to prioritize before establishing your plan of attack for the night.
Character Meet and Greets
Unique character meet and greets are a big reason why many people attend. Some characters can only, ever be seen at MNSSHP. Other characters can be found on a more regular basis but are often dressed up in a Halloween costume for the event.
Lines for these meet and greets can be very long. The wait for some characters can be as long as 3 hours! Lines will start forming before 7:00. In fact, some characters start meeting guests before the party officially starts. If you want to do several of the meet and greets this will easily consume all of your party hours. So, if character meet and greets are a high priority for you, this is where you should start with your planning. If you have an absolute must see character, go to the meet and greet location as early as possible and ask a cast member where the line starts and how early you can begin forming a line.
If you are not attending the first night of the party a simple Google search should help you located a picture of the Halloween party map to assist in your pre-planning. This will help you see what characters will be available and their location. The party changes, to some extent, every year so make sure you check out a map of the party from the current year.
Here are a few not so great pictures of some of the character meet and greets from this year.
Trick or Treating
Another thing you can only do in the park during MNSSHP is to go trick or treating!! Special treat bags to collect candy are handed out throughout the park. There are trick or treat trails marked in several locations. If hitting all of the trails and collecting the mother load of candy is your priority you will want to refer to a party map to assure you don’t miss any. Also, bring an extra bag to combine your haul. The treat bags they hand out will fill up fast. If your child has food allergies Disney offers teal bags for collecting tokens at the trick or treat trails that can be redeemed at the two Allergy-Friendly Centers in the park. There you can select a variety of allergy-friendly treats.
MNSSHP entertainment is a highlight of the evening. In my opinion, Happy Hallowishes Fireworks (the fireworks show has been updated to Disney’s Not So Spooky Spectacular for 2020) is not to be missed. I think this is the best fireworks show that Disney puts on. There is one showing at 10:15. Put it on your must do list. Mickey’s “Boo-to-You” Halloween parade is also one of my favorites. This can be seen at 9:15 and 11:15. The late parade is less crowded.
The other main show for the evening is the Hocus Pocus Villian Spelltacular. I have not seen this show but hear very good things about it. I plan to see it this year.
Update- I saw the Hocus Pocus Villian Spelltacular in 2018. I thought it was fine but personally think there are better ways to spend your time during the party. With shows at 8:30, 10:45 and 12:00 there are options for working it into your fireworks/parade plans. Again, the late show is less crowded but that can be difficult to do with little kids.
Speaking of little kids, there are two dance parties throughout the night that they will really enjoy. Monstrous Scream-O-Ween Ball is located in Tomorrowland at the RocketTower Plaza stage. Join Mike Wazowski and Sulley for some monstrous fun. In Fantasyland, you can dance the night away with your favorite Disney Junior friends at the Storybook Circus Disney Junior Jam.
Halloween Ride Overlay
New for 2018, are haunted ride overlays for Pirates of the Carribean, Space Mountian and Mad Tea Party. Pirates are incorporating a few live actions characters, Space Mountian is pitch dark with a party soundtrack and Mad Tea Party has special lighting and music. While not new for this year, the Haunted Mansion invites some special ghost guests for their shindig. The grim-grinning ghosts are out to socialize!
There are a few party exclusive treats throughout the park as well if you can not reach your sugar overload with the trick-or-treat trails.
For 2018 these include- they change every year:
- Jack Skellington dessert–Sleepy Hallow
- Hitchhiking Ghost dessert–Aloha Isle
- Oogie Boogie meringue–Gaston’s Tavern
- Maleficent dessert–Storybook treats
- Madame Leota dessert–Liberty Square Market
- Worms and Dirt desert–Pecos Bills Tall Tale Inn and Cafe
To be real, I have not heard rave reviews over any of these treats but if you want to give them a try this is your only chance. If you miss these party exclusive snacks there are lots of other seasonal treats throughout the parks.
I suggest eating a meal just before going to the party and just snacking during the night. We are typically not big eaters while in the park and personally, I do not want to spend my limited party hours eating. Cinderella’s Royal Table, Be Our Guest and Crystal Palace are the 3 table service restaurants open during the party. Other food options are quick service, which you can mobile order to cut down on wait time. There are not many substantial food options at park closing and by this time you will be sick of sugar so I highly recommend having something packed with you for the trip back to your hotel to avoid meltdowns! Trust me on this one. Walking out of the park at 12:30 we would have given anything for a protein bar, string cheese, apple, peanut butter sandwich……
PhotoPass Magic Shots
There are several locations throughout the park to have special, party exclusive Magic Shots taken by PhotoPass photographers. These include-and may vary each year:
- The Headless Horseman (Main Entrance of Magic Kingdom)
- Haunted Mansion Animation (Town Square or Main Street)-this is also a video
- MNSSHP pumpkin and ghosts (Town Square or Main Street)-also a video
- Ghost Coach Driver (Hearse in front of Haunted Mansion)
- Cauldren and Magic Apple (Entrance and Main Street)
- Hitchhiking Ghosts (Between Liberty Square Riverboat and Haunted Mansion)
- Hat Box Ghost (Between Liberty Square Riverboat and Haunted Mansion)
Select photographers will also have handheld props that can be included in your photo.
Party Exclusive Merchandise
Lastly, but not to be ignored, is MNSSHP exclusive merchandise. If owning some of this swag is high on your priority list get to it right way. Several items sell out during the party and lines to purchase this merch can rival those of the meet and greets!! It can be found at the Emporium, Big Top Souvenirs and at merchandise carts throughout the park.
After considering all of these amazing options for your party night make a list of your families priorities. All of these offerings will not appeal to every family. Customize your time based on what appeals the most to your group. Make sure to build in some flexibility to your plans also. The weather and crowd levels will dictate how the evening goes. Be ready to have plans that you may decide to scrap to keep your sanity.
Halloween parties are the only time when adults are allowed to wear a costume in the parks so this is your chance! Dressing up adds to the anticipation and fun of the party. A few things to keep in mind when selecting your party attire are the costume guidelines set up by Disney, find that here, and the weather. More likely than not it will be hot, or at least very warm when you attend. Consider this before dressing your little princess in a long-sleeved, floor-length gown or your little monster in a Sulley costume. This is also a good time to bring a change of clothes with in case a costume becomes wet or hot. Here are a few pics of my family (except Dad!) dressed up for a couple of the parties we have attended and what I wore on my solo trip!
Things that Glow
When the lights go down in the park, out roll the carts of magical light up sticks, swords, spinner, balloons…..you name it, Disney will make it light up. We own a light up, spinning, talking Mickey and I love him so no judgment from me if you give in to these magical cart sales, I just want to warn you. I suggest taking some glow in the dark surprises with you. I have always had luck finding Disney glow in the dark items at the dollar store. We even found princess tiaras for our last trip! Here you can find a spinning Mickey like ours, or a Buzz Lightyear if you prefer.
I hope you found this helpful in planning your evening at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. As with all of your time in the parks, be flexible, be prepare and remember, this is a vacation….relax and smile!! Boo to you from