Last weekend we planned a somewhat last minute trip to Walt Disney World and decided a great way to enjoy the time of year was to attend Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. When an event is called “Not So Scary” and includes trick-or-treating you would assume it is just for kids. But in true Disney fashion this special ticketed event is for everyone and a great way for adults to kick back and feel like a kid again. Being a limited experience it is best to get the most our of this event, so we have created a list of the best ways to enjoy this event as adults. Read on and get ready to party!
1. Plan on Planning for a Spook-tacular Night
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP) occurs on select nights (typically Sundays, Tuesday, Thursdays and Fridays) throughout August, September and October. A regular park ticket does not gain you access, you need to purchase a special party ticket to attend. Ticket prices start at $75 for an adult and go up to over $100. Just keep in mind a Tuesday in September is going to be much cheaper than the Friday closest to Halloween. We would recommend to stick to cheaper ticket days anyways because there will most likely be less crowds as well.
On a party night the park closes to regular park goers at 6pm and the party officially starts at 7pm. One of the cool things is with a party ticket you can gain access to the park starting at 4pm. This is a somewhat busy time as you have party people entering the park and non party people still hanging out before close. However It is worthwhile to take advantage of the extra hours and try to ride a few rides that won’t be open for the party, or grab some dinner during this time so you don’t waste precious party time sitting down to dine.
The party has a lot of exclusive offerings and it is hard to do everything in one night. To make for the most fun and efficient night you should have an idea of what party items are top priority to you. Are you a big character fan? Figure out who you want to see and what lines are worth waiting in. Wanting to hit all the rides? Try to figure out the most logical way around the park. You can see the maps below to get an idea of what special things happen during the party. Our night usually consists of the following plan of attack:
4:00-6:00 We utilize this time to experience attractions that will not be open for the party (such as Jungle Cruise for example). We also like to get any daytime photo pass shots.
6:00-7:00 We make sure to go to the main Market Street entrance to get some more pics and pick up trick or treat bags. Then we get in line for a ride. This year we wanted to experience Halloween Space Mountain and got in line about 20 minutes to 7 so that we were done waiting in line by the time the ride switched from regular to event themed.
7:00-10:00 we make our way around the park to experience attractions, magic shots, meet characters if the lines aren’t too long, and do some light Trick-or-Treating.
10:00 we find a spot to watch Hallowishes fireworks. The duration is short so you can fit a few more treat stops before the next show.
11:15 We watch the second showing of the Boo to You Parade
12:00 The party is over but you can still catch the Midnight Hocus Pocus Show. After this we take advantage of any other Photopass photographers still out and do some shopping along Main Street on the way out.
TIP: Disney Vacation Club members take note: certain party nights have discounted tickets just for you. Also starting this year DVC members are able to enter the park two hours earlier at 2pm!
2. Consider What to Wear
This is the one time at Disney that everyone, including adults, can dress up in costume. Now mind you there are still rules. You can read the full guidelines here. If you are planning to dress in full costume take into consideration temperature and weather. Even though it is night, it can still be super hot, also the event is rain or shine, so if t-storms roll in you need to be prepared.
During our most recent trip we had both has a hectic week of work travel and honestly just didn’t have the time or energy to try to pack and coordinate costumes. Instead we wanted to stay comfortable but still look festive. Andrew wore a Jack Skellington shirt and orange shorts. Julie wore a Hocus Pocus shirt, grey jeans, and some sequined orange ears. We also chose Halloween colored Magic Bands and made sure to wear sneakers as we were on our feet for many hours. These outfits were perfect to stay comfortable from the afternoon until the middle of the night.
In addition to thinking about what to wear also consider bringing a bag in to the park. We were really glad to have a way to haul around the candy hands free and also have some essentials that we may need:
Light hoodie in case it got cold (it didn’t)
Bottled Water (we drank a ton of this all night)
Sunglasses for earlier in the day
TIP: If you love special Park apparel and merchandise the party is a great time to check out some exclusive goods. Shop early as some items sell out earlier in the night.
3. Appreciate the Spooky Atmosphere
During the day you will see a few Harvest decorations like orange banners and Mickey Pumpkins on Main Street lamp posts. But when the sun goes down and the party begins the atmosphere gets delightfully eerie. Pumpkins glow and candles flicker. Fog creeps out of certain areas and lighting effects accent displays in just the right way. We love details at Disney and these party specific can only be seen during this event. The bulk of the decor is on Main Street and near the Huanted Mansion (naturally). But you will see some fun lighting effects and other details scattered throughout the park as well.
4. Trick or Treat Like a Kid
One of our favorite memories from Halloween as kids was rushing door to door to fill a huge pillowcase full of tasty treats. As adults we have given out candy but are many years removed from the receiving end. At MNSSHP it doesn’t matter if you are a kid or adult. Everyone is given a small tote to take around the park to Trick-or-Treat at stations. It seems many people brought (or bought at the park) larger bags or buckets instead. We found the complimentary bags just fine and easy to put into our backpack as we enjoyed other activities.
We figured that each stop would hand you a piece of candy, but boy were we wrong. Cast members would give you a healthy handful, and some stations had more than one stop in a place. Because Andrew was wearing a birthday button some cast members would give him even more, requiring us to pick up an extra bag during the night. Another great point to note is that for anyone with allergies you can request a special teal colored bag. Instead of receiving candy at each stop you receive teal poker chips. At any point of the night you can trade these in at an allergy station for safe treats. They had a great selection and Julie especially loves the Surf Sweets brand of gummies!
TIP: Kids love to Trick-or-Treat and the lines in the beginning of the party can be a little long. Wait to go later in the night and you can practically walk up to a station.
5. Enjoy Some Thrills (with Shorter Lines!)
Another perk during the party is being in the park with less people. This makes for shorter than usual lines for some favorite attractions. Keep in mind being Halloween the Haunted Mansion is going to be busy (we made sure to ride this before the party started). New for this year’s party a couple rides had special additional party effects:
Space Mountain: they made this ride completely in the dark and played intense rock music
Mad Tea Party: had special spooky lighting
Pirates of the Caribbean: addition of live actors within the que and ride
TIP: We personally don’t spend to much party time on rides that we can do another time. But anyone that is a ride lover should prioritize them during some of the night shows for even less people.
6. Capture Some Magic Shot Memories
One of our favorite exclusive party offerings was the Photopass Magic Shots. In certain areas of the parks you could pose for picture opportunites that aren’t available any other time. Some even included enhancements like the addition of ghostly characters too. The lines for these were shorter than we anticipated so we did quite a few. Check out some of our fun shots!
TIP: Did you know you can buy a 1-day Photopass? For $69 you can capture all of the images from the day of the party.
7. Take a (Limited Edition) Snack Break
Are you someone who loves Disney snacks? You will be happy to hear during the party there are some special food items available only during this time. Most of the items are sweet treats but also some savory items like spicy Hades Nachos. We stopped by a couple places to try some offerings:
Candy Corn Soft Serve (Aunty Gravity’s Galactic Goodies) The vanilla swirl blended perfectly with the addition of a sweet unique flavor that we think even non candy corn lovers would enjoy.
Munster Smash Burger (Cosmic Ray’s Cafe) We were super excited to try this but unfortunately did not quite meet our expectations (and looked nothing like the picture). The burger was pretty standard tasting with the cheese and bacon helping a bit. The tater tots seemed like a good idea but when eating it they more fell out than anything. It could have used more Sriracha sauce too.
Jack Skellington Push Pop (Sleepy Hollow) This was our favorite treat of the night made of chocolate cake, whipped cream and edible chocolate decor. Eating it out of a push pop was a little odd but this treat was tasty and looked super cute.
TIP: The lines for food were longer than we expected. We recommend getting food during a time you are waiting for a show, someone can save seats and someone can grab some snacks.
6. Meet & Greet Special Characters
If you love meeting characters and taking pictures a special event party is a great time to do so. Not only are there a lot of opportunities, you can find characters in special Halloween garb and see characters that usually are never our and about. There are really long lines for certain characters such as Jack and Sally from the Nightmare before Christmas. But there are also plenty of others to meet too. Characters were a bit lower on our priority list this year not being in costume. But we did swing by to at least say high to some of our classic faves: Goofy (in pirate gear) and Minnie Mouse (as a cute witch).
TIP: If you are dead set on meeting one of the big ones consider getting in line before the 7pm party start time to get a head start on the crowds.
8. Enjoy “Hallowishes” Fireworks Near the Hub
What is a trip to the Magic Kingdom without gorgeous fireworks? We enjoyed this show as it was a twist on the traditional by bringing in festive music from the Haunted Mansion and other spooky tunes. A lot of the fireworks were more orange and red and there were ghostly projections on the castle. This show wasn’t very long but it is certainly worth watching.
TIP: You don’t need to find a spot for this show very early. The crowds are lower and we found nice seats in the new plaza grass area about 15-20 minutes out.
9. Watch the “Boo to You” Parade in Frontier Land
There is a special parade during the party you won’t want to miss. Mickey’s Boo to You Halloween parade happens twice a night and we made sure to watch the later showing for even less crowds. Most people also try to watch from Main Steet, but we actually found Frontier land a perfect spot. The more rustic theming went well with the season and we easily found a spot. The parade featured a lot of cool characters from the haunted Manion, villains, pirates, and of course favorite characters in costume. We found one part of it with dancing farm yard animals a little odd, but otherwise thought the entertainment was great. Warning: the “Boo to You” song is a little catchy and you will get it stuck in your head.
TIP: Make sure to show up for the parade early. Before it begins the Headless Horseman parades down the street looking spectacularly spooky.
10. Catch the Latest Hocus Pocus Villian Spectacular
This was one of favorite things of the night and we absolutely LOVED this show. Hocus Pocus holds a special place in our childhood memories and seeing the Sanderson sisters on stage was epic. The other villains were great to see too, especially Oogie Boogie’s glowing dance number. There were some great projections and of course a bit of pyrotechnics. We saw the last show of the night and the crowds were super light. We were maybe only 10 people away from the stage.
TIP: Another good reason to see this show at Midnight is since the party technically ends then, it is almost like you are getting bonus party time versus spending the 30+ minutes early in the night.
So overall we had an absolute blast at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. Because of going on a Friday near Halloween our tickets were higher priced but we still think the value was worth it. We entered the park at 2pm being DVC members and stayed well past midnight. So we paid approx $10 an hour to access exclusive entertainment and come home with pounds of candy. If you get a chance you must check it out. Until next time, Boo to you!