Okay, so you might think me a bit bonkers to be talking about Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party in July; but, with Disney now moving the event even earlier into August (the first Party in 2019 is August 16th!!), needs must. Plus any opportunity to talk about two of my favourite things – Walt Disney World and Halloween, I’m all for it!
When you think about Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP) you may not necessarily think it is a place for adults, well that’s not true at all! MNSSHP is a family friendly event (hence the not-so-scary part!), and we have visited with our son, as a couple, and as a group of adults. No matter what age you are, you can have a great time at Disney Parks and certainly at the Halloween Party too!
I am here to help with everything Walt Disney World, so today I’ve got an adult’s guide to having a blast at the Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. Let’s jump in!
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What is Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party?
Let’s start off with discussing what Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party actually is!
Every year between mid-August through November 1, Disney’s Magic Kingdom is decorated with fall and Halloween decor, and is the perfect place to visit if the Halloween season is your favourite time of the year. (Which mine is!)
The Halloween Party in particular is hosted as a special event on selected nights throughout this time period. In order to attend the party, you will need to purchase a separate ticket in addition to a regular park ticket should you choose to attend both.
If you just want to solely attend Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, then just buy a ticket for the event. In fact, the ticket to MNSSHP actually allows you to enter the park from 4pm, so you can make the most of those few hours before the party officially starts at 7pm!
I personally thinking visiting Magic Kingdom on a party night is a waste of money if you are paying for a day ticket, as the park closes early (7pm) for regular guests, compared with the usual later closing times. And this is why I always recommend planning your Walt Disney World vacations – make the most of your time, and hard earned cash!
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party 2019 Dates
- August 16, 20, 23, 27, 30.
- September 2, 6, 8, 10, 13, 15, 17, 20, 22, 24, 27, 29.
- October 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 14, 15, 17, 18, 20, 21, 24, 25, 27, 29, 31.
- November 1.
As stated previously, the Halloween Party is a ticketed event which means smaller crowds than you would see on a typical Magic Kingdom visit. This means it is a prime time to ride those attractions that may typically have extremely long lines. For example, the mountains (Splash, Space, and Big Thunder) or Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. These rides can get upwards of anywhere from 1-3 hours wait time on a typical park day, surely with such a dramatic cut in guests ride times drop significantly.
You can buy MNSSHP tickets online, on Disney’s website (where they offer discounts for Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members), and you can buy at the gate. But if you really want to attend, I highly recommend buying in advance as some nights will sell out – especially on weekends, and on Halloween itself – October 31!
Some nights are historically a little less busy – Tuesdays seem to be the least busy. But with Disney Parks getting busier and busier, I forsee the trend transferring to the parties too.
Shows & Parades
There are some really great Halloween themed shows and parades to see. You can stand along the parade route and watch Mickey’s Boo To You Halloween Parade which includes your favourite classic Disney characters all dressed up for Halloween; and of course Disney’s own Haunted Mansion characters are in the parade as well.
The parade runs twice during the party – the second parade is always less crowded, so watch that one. During the busier first showing, hit up the rides which will be less busy!
Oh and one quick mention about the parade – you’ll be singing along before it is finished! AND I have no doubt that you’ll be singing the tune in your head for weeks after! Boo to you, and you, and you, and you, Happy Halloween!
One of my personal favourite Halloween movies is of course Hocus Pocus! I love that the evil Sanderson Sisters are included in the Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.
Winifred, Mary, and Sarah lead the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular including other classic villains such as Dr. Facilier, Oogie Boogie, and Maleficent. This show is great for adults and older kids! (Excuse my word error in my video thumbnail below!) I have heard rumour that this show may also be replaced… Disney are doing a LOT of that recently.
An addition being implicated in 2019 is a brand new Halloween firework show. In this show you get to see Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy go Trick-Or-Treating through a Haunted House. The show not only includes fireworks, but it also lasers, lights, and projection effects. This one is going to be great for those of all ages. As I said it is brand new to the party this year, so I don’t know how good it actually is…but if I know Disney, it will surely be a hit!
Happy HalloWishes – the previous fireworks show will always have a place in my heart though – I LOVED it, and it was my favourite of all the Disney fireworks. As sad as it is to see favourite attractions leave the Disney Parks, we always have to bare in mind Walt’s quote about his beloved Disneyland:
Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world. – Walt Disney
Pro Tip! If you want to see the Halloween fireworks (or any other Magic Kingdom fireworks) when you’re not inside the park itself, you totally can! You won’t, of course, be able to see any of the Castle projections, but you’ll see all the sparkly explosions. AND, most of the locations. also pipe in the music, so it’s almost like you are there! But where can you see the fireworks when you’re not inside Magic Kingdom? Well…
- Anywhere along the beach at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort – you don’t have to be staying at the resort, and can visit as a guest. You can also see them from inside ‘Ohana – a dining reservation is required.
- Ferry Boat Dock at the Transportation & Ticket Center (although, they are renovating the area, so you might not be able to do that currently).
- Grand Floridian Dock near Narcoossee’s.
- Patio in front of Gasparilla Grill at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. (We have viewed from here in 2015, and music was not played, but it may have changed since).
- If you have dining reservations at California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, you can view from inside the restaurant – awesome if your table is next to a window. Or you can head out to the observation deck. If you have a reservation time earlier than the fireworks, you can return – just present your receipt and you’ll be able to go back up to the top and watch the fireworks. (We actually watched our first ever Happy HalloWishes from Cali Grill!)
- You can also view the fireworks from inside Narcoossee’s – again a reservation is required. There is a patio area outside the restaurant that you can view them from too.
- There is also the option of a private fireworks cruise on Seven Seas Lagoon, but that is some serious cash dropping for that experience!
It wouldn’t be Halloween without a costume, am I right? Unlike typical Disney days, adults are able to dress up for the Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party; however there are still some restrictions. I highly suggested checking the most up to date information about costumes on Disney’s website, as info may have changed since writing this post.
Disney reserves the right to deny admission to or remove any person wearing attire that is considered inappropriate or attire that could detract from the experience of other Guests. – Walt Disney World
All guests can dress as their favourite characters, but absolutely no masks for anyone over 14 years old. For 13 and under some masks may be worn, as long as the mask does not cover the entire face and eyes are visible. No weapons that appear to be real, or that could potentially cause harm to another guest in the park are not allowed.
When we visited Walt Disney World for my 40th birthday (read my WDW-40:2016 Disney Trip Report), we attended two Halloween Parties. Here is me with my brother, dressed up as Beetlejuice. This gives an idea of what Disney were okay with – he got a lot of attention that night that’s for sure!
Character Meet & Greets
There are lots of awesome Disney Character Meet & Greets – many of which you will only find at the Party – like Jack & Sally, and the Seven Dwarfs! The lines can be very long, so make a beeline for your favourite as soon as you can. Some of them also dress up in their Halloween costumes*, so that’s very cool!
Past characters have included:
- Jack Skellington & Sally
- Captain Jack Sparrow
- Aladdin & Abu
- Jasmine & Genie
- Madame Carlotta (Haunted Mansion)
- Madame Rinata (Haunted Mansion)
- Tazan & Jane, Terk
- Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore, Piglet, and Tigger *
- Snow White
- Seven Dwarfs
- The Evil Witch
- Anna & Elsa
- Cruella De Vil
- Cinderella & Rapunzel
- Alice, Mad Hatter, White Rabbit, Queen of Hearts
- Daisy & Minnie*
- Lotso & Buzz Lightyear
- Tinker Bell
- Mickey Mouse*
The last time we visited a Halloween Party, the Character Meet & Greet locations only, were marked on the map (which is a special one for the parties!), and not the names of the characters. We asked a Cast Member who was where as he had a map with the names and locations marked on it. With only 5 hours for the party, if you can find out their locations in advance it will help a LOT. We lined up to meet Jack and Sally for about 3 hours! WORTH IT!
Halloween Treats & Merch
There are so many other great additions to the park for the Halloween Party including fun Halloween treats, and party-exclusive merchandise like t-shirts and pins.
Your guide map will show you where you can buy the merch and treats – Disney Pins are very popular and do sell out, so head to buy them first if you really want these. The specialty food is of course Halloween themed! It may change year upon year, but you’re guaranteed to find a spooky treat to eat!
For an additional charge, there is the Fireworks Dessert Party, where you will find delicious desserts including chocolate covered strawberries, ice cream, cupcakes, sparkling apple cider, and so much more!
Trick or Treat Trails!
And don’t forget the Trick or Treat Trails – these are not just for kids! You’re handed a bag as you enter the Magic Kingdom and you can have it filled with candy and treats as you visit each location – and you can visit as many times as you like. I would wait till later in the evening, just so that you don’t have to haul all that candy around with you all night.
Cruella’s Halloween Hide-a-Way
Also a new for 2019 is a Halloween dining experience – Cruella’s Halloween Hide-a-Way. It doesn’t get any more evil than Cruella DeVil – “If she doesn’t scare you, no evil thing will…” and with this dining event you will be doing Halloween right. I highly recommend making Advance Dining Reservations as I think this will be very popular!
Beginning at 9:30 p.m., this new and special experience will allow you to pop in and out at your leisure and indulge in savory hors d’oeuvres with a taste from the Witches Cauldron—a kettle of gooey and creamy spinach dip with ciabatta crostini, assorted Halloween flatbreads and more! In addition, there will be sweet treats such as chocolate-dipped strawberries, cheesecake and mini cannoli, Kanine Krunchy cake and Mini De Vil brownies and a variety of beverages including beer and wine selections and more!
But the party doesn’t stop there! You will also have access to a special reserved viewing area for the truly enchanting “Mickey’s Boo-To-You” Halloween Parade at 11:15 p.m., featuring some of Cruella’s villainous pals.
After the parade, the fun continues at Tony’s where you can hang out until 12:30 a.m. – Disney Parks Blog
Held in Tony’s Town Square Restaurant, you will be able to dine on festive foods and treats with reserved seating, you get to bask in the evil of the Cruella as she makes her way through the dining areas and even stops by your table. This one is truly one of the coolest Halloween and Disney Villains experiences I think you can come across at Disney!
Reservations for Cruella’s Halloween Hide-a-Way are now available on DisneyWorld.com or by calling (407) 939-3463.
What Happens If It Rains?
Unless it is a hurricane and the park has to shut completely (very rare, only ever happened a handful of times in the nearly 50 year history of Walt Disney World), weather will not stop the party from happening. The party will go on, but certain elements may be affected. For example:
- The parades may not run at all; or they may only run one parade; or the parade may be altered slightly – one year they didn’t include the Headless Horseman because of the earlier downpour of rain.
- The fireworks may be delayed, but they will eventually be let off. We didn’t leave one of the parties until nearly 1am because of late fireworks and rain!
- The stage show may be cancelled – but this actually runs several times during the party, so you should still be able to catch it.
- Meet & Greets may be delayed.
- MNSSHP tickets are nontransferable and nonrefundable, so the only thing you can do is put on a poncho, and keep partying in the rain!
- Check the weather forecast before you attend the party (it’s pretty accurate!) and if it looks like rain, make sure you catch the earlier parade and show, in case later ones are called off.
Quick Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Tips!
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party runs for just 5 hours from 7pm til midnight, and you have to form a bit of a strategy before you go because you will not be able to do it all! So here are a few of my personal tips to get the most from your party time:
- You can usually enter the Magic Kingdom from about 4pm with your party ticket (you are given a wrist band to wear), so take this time to have an early dinner, and ride a couple of rides. Time is too precious to waste doing such mundane things during the party hours!
- That said, if you are going to ride any of the rides at MNSSHP, it goes without saying that it simply MUST be Haunted Mansion. And whilst we didn’t used to have ride overlays like they do in Disneyland; they are starting to appear with the following:
- Mad Tea Party – Halloween music and lighting.
- Pirates of The Caribbean – three live action pirates have been added; two in the line, and one (called Gunpowder Pete) on the ride itself.
- Space Mountain – new rock soundtrack, in the pitch black, giving a more intense experience.
- People Mover – TBC
- Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor – TBC
- Big Thunder Railroad Mountain – TBC
- You will probably only get the chance to meet 1-2 characters – maybe 3 – it depends how the lines work out. Very popular characters like Jack and Sally, the Villains, and the Seven Dwarfs will have long lines. They sometimes open them as early as 5 or 6pm, and if you want to meet them sooner rather than later, you need to get in line! Take snacks, drinks, and something to keep the kids occupied because lines do shuffle along slowly! As I mentioned, we lined up for 3 hours to meet the guys from Nightmare Before Christmas, but it was so worth it to us as we’re big fans! That said you might get lucky, and get to meet many more.
- The problem then with lining up for characters or rides, is that you potentially miss out on the parades and shows… so you need to prioritise! Do you want to see the shows, or no? What are the chances of you [ever] going to another MNSSHP? Take these things into account!
- If it is going to be your one and only visit ever, then I would highly recommend you catch the second showing of the parade, which is after the fireworks. During the first parade, take this opportunity to go on rides, be in line for characters, or taking the kids trick or treating (although that goes against my earlier tip of waiting till later so you don’t have to haul it around!)
- If you really want the MNSSHP merchandise, get it early as it can sell out! If there are a few of you going, split up and go to the different locations, as for some reason they sell different merch in different stores.
- The new dining experience sounds awesome, and I think we would definitely try it out – especially as you can come and go. I think this is more for repeat/returning guests, and probably not something I would bother with if I only had one chance to see the parades and fireworks!
- And finally, to remember the great night you had, get at least one photo taken by a Disney photographer (Read more about MemoryMaker on Disney’s website). There are so many fun and spooky photo opportunities around Magic Kingdom – some of the photos are animated too! The one with the Grave Diggers is, although I’ve popped the still image in below.
There is so much fun to be had at the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and as I said, it is not just for the kids. As you know, I’m a huge fan of Walt Disney World and all the parks throughout the year, but the Halloween Party puts my love for Disney over the edge! Even though it is an ticketed event, I think it is absolutely worth the money – I really believe that it is not to be missed out on! If you haven’t had the opportunity to attend, and you love Halloween, I would highly recommend taking the plunge and attending Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party!
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My Camera Gear
The camera I use for my Disney photography is a Canon EOS 70D.
The two main lenses I use: Sigma 18-300mm F3.5-6.3 DC Macro and Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC Art. Both of these lenses will also fit Nikon and Sony DSLRs.
I also take some photos on my iPhone7 for sharing on social media – follow my Disney Instagram account – LoveDisneyPhotos
Pool photos are taken with: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5. A similar model is the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT30EB-A
Videos are taken with Panasonic HC-V720, although the newer model is the Panasonic HC-V770.
Any photo editing is done with Photoshop or with Instagram editing features and filters.