Last week I posted some of my top tips for getting the most out of Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party and promised to share my game plan for the upcoming year. While we are not scheduled to go for another few weeks, it always helps to be prepared! So here is our tentative game plan:
Up to 4pm: Have an restful day with perhaps a bit of swimming for the kids. Around 2:30pm we begin to get ready and in costume.
4:00pm: Arrive at the Magic Kingdom to pick up wristbands. Head immediately to either Cosmic Rays or Pecos Bill's for an early, light dinner.
5:00 - 5:30pm: Pick one or two rides to entertain the kids and then make our way to meet Jack Skellington and Sally.
5:30pm: One of the adults will be in line for Jack and Sally at this point. The other will take the kids for rides or just walking around and admiring other costumes.
The waiting can take a while...
6:45pm: This is usually when these top characters start to meet and greet with guests. Hopefully we are far enough in front that we are out of line by 7:30pm.
7:30pm: Grab a quick specialty snack (Like those Jack Pops from Sleepy Hollow!) and pick another character or two meet. We tend to like Villains, but have met most of them by now. Ill let the kids pick this one usually that morning. If we have time, we'll fit in a ride or two!
8:45pm: Find a good spot for the Boo to You Parade. While one adult waits, the other may help the kids grab another snack or ride one more ride.
9:15pm: Boo To You Parade! Easily one of my favorite entertainment events at Disney...
9:45pm: With about 30 minutes before the fireworks, this is usually when we start to hit some candy stations for the trick or treating. The lines will be much shorter now. We also usually try to make our way to the Haunted Mansion, but the lines for this ride can get quite long...
10:15pm: Happy Hallowishes Fireworks! Again, a true highlight of the party and should not be missed. The view for this is pretty good almost everywhere in the park and so we don't tend to stake out a spot like we do for the Parade.
10:45 - 12:00: If anyone is awake and still going, this is when we ride some rides, meet another character or two and grab that last bit of candy. After the fireworks show the crowds tend to really thin out! SO if you've got the energy, this can be a truly great time to be in the parks!
Have you created your game plan yet??
One of my absolute favorite things to do at Disney World in the Fall is the Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party. If you've never heard of it, the Halloween party is a special event that occurs on select nights in September - October at the Magic Kingdom. It does require a separate ticket, but it is so much fun that it is honestly worth every penny! Having been to the Halloween party several years now, I have a few tips to help you get the most out of your time at the party!
Costumes are by no means mandatory at the Halloween Party, but man, do you have more fun in them! The planning and making our costumes builds the excitement in our house and we usually begin the brainstorming as early as July! The vast majority of guests do wear costumes. Some are in simple t-shirts, some are in costumes straight from the Disney store, and some are in full cosplay glory. It doesn't matter what your level of costuming is, but I highly recommend joining in the fun!
*Bonus Tip - I always try to stick with lightweight, cotton fabrics! It might be very hot in which case the last thing you want is for your costume to ruin your evening! This goes for shoes as well...Also, Disney World has very strict rules about costumes for guest safety, such as no masks or capes that touch the ground. I highly suggest giving these a read when you are planning out your costumes.*
2. Enter at 4pm and Eat Before 7pm
The Halloween Party technically begins at 7pm. This is the time when non-party guests will be quietly escorted to the exits, the lights will lower, and you are welcomed by your Ghost Host. However, what most people dont know is that with a Party Ticket you can begin entering the park at 4pm. And you don't need a park ticket in addition to your Party ticket.
Because there is so much to do during the Halloween Party, you don't want to waste those precious moments waiting for your check at a table-service restaurant! So we recommend eating a light dinner between 4:30-5pm at one of the quick service restaurants such as Pecos Bill or Cosmic Rays. Then when you are finished, you can get your game plan out and ready to go. This is also usually when I recommend getting in a line for the top character meets.
But what if you get hungry? Another reason I recommend a light dinner is that the Halloween Party has lots of candy and specialty treats available in addition to the normal ice cream and popcorn stations open. So save some room in there for the extra good stuff!
3. Have a Game Plan
4. Try the Treats!
Every year there are some delicious limited time treats served only during the Halloween Party. This year you can try the Jack Skellington dessert served push pop-style, Haunted Mansion themed treats, a Pumpkin Cheesecake dome or the candy corn ice cream. In addition the spooktacular desserts, there is also special edition merchandise for sale at various locations including: pins, pumpkin-shaped popcorn buckets, and orange Mickey ears. The popcorn bucket is $13.50 found in Frontierland. This popcorn bucket gets the $1.50 refills.
The Pumpkin Cheesecake Dome can be found at Main Street Bakery and Gaston's Tavern.
The Jack Skellington Dessert is located at Sleepy Hollow in Liberty Square.
The Haunted Mansion Desserts are located at Aloha Isle, Auntie Gravity's Galactic Goodies, Liberty Square Market, and Storybook Treats.
Pumpkin Mickey Wafles with Ice Cream are at Sleepy Hollow.
The Worms and Dirt are located at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe.
5. Bring Your Own Trick or Treat Bags
6. Choose Your Parade Location Ahead of Time!
Boo To You Parade! While there are two parade showings, most people go to the earlier one so this will be the most crowded. If you your game plan from above includes watching the first Parade, then stake out your spot early! The Boo to You Parade is not to be missed. Ill be honest that I usually pass up the daily parades at the parks, but not this one. The focus on villains, the music, and the rare characters are so fun. But our absolutely favorite part is that the parade is rung in by the Headless Horseman riding down the parade route on horseback. HOW DOES HE DO THAT? We typically like to watch the parade from Frontierland. There are crowds there and you are closer to rides and characters to get to as soon as the parade is over. But many people prefer the Castle as a backdrop and choose Main Street.
Some logistics: The Parade is about 20 minutes long and follows the traditional parade route beginning in Frontierland near Splash Mountain, comes through Liberty Square to the front of the Castle, and then down Main Street and around the Flag Pole in Town Square. So the closer to the entrance of the park you are, the longer you are going to wait for the parade, but perhaps the better overall ambience.
7. Do NOT Miss Hallowishes
In addition to the Boo toYour Parade, Hallowishes is a CANNOT MISS part of the Halloween Party. Magic Kingdom's new firework show, Happily Ever After, is amazing. But Hallowishes is designed around the more spooky, villainous Disney characters. It rivals the July 4th Fireworks show in pyrotechnic display, but I like it more because of the music! Hallowishes only happens once per night, so this is something to plan around and make sure you have a great spot to take it in! Try to get a spot between 15 -30 minutes before they start. But the park is much less crowded, so its easy to get a good viewing spot without staking ground 2 hours before!
8. Bring Extra Clothes
It is Central Florida. So your guess is as good as mine as to what the weather will bring. We have been to the Halloween Party in Early October and it is very hot all night long. Usually the kids stay in costume for about the first two hours and are then ready to change clothes. We have also been in late October and it can get pretty chilly by 11pm. In this case its always nice to have a sweater or just a pair of pants to throw on. Either way, Id think ahead about bringing in an extra set of clothing. You can always store them in a locker or stick them under a stroller.
9. PhotoPass Magic Shots
For many Party goers the central draw is the characters. During the Halloween Party you can meet some very rare characters, villains, and characters in costume. For the characters in costume, they don't tend to have the long lines, but they are so fun! This year Goofy is dressed up like a pirate, Donald Duck is a jack o'lantern, and the entire Winnie the Pooh Gang are in costumes as well.
For the Villains, you can meet Jafar, Cruella DeVil, the Evil Witch from Snow White, Gaston, and Lotso Hugging Bear. All are really fun and have great interactions with the guests. The lines for these characters can range from 25 - 45 minutes each, so definitely pick your favorites and know their locations!
For the rare character seekers Jack Skellington and Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas, the Seven Dwarfs, and Moana all will have VERY LONG LINES ranging from 90 minutes to over 2 hours. These characters I highly recommend choosing one and getting to their locations well before 6pm. Sometimes they may even come out a bit early such as Moana has been coming out at 6:45, but her line starting forming at 5pm!
One more character to mention is that Prince Eric is now meeting with Ariel over near the Market area in Fantasyland and because he does not appear often, he is considered rare and their line will be longer than normal.
In addition to the shows (I havent even mentioned the Hocus Pocus Show!), the attractions, the Characters, and the Food, the Halloween Party also have a few other additional little touches that make this Part so much fun. First, the Cadaver Dans are a Halloween rendition of the Dapper Dans barbershop quartet. The Cadaver Dans' repertoire centers on the more Villainous songs such as "Curella DeVil", "The Oogie Boogie Song", etc. They can be found in Frontierland near the Country Bear Jamboree.
The second are what most refer to as the Madams. Madam Carlotta and Madam Renata are two of the ghostly inhabitants of the Haunted Mansion. During the Party they can be found at the Haunted Mansion sharing ghost stories and interacting with guests.
Here are a few extra things to know before you go.
1. Not every attraction is open during the party. The ones that are available are:
2018 Event Dates
So many guests and friends of mine have asked, “So is Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party Worth It?” Spoiler Alert: YES. You can stop reading right here…but why not keep going...
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP) is a special ticket event in the Magic Kingdom that takes place between September 2nd and October 31st on select nights of the week. The ticket costs start at $72 per person depending on the night of the party and if you buy them advance. If you don’t go to the park before 4pm, you don’t need park admission to enter the park. We usually use this day to relax by the pool or sleep in to save up energy (and that park ticket!) for the party!
What’s so special about it??
First off, COSTUMES! Ok, so maybe this one doesn’t just grab everyone, but for me this is a biggy. On any normal day in Magic Kingdom adults are not allowed to dress up for fear of confusion with characters, but not so during MNSSHP!
There are some rules of course for the safety of everyone, but in general adults can dress up as their favorite Disney character and enjoy Halloween like a kid again! I also just love to see all the other families in their costumes and themes. Some of them rival the characters is authentic details and creativity! So get ready for some people watching!
Second, trick-or-treating! All over the Magic Kingdom Cast Members (CMs) are stationed handing out gobs of treats. The quality of candy has also gone up in the recent years and theres just something about trick-or-treating near that castle that is more magical that wondering who is at home on your street.
Boo To You Parade!
Third, the “Boo to You” Parade is not to be missed! Headlined by the Headless Horseman, and followed by your favorite ghools and villans, this parade is fun and catchy and really not scary at all. The parade also features really rare characters such as Wreck-it Ralph! The parade is performed 2x each night and the crowds get intense, so I highly recommend finding your seats EARLY in the night.
Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular!
The list keeps going! So next up is the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular. Now this is not a normal stop for me, but people have raved about the recently revamped show featuring the characters from Hocus Pocus, an older Disney Halloween film resurging in popularity. If you or your kids like shows, definitely check this one out!
On the nights of the MNSSHP the normal fireworks show, Wishes, is replaced with Hallowishes. Hallowishes is truly awesome. It is 12 minutes of awestruck as Disney has perfectly coordinated their fireworks to Villains theme songs. Its creepy and fun! There are several great locations to catch this show from inside the park, but usually I recommend watching from the main center in front of the castle, but just a bit to the right (close to Tomorrowland) so that you can disperse from the crowds easily after the show is over.
Low Wait Times!
Exclusive Merchandise and Snacks!
If you are one of the thousands of people that collect anything Disney (limited edition pins, mugs, shirts, whatever!), then the exclusive merchandise may be a big draw for you!
This is one my FAVORITE events of the year at Disney and I cannot recommend it enough! Have you been?? Let us know!
These are the party dates for 2016:
September 2, 8, 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 23, 25, 29, 30
October 2, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21, 23, 25, 27, 28, 30, 31
Tara is a Disney-obsessed Mom of two active boys!