Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is a seasonal event at the Magic Kingdom that allows guests to dress up, do some trick-or-treating, take photos with costumed characters, see one-of-a-kind nighttime shows and parades, taste seasonal speciality food offerings, and watch a unique fireworks spectacular. Basically, no matter your age, you get to dress up as your favorite Disney character and fill your bag with candy in between rides at one of the most magical places on Earth!
There is a lot to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, but let’s get started with perhaps the most fun thing, dressing up! On this night the whole family can get in on the costuming fun. You may not know this, but Disney does not normally allow adults to dress as a Disney character. According to their website:
Adults can visit the parks if their hair (or makeup, if applicable) resembles a Disney Princess or character, provided that they are not also wearing a costume or clothed to look like the character.
Yep, only the little ones get the privilege of visiting the Bippity Boppity Boutique and masquerading as a Disney princess. That is, unless you are part of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party! This is your chance to don those Jack Sparrow outfits or to transform yourself into Princess Anna. The idea of riding Pirates of the Caribbean as Captain Jack sounds pretty awesome, right? Or, how about hopping in a doom buggy at the Haunted Mansion as a happy haunt yourself? Ooh, if you had a party large enough, you could even ride The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train as Snow White and the seven dwarfs! As you can see, the possibilities are limited only by your imagination. After all, what fun would gathering a bunch of candy be if not in costume? Well, actually that does still sound fun, but I really love candy! You might even say I have a bit of a Candy Crush, but I digress. When choosing your costume you will want to consider the Florida heat and humidity, as well as when to put on your alter ego. The seasoned pros know a lightweight costume is almost as important as an authentic one. If you plan to be in the Magic Kingdom early in the day, you may want to save your costume for later. A quick trip back to your resort, rental car, or even a locker at the park will save you from potential mishaps until you are ready for the party. Once the moment arrives you can unleash your inner pirate or princess in full glory.
This brings up another great thing about the party, most of the rides are operational during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. In fact, this can be a great time to take in the rides because a lot of party goers will spend more time watching the shows and parade, or be waiting in line to take pictures with the special characters. Now, you can’t reserve Fastpass + reservations for the party time. If you have a valid park ticket for the day you can make Fastpass + reservations for the Magic Kingdom up until 7 pm when the party starts. After that the Fastpass + queues will all shut down and it is standby line only. So, if you plan to be in the park earlier in the day, be sure to utilize Fastpass + for your favorite rides and then hit some of the others that night when the lines are shorter.
Of course, you can do the rides pretty much anytime, so you may want to focus your time on the parade, characters, and fireworks. The characters are very popular and the lines can grow to 2 hour waits as the night progresses. If characters are your priority, I recommend putting them at the top of your list. This means getting in line as early as 5:30 (an hour and a half before the party starts). Pick the one you don’t want to miss and go there first. Unless you plan to stand in line all night, you won’t be able to meet all the characters. Those that appear each Halloween vary, but here is a list of some characters you might expect to see:
– Mickey, Donald, and Winnie the Pooh in the festive best
– Jack Skellington and Sally, in Storybook Circus
– The Seven Dwarfs, in Fantasyland
– Villains, including Jafar and Cruella De Vil
– Princesses, at Princess Fairytale Hall
– Queen of Hearts, near Mad Tea Party
– Captain Jack Sparrow
– Gaston, outside Gaston’s Tavern
– Lotso, in Tomorrowland
Once you are at the party it is important to pick up a map. This map will have a little Mickey head everywhere there will be characters in the park.
Also included on the map is the route for Mickey’s Boo to You Halloween Parade. This speciality parade runs twice a night, first at 8:35 pm and then again at 11:15 pm. While the party mostly lives up to it’s Not-So-Scary name, the parade is headed up by the Headless Horsemen, who can be a little frightening. Immediately following him is a parade of friendly Disney characters like Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, Snow White, and of course Mickey Mouse. After a few floats there are a host of grave diggers followed by some dancing ghosts. This mixture of friend and frightening foe continues through to the very end. For this reason, I’m rating Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party a 3 out of 5 on the fright factor. The overall spirit of the parade is fun, but there are a few elements that some small children might find a little spooky. Whether they are cute and cuddly or dark and menacing, all the floats and characters put on a fantastic show. It is one of Disney’s most popular parades and something you won’t want to miss! The early parade is always the most crowded, so choosing your viewing spot should be highly influenced by which time you attend. If you want to see the early parade, I recommend a spot close to Frontierland. Chances are you will be deep into the park at this point already, and this area isn’t as crowded as Main Street U.S.A. If you opt for the late parade, I recommend grabbing a good spot as close to the park exit as possible. By then you will probably be ready to call it a night and the parade is the perfect way to cap off the evening. If you can snag something near the Main Street U.S.A. train station, you will be positioned at the exit as soon as the show is over.
Wait, what about the fireworks? Well, don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten. The Happy HalloWishes fireworks spectacular comes once a night, usually at 10 pm. Like any Disney fireworks show, it does not disappoint. A wide array of pyrotechnic wonders fill the night sky to the tune of different Disney villian’s theme music. The show is hosted by the extremely popular Ghost Host from the Haunted Mansion. His deep echoing voice introduces the likes of Ursula, Jafar, Oogie Boogie, and more. As each villain fills the sky with fireworks, Cinderella’s Castle is transformed with corresponding colors and images. The show is full of tricks, and a real treat to watch (see what I did there)! As with other Magic Kingdom fireworks shows, the best viewing spots will be found in front of the castle at the end of Main Street. Many guests leave Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party after the fireworks. Those staying till midnight will find the park less crowded for the last couple of hours, meaning you can see a lot in that window of time.
In addition to the special parade and fireworks, there are other fun ways to get into the Halloween spirit. Four times a night there is a special show on the Castle Forecourt Stage. This year the Sanderson Sisters are hosting the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular show. The three witches from the movie Hocus Pocus return to the mortal world to unleash as many Disney villains as possible. Be on the look out for Maleficent, Oogie Boogie, and others. The 20 minute show features dancing, projections, and special effects.
Another fun show takes place directly on Cinderella’s Castle at 9:45 pm. As you wait for the Happy HalloWishes fireworks to begin you can enjoy the Celebrate the Magic show. This amazing projection show turns the castle into a canvas. Disney brings out their magical paintbrush and the variety of images and animation set before your eyes is incredible. At times it is easy to forget everything you see is actually a projection on the castle. One minute Tinkerbell is sprinkling her pixie dust and the next Dumbo is flying high over the big top. One of my favorite moments is when the castle becomes a giant version of the game “Fix it Felix” from the movie Wreck it Ralph. This is one show you really need to see from directly in front of the castle if possible.
Now, if you prefer to get off your feet and let loose, be sure to catch the Character Dance Party over at the stage in Tomorrowland. It is a good way to burn some sugary calories while kids and adults boogie with some favorite Pixar characters. The dance party takes place throughout the evening so don’t worry about showing up at a specific time.
Is it just me or did I say sugary calories a minute ago? Why yes I did! In addition to the free candy filling your bags, you can also indulge in some speciality food items. Cupcakes are all the rage in the underworld so you can choose from a Ghost Cupcake at Gaston’s Tavern, or a Spider or Monster Cupcake at the Main Street Bakery. The bakery is also offering up a giant Halloween Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich. If you want to cut out the cookie and focus on the ice cream, you can get a Candy Corn Soft Serve Cone at Storybook Treats. Finally, my wife’s favorite sugary confection is cotton candy, and Disney has created a Candy Corn Cotton Candy just for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party! This tri-colored bag features original cotton candy, plus orange and pina colada flavors. Yum!
If free candy is your thing, there is plenty to go around. At the beginning of the party Disney provides trick-or-treat bags. You can also bring your own if you like. Again, refer to your party map and you will see the Mickey shaped pumpkins signifying the Treat locations around the park. There are about 14 locations scattered across the different lands. To maximize the trick-or-treating be sure and hit the Fantasyland Treat Trail which begins at the Walt Disney World Railroad Station in Storybook Circus. Plan your candy collecting carefully and remember you will be carrying that bag around for several hours. If you save your candy run for the end of the night you won’t have to lug that heavy bag around to the rest of the party. Of course, you might want to hit a stop or two in the beginning for snack purposes.
So, you have your candy, you’ve seen your characters, you watched the parade, taken in the shows, and been dazzled by fireworks. Sounds like a pretty full night! Well, don’t forget about the shopping. That’s right, you will want a souvenir to commemorate this fun filled evening and there is a lot of speciality merchandise. You can choose from special edition Magic Bands, trading pins, a Sorcerer’s of the Magic Kingdom card, and t-shirts. Or perhaps a great photo is all you need. Disney’s PhotoPass photographers will be happy to snap a picture or two. It is always free to have them take your picture, then you can decide later if you want to purchase a copy or download the image back at home. A couple of the PhotoPass spots will magically insert images into the picture you take in the park. For example, you might remember your party experience by sharing a frame with a couple of hitch hiking ghosts. You can’t go wrong with anything relating to The Haunted Mansion!
If the thought of missing Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party has you frightened, here is what you need to do. First of all, purchase your tickets in advance. I know what you’re thinking, I can just go to the Magic Kingdom that day and hide out until after 7 pm and stay for free! Well, as good of a trick as that would be, Disney hands out special bands for party participants. Anyone not wearing these bands is kindly ushered out of the park. Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen to you! To purchase tickets come visit our website and click on the link in the show notes, or call (407) 939-7679. It is a limited ticket event so it can and will sell out on many nights. The closer you get to Oct. 31st, the harder tickets are to come by. If you can go in early October on a weekday, your chances of securing tickets and having smaller crowds are best. The tickets themselves range from about $60 – $90, depending on adult or child, and what day you will be attending. Halloween day is the most expensive.
This may sound like a lot to pay in addition to your already expensive Disney vacation. However, there is a way to save a little money. Disney’s official policy is that you must have valid park admission for the day of the party. What they don’t tell you is that you can show up at 4:00 pm with your Special Event ticket and get into the Magic Kingdom without a regular park ticket. Exercising this secret tip you can opt to purchase theme park tickets with one less day. For example, if you will be at the parks for 7 days, you can purchase a 6 day ticket. Then plan on using one of the 7 days to attend Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. Of course, you won’t have access to the park before 4:00 pm, but this still gives you 8 hours in the Magic Kingdom if you stay for the entire party. You could spend the early part of the day sleeping in, relaxing by the pool, shopping at Disney Springs, or any number of other activities. One thing to note here: if you go this route, you won’t be able to make any Fastpass + reservations from 4:00 – 7:00 at the Magic Kingdom since you won’t have a theme park ticket for that day. Still, you will have saved the cost of another day’s park ticket and added a little additional cost for the special event ticket.
If I can personally help you figure out the best way to add Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party to your Disney vacation, please visit wdwrideguide.com/vacationplanner. You can also e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 210-853-2488. I should probably warn you of one thing. Once you experience Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, all other Halloween parties will never be the same. You have been warned.
Well, that was a fun look into the enchantment awaiting visitors to the Magic Kingdom during this special event. Thank you so much for joining me today! Next week, we will continue to explore the spookiest, scariest, most hair-raisingest adventures Walt Disney World has to offer!