The Year’s Most Frightfully Festive Event, and my personal favorite celebration held in all of Walt Disney World Resort, has to be Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party! It is a special ticketed event held in the Magic Kingdom Park beginning usually in mid-August and runs through Halloween where the entire park transforms into a “happy haunted hallows!” Guests of all ages, as well as your favorite Disney Characters, all dress in Halloween Costumes which adds to the spooky fun! The party runs from 7pm until midnight, (but you can get into the park as early as 4pm with your ticket.) Here are my must do’s, things not to miss and top 10 tips that can help you plan for the best party experience ever!
- Dress up!: It’s so much fun checking out all the amazing costumes at MNSSHP, from guests to characters, you will definitely want to be part of the fun! (One year I went as Cruella Deville and my husband and my daughter both went as dalmatians! It was a blast! As you can tell from the photo above, one year we all went as Maids and Butlers from my very favorite attraction, The Haunted Mansion! Hands down, those are my favorite photographs to print and hang around the house at Halloween time!) No matter what your age or creativity level, you will see everything from elaborate theater quality costumes to coordinating Halloween shirts, and everything in between. Don’t feel pressured to create something over the top, just have fun with it! If you need a creative boost, check Pinterest for great costume ideas! DTQ TIP: Pick a lightweight costume that’s not too cumbersome or hot, especially if you are attending one of the parties held in the summer months. Also as always, wear comfortable shoes!
- Dinner: Since you can arrive early for the party, don’t plan to waste precious party time eating dinner after the party starts. DTQ TIP: Arrive before the party starts, there are plenty of quick service options available, or with a bit of planning, schedule an Advanced Dining Reservation- Liberty Tree Tavern and Tony’s Town Square Restaurant have worked perfectly for us in the past!
- Rides and FastPass+: As you may have guessed, FastPass+ Reservations are not honored during the hours of the party. However, we were able to book them between 4pm and 7pm because we had not visited another park that day. Regardless, lines tend to be shorter during the party, we especially had no problems riding attractions at the end of the evening. DTQ TIP: Not all attractions are open during the party! Some, like The Enchanted Tiki Room, actually shut down and serve as Trick or Treat locations, so check your MNSSHP map upon arrival!
- Trick or Treat! Throughout Magic Kingdom park there will be Trick or Treat Stations set up and you’ll be given a map of the locations upon entrance. And yes, they are for all guests, even adults! (You may have eye rolled at the thought of Trick or Treating as a grown up, but trust me, after the first station you’ll be hooked!) DTQ TIP: Trick or Treat after the last parade is over and as close to midnight as possible. There will be shorter lines and cast members will be looking to unload the rest of their allowance of candy for the day! Also, take a back pack if you have a sizeable party, the bags they give you are small. It is nice to keep emptying them into a larger backpack if your goal is like my husband’s- to win the “who got the most candy of the night” contest!
- Photopass Magic Shots: One of the best kept “secrets” of the night is the opportunity for Photopass Magic Shots! These are fun extra Photopass locations with added enhancements like the Hitchhiking Ghosts, Headless Horseman, Hatbox Ghost, and more! In the past, locations have included one in Liberty Square, one in front of the Haunted Mansion and one on the Adventureland bridge. Check your MNSSHP for a complete list of locations. DTQ TIP: Purchasing the all inclusive photo package called Memory Maker is always a good idea, but especially if you are attending a special event such as this!
- Character Meet and Greets: Only during MNSSHP can you get your picture with Mickey in his Halloween costume! Plus there are meet and greets with several hard to find characters during the party, such as Jack and Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas and all Seven Dwarves with Snow White! DTQ TIP: Check out the map given to you upon arrival, make your way to the queue for your very favorite character as soon as you arrive, the lines begin quite early for the most popular characters!
- Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular: Since I am a huge Hocus Pocus fan, this is on my absolute must do list, don’t miss it! Disney in their infinite wisdom has cast the Sanderson Sisters perfectly! DTQ TIP: This show takes place in front of Cinderella Castle a few times during the party, but seeing it at midnight is definitely worth the wait, even if you see it twice! The park will have emptied out quite a bit and you can usually get right up close to the stage!
- Boo-To-You Parade: Many Disney enthusiasts consider the Boo-to-You parade to be the best parade in the history of Walt Disney World Resort. To be fair, I have not seen every parade, but this parade has been my favorite of the ones I have seen so far! From the Headless Horseman leading the way, to the Haunted Mansion float and the Grave Diggers, this parade is my second absolute must-do! DTQ TIP: There will be two parades, the first one being the most crowded. See my last tip for a suggestion of how to see both shows and the parade with a great view!
- Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular Fireworks: A Halloween themed fireworks show, yes please! I happened to see these as most recently as 2019 and let me tell you, they were AMAZING! The best fireworks display I have ever seen- another not miss item for sure!
- The Big Three of MNSSHP plan: Here is my almost guaranteed fool proof plan of seeing the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular, Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular Fireworks and the Boo-to-You Parade without having to leave your seat! Snag a spot close to the front of Cinderella Castle immediately after the first parade clears out. After a bit of waiting, (ok, a lot of waiting,) you can then watch the Spelltacular, the parade as it passes by and finally the last showing of the fireworks, all from one spot! It has worked perfectly for us in the past, and we had amazing front row views! Plus we had plenty of time to Trick or Treat after! DTQ TIP: This is a great time to send someone in your party to go and get snacks, bring back a light dinner, or, munch on all that candy you have been collecting around the park.
There you have it, my top 10 tips for a perfect MNSSHP experience! Whatever you chose to see during the party, make sure you stop and really enjoy it- it goes by very fast! But the memories do last a lifetime!