Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party Review
2019 Review of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is our favorite extra-ticket event at Disney World. We attend at least one Halloween party each year. This year the first party we went to was on August 23rd. This post covers all of the details of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. We provide the pros and cons about attending the Halloween Party. In addition to this post, we have a second post that covers our Top 5 Tips for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.
*Throughout this post, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party may be referred to as MNSSHP
Should Adults Do This?
This is an easy YES. MNSSHP is held in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom theme park. Starting in August (yes, you read that correctly), guests can celebrate everything Disney and Halloween. The event starts at 7pm and goes until midnight.
We love Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party for several reasons. First, the entertainment is awesome and it can only be seen during the Halloween Party. We cover what to expect from the fireworks, parade, and stage show in detail below. The trick or treating is also a lot of fun. Yes, adults can trick or treat all they want. We usually end up with a ton of candy. Want unique characters? The Halloween Party has a bunch of those too! Lastly, the event has a couple of unique ride experiences that you can only do during the Halloween party.
If you enjoy costumes, you will find adults and kids dressed up. If costumes aren’t for you, there is usually an equal number of people in their normal park attire. For the restrictions and our tips for costumes at MNSSHP, click here.
When Are The Parties?
For 2019, the first MNSSHP was on August 16th and the last Halloween party is on November 1st. The parties are only held on select nights. For this year’s calendar, click the select tickets button on Disney’s official Halloween Party website. If you are reading this after the parties have ended for the year, keep an eye out for when Disney releases the dates for 2020. This is typically several months in advance.
Attending MNSSHP is separate ticket event. What this means is that you have to purchase a ticket to be able to attend the Halloween Party. However, you DO NOT need to separately purchase a theme park ticket. Tickets start at $79 and go up to $135 on Halloween night. You can save by purchasing the ticket at least one day in advance. There are also a limited number of Annual Passholder discounts.
The MNSSHP ticket covers the Halloween Party and also allows guests to enter the Magic Kingdom starting at 4pm. (Even though the party officially starts at 7pm.) This aspect is not widely advertised by Disney World. We have checked with cast members and confirmed that this should remain the case for all parties in 2019.
The biggest tradeoff about attending MNSSHP is that the Halloween party is an extra cost. If you are looking to offset the cost, we recommend not getting a park ticket that day. Spend your day relaxing, at Disney Springs, swimming, or resort hopping. Then get to Magic Kingdom right at 4pm to make the most out of your Halloween Party ticket. To purchase tickets for the 2019 Halloween parties, click here.
New Halloween Pass Tickets
This year, Disney World announced a new type of Halloween ticket. The Halloween pass allows guests to attend all of the MNSSHP events, except the one held on October 31st. The pass costs $299 and only covers parties in 2019. Disney also stated that limited quantities are available. The pass is an amazing deal for locals. Or, if you plan on attending 3 or more Halloween parties, it is a great option.
We are not locals. While we do plan on going to 2 Halloween parties this year, it does not make financial sense for us to purchase the pass. The downside to the introduction of this ticket is that it is new. There are a lot of unknown factors that can result from this ticket. The biggest concern is how it will impact attendance. MNSSHP is very popular. We are excited that locals will be able to attend more often, but we are nervous about the additional crowds that will result for this already popular event.
For us, the best part of MNSSHP is the entertainment. There are a variety of different shows, an awesome parade, and some bonus dance parties. The shows and parade alone will use up a lot of your time at the Halloween Party. And this doesn’t even factor in the ride overlays, character meetings, and trick or treating.
The Boo To You parade is a must do if it is your first visit to MNSSHP. Even after attending several Halloween parties, the parade is a must do for us. There are two parades each party night. One is at 9:15pm and the second is at 11:15pm. We tend to prefer the second parade because it is often less crowded. If you plan on watching the fireworks, you will most likely want a spot in front of Cinderella’s castle. If this is the case, then the earlier parade can be a good option. The downside of this strategy is that this can be a lot of time standing in one spot.
The parade starts in Frontierland and ends at the entrance of the Magic Kingdom. The parade route can be seen as the dotted line on this year’s Halloween Party park map. This nighttime parade is our favorite parade at Disney World. There is a mix of characters, fun and spooky floats, and a catchy soundtrack.
This year there is a new firework show, Not So Spooky Spectacular. While we were sad to see HalloWishes replaced, the new fireworks show is really good. In addition to fireworks there are impressive projections on the castle. Jack Skellington serves as the host of the show. An animatronic Jack appears at the start and end of the show. Jack can be a bit hard to see from further back. However, we still recommend not getting too close to the castle so that you can take in the fireworks with the show.
The new show is similar to Happily Ever After in that it includes both fireworks and projections on the castle. However, we feel this show is much more heavily focused on the projections. The projections are awesome and we felt the fireworks were only okay.
If you want the full experience, we recommend getting a spot with a view of the front of Cinderella’s castle. If the fireworks are a lower priority for you, we recommend heading to the front of the castle about 30 minutes before the fireworks start (right after the parade goes through) to find a spot on the street area. The street area will fill in once the parade goes through.
As we mentioned above, we recommend not getting too close to the castle or you will miss some of the fireworks. We recommend behind and to the side of the Partners Statue. See the black X on the photo below for where we stood this year. This is where our photos for the fireworks and the parade are from.
Shows and Dance Parties
The main stage show for the Halloween Party is the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular. This year, the show is offered at 8:30pm, 10:45pm and 12am. If you’re a fan of the Hocus Pocus movie, we definitely recommend this show. Even if the Hocus Pocus aspect doesn’t hook you, it is still a great show. The singers are fabulous! The songs that go along with the show are great. Also, there are appearances from numerous Disney villains. Lastly, the fact that there are multiple shows throughout the night adds flexibility and helps keep the crowds a bit smaller. We always recommend the midnight show. It is less crowded and technically occurs after the party ends so you’re not missing out on anything.
In addition to the stage show, there are several dance parties. The dance parties often have good music and characters to dance with. While adults can have fun dancing with characters, the dance parties are often more popular with little ones. However, if you want character interactions without having to wait in line, this is a great option.
For 2019, there are 4 rides that have a “Halloween Twist.” These rides include: Space Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, Mad Tea Party, and Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor. Halloween Twist means that Disney does something unique to the ride during the Halloween party. Space Mountain has the ride in complete darkness. Pirates of the Caribbean has the addition of some live pirates in the queue and the ride. The Mad Tea Party has special lighting and music. Lastly the Laugh Floor has special Halloween touches and a special shows you can stop and watch.
During the Halloween Party, we rode Pirates. We went on around 11pm and had a 5 minute wait. The actors are fun, but we would only recommend this if it is a short wait. The Laugh Floor is easy to see if you trick or treat that spot, but it is nothing spectacular. You can pause for a second or stay for a little while at the Laugh Floor depending on your preferences.
In addition to the rides that have a Halloween Twist, the majority of the other rides at Magic Kingdom are running. We generally skip all of these rides and opt to spend our time doing things that aren’t available during regular park hours. If you are interested in the other Magic Kingdom rides, they often will have shorter waits than normal park hours.
The map lists where character appearances take place, but it does not say which characters will be located at each spot. Full disclosure, we are not huge character people. While we didn’t meet a character during the Halloween party, a few that we saw were Belle with Gaston (located by Gaston’s Tavern). Also many of the characters from Alice in Wonderland were located near the teacups.
If you want to meet characters, know that the lines can get long. People will often start lining up for some of the “big ticket” characters well before the party officially starts. If you want to meet characters, we highly recommend arriving early or catching a few characters towards the end of the party when lines for certain characters can be shorter.
MNSSHP includes special PhotoPass opportunities. This year, Disney say that there are 30 PhotoPass opportunities. Details on Disney’s post about this year’s Halloween Party PhotoPass can be found here.
We enjoy getting at least one or two PhotoPass photos during the Halloween party. Some of the lines for PhotoPass can get long. This is especially true at the entrance of the Magic Kingdom when the Halloween Party starts. We tend to select photo opportunities on the fly. Mostly if we see one with little to no wait, we do it.
Another tip for the party… PhotoPass photographers will be on Main Street after the midnight showing of Hocus Pocus. This can be a great time to grab some photos in front of the castle since most everything else related to the party will be closed at this point. The only things left to do will be shopping and PhotoPass.
Trick or Treating (for Adults too!)
There are 14 trick or treat locations at the Halloween party. The one at the entrance of Magic Kingdom (Market Street Welcome) closes at 8pm, but the rest remain open until midnight. We love trick or treating during MNSSHP. The candy is “the good stuff” and covers a variety of types. If you have food allergies, there are locations where you can get treats that accommodate most food allergies.
The lines for trick or treating can get long. However, the cast members do a good job of keeping everyone moving. Most times, the cast member will put a couple of pieces of candy in your bag. While the amount of candy is pretty standard, there are certain locations that we feel are better than others. For example, the Monsters Laugh Floor has two stops, one when you enter and another when you exit. We also were lucky and found that this location opened early (we got in at 6:45pm). Normally trick or treat locations won’t open until 7pm, but there is always the chance they open early.
Other Halloween Party Food
MNSSHP has food items that can only be purchased during the party. There are two things to consider about purchasing food at MNSSHP. First, some of the food items are offered during normal park hours (in addition to the party). For example, the Halloween Cinnamon Roll at Main Street Bakery is available during normal park hours as well. We would avoid these items during the party.
Secondly, choose your treats and time wisely. The Halloween Party map lists the location and items available during the party. We would recommend doing your research ahead of time and only getting a party-exclusive item if it interests you. Otherwise our general tip is eat before the party so you can optimize your party time with other fun things.
This year, we tried the Constance’s For Better or For Worse Wedding Cake. The cake was $7.50. It was a pretty decent size and was delicious. With so much candy at the party, we only recommend this cake if you really want to try one of the party-specific food items.
The Halloween Party has merchandise that is only available during MNSSHP. The MNSSHP merchandise covers everything from clothing, to ornaments, to pins, to mugs. There are also Annual Passholder exclusive items such as shirts and a limited release pin. These items can only be purchased during the party.
The Emporium on Main Street has all of the items for the party. The lines for merchandise can get pretty long. In addition to the Emporium, select Halloween Party items are located in other merchandise stores throughout the Magic Kingdom.
To maximize our time during the Halloween party, we typically purchase any merchandise we are interested in on our way out of the park. This is often after the official party has ended. This year we watched the Hocus Pocus show at midnight. This meant that we did our shopping at the Emporium around 12:30 am.
Extra Events (at an additional cost)
Within the Halloween Party, that are also mini events that cost extra money. For example, there is the Not So Spooky Spectacular Dessert Party and Cruella’s Halloween Hideaway. Curella’s is $99 on top of your Halloween Party ticket and gives guests food, drinks and first-come seating for the 11:15pm Boo To You Parade. The dessert party is $84 for adults and includes desserts and viewing of the fireworks from Tomorrowland Terrace.
Disclosure: we have not attended either of these events. However, we typically don’t recommend them. Why? Because the Halloween Party already has so much to do, we don’t feel either of these events are worth the extra cost. If you pay extra and do one of these events, you will have to set aside time to get your money’s worth. That means you may miss some of the entertainment that is included with the Halloween Party.
Mickey’s Christmas Party vs Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
We often will get asked: Which is better the Christmas Party or the Halloween Party? We both prefer the Halloween party. We like the entertainment and the trick or treating at the Halloween Party. That being said, the Christmas Party is still a really fun event. If you have a trip schedule when the Christmas parties are taking place or if you want our review of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, click here. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, click here.
As we mentioned earlier in this post, the Halloween Party is very popular. Even though there are a limited number of tickets that are sold and the ride lines won’t be that bad, it is still a very popular event and you should expect crowds. Also, holiday weekends like Labor Day and Halloween night will be very busy.
That being said, we were expecting the worst when it came to crowds. However, the crowd on August 23rd was not too bad. It was busy, but we didn’t wait more than a couple minutes for candy. When we rode pirates at 11pm, it was only a 5 minute wait. We also didn’t have a problem with getting spots for the fireworks, show, or parade. (We still got to each of these entertainment options about 20-30 minutes early. The exception is the midnight showing of Hocus Pocus we were about 5 minutes early.) The crowd that we had this year felt like previous years. We considered this a win given the new Halloween pass. The risk is that any night could be a popular/crowded night and it’s just the luck of the draw.
We recently wrote a post that covers our top 5 tips for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. The post also covers our general plan for when we attend a Halloween party. If you plan on attending a Halloween party, we definitely recommend checking it out.
Our Overall Recommendation
We love Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. We highly recommend that every Disney fan attends a Halloween party at least once. While this is an extra ticket event, we feel it is worth the additional expense. If you want to offset the cost, we recommend having a pool day and then going to Magic Kingdom right at 4pm with your Halloween Party ticket. If you go to the Halloween party, be sure to take advantage of all of the unique offerings that only take place during the Halloween party. If you have been to a Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party, or if you have any questions about this year’s party, please leave us a comment below!
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