Tips for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
5 Tips for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
Our favorite special event at Disney World is Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. This extra ticket event combines everything that is great about Disney and Halloween into one fun-filled night. While the party is awesome, it is impossible to do everything during the 5 hour event. This post provides 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
1– Arrive Before The Party Starts
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party takes place on select nights from 7pm until midnight in the Magic Kingdom. However, even if you do not have a Magic Kingdom theme park ticket, Disney lets guests with Halloween party tickets enter the Magic Kingdom starting at 4pm. That’s correct, a MNSSHP ticket gives the guest entrance to the Halloween Party as well as Magic Kingdom starting at 4pm.
The 4pm entry is not advertised on the Disney World website. We just confirmed with Disney that this year guests still can enter the Magic Kingdom starting at 4pm with their Halloween party ticket. While the Halloween party does not start until 7pm, the early entry gives guests a chance to eat, do normal Magic Kingdom rides, and get their party wristbands before the official event starts.
We strongly recommend purchasing your Halloween party tickets ahead of time. First, MNSSHP can sell out. Also, if you purchase your tickets ahead of time (online or over the phone with Disney), you can go right into Magic Kingdom when you arrive and not have to worry about standing in line to get tickets. Lastly, some discounts are offered if you purchase the Halloween party tickets ahead of time.
While the Halloween Party lasts for 5 hours, it is surprising how quickly the time goes by. We recommend getting to Magic Kingdom at least 30 minutes before the party starts. This should give you enough time to get checked in and not miss any of the fun activities once the event is underway. If you want to meet a specific character during the event, lines can start forming a couple of hours before the event! We don’t like meeting characters, but if this is one of the highlights for you, then definitely come early, get your wristband, and get in line.
There should be cast members at the Magic Kingdom entrance scanning tickets and giving out wristbands. If you are already in Magic Kingdom, there will be cast members in designated areas throughout the park that can check you in for the party. To check in, you will scan your party ticket/magic band. Once you are checked-in, the cast member will put a Halloween wristband on you. The wristband designates you as an attendee for MNSSHP that night.
2 – Be Thoughtful When Planning A Costume
Florida gets really hot. The Halloween parties start in mid-August and run until the start of November. The first few weeks will likely be hot. Even with the event being held at night, you may be surprised by the Florida heat and humidity.
At MNSSHP you will find people in everything from normal park clothes (no costume), to really well thought out costumes. We love looking at all of the costumes. However, Jeff and I personally are not the best at being creative with costumes. We typically wear a Disney or Halloween t-shirt or tank top.
While full costumes are fun, we have had friends and family members that have regretted their costume choices because of the heat. They look awesome for the first 20 minutes, but then they are dying of heat shortly after.
When picking your costume, we recommend something comfortable and cool. Also, if you don’t want to wear a costume, that is okay too. Want something in the middle? Google Disney bounds and there are tons of great options.
If you do decide to wear a costume, the last thing to think about are the guidelines from Disney. For example, guests over 14 may not wear any kind of mask. Other examples of the guidelines include: “All Guests may dress as their favorite character, but may not pose for pictures or sign autographs for other Guests. Costumes must be family-friendly and may not be obstructive, offensive, objectionable or violent.” Disney can deny you access to the party because of your costume. The current Disney guidelines can be found here. Making sure you wear a comfortable costume is one of our biggest tips for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.
3– Skip Most Of The Rides and Have Dinner Beforehand
For us, the only rides worth doing during the Halloween party are those that have a special overlay for MNSSHP. For 2019, these rides include Space Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, Mad Tea Party, and Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor. If seeing these unique versions of the rides are of interest to you, then we definitely recommend checking them out.
While most of the rides in the Magic Kingdom will have a short wait during the party, in our opinion, they are not worth the precious party time that you have. The parades, shows, characters, and trick or treating are what make MNSSHP so awesome. We strongly recommend doing the rides during normal park hours and take advantage of the special event items during the party. If you don’t have a Magic Kingdom theme park ticket for the day, use your party ticket to enter at 4pm and do some of the “normal” Disney rides.
If you have limited time at Disney World and you are okay with skipping some party-specific things like the characters and trick or treating, then yes, there can be short wait times on the rides. This is especially true when the parade and fireworks take place. But if all you care about is doing rides, then you may want to look into an After Hours event. After Hours events have far fewer people and are primarily meant for short ride wait times. Our review of Magic Kingdom After Hours is here and of Hollywood Studios is here.
Relatedly, we recommend eating dinner before the Halloween party. Given how much there is to do during the Halloween party, you don’t want to waste 30 minutes of the party having dinner. This may sound harsh, but it’s true. The exception is if you plan on eating free candy and other party specific treats for your dinner. The Halloween party will have a few food items that are exclusive to the party.
4– Bring A Bag For Candy
MNSSHP includes trick or treating for everyone! That’s right adults, you get to trick or treat too and it’s the good candy. We love trick or treating at the Magic Kingdom. We aren’t sure if it is because Magic Kingdom is one of the few places that let adults trick or treat side by side with the kids, or because you can have as much free candy as you want. Regardless of the reason, we love it.
If you want to do a fair amount of trick or treating or if you want to do it throughout the night, we recommend bringing a comfy bag or backpack. The first time my mom attended MNSSHP with us she had a backpack on. We ended up filling her backpack with candy and carrying it around for the night. It was really nice to have something comfortable to throw the candy into when we were not trick or treating. It also is a secure place to store the candy if you pop on one of the special event rides like Space Mountain.
Not everyone wants to trick or treat and for some people it may be a waste of time while at MNSSHP. If trick or treating doesn’t sound like fun to you, then disregard this suggestion. Also, if you think you will just do it a little bit of trick or treating, we recommend doing it at the end of your night. Disney provides trick or treat bags and if you only do it at the end of the night then it isn’t as big of a deal with carrying the candy around.
A downside about bringing a separate bag for candy is that you will have to go through the bag check when first entering the Magic Kingdom. Also, since it can be hot at the parties during August and September, carrying a bag around does not help with staying cool. For us, we like the trick or treating enough that it is worth it to bring a bag.
5 – Make A Plan Ahead Of Time
This point is last, but certainly not the least important. The party only lasts for 5 hours. While that may seem like a lot of time, it will go by quickly. There is also a lot of awesome things to do at MNSSHP. From the Halloween parade, to shows, to fireworks, to special character meet and greets, to trick or treating for all guests … you want to do it all! While you may want to do it all, you will probably have to prioritize what you want to do most and you should definitely have a plan.
The parade, shows, and fireworks all have set times. We highly recommend all of these items and especially recommend the parade. There are typically two parade show times (9:15 and 11:15pm). We recommend the later parade because it is often less busy.
We are not huge character people, but if you are interested in meeting certain characters they can be very popular and may take up a lot of your party time to meet. If you want to meet a specific character, we recommend lining up for them well before the party starts.
We highly recommend looking into all of the options that are available at MNSSHP prior to going to the party and decide what interests you. Best case, you see everything you want and you end up with bonus time at the end to meet another character, do a ride, or do more trick or treating. The 2019 schedule and map has not yet been released. As soon as we have a copy, we will link it here.
What works for one person may be very different from what works for others. With that being said, we put our general game plan below.
Our General MNSSHP Plan
As you probably could have guessed from our tips for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party above, we like to arrive before the party officially starts. That way, as soon as they start handing out wristbands for the party, we are able to get one and not have to worry about wasting time once the party is underway. We often will arrive an hour early to walk around, see where everything is set up, and make sure we have our wristbands before the party starts.
Seeing the parade is a must-do for me. It typically runs at 9:15 and 11:15pm. We often stick to the second parade because it is less busy. We also love watching the Halloween fireworks, typically held at 10:15pm. This year there is a new fireworks show – Disney’s Not So Spooky Spectacular. Since it is new, we are hoping it is great and not to be missed. There are also several showings of the Hocus Pocus Stage show. If we are able to, we try to catch the midnight showing of Hocus Pocus. The midnight show is nice because it is right at the end of the party.
Given the timing of the shows and the parades, we start the Halloween Party with the party-exclusive rides, party exclusive food, and trick or treating. Again, we do not like meeting characters. If you like the special characters, the beginning of the party is the time to do that. We will get a spot for fireworks around 9:45pm in front of the castle. If you are going opening night or want a prime spot, you may want to go earlier. The fireworks last for 12 minutes.
After fireworks we may grab a party exclusive snack or trick or treat on our way to get a spot for the parade. If you want to be on Main Street for the parade, you can grab a spot for fireworks that also works for the parade. If you don’t care about being on Main Street, we recommend Frontierland because it is typically less crowded and it is where the parade starts. From Frontierland, we watch the parade and then hit up a ride or trick or treating on our way back towards the front of the park for the final show of Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular show.
The party does include exclusive merchandise. We are not huge merchandise people, but we recommend saving any shopping that can be done on Main Street until you are on your way out of the park.
If you do not care about trick or treating, substitute our times for that with characters, rides, or special photopass opportunities during the party. Again, what is our preferred items may not be yours. (But seriously, don’t miss the parade haha)
Our Overall Recommendation
First, we highly recommend going to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at least once. It is a really fun and unique event and it is our favorite party that is held at Disney World. We hope that the tips listed here help with your planning. As we mentioned above, the most important point is probably #5, to plan ahead – and if you are reading this, there is a good chance you are a planner. We are attending the August 23rd Halloween party and will have a full review of the 2019 party posted on our website shortly after. Hopefully our tips for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party helped, but if you have any additional questions or comments, please leave us a comment below!
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