If you are visiting Disney World in the fall, you need to consider whether or not you should attend Disney’s biggest Halloween bash: Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is an extra-ticketed event that takes place at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom park on select evenings from August through Halloween. The party features a fireworks spectacular, stage shows, parade, trick or treating, special character meetings, dance parties with characters, attraction overlays, and more.
Is the price of a Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party ticket worth it?
What is there to do at the party?
Should we attend if we don’t have kids?
Keep reading to decide if you should plan on attending Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party during your next Disney World trip!
[Basics] Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party begins in mid-August and continues through Halloween. These are the dates for the 2020 Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party:
August 13, 18, 21, 25, 28
September 1, 4, 7, 11, 13, 15, 18, 20, 22, 25, 27, 29
October 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 15, 16, 18, 20, 22, 23, 25, 27, 29, 31
Parties DO sell out. October 31st will usually sell out several weeks in advance. Other dates in September and October can sell out the day of to a week in advance. The first party of the year is also usually very crowded with media and influencers wanting the first scoop on the new year’s party.
Purchase your tickets and view pricing on the Disney World website. Ticket prices vary with parties closer to Halloween being priced higher. Tickets are non-refundable even during bad weather.
On party nights, the Magic Kingdom closes at 6:00 PM to day guests. The party festivities officially begin at 7:00 PM and continue until midnight. Party ticket holders may enter the Magic Kingdom early at 4:00 PM for three additional hours in the park.
These events and activities are included in the price of your Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party ticket including show times from the 2019 party:
- Disney’s Not So Spooky Spectacular fireworks – one show at 10:15 PM
- Boo To You parade – runs twice at 9:15 PM and 11:15 PM
- Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular castle stage show – three showings at 8:30 PM, 10:45 PM, and 12:00 AM
multiple dance parties that run continuously
- attraction overlays
- trick-or-treating and treat bag
- special entertainment
- character meet-and-greets
With 5 hours of official party time, you won’t be able to do everything and can easily fill the time. You won’t run out of party things to do!
Additionally, there are unique PhotoPass opportunities that are available in Memory Maker or may be purchased individually. Party-exclusive food, sweets, and merchandise are available for purchase during the party.
Everyone, including adults, may wear costumes. Just be sure to review Disney’s costume guidelines ahead of time.
Overall, Magic Kingdom has a different atmosphere during the party with spooky lighting and music around the park.
[Beyond the Basics] Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
When you arrive at the Magic Kingdom for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, you’ll be given a party wristband by a cast member after passing through the park entrance touchpoints. Be sure to pick up a brochure with a map of the park that includes entertainment times, treat locations, and all the party entertainment available.
Since you may arrive as early as 4:00 PM with your party ticket, before the park closes to day guests, you’ll be sent through a Main Street USA bypass through a backstage area that empties into the park near Tomorrowland. There, you’ll be given a treat back and your first load of treats. If you arrive at the Magic Kingdom closer to the time the party begins, you’ll be led right down Main Street USA. If you’re already in the park for the day, there are several wristband distribution sites in the park, so look for them. You’ll need your wristband when the party begins.
What Can You Do at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party?
Party specifics for 2020 are yet to be announced, so these are the events and times from the 2019 Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.
Disney’s Not So Spooky Spectacular is the new Halloween fireworks and projections show is hosted by Jack Skellington and made its debut in 2019, replacing Happy Hallowishes. A single showing began at 10:15 PM during 2019 parties. You can view the fireworks from around the park, but the castle projections will only be visible from locations at the castle hub and down Main Street USA. With one showing during the party, fireworks attract a large crowd so stake out a location in the center of the park early if you want the full experience. If you don’t mind seeing the show without the projections and characters on the castle stage, one of my favorite locations is the waterfront in Liberty Square/Frontierland with a spooky, misty Haunted Mansion in the distance. The show can be heard on speakers throughout the park so you won’t miss out on music, dialog, or the fireworks and there’s plenty of elbow room!
The Boo-to-You parade runs twice during the party, at 9:15 PM and 11:15 PM in 2019. Like the daytime Festival of Fantasy parade, the Boo-To-You parade starts in Frontierland by Splash Mountain and continues through Liberty Square, around the castle hub, and down Main Street to Town Square. The headless horseman always comes through the parade route first, about 15 minutes before the parade begins, so don’t wait too long to find a viewing spot and miss this iconic event! The second parade is typically less crowded and easier to find a location to watch, but still plan on finding a parade-viewing spot a half hour early for Frontierland and Liberty Square, and an hour or more at the castle hub or Main Street USA. If you aren’t watching one or both of the parades, you’ll still need to keep the parade times in mind since you can’t cross the route once the parade has begun. It’s particularly easy to be “trapped” in Adventureland while a parade is underway, so plan your Adventureland time accordingly!
The Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular castle stage show with Disney villains happens three times during the party (8:30 PM, 10:45 PM, and 12:00 AM in 2019) with the final showing starting at midnight. Waiting for that third and final showing is a great way to maximize your party time. The Sanderson Sisters host a fantastic show with song, dance, and favorite Disney villains.
To enjoy all three main entertainment productions from one location, find a spot in the castle hub before 8:00 PM and see the 8:30 Villain Spelltacular, 9:15 parade, and 10:15 fireworks without moving!
Several dance parties aimed at different age groups run throughout the night during all five hours of the party. The Monster’s, Inc. characters dance the night away in Tomorrowland, a Disney Junior dance party is held at Storybook Circus, and a new Descendance Party takes over Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe.
Several attractions receive overlays for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. Space Mountain runs in complete darkness (yes, it IS different from the original version that includes stars and lit tunnels), Mad Tea Party spins away with music and lights, and live actors are added to Pirates of the Caribbean. FastPass+ is not available during party hours, but you may reserve FastPass+ for Magic Kingdom attractions before the party begins if you enter early at 4:00 PM.
Meeting characters is an extremely popular party activity. Several characters only meet during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party while common characters like Mickey, Minnie, and Donald Duck wear special Halloween costumes. The most popular characters include Jack Skellington and Sally, and the Seven Dwarfs. Lotso meets in Tomorrowland only during the party while other party-exclusive characters include Jafar, Tarzan, and Alice in Wonderland characters. If you want to meet characters, get in line early! Some will start meeting earlier than 7:00 PM and lines to meet characters begin forming well before the 7:00 party start time.
There’s even more entertainment that doesn’t appear in the party brochure. The Cadaver Dans sing on Main Street USA during the day as the Dapper Dans barbershop quartet. At the party, you’ll find them in slightly different garb singing spooky four-part harmony in Frontierland. Two ghostly residents of the Haunted Mansion, Lady Carlotta and Madame Renatta, keep guests entertained from the mansion lawn.
Guests of all ages wear costumes to the party. Just be sure to check Disney’s costume guidelines before arriving as there are more restrictions for adults than kids. You don’t need to wear a costume, but it certainly makes the night more fun. Do not worry about being the only adult wearing a costume – most do! Just remember that Florida temperatures don’t always dip drastically when the sun goes down so temperatures can easily remain in the 80s for the night, especially the earlier parties and even into October.
Trick or treating is a huge draw for the party with treat stations are marked throughout the park. Cast members fill your complimentary bags with various chocolates and candy. Treat lines are longer early in the party, so wait until later to begin collecting candy. Consider bringing a backpack with extra zip lock baggies if you plan on hitting most of the treat stations. Allergy-friendly treats are offered. Just let a cast member know when you are given your complimentary treat bag and you’ll get a teal bag with tokens to redeem at the allergy-friendly locations. The party brochure will have all treat locations marked on the map.
If you play Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, be sure to pick up a special party-exclusive card at the Firehouse in Town Square when you arrive.
Special Photopass opportunities and Magic Shots are available throughout the park during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party including this lantern shot at the Haunted Mansion. Disney advertised more than 30 photo opportunities during the 2019 party. Memory Maker or individual photos may be purchased for the usual Photopass fees.
While everything mentioned here is included with your party ticket, there are a few additional premium add-on’s to the party. Specialty food treats and beverage are for sale at certain locations. These change annually and are listed in the party brochure. The Not So Spooky Spectacular Dessert Party will give you a dessert buffet and access to a reserved viewing area for the Not So Spooky Spectacular fireworks show. Cruella’s Halloween Hide-A-Way offers hors d’oeuvres, sweets, and beverages including beer and wine with reserved viewing for the 11:15 parade. And, of course, special event merchandise including keepsakes, pins, and clothing is available in shops around the park.
Should You attend Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party?
The party’s cost and large crowds are significant negatives and reasons you should definitely consider whether the party is right for you. You may want to use your party ticket as that day’s park ticket. Since you may enter the Magic Kingdom at 4:00 PM, spend the morning and afternoon at your resort, visiting Disney Springs, or at a water park. Then, use your party ticket to spend 8 hours at Magic Kingdom and buy one less day on your park ticket.
If waiting in shorter ride lines is your top reason for attending the party, you probably won’t get your money’s worth. Especially at the Magic Kingdom where so many rides are FastPass-enabled, you will have more success with FastPass+, rope dropping, and planning your regular Magic Kingdom day strategically. While short attraction lines was a huge perk several years ago, party attendance has increased dramatically in recent years. Wait times will still be shorter than daytime standby lines, but attending a party solely for short ride lines isn’t recommended. Disney After Hours events are a much better value if short lines are a priority.
Several attractions are not open during the party, notably Jungle Cruise and a few indoor shows that are converted to treat stations.
Despite the negatives, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party offers many shows, entertainment, and character meeting opportunities that simply aren’t available anywhere else. You won’t experience an atmosphere like this at the Magic Kingdom any other time. And, it’s just plain fun! If party tickets fit within your trip budget, attending the party is highly recommended.
When Should I Attend Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party?
The first party of the year in mid-August is usually one of the most crowded parties as journalists and influencers flock to see any new entertainment, food, and merchandise offered. Dates closer to Halloween as well as Fridays and Saturdays are usually busier with locals. October 31st always sells out in advance. If you want to avoid the largest crowds, stick with Sunday and weekday parties in August and September.
So, have you decided? Will you be attending Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party during your next Disney World trip?