Tips & Tricks: Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

by Ann Smith, PassPorter Message Board Guide (Moderator)
Last modified 06-03-2011

Photo illustrating Walt Disney World - Making Magic

If you are going to be visiting Walt Disney World in October, I highly recommend trying to attend a special party -- Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party -- held at the Magic Kingdom from 7:00 pm to midnight on select nights. (This event requires separate admission. Advance purchase prices are age 10 & up $37.23, Age 3-9 $29.77. Prices the day of event and October 31 are age 10 & up $42.55, age 3-9 $35.10. Children under 3 are admitted free.)

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP for short) is great for kids and adults alike. Most rides in the Magic Kingdom are open and there are special activities to keep you busy throughout the night. Not to mention a special Halloween parade featuring the Headless Horseman.

Many people come to the party in Halloween costume, kids AND adults. I have seen everything from the simple (l wore overalls and a cowboy hat last year) to elaborate (Adults dressed as queen of hearts and Prince Phillip) or no costume at all. The choice is yours! When choosing a costume remember to consider the Florida heat and whether the costume will make getting in and out of the rides awkward. The fun begins when you step up to the main gate. You will notice immediately that the Magic Kingdom has been transformed into a not-so-scary Haunted House. First you will receive a special trick or treat bag for trick or treating throughout the Magic Kingdom. And make sure you get a MNSSHP map so that you will know what rides are operating and where to find the shows.

The decorations and special effects for MNSSHP are extensive. There are hologram witches, bats and ghosts flying around the shops on Main Street while each "land" is decorated with its own unique Halloween style. (Check out Cinderella's coach in Fantasyland -- it is life size and a great photo opportunity!)

There are several locations for you to get complimentary Halloween photos taken. It is a fairly quick process and a nice souvenir. The locations are designated on the guide map and change every year. The photos will be mailed to you within three weeks after the party.

Trick or treat stations can also be found throughout the Magic Kingdom, check your guide map for locations. I must tell you that trick or treating in the Magic Kingdom is like nowhere else on Earth. The very first time we went to MNSSHP we were surprised at how much candy we brought back to our room (and took home with us). I counted at least 15 trick or treat stations on the guide map from 2003. Many of them have the same candy so if you don't get to trick or treat at them all, don't worry. Plus, if there is a long line, skip it and come back later.

A fun thing for kids is the Halloween story telling. (Again, check your map!) When you see a story telling area, there will be a "scary" or "not so scary" icon so judge according to your child's level of tolerance for fear factor.

Another fun thing for children is Mickey's Mouse-ka-rade costume party. Kids can go and listen to a DJ spin their favorite tunes while they dance, have hula hoop contests and have a mini parade with the help of many Disney Characters. It's a great place for parents to go and watch and re-charge their batteries for more Halloween fun.

Looking for characters? There are tons of character meet and greets situated throughout the park and there is a minimal line for most of them as they are in such abundance. Many of the characters are in their own Halloween costumes making for a great photo opportunity with your little trick or treater!

Two not to be missed things during MNSSHP are the special edition fireworks and parade. Be sure to watch the castle during the fireworks for a special surprise flier!! My personal favorite part of MNSSHP is the "Boo to You" Halloween parade. It is presented at 8pm and again at 10pm. The Headless Horseman announces the start of the parade and it is wonderful to see so many characters dressed up as, well, characters! Last year, Winnie the Pooh was dressed up as a bat -- too cute! The second parade is less crowded but if you're like me, you'll want to see both!!

As I mentioned before, most rides are operational during MNSSHP with the main exceptions being those that close early due to darkness: Swiss Family Treehouse, Tom Sawyer Island, etc. Check your guide map for which rides are operational this year.

Most shops are also open and many contain special MNSSHP merchandise such as T-shirts and pins. These items can only be purchased during MNSSHP so if you see something you like, get it as it is not available to the general public. Most counter service restaurants are open during MNSSHP for you to get a bite to eat. Liberty Tree Tavern also accepts priority seating for dining before the party.

You will thoroughly enjoy Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party and I highly recommend it for young and old.

About the Author:

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Reader Comments:

Don't miss the parades and fireworks - they're both awesome and allow some time to look for characters. It's the only time we've seen all the dwarves out together. smiley for :)

     chezp on April 5, 2008 @ 7:32 am
Make sure that you get there early and stay until the end. I would plan for break before the party and a sleep in morning the next day. Get a good seat for the fireworks (right in front of the castle). They are truly awesome!! Also, I wouldn't waste too much time with the trick or treat stations. The night we went, the lines for the candy were longer than the lines for Space Mountain!! Only go to those with no lines. You can get candy anywhere.

     HollyH on April 5, 2008 @ 7:42 am
Actually, I woudl disagree with the candy station lines if you have children. They may look long, but they go very quickly. And it is one of the very special things that happens at the Halloween party. There are a lot of other special moments to be had at the parties if you have children - pictures with characters dressed in costumes, etc. I think that you have to decide what you want out of the party - do you want to use it as an opportunity to go commando and get on as many rides as possible with as short of line as possible, or do you want to experience the Halloween atmosphere and really get engaged in the "disney" experience? I'd have to agree don't miss the fireworks. If you like the other parades, you'll love this one, but if you're not into parades you can use that time as an opportunity to ride your favorite ride with virtually no wait time. The later you stay, the smaller the lines, so it is worth staying until the park shuts down.

     akleos on April 5, 2008 @ 2:23 pm
Go early - stay late!The parade and fireworks are awesome! Try to get to all the character spots that you can - and watch for the villains. They make the evening so fun! And also be sure to dress up - you'll get a ton of extra attention!

     kmurburg on April 5, 2008 @ 6:59 pm
Dress for the occasion
Go early, stay late
Don't miss the fireworks
Don't make an early ADR for the following morning!

     Grandmasam on April 5, 2008 @ 7:06 pm
Do not - in case you didn't hear me, do NOT - wait, let me reiterate it DO NOT - miss the parade. Well worth the money for the party alone. Loved it!!

     jhoshowski on April 5, 2008 @ 8:39 pm
the parade is fabulous..dress up no matter how silly you might mom and i went down Splash mtn w/ our witches hats on...go trick or treating...biggest not to miss is just to spend some time people watching...the families in costumes are so much fun

     TWOCEE on April 5, 2008 @ 11:23 pm
One of the most wonderful tips a friend shared with me is that the princes are often with their princesses on the nights of MNSSHP. So when you stand in line for your character meet & greet with Aurora you get a special opportunity to meet Philip too for example. I am hoping to find out if the same is true for MVMCP. We are newbies and looking for tips to navigate through as we've been to WDW only during fall season prior to this trip.

     kikiisme on August 18, 2011 @ 1:37 pm
You do t have to wear an elaborate costume (although many people choose to, and some families take it to the extreme) but I think it's fun to at least wear a Halloween t-shirt or something black & orange.

And the two best parts of the parade ( IMHO) are the Headless Horseman's ride at the very beginning of the parade and the HM gravediggers' shovel dance -- sparks fly off their shovels as they scrape the streets!

     lindadarrall on August 18, 2011 @ 1:55 pm
cinderalla's coach was behind the castle and photopass was there. i don't think i've seen the coach up close before

     oldmom on August 18, 2011 @ 2:12 pm
We make the party the only thing we "do" that day.....sleep in, take a slow lazy morning....get to MK around 4pm when they are giving out the wristbands, we have had ADR for dinner in the park so we are eating when official party time starts so when we exit the restaurant shortly after 7pm the party is in full swing and we miss the most of the exodus of guests that are not ticketed for the party.

We get a place early to watch the not miss the headless horseman

The fireworks are a must see

The trick or treat stations are a must do, we don't normally hit them all but do quite a few. The lines go quickly and is a fun experience.....

The characters are great!! The villans are out and about....all the dwarves.....several that you don't normally see except at the party.

The rides while not a priority during the party are normally walk on or really short.....

Be sure and hit the gift shops there are some things that you can only get during party time.....

     Ceara's mawmaw on August 18, 2011 @ 2:14 pm
DO NOT do the wish DP (if they have it) on the night of MNSSHP. If you want to see snow white and the 7 dewarfs...find the time and get in will wait the longest in that line. Do the candy lines lines tward the end...if there is alot of candy left you will get a good amount. Most important....HAVE FUN!!!!!

     kimberlym322 on August 19, 2011 @ 4:57 am
These are all great advice. We are going to try and get some of those characters that are hard to get the rest of the year. Not dying to get the candy. But working on the costumes!!!

     Cheeser on August 19, 2011 @ 3:34 pm
Go to the last parade because it's less crowded! During the first parade see characters, ride rides, get candy, get a snack, etc. The line for the 7 Dwarfs will be long so I suggest going there first. Also, very few places are open so make sure you eat dinner before you go! Have fun and take lots of pictures, the decorations are awesome!

     Cheyenne on August 19, 2011 @ 4:02 pm
We went last year for the first time and loved it!! We saw the parade right where it started over by Splash Mountain - It was dead over there we were standing alone for most of it. After we got right in line for the Seven Dwarfs - that was a must do for me....I did see Cinderellas Carriage right behind the castle - that was neat looking but I didnt wait in line for it. The kids loved the trick or treating. Make sure you see the fireworks in front of the castle - we took the advice of someone who told us to watch from behind the castle and the view was terrible!! I agree with what one of the other posters said - dont do the Dessert party this night if it was offered (but I will say do it another night if you can- yummy)...My entire family dressed up and we pre ordered the photopass CD and we got many pictures taken of us - Oh yeah and make sure you get your photopass picture taken at the Haunted Mansion - they have a carriage there you stand by and in the picture a ghost is sitting on it. We didnt ride too many things during the party because we were so busy doing everything else. Have a great time!!

     jovigirlnj on August 20, 2011 @ 10:08 am
there was another Photopass with ghosts hitchhiking. i don't know remember where it was taken

     oldmom on August 20, 2011 @ 10:56 am
kimberlym322;3752943 >DO NOT do the wish DP (if they have it) on the night of MNSSHP. If you want to see snow white and the 7 dewarfs...find the time and get in will wait the longest in that line. Do the candy lines lines tward the end...if there is alot of candy left you will get a good amount. Most important....HAVE FUN!!!!!

Hello, Where is Snow white and the dwarfs usually found? My DD6 is a HUGE Snow White fan so this is a MUST!! Also do they still do autographs during the greet and meets. And is there a photopass photographer at all the character meets? Thanks!!! :smirk:

     belletw77 on August 20, 2011 @ 12:26 pm
Go early.

Stay until the park closes.

Go through the candy lines - if you have children!!!

Ride all you can!

Definitely dress in costume. Me, my wife, and son have dressed as Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy. Also as Buzz, Woody, and Jessie.

Be a kid again and enjoy!!!

     Patrick FaMILY on August 20, 2011 @ 1:21 pm

     KCSunshine on August 20, 2011 @ 7:14 pm
kcsunshine;3754366 >Here's one of the best writeups I've seen on the party: Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party Review & Tips - Disney Tourist Blog

Thanks for the link! :smirk:

     belletw77 on August 20, 2011 @ 8:36 pm
We LOVE the parade!! When we went before we stopped at most of the candy stations. The lines for candy never stopped, we more like walked slowly through. The second time we brought our own bag because we had gotten soo much candy the time before we filled up three of the plastic bags they give out and the handles of those bags broke from the weight.

     davishomeschool on August 22, 2011 @ 6:57 pm
THANKS FOR ALL THE GREAT INFO !!! We are going for the first time this don't know it yet!! Our favorite time of year!

     lelofon on September 9, 2011 @ 1:56 pm
I just ordered my costume! smiley for :) looking forward to going for the first time. i think my two rides will be POTC AND HM, simply because, I'm gonna go dressed as a lost ghost pirate and I think it might cool to ride it as one smiley for :), and Hm, with all the extra spookiness. the rest probably will be treat trails and chracter meet n greets. Hallowishes and the parade is a given smiley for :)

     Jolin on September 12, 2011 @ 2:41 pm
DRESS UP!!!!! Make it fun and let your hair down.

Parade and fireworks

Character spots/candy spots (when we went the lines moved fast and we were able to take pictures. Some characters will be out that you might not see on a regular day.)

Get there early and shut the Magic Kingdom down. (Staying till closing is the best thing ever!)

Your going in September, this is a low time for Disney crowds. Don't waist time ridding rides the night of the party. The ride lines will be short during your day's there.

Make sure to bring a bag for candy.

I would say eat a quick serve meal during the party. (If you are doing the dinning plan schedule a TS for lunch and use your QS for dinner.)

Pay attention to the weather. September is still hot and some halloween costumes are made to keep kids warm, being as in most areas of the country it is cold on halloween.

Get a nap in or take the morning/afternoon easy. And use the morning after to sleep in.

     Jesser Girl on September 12, 2011 @ 3:25 pm
I can't wait to go!! This is our first MNSSHP!! We are going on 9/20!! So excited!!:woot::woot::woot::woot:

     jackid2 on September 12, 2011 @ 4:53 pm
I can only give suggestions based on the reasons we missed out on so much when we went in 2006. I purchased tickets, we all had costumes ... all 6 of us. We arrived at MK early and spent the day there. We booked LTT for dinner, thought we had a perfect day planned. smiley for :rolleyes:

1) Kids were too exhausted by the time it got dark. (Take time out in the day for a nap or down time at the least)

2) As we were eating dinner, the parade passed right by us, we missed it. (Book an early dinner)

3) Costumes (princess dress/power ranger with hat/minnie mouse dress etc) were itchy. It was hot and kids were so uncomfortable. It was a task just going to the washroom. (Wear comfortable clothing material and avoid costumes with accessories)

4) New camera, didn't know how to work it, pictures were poor. (Familiarize yourself with camera for best night/fireworks shots)

5) I gave up and we left early as kids were not having a good time. (Plan to take kids back to resort once they are tired. Perhaps arrange kid's club or other family member to remain at resort with them while adults return to enjoy the rest of the party)

Just a few thoughts. This post has made me want to get tickets while we are there Sept 16-26th now! Hmmmm...back to the budget worksheet to fudge some numbers!

     disney_1st_timer on September 13, 2011 @ 12:28 am
Great tips. We're going for the 1st time Sept 27th. I'm making a list of these great suggestions to help us. We are totally commando and want to hit as much as possible. I can see a good plan is going to be the key.

     MomToJedi&Princess on September 13, 2011 @ 3:23 pm
Great advice, only thing I would add is if you are into pins or collectibles, there are special ones only sold during the party, in the Main street shops. Budget some money for them. Don't wait to the end of the party to get them. Your size of shirt may sell out, or the pins may not be available.

     TINK2843 on September 13, 2011 @ 5:48 pm
Our first MNSSHP was last year, and I agree w/ everything these fine folks have said. Definitely dress up, but wear something cool - we went in late October and it was quite humid and sticky. I was in capris and a long-sleeved tshirt and was burning up the entire time. Plus, if you're running around to get to the parade, fireworks, character meets, candy, and rides, you might work up a sweat. Definitely look at the schedule of character meets to get the ones you really want - but most of them were there the entire time, so we actually did rides first and characters and candy later, so we avoided all candy lines and most of the character lines (we waited about 10 minutes for Snow White and the Dwarfs). I would definitely get there at 4 - last year they would let you in w/ just your MNSSHP ticket at 4 p.m., and we had an ADR at Tony's at 6, which worked out pretty well. Don't do anything else the day of - we slept in and went to DTD for some lunch and shopping. I agree w/ the poster who said the view of the fireworks from behind the castle isn't good - they're right above you and back, so it's hard to see them and your neck will get tired. If you have a cooperative member of your party who may not be so interested in doing everything, appoint them the "fireworks placeholder" and leave them in a good spot early so you can ride some rides. Same thing w/ the parade - we barely made it on time and got to Frontierland just before the Headless Horseman did his ride.

Definitely take advantage of the different PhotoPass "magic shots" that they only do at MNSSHP - there are two ghost ones (one right outside the HM and the other between Liberty Square and Frontierland) - just ask the PP CMs which ones they can do.

Have a wonderful time! I'm sad we won't be able to go this year, as we'll be expecting our first baby around Halloween, but we'll be there next year with her in tow!

     Li'lMermaid on September 13, 2011 @ 7:35 pm
Thanks for all the great info- we are going for the first time so to know all that is a big help. And with me just finding this web page I have so much information .....I am so excited !! Thanks again everyone! smiley for :)

     lelofon on September 15, 2011 @ 10:17 pm
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Updated 06-03-2011 - Article #668 

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