Scaredy cats beware! The Disney villains are out and about during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party which takes place at the Magic Kingdom on select evenings in the fall. And if you don’t do your proper research before showing up to this special event, you might have a frightening time! Read on for what one Traveling Mom wishes she’d known before attending Mickey’s Halloween Party.
Mickey’s Halloween Party
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is a special event that requires a separate admission ticket. As night falls, regular guests must exit the park. Only those who have purchased tickets for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party may stay to meet the unique characters, trick-or-treat and watch the Halloween-themed nighttime entertainment.
For years before we moved to Florida, I’d heard about Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and wanted to bring my family. Flying to Orlando via stand-by wasn’t something we’d considered. But, since becoming Florida residents, we were excited to attend our first Halloween Party at Walt Disney World.
Expectations were high as I’d heard about how enjoyable this party is. I had built it up in my head what a fantastic time my family would have. Unfortunately there were some disappointments, many of which were the fault of improper planning and research. I’m here to make sure you don’t suffer the same fate!
Here’s what I wished I’d known before attending Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.
What to Expect
I knew there would be special shows, characters and trick-or-treating through the park. But I thought it would be like any other night, just with different nighttime entertainment. Wrong. Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween party is completely different than a regular day in the Magic Kingdom.
Once the Party begins at 7 pm, not every dining location or attraction is available. When entering the park for the event, each guest will receive a wristband that indicates they have a ticket for the Party. Guests should also be handed a special event guide map and treat bag. Unfortunately I wasn’t given a map when I entered. I spent the first half of the evening completely lost as to what was happening. Knowing that I needed to have a guide map would have made all the difference.
TravelingMom Tip: When you enter, make sure to request both the special event guide map and treat bag. This map tells you which attractions will be operating. It also is your key to all of Mickey’s Halloween Party festivities, from character locations, entertainment show times, open attractions and dining and trick or treat locations.
Prep the Family
My 9-year old daughter wanted to wear her Halloween costume, visit the treat stations for candy and ride all the attractions. I wanted to see the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular and partake in the specialty treats that are only available during this event. Without a solid plan, our evening lacked structure and we ended up frustrated and annoyed.
TravelingMom Tip: Have a plan ahead of time! Before your visit you can link your event tickets to My Disney Experience online and add show times for the Halloween Party into your itinerary. You’ll then be able to quickly retrieve your My Disney Experience plans on the Walt Disney World app on your phone during the Halloween Party.
Make sure that everyone in your group gets to do at least one thing on their wish list, whether it be riding through the Haunted Mansion or watching Mickey’s “Boo-to-You” Halloween Parade.
Know What is Available (and What’s Not)
While many attractions remain open throughout the Halloween Party, their functions may change. For instance, Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room is open only as a treat location to distribute candy. But the Pirates of the Caribbean is open as both an attraction and as a treat location, with separate lines for both.
Arrive Early & Stay Late
When I purchased tickets for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, it was noted that the evening’s events began at 7 pm so that’s when we arrived. What I didn’t know is that guests with event tickets can actually enter the park as early as 4 pm.
My family arrived to the Magic Kingdom before 7 pm but the ferry from the parking lot was crowded and it took so long to get through security that it was after 7:30 pm before we even entered the park. With regular guests exiting the park and party guests entering the park, congestion at the gate chaotic.
TravelingMom Tip: Aim to enter by 4 pm, when Halloween Party guests are permitted inside the Park.
Shortly after arriving to the Halloween Party, wejumped into a meet n’ greet line to see Jack Skellington and Sally. This ended up taking 2 long hours, definitely cutting into our Party time! We’d wanted to watch Mickey’s “Boo-to-You” Halloween Parade but we were still standing in line so we could only watch from a distance. We also missed the one and only showing of the Happy Hallowishes fireworks show because our view in line was obstructed with trees and buildings.
TravelingMom Tip: FastPass+ is not available during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party so you’ll need to use your time wisely. Arriving at 4 pm will allow you to go over the event guide map, grab dinner before the rush and ride a few attractions before the Party events kick into gear. Wait times will drop significantly after the fireworks. Also, lines for popular character meetings like Jack Skellington or Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will be long during the entire Halloween Party. You’ll need to decide before getting into queue if it’s worth it to you.
It’s a Trick, Not a Treat!
Trick or Treat locations are listed on the event guide map but it can still be a bit confusing to find them, especially if the lines are long and winding. We stood in several lines that took 20+ minutes to get through. I wish I’d known not to bother with trick or treating.
TravelingMom Tip: Unless the line is extremely short, skip the Treat stations. You’ve purchased the Halloween Party ticket for the exclusive entertainment so that’s where to invest your time. Don’t bother with trick or treating; go to the store and buy candy instead!
Going the distance all night at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is not for the faint of heart. The event entertainment doesn’t even begin until 7 pm and stretches until midnight. That’s a very long night, especially for young children.
We chose to attend the Halloween party on a Friday night, after my 9-year old daughter was done with school for the day. The weather in Orlando is still very hot and humid and my daughter was already exhausted after a long day. She was tired and wanted to leave for home after just an hour at the party. Naturally I wanted to stick it out to see more of the events. We ended up leaving around 11 pm, having accomplished hardly anything.
TravelingMom Tip: If you plan on partying all night long, keep your day activities low-key. Choose a weekend night to attend the Halloween Party when everyone is well-rested. Skip going to the parks all day and make time for a nap.
Pricing and Dates
Pricing for this event ranges from $72 to $105, depending on the date you choose. Halloween night is the most expensive ticket. If you wait until the day you’re going to buy your ticket, you’ll pay a few dollars more–if there are any tickets available. The event often sells out. There are discount tickets available for Disney Vacation Club members, Florida residents and military. We wanted to take advantage of the Florida resident ticket but it’s a minimal discount (only $6) and you can only choose select days to take advantage of the discount.
Now that I’ve experienced Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, I know more about what we want to do (and what we’d rather skip) next time!