WHEN SHOULD YOU GO?
Halloween starts early as Disney, which gives you ample time to get to one (or two!) of the parties. From the middle of August to the end of October you can catch special characters, ride enhancements, a special 360 degree firework spectacular, one of the best parades, and a special stage show. Oh, and they close Magic Kingdom early for the party, so the crowds will be significantly less than they would be on a normal park day!
It’s best to buy your tickets as early as possible, especially on the more popular dates. The first party of the season and the party that is actually on Halloween always sell out very quickly, for example. But there’s a rule of thumb that people follow to determine the best dates to go, which is that the cheaper the price of the ticket, the less crowded that party will be.
August 16, 20, 23, 27, 30;
September 2, 6, 8, 10, 13, 15, 17, 20, 22, 24, 27, 29;
October 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 14, 15, 17, 18, 20, 21, 24, 25, 27, 29, and 31, plus November 1st.
This year things are going to be a little different with Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opening at the end of the month. People will be coming at times when they normally wouldn’t in order to experience this new land, which means that parties during the usually slower times will still be a bit more crowded than in past years. Therefore, if you’re able to go to a party on a weekday rather than a weekend, that will significantly reduce the crowds, but if you don’t have any other option but to go on a weekend (like myself) your best bet is to go in August or mid-September.
WHAT’S NEW IN 2019?
Each year, Mickey’s Not So Scary gets better and better. Not only are there more parties this year than in years past, but there are also new things that we can look forward to experiencing!
Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular – Previously known as Happy HalloWishes (RIP), the new Disney firework show will feature state-of-the-art projection effects, lasers, lighting and 360 degree fireworks that will tell a story about how anything can happen on Halloween night. Jack Skellington serves as the host of this new show. We’ll also see Jack’s ghost dog, Zero, Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy encounter dancing skeletons, waltzing ghosts, and classic Disney villains making trouble.
Additionally, many attractions around the park get enhanced just for the Not So Scary Halloween Party. The Mad Tea Party will feature new lighting and effects providing a different nighttime experience. Pirates of the Caribbean will see new pirates invading the attraction and interacting with guests who will help them search for “Gunpowder Pete” who is a live actor in the ride. Space Mountain will rocket you through deep space with a new soundtrack and special effects, and Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor will have you follow a treat trail into the Monster World where you’ll interact with the comical cast in all-new ways as they try to learn more about this curious holiday we call Halloween!
Last but not least, the final piece of entertainment for 2019 is the Disney DescenDANCE Party at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe. You can join Mal and the VKs to save everyone in the kingdom by dancing the night away.
Now that we’ve covered what’s new, let’s talk about what else you can expect to experience this year.
Trick-or-Treating around the park may sound a little childish, but who doesn’t want to eat candy when celebrating Halloween? When you enter the park for the party, you’ll be given a bag that can be used to collect your candy (or you can bring your own). A lot of kids will hit up the candy stations early out of excitement, but if you don’t want to lug candy around all night you can opt to start trick-or-treating a little later into the party. Another bonus to holding off is that many times Cast Members will give out larger portions later in the night to get rid of the candy left in their bowl!
If you or anyone in your party has food allergies they can go to any treat station to get a teal colored bag. You can find the allergy-free treats at Town Square Theater on Main Street or Liberty Square Ticket Center. If you go around to the other treat stations, you can collect teal colored tokens that can be redeemed for more candy at these locations. The treat stations are marked on your map!
The Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular is absolutely not to be missed! This stage show is hosted by the mischievous Sanderson Sisters who have returned to the mortal world for one night and have decided to use their magic to throw the best, most evil Halloween party anyone has ever seen with the help of their villainous friends like Dr. Facilier, Oogie Boogie, Maleficent and more!
Then you have the Boo To You parade. I love, love, love this parade so much! The music, the dancers, the floats – everything about it shows Disney doing what they do best. In true Disney fashion, there are some fun extras that go along with the parade. Guests on Main Street will get to see a Zootopia dance party beforehand, and this year there are new floats and updates to the parade. Most importantly thought, viewers can expect to see one of the most beloved moments of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party – the Headless Horseman leading the parade.
Other things you can expect are The Cadaver Dans Barbershop Quartet adding some spooky music and haunting laughter to the party (find them in Frontierland), tons of new Meet and Greets with rare characters, like Jack & Sally, Moana, the Seven Dwarfs, Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear, Queen of Hearts & the Tweedles, and the Gravediggers, unique Photopass opportunities and shorter lines for some of the most popular lines around the park!
Many of the most popular attractions will be open during the party:
Adventureland – Pirates of the Caribbean, Magic Carpets of Aladdin, and Swiss Family Treehouse
Frontierland – Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Liberty Square – Haunted Mansion
Fantasyland – Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Prince Charming Regal Carrousel, it’s a small world, Peter Pan’s Flight, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Mad Tea Party, Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, The Barnstormer, and Princess Fairytale Hall
Tomorrowland – Astro Orbiter, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, Space Mountain, Tomorrowland Speedway, and Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
FOOD, FOOD, FOOD & MORE FOOD!
While you shouldn’t spend too much party time on food, there are a lot of Quick Service and Table Service restaurants open during Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. Be Our Guest, Cinderella’s Royal Table and Crystal Palace will all be open and you can make reservations for them during the party.
There are so many unique treats you can find around the park that are only available during the party. Here is the list of goodies being offered this year, but some of the favorites from last year include:
Jack Skellington Cake Push Pop (pictured above) at Sleepy Hollow
Pumpkin Cheesecake – topped with a chocolate Mickey Pumpkin, the gluten-friendly Pumpkin Cheesecake is sure to be a ghoulish delight with gluten-friendly vanilla pecan cake and caramel glaze at Main Street Bakery
Not-So-Poison Apple Cupcake – spiced apple cupcake with pecan crunch and buttercream at Main Street Bakery
Hitchhiking Ghost Dessert – cream puff filled with cookies and cream mousse and topped with a chocolate piece featuring the Hitchhiking Ghosts at Aloha Isle
Worms and Dirt – chocolate pudding comes topped with gluten-friendly cake crumbs, gummy worms, and a chocolate grave stone at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn (open until 11 p.m.)
Maleficent Dessert – lime soft-serve in a black waffle cone and topped with purple sugar and chocolate horns at Storybook Treats
Candy Corn Ice Cream – available in a cone or sundae at Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies
TIPS + TRICKS
- The most important tip is to arrive early to the party. In this case, casually late will do you no good! The party officially starts at 7pm, but a lot of people don’t know that Disney will actually let you into the park starting at 4pm.
- Your party ticket is all you need to get into Magic Kingdom the night of the party – you DO NOT need to buy a Magic Kingdom ticket in addition to your party ticket.
- Let’s talk about costumes. Disney will absolutely allow you to wear costumes during a party (with some restrictions) – here’s Disney’s official word on costumes: “while costumed attire may be worn, guests ages 14 and older are strongly discouraged from wearing layered costumes or costume props that surround the entire body as they may be subject to additional security screening. Additionally, costumes may not contain any weapons that resemble or could easily be mistaken for an actual weapon.” You’ll find though that many people don’t wear full costumes, but rather Halloween themed attire. If you decide you want to wear a costume go simple and lightweight. Orlando is still hot and humid in October, and a lot of people make the mistake of wearing heavy costumes that they end up taking off within 30 minutes and have to lug around for the rest of the night.
- Don’t bother doing a dessert party. Aside from the fact that it costs $84 (almost the same price as a party ticket), you’ll waste a lot of precious party time. There are so many great things to do at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party that you’ll miss if you spend most of the night in the dessert party area. The reserved viewing sections for the fireworks show and Boo To You parade are nice, but you can find a good spot without it.
- Fastpasses are not available during the Halloween party, but you can get them from 4:00pm – 7:00pm before the party starts. Many rides you’ll be able to walk on or there will at least be a relatively shorter wait depending on what party you’re going to.
- If you can, watch the second parade. The parade will happen twice each night, at 9:15pm and 11:15pm. The first showing of the parade is always packed and you’ll need to stake out a good spot at least an hour beforehand. Who wants to waste that time during a 4 hour party? If you go to the 11:15pm showing, you won’t have to worry about saving a seat. This is one of the best Disney parades, so you don’t want to miss it! The only exception to this would be if there’s inclement weather on the horizon. If it’s raining they will cancel the second parade, so you won’t get a chance to see it, which is not acceptable! If there’s a chance for bad weather go to the first parade.
- The best place to watch the Boo To You parade is in Frontierland with Haunted Mansion in the background or at the inner hub in front of the castle.
- If the times remain the same as last year, there are 2 best course of actions. The first is to catch the 10:15pm firework show, then the 10:45pm Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular, and the 11:15pm Boo To You Parade. The second is to catch the 10:15pm fireworks show, then the 11:15pm Boo To You Parade, and then the 12:00am Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular – this way allows you about 30 minutes in between the fireworks and the parade to move spots, get a snack or get one last ride in. By attending the last showing of Hocus Pocus, you’ll be able to grab a better spot as other party goers are leaving the park.
- Similar to how doing the dessert parties are a waste of time, making dining reservations is also a time waster! It might seem enticing because you’re likely to get good reservations, but you’ll waste almost an hour of a 4 hour party waiting to eat when there are TONS of food readily available throughout the park. In this case it’s best to eat on the go!
- Don’t miss the Ghosts at Haunted Mansion! If you only do one attraction during the party, make it the Haunted Mansion. Madame Carlotta and Madame Rinata sit on the lawn and entertain guests while they wait in line. I was so enthralled that I got out of line and watched the ghost for a solid 30 minutes and then continued watching after I got off the ride. There’s also a very unique photopass opportunity here with the Hitchhiking Ghosts.
- You can pick up an exclusive Sorcerer’s of the Magic Kingdom card at the Fire Station on Main Street. If you arrive before the party starts you can pick it up before 7:00pm as long as you have your writsband.
- There’s exclusive merchandise that can only be purchased during the party. I usually opt to get an exclusive pin to commemorate the experience.
- Don’t forget to take in all the decorations and the attention to detail Disney puts into them! Like I said before, Fall decorations are a fan favorite and for good reason!
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is an amazing event that every Disney World fan should experience at least once. The spooky but fun atmosphere, the parade, the Hocus Pocus show and the fireworks are so worth witnessing for yourself. It’s best to go into the party knowing that you don’t have to accomplish it all – because honestly you won’t be able to, but that’s why it’s important to go in with a general strategy in mind and an idea of the things you want to make sure you see. This special event is fun for people of all ages and is well worth the extra cost if you want to experience it!
Are you planning on going to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party this year?