Yes, it might still be August, but it’s already Halloween at Walt Disney World. The spooky season starts a couple of months early, with the launch of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party in the middle of the month. Since Joe and Leslie have yet to make it to Disney World for a Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party themselves, they brought in someone they know to be a true party expert as a special guest on this week’s podcast. Karyn Locke of Sand and Snow… And Everywhere In Between has been to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World nearly every year for the better part of a decade with her family. She shares her very best tips for making the most of this special ticketed event, from how to find the most sought after characters, dodge the lines, and take home the most candy.
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Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Basics
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is a special hard ticket event that happens every fall at Walt Disney World. The Magic Kingdom shuts down for party-goers only from 7:00pm-midnight on select evenings in August, September, and October.
Party guests can wear costumes (with some restrictions for safety and appropriateness, of course), trick-or-treat in the park, watch special shows and fireworks, meet-and-greet unique characters, and ride attractions (usually with shorter waits).
The party is particularly known for its special Halloween fireworks show “HalloWishes,” the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular show, and the Boo-To-You Halloween Parade.
Tips for First Time-Visitors to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
Karyn has a must-read post with some important “Don’ts” for guests attending Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. Here are a few do’s she shared on this week’s episode likely to be the most relevant for helping first-time guests navigate MNSSHP.
1. Pre-purchase your ticket.
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween party tickets usually go on sale some time around March every year – yes, guests plan half a year or more in advance! Many parties can and will sell out (especially the party on October 31), so it’s smart to pre-purchase a ticket as soon as your trip is planned. This year, Disney even offered a $10 discount to buy online in advance, so you can possibly save money committing early as well.
2. Study the Party Map Before Your Trip
While you may know the Magic Kingdom like the back of your hand, the park layout will feel very different in the evening with all the special locations set up just for the party. Take a look at the party map before your visit so you know where the trick-or-treat locations and character meet-and-greets are and as well as where other special events are happening. You don’t want to waste valuable party time looking at a map or heading in the wrong direction.
3. Enter the park at 4 pm.
Although the start time for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is at 7 pm, don’t wait until that time to enter. Your ticket allows you to enter the Magic Kingdom three hours earlier at 4 pm. This is a great time to eat a little dinner, get the lay of the land, and maybe even line up for a character meet-and-greet when the party starts.
4. Be prepared for long character lines (and have a strategy to avoid them!).
One of the major reasons Disney fans attend MNSSHP is for the unique character meet-and-greets. Jack Skellington is always a major favorite. As you can probably imagine, the lines for some of these photo opportunities are incredibly long. If there is a character you absolutely must see, get in line about an hour before the party starts to be near the front of the line when the characters arrive at 7 pm. You’ll dodge the even-longer lines that form once the party starts and won’t waste party time.
5. Trick-or-treat later in the evening.
Insider tip: As far as we know, Disney World has never ever run out of candy at a Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. There’s no reason to stand in the long trick-or-treat lines early in the evening and then also have to carry around a few pounds of chocolate the rest of the night. Wait until after the fireworks to trick-or-treat and you’ll be able to score more goodies in far less time (and carry them less).
Note that Disney has special accommodations for guests with food allergies. Check in with cast member to get a special teal bag. Collect tokens to turn in at Town Square at the end of the evening for appropriate treats.
6. Watch the later showings of the parade and show.
The later you can stay at the party, the more you’ll be rewarded with lower crowds. There are two parades during MNSSHP, so you’ll find better views at the later showing. A great spot to camp out with crowds that aren’t as bad is in Town Square.
The Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular show happens three times during the party so there are plenty of chances to avoid crowds by going to the later two showings. Note, however, that there’s only one showing of HalloWishes, the fireworks show, so be sure not to miss it!
Leslie and Joe bring in special guest (and fan of all things Disney and Halloween) Karyn Locke to share her expert tips for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. This special ticket event is highly popular every fall, with many guests returning year after year for the unique character meet-and-greets and the chance to dress up in the Magic Kingdom. Find how to dodge long lines, get the best viewing locations for the parade and fireworks, and amass the most candy during an evening at this event.
If you like what you hear, please share the podcast with others you think might enjoy it. Also, we’d appreciate if you subscribed on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, TuneIn, PlayerFM, or Google Play (please leave a positive review if you’re enjoying the show), liked our Facebook page, or followed us on Twitter!
You can also e-mail us at disneydeciphered AT gmail DOT com. Connect with Leslie @TripswithTykes on social media and Joe @asthejoeflies.
Karyn’s Post on Things NOT to do at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.
Leslie’s take on the Disneyland equivalent, Mickey’s Halloween Party and Halloween Time.
1:58 – Meeting Karyn, our MNSSHP expert
3:21 – What is MNSSHP?
7:01 – Special activities at the party – parades, shows, etc.
10:20 – Food allergy treats during the party
11:25 – First timer party tips
16:33 – Cost & is the party worth it?
19:16 – Crowd levels
21:09 – Disney dos and don’ts
Feature Photo Credit: Ali Nasser/Disney World