** Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Disney has made the difficult decision to cancel Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party for the 2020 season. With so many of the signature elements drawing large crowds (fireworks, parades, etc…), Disney was unable to guarantee that they could offer those elements while maintaining physical distancing measures. While we aren’t able to enjoy Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party this year, we look forward to seeing it’s return in the future. In the meantime, here is our party guide from 2019:
Right off the bat, I’ll lay my cards on the table. I love Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party – There, I said it…I’m biased on this particular topic. Now, if you’re unconvinced by my personal endorsement, I suppose we can delve into the reasons why it has quickly become one of the most popular yearly events at Walt Disney World.
What is Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party?
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is a limited ticket event on select nights. The Magic Kingdom closes early and everyone who has a party ticket gets a wristband to enter. Tickets are limited each evening, so you’re (generally) dealing with a smaller crowd-size. The party officially runs from 7pm to midnight.
This party has exclusive treats, attraction experiences and characters to meet-and-greet. It also has a party-specific parade, castle show and fireworks spectacular throughout the night. These experiences are incredibly unique and unlike anything you will find in the Magic Kingdom during the daytime.
Ticket prices for the party range from $85 USD (adult) and $80 USD (kids ages 3-9) up to $149 USD and $144 USD respectively. This is a general increase in price between $6 and $14 when compared to last year’s tickets. But despite the price, there’s a whole host of reasons why it’s totally worth the extra cost.
When to Attend
The price of tickets varies, depending on how close to Halloween you are visiting Walt Disney World. Party dates start in August and end November 1st, so there are lots of options to choose from.
Less expensive times to attend the party are in August and September. Once you hit October, the ticket prices increase steadily. Also, the parties are usually held on Sunday, Tuesday and Friday evenings. In October, Thursdays also open up for parties, as well as the odd Monday.
The general rule of thumb is that Tuesday evenings are the least expensive because they used to be the least attended party. Nowadays, most of the parties are fairly well attended, with those close to Halloween being the busiest.
We tend to aim for a September trip, but the tail end of August is also a good time. It’s important to remember that even though it’s a Halloween Party, Florida is still very hot in August and September.
When to Arrive
The party officially starts at 7pm, but a ticket to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party gets you access to the Magic Kingdom starting at 4pm.
When we have party tickets, we will frequently forego a visit to another park earlier in the day. It’s like paying twice, but not getting the full value of that regular park ticket. 4pm to midnight is still a lot of time in the park, so we tend to arrive shortly before 4pm so we can check right away and enjoy some pre-party activities.
This is a great time to take in the atmosphere, search out some PhotoPass opportunities and ride some attractions before the festivities officially get underway. Once the party starts, you will likely be busy as there are so many things to experience before the night is through.
If you happen to already be visiting the Magic Kingdom on your party day, you can check into the party inside the park. There are a few locations where you can receive your party wristband and you won’t have to leave the park to get it.
For guests who check in outside of the park, you will be taken through the backside of Main Street, beside Tony’s Town Square Restaurant, into the special event entrance to the Castle Hub.
It’s along this separate entrance that you can get some exclusive photo ops with character statues, collect your trick-or-treat bags with some candy already inside.
The best part about preparing for Halloween is deciding what costumes you’re going to wear. At Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, you are also encouraged to dress up as your favourite characters or creatures. Keeping in mind that the party is about fun and being not-so-scary, picking costumes can be a blast. However, unless you’re driving down to Florida, you’ll have to make some extra room in your luggage for a costume that can survive a trip through baggage handling at the airport – or you can bring some quick-fixing supplies to do any last-minute repairs.
There are guidelines for what kids and adults can wear as costumes, as Disney doesn’t want anything offensive or dangerous. You can find all of their guidelines here
In general, adults can’t wear masks or any costume that drags on the ground (so no full-length Cinderella gowns). They also recommend avoiding costumes with lots of layers as they may be subject to additional security screening. Lauren and I will always recommend something that isn’t too cumbersome and is fairly lightweight, since it can still be quite hot during the parties, depending on the days you’re attending, and there’s nothing worse than being a sweaty Disney character (no matter how awesome you look).
Speaking of Trick-or-Treat, what Halloween would be complete without a little trick-or-treating? When the party begins at 7pm, you can find at least a dozen other trick-or-treat locations where you can walk through and receive a happy handful of candy. All of the locations are marked on your Halloween party map. While we wouldn’t recommend spending your entire evening collecting candy (Disney’s candy bags are fairly small anyway), it’s definitely worth it if you see a quick line. Plus, it adds to the whole Halloween experience
Apart from the free candy, there are a few specialty party-exclusive snacks that are available to purchase throughout the park. These can change from year to year, but they’re always creative and highly sought after.
Previous year’s snacks included a Jack Skellington Dessert, Hitchhiking Ghost Dessert, Ooogie Boogie Meringue, Maleficent Dessert, Madame Leota Dessert and 4 different Haunted Mansion Portrait Desserts (like the one above). These treats are in the $4 – $6 USD range, but they’re delicious and so unique that you should at least be trying one or two during the party.
On top of the specialty snacks, there are a few other classic gems with Halloween twists, like a Mickey Cinnamon Roll with Halloween Icing drizzled on top, found at the Main Street Bakery. Other quick service locations around the park have included tasty treats like Pumpkin Ice Cream, Worms ‘n’ dirt and even Pumpkin Mickey Waffles!! And you thought the trick or treat candy was enticing enough…
I’ll come right out and say it. You are able to book dining reservations during the parties…but you probably shouldn’t. I know, it’s tempting to get that hard-to-make reservation for Cinderella’s Royal Table or Be Our Guest, but of your (official) 5 hours’ worth of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, do you really want to lose an hour or more to dinner?
We tend to grab something from one of the Quick Service restaurants in the park to make sure we have eaten something, but if getting one of those coveted reservations will make your party dreams come true, by all means…go for it.
For the rest of us, there are so many specialty treats to try out, we could honestly forego dinner altogether if we were okay with an inevitable sugar crash sometime in the night.
Special Parties within the Party
On most party nights, there are additional add-on experiences for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. Disney’s Not So Spooky Spectacular Dessert Party has both a seated terrace viewing and a garden plaza viewing option. In both cases, an hour before Disney’s Not So Spooky Spectacular, guests can check in to this dessert party and enjoy some truly unique Halloween-themed pastries, cheeses, fruit, ice cream and other ghoulish goodies as well as a variety of beverages.
When it’s time for the fireworks, guests will either take a seat at the terrace, or are walked over to the garden plaza viewing point for a great view of the castle. Prices are $99 USD (adult) and $59 USD (kids ages 3-9) for the seated terrace view and $79 USD (adult) and $47 USD (kids ages 3-9) for the garden view.
There is also a new dining experience this year, in “Cruella’s Halloween Hide-A-Way“ at Tony’s Town Square Restaurant. This add-on provides a combination of sweet and savoury treats, hors d’oeuvres and desserts. There are also alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages included in the price. Cruella De Vil herself will be in attendance at this event and will make sure to greet each guest. This package gives guests a preferred viewing location for Mickey’s Boo-To-You Halloween Parade at 11:15pm and an opportunity to continue the party until 12:30am. All of this can be yours, for only $99 USD per person plus tax.
Our 10¢ on the matter is that these add-on experiences could be worthwhile if you are a regular guest at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and you’re looking to try something new. However, if it’s your first (or third, fifth or seventh) time visiting, there are so many other things to experience in the night (see our point about dining reservations above). Add it to the Disney bucket list and then hope you get to it eventually.
Almost all of the attractions are available to guests during the party (subject to change, as always). We try to experience as many attractions as we can during the 4pm-7pm hours so we can try and get to many of the other experiences in the park.
That being said, since 2018, Disney has been adding some attraction overlays to certain rides and we’re excited to see them come back this year.
The Mad Tea Party and Space Mountain both have new lighting, soundtracks and special effects to create a new way to experience the ride. This year, the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor treat trail will give guests an opportunity to interact with the cast of monsters as they try to learn about Halloween in the human world.
Lastly, the ever-so-popular enhancement to Pirates of the Caribbean is back with new pirates interacting with guests aboard the boats as they search for a live actor – Gunpowder Pete – in the ride.
These enhancements and overlays will only be available during party hours, so factor that into your scheduling.
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party has a ton of party-exclusive merchandise. This includes pins (our favourite), shirts, accessories and many more collectables. We tend to look through the merchandise before the party officially starts (between 4-7pm), because some shops will start to set out the merchandise and give access if you already have your party bracelet on.
Don’t forget to visit the Firehouse at the top of Main Street and pick up the most important party-exclusive item – the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom Card. This limited-edition card is only available during the party and it is a great collectable item (or feeding your obsession, for some). Even if you don’t play, it’s still fun to pick up this memento of the party. It’s these party exclusive cards that got us into playing the game in the first place.
In addition to seeing at least half the guests around you in costume, there are a few Disney characters that you can only meet during the parties. Some are so popular, that they even start meet and greets before the party officially opens (though you still need a party wristband).
While the characters can change, there have been a number of consistent offerings over the past few years. Jack Skellington and Sally are perennial favourites, followed closely by Snow White and all Seven Dwarfs (in the same photo…with you…it’s pretty incredible).
Other favourites include The Queen of Hearts with Alice, Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum (all together), Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore and Tigger (all together and wearing Halloween costumes), Cruella De Vil, Lotso and more! On the non-villain side, Moana has been an incredibly popular addition to the character lineup at the party.
If you’re looking to take photos, I would always recommend getting to the party early and trying to get your must-do photo-ops early in the evening so you don’t miss out on anything else.
Madame Renata and Madame Carlotta
Speaking of characters you can only see at the party, on the yard in front of the Haunted Mansion, you’re likely to see Madame Renata or her sister Madame Carlotta traipsing about. Both are nieces of the infamous Master Gracey and count themselves as some of the 999 happy haunts inside the mansion. Sometimes accompanied by their ghoulishly hilarious butler Broome, these ladies are incredibly fun to see and interact with as they recount their dead funny tales of life and death.
Make sure to say hello after dark as the fog pours over the lawn, helping to add to their ghostly natural blue hue…if you don’t say hello, they’re not afraid to call you out for only taking photos (though they love to show off for the cameras).
Equally fun (in a ghoulish sort of way), are the Cadaver Dans – dearly departed versions of their Dapper Dan brothers. You may just be able to spot what led to their individual demises, but suffice it to say, they’ve been dead for a while. That won’t stop them from keeping the music going, however, because even though they’re deceased, they still manage to knock out those dulcet 4-part harmonies.
Their repertoire includes songs with a Halloween feel and even a catchy Haunted Mansion theme as well. When you see a crowd forming in the middle of the street in and around Frontierland or Main Street, chances are good that the Cadaver Dans are performing. Make sure to stop by for at least a few tunes in the early evening
Okay, we’re really getting into the showstopper territory now. The Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular runs three times a night for most parties and it’s absolutely a must-do. Fans of the film from the 90’s are about to have a nostalgia overload and anyone who hasn’t seen the movie will catch up quickly (though you really should make a point of seeing it beforehand…it’s worth it!). Not only do the Sanderson Sisters host this event (just keep your children close), but they’re planning on throwing one heck of a party.
Music, Dancing and a terrifyingly tremendous number of villains make this show one of the highlights of the party for sure – Where else can you see the great Oogie Boogie breaking out some of his incredible dance moves? I think it’s best to make sure you see one of the first two showings, because chances are good that you may want to see the last show once more to end your night off.
Another highlight of the evening is the Boo-To-You Parade. Running twice throughout the night, you’ll see some of your favourite characters in Halloween costumes, as well as a ton of other ghoulish characters from all over Disney’s wealth of spookiness. A quick warning that after five minutes of the parade, you may as well join in the singing of the Boo-To-You soundtrack. That song is going to be with you for the rest of the evening – and quite possibly until the end of your trip. It’s so catchy and it gets you in the spirit instantly.
Of course, nothing gets you in the spirit for the parade quite like the Headless Horseman, who kicks off the festivities. It’s really the best and most iconic way to start a Halloween parade. A hush falls on the crowd as the horse’s hooves can be heard clopping from a distance, adding an eerie feeling to the air.
Some of my favourite characters in the parade come straight out of the Haunted Mansion. There are butlers dragging their shovels along the pavement creating sparks and ghostly ballroom dancers. They are just a few of the reasons why Lauren and I would consistently see this parade twice!
Disney’s Not So Spooky Spectacular
After making its debut in 2019, Disney’s Not So Spooky Spectacular returns to Cinderella Castle this year.
Jack Skellington is our host for the pinnacle of the night. He has come to tell a “not-so-scary” story about how anything can happen on Halloween night. Along with his ghost dog, Zero, we’re taken on a trick-or-treating adventure. Along the way, we find Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy in a mysterious haunted house. As they enter one room after another, they encounter waltzing ghosts, dancing skeletons and a cast of fan-favourite Disney villains.
This spectacular has more state-of-the-art projections, lasers, lighting and, of course, brilliant fireworks that will fill the entire night sky.
You definitely don’t want to be caught on the East and West outskirts of the Cinderella Castle hub (or worse…stuck in Adventureland). A central viewpoint caps off this great evening of Halloween fun. Catch the Hocus Pocus show about a half-hour before the fireworks and you’re probably already in a good position. Stake out your spot early for the spectacular shortly after the show is done.
It’s important to keep in mind that if you want a good view of the Jack Skellington puppet, you will have to be closer to the castle. However, with how large the fireworks are, you may miss some of the visual impact if you are too close. Best to pick somewhere in the middle to get the most of both elements.
There are honestly a lot of factors that go into making this event so great. The party-specific merchandise (like pins, shirts and more) make for great souvenirs to remember your evening. You can usually pick them up on either the way in or the way out without too much difficulty.
There’s also the often-overlooked impact of the decorations around the Magic Kingdom. Some are subtle and others are not, but the decorations make the Halloween party really feel like Halloween, even if you’re in the middle of August. The background music is also unique to the party, adding a touch of subtle Halloween that you may not even be aware of. It’s just one more little detail that really makes the party come to life. As someone who really enjoys Halloween and all of the fun that comes with it, I can say confidently that Disney sure knows how to throw one incredible Halloween party.
Whether it’s a once-in-a-lifetime event for you, or you make it an annual must-do, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is something I recommend for everyone. Life-long memories are made at the party…not to mention one enormous sugar crash-induced sleep that night. The perfect end to a perfect night.
Be sure to check out our 2020 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Guide for all of your Christmas holiday planning tips.
Are you planning on attending Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party? Let us know what you’re looking forward to the most in the comments below!