Let’s face it, we all know Halloween is a big deal across the pond. We have seen it in TV shows and movies with people of all ages getting in the spirit (see what I did there?) So of course Walt Disney World embraces it in a big way, in a big Disney way, with one of the best ticketed events of the year; Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party! Also known as MNSSHP as shorthand. Of course, best is purely subjective but having attended three times between 2015 and 2019, it is clearly our favourite extra event that Walt Disney World offers.
When, Where, Who, What, How?
So, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party takes place in Magic Kingdom park at Walt Disney World. MNSSHP will happen on select dates from August to October 31st. It will start at 7pm and run until Midnight. The park closes to guests without a ticket early and that’s when things start to get spooky! This is an extra ticketed event not included in your day to day park access. It might seem like an extra expense when you already have park tickets, but this is why I’m here today to give you 5 reasons why it’s worth doing!
Reason 1 – You Can Dress Up
And by dress up, I mean everyone can dress up! Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Part is the one time adults can go into the park in full costume. There are still some guidelines when it comes to this which I’ll list below and of course, don’t forget that it will be hot and humid so you want to pick a costume that will work for you. Only you know your limit when it comes to temperature tolerance! These are the guidelines for guests aged 14 and over listed on the official Walt Disney World website. And yes, I have heard of people turned away for not following them so don’t take the risk, Disney take their rules very seriously over in Orlando.
The first two years I attended I went in full costume. The first time I went as Wendy Darling, and the second time as Alice. Our third MNSSHP I didn’t dress up and simply wore Halloween themed attire.
Reason 2 – You Can Trick & Treat
Yes, even adults. And why not? You’ve got the costume so you should be getting the candy! I can assure you, Disney actively encourages this and they do not scrimp if you’re over the age of 12. The very first year I did it, I went super British and outright refused a bag, I was there for my kid, right? Wrong! The following year I realised that the cast members aren’t offering me a bag to be polite, they’re offering it to me because I paid for a ticket and the candy is for everyone. So I took the bag and I enjoyed my haul!
When I say there is a lot, I mean, there is a lot of candy. You won’t need to buy snacks for the rest of the trip! They also have treats for people with allergies and intolerances. The party map will show you where these are available.
Reason 3 – The BEST Entertainment Offerings
If enjoying Disney Entertainment is a big part of your Walt Disney World experience, then this party is for you. Because trust me when they say they really pull out all the stops.
Firstly, they have the Boo to You parade. It runs twice throughout the night giving you ample time to catch it. Leading it out there is the Headless Horseman which is incredible to see. The parade is long! Loads of floats, interaction and not all villains and ghouls if that’s not your jam! You have Peter Pan and Wendy, Mickey, Minnie and pals in their Halloween costumes, Vanellope and Ralph. And the song is so catchy you’ll be singing it for days. We actually love it so much that we watch both.
Next there is the Hocus Pocus Villain Spectacular which has been confirmed to be returning this year to the castle stage. The Sanderson Sisters have returned to the mortal realm for Halloween night and only have a few hours to run amuck so they decide to throw a graveyard party. And guess who’s invited? Our Disney villains! If being near the front is important to you; get there early for your chosen performance as it’s one of the most popular offerings at the party and space in front of the castle fills up fast.
And what Disney party would be complete without fireworks! Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular uses fireworks, lasers, protection and this insane puppet of Jack Skellington as the host. The fireworks really are amazing and can be seen all over the park. But to get the full effect of the show a spot with a view of the castle is important. It utilises this space in the same way the new night time show Disney Enchantment does. But that’s not all. There are dance parties aplenty! Two in Tomorrowland and one in Storybook Circus! These characters do not sign autographs but it’s a great opportunity to have some fun with them.
Reason 4 – Rare Character Meets
While we love all the entertainment offered and the fact we can get bags of candy, what we have always gone to MNSSHP for is… the rare character meets. And in all three years, we have never been disappointed. The lines do get long. In fact for some of the popular meets I’ve seen them get up to well over an hour. So my tip is get there early!
There are characters in special costumes such as Minnie, Mickey, Daisy, Donald, Stitch along with Pooh, Piglet and co. Special character combinations like Aladdin and Abu, Gaston and Belle, Ariel and Eric, Tarzan and Jane, Alice and the Mad Hatter. Then you have the villains like the Queen of Hearts, Jafar, Lotso and Cruella. Then finally, you have the rare characters, Jack and Sally, all seven of the seven dwarfs, Moana, the Grave Diggers. These really are party exclusive!
The only downside is, you will not be able to meet all characters in one night. There are so many you so have to prioritise and often that means picking between big ticket meets like the Seven Dwarfs OR Jack and Sally. And remember, many of them will not be out at the same time as the parade, because obviously you can see them in the parade!
Reason 5 – Short Lines For Rides & Spooky Overlays
Okay, so technically that’s two reasons. But if you’re not really into characters or entertainment and you come to Disney for the rides, they’re two good reasons to come to this party. Especially with the introduction of Genie+ and Lightning Lane (LL) Because there is so much going on at the party, the lines for the rides are much shorter, this means less time queuing or you can have multiple rides all included in the price of the party ticket. And of course you get candy too! If you were going to pay for LL or Genie+ for a day at Magic Kingdom, you may as well buy a party ticket this year and enjoy the spooky atmosphere!
Speaking of this spooky atmosphere, Pirates of the Caribbean, Mad Hatters Tea Party and Space Mountain all have overlays on them. You can ride Space Mountain in total darkness to a very on theme soundtrack. The Mad Hatters Tea Party has special lighting and a change of music which makes it feel like you’re spinning faster. And Pirates of the Caribbean is the same ride but has some “live” features!
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