It's mid-August and everyone knows what that means!! Halloween!!
Okay. Maybe not. But here in Disney, we like to start the party early.
We often joke about how crazy it is that Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom is in full Halloween mode in mid-August – particularly since it's 110 degrees in the shade these days. Not exactly weather that screams pumpkin spice lattes. But truth be told I'm craving these sights and sounds by this point of the summer so I welcome them with open arms. And it's almost impossible to see Magic Kingdom all decked out in its spooky best and not get into the spirit.
I also love that so many families that don't have the option to travel outside of summer break still have an opportunity to experience Halloween in Disney. It's such a special time of year here.
So all that being said – let's dig in to this year's details!!
The #NotSoScary Basics
What: Mickey's “Not-So-Scary” Halloween Party is exactly what it sounds like. Disney's all-ages-friendly Halloween party – where you can go and have a blast and not worry that anything will be too much for young children or other sensitive undead souls.
When: Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party began on Friday, August 16th and runs on select evenings from 7 p.m. to midnight in the Magic Kingdom between now and November 1st (when the park will magically be transformed overnight into Christmastime). While the party itself starts at 7 p.m., you can enter the Magic Kingdom at 4 p.m. with your party ticket, or 2 p.m. if you are a Disney Vacation Club member.
Ticket Prices: Party tickets are required to attend and can be purchased for $79 and up for persons ages 10+ and $74 and up for children ages 3-9 (or $10 more if you buy them on the day of the party). As with most other things at Disney, children under the age of 3 are free. Prices vary by night and generally go up as we get closer to Halloween, but Annual Passholder and Disney Vacation Club Member discounts are available.
Spook-Tacular Season Pass: A big change this year is the availability of the all new Spook-Tacular Season Pass. The pass costs $299 – sorry, no AP discount – and will get you into every party of the season EXCEPT for the one on Halloween night itself. (Which makes sense since it's a local-friendly pass and most of us will be out trick-or-treating with our littles – or home giving out candy! – that night.) If you buy a regular ticket and fall in love with the party, you can upgrade it at City Hall before you leave for the night and they will credit the price of your ticket toward the cost of the pass. At a price of $299 (plus tax) and with 35 parties that you could attend – that Spook-Tacular pass would work out to $8.54 (plus tax) per party if you went to them all. You could collect that value in candy alone!!! #ChallengeAccepted
Party Map and Information
When you first enter the Not So Scary party, you'll want to grab the event guide, which will give you a map of the park and everything that you'll want to enjoy during the party.
You know I've got your back – so here's the whole thing. Subject, of course, to change.
And a close up of the map:
- Disney’s Not So Spooky Spectacular (New!!) – 10:15 p.m., on the facade of Cinderella Castle and in the skies above it
This show was everything that MNSSHP needed. This party has always been one of the best events of the year – but as the usual firework shows were getting more and more grand, the holiday shows were lagging a bit. This year, Disney is tackling that head on with brand new fireworks spectaculars at both the Halloween party and the Christmas party.
The Not So Spooky Spectacular is….spectacular. The lasers on the Castle facade are stunning, the pyrotechnics are incredible, and the Jack Skellington animatronic overseeing events from the Castle stage is an incredible feat of technology.
I could post 1,000 pictures – but instead I'll share this incredible video from my dear friend John Saccheri of BigFatPanda. If you don't already subscribe to his channel, you should fix that today. 🙂
- Mickey's “Boo-to-You” Halloween Parade – 9:15 p.m., 11:15 p.m. (Begins in Frontierland, see route on map)
For some people – myself largely included – Mickey’s “Boo-To-You” Halloween parade is *the* reason to attend a MNSSHP. From the villain’s party to the grave diggers and their shovels, it's fantastic from start to finish. The first run tends to be very crowded, so if you have the energy to stay late catch the second run and enjoy the park during the first run while everyone else is watching it.
And there are some very cool additions to it this year. Tomorrowland gets some love in it for the first time as characters from the Incredibles and the Toy Story Aliens and Buzz Lightyear take over a few floats. I hadn't known what to make of a Tomorrowland presence in the Halloween parade going in, but the way it's done is just a ton of fun.
And hands down the coolest addition is the Bride in the Haunted Mansion section. She's incredible!!
And Vanellope von Schweetz's candy scented float never gets old.
But most importantly – make sure you're on the route in time to see the Headless Horseman ride. He's one of the most iconic things in Walt Disney World during the Halloween season and the haunting sound of the horse's feet will stay with you all night.
- Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular – 8:30 p.m., 10:45 p.m., 12 a.m., on the Castle Forecourt Stage
This show is hosted by the Sanderson Sisters of Hocus Pocus and is a bit of a right of passage at MNSSHP. It’s been virtually unchanged over the years so if you’ve seen it before you can skip it if you want or catch it again this year. It’s offered 3 times throughout the evening, so there are plenty of opportunities to catch it if you're trying to fit it in.
- Monstrous Scream-O-Ween Ball – 7 p.m. to 12 a.m., Rockettower Plaza Stage
A fun dance party hosted by Mike Wazowski and Sulley in Tomorrowland.
- Disney Descendance Party (New!) – 7 p.m. to 12 a.m., Cosmic Ray's Starlight Café
Fun, games, and dancing with your favorite Villain Kids from The Descendants in Tomorrowland's Cosmic Rays.
- Storybook Circus Disney Junior Jam – 7 p.m. to 12 a.m., Storybook Circus in Fantasyland
Lots of fun and dancing for the party's smallest guests with Vampira and other favorite Disney Junior characters.
- The Cadaver Dans – Frontierland
Keep an eye out as you wander Frontierland during the party. You might run into the Cadaver Dans – who are, shall we say, close friends of the Dapper Dans. They'll be singing spooky tunes and entertaining party guests with their “dead pan” jokes. (See what I did there??)
Food and Drink
Trick or Treating: When you first enter the party with your wristband, head to the right after the Town Square Theater and bypass Main Street in lieu of the side entrance. There you will find a bunch of photo opportunities (see more on those below) and can pick up your bag to trick or treat throughout the evening – so you don't need to bring your own. There are TONS of trick or treat stations around the park – you'll find them marked on the park map that you get for the party.
And if you have a food allergy, grab a teal colored bag instead of a regular black one. When you trick or treat with a teal colored bag, you'll get teal tokens that you can redeem at Allergy-Friendly Centers for special treats!
Specialty Foods & Beverages: There are SO many special food and drink items at the party this year – and most of them are new! Here's the full rundown along with whether they are available all day or exclusive to the Party. As always, anything noted as “gluten-friendly” is only reflecting what Disney has said about the item.
©Disney Parks Blog – Berry Blaster, Lots-O'-Burger, Pirates Horizon, Hades Hatred
- TCR CHOICE ITEM: Lots-O'-Burger (New!) – Beef patty topped with brie fondue, strawberry-bacon jam, an onion ring, and a Lotso bun. (Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café, Party Exclusive)
- TCR CHOICE ITEM: Constance’s for Better or For Worse Wedding Cake (New!)
Citrus-scented cake with raspberry Bavarian cream, white chocolate glaze, icing pearls, flowers, and a chocolate axe. (Liberty Square Popcorn Cart, Party Exclusive)
©Disney Parks Blog – Amuck, Amuck, Amuck Cupcake and Halloween Cinnamon Roll
- TCR CHOICE ITEM: Amuck, Amuck, Amuck Cupcake (New!) – Peanut butter, chocolate, and toffee candy baked into a cupcake filled with caramel sauce and topped with an edible cake “cauldron,” iced with chocolate buttercream and garnished with a Sanderson Sisters decoration (Main Street Bakery, Available Daily)
- Halloween Cinnamon Roll – Classic Mickey-shaped cinnamon roll topped with orange icing and a chocolate spider web. (Main Street Bakery, Available Daily)
- Jack Push Pop – Chocolate cake, vanilla buttercream, white chocolate and dark chocolate crispy pearls, dark chocolate curls, and a white chocolate Jack Skellington. (Main Street Castle Carts near Cinderella Castle, Party Exclusive)
- Sally Push Pop (New!) – Gluten-friendly vanilla cake, buttercream, strawberry crispy pearls, and a white chocolate Sally. (Gluten-friendly, Main Street Castle Carts near Cinderella Castle, Party Exclusive)
- Donald Duck Brownie – Brownie topped with a chocolate piece featuring Donald dressed for Halloween. (Casey's Corner, Available Daily)
- Now Begin Thy Magic Spell (New!) – Red slush with passion fruit, blue curaçao syrup, Sprite, and lemonade garnished with a chocolate-covered apple slice. (Casey's Corner, Party Exclusive)
- Hades Nachos – Black bean nacho chips topped with “fiery” buffalo chicken and your choice of items from the toppings bar. (Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Café, Party Exclusive)
- Billy’s Worms & Dirt Chocolate Pudding (New!) – Chocolate pudding topped with gluten-friendly cake crumbs, gummy worms, and a white chocolate piece featuring Billy from Hocus Pocus. (Gluten-friendly, Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Café, Party Exclusive)
©Disney Parks Blog – (1) Caramel-filled Pretzel, Cinnamon-Sugar Donut Holes, and Frozen Apple Cider and (2) Headless Horseman Cheesecake
- Caramel-filled Pretzel, Cinnamon-Sugar Donut Holes, and Frozen Apple Cider – Flavors of Fall! (Golden Oak Outpost, Party Exclusive)
- Headless Horseman Cheesecake (New!) – Pumpkin cheesecake layered with gluten-friendly chocolate cake, chocolate crunchies, orange glaze, and a Headless Horseman chocolate piece. (Gluten-friendly, Sleepy Hollow, Party Exclusive)
- Chocolate Mickey Waffle Sundae (New!) – Black chocolate waffles topped with pumpkin gelato, candy corn, caramel sauce, and sprinkles. (Sleepy Hollow, Party Exclusive)
- Maleficent Cone – Black waffle cone filled with lime soft-serve and topped with chocolate horns and purple sugar. (Storybook Treats, Available Daily)
- Snake Eyes (Coming in September!) (New!) – Sprite, green apple, and lemonade garnished with gummy worms and light up dice. (Storybook Treats, Party Exclusive)
- Pumpkin Spice Soft Serve Sundae (New!) – Pumpkin spice sundae topped with candy corn and caramel sauce. (Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies, Available Daily)
- Pumpkin Spice Milkshake (New!) – Gluten-friendly pumpkin spice milkshake topped with candy pumpkins and a Mickey marshmallow straw. (Gluten-friendly, Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies, Available Daily)
- Berry Blaster (New!) – Blue curaçao syrup, cherry lemonade, and Sprite garnished with a lemon wheel and raspberries. (Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café, Party Exclusive)
- Pirates Horizon (New!) – Orange juice, passion fruit, and pineapple juice garnished with a pineapple wedge on a pirate sword skewer. (Aloha Isle, Party Exclusive)
- Hades Hatred (New!) – Lemonade, blue curaçao syrup, and blueberry popping pearls topped with blue cotton candy. (Cool Ship, Party Exclusive)
Popcorn Buckets and Sippers:
©Disney Parks Blog
Available as of the first night of the party:
- Hitchhiking Ghosts (featuring a sipper and two buckets) These are very sought after and limited to two per guest. You can find them at the popcorn stand near the Haunted Mansion. They don't hold much popcorn but they're pretty amazing. The line tends to be long but moves pretty fast. This is also where you can get Constance's for Better or for Worse Wedding Cake. (high demand item)
- Mickey Pumpkin Balloon Popcorn Bucket (high demand item)
Materializing at other times of the season:
- Oogie Boogie Popcorn Bucket (expect to be a high demand item)
- Jack Skellington Sipper (This might have been available on the first night but I did not see it.) (expect to be a high demand item)
Attraction Overlays and Enhancements
You can see what attractions are open during the party on the event guide that I included above (the vast majority of them are) but a few attractions get special Halloween overlays. The lines for those tend to be a bit longer, of course since they're unique experiences, but if you have time to check them out they're pretty amazing.
- Pirates of the Caribbean
If you make time for any one attraction during MNSSHP, make it this one. The queue and ride have some surprise guests that will interact with you throughout. Similar to last year's MNSSHP if you saw Pirates then but they've added even more this season.
If you want to be surprised, you can wait to see – but if you want to see the fun, check out BigFatPanda's video here!!
- Space Mountain
Space Mountain is *completely* dark outside of the tunnels – total fabulous throwback to the good old days on that attraction(!) – and Halloween music that I couldn’t identify was playing throughout. It's so much fun to ride this way. Definitely check it out if you can!!
The Teacups have eerie Halloween lighting and “smoke” that, quite frankly, would make me that much more likely to throw up on them. But it was still cool to see from outside.
- Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor is a trick or treating location – but hang out inside for a bit if you can!! The cast is on screen interacting with the audience and it's lots of fun!!
- Haunted Mansion
The actual ride portion of the Haunted Mansion attraction is unchanged during Halloween – but you absolutely have to visit it. Not only are there a number of great PhotoPass opportunities there – the lighting and ambience are amazingly spooky and Lady Carlotta and the Mansion's Butler are there to entertain the queue. I could happily spend an entire party listening to Lady Carlotta interact with the crowd. She's brilliant and such a special part of the evening.
The time that she photobombed one of my PhotoPass pictures last year is still one of the most exciting moments I've ever had in a Disney Park.
PhotoPass and Magic Shots
The Magic Shots and other special photo ops offered by PhotoPass at MNSSHP are ah-ma-zing. If you're planning a trip that will include a night at the party, I would very seriously consider adding Memory Maker to your trip (which I am a huge proponent of even without these party pictures!).
Absolutely don't miss the Headless Horseman Magic Shot in front of the train station before you enter the park.
And the PhotoPass pictures – including a Gravediggers Magic Shot and video – by the flagpole right after you enter…
Then you'll find lots of fun signage, props, and a Magic Shot as you enter the party to the right of Main Street.
Then pop back over to Main Street, U.S.A. for more fun Magic Shots.
And the amazing Haunted Mansion Dancers video…
And then run to Haunted Mansion for the Hatbox Ghost Magic Shot, a Magic Shot in front of the Carriage near the queue exit, and a beautiful lantern PhotoPass picture.
And you might just find a Hitchhiking Ghosts Magic Shot as you wander Liberty Square.
There's also an Evil Queen Mirror Magic Shot video that I haven't gotten to get yet.
Character Meet and Greets
I'll fine tune this section and add pictures as the season continues since I admittedly didn't wait in queue to meet any characters at the first party – I was too busy running around grabbing all of the details that I could for you guys! But here's the very long list of what I know so far (subject as always to change and breaks throughout the evening):
- Mickey in Halloween Gear – Town Square Theater
- Jack & Sally – Town Square Theater (apparently beginning meet and greets as early as 4-4:30 p.m. for guests attending the party that night) (typically one of the longest lines of the evening)
- Lotso Bear – Tomorrowland (where Buzz usually does his meets)
- Elvis Stitch – Tomorrowland, Stitch's Great Escape
- Moana – Adventureland, Enchanted Tiki Room (typically one of the longest lines of the evening)
- Tarzan, Jane, and Cheetah – Adventureland, near Sunshine Tree Terrace
- Jafar – Adventureland, Near Zanzibar Trading Co.
- Aladdin & Abu – Adventureland, Near Zanzibar Trading Co., where Jasmine normally meets guests
- Seven Dwarfs – Storybook Circus at Pete's Silly Side Show (typically one of the longest lines of the evening)
- Minnie, Donald, Daisy, and Goofy in Costume – Storybook Circus
- Mad Hatter & Alice – Fantasyland, near the Mad Tea Party
- Queen of Hearts with Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum – Fantasyland, near the Mad Tea Party
- Drizella & Anastasia – Fantasyland near the Carousel
- Cruella De Ville – Fantasyland
- Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, and Piglet in Costume – Fantasyland, outside The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Gravediggers – Gazebo near the entrance to Liberty Square
So much merch everywhere now for Halloween in general and specific to the party! You can find the full event collection at the Emporium on Main Street, U.S.A. and at Big Top Souvenirs in Storybook Circus. The event's trading pins and Magic Band are available at Frontier Trading Post. (All of course subject to availability.) The spirit jersey might be calling my name….
The incomparable @MichaelDoesDisney and @MatthewDoesDisney living their best lives as Spectromagic and the Main Street Electrical Parade. Photo credit to Nate Weir.
If this post was written in order of importance to me, this part would be all the way at the top. To me, the people watching opportunities at MNSSHP alone are worth the price of admission. I absolutely love how creative everyone gets. It's the one time of year when adults are also allowed to come to Magic Kingdom in costume, and seeing what the incredibly creative guests of Walt Disney World come up with is nothing short of amazing.
@Nate.K.Weir taking on Peter Pan in front of Cinderella Castle.
You can find the rules that apply to guest costumes at Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party HERE.
If you want to add onto your #NotSoScary experience, you can one up your party with these separately-priced enhancements. Head online or to Tony's Town Square Restaurant or Guest Relations to purchase them. (Subject to availability.)
- Cruella's Halloween Hide-A-Way (New!) – Cruella is hosting the party from 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. at Tony's Town Square Restaurant – which is serving up hors d'oeuvres, sweets, and beverages, including beer and wine. This add on also includes reserved viewing of Mickey's “Boo-to-You” Halloween Parade at 11:00 p.m. My honest opinion? There's already A LOT to do that's included in the price of your party ticket – so I'd hate to see anyone pay even more for this and miss out of all of the things going on in the park. That said, it's a really nice option if you want a home base to relax during the night and the fact that food and drinks, including beer and wine, are included is really nice. As is the reserved parade seating. If you've done the party before or just want to enhance the experience, it's worth considering. And interacting with Cruella is always a blast. Price: $99 plus tax per person
- Disney's Not So Spooky Spectacular Dessert Party – You can also add on this dessert party that includes a buffet of sweets and reserved viewing for the new fireworks spectacular. Price: $84 plus tax for guests ages 10+ and $50 plus tax for guests ages 3-9
Crowds are going to vary depending on the night – and the party tends to get more and more popular as Halloween gets closer. That said, the park isn't empty by a long shot at these very popular parties – especially in special event areas like along the parade path or on Main Street during the fireworks. If you're looking for an event that will have you walking onto every attraction in the park, you might want to look at an After Hours Event. That said, attraction waits tend at least to be much shorter than usual for attractions without Halloween overlays – and if you are smart about it and tackle attractions and trick or treating while everyone else is somewhere else – like watching one of the parades – you can really get a lot done.
All of that said – there's a LOT to do at this party and you're likely to be enjoying it with lots and lots of other park guests…so do your homework here first and make sure you know what your top priorities are!!
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Are you planning to attend a Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party this year?? If so I want to hear all about it – and to see your costume!!!