This extra ticket event at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom is awesome and everyone should experience at least once. Although honestly one time may not be enough because there’s A LOT going on at this event. I’ve been multiple times over the years and I still haven’t experienced everything this after hours event has to offer.
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is held on select nights in the Magic Kingdom from August through October and the party runs from 7:00 PM to midnight. This extra ticket event is totally awesome and everyone should experience it at least once. Although honestly one time may not be enough because there’s A LOT going on at this event. I’ve been multiple times over the years and I still haven’t experienced everything this after hours event has to offer.
I know what you’re thinking. “That’s five whole hours, surely I can do everything the party has to offer in that time?” I’m sorry to disappoint you, but no, no you can’t. You can try, but you’re definitely going to need to prioritize.
Planning your party night can be a bit daunting, so we’re going to break it down into a few key categories.
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party will take place this year on select nights from August 11 to November 1, 2023. Ticket prices range from $109 to $199, depending on the night you select. The closer you get to Halloween night, the more expensive the tickets become.
The party takes over the entire Magic Kingdom park after it closes to non-ticketed guests. The party hours are 7:00 PM to 12:00 AM, but party guests can check in as early as 4:00 PM. When you check in, you’ll get a wristband, trick-or-treat bag and a brochure/map of all the special MNSSHP activities and attractions. The park officially closes to non-event guests at 6:00 PM and cast members will start ushering guests out of the park if they don’t have an event wristband. The last stage show is at midnight and the official end of the party, but you can hang around and shop for a bit before the park completely shuts down for the night.
You do not need to purchase a park ticket or make a park reservation, as long as you have a valid ticket for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party you will be allowed entry into the Magic Kingdom park.
There is no shortage of Halloween snacks – both savory and sweet – in the Magic Kingdom this time of year, but there are extra special spooky food and drink items that you’ll only find at the Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.
If you don’t want to make a meal out of spooky snack options the Halloween party offers dining reservation packages at two restaurants: Be Our Guest and Cinderella’s Royal Table. Please note that these dining experiences are separately priced and are not included in the ticket price for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.
There’s another separately priced dining option offered during the party — the Not-So-Spooky Spectacular Dessert Party. The experience is just like the usual Magic Kingdom Fireworks Dessert Parties, but with festive food options. There are two party options — Plaza Garden Viewing and Tomorrowland Terrace. The former checks in earlier and comes with a spot in the reserved viewing area in the plaza garden area and the for the latter you stay seated on the Tomorrowland Terrace during the fireworks show. The Terrace viewing option is more expensive at $114 for guests ages 10 and older; $69 for guests ages 3 to 9, while the Plaza Garden option is $99 for guests ages 10 and older; $59 for guests ages 3 to 9. Personally I prefer the Plaza Garden option because you have a more direct view of the castle and fireworks, while the Tomorrowland Terrace has a more offset view. If the fireworks are cancelled due to inclement weather, the Dessert Party will still take place.
The main attractions are, of course, the Boo-to-You Halloween Parade, Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular, and Not-So-Spooky Spectacular fireworks show.
I’m a parade gal, so that’s my favorite. It’s the only time you’ll see the Headless Horseman riding through the park. Plus last year’s new addition, Max Goof dressed as Powerline hosting a pre-parade dance party down Main Street. Not to be overshadowed, the grave diggers from the Haunted Mansion are iconic! There’s clearly a lot I love about this parade. It begins in Frontierland and runs twice during the party at 9:15 PM and 11:15 PM. Max Goof only shows up on Main Street though shortly after the Headless Horseman kicks off the parade.
The Villain Spelltacular stage show, led by the Sanderson Sisters, is an excellent opportunity to see Disney villains that you don’t see often in the parks. The show lasts about 20 minutes and there are typically three show times, (8:35 PM, 10:45 PM, midnight) with an additional fourth show time option during October party dates (7:40 PM, 8:35 PM, 10:45 PM, midnight).
The Not-So-Spooky Spectacular fireworks show is incredible and narrated by an amazing state of the art Jack Skellington puppet. The show follows Mickey and friends on a spooky trick-or-treating experience inspired by The Nightmare Before Christmas. The fireworks show is scheduled for 10:15 but be sure to check ahead of time since this is a once-a-night event.
They don’t get top billing like the Sanderson Sisters, but the Dapper transform into the Cadaver Dans Barbershop Quartet for MNSSHP. They perform multiple times throughout the night in Frontierland. Their jokes don’t get any better as the Cadaver Dans but their performance is still definitely worth stopping for a few minutes to give them a listen.
Trick-or-Treating Trick-or-treating is ongoing from 7:00 PM to Midnight. While trick-or-treating is a cornerstone of the Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party theme, it’s also a kind of a waste of time unless you’ve got young kids that really want to do it. You’re not getting amazing candy, just the same mini-size stuff you get at Target. So I’d say just make a couple of stops later in the evening and focus on other things.
Characters There are a lot of special characters out for the party, like Jack and Sally, Stitch as Elvis, and Pooh & Friends. Good news is that you can meet some of them before the party even starts.
Rides These parties draw a big crowd but with all off the additional entertainment options it can be a good time to go ride some rides — especially ones that get a special Halloween treatment for the party. At the Mad Tea Party, the teacups get spooky lights and music. Pirates of the Caribbean has special characters in the queue and on the ride. Space Mountain turns into Deep Space Mountain and runs completely dark. My favorite is The Haunted Mansion — it gets the best treatment though with spooky lights and mist, and special ghostly characters.
Dance Parties There are three Halloween dance – the Monstrous Scream-O-Ween Ball in Tomorrowland, Storybook Circus Disney Junior Jam, and the Zom-Beatz Bash at Cosmic Ray’s. The dance parties for mainly for the kids, but anyone can join in if they want to bust a move. They all run from 7:00 PM to midnight so you can stop in anytime between activities.
The Merch There’s always special Not-So-Scary merchandise that is only available to party guests. It varies from year to year but there’s almost always party specific earbands, collector pins and various shirts. Cast members start putting out the party merch between 6:00 PM when the park closes to guests without party tickets and 7:00 PM when the party officially kicks off. The more popular items sometimes sell out early so it’s a good idea to make a pass through the Emporium when the party starts and grab whatever you’ve got your heart set on.
If you purchased Photo Pass there are several opportunities for special magic shots you’ll only have the opportunity to get during the Not-So-Spooky Halloween party.
Costumes This event is one of the few times that adults are allowed to wear full costumes into the parks. There are rules though. Just remember that it will still be super hot so plan your costumes accordingly. I’ve done the party with a costume and without a costume and honestly I think I prefer no costume. I’d say that it’s about a 50-50 split between full costumes and no costumes for adults. Just about everyone is festive in some way, be it full costumes, seasonal shirts, or just Halloween earbands and light-up necklaces. To each their own — be festive your way.
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween party is always an amazing time but, as with most Disney World experiences, there’s really no way to do it all. So make your life easier and know your priorities before you go. Are you more interested in the special snacks and beverages or are parades and stage shows your jam? Are you here for the dance parties and ride overlays or is camping out the perfect spot for fireworks more important to you? Trust me, you’ll have a much better time if you just plan of a few ‘must do’ experiences and then just go with the flow of the evening.
My priorities for my last trip were the fireworks, parade and the villains stage show. So I caught the first stage show and then did the desert party with reserved plaza garden viewing for the fireworks. The downside to this choice was that we were already waiting in the viewing area when the parade made it’s first run of the night. We could partially see and hear it, but I definitely couldn’t take any good photos or truly enjoy the parade. After the fireworks I wandered down Main Street and picked my spot to wait for the second run of the parade. Then suddenly it was midnight, the party was over and the park was closing. So… yeah prioritize your night.
Final Thoughts Quick tips from personal experience:
Pick your priorities – don’t try to do it all.
Check in early, it’s worth it.
Unless you’ve got little kids that insist on trick-or-treating, skip it for one of the special party snacks.
Don’t overdo it on costumes or you’ll just roast in the Florida heat. Trust me, it’s easier to enjoy the party in a lightweight costume or just a festive t-shirt.