I have attended several Hard Ticket events at Walt Disney World, but by far, this Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP) is my absolute favorite. It is perfect for families to enjoy together. The party is offered as a separate Hard Ticket event on select nights in September and October with varying prices, the highest being Halloween night. If you purchase your tickets in advance you can often enjoy a discount. DVC Members and Annual Passholders typically also get a discount. In years past, party goers have been able to enter Magic Kingdom as early as 4PM with these tickets, even though the party hours are from 7PM to Midnight. You do not need to use a Magic Kingdom admission ticket after 4PM if this early entry continues. Take a look at why you don’t want to miss it with the things below that you can’t find anywhere else!
8. Some Cast Members Get A Creepy Look!
The Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean Cast Members get a makeup make-over to create an especially creepy look for the evening. The Pirates have scars, and the Haunted Mansion CM’s get a ghostly look adding to the spookiness of the attractions. Another thing about the attractions is that they are mostly just a walk-on during the party. You’ll spot other Cast Members dressed in their creepiest costumes with detailed make-up on occasion.
7. Special Effects
Special music, audio, lighting for the evening really does transform the Magic Kingdom into a spookier version of itself. The first thing you hear shortly before 7PM is your Ghost Host for the evening telling all the Magic Kingdom guests that the party is starting soon and if you were not invited you must exit the park immediately. At 7PM the Ghost Host welcomes all those invited to the party (those with the tickets for it). The lighting changes to have special affects all over the park, including Main Street U.S.A. I don’t want to give it all away, but you should see it! The Cinderella Castle experiences many lighting affects throughout the Party including my favorite one where it is bathed in dark, dark purple with only the yellowish lights coming from the windows. There is spooky music playing around the park and special dance parties with characters begin!
6. Spooktacular Food & Beverages
There is always some special food and beverages and special merchandise offered during the party. In years past the special food offerings included Spiced Pumpkin Waffle Sundaes at Sleepy Hollow, Gaston’s Tavern had Ghost Cupcakes, Storybook Treats had Candy Corn Soft Serve Ice Cream, and Sweet Treats on Main Street served up specialty cupcakes and cookies. The popcorn carts had hitchhiking Ghost popcorn buckets. The merchandise was also great with the release of special collector pins, light-up Trick-or-Treat bags, light-up Pumpkin baskets, and of course great t-shirts.
When you arrive for the party you are given a wrist band to show you were “invited” and a Trick-or-Treat Bag because there are Trick-or-Treat Trails you walk down where Cast Members, in their special party costumes, put hands full of candy into your bag. (You can bring your own container too if you like.) This is like the motherload of candy collecting during the party as you walk down the sidewalk to several Cast Members in a close row. Your bag quickly fills up here. You will also find several Candy Stops where you can collect even more candy, and yes, this is the good stuff! You will find the candy wherever you see a large, inflated, lit-up, signs (usually a pumpkin shape). If you have allergies or just prefer treats without nuts or traces of nuts possible, and gluten-free treats you can take your bag of candy to the Allergy Friendly Station. If you are a player in Sorcerer’s of the Magic Kingdom you can take your party ticket to the Firehouse, also at the front of the park, and get special edition, complimentary, card packets just for this event. The cards are good for play any day, but can only be collected at the hard ticket event. You will be eating this candy for several days, if not weeks. We didn’t even try to make candy our top priority.
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4. Dress Up!
You get to go to the Magic Kingdom in costume! I love this part of the event! Costumes are not required at all, but most people do come in costume and it is so much fun to see the variety of looks and to see whole families dressed to a specific Disney theme. My favorite so far was a large family that came as each character in Sophia the First themed costumes, all home-made too. You would expect Disney fans to be very creative and they live up to that! There are some Walt Disney World policy guidelines to follow for dress: you cannot have a mask that covers your entire face, you must be able to move yourself through the park safely, no excessively torn clothing, nothing objectionable or obscene language or graphics, objectionable tattoos are banned, and any attire that could be deemed inappropriate for a family environment by exposing excessive portions of skin. These guidelines may change, so be sure to check the official Disney site before planning the costume. During regular operation this also applies: “Adults can visit the parks if their hair (or makeup, if applicable) resembles a Disney Princess or character, provided that they are not also wearing a costume or clothed to look like a character.” However, during the MNSSHP, we are given more freedom and there were mostly Disney characters being represented at the party and some were exceptional. You don’t get this opportunity to be in the Magic Kingdom dressed like our favorite Disney characters every day, so don’t miss this party if it something you dream of doing. The official Disney page for the party simply says “For the safest and best possible Guest experience, please choose costumes that are not obstructive, offensive or violent. Guests’ eyes must be visible at all times. Guests of all ages may wear costumes only to the Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party event; otherwise, costumes are only permitted at Magic Kingdom Park for Guests ages 9 and under.” Interacting with the characters at the meet and greets is a unique experience when you are also in a costume!
3. Fantastic Entertainment
Entertainment for the evening is exceptional and cannot be seen anywhere else. The Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party also has great entertainment, but if you visit during the week of Christmas you will see all of it during the day with regular park admission, but that is not true of the MNSSHP entertainment. You don’t want to miss the parade (see #1), the Dance Parties, the Castle Stage Show, DJ with music, special lighting, eerie music playing in the park, or the Halloween themed fireworks with a special Halloween remix version of nightly fireworks. In Frontierland, you can enjoy a quartet of dead cowboys who sound somewhat like the Dapper Dans but are named the Cadaver Dans. They bring great music and some humorous interaction with Guests that can get over their fear of talking with a dead cowboy. There is entertainment going on all evening and it is all great fun and worth the ticket price alone.
2. Unique Characters
Meeting Characters is one of the favorite activities for Disney Guests all the time, but at the party you will meet characters that are not out any other time and classic characters appear in their own Halloween costumes for a different look in your photos. Plus you may be in costume so make sure you visit a character from the same movie for extra fun. Make sure you check out meet and greet locations in advance so you know who to head for first as wait times for characters do get rather lengthy.
1. The Parade
Mickey’s “Boo to You” Halloween Parade is phenomenal. It is led in by the Headless Horseman who rides in on a horse. The parade has floats, dancers, Disney characters in Halloween costumes, and attraction-focused entries such as Dancing Pirates, and Haunted Mansion Grave Digger Dancers that are over-the-top great! It is humorous and just a tiny bit scary so it is great for all ages. This really is a great family experience!
You will have to set priorities of what is most important to you to do because even though the party is five hours long, it is not enough time to do everything. What do you want to experience, walking onto your favorite attractions, collecting all the candy you want, watching all of the entertainment available, getting pictures with all of the characters that are out, or enjoying all of the special food and beverages available? It is a hard choice, I know. The maps and schedules for the evening parties are not released until guests arrive for the first night of the event and only given to guests of the party, which makes it hard to devise your plan ahead of time. Candy Stops are not the same every year but they are easy to spot with bright large inflated signs.