One of my favorite times of year at Walt Disney World is the fall, particularly at the Magic Kingdom. Main Street gets decked out in fall colors, carved pumpkins adorn the rooftops and a little bit more whimsy fills the streets. And of course, it isn’t fall in Magic Kingdom without the special event, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. I am often asked if the Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is worth the additional ticket price, and my answer is yes—it is a must see at least once. Here are a few secrets about the party you may not know:
7. Dining Options
While not all of the restaurants stay open in the Magic Kingdom after the party begins, several do. You will want to check your party map for the quick service dining options (and after the very first party of the season you can usually find PDFs of that map posted online). One tip is that if you have a Halloween Party ticket you may be able to get a dining reservation for a coveted spot for after 7:00pm easier than on other nights, like at Be Our Guest or Cinderella’s Royal Table. This is good and bad. Good because it may be the only time you can get the reservation, but bad because it will literally eat up a lot of your party time. My other dining tip is to try to avoid table service dining during the party hours (7:00pm-midnight) so that you can take advantage of all that the party has to offer.
6. See the Castle Stage Show
Although in past years the stage show at Cinderella Castle has taken on different themes and storylines, they are always very well produced. Often you will see more “unusual” characters involved like a group of villains or the sisters from Hocus Pocus. You can count on it being entertaining with great music and a fun Halloween feel. Check reports on the social media ahead of time to see what show is announced for the party each year.
5. You can come early!
One great way to maximize the value of your Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party ticket is to come early and make that your only park of the day. Since you will be up late enjoying everything the party has to offer you can spend the morning sleeping in, enjoying your pool, maybe visit Disney Springs for some shopping, dining or bowling, and then plan to come to Magic Kingdom early for the party. Although the official party start time is 7:00pm, guests with party tickets have been allowed to enter as early as 4:00pm—that’s an extra 3 hours to ride attractions before the festivities begin (or to stake your place out in line for #3). Please note that the time allowed to enter could be changed by Disney at any time without notice, so double check reports from other partygoers before your party date.
4. Trick or Treat
There are a few of secrets or tips that I want to share about the Trick or Treating at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. First, you will receive a bag when you enter the park to carry your candy, but you may find it a little small for the haul of candy you want, so feel free to bring your own bag from home to fill up. If you really want to get lots of candy here are two secrets: go through the stations multiple times (you are allowed), and go later in the night. At the beginning of the party they may be a little more cautious about the amount of candy given to each person, but by the end of the night most Cast Members at the stations are more generous with their handfuls. Either way you will likely have candy that will last you through Christmas if not Easter. If you have special dietary needs there are usually options for you (you may need to go to Guest Services to receive them) like sugar free options. And most locations also have some healthy alternatives to candy to hand out.
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3. Character Meet & Greets
At Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party there are special meet & greets with rare characters offered that you will only see during parties and events. These are very popular (that’s an understatement) and the lines build quickly. Some of the characters that are currently most popular are Jack & Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas and all 7 Dwarfs together. For these you will see lines forming before the party time. It is a good idea after the first party of the year to look for the most current information online about which characters are doing meet & greets and where they are located in the park. By doing this you can prioritize who you want to see and decide how much party time you are willing to dedicate to meeting that one character or set of characters. Sometimes at the parties you will also see the Princes with their Princess which is not an everyday occurrence. And there are usually more dance parties where you can interact with your favorite characters but not necessarily have them stop for photos and autographs.
2. Halloween Fireworks!
You cannot miss the Halloween fireworks that shows once each night during the party. It is phenomenal. You will want to stake out a place with a clear view of the castle fairly early (especially on busier party nights like weekends or closer to Halloween). You may need an hour or more to get that location on a busy night. Another option is the Fireworks Dessert Parties that they have been offering for an additional price during most recent parties. The dessert parties will have reserved viewing spots for the fireworks (usually with seating) which is nice, along with a Halloween themed dessert buffet with beverages. It is a nice splurge for the parties.
1. Mickey’s Boo-To-You Parade
I don’t know if I can say hands-down this is the best Magic Kingdom parade because I also love the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Parade, but this one is pretty incredible (it may have a slight edge over Christmas). It is no secret that the parade takes places twice nightly during the parties (except in cases of inclement weather), but here are a few tips that may help you make the most of the parade. If you are only watching the parade once try to pick the later parade. Lots of families with smaller children won’t make it to the end of the party and you normally find more good viewing spots closer to parade time with the second parade. If you are a family with younger children who can’t stay awake through the second parade you will want to claim your spot very early for the first parade. Very early. You can find good viewing on Main Street USA, but that will be the most crowded area, so I would recommend checking the Liberty Square and Frontierland areas around the route. You may not have to be in your spot quite as early in these locations and you may find that you have a little more elbow room to enjoy the parade. My favorite parts of the parade involve scenes from the Haunted Mansion, but I won’t give any other spoilers! Also, be sure you are there before the advertised parade time, just so you don’t miss anything.
Do you love Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party as much as I do? If so please share your secrets with us!