This post was updated 4/20/18 with 2018 dates
Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is a hard-ticket event that takes place in the Magic Kingdom select nights the mid August through the beginning of November. "Hard-ticket" is a term that means it is an event that has a limited number of tickets sold, and only those holding this special ticket may partake in the event. You do NOT need a park ticket for the party in addition to the party ticket, so if you have a 4-day ticket and you want to attend a party on your 5th day, you may, although you will only be allowed to enter Magic Kingdom starting at 4 PM. Upon entering the park after 4 PM, you will receive a special wrists band to show you "belong" there. If you are already in the park prior to 4 PM, you can get a wristband at various locations throughout the park. When the party officially begins at 7 PM, those without wristbands are no longer allowed to enter ride lines and are otherwise directed out of the park.
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party takes place on the following dates in 2018:
Tickets are now an sale as of 4/17/18. Once again, Disney has increased the prices for this ticketed event, between $5 and $10 more per ticket.
August 17, 24, 31 Advance Purchase:
Adult: $79 + tax, Child: $74 + tax
August 28 Advance Purchase:
Adult: $75 + tax, Child: $70 + tax
September 7, 14, 21, 25 Advance Purchase:
Adult: $79 + tax, Child: $74 + tax
September 3, 9, 11, 16, 23 Advance Purchase:
Adult: $75 + tax, Child: $70 + tax
September 28, 30 Advance Purchase:
Adult: $89 + tax, Child: $84 + tax
October 2, 4 Advance Purchase:
Adult: $89 + tax, Child: $84 + tax
October 8, 9, 11, 14, 16, 18, 21, 23, 25 Advance Purchase:
Adult: $99 + tax, Child: $94 + tax
October 5, 12, 19, 26, 28, 30 Advance Purchase:
Adult: $109 + tax, Child: $104 + tax
Adult: $125 + tax, Child: $120 + tax
AP/DVC discounts (This information will be updated with 2018 prices when released):
Passholders can purchase up to four tickets.
Annual Passholder Blackout Dates: Sept. 20, Oct. 4, 10-31
DVC Members can purchase up to six tickets.
DVC Blackout Dates: Sept. 20, Oct. 23-31
Active duty, retired, and disabled members of the military can purchase up to six tickets.
Military Blackout Dates: Sept. 23, Oct. 2-31
This information will be updated for 2018 when released.
Party time: 7:00 p.m. to 12:00 am
Guest may enter the park on their party ticket beginning at 4 PM
Mickey’s “Boo-to-You” Halloween Parade: 9:15 PM and 11:15 PM
Happy HalloWishes fireworks: 10:15 PM
Cadaver Dans: 7:15 PM, 8 PM, 8:50 PM, 9:55 PM and 10:50 PM
Hocus Pocus Villain Spectacular: 8:15 PM, 10:45 PM, 12 AM
What Does it Include?
LOW RIDE WAITS
Because this is hard-ticket event, even though it may feel quite crowded on Main Street and near the treat locations, ride times will remain low, even for a sold-out party. This means most rides are walk-ons, with the high-wait rides like Peter Pan, 7 Dwarfs Mine Train, and Space Mountain showing waits of 20-40 minutes. Due to its Halloween nature, Haunted Mansion can also have waits more in the 20-3o range as well. If you wait until the later showings of the parade and the Hocus Pocus show, you can really take advantage of these short waits while others are occupied on Main Street.
We focused on rides when we attended our first party, and it was amazing being able to ride most things without spending time in line. The longest we waited was for Peter Pan, which was a 30 minute wait, but we enjoyed it since we had never waited stand-by and so had yet to experience the new interactive que. Splash Mountain's waits were so low, we rode multiple times with no one in our boat except us.
Although our MNSSHP was not sold out, we have attended the last Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party of the year in 2015 that sold out many days in advance, and I can't say I really noticed much of a difference in wait times between the two experiences. So if your party does sell out, it shouldn't have a significant impact on wait times overall. We highly recommend eating dinner before the party begins at 7 PM so that you can take full advantage of the low waits during the party time, though.
SPECIAL CHARACTER MEET-AND-GREETS
During the party, there are special characters you can meet that aren't often around the parks on a normal day. Some of the most popular characters are Jack and Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas, all 7 Dwarfs, Aladdin, and Tarzan. You'll also be able to find most of the princesses, as well as Mickey and friends in their Halloween costumes.
If you are a big fan of character interactions or have a strong desire to meet one of the more obscure characters, you'll have ample opportunity, but know that lines get quite long, especially for those specialty characters. You could spend the majority of the party time in lines instead of taking advantage of short ride waits, which is something to consider. We aren't big character-interaction people (and when I say "we," I mean Ken isn't. I got him to meet Buzz Lightyear once and that's my biggest achievement to-date), so we haven't waited in any of the long lines during a party, but we've seen many in action, and it really seems your wait time will depend on what point in time it is in the party and what character it is you're trying to meet. During the parade and especially during the fireworks, you could find shorter waits, but for many, missing those special events for a character-meet might not be ideal.
If there is a character you're dying to meet (like Jack and Sally), arrive at least an hour before the party starts, find where the character is meeting, and get in line. We've seen people lined up as early as 5:30 PM, though, so you likely won't be alone!
PHOTOPASS MAGIC SHOTS
Another place you might find yourself waiting in line is for the special Photopass magic shots that are available during the party. The most popular is a grim grinning ghost on the horseless hearse in front of the Haunted Mansion, and rightfully so. It is a sufficiently creepy and cool photo, especially if you're a big Happy Haunt fan. Madame Leota is nearby to entertain those in line very near this photopass spot.
There's also a very cool animated photo near the flag pole in Town Square that features some good Haunted Mansion folk and a clip of the parade song. We stopped for this one after the parade finished, which was a mistake, as basically everyone else had the same idea, and no one really knew where the line was forming. Stop here before you find a good spot for the fireworks and you should have better luck.
A third photo features the Headless Horseman and can be found at the entrance to the park.
TRICK OR TREATING
Upon entering the party, we were funneled to the alleyway near Tony's restaurant at the end of Main Street, where we were given our party treat bag that already included several full-size candy and granola bars. We were immediately impressed by this, since Disney has trained us well to pay high and expect low otherwise. We only stopped for one more treat location, but they are QUITE popular and easy to find thanks to glowing beacons marking them. The lines looked long at all the ones we passed, but they seemed to move very quickly.
If you pass a treat location, I'd say stop and get what you've technically already paid for. If you have kids who are big trick-or-treating fans, you might find the need to seek them out, but otherwise we recommend enjoying other parts of the party and snagging some candy along the way if you happen to pass by it.
MONSTROUS SCREEM-O-WEEN BALL (DANCE PARTY)
Not unlike a normal day in the Magic Kingdom, a dance party takes place in Tomorrowland during the event. Unlike a normal day in the Magic Kingdom, this one features Monsters, Inc. characters instead of Mr. Freeze trying to convince kids he is, actually, from a Disney movie. We have yet to partake in said dance party, and are unlikely to in the future, but it does look like it would be a "scream" (ha. haha.) for kids who are too small to enjoy many rides.
"BOO TO YOU" PARADE
The parade takes place twice each party night at 9:15 and 11:15 Anyone will tell you the second parade is less crowded, which is true. On Main Street, though, you likely won't notice much difference and it will still feel quite crowded. If you want a good view without having to stake out a spot super early, look in Frontierland instead of on Main Street.
The parade is really very cool, and definitely a can't-miss since it can only be experienced during a party. It features floats that you won't otherwise see, including a fantastic Haunted Mansion float featuring the hitchhiking ghosts, a Pirates of the Caribbean scene, and a very well done Peter Pan pirate ship float. And of course, the ride of the Headless Horseman signals the start of each parade.
I like the special holiday parades best because I find their songs catchy (boo to you and you and you and you, Happy Halloween!). Ken disagrees because he finds the songs annoying. He still enjoys the floats, though, so I just tell him to pipe down while I belt out the lyrics and incur side-eyes from those around me.
HAPPY HALLOWISHES FIREWORKS
I'm curious to see what Disney will be calling this fireworks show once Wishes! is replaced with the Happily Ever After fireworks. There hasn't been any word on it being renamed or even replaced, but it's not entirely out of the question.
Regardless, you can count on a special Halloween fireworks show that will be performed once during the party. The Hallowishes show features the "ghost host" and Disney villians joining him for a party. The music used is a pseudo-version of the Haunted Mansion song, which is, in my opinion, the best thing about it. We aren't giant fireworks fans (weird, right?), so we usually only watch a Disney fireworks show once or twice and then we're content until it's replaced with something new. This one, though, I'd watch over and over. But I'd also ride Haunted Mansion over and over...
Like usual, Main Street is the best place to see this show and the castle projections used during it; however, we love watching fireworks from Fantasyland near the Winnie the Pooh ride. If you find Main Street and the hub too crowded, head that way, and then you'll be in a good spot to jump in line for another ride or two in Fantasyland before the party ends.
CELEBRATE THE MAGIC: VILLAIN EDITION
Celebrate the Magic also shows during the party shortly before Hallowishes. If you're in position on Main Street for the fireworks, you'll see it. If you're hoping to see the fireworks from somewhere else in the park, you'll obviously not have much of a view, depending on your location.
I will say that although this is technically a "special" version of the projection show, the difference would only be noticeable to a small amount of people. There are a few villain scenes added towards the end that total maybe 60 seconds of extra footage, but beyond that, the show is the same. So if you prefer to view fireworks from behind the castle and you've seen Celebrate the Magic before, you shouldn't be too bummed out about missing this version.
Since Celebrate the Magic is now no more, I'm curious if they'll up the game on the Halloween version of Once Upon a Time this year--if that's the case, it may make it worth taking the extra time to find a spot on Main Street if you're a fan of the projection shows like I am.
HOCUS POCUS VILLAIN SPEllTACULAR
The Hocus Pocus Villian Spelltacular is a 20-ish minute show that is presented in front of Cinderella Castle several times a night. This show features many different Disney Villains, including Oogie Boogie and the Shadow Man from Princess and the Frog, as well as several catchy songs and Sanderson-sister hi-jinx. We were very pleasantly surprised by how good this show was, so much so that it ended up being our favorite part of the party.
The best plan of attack in our opinion is to arrive in time for the projection show at 10 PM and see Hocus Pocus after Hallowishes, then stay for the 11:15 parade. You probably want to make your way to Main Street closer to 9 PM if you want a good spot in front of the castle. Regardless of the time, we highly recommend squeezing a showtime in your schedule somewhere, as we consider this Disney's best castle stage show.
SPECIAL FOOD AND MERCHANDISE
Besides the free candy being given out throughout the park, you can also find special food and beverages (mostly cupcakes) as well as merchandise specifically during party hours. If you're a pin collector, you'll want to make sure to get one of the different designs created for the party, which can usually only be found in one specific location in the park (last year it was at Big Top Souvenirs in Fantasyland). T-shirts and special magic bands can also be found, among other things.
Is it worth it?
We'll start with this: if you've never been to the party before, it will likely be worth it just to say you've attended. We really enjoy the party and the "special" feel it has since it's a hard-ticket event. There ARE several things to consider, though.
First, if you're going at a busier time, especially mid-to late October, the party will be worth it simply for the extremely reduced wait times.
If you are a very big fan of Halloween, you'll love it.
If you really love Disney parades and fireworks shows, seeing these specialty ones will be very enjoyable for you.
If you have kids who love to dress up for Halloween and trick-or-treat, this will be a great experience for them.
If you love character interactions or are trying to complete some sort of character signature collection and want to meet some of the special characters that can only be found at the party, you'll likely find the price of the ticket justifiable.
Because you can enter Magic Kingdom at 4 PM on a party ticket, and if you can adjust your plans to include a day at the pool or Disney Springs and then an evening at the party, you could save the price of an extra day's ticket. For a longer trip, this won't be a significant amount, but if you're only going for a few days, it could actually make the price of a ticket a wash compared to a full day's ticket you would have otherwise purchased.
However, if you know you or your kids won't be able to make it at least until 11 PM in the park, you might not feel you've gotten the value out of your ticket. And if you're expecting the park to feel empty, you'll be disappointed. Although it will feel like this at times, especially the farther you get from Main Street, there will be other people there.
If you aren't big on Halloween and don't care about special fireworks or parades or tick-or-treating, then you probably wouldn't be reading a post about attending this party anyways. But if you are for some reason, and you just want someone to come right out and tell you this, probably don't buy a ticket.
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