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Top 13 Do’s and Don’ts for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is to DIE for! (Insert creepy laugh here!) Ok, but honestly, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP) is an absolute MUST in our opinion and by far our favorite party at Disney World. Magic Kingdom is happily haunted by Villains that don’t come out too often, funny monsters, and even regular characters in their best Halloween attire. Creepy (but not so creepy) music, lights, fog, and decorations fill Magic Kingdom – setting the stage for a delightfully spooktacular time!

Keep in mind that MNSSHP is a special ticketed event. This means it is not included in your normal theme park admission. In fact, if you are visiting Magic Kingdom on the day of a party, you will be required to leave at 6 pm, when MNSSHP officially begins, if you don’t have a ticket to the party. The party takes place on select nights from mid-August through November 1. You’ll notice ticket costs vary depending on select party nights and get more expensive as Halloween approaches. The good news is that you don’t need the MNSSHP ticket or park admission. All you need is your special event ticket to gain access to the party.

Thirteen seems like the best haunting number for these top do’s and don’ts for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP)!


1 – DO Dress Up

You’re never too old to dress up for Halloween, and MNSSHP Party embraces that, as children and adults are welcome to dress up for the party! Get creative and think of unique costume ideas that will work for your family. Since we are absolute Disney nerds, we start planning our costumes months in advance. We’ve gone as the Seven Dwarfs, Peter Pan characters, and most recently as the Disney Resorts! Just be assured your costumes fall within the Disney costume guidelines.

2 – DO Be Prepared for the Heat

Something else to remember when planning your costume is to be prepared for the heat. The daily highs will still be in the 90s in August and September, so when you arrive, it will be hot! Even in October, the evenings will likely be very warm. This is Florida, after all. Drink lots of water even after the sun goes down!

3 – DON’T Wait Until 7 pm To Arrive

MNSSHP technically begins at 7:00 p.m., but guests are welcome to enter Magic Kingdom as early as 4:00 p.m., even if they don’t have a normal park ticket for that day. Arriving at 4:00 p.m. will give you plenty of time to obtain your special MNSSHP wristband, snag a MNSSHP map, and enjoy the park before it shifts to party mode. The park closes at 6:00 pm, giving time for regular day guests to leave the party before it begins. If you’ve purchased Genie+ for the day of the party, you can try and schedule an attraction selection between 4:00-6:00 pm. Do note that Genie+ will not be available after 6:00 p.m.

3 – DO Get in Line Early for Characters

Favorite Disney Characters are spread throughout Magic Kingdom, and some are more popular than others. Getting in line early for characters is especially important during MNSSHP because many characters are rarely seen outside the party, and even our regular favorites are dressed to impress. The most popular characters are Jack Skellington and Sally. We also love seeing unique characters like Anastasia and Drizella, Tarzan and Jane, Abu, Genie, Jafar, and even Jack Sparrow! The Cadaver Dans are some of our absolute favorite “characters” that don’t require a line. This deathly barbershop quartet sings a few times throughout the night in Frontierland and are truly worth stopping for.

4 – DON’T Trick-Or-Treat Right Away

It’s SUPER tempting to be drawn to treat locations right at the get-go… BUT, we’d recommend holding out to trick-or-treat later in the night if possible. The lines at the start of the night are rather lengthy, plus you have to carry all that candy around with you through the night. No worries – Disney is NOT going to run out of candy. You will still get unbelievable loads of sweets to take home! Have an allergy? Be sure to request a teal colored trick-or-treat bag. Cast Members will fill your bag with tokens, which can then be exchanged for allergy-safe goodies at the Allergy-Friendly Center in Liberty Square before you decide to leave.

5 – DO Enjoy the Specialty Food and Merchandise

Sure, Magic Kingdom has no shortage of awesome snacks and memorable merchandise on a normal basis. Now, visit during MNSSHP and get ready for the specialty food and merchandise to be stepped up a notch! Absolutely awesome sweet treats that are an extra cost but totally worth it. Snag your favorite MNSSHP merchandise at the Emporium.  

6 – DON’T Make Dining Reservations

Now, this one may be slightly controversial, so just hear us out, but do what is best for you and your family! We feel like we pay enough for MNSSHP that we don’t want to spend our short period of time at the party eating at a table service restaurant. We’ve always made sure to have a big lunch/dinner meal around 2:30 p.m., then snack through the evening during the party. Others, however, might prefer to make dining reservations, which can be done at some wonderful table service restaurants such as Be Our Guest, Cinderella’s Royal Table, or the Crystal Palace. You can even make a reservation for the Fireworks Dessert Party, which provides desserts and prime firework views at an additional price. Again, it is a wonderful experience, but the fireworks viewing areas are less crowded during the dessert party than during normal park days, and sweet treats are flowing for free all around the park!


8 – DON’T Watch the First Parade

Watching Mickey’s Boo-To-You Halloween Parade is our absolute favorite part of the entire MNSSHP! We’re pretty certain this is the case for everyone else at the party because the parade route gets packed with MNSSHP guests. The costumed Cast Members, spookily detailed floats, enticing music, and, of course, our favorite… the Headless Horseman – just whatever you do, don’t miss it! Since the party typically offers two parades, we recommend skipping the first parade. The second parade may be later in the evening, but the crowds dwindle drastically.

Credit: Jean Cordero Photography, @jcadventures0824

9 – DO Arrive Early for the Stage Show and Fireworks

As we mentioned above, the crowds for the fireworks aren’t as massive at MNSSHP as you’ll find during a normal theme park day. With that being said, we still suggest arriving early for both the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular stage show in front of the Castle and Disney’s Not So Spooky Spectacular fireworks. You’ll want a good viewing area close to the Cinderella Castle hub. Remember that the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular is typically offered three times (four times in October) throughout the night. The fireworks are only offered once. While the Hocus Pocus stage show is fun, it’s not a huge must-do in our opinion. The Disney’s Not So Spooky Spectacular fireworks, on the other hand, should be in your plans!

Credit: Jean Cordero Photography, @jcadventures0824

10 – DON’T Skip Magic Spot Photos

Magic Spot locations are available throughout Magic Kingdom during MNSSHP. These are especially fun because you stand and pose for a photo taken by a PhotoPass Cast Member, only to find later that something or someone magically appears in the photo with you! The Headless Horseman Magic Spot is our favorite at the park entrance. We also love the Magic Spot outside of the Haunted Mansion, which features the Hitchhiking Ghosts. Magic Spots are especially great if you already have Memory Maker, which includes all these photos for one set price.

11 – DO Think About If you Want to Take the Time for TRON Lightcycle / Run

You’ll need to decide whether you’ll use the party to ride Tomorrowland’s newest attraction, TRON Lightcycle / Run. The attraction is open during the party; however, you’ll need to join the virtual queue, as no standby line will be open during the party. The virtual queue will become available at 6:00 p.m. You do not need to be in Magic Kingdom to enter the queue. The option to join the queue will only be available for guests on the day of the event, and your specific event tickets must be linked to your My Disney Experience account to join.

Once joined, you will be given a boarding group that will be called sometime throughout the party. You’ll have an hour to enter the attraction once you are called.  While having another opportunity to ride this attraction may be awesome, you’ll have no control over when your boarding group will be called. If you have your heart set on the parade, fireworks, or other party-exclusive offerings, will you want to walk away to go ride TRON? Only you can answer that question. It’s probably worth securing a boarding group and making the decision about whether or not to ride it once your group is called. You can decide then if you want to head over there. Remember that the app’s estimated return time is notoriously inaccurate, and many people report waiting 30-60 minutes in the queue once called. If you are able to ride TRON during regular park hours, we highly recommend doing that and not using party time to ride.

12 – DON’T Wait to Purchase Your Ticket

This tip may be number twelve on the list, but it’s just as important as the rest! If you’re considering going to MNSSHP, you’ll want to purchase your ticket as soon as possible. This is especially important the closer you get to Halloween as the party gets more and more popular. Pick a spooktacular night that works best for you and purchase the ticket online.

13 – DO Ask for a Rain Check

In years past, we entered MNSSHP and then were rained out shortly after arriving. There were no parades, no stage shows, and navigating around in a poncho was especially hard in a costume. Since we were only in the park briefly and there was no sign of the storm letting up, Cast Members sent us to Guest Services inside the park, where we were rescheduled for an upcoming party. There was no reimbursement, but at least we were rescheduled! In the situation of a hurricane threat, guests with MNSSHP have been given options to select from since their party night has been canceled. While this isn’t the case for every party and every situation (especially if you’ve been in the park enjoying the party for a while), it’s worth checking in with Guest Services to see if a rain check is at all possible.

Spend a frightful night in Magic Kingdom for the Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, and be sure to tell us all about it!

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Matt & Kim

We have had a long time love affair with Disney. We love the magic and the memories we've made at Walt Disney World! We follow all things Disney and have great experiences with being Annual Passholders, Disney Vacation Club Members, and RunDisney participants. From lodging to dining to Genie+ we have a spreadsheet for every occasion. Usually there isn’t a day that passes without some discussion of the master plan of our next trip to the happiest place on earth. Most people think we’re normal – until they travel to Disney with us.
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