Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party | 2024

Always a favorite, the beloved Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is back again for 2024!!! The Halloween fun at Walt Disney World starts in just 3(!) short months, and while it’s not imperative that you buy tickets immediately, it’s a great idea to start planning your trip. Check out our favorite “Not So Scary” tips and tricks so that you’re prepared for all the thrills and chills that the Magic Kingdom has to offer. (updated May 7, 2024)

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Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is a hard ticket event that runs on select nights from August 9 – October 31, 2024, and guests can enter the park as early as 4pm! There’s something for everyone, with 38 available dates and pre-tax ticket prices ranging from $119 to $199 (depending on the date). Tickets are on sale now for guests with resort reservations, and May 15 for everyone! Dates don’t typically start selling out until late June/early July, and historically, Halloween is the first night to sell out.

August: 9, 13, 16, 20, 23, 27, 30

September: 2, 6, 8, 10, 13, 15, 17, 20, 22, 24, 26, 27, 29

October: 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 14, 15, 17, 18, 20, 21, 24, 25, 27, 29, 31


Will there be military tickets for Not So Scary this year?? Yes, there will!! And this year, there’s no waiting for details. In a surprising move, WDW is offering military discounts for most nights of the party this year (everything except for Halloween – and Halloween tickets are ONLY sold through Disney). However, they’re nowhere near the discounts available in the past – the biggest advantage is that the tickets are tax-free.

Villains from Boo to You Parade at Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party 2024

In order to take advantage of these discounts, which are only available to active, reserve, retired, and 100% disabled (with DAVPRM code) military members, the ID holder/spouse must purchase tickets in person at Shades of Green or via email at tickets@shadesofgreenresort.zendesk.com. All tickets purchased at Shades of Green, whether they’re party tickets, Military Salute tickets, Stars and Stripes tickets, or MYW tickets, are tax-free. And now for the pricing; like regular party tickets, pricing is dependent on the party date:

Adult $117/Child (3-9) $107: 8/13, 8/16, 8/20, 8/23, 8/27

Adult $127/Child (3-9) $117: 8/30, 9/2, 9/6, 9/8, 9/10, 9/13, 9/15

Adult $146/Child (3-9) $136: 8/9, 9/17, 9/20, 9/22, 9/24, 9/26, 9/27, 9/29

Adult $166/Child (3-9) $156: 10/1, 10/3

Adult $176/Child (3-9) $166: 10/6, 10/8, 10/10, 10/14, 10/15, 10/17

Adult $186/ Child (3-9) $176: 10/4, 10/11, 10/18, 10/20, 10/21, 10/24

Adult $195/ Child (3-9) $185: 10/25, 10/27, 10/29


The fan-favorite fireworks and the “Boo to You” parade will both be back! This definitely isn’t the scaled-back Disney After Hours BOO BASH of the pandemic, but rather the full Mickey’s Not So Scary of previous years. There will be:

  • The Boo to You parade features villains, ghouls, and other characters and happens twice per night! Like always, the Headless Horseman will kick off the parade, but new for 2024, the first parade will have an earlier start time, making it easier for families with young kids.

Headless Horseman from Boo to You Parade at Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party 2024

  • More character sightings around the park than in past years – including new costumes for Mickey and Minnie
  • Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular with everyone’s three favorite witches!
  • The Not-So-Spooky Spectacular fireworks hosted by Jack Skellington

Not So Scary Fireworks Spectacular at Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party 2024

  • Performances by the Cadaver Dans Barbershop Quartet in Frontierland
  • Treat stops with lots of candy!
  • Costumes are allowed for all guests
  • Over 20 attractions, including a Halloween twist at Mad Tea Party, Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor, and Space Mountain. It hasn’t been confirmed whether TRON Lightcycle / Run will be using a virtual queue or just the standby line.
  • Guests can enter the park as early as 4pm and DO NOT NEED a separate Disney park reservation.

Will you be attending MNSSHP this year? We try to go to MNSSHP every year for one of the early September parties, and we’re hoping to continue that tradition again this year!

Disney After Hours Boo Bash | Magic Kingdom

As part of Disney’s Halfway to Halloween celebration happening right now, they announced the Disney After Hours BOO BASH for this fall. While this comes as a huge blow to those waiting for a return of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, it makes sense considering that the things that make MNSSHP special (fireworks, parades, character meet and greets) are not running right now and potentially will not return by late August when the Halloween party traditionally starts. (updated June 2, 2021)

Disney After Hours Boo Bash 2021 Halloween Party

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BOO BASH Offerings

While there won’t be the traditional fireworks and Boo to You parade that we’ve all come to know and love, the Disney After Hours BOO BASH is still shaping up to be a fun event. Reminiscent of Villains After Hours that was offered in 2019, there will be:

  • Halloween-themed cavalcades
    • Mickey’s Happy Halloween Cavalcade: Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, and pals all dressed in their Halloween costumes
    • Disney Villain Halloween Cavalcade: Gaston, Dr Facilier, the Queen of Hearts, and Jafar
    • Jack’s Nightmare Cavalcade: Jack Skellington plus Sally and Oogie Boogie
    • And most importantly, Maleficent will take to the streets again!!!
  • Character sightings around the park (not traditional meet and greets)
  • Performances by the Cadaver Dans
  • Unlimited (select) snacks like ice cream novelties, popcorn, and select beverages – just like at the other After Hours events
  • Treat stops with lots of candy
  • Costumes are allowed for all guests
  • LOW WAIT TIMES at over 20 attractions

Boo Bash Halloween Party 2021

2021 Disney After Hours BOO BASH Dates/Prices

BOO BASH will take place on select nights from August 10 – October 31, from 9pm – midnight (the August parties are from 930pm-1230am). Like the other “After Hours” events, this one will take place after the park closes to day guests and does not require the park to close early – a common complaint of MNSSHP. Specific dates and prices have not been officially announced yet, but I will update this post as soon as they are – including if military pricing is available. Tickets go on sale next month, so I’m expecting that information to be out shortly.

Boo Bash dates and prices were released this morning, so without further ado, here are all the details. August and September dates start at $129-139 plus tax, October nights are $159-169 plus tax, and Halloween is a whopping $199 plus tax. Annual Passholders and DVC Members can save $10 per ticket in August and September. Tickets go on sale online, or call 407-939-4240 on June 15, though guests of select WDW hotels can book on June 8.

August: 10, 17, 20, 24, 27, 31

September: 3, 7, 10, 14, 17, 21, 24

October: 5, 8, 12, 15, 19, 22, 24, 26, 29, 31

There’s been no mention of military pricing yet but I’ll update again if/when that info is released.

Will you be attending the new Disney After Hours BOO BASH this year? While I’m totally bummed not to have the Halloween party back in its full glory, I am definitely looking forward to checking this event out!

Maleficent at Night Disney Halloween 2021

I think the thing I’m most excited to find out is will Maleficent once again take to the streets at night as part of a cavalcade, just as she did during Villains After Hours! Luckily, this question has been answered, and she WILL be breathing her fire down Main Street once again!!

Fall Fun in Charlotte

I love when there’s a crisp breeze in the air and we can finally start wearing sweaters and boots.  And I REALLY love when we can turn off the a/c and enjoy having the windows open (and enjoy the lower bills, too!!).  Fall is one of my absolute FAVORITE times of the year to get out and do things with the family, especially since there are so many fun events happening in the Charlotte area, or at least within a couple hour drive!

The Glow

The Glow: A Jack O’Lantern Experience is so much fun for the whole family!  There are over 5000 hand-carved pumpkins on the 1/3 mile trail through the pumpkin wonderland.  The event runs through October 28th and you MUST purchase tickets ahead of time.  We had a fantastic time when we went to The Glow a few weeks ago!

Great Pumpkin Fest

The Great Pumpkin Fest, included with your Carowinds admission ticket, is held on weekends from September 15-October 28 and is one of the best times to be at Carowinds.  From 11am-5pm, it’s a family-friendly Halloween fest and it’s fun for all ages!  We always make sure to pick out a (free!) pumpkin from the pumpkin patch while we’re at the Great Pumpkin Fest.


On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights from mid-September through the weekend before Halloween, Carowinds is transformed into Scarowinds and is a scary good time!  There are monsters and zombies and frightening creatures around every corner.  Unlike the Great Pumpkin Fest, Scarowinds is definitely for the older crowd and a separate ticket is required.

Renaissance Festival

At the Carolina Renaissance Festival, history comes alive and you can spend the day watching jousting knights on horseback, checking out the games and arts and crafts that abound at the festival, and feasting on giant turkey legs.  The Carolina Renaissance Festival is open on weekends through November 18.

Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway, running through Virginia and North Carolina, is part of the National Park Service.  For 469 miles, the Parkway twists and turns through some of the most beautiful parts of the country and during the fall, you’re treated to an amazing show of color.

Glassmine Falls, at Milepost 361.2 looks spectacular when surrounded by fall color!

Apple Picking

Nothing screams fall quite like apples and there is no shortage of places to pick them within a couple of hours of Charlotte.  Stepp’s Hillcrest Orchard is one of our favorite places to go apple picking– they have 21 different varieties to choose from so make sure to check ahead of time if you’re looking for a specific kind.

Can’t beat an apple right off the tree for a delicious afternoon snack!

Pumpkin Patch

Like apples, pumpkins are another one of those things that just scream “fall” and luckily, there are lots of options for pumpkins near Charlotte.  Starting in September, every store has boxes full of pumpkins, but it’s so much more fun to go to the pumpkin patch, wander up and down the rows, and then cut your pumpkin right off the vine!

Fall is quickly wrapping up here in the Charlotte area, especially since the overnight temps have been getting closer and closer to freezing!  Have you done anything for fall fun in your neck of the woods?  Are you ready for winter yet??

The Glow: A Jack O’ Lantern Experience in Charlotte

The entrance to The Glow Charlotte

The Glow: A Jack O’Lantern Experience is the newest fall activity in the Charlotte area and it’s sure to delight your family, young and old! With over 5000 hand-carved jack o’lanterns, there really is something for everyone!

A big thanks to The Glow for hosting us for this fun, family event. We received complimentary tickets for admission but all of my opinions are honest and my own.

The Glow Charlotte is the newest location (you can also find The Glow in Washington DC, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh), and some of the pumpkins pay homage to the great state of North Carolina from the sports teams…

… to the historical figures.  Look at that detail– the carvings were SO cool!

By putting pumpkins together, The Glow is able to create massive displays with everything from sea life…

… to dinosaurs!!  We were all amazed at the level of detail in the carvings- especially since they’re all done by hand!

Pop-culture references abound so make sure to look for your favorite couple as you travel the 1/3 mile trail through the pumpkin wonderland.  It typically takes 30-45 minutes to walk the trail but you can take as long as you want to make sure that you see everything.

The girls (really, all of us!) were super impressed with the castle display full of Disney princesses and villains.  I think Jacob will have his work cut out for him when he’s helping the kids carve their pumpkins this year!!

Another favorite area was the Skeleton Band– make sure to look for the pumpkins featuring a variety of performers. Our kids kept asking if the pumpkins were real and the answer is that yes, a lot of them are real (and they come from local farms!) but some are molded from real pumpkins– ALL of them are carved by hand though.

Fun at the pumpkin patch at The Glow Charlotte

When you exit the trail, you end up in a pumpkin patch FULL of pumpkins of all sizes.  The kids had so much fun going through the pumpkins to pick out their favorite to bring home (pumpkins are an additional charge).

They also have fall food and drinks available so you can get a snack, or even dinner, before or after your stroll through the pumpkin trail.

The funnel cakes looked (and smelled!) absolutely delicious and come in several varieties so make sure to check those out as well!

We really enjoyed our visit to The Glow and will definitely include it on our list of fun things to do every fall. It’s really nice to have options that are family friendly since we have a wide range of ages of kids in our house.  While our older ones like doing haunted houses and mazes, our youngest obviously does not, so it’s great to have activities that we can do together as a family!

Things to Remember When You Visit The Glow

  • The Glow Charlotte runs from October 4-28th at the Rock City Campground at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
  • Tickets must be purchased ahead of time for a specific date and time slot- they only allow a set number of people to enter the trail at one time so make sure to buy your ticket soon before your preferred time slot is sold out!  You CANNOT buy tickets at the door!!
  • Bring bug spray with you.!!  The Glow Charlotte is located in a field and because of all the rain from Hurricane Florence, there were a TON of mosquitos.  We didn’t think to pack any bug spray and we’re paying for it now.
  • While The Glow is definitely stroller friendly, the bulk of the trail is on a gravel path and it’s very rocky. We brought our Maclaren umbrella stroller and really wished that we had our bigger Phil & Ted’s jogging stroller instead.
  • The Glow does run rain or shine so make sure to plan accordingly, especially since you are unable to change your time or date.  In the event of severe weather, check their Facebook page for updates.

What’s your favorite fall activity in your area??


Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party Tips

Magic Kingdom Train Station during Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party

Year after year, one of our favorite things to do at Walt Disney World is Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. We live about eight hours away and still feel like it’s totally worth it to drive down for a quick weekend trip every fall just so that we can go to the party!  It’s been our tradition for the past few years now and I’m finally at the point where I can share some of our favorite tips and tricks to help you plan a night of spooky fun at Not So Scary!


The Not So Scary dates were released in March 2018 for this year’s party and tickets were available over the phone immediately, and available online here starting in April 2018.  While it’s not imperative to buy tickets as soon as they’re on sale, the parties do sell out, especially the first one of the season and the one on Halloween.

Dates for 2018

August: 17, 24, 28, 31

September: 3, 7, 9, 11, 14, 16, 18, 21, 23, 25, 28, 30

October: 2, 4, 5, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 19, 21, 23, 25, 26, 28, 30, 31

Party ticket prices range from $75 adults/$70 kids to $125 adults/$120 kids if you purchase them in advance.  Expect to pay more if you want to buy your tickets the day of the event (assuming they’re not already sold out).  If you’re going to one of the earlier parties and you qualify, make sure to check for annual passholder, DVC, and military discounts because they’ll save you enough to buy a Mickey ice cream bar (or a few, in the case of military discounts).


Not So Scary technically runs from 7pm-midnight but you can actually get into the park at 4pm or a smidge earlier (and new this year, DVC members can get in at 2pm!!).  We totally recommend that you get there as early as you can in order to maximize your time- and your money since party tickets definitely are not cheap!

We recommend making the morning/early afternoon of the day that you go to a party relaxing instead of spending it in one of the parks and showing up tired.  We typically sleep in late and spend the day lounging by the pool or we go resort hopping to see what’s new at the Disney Resorts, especially the ones on the monorail loop.  We love getting a Dole Whip at the Polynesian, wandering around the lobby of the Grand Floridian, and watching the monorail go through the Contemporary and it’s a leisurely way to spend the morning/early afternoon while still being immersed in the Disney magic.

If you arrive at Magic Kingdom before 6pm (when it officially closes to regular guests) there will be turnstiles open for regular admission as well as Event Entrance ones.  If you’re not an annual passholder and you didn’t go to a park in the morning, make sure to go through the Event Entrance turnstiles so that it doesn’t use one of your regular park ticket days for admission.  Once you’re through the turnstile, a Cast Member will put a party wristband on your (right!) wrist and then you’re off for a spooky good time!


One of our favorite parts of Not So Scary is that the whole family can dress up.  While it’s very common to see little girls in princess dresses on a regular park day, you don’t often see older kids dressed up- and the Halloween parties are the ONLY time that adults are allowed to wear costumes in the park!

Our approach to costumes is more dis-bounding than super-elaborate costumes, partly because elaborate costumes are really expensive (and we’re a fam of 7!), and partly (mostly?) because we’re talking about Florida in September (or August/October) and it is HOT!  Some years the kids just wear Halloween shirts for the party but my favorite visits are the ones where we all dress up in a group costume- like our Toy Story ones from this year!

While Disney does allow people of all ages to wear costumes to the event, they do have a costume policy- make sure to check it out here to ensure that your costume will be allowed.  For the most part, as long as it’s a family-friendly costume, does not include a weapon that guests may mistake for an actual weapon (so plastic swords are fine!), and does not have a mask, you should be good to go!


When you enter the park for the party, they give you a small trick-or-treat bag with your first set of treats and starting at 7pm, treat locations are open around the park.  We always bring big, reusable bags to dump our candy into because they’re easier to carry than the small bags.

You can go through as few or as many treat stops as you’d like, and you can do them more than once!  Our kids love going through the same ones over and over, and as long as you wait in line again, that’s totally acceptable.  We usually end up with 20+ pounds of candy by the end of the night!!

Not So Scary Gameplan

With the current ages of our kids and the fact that some years, our only time at Magic Kingdom is for the parties, the rides are the biggest draw for our crew.  We make sure to arrive at the park by 4pm and then do as many rides as possible and eat dinner by 7pm when the party officially starts.

We spend our party time doing a mix of rides, trick-or-treating, and enjoying the party entertainment, but we never do the character meet and greets- mainly because we have limited time in the park and our kids don’t want to waste it standing in line.  If you want to meet characters (especially the popular ones), make sure to get in line for your first choice well before 7pm (like at least an hour early) so that you don’t waste official party time waiting in line.

We definitely take a different approach to MNSSHP than most people and I think it’s partly due to the ages of our kids, as well as not being locals and needing to buy so many tickets (so we really want to get our money’s worth out of our time!).  For our family, Not So Scary allows us to spend 8+ hours in the park with lower crowds than usual, at night (which is our absolute favorite), participate in some Halloween fun, and go on lots of rides with much shorter lines!  If you’re an annual passholder or are doing the party as part of a longer trip, I can absolutely see the appeal of doing character meet and greets and spending the bulk of the night focused on party exclusive events and entertainment!


The PeopleMover is one of our favorite rides and we go on it at least once every time we’re in the park- and usually more than once because we like riding while it’s light out and after the sun goes down!

For MNSSHP we typically go to Tomorrowland first so that we can ride the PeopleMover and take a spin on the Carousel of Progress since it’s always closed during the party.  While a majority of Magic Kingdom rides are open during the party, several are closed (including Jungle Cruise) so make sure to check ahead of time if there’s something specific that you want to ride.

New this year, there are REAL pirates roaming the Pirates of the Caribbean line AND in the ride itself!  Make sure to ride during the party hours and see if you can find Gunpowder Pete!


We don’t stop for every PhotoPass photographer or magic shot that we see, but we do like to do a couple of new ones each time we’re there.  As our family’s official photographer, it allows me to be in some of the pictures and it’s a great way to get new and unique photos.

The Headless Horseman Magic Shot outside of the Train Station is one of our favorites!  They don’t start doing it until the party officially begins so if you enter the park early, don’t forget to do it on your way out at the end of the night!  The PhotoPass photographers are usually out front doing this one until 1-115am!

Fireworks and Shows

HalloWishes, the exclusive Not So Scary fireworks extravaganza, cannot be missed and runs every party night at 1015pm.  The best place to watch the show is from the hub/Main Street so that you can see all of the castle projections- they are phenomenal!  If you’ve already seen the castle projections or you want to avoid the crowds on Main Street, Storybook Circus and Rivers of America are both great places to watch from with fewer people.

Kicked off by the Headless Horseman, the Boo to You! parade runs nightly during Not So Scary at 915pm and 1115pm- it starts in Frontierland and makes its way down Main Street.  I absolutely LOVE the parade but since they’ve already seen it, the kids veto my request to stake a spot and watch since it uses up so much party time (ie. they don’t want to give up ride or candy time to sit on a curb).  If you’ve never seen it before, I would definitely add it to your must-do list at the party, and remember that the second run of the parade is significantly less crowded than the first- especially in Frontierland!

Hocus Locus Spectacular at Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party

The Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular is another party exclusive and it runs three times every party night (at 830pm, 1045pm, and 12am) on the Castle Forecourt Stage.  We love watching the midnight showing because other than arriving a bit early to get a spot, it doesn’t take up any official party time.  We walked up at around 1145pm and had a great view of the stage (though obviously, we were not in the very front).

Mickey ice cream cone at Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party

We always wrap up every Magic Kingdom night with ice cream from the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor while we watch all of the people stream down Main Street and out of the park.  It’s funny how something as seemingly inconsequential as an ice cream cone at the end of the night becomes such a treasured family tradition- even the kids look forward to it!

And once everyone has left the park, we stick around to take a few pictures on an empty Main Street- at least until we start getting pushed out by security!!  We usually get a couple of family pictures with a PhotoPass photographer and then I end up taking a few of just the kids though we do try and hurry since I know that the Cast Members want to go home, too.

We always have a magical time at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party which is why we keep going back year after year.  It’s one of our favorite ways to kick off the fall season, and while it’s still hot in Florida in Aug/Sept/Oct, being around all of the fall decor (like the Mickey pumpkins!) is the perfect way to make it feel like fall!


  • Dress up!  It doesn’t matter if you wear a full costume or a festive shirt, it’s so fun to see all of the people walking around the party in their Halloween best.  We try and get ideas for what to wear to our next party while we’re there since so many people dress up!
  • Get there early!  While the party officially runs from 7pm-midnight and those are the hours for the exclusive party offerings, you can get into the park at 4pm with a party ticket (or 2pm this year if you’re a DVC member). Spend your morning/early afternoon relaxing and arrive right before 4pm in order to maximize your time in the park
  • Get lots of candy!  Bring a big, reusable bag to empty your little treat bags into- they hold more candy and are easier to carry.
  • Buy your ticket early!  You don’t have to buy your ticket as soon as they’re released but if you want to go to the first, last, or a Friday party, definitely buy your tickets sooner rather than later.
  • See if you qualify for any discounts!  Tickets are $75-$125 depending on which night you choose (earlier in the season is cheaper than later) but there are discounts for military, AP, and DVC for some of the Aug/Sept parties so double check before you buy.
  • Check the weather!  Not So Scary runs during peak hurricane season in Florida and the party has been canceled due to weather before.  Always bring ponchos (you can get them for less than $2 each at Target, whereas Disney sells theirs for $10) because it’s Florida and rains a lot.
  • Have fun!!  Go with a plan, especially if you want to see a lot of the party exclusive characters, but take time to soak in the atmosphere.  Magic Kingdom all done up for fall is an amazing sight to see and just being immersed in the fall magic is one of the most wonderful parts of the party.

Have you been to Not So Scary yet this year??  What’s your best tip for a first timer??

Why We Go To Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party Every Year

It’s that time of year again where the pumpkin Mickeys are lining Main Street and adults and kids alike are showing up to the Magic Kingdom in costume. As other parts of the country start to cool off and it’s obvious that the beginning of fall is in the air, fall is happening in the Magic Kingdom too, just without the nice drop in daytime temps!

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party started back up this weekend with a sold-out party and the earliest start date in history!  Even though mid-August doesn’t scream Halloween (our kids haven’t even gone back to school yet!), the Halloween parties are starting earlier and earlier every year, allowing more people to attend and more to experience the magic of the Magic Kingdom decked out in its fall finest!

The Halloween Party has become a tradition for our family over the past few years and even though there aren’t many changes from year to year, we still find ourselves booking a quick weekend trip so that we can attend a party!

One of our favorite aspects of the party is that it’s okay (and even encouraged) for everyone to dress up.  Because we’re talking about Florida at the tail-end of summer, that means it’s still HOT and humid almost every day, so our costumes are always lightweight and breathable to make sure that everyone is comfortable.  My absolute favorite costume that we ever did was the year that we all dressed up as characters from Peter Pan!

Though the party is technically from 7pm-midnight, you can get in at 4pm (and new this year, DVC members can get in at 2pm!) and enjoy the Magic Kingdom for a few hours before the party officially starts.  Since we don’t do a big Disney trip where we go to all 4 parks every year, we make sure to arrive by 330pm so that we don’t waste any time in the park at all!

With the ages of our kids and the fact that some years the parties are our only time in the parks, our priority on party nights is going on as many rides as possible.  The Jungle Cruise is usually one of our earlier stops so that we can ride while it’s still light out- and this year it’s not open during MNSSHP so make sure to ride between 4-7pm if you’re interested in riding!

As day turns to night and the spooky fun officially starts, we always make sure to pick up our trick-or-treat bags even though we don’t typically start trick-or-treating until the lines have died down a bit.

One of the nicest things about trick-or-treating in the Magic Kingdom is that you can go through each line as many times as you’d like.  One year, we got stuck in a torrential downpour and the kids went through the Pirates trick-or-treat line repeatedly for about half an hour and they ended up with TONS of candy.  We always bring big reusable bags to dump their smaller bags of candy into so that they don’t get stuck carrying around really full and heavy bags.

And then it’s always back to the rides.  Because the party starts so late in the day (and runs late!) we make sure to sleep in that morning and have a relaxing day so that everyone is able to stay awake for the whole party.

Hallowishes, the fireworks show during MNSSHP cannot be missed!  This extra-spooky fireworks extravaganza happens once each night at 1015pm. The best place to watch the show is from the hub where you have a clear view of the castle projections, but some years we watch from wherever we happen to be in the park– Storybook Circus has a surprisingly good view of the fireworks even though you can’t see the projections.

Of course, for the kids, the highlight of the event is the trick-or-treating and they get tons of candy!  We’ve found that the more they interact with the Cast Members, the more candy they end up with.

We usually end up with 15-20 pounds of candy by the end of the night and we typically take it home to pass out on Halloween!  Our kids definitely don’t need to eat that much candy and it means we don’t have to spend more money buying candy after we’ve paid for party tickets.

After the fireworks and trick-or-treating, we finish up our night going on as many rides as possible.  We’ve watched the Boo to You! parade before and while it is a great parade, we don’t like to give up ride time to watch it (we do the opposite at the Christmas party though).  However, if you want to watch the parade, stick around for the second run and it’s considerably less crowded, especially if you watch from Frontierland.  We also watch the midnight showing of the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular for the same reason.

We always finish every Magic Kingdom night (whether its a party night or just a night in the park) with ice cream from the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor and we eat it while watching the hordes of people leave the park.

And once everyone is gone, we’re able to enjoy those empty Main Street and Cinderella Castle views!!

We make sure to get pictures with (almost) every PhotoPass photographer on our way down Main Street.

The kids love doing all of the special PhotoPass Magic Shots that are offered during the parties but we save them until the very end of the night so that we don’t have to wait in long lines.

All of the pumpkins, especially the Mickey ones, are one of the things that keep us coming back year after year.  I wish I could get one of the Mickey pumpkin wreaths for our front door!!  We typically attend a September party and it’s a great way to get in the fall mood!

Since we go into the park before the party officially starts, we aren’t able to get the Magic Shots on the way in, but the photographers in front of the Train Station hang out there until well after the party is over.

The spooky Train Station at the end of the night, or technically, really early in the morning!

Our family takes a very different approach to MNSSHP than most people, in part because we have such a large family and tickets to Walt Disney World are expensive no matter what you’re doing.  We can’t afford to do a big Disney World trip every year (even though we’d love to!) so some years going to the parties is our only time at the Magic Kingdom for the year, especially since a party ticket is cheaper than a one-day park ticket (assuming you go to one of the earlier parties).  Because of that, our kids would rather spend their time going on rides than doing character meet and greets and other party specific activities.  For us, it’s a great way to spend 8+ hours in the Magic Kingdom and enjoy some special Halloween fun, but the rides are definitely the focus.

We keep going to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party year after year because it is an excellent value for our family.  We get to enjoy a fun-filled night at the Magic Kingdom for less than a one-day ticket and it’s a great way for us to kick off the fall season.  We always go to a party in early September (I draw the line at celebrating Halloween in August!) because tickets are cheaper than closer to Halloween.  MNSSHP is the highlight of our fall activities for our crew and now that we’ve gone the past few years, it has been cemented in our “family tradition” lineup.

For those of you that are locals or that are adding a party to your regular WDW trip, I can definitely see the appeal of the Halloween party exclusive activities.  The Boo to You! parade is great and really shouldn’t be missed if it’s your first time at MNSSHP.  The character meet and greets are fantastic as well, but the lines are long!  Get in line for your top pick early (like in the 4-7p window) so that you don’t use up as much official party time in line.  There are fun dance parties throughout the park where you can dance the night away with characters but they will not stop and pose for pictures.  And of course, loading up on Halloween candy is great fun whether you’re at your first party or twentieth!!

Things to Remember for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

  • Dress up!  Whether you wear a festive shirt, disbound, or wear a full costume, part of the fun of the party is seeing all of the cool costumes that people come up with.  Plus, it’s the only time that adults are allowed to wear costumes in the park so definitely take advantage!
  • The party officially runs from 7pm-midnight and those are the hours for character meet and greets and all of the extra party magic, but you can get into the park at 4pm with a party ticket (or 2pm this year if you’re a DVC member).  We plan a relaxing morning/afternoon and get to the park just before 4pm and stay until well after closing in order to maximize our time at the Magic Kingdom.
  • Bring something to empty your little treat bags into so that you can get more candy!
  • Buy your ticket in advance because the parties do sell out– especially weekends and the closer you get to Halloween.
  • Tickets are $75-$125 depending on which night you choose (earlier in the season is cheaper than later) and there are discounts for military, AP, and DVC for some of the Aug/Sept parties so double check discounts before you purchase your tickets!
  • Keep an eye on the weather!  MNSSHP runs during peak hurricane season and the party has been canceled due to weather before- we actually had to postpone our trip a week due to Hurricane Irma last year.  That being said, Disney World is one of the safest places to ride out a hurricane because it’s so far inland, so while you do need to be weather-aware, there’s no reason to avoid going during hurricane season.

Have you ever been to MNSSHP??  Are you going this year??

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