Bri Petrarca | @darlingdreamco
In August, my husband and I attended Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party for the first time ever. As Disneyland locals, we were very excited to experience the Walt Disney World Halloween season! This after-hours Halloween party takes place on select nights at the Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida, and is a separately ticketed event. We had the absolute best time at this event, and like so many other Disney After Dark events, we wish it was longer to be able to experience all there is to offer! We checked into the party as early as possible, and we still missed so much! I definitely recommend making a list of your top priorities, just to make sure you experience everything you want to focus on!
The party is held from 7:00pm-midnight, and guests who have tickets to MNSSHP are granted admission into the theme park as early as 4:00 pm. The park closes at 6:00 to the general public, to prepare for the party starting at 7:00. We lined up about 15 minutes before we were allowed to enter the park (3:45 pm), and although the lines looked daunting, check-in was a VERY quick process. I was pretty far back in line, and I was already given my wristband by 4:02 pm. After you scan into the park, you will see a cast member to receive your event wristband. Once you approach Main Street, you will be guided through the first Treat Trail where you will receive your complimentary Trick or Treat bag, which can be used for the Treat Trails throughout the duration of the party.
Food / Treats
It is very important to note that most of the quick service restaurants in Magic Kingdom close at 6:00 on party nights, which people have assumed is in order to push the general public out of the park when it closes. The exclusive food offerings for the party, and most of the regular quick service restaurants, open back up at 7:00 pm at the start of the party. It is also very important to note that mobile order is NOT available during the party, which we had a very hard time getting used to. Additionally, the food and dessert offerings for this party seemed to be a bit lacking in our opinion, compared to other Disney After Dark events that we’ve been to on the west coast. We ended up finding one of the only quick service restaurants that was open during the lull hour before the party started just so we could get something to eat, and then we enjoyed the Worms and Dirt funnel cake from Sleepy Hollow later during the party. This dessert was delicious, and I definitely recommend it!
Cadaver Dans - the Cadaver Dans can be found performing in Frontierland at select show times. The times include 7:00, 7:45, 8:30, 9:40, and 10:30. We truly enjoyed the Halloween spin on the classic Dapper Dans and loved their Halloween songs and jokes. I definitely recommend stopping by to see them if you can! This is a casual show where you can come and go as you please with very little crowds.
Fireworks - The Not-So-Spooky Spectacular Fireworks Show is a MUST-see. The show fills the skies above Cinderella’s Castle beginning at 10:15 pm, and tells the most amazing story of Mickey and his friends visiting a haunted house. During the show you will be entranced by their encounters with familiar skeletons, ghosts, and villains galore, accompanied by incredible projections, lights, and fireworks in the sky! In my opinion, this is one of the best story-telling fireworks shows that Disney has done, and I was smiling ear-to-ear the entire time! People begin securing their spots pretty early on, but we’ve heard it can be easy to slide into a spot with a small party last-minute if needed. You’ll want to plan around this, since there is only one showtime.
Mickey’s Boo to You Parade - The Boo to You parade is another must-see when attending the Halloween party! The parade runs two times during the night: 9:15 pm and 11:15 pm. The first showing of the parade is generally always more crowded than the second. We opted for the second showing at 11:15. The parade route begins in Frontierland and ends at the front of the park during both showings. The most popular place to sit along the route is, of course, Main Street and Town Square. It’s in these spots that you’re able to find the infamous Powerline Max energizing the crowd with a dance party before the parade starts! Unfortunately we completely missed this, as we opted to sit over in Frontierland where the parade route begins. We found it beneficial to be at the start of the route so that we were able to catch it on the earlier end, rather than waiting longer for it to make its way to us, and then we were able to leave right when it had passed through Frontierland. Our pre-show entertainment consisted of the Country Bears interacting with the audience and one another, and they were hilarious!
Hocus Pocus Villain Spectacular - DO NOT MISS THIS! This is, by far, one of the best shows Disney has done in my opinion! As someone with a lifetime of background in dancing and stage performance, I leaned over to Dillon during this show and said, “These aren’t your average parade dancers.” The performing, acting, dancing… all of it was completely off the charts! The Sanderson Sisters are, of course, a Halloween favorite- but mix them in with all of Disney’s famous villains? This show will have you hyped up for the rest of the week! During September you will have 3 showtimes to choose from: 8:35pm, 10:45pm, and 12am. During October you will have four showtimes to choose from: 7:40pm, 8:35pm, 10:45pm, and 12am. We ended up staying for the midnight showing, which wasn’t crowded when we got there. It was perfect because the party was over at midnight, but we were still able to watch the entire show without carving out time earlier in the night. If you can last until midnight, stay for this showing! Our night was jam-packed, and we were thankful for the last showtime closing down the party!
Trick or treating- there are Treat Trails throughout the park that are open during the entire party. Here you are able to bring your trick-or-treat bag and collect candy from cast members who are wishing you a Happy Halloween! We didn’t do too many of these because we didn’t want a whole lot of candy to take home with us, but this is a HIT with kiddos! They don’t just give you a piece or two- they give handfuls!
Some other smaller dance parties that take place during the night include the Monstrous Scream-O-Ween Ball Dance Party in Tomorrowland, Disney Junior Jam Dance Party in Storybook Circus, and Zom-Beatz Bash Dance Party in Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe.
Characters / Photo Ops
There are tons of different character meet-and-greets throughout the night, as well as photo ops that include magic shots and step-in photo frames. There are a few exclusive character meets that happen during the party, as well as traditional characters that make their appearances around the park. We did not visit any characters or photo ops during this event, but for some guests these are a priority! The character lines can get quite long, so if it’s a priority for you, make sure you carve out time for that! Some exclusive characters you are able to see during the party include: Jack and Sally (begin meeting as early as 4:30 pm), Pooh and Friends in their Halloween costumes (begin meeting as early as 6:30), Minnie, Donald and Daisy (begin meeting as early as 6:30), and Rock ‘n’ Roll Stitch (begins meeting as early as 6:30). At all of the character greets and photo ops, there are photopass cast members ready to capture the magic for you!
It is pretty typical that wait times for rides during an After Dark event are pretty low. In fact, the longest wait we saw during the night was Haunted Mansion, which was 45 minutes. Even Seven Dwarfs Mine Train was only 30! Some guests take advantage of the wait times and hit as many rides we they can! We didn’t personally prioritize rides during the night, but there are four rides with Halloween overlays that we wanted to check out! Pirates of the Caribbean transforms during the Halloween party as it incorporates live actors in the queue and in the ride that enhance the entire experience of the attraction! Mad Tea Party gets a Halloween revamp with spooky lighting and music. Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor is transformed into a Treat Trail, as well as a mini version of the Laugh Floor show with Halloween characters and jokes. Space Mountain goes dark! The outside of the building gets fun Halloween lighting while the inside of the ride becomes pitch black- you can’t even see your hand in front of you!
One of the unique offerings that we chose to take part in during our time at MNSSHP was the Not-So-Spooky Spectacular Dessert Party. This dessert party is held at the Tomorrowland Terrace inside of Magic Kingdom during the party, and guarantees you seating on the hub grass for optimal fireworks viewing. The dessert party costs $114/person for guests ages 10 and older, and $69/person for guests ages 3-9. With your dessert party ticket you are not only guaranteed fireworks seating, but you are also welcomed into an open buffet of desserts and beverages galore! For the Halloween dessert party, they added a little extra magic to the desserts by making them Halloween-themed, and these did not disappoint. There is something for everyone, which makes it even more special. Even if you aren’t a dessert person, they offer cheese and fruit as an option. Gluten free? Don’t worry! They have an entire gluten-free platter for you as well. For beverages they offer sparkling cider, different flavors of lemonade, coffee and tea, as well as beer and wine for guests ages 21 and over. You can sit and enjoy your desserts and beverages at the terrace seating before heading out to the fireworks viewing area. We always enjoy doing these dessert parties because we don’t like feeling pressured and rushed to find seating for fireworks. Especially when we’re with the kids, we want to optimize our time in the park as much as possible, and we’ve always found the price of the dessert parties to be worth it when it comes to convenience for our family. You can check in for the dessert party as early as one hour before fireworks, and up to the time of the fireworks starting. But don’t forget to allow yourself enough time to enjoy your desserts before heading to your fireworks spot! It’s the perfect opportunity to rest your feet and relax for a bit before going back out into the party festivities.
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And check out these Halloween Hats that would be perfect for a spooky park visit!