Disney World’s Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
For all the parents looking for a fun, safe Halloween family activity that focuses more on costumes and trick-or-treating instead of horror and gore, let me recommend Walt Disney World’s Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. This annual Halloween party is typical of all Disney special events where everything is expertly coordinated and wonderfully decorated. Neither you nor your children will be disappointed!
What are the dates and how much do Disney Halloween Party Tickets cost?
For 2016, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party will occur on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday nights for the remainder of October; the Disney website has specific dates. Ticket prices currently start at $86 for kids but vary with discounts for annual passholders and other groups. Please realize that tickets are subject to availability and on many nights the party will sell out in advance. These tickets are specifically for the Disney Halloween party, allowing you exclusive access to the park from 7 pm until midnight. My first Disney tip is that these tickets actually allow you entry into the Magic Kingdom starting at 4 pm. That gives you 8 full hours in the park! You will be given a wristband upon entering the park, and after 7 pm, people without the special wristband will have to leave, which significantly reduces any crowds and ride wait times.
Can we wear costumes?
I would highly encourage all adults and kids to wear costumes. Walt Disney World is even more magical at night when illuminated and decorated for both fall and Halloween. So parents, go ahead and feel like a kid again and wear a costume while trick or treating with your children. You’ll quickly observe that even party-goers without children adorn themselves from head to toe in family-friendly costumes. Just remember that even though it is technically fall on the calendar, the weather can still be warm in Orlando, and it’s sure to be humid so choose a costume that isn’t too hot or heavy! You will also be riding rides in your costume, so make sure you don’t chose anything too elaborate, restrictive, or obstructive. And don’t forget to leave your “selfie-stick” at home; they are no longer permitted inside any of the Walt Disney World Parks.
Are there any special events?
We enjoyed three of the Halloween-themed special events during our trip: trick-or-treating, the parade, and the fireworks show. Even though the website shows 13 different candy locations, we found even more places to fill our bags. It seems like everywhere we walked, we found more cast members passing out handfuls of free candy. Make sure you don’t miss the Fantasyland Treat Trail that starts at the Walt Disney World Railroad Station in Fantasyland and ends in Tomorrowland!
Mickey’s Boo-to-You Halloween Parade occurs twice nightly at 8:15 pm and 11:15 pm. This is a Halloween inspired version of the typical Main Street Electrical Parade, but includes Disney’s most popular characters dressed in Halloween costumes, not to mention special music and floats. Rarely seen villains make the parade even more spooktacular and exciting!
The Happy HalloWishes Fireworks occur each night at 10:15 pm and are immediately preceded by Celebrate the Magic, an amazing laser light show displayed on Cinderella’s Castle. Although Disney does a spectacular job with their regular fireworks shows, Happy HalloWishes takes it to a completely new level. It may just be the most incredible fireworks show we have ever seen anywhere in the world.
My second Disney tip is to grab the Official Map and find the best way to maximize your enjoyment. I recommend watching the 8:15 pm Boo-to-You parade from a location in Frontierland, near the Country Bear Jamboree. This location is near the start of the parade and is much less crowded compared to the locations in front of the castle or Main Street.
After the parade, I suggest making your way through Adventureland towards Main Street. Once you exit Adventureland, choose a nice spot in the grassy, garden areas in front of the Crystal Palace Restaurant, because most people will still be watching the parade over on Main Street. These grassy garden areas are generally empty at this time, as they are not ideal spots for watching the parade. This is the absolute best place to watch the Happy HalloWishes fireworks spectacular, but realize people will start to fill in the area around you once the Boo-To-You parade is over. After the fireworks spectacular, go enjoy the rides, indulge in Storybook Treats’ limited edition Candy Corn Soft Serve, and collect candy while other people are watching the later parade.
Do you recommend any specific rides?
When we’re in the park for nighttime special events like the Disney Halloween party or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, there are certain attractions we always ride. Fast Passes are not issued for either of these special parties, so we always make sure to plan where we can best spend our time.
With a limited number of people in the park and folks distracted by other special events, the Disney Halloween party is the perfect time to ride popular rides like the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train when the wait lines are significantly reduced. All of the outdoor rides, especially the roller coasters, have a completely different air of excitement about them in the dark, so Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is a must-ride attraction for us too.
On our trip to the Disney Halloween party this year, we were fortunate to ride many of the attractions that usually have long wait times without ever waiting in line. Our family loves attractions like It’s A Small World and The Barnstormer, so our kids were thrilled that for most of the evening, the members of our family were the only occupants of our It’s A Small World boats and Barnstormer planes.
For the best view of the entire Magic Kingdom illuminated for Halloween at night, make sure you ride the Astro Orbiter for an elevated vantage point. As a side note, a few attractions are purposely not included for the Disney Halloween party this year. The Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, and The Carousel of Progress are the most notable; however, keep in mind that all attractions and rides are subject to temporary closures due to weather or for maintenance purposes.
Disney World Hotel Tips
Since you will most likely be in the Magic Kingdom until the stroke of midnight, it is important to find a hotel that is close to the park. Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek is a family resort surrounded by the Walt Disney resort and includes hassle free shuttles to and from the Magic Kingdom. If you are looking to balance price and location, Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista is an Official Walt Disney World Hotel located in the Walt Disney World Resort. It also offers resort shuttles and the added ability to walk to the Downtown Disney area for food, shopping, and entertainment.
More Disney Halloween Party Tips
Bring a Stroller
If you have young children, don’t forget to bring a stroller or rent one for the Disney Halloween party! Because the party lasts through the evening and into the night, it’s undoubtedly common to see many young children passed out well before the party is over. Unless you enjoy walking several miles while carrying your sleeping children, a stroller is a must.
Nap before coming to the Disney Halloween party. An exciting and fun late night party + tired, irritable kids = a terrible combination. Do yourself a huge favor and try to get everyone to nap or at least rest before coming to the party. We have done it both ways and I can’t emphasize the importance of the nap nearly enough! You will thank me later. I promise.
Leave the Bags at Home
And because Disney never misses a single detail, trick-or-treat bags are handed out to all party-goers at the park entrance and are available throughout the park and even at the Treat Locations, so don’t worry about bringing your own. Sure, you’ll see some kids toting around ones from home, but save the room in your suitcases for more important things like the super-fun special edition merchandise that is only available during the Disney Halloween party!
Spend Your Time Wisely
Don’t waste all your coveted party time trick-or-treating or eating dinner with table service. Sure, it’s fun and our kids love it, but use your time wisely! The Treat Locations are open until midnight and there are countless quick-dining options around the park, so spend your time meeting rarely available characters and riding rides that usually have really long lines during the daytime. Your tickets to get into the Disney Halloween party cost far more than the price of a few bags of candy from the drugstore!
Plan for Lines
Speaking of characters, one of the biggest thrills at the Halloween party for Disney fans is the abundance of Special Disney Character Appearances. From villains like Jafar, Cruella de Ville, and the Witch from Snow White to rarely seen characters like Jack Skellington and Sally, the Seven Dwarfs, and Captain Jack Sparrow, there are more characters to meet than you have time at the party. I think I counted over 45 when we were there! Just remember to choose your favorites and choose wisely, as you can’t and won’t be able to meet them all. Some lines for the most popular characters (Jack and Sally, the Seven Dwarfs, most all of the villains, and Captain Jack Sparrow) have wait times of over an hour!
Don’t forget your ponchos
Florida weather is a bit sneaky and it can turn on a dime during the months of September and October. Although Orlando is inland, it still gets hit with the side effects of tropical depressions, tropical storms, and hurricanes. Keeping ponchos handy is always a safe bet. And don’t forget to bring an extra one just in case you need to protect your stroller from getting wet (or bring the rain cover)!
Lastly, have fun and roll with the punches. Don’t let the little things ruin your very special evening of fun. If all else fails, enjoy a warm churro, a Dole Whip, or some of your newly acquired candy for a quick pick-me-up before riding your favorite ride. Churros always save the day for my crew!
You may also enjoy:
- Disney Tips – Planning Your Disney Family Vacation
- Top 5 Orlando Activities for Adventurous Families
- How Hilton’s Military Discount Rate Can Save Your Wallet and Your Sanity
- Read all of our articles on family vacations to Orlando
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Amy grew up in Southern California but has lived all over the globe. Her latest move brought her to Panama City, Florida, where she lives with her…