If you are a Disney lover like me, you’ve probably heard of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. Ever since our first visit to Walt Disney World three years ago, it’s been a goal to visit our happy place during Halloween. This year we were so excited to make that happen. It was our sixth visit so we consider ourselves fairly knowledgeable and seasoned Disney travelers. As newbies to the Halloween party, however, we were uncertain and a little overwhelmed with the unknown. We learned a lot with our first Not So Scary experience. We loved it so much we’ve already booked to go back in 2019! Fresh from yesterday’s party, I’ve put together some Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party tips and information I found useful.I hope they help make your Not So Scary Party visit magical and spooktacular!
8 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party Tips
Arriving at the Party
The Not So Scary Halloween Party begins at 4 PM. It goes until the conclusion of the Hocus Pocus Villains Fireworks Spectacular which begins at 10 PM. You do not need a park ticket for the day of the Halloween Party, but if you choose not to purchase one (which is what we did) you can not enter the park until 4 PM when the party starts. If you are not already in the park that day, I’d recom mend arriving as close to 4 as possible. There is a LOT to do at the party. Though they move quickly, there are lines for everything. You want to allow plenty of time to enjoy the party.
Be prepared to wait to actually get into the party which is another reason to allow yourself time. It’s a popular and crowded event and checking everyone’s bags to keep the party safe takes time. We took a Lyft to the party from Art of Animation and went through security at the drop off center. We then took a quick ferry over to Magic Kingdom. Don’t forget about the ferry when the line for the monorail is long.
2. Halloween Party Tickets
Tickets for the Not So Scary Halloween Party typically go on sale in the Spring. Party dates run August through Halloween. If you want to attend the party, let your travel agent know or watch the Disney Parks blog for when they go on sale. The closer it gets to Halloween the more crowded the party gets. The first party date, the first October date, Fridays in October and Halloween are all possible sell outs.
You may receive gift card style tickets or you or your travel agent can link your party tickets to your Magic Bands. If they are not linked to your Magic Band simply present the cards at the admission gate. Once through the gate you will receive a wrist band like above. Every guest must have a wrist band, even those that were inside before 4 PM. This is to ensure that all guests who are at the party have paid to be there and that those who have not make their way out.
3. Must Do: Pick Up a Party Pamphlet
This is one of the most important tips in this post. Make sure you grab a Not So Scary Halloween Party Pamphlet. Besides your wristband, this pamphlet will be your keys to the Kingdom. Disney had plenty of them at the entrance to the park. Make sure it’s the Halloween Party pamphlet and not the regular pamphlet. This pamphlet has everything from a map of trick or treat locations including teal pumpkin spots to show times to parade and fireworks times. You will need this to find your way around the Halloween fun. Trick or Treat locations are also marked with signs but they are spread out so keep your map handy.
4. Trick or Treating
Now that you’ve made it into the Not So Scary Halloween party and have your map, it’s time for trick or treating and fun! When we came into the party I asked one of the cast members where to go for treat bags. They directed me to the right. After coming around the corner we saw this huge sign marking the entrance to the party. My guess is the layout is similar year to year but check with a cast member or your map on where to find the party. (The whole park is the party but the area shown above is the beginning of the trick or treat trail.)
You do not need to pack your own treat bags unless you want to. Disney provides all party guests with a small treat bag like the one shown above. It was plenty big enough to hold our trick or treat haul. You receive your bags as you enter the party area. If your kiddo sets theirs down and loses it like someone I know (my kid ahem) trick or treat stops have plenty of replacements. There’s plenty of places to replace lost candy as well. Also, the goodie bags Disney hands out at the treat stops are substantial so any lost sugar won’t be missed I promise.
There are trick or treating stops like the one above where cast members simply hand out candy, but we also trick or treated through Monsters Inc. Hall and near rides. Trick or treating at Magic Kingdom is just as magical as you’d think.
4. Take Advantage of the Photo Pass Stops
We have been sold on the Memory Maker Photo Pass since our second visit. You get access to all of Disney’s park photographers. This means everyone gets to be in the photo together. You can also download the photos straight to your phone using the My Disney Experience app, usually almost instantly. Just have the photographer scan your Magic Band after the photo is taken.
The Halloween Party is no different. There are plenty of opportunities to get some great photos in those costumes or matching shirts in front of the castle or throughout the park. Disney also has some special Halloween photo effects like the one with the Headless Horseman above. Photographers had photo props at the parade and were working their way down the crowd before it started. The Halloween Party offers photo opportunities with rarely seen characters like the Queen of Hearts and Jack and Sally from a Nightmare Before Christmas. The lines to take photos with these were quite long. Maybe consider that in your plans or find their location and do those as soon as you get to the park.
5. Watch for Special Halloween Enhancements
As you might expect, Disney goes all out for the park to be a total Halloween experience. From the flowers, to pumpkins and jack o’lanterns everywhere, to special Halloween food treats, or fun Halloween lights and projections, Halloween is where ever you turn!
But wait there’s more! Be sure and check your Not So Scary Halloween Party pamphlet for the Halloween enhanced rides. The Magic Kingdom has a select handful of popular rides that have Halloween themed lights and other surprises. We rode the Halloween themed teacups as shown above and they were so beautiful! There are not Fast Pass+ during the party. However, in typical Disney fashion, the Not So Scary Halloween Party is run like a well oiled machine. We were still able to ride 4-5 rides!
6. Boo to You Parade and Villains Fireworks
As on normal park days, Disney closes out the Not So Scary Halloween Party with a parade and fireworks. The Not So Scary Party does them with Disney Halloween style. The Not So Scary parade and fireworks feature floats with your favorite Disney characters in their Halloween costumes, the evil Disney villains, and dance parties with Halloween tunes. Also, do not miss the ride from The Headless Horseman!
The Horseman made his ride down Main Street around 9:10. The Boo To You parade started at 9:30. The Hocus Pocus Villains Fireworks started at 10 PM. As with the usual parade, people started securing their parade viewing spots early. If you’re not attending a desserts viewing party, grab your spot early.
7. Balancing Park Fun and the Not So Scary Party
One lesson we learned, that I’m passing on to you is that we wish we had not done another park earlier that day or at least scheduled a nap in between the park and the party. We had visited Toy Story Land (which is darling and so fun by the way!) earlier that afternoon. That’s the only time we could get passes for any of the Toy Story Land rides. We then went straight to the party at 4 PM. By the end of the evening, we were exhausted.
My husband and son were done and decided to head back to the resort before even seeing the parade. My daughter and I did stay for that but we just could not do the 10 PM fireworks hence why there’s no photos here. A lesson learned for next year. If you and your family are used to doing parks open to close it probably won’t be an issue. However, if you have young children or ones that need down time, only doing the party may be something to consider.
Another option would be doing the park earlier and coming back to the room to rest before going to the party. That is our usual strategy when we have done Fireworks Dessert parties in the past but we took the only Toy Story Land Fast Pass+ available. It would end up being a lesson learned. You do not need a park ticket the day of the party if you arrive at 4 PM so it would be no lost money or FastPass+ to only do the party.
8. Costumes and the Weather
The Not So Scary Halloween party features guests in costumes that range from the elaborate to more minimal and leaning towards Disney bounding. (Disney bounding is wearing regular clothes in a style that evokes a particular Disney character.) We chose the less elaborate costumes because we were flying not driving for the first time and didn’t want big costumes taking up suitcase space. Also, my son has sensory issues and the less “costumey” feel the better. Finally, Florida weather is much like Texas and we knew it would be hot. This means a heavy Disney princess dress would last about 5 minutes with my daughter. No one else in our family would be comfortable in big heavy costumes either.
We opted for cute but comfortable (including the shoes) Hook, Smee, Pan, and Tink. (I was so excited to dress up as I had lost 40 pounds since our last visit.) Everything for our costumes was either from Walmart or Amazon. I had t-shirts in my backpacks for the kids to change into if they decided they were done with dress up. My son did and I wasn’t going to force him to keep wearing the Peter Pan shirt and hat. That’s no fun for anyone. We’d already taken some nice family photos.
Some Like It Hot …
That being said there were lots of guests in elaborate costumes that didn’t seem bothered by the heat. The first few hours of the party were quite hot. I think that’s pretty typical Florida August through October weather. Once the sun went down it cooled off considerably. You know yourself or your family best so just consider if they can tolerate a big elaborate costume in the heat. I’d recommend bringing or purchasing fans or cooling towels and drinking lots of water. We got tons of compliments on our simple costumes but it’s fun to ooh and ahh over the fancier ones too so you’ll fit in whatever you decide. The only thing that’s a must is that the costumes meet Disney’s costume guidelines here. (Mostly to keep things family friendly and safe.)
Know Before You Go And Have a Not So Scary Good Time
Even knowing very little about the party, we still loved our experience at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. I thought our camper treating experience was awesome Halloween memories (and it was!) but Halloween doesn’t get more magical than tick or treating at Magic Kingdom. We loved the party so much we have already booked accommodations for next year and are planning our costumes. We are just waiting on the party tickets to go on sale. We are fortunate our kids have a fall break and so we know what we will be going next year. We will take our Not So Scary Halloween Party Tips we learned this year and make next year’s experience even smoother! If your family are Disney lovers I firmly believe the Not So Scary Halloween Party is something every Disney fan should do at least once.
Have you visited Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party?