Two years ago we celebrated our first Halloween at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party in Orlando, Florida! Like every other girl in 2014 and 2015, our daughter was 4 years old, and absolutely obsessed with Elsa. She demanded that I be Anna, and we had several princess dresses we chose from for the baby. Our son was just as obsessed with Hulk as she was with Elsa, so Daddy went as Thor and the pair were a duo of Avengers. We were all decked out Disney style. Our kids were thrilled!
We had such an fun time. Halloween for us starts in September and ends on the 31st. We celebrate at work, at church, in the neighborhood, at Grandparents – really any chance we can get. We love dressing up and playing pretend. We love imagining unspoken possibilities and letting fantasy run amok. We eat zombie brains for dinner each year and monster eyes for dessert! Adding another party to the mix makes the party don’t stop until the party don’t stop!
We headed back to Orlando again to celebrate with Mickey Mouse and Company at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party in mid September. It’s the perfect time to visit the park when it comes to crowd control, weather, and special events. This party is truly one of the best ways to celebrate Halloween! It’s fantastic, fun and festive! The entire park is decked out in decorations, there are special considerations available at no other time of year, Halloween music is piped through the park all night long, and it’s a reduced price! Win, win, win!
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
► Ranking: #cleandiaper
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party starts at 7pm, but you can enter the park as early as 4pm. Park admission prior to 4pm won’t give you party clearance, so if you want to play all day you’ll have to buy two separate tickets. Everyone without a wristband is kicked out of the park between 4 and 7pm, but there aren’t any Halloween festivities until 7pm. You can use these 3 hours to enjoy the park, eat, and ride the empty rides. Anyone with special passes (such as cast members, or annual pass holders) aren’t allowed in for free on party nights, no fast passes are issued, and restaurants stop reservations after 4pm. It’s an even level playing field.
This is your one chance to come to the park dressed up. Kids are always invited with costumes, but adults over age 14 are strongly discouraged, or even banned from entering the park. This is also your chance to go all out. Everyone at the park loves getting in on the action! You’ll see amazing costumes on castmembers, characters and guests! It’s definitely not Halloween without a pair of tights and a wig. Go for it.
So much candy, doesn’t even begin to explain how much candy you get. All the cast members are decked out in special uniforms for the party and seem just as excited to be there. You know the Costco samplers that give you the evil eye when you come back around the second (or more) time. This is the exact opposite. At Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party the cast members laugh and smile as they throw giant handfuls of candy in each of your bags!
You start the night with a complimentary bag from Disney. This isn’t going to cut. Plan on bringing two, or three backpacks with you. Once your bag becomes too heavy to carry, dump it out into the backpack and start anew. There are about 10 stations located around the park, but each station makes it worth your while. You won’t be walking out with 10 pieces of candy, but more like 10 bags of candy.
Family Hint: Don’t start the night out getting candy. The lines are super long when the party starts, but taper off at the end. Tomorrowland is at the entrance of the park, and will have the longest lines. Wait an hour or two into the party before you start collecting candy.
The rides are empty (see the hours section). There is so much to do during the festivities that you might even leave feeling a little bit forlorn about everything you didn’t get to do. From a special parade, to a special fireworks show, to a special castle stage show, to characters that only come out on Halloween, your head will be spinning with what to do next – rides are almost at the bottom of your list.
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is your chance to meet Jack Skellington, the Mad Hatter, Cruella DeVil, Lotso Hugging Bear, all seven dwarfs and other characters that only come out on Halloween. All characters, even Mickey and Minnie are dressed up special for Halloween. You’ll also get unique photopass opportunities where ghosts will appear out of nowhere, or you might find out someone was chasing you through the park! The only downside to this is there is a caveat. Lines for characters are upwards of 3 hours long. Considering the party is 5 hours long, that’ll give you a chance to spend your entire night visiting just 1 character. From experience, we can tell you, they are still fun to see from the sidelines. Regular character meet and greets have zero lines.
Family Hint: Find an off duty cast member on the bus flipping through their phone. Chances are they’ll have pictures of all the rare characters! We were able to do this, and they showed us dozens of fun characters around the park.
Happy HalloWishes Fireworks
We were able to see some of the fireworks as we roamed the park, but we didn’t stake out a place for a front row seat. That is definitely something we’ll be planning to partake of this year. It looked incredible, and wasn’t your typical fireworks nightly show.
Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular
Hocus Pocus takes over the castle at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. This was another thing we regrettably missed as our kids decided they wanted to take advantage of riding the rides instead. Of course, we didn’t know we would regret it until we got a glimpse of the action, so we’ll definitely be watching this time around.
With the baby in tow, we had to take turns on the roller coasters. Our twins were big enough to ride, and we took advantage of the rider switch pass option. Splash Mountain broke down momentarily while Gabriel and the twins were taking their turn, so the baby and I played for a little bit at the adjoining playground, walked through the candy line about 20 times and then we peeked at the Halloween parade! It was spectacular and we experienced instant regret. If that is the only thing we get to do this year, we will leave fulfilled!
Monsters Inc., the Incredibles family and more come out to dance in Tomorrowland all night long during Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. A DJ spins tunes and everyone is invited to boogie! It’s very possible a new crew may come out to dance depending on the year you go, but we had fun with these groovy friends when we went.
► For Kids: This is such a fun event, and something not everyone gets to do. The sheer amount of candy your kids get will ride you through the entire season. You won’t have to buy any extra by the time the 31st rolls around. They’ll love seeing the characters they love from the movies, but never see the light of day. They’ll love not having to wait in long lines for rides. They’ll love the festive decorations and be singing Halloween songs all season!
The only downside to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is no matter how you slice it, there just isn’t enough time to do even half of what is offered. Naturally, this has both pro’s and con’s.
- You pay a premium price, but it’s still lower than the cost of a standard day ticket to Magic Kingdom (as long as you go to a party in September).
- You get to see incredible rare characters.
- There is no downtime, you’re running from one thing to the next.
- Because there is no downtime, kids get tired fast. If your kids can stay up late, they’ll be handsomely rewarded.
- Rides are empty, and you can go over and over and over.
- The fireworks, the parade, and the spelltacular are exclusive to the party and awesome to watch.
- Magic Kingdom is huge! Every corner of the park is filled with something to do!
- You get less than half a day.
- You can only see characters during the party considering the length of time you have to wait in line and miss everything else.
- There is no time to breathe.
- If your kids rise with the sun, and go to bed early, they’ll struggle with experiencing all the magic of the party.
- There isn’t time to do rides and everything else, so you have to choose your favorites or go without.
- You can only watch the fireworks, the parade, and the spelltacular on party nights, so everyone else is doing the same thing.
- Magic Kingdom is huge. The party is only 5 hours long.
This year, we’ll be dressing up as Guardians of the Galaxy! Check out our photo tutorials on costume ideas, diy props, and read about our experience this year at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party!
► Nap-Time Version: We love Halloween, and we love Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. We went two years ago, and are headed back again this year. Read about all the specifics of the party, plus the pro’s and con’s.
What is your favorite thing to do at Walt Disney World? Let us know in the comments! As for us, we like to eat! Check out our favorite Disney Dining experiences.