I’m a big kid at heart, and that can be seen in my love of all things Disney. When I was growing up, most of our big vacations were taken to Walt Disney World; in fact, the very last vacation my family took before my parent’s divorce was a weeklong trip to Walt Disney World. I was about my son’s age when my parents first took my brother Brandon and I. This was Gabe’s second trip to Walt Disney World; we went 2 1/2 years ago when I ran the Disney Princess Half Marathon and created so many memories. I think we enjoyed this trip more than the previous one, Gabe is tall enough (and brave enough) to ride most of the big rides and he loved Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (who am I kidding? the adults loved it too). The Halloween and fall decorations around the parks were gorgeous, and I could sit for hours people watching and taking in all the creative costumes. It was worth every…single…penny… just to see the smiles and excitement. Today I’m sharing a few tips to help you plan your trip to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.
Doesn’t the park look extra magical? I took that photo shortly after a brief rain when the sky cleared. The platform at the train depot gives you a beautiful view of the park, I’ll even post a not-so-flattering photo of myself to prove it.
So if you came here looking for advice about the party, here you go:
- Begin by checking dates; many are much busier than the others. Generally, opening day and Halloween are the busiest. I’ve read some complaints about how crowded the event has been on peak nights, but that wasn’t the case the night we went. Research your dates, and select them carefully. We saw the Princesses in under 10 minutes, and rode the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in under 20 while we were there. We went on a Sunday night, midway through the party season. Some of the peak days will sell out early, so if you are considering one of those purchase your tickets early.
- Stay at a Disney hotel, and book it early. We stayed at a Disney Value Resort, and most of value resorts were booked solid when we were booking our trip. Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party runs to shortly after midnight. It was nearly 1am before we made it back to our hotel. We took a brief “nap” before heading back to the park the following morning. I chose a value resort because I knew we were only there for a short trip, and we spent very little time in our room or using any of the amenities. It was a lovely resort, nonetheless, and we throughly enjoyed our hotel room.
- Plan on getting to the park as close to 4pm as possible. The party doesn’t officially begin until 7pm, but you can get in as early as 4pm. Many of the non-party Magic Kingdom goers were already exiting the park when we arrived. Anyone without a Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween wrist band will be asked to leave the park after 7pm, so don’t forget to get yours on your way through the gates. Many of the rides and attractions have much shorter wait times, and there are no Fast Passes available during party hours.
- Prioritize the events (link to pdf file of the schedule) that you would like to attend, and especially the special character meet and greets. Jack Skellington and Sally had especially long lines because they aren’t normally in the park. Gabe had never met Anna and Elsa from Frozen, and we waited only 10 mins for Gabe to get his photo opportunity. Anna said he was Kristoff; what do you think? He was so star struck that it was adorable. Do you see the excitement on his face?
- They’ll offer you Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween treat bags when you enter the park, and at a few locations throughout. Adults, don’t be afraid to take one. Lots of adults that aren’t in costume participate in the trick or treat part of the evening, even if they aren’t in costume. The candy is great. We only stopped at about half the stations, and nearly filled our two bags. It made great snacks on the way home from Walt Disney World.
- Unless you find the thought of dressing up completely unbearable, wear a costume. You’ll see so many fun costume ideas. The characters from the movie Inside Out were very popular on our trip. There was a wide variety of Disney and non-Disney costumes. I was actually surprised that there were so few Star Wars costumes, at least on the night that we attended. Adults with and without children attended the party in costume. Disney does have a few guidelines that they want you to abide by when selecting a costume for the party. They ask that you choose costumes that are not offensive or obstructive.
- The Happy HalloWishes Fireworks display is different than the nightly fireworks display. I was amazed at how brightly they lit up the park during the finale.
- Plan out your evening so that you don’t miss the Hocus Pocus Villain Spectacular, Mickey’s “Boo-Too-You” Halloween Parade, and the Happy HalloWishes fireworks display.
- Check out a few of the treats only available for purchase during the party hours. They have items like candy corn soft serve ice cream, and specialty shaped cupcakes.
Here are a few photos you can explore from our evening, and let me know if you have any questions about the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (I’ll try to answer them or refer you to someone who can).