Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

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Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP) is Disney’s answer to the American trick-or-treat tradition that takes place every fall.  For the span of a month and a half (September 14 – November 1) Disney closes the Magic Kingdom relatively early on select days and transforms in the evening for a Halloween celebration.  This party requires the attendees to purchase an entirely separate ticket specifically for the event.  Regular park tickets and Annual Passes cannot be used for admittance.  Guests are welcome to masquerade in their costume of choice, collect candy, and participate in special happenings around the park for the last five hours of the day (7pm to 12am).

The tradition of past years is to allow MNSSHP ticket holders to enter the Magic Kingdom at four o’ clock in the late afternoon even though regular park guests are still actively running around.  Upon presenting a ticket or purchasing it on the designated night, MNSSHP guests are given a wristband that distinguishes them from the average park guest.  When the party officially starts, guests without a wristband are no longer allowed to enter attractions, and as the night progresses they are prohibited from even entering the various lands and asked to exit entirely.

MNSSHP begins at seven o’clock.  At that time, Cast Members set up candy distribution spots throughout the entire park.  These locations are designated on the MNSSHP park maps, but in past years these spots have been placed in every land with the highest concentration of them being along a path (labeled Alice and Mad Hatter’s Treat Party) that begins in Mickey’s Toontown Fair, runs behind the Tomorrowland Speedway, and exits in Tomorrowland beside Space Mountain.  The candy that is passed out is essentially the same mixture at every location, so it isn’t necessary to visit every spot for the purpose of variety; however the more stations you visit, the more candy you accumulate.  Feel free to revisit stations throughout the night as well to gather a particularly large stash of sweets.

Much like during regular park hours, guests have the opportunity to meet with Disney characters throughout the park in specified locations until 11:30pm.  The primary difference during MNSSHP is that the characters are either dressed in Halloween garb or their personality is villainous in nature.  It may be appropriate to prepare younger children for intimidating meetings with cruel step-mothers and harsh sorcerers.

If Disney continues its tradition, The Pirates League will remain open until 8pm so that guests with reservations can be transformed into pirates.  The price of the packages start at about $30 (with the ability to add accessories and costumes a la carte style).  The league can accommodate all genders and ages.

Character Dance Parties take place during the evening with Rockettower Plaza Stage being a primary location to interact and dance with characters like Stitch.  Also, a Halloween stage show titled “Disney’s Villains Mix and Mingle” happens almost hourly in front of the castle with the villains roaming throughout the audience after each show (7:45pm, 9pm, 10:05pm, and 11:15pm being last year’s timetable).

“Happy HallowWishes” is the name of the fireworks show that is sandwiched in between two appearances of the Halloween-themed “Boo To You” parade (with previous times being 8:15pm and 10:30pm for the parade and 9:30pm for the fireworks).  Both of these events are the cornerstones of the entire evening.

“Happy HalloWishes” can be viewed from any location in the Magic Kingdom, but the best views to be had are from Main Street USA, facing the castle.  The castle turns a whole spectrum of blues, green, oranges, and purples as fireworks are synchronized to a medley of spooky and villainous tunes.

The “Boo To You” parade is an eclectic mixture of fluffy elements such as floats that emulate Halloween on a farm with clucking chickens, pumpkins, cowboys, and Country Bears as well as more ghoulish traits such as grave digging dancers and skeletons.  The Disney characters are featured in Halloween attire, and there are special appearances from not-so-oft seen villains like the Headless Horseman, Pain & Panic, and personalities from the Haunted Mansion.

The expense of the event varies, depending on the date you choose to attend as well as whether you purchase your tickets prior to that particular evening.  With the exception of the Friday night and Halloween weekend parties, guests have the option of purchasing tickets at an Advanced Sales Price ($53.95 + tax for people over the age of nine /$47.95 + tax for children 3-9 years of age) or at a Same Day Sales Price ($59.95 + tax for people over the age of nine / $53.95 + tax for children 3-9 years of age).  The Friday night and Halloween weekend parties only sell at the Same Day Sales Price.  The exception to these prices are the evenings of October 29 and 31 when tickets are sold at Premium Pricing ($64.95 + tax for people over the age of nine / $58.95 + tax for children 3-9 years of age).  Disney Vacation Club members trump them all, though, with a tax included discount ticket price on select nights ($53.20 for people over the age of nine / $46.81 for children 3-9 years of age).

Most of the Magic Kingdom’s attractions remain open for MNSSHP.  A number of counter service restaurants and snack kiosks continue to host hungry guests as well.  No table service restaurants are expected to be open once the party officially begins, but considering that guests are only given five hours in the park, most would not want to spend a full hour or two of that time seated in a restaurant and missing the very events that they paid a premium price to experience.

Disney’s Photopass photographers will be stationed throughout the park, especially in locations where the Halloweeen style of the castle can be used as a backdrop.  Another spot of particular interest is the stroller parking area in Fantasyland that formerly was the location of the Skyway to Tomorrowland.  In the past, Cinderella’s Coach has been parked there amongst pumpkins for a unique photo opportunity.

What are the specific dates and times of MNSSHP in 2010?

For 2010, the time frame is 7pm-12am on each of the following evenings:

September 14, 18, 21, 23, 25, 28, 30

October 1, 3, 7, 8, 11, 12, 14, 17, 19, 21, 22, 24, 26, 28, 29, 31

November 1

What is the price of the event?

Advanced Sales Price: $53.95 + tax for 10 & up / $47.95 + tax for 3-9

Same Day Sales Price: $59.95 + tax for 10 & up / $53.95 + tax for 3-9

Premium Sales Price: $64.95 + tax for 10 & up / $48.95 + tax for 3-9

Disney Vacation Club Discount Price: $53.20 (tax included) for 10 & up / $46.81 (tax included) for 3-9

*The Advanced Sales Price is not available for October 8, 22, 28, 29, or 31

*Tickets for October 29 and 31 are only available at the Premium Sales Price

*The Disney Vacation Club Discount Price is not available for September 25, October 8, 22, 28, 29, 31, or November 1

Are there any costume restrictions or policies?

There are a few rules that Disney asks its guests to adhere to concerning costuming.  First, for safety reasons Disney does not permit costumes that obstruct vision or drag on the ground.  Eyes must be visible at all times.  Costumes may not contain sharp or pointed objects that could strike another guest.  Because the event is child-friendly, guests are asked to not wear offensive or violent disguises.  And, finally, guests that are dressed as Disney Characters are not permitted to pose for pictures or sign autographs for other guests to accommodate Disney licensing issues.

Is MNSSHP merchandise available?

MNSSHP merchandise will be available.  In previous years, The Merchant of Venus store in Tomorrowland has been the headquarters for Disney’s Halloween merchandise, but there should also be some merchandise available in the Emporium on Main Street USA as well as Pirates Bazaar in Adventureland.

Do I need to bring my own container for collecting candy?

It isn’t necessary to bring a bag or container for collecting candy.  Disney does provide guests with nice plastic bags for this purpose if they arrive empty-handed.

Which attractions and food services are expected to be open?

While Disney reserves the right to change their plans at a moment’s notice, their pattern of the past years has been such:

Open Attractions

The Barnstormer at Goofy’s Wiseacre Farm; Tomorrowland Transit Authority; Stitch’s Great Escape; Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor; Tomorrowland Speedway; Astro Orbiter; Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin; Splash Mountain; Big Thunder Mountain Railroad; Haunted Mansion; The Hall of Presidents; Swiss Family Treehouse; Pirates of the Caribbean; The Magic Carpets of Aladdin; Peter Pan’s Flight; Prince Charming’s Regal Carrousel; Dumbo the Flying Elephant; Mickey’s PhilharMagic; “it’s a small world”; Snow White’s Scary Adventures; The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh; Mad Tea Party

Open Food Spots

Casey’s Corner; Aloha Isle; Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe; Golden Oak Outpost; Westward Ho; Frontierland Turkey Leg; Sleepy Hollow Pizza Cart; Mrs. Potts Cupboard; Friar’s Nook; Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe; The Lunching Pad at Rockettower Plaza; Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies

Is the event worth the extra expense?

If your visit only includes a day or two at Disney, then the extra ticket is worthwhile in order to extend your hours in the park.  If you are really set on seeing the Magic Kingdom in full force for Halloween, then the expense is also worthwhile since it can’t be experienced this way at any other time.  However, if your vacation extends for more than a few days and the Halloween aspect of the Magic Kingdom doesn’t intrigue you, then bypass the cost of the extra ticket.  In fact, it would probably be best to bypass the park entirely on the designated MNSSHP days due to the crowds.  Instead, choose a separate day for your visit to the Magic Kingdom, especially if it is not scheduled for Extra Magic Hours.  Since most people will have been there the previous day and late into the night, it is likely those same people will sleep in late and visit a different park to explore the following day, making your day in the Magic Kingdom less crowded, more efficient, and more pleasant while still enjoying some of Disney’s fall decor.

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Posted on September 10, 2010

28 Responses to “Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party”

  • Great post JL. Very informative. Are you going to the MNSSHP this year?

  • Went to our first MNSSHP last year and we absolutely loved it. We actually made our own TouringPlan so we’d be sure to hit everything (and we still missed the Villians Mix & Mingle!). I would definitely advise anyone planning on attending to do any attractions they want to do from 4-6:30, and start preparing for party stuff at 6:30 (we got in line for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs then–glad we did as they had a HUGE line later in the night).

  • we’re going october 3! so excited.

  • We’re heading to the party on Oct 14, but only my wife and I. Like you, JL, don’t think I could afford the full family of four. We did it last year and had fun, but it’s not in the cards this year.

  • We got the same price as DVC members do with an AP and advance purchase. I think this deal is only good for certain nights this year, though – probably the same date restrictions as for DVC.

  • Welcome JL! I’m looking forward to reading your posts here at touringplans.com. My family attended the party last October for the first time, and we L…O…V…E…D it. There were special photo ops: Cinderella’s carriage, a cool Haunted Mansion special effects Photopass, and villains after the mix and mingle. You could probably spend the entire party just getting photos with characters. (Tom, we totally missed the Snow White and the Seven Dwarves photo op – rookie mistake!) We also thought the Boo to You parade was one of the best parades Disney has to offer. We went to the 2nd parade, and it was much easier to get a good viewing spot. It was also a lot less crowded in other areas of the park during that first parade time! We really enjoyed the villains mix and mingle, and the photo ops aftewards, too. All in all it was a great party.

    This December we are going to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party for the first time! I hope that it is just as good as Not So Scary.

  • My family of four is planning on going to our first MNSSHP this October 7th! This post had the dining options which is just what I was looking for, very informative and organized.

    I had a question about entering before the actual party begins though – in the time period of 4 – 6:30, are you allowed to enter with your costume on? or do you have to change into your costume once the party starts? I’m asking because my family is planning to go dressed up as avatars! and the blue paint would be awful hard to do in a Disney bathroom! Also, does everyone think avatars is a good costume idea or should we opt for something more ‘Disney’?
    Thank you!

    • by Debbie from Chicago on September 12, 2010, at 1:38 pm EDT

      We attended last year and will be attending this year. You can walk in with your costumes for sure…we did. You may get some strange looks early on…but, by the time the actual party begins you’ll be surprised how many people were dress up.

    • First, I want to say that it is not guaranteed that you will permitted in the park at 4pm. Since the party doesn’t officially start until 7pm, Disney does reserve the right to prohibit entrance until that time. With that being said, in the years past, they have allowed the MNSSHP attendants early entrance at 4pm.

      You certainly are allowed in already wearing your costumes, as it is not very different from the adults and children who have visited Bibiddi Bobiddi Boutique and The Pirates League. I think your avatar idea is really cool and different. I would certainly stick with that as long as you don’t have tails that drag on the ground or bring your avatar weapons. While you will be surrounded by many others in Disney costumes, you certainly will not be the only ones in costumes that are not Disney inspired.

  • we are attending disney Oct 27-31 and the MNSSHP on Oct 28. Can you tell if the Advance price is not available due to the large amount to be sold? Is this a very crowded time of the MNSSHP to attend?? We have been to the Mickeys Christmas party and loved it!

    • The advanced price is not available on days for which there is a higher demand. These days would be the weekends and the days that are closest to Halloween. Oct 28 is the week of Halloween, so there will be more of a crowd than there will be earlier in the month.

  • This may be a silly question, but it wasn’t clear on the registration form. Do parents need tickets? I think the form said something like “children 10 and over” and so we assumed that only the kids needed tickets.

    • yes, everyone needs a ticket. it has its own special ticket. the park is essentially closed to people without a ticket.

    • Children who have reached the age of ten are considered “adults” by Disney. I take issue with Disney’s stance on this; however, that is a different post for a different day. The point is that because Disney considers a 10 year old an adult, they are informing you that not only does your child need a ticket but he or she needs an adult-priced ticket.

      • Thanks for the info. For $50+ a person for a family of 5 this hardly seems worth it for a few extra photo ops and some candy. We’ll already have been at the park all day, so we’re going to forego this one. We had purchased tickets for the kids, but my husband was able to get a refund. Thanks for your feedback!

  • by Caroline Baggerly on September 22, 2010, at 11:12 am EDT

    Great Post, JL!!! Thanks for all of the info.

  • I am not going to be able to afford seperate tickets for MNSSHP but we will be at the park during the day. I read that regular park guests will be shown the exit by 7:00, but what I didn’t read is if we miss anything like the nightly fireworks by leaving before 7:00?

  • I go every year and even though I hear complaints of crowds Ive never seen. Maybe if you go on a weekend. I just went Sunday Oct 3rd and we waited in line for NOTHING!! When do you ever walk on Space Mountain with the ride waiting on you?? This is also the only time I get to ride Peter Pan with less than 3 minute wait. But this is true for the past 6 yrs Ive visited. So just go during a weekday…definately worth it!

  • This is really great. Nice construction of words. This is really informative and easy to read. Thank you for sharing your knowledge about this.

  • I really want to do this with our family of 5 next year. But, how to do food before the party has me baffled. I doubt a late lunch would work for three little kids. I had planned not going to the park on that day, a 5 pm dinner at Ohanas, then the party. But I hate missing out on those few hours before the party starts (4-7 pm). And, I wonder if we can get a lot done during just the regular party hours of 7 to midnight. I also considered coming to the MK from 4-5 pm with the MNSSHP tickets, then eating at Crystal Palace … but would we be allowed to do that with only the MNSSHP tickets and not full day park tickets? So many options!

    • I personally have never went in early, tho yes I have heard you can enter with the special ticket as early as 4:30pm. I would suggest getting there about that time and yes doing the Crystal Palace. In my personal experience I usually get there about 630. Ive found its a mess then because the park closes to public at 7 so youve got people trying to come in and those trying to leave. I think those extra hours may came in handy yet I think wait times for rides will be bad as the parks open to public. About 7:30 park clears out and much better. Ive been the past 5 years or more and never wait over 10 mins for anything, usually most is a straight walk on. I just went Nov 8th this month, the 1st day, I found it this yr to be a little more crowded, and when I say that I mean just in general walking around, and harder to see parade. But we got in, ate at Pecos Bill while watching the parade, and the longest line I saw was 15 on Peter Pan. I did a lot of rides and still left by 10:30pm. Of course with a larger group (just 2 of us) maybe longer but I think its def possible to do most a lot of things that are normally packed during the day and see most by midnight, yes. If your going on a week night. Now Ive never been on a Friday night, that probably makes it much worse so hope this helps!

      • Sorry, when I said I went Nov 8th I was referring to Mickeys Christmas Party…still all is the same for the Halloween Party, I still go every yr and this yr I went early, the 1st Sunday night in Oct. Now me and a friend who has never been to Disney b4 did all except Splash Mountain only cuz we didnt wanna get wet and shopped. That was a very nice night, even less crowds than Christmas. Sorry for the mix-up!

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