Tips and Tricks for attending Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

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1Beginning September 10, 2013, the Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party returns to the Magic Kingdom. This will be my 10th consecutive year of attending and today I’m giving you the inside scoop on all the tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years.

Order those tickets right now!

If you know what night you’ll be attending, there’s no reason not to get those tickets ASAP. Many party nights will sell out, and I’ve never seen discounts offered outside of the standard discounts that are already available. Especially if you’re traveling a great distance to be here, you don’t want to miss your chance to attend! Personally, when we traveled to Anaheim in 2011 for my first west coast Mickey’s Halloween Party, I begged a friend of mine to purchase our tickets the moment they were released early to Passholders. I knew I’d be crushed if we waited and they sold out. If you feel that way you should go order your tickets right now! You won’t regret it.

Parking Situation

Cars arriving even before 7pm will be charged special event prices to park at the Magic Kingdom. While this doesn’t impact day guests who would pay anyway, it means Passholders will be subject paying full price to park. It is a good idea to get there early and avoid getting dinged with this additional fee.

Get there early

Though it’s never guaranteed, Disney has consistently allowed party guests to enter the park at 4pm rather than the 7pm start time. If you are trying to save yourself a day of park admission getting in at 4pm can really help. However, be aware the overlapping time of 4pm – 7pm is normally the busiest time of the day with day guests and Halloween party guests both in the park.

3Be prepared for anything

The weather in Orlando could give you hot, cold, rainy, or a full on monsoon. Last year as we were driving to the park I actually called ticketing because I was worried the torrential rain would cancel everything. (It didn’t.) A good rule of thumb is that you can’t really trust the Orlando weather forecast until about 3 days in advance. Keep this in mind when planning your outfit.

But dress up anyway

I would recommend an easy and light weight costume, but you will see amazingly elaborate outfits at the party. Last year we saw a complete group of Disney princesses in handmade ball gowns! Dressing up takes the party up a notch and makes you feel like you’re really participating. It can also lead to amazing character interactions! One of my best Disney memories is dressing up as Esmeralda while Frollo followed me along Main Street, hiding behind a lamp post every time we looked in his direction.

Go in with a plan

There’s so much to see and do during this special event that it’s easy to get caught up in the atmosphere and do nothing at all. Take a look at online guides and have a rough plan of what you want to see and do before the party starts. This way you won’t be disappointed that you missed something once your time is up.

Eat before 7pm

Park time is very valuable during this special hard ticketed event and you don’t want to waste your time in line for food. Make sure that you are not hungry before you start your night. It’s a great idea to get a table service reservation between 4pm – 6pm. This way you get to be in the park and watch as it transforms into a spooky wonderland but you miss the crowds during these hours. It is also important to wrap up by 6pm so you can start getting in line for characters that are important to you.

Choose your characters

During the Halloween party some of the longest lines in the park will be to meet characters. Especially with Jack and Sally appearing for the first time ever on the east coast! In my experience it’s best to choose your can’t miss character interactions and prioritize them first. Lines for the most popular characters will be setup by 6pm. If there is anyone on your can’t miss list it’s smart to get in that line early. I’ve also had great luck with catching characters during the last 45 minutes of the party. Last year I was able to get a photo with Snow White and the seven dwarfs without any wait at all just by waiting until the end of the night. But remember you have to be careful as it isn’t guaranteed the crowd will die down.

2012 Halloween Card

2012 Halloween Card

Be a spooky sorcerer

It’s heavily rumored that for the second year in a row there will be an exclusive Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom card available only to those guests attending the Halloween Party. Last year there were some nights that these cards ran out so if this is important to you prioritize getting your card before the first parade. Make sure you keep your original event ticket and are wearing your wristband. Both are required to receive your exclusive (and free) 2013 Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Sorcerers card.

Edit: The new card has been announced.  Check out comments below from super reader Christine.  (Thanks!)

Be a candy bandit

I’ve been going to the party for a long time and each year I watch the trick or treat bags get smaller and more flimsy. Last year we were determined to really get our money out of our tickets so we each brought a backpack to dump our candy into as our small bags filled up. By the end of the night we had collected an embarrassing amount of candy! There is no limit to how many time you can visit each station so feel free to take full advantage. If you’re driving home from Disney and have extreme willpower you can use your loot to hand out to trick or treaters at home like we did last year!

Choose your parade wisely

Just like every night at Disney it’ll be much easier to grab a spot for the second parade. However, be sure to keep a close eye on the forecast. If the second parade is cancelled for weather you will have missed your chance to see it. The best views with the least crowds are normally in Frontierland.

IMG_2765You cannot miss the fireworks

Hallowishes is my favorite fireworks show, and if you’ve paid for admission to the party, you absolutely can’t miss it. Of course, the best view can be found on Main Street, but much less crowded viewing locations are available throughout the park. While you will miss projections on the castle, the fireworks are beautiful from inside New Fantasyland. The view is equally stunning along the water in Liberty Square. Looking back at my photos I realized I haven’t watched HalloWishes from the hub since 2006! If you don’t want to fight the crowd check out one of these other locations rather than missing this awesome show.

 Well.. I guess we’re walking

Last year upon exiting the Magic Kingdom at 12:30am we realized the monorails were no longer running. Of course, Disney had an excellent bus system available to all locations, and the ferry boat was still in operation, but we were still surprised. So keep in mind that if you make it for the whole party, you may not be able to take the monorail back to your car or resort.

Did we miss your favorite tip? What is the most outrageous costume you’ve seen at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party? Let us know in the comments below!

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Posted on September 9, 2013

24 Responses to “Tips and Tricks for attending Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party”

  • You got a picture of Snow White _and_ the Seven Dwarfs last year? Snow White wasn’t meeting with them at the party I went to. She was with her prince in Town Square.

    It’s more than a rumor that there will be a new Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom Card at the party. Disney Parks Blog officially announce it Sep 5.

    “This special card features the Hitchhiking Ghosts from the Haunted Mansion attraction and lets us “sorcerers” tap into the supernatural power that lies within the Haunted Mansion’s graveyard.”

    http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2013/09/hitchhiking-ghost-sorcerers-of-the-magic-kingdom-card-debuts-at-mickeys-not-so-scary-halloween-party/

    • Hi Christine! You know – now that you say it I’m not sure. I’d have to dig back through my photos to be 100% sure. That is the problem with attending these events year after year. They blur together a bit! But I do remember that the line was non-existent because that is about the only way I would have waited! :)

      For the card you’re absolutely right! And you caught me – sometimes these articles are submitted up to a week in advance and scheduled for a time that makes sense. (Like the day before the first MNNSHP) I was on vacation and didn’t realize they’d made the new card official. Thanks for sharing! I like it much better than the card from last year!

  • Just snagged at 5:40pm reservation to Liberty Tree Tavern on a party night. Is that cutting it too close?

    • Hey John! It really depends on what your priorities are going in. It would be perfect for me! But if you want to be in line early for characters that will give you a late start. If you aren’t too worried about characters then enjoy your dinner! :)

      • Thanks. Had a reservation to LTT later in the same week but cancelled in favor of California Grill. Was going to do counter service at Cosmic Ray’s at the Party but when I saw the opening for LTT, I decided to follow your advice and snagged the reservation to get out of the way of crowds. Not really a problem for me if I miss out on some characters. Don’t have kids in tow. I’m really going just to “soak it all in” and have fun.

  • by Melissa Andersen on September 9, 2013, at 12:40 pm EDT

    It will be my first time attending MNSSHP (I will be on my honeymoon)and I am beyond exciting. The fall/Halloween is my favorite time of year and I can’t wait to see all the great decorations. Is everyone allowed to dress up for the party? Adults too? I really would love to dress up in some kind of Disney costume (maybe convince my soon to be hubby to couple costume with me) but I just don’t want to look like the crazy adult who dressed up with all the kids. Is adults dressing up normal? Thanks!

    • Lots of adults dress up, even those who are attending without any children in tow.

    • Absolutely dress up if you want to! It’s so much fun! Last year we(me, DH, and our 2 boys) went as the Avengers! And the year before DH and I were Alice and the Mad Hatter. It really adds to the festivities. Just a caution, wear comfy shoes no matter the costume! This “Black Widow” tried to wear heeled boots last year…and was in flip-flops an hour later! ;)

    • I’ll chime in late that you really should dress up kids or no kids! It makes it even more fun!! :)

  • Nerd question… I have my optimized touring plan set up for the party. However, the “Celebrate the Magic” show isn’t an option to add.

    Will it be added?

  • What are these special parking fees & what time do they start charging them? The years I’ve gone to the parties I was able to get to the park early, but not this year. Thanks.

    • Hi There – we’ve been asked at the booth if we were going to the party as early as 5pm. (answer no if you have an AP!!) The fees are regular parking fees but APs have to actually PAY as their pass doesn’t include special events. We were shocked the first time and they caught us again a few years ago so I thought I would include it.

      • Whoa! That would have thrown me out of MY seat! It’s really good to know. Since I have an AP & could pass up rides & things not available before the party, I just might have decided to get there sometime between 5 or 6. Not NOW!

  • This will be my first time going to the party…where do I find out all the event and characters for the evening?

  • Is there a list of charchaters that will appear so that I can figure out who I want to see more!! Can’t wait to go

    • Hi Shannon,

      Honestly Kenny the Pirate has the BEST character information on the web. If you google search he’s easy to find and there is a link on the homepage for MNSSHP. Hope that helps! :)

  • do they sell any tickets at the gate…didnt realize the would sell so fast. we leave in a week and a half.

  • Am going to a conference held on Disney property at the end of October. Really want to do the Halloween party, but am undecided between 2 dates. Because of conference schedule, I can attend from 4 til close on Friday, Oct. 25, or get there later (7′ish) on Tuesday, Oct. 29. Both days have historically low attendance, but I’m worried that crowd for MNSSHP will be bigger on Friday, but I can go earlier that day to maybe compensate. Any advice on which date would be better? Thanks!

  • we are going to disney for halloween. Do tickets sell out for October 31 or do u think we could get tickets when down there? Where do u purchase tickets in advance?

  • by Robert Greenlee on October 7, 2013, at 3:56 pm EDT

    I am going to MNSSHP for first time and read somewhere where the Tomorrowland (near Space Mountain) to Storybook Circus candy trail starts at Space Mountain. Can you enter it from the other end (Storybook Circus) and exit in Tomorrowland (near Space Mountain)? If not then I will need to redo my touring plan.

  • This is the first time I need to use parking lot. How do you get back to your car if the monorails are not running? (I’m guessing I need to park at the TTC for this party. We are planning to stay until close.

  • Hello,
    We planned to visit magic kingdom on 20th October 2013 but now I came to know that the park will have this Halloween event and if we purchase normal one day pass we could only stay untill 7 pm.We are actually visiting Orlando for 2 days 19th and 20 but wanted to visit magic kingdom on 20th as it is our daughter’s birthday and this is our first time we are going to magic kingdom,she will be 5 years old .I am now totally confused should we plan to 19th now as park will close early.I am just wondering that we will not be able to enjoy the park until mid night so our daughter could miss lot of park fun.We don’t want to go for Halloween event as our trip is exclusively for magic kingdom fun.Please suggest me,should I plan to visit on 19th rather than 20th

    • Hi Shipra – for what it’s worth, my suggestion would be to go on the 19th.

      I realize isn’t not exactly the same, yet your daughter can still wear her birthday button on the 19th.

      We have a tradition in our family – You get to celebrate your birthday for a whole week! When my dad turned 90, my mom said his celebration would last the whole month!