Find the Least Crowded Halloween Party in 2017

by on May 12, 2017 9 Comments

Filed under: Crowd Blog, Halloween

Welcome back to what has become a yearly tradition: predicting the least crowded Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween party. We’ll look back at last year’s recommendations in a bit and give you the full 2017 list, but first make sure you check out our dedicated page for a complete list of dates as well as a thorough description of what the Halloween party is.

In short, if you’re looking for the best 2017 Halloween Party to attend, we recommend Tuesday, August 29, 2017. Each of the past four  years we recommended the same basic party, September 17, 2013, September 16, 2014, September 15, 2015, and September 13, 2016. The reason we’ve broken with that slightly (that September party is #3) is because they parties just start so darn early this year. In the past, very early parties are more lightly attended, so we’re making that assumption again.

The entire list of parties and how we rank them can be found below, but here are some general rules:

  • September is less busy than October. There are exceptions, of course, but you are more likely to see crowds at the October parties. Special addendum for 2017: August will likely be less busy than September.
  • Tuesdays are generally less busy than other days. Sundays and Fridays are busier than other days.

Before we get to the 2017 party rankings, let’s revisit our predictions from last year to see how accurate we were. Here were our top 5 recommended party days and how they turned out:

2016 Party DateProjected Wait Time RankActual Measured Wait Time Rank
Tuesday, September 13, 2016Lowest Wait Times3
Friday, September 2, 201621
Sunday, September 11, 201635
Thursday, September 8, 201642
Tuesday, October 4, 2016518

We made a few adjustments to our projections last year and they seem to have worked more than they didn’t–our top four selection were indeed 4 of the best 5 to attend. The only oddity in our top 5 is that October 4 party, and that was a weird one; it was the party 2 days before hurricane Matthew hit on October 6 (cancelling the October 6 & 7 parties).

In general, the 2016 results were in line with the recent trends. Every year the wait times we’ve been monitoring have gone up and they went up again in 2016 to just under a 15 minute average wait. That’s still not a bad time to wait, but it represents a 20% jump on 2015, which itself saw a 20% increase. Oddly enough, we don’t think the parties are necessarily busier–there were fewer sellouts in 2016 than in many years (probably due to the price increases). We think this could merely be an overall trend, possibly due to staffing cuts.

Now let’s get on to this year’s rankings. Here are our predicted rankings of attraction wait times at each of the 2017 Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties. We fiddled with the formula a little this year so that we consider more than just attraction wait times. We now also consider if previous parties sold out and we look at the crowd ratings for the daytime hours. The result is something that we hope will be an even better representation of crowds. We present the chart below in order to give you as much information as we have so that you can make an informed decision.

Party DateRankAdvance Purchase Price for an Adult TicketNotes
Tuesday, August 29, 2017Least Busy Party$74
Friday, September 1, 20172$74
Tuesday, September 12, 20173$74
Friday, August 25, 20174$74 First party of the year.
Thursday, September 7, 20175$74
Sunday, September 10, 20176$74
Tuesday, September 19, 20177$79Sold out 1 day in advance in 2015.
Friday, September 15, 20178$88
Friday, September 22, 20179$88Sold out 1 day in advance in 2013 and 2 days in advance in 2015.
Tuesday, September 26, 201710$79
Sunday, September 17, 201711$74
Sunday, September 24, 201712$74Sold out 1 day in advance in 2015.
Tuesday, October 3, 201713$94
Friday, September 29, 201714$88
Tuesday, October 17, 201715$94Sold out 1 day in advance in 2015.
Thursday, October 5, 201716$94Sold out 1 day in advance in 2013.
Thursday, October 12, 201717$94Sold out 2 days in advance in 2013 and 1 day in advance in 2014.
Thursday, October 19, 201718$94
Tuesday, October 24, 201719$94Sold out 1 day in advance in 2013 and 2016 and 7 days in advance in 2014 and 2015.
Sunday, October 15, 201720$94Sold out 1 day in advance in 2014.
Sunday, October 1, 201721$88
Friday, October 6, 201722$99Sold out 1 day in advance in both 2013 and 2015, and 2 days in advance in 2014.
Tuesday, October 10, 201723$94
Friday, October 27, 201724$99
Friday, October 13, 201725$99Sold out 1 day in advance in 2014.
Friday, October 20, 201726$99Sold out 1 day in advance in 2014 and 2 days in advance in 2015.
Wednesday, November 1, 201727$94
Sunday, October 22, 201728$94
Thursday, October 26, 201729$94Sold out 28 days in advance in 2014 and 14 days in advance in 2015.
Monday, October 9, 201730$94Sold out 1 day in advance in 2013 and 2014.
Sunday, October 29, 201731$99Sold out 10 days in advance in 2016.
Tuesday, October 31, 2017Busiest Party$115Sold out 27 days in advance in 2013, 71 (August 21) days in advance in 2014, 89 (August 3!) days in 2015, and 54 days in 2016. Crowds will be heavy for character meets and parades.

Our wait times only include attractions−not character meet and greets, special shows, or parades. The characters, in particular, often have long lines, especially for rare characters like the Seven Dwarfs. Regardless of which party you attend, some of the character lines will be long. If those are a must do, do them as early in the evening as possible.

Looking for more information? Erin Foster wrote an amazing overview of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party that will help you whether this is your first trip or your 100th (and if it’s your 100th, you might have a problem…being too awesome). You may also want to check out Derek Burgan’s Six Reasons why He Loves the Halloween Party for even more Halloweenieness (that made up word is even a stretch for me).

If you consider yourself handy with the camera, or if you simply want better pictures, you can’t go wrong with Tom Bricker’s tips on photographing the Halloween party.

Now that you are armed with the most powerful weapon…knowledge, you can plan your 2017 trip to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. This blog post will help you find all of the party dates and prices.

Hopefully this analysis will help you choose the best Halloween Party to attend. Make sure to check back here in a few weeks, where we’ll be breaking down Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, as well.

Posted on May 12, 2017

9 Responses to “Find the Least Crowded Halloween Party in 2017”

  • by ruth.woodhouse on May 12, 2017, at 8:26 am EST

    This blog has come at an absolutely perfect time! 19 of us are going to WDW in September and we are just finalising our itinerary. Some of us want to go to MNSSHP and some want to go to the Universal Fright Nights (and some want to do both!). Thank you for a really useful and helpful blog.

  • This is my favorite blog posts of the entire year. I’ve been looking forward to it since the dates were released. Thank for doing this year after year!

  • You might want to change your next-to-the-last paragraph from “Now that you are armed with the most powerful weapon…knowledge, you can plan your 2015 trip to MNSSHP” to say 2017, not 2015.

  • I see you updated the Halloween party, will you be updating the Christmas party too?

  • This is very helpful for planning, thank you. We have essentially 4 choices for our trip the last week of Oct. I’m wondering what’s the differentiator on crowding if the party is a sell out. Do they offer the same number of tickets to all parties? I guess I would think if it’s a sellout wait times would be the same or very similar.

  • What is the number for a sell out? How does it compare to a normal MK day?

  • We went Sept. 8th last year & it was great! We will totally do that again with as low as the crowds were! We walked onto everything but it was otherwise pretty crowded.

  • What is the difference in ranking if they are both sell outs in previous years? Looking at the 10/9 party or 10/12 party.