Least Crowded Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party 2013 Dates

by on May 28, 2013 45 Comments

Filed under: Test, Walt Disney World (FL)


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If you’re looking for the least crowded, best day to visit Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party in 2013, circle Tuesday, September 17, 2013, on your calendar. That Halloween Party, on a Tuesday in mid-September, was the least-crowded event in 2012’s schedule.

If that date doesn’t fit in your schedule, last year’s crowds indicate that Tuesday Halloween parties are less crowded on average than parties held on any other day of the week.

Friday and Sunday are the next-best days to attend a Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. Thursday was surprisingly the busiest day, although it may has something to do with the Magic Kingdom often having morning Extra Magic Hours on Thursdays.


Not surprisingly, September dates are generally less busy than the October dates, although Tuesdays are still the best days regardless of which month they are in. The one big exception to this last year was Friday, September 28, 2012, which was the busiest Halloween party we tracked. The most likely cause was that this was also the opening weekend of the Epcot Food & Wine Festival as well as the weekend of the Wine & Dine Half Marathon.

A strange quirk in attraction wait times is that October 31, 2012 (Halloween), was one of the parties with very low wait times. In this case the data is deceiving, as that party was sold out (as was Sunday, October 28). While the sellout indicates high crowds, our research shows very short attraction lines. In reality, both of those are true, and all of the parties near Halloween tend to be quite busy, regardless of the wait times.

If you are considering other dates, here are our predicted rankings of attraction wait times at each of the 2013 Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties.

[Please note that the military discount ends following the September 27 party and the Advance Annual Pass and Disney Vacation Club discounts end following the October 24 party, but are also not available for the parties on October 4, 11, or 18.]

Party DateAttraction Wait Times Rank

Advance Purchase  Price for an Adult Ticket

Tuesday, September 17, 2013Lowest Wait Times$59
Tuesday, October 22, 20132$62
Tuesday, September 10, 20133 (Estimated)$59“Estimated” because we do not have any 2012 data
Thursday, October 31, 20134$73Sold out 4 days in advance in 2012 and 2 days in advance in 2011. Lines for character greetings and parade viewing spots will be long.
Friday, September 13, 20135$59
Sunday, October 27, 20136$62Lines for character greetings and parade viewing spots will be long.
Friday, September 20, 20137$59
Tuesday, October 29, 20138$62
Friday, October 11, 20139$67
Monday, October 14, 201310$62
Sunday, September 29, 201311$62
Thursday, October 03, 201312$62
Tuesday, September 24, 201313$59
Friday, October 04, 201314$62
Sunday, October 06, 201315 (Estimated)$62“Estimated” because there is no equivalent 2012 date
Friday, October 18, 201316$67Sold out 1 day in advance in 2012.
Thursday, October 17, 201317$62
Friday, October 25, 201318$67
Friday, November 01, 201319$62
Thursday, October 24, 201320$62
Sunday, October 20, 201321$62
Thursday, October 10, 201322$62
Friday, September 27, 2013Highest Wait Times$59Sold out 1 day in advance in 2011.

To determine all of the above, we looked at posted wait times from key attractions including Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, it’s a small world, and The Barnstormer. We narrowed it down to times between 7pm and midnight, which is when the park is limited to party guests.Some quick notes about our research:

  • 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.
  • In general the wait times during the Halloween parties are quite low, averaging only about 10 minutes. If there are any attractions that you have really been wanting to do, experiencing them during the Halloween party might just be the time.
  • If you are a data nerd like we are, you can find all of our wait time data for the Halloween parties on this Google spreadsheet.

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).

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 2013 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 later, where we’ll soon be breaking down Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, as well.


Posted on May 28, 2013

45 Responses to “Least Crowded Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party 2013 Dates”

  • HI, We loved the Halloween Party last year(went on a mid Sep date) and are looking forward to it again this year! We were actually looking at attending on either Friday Oct. 4 or Sunday Oct. 6. The party on Oct 6 shows up on the Disney calendar, but not this list. Do you have an outlook for that date?

    • by Brian McNichols on May 28, 2013, at 2:06 pm EST

      October 6 was now added. I had missed it because there was no party on that Sunday last year. I imagine both of those parties will be busy due to the Tower of Terror race on Saturday. If forced to pick I would say October 4th would be a little better, but they will probably be similar, so pick based on your schedule.

  • Great info; would not have guessed 10/31 was the 3rd best date! I love historic data such as this, do you have a place on the website to view other historical attraction data?

    • by Brian McNichols on May 28, 2013, at 2:07 pm EST

      That surprised us too although Halloween is a very busy party, just not a lot of people riding attractions.

  • Thanks for this, Brian! We’re thinking of going to the first party on September 10. I don’t see it on the list above. Where do you think it would rank in the list? We’re concerned that it will be jam-packed with media, Disney bloggers, and Orlando locals.

  • by NotThatKevinSmith on May 28, 2013, at 11:19 am EST

    Didn’t the sept 27 one (or equivalent) sell out last year because of the big anniversary or some other special even that is not going on this year?

    • I am also wondering this – if you are factoring in the marathon runners from last year with this years crowd levels, the marathon was moved to the next weekend in 2013. I am going on my birthday, Sept 27, and am hoping it won’t be as crazy as they say :/

    • It was the 28th and it sold out because it was the last day for the cast members to get a discount on the tickets

  • What about Sunday October 6th? I’m running the Tower of Terror 10 miler on Saturday.

  • Great info as always – hopefully you will do the same for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

  • Haven’t been to WDW in over 20 years, so finally returning. I’m wondering whether I should attend MNSSHP. Here’s the deal: I plan to be there 9/29-10/6, using the parks M-F, being a Florida Resident on the Weekday Select Pass. My planned schedule is to be in AK on Monday, DHS on Tuesday, MK on Wednesday and Thursday morning, and Epcot Thurs afternoon and all day Friday, with Epcot at least three nights that week for dinner reservations. Apparently, the party is Thursday-Friday that week (10/3-4).

    Mostly, I want to experience WDW “normally” for someone who hasn’t been there in a long time and have never been to AK, although I timed my visit for the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. Is the party worth attending anyway? I notice that the 10/3-4 dates lean toward the more crowded times.

    • If you’ve only got one day for the MK, then the party is a good way to get extra time for attractions and ambiance. I’d go.

      • Wouldn’t Friday the 27th be less busy this year as compared to last since this year it doesn’t fall in line with the wine & dine half marathon?

  • Great info… we’re going to DLR for the Halloween season this year. Are you going to be able to do this for DLR as well?

  • Have the Halloweentime dates been announced for Disneyland yet? We want to book a trip for mid-September (16-20), but I’m hesitant because I don’t want to visit during a transition period.

  • We are going to be there late Oct 9- Oct 15. Columbus day is on the 14th. Which day would you suggest going to mnsshp? 10, 11 or 14th?

  • Any thoughts on Sunday, September 29 party?

  • Anyone know if you have to be in this particular park that day to also attend. Or can we go to, say Epcot then come to MK for this? We are looking at the 17th.

    • You can be at any park or parks during the day with a regular ticket or park hopper ticket. The party requires a separately purchased special event ticket. You can’t use a regular ticket or park hopper ticket to attend the party.

  • Someone asked about going to MNSSHP on columbus day the 14th. Any thoughts on crowd/wait time vs. going on Friday the 11th? thanks!

  • thanks for the info. when do the tickets go on sale? which is the cheapest day to go

  • Hi these posts are great info. My wife and I plan on spending our first anniversary in Disney late sept. My question is about the dinning plan, is it worth it for 2 adults. Disney is offering it free with the stay in Disney and I can save approx. $900 through the Wyndham with my company discount. Not sure what to do.

    • You will pay full price for the room if you take free dining. Two adults staying at a value resort did better last year than paying a discounted rate and paying for food out of pocket. I’m not sure if it’s a break even at moderate resorts. It’s definitely a losing proposition at deluxe resorts for 2 adults. Wyndham may be cheaper all around, but it’s not in the magic bubble of WDW, so you just have to decide which is better for you.

  • I have a two year old granddaughter whose birthday is on the 31st. Is it worth it to take her to the party? She probably will just fall asleep. My daughter was thinking of just for the day. will it be fun for her? cost? crowds? Any info will be helpful.

  • Hi,

    Been twice to the parade and EPCOT event. Only disappointment…bad weather. In 2011 it rained the night of the parade. By the time we left EPCOT and got to the parade we missed like the first 5 minutes. Stood there with our ponchos on. That was Columbus Day weekend. In 2012 we went the first weekend of Oct. Again, it poured. The parade was postponed for almost an hour. Crowds weren’t too bad, not as bad as the summer time. My family hopes to go this year, hope it doesn’t rain!!

  • by Paul Lawrence on July 23, 2013, at 2:10 am EST

    We are coming over from the uk, 10/26 to 11/6 an really not sure whether we should pay the extra and do this. Our kids will be aged 8,5 and 18 months. We’ve never experienced Halloween in the US, and this is our first trip as a family.

  • My husband and I loved the Halloween party!!! it was a wedding gift from someone in the family. I wish we could go again :/

  • What do you think about Friday, October 11, 2013? And are tickets only valid after 4 pm?

  • Do you recommend Mnsshp on Monday, Oct 14th or Thursday, Oct 17th? Less crowds?

  • We are planning to attend MNNSHP on Nov 1st and will be attending MK during the afternoon as well. Are adults and children permitted to wear costumers throughout the day or only when attending the party?

  • I am trying to decide what night to go to the MNSSHP. We are arriving early am on the 30th of October and can go that night or the 31st. My son’s 8th birthday is the 30th. Which day would you go? I have a bad feeling both days will sell out and be really crowded. Also he wants to go as Olaf, are they going to not let him in?