(Article last updated: September 15, 2016)
There are several special events offered throughout the year at Disney World and 1 of those is Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP) where people get dressed up in costume and attend special activities that are only offered at this party.
I've got info for you on the details of what takes place at the party, how much it costs, when it's held and thoughts on how to create a touring plan to use during the party.
Let's get started...
In this article
What is it?
Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is a party that takes place at Magic Kingdom. Everybody visiting Magic Kingdom in September or October will get to enjoy the decorations in the park but only people attending the party will get to enjoy the special events (details on the events are below).
How much does it cost?
This event is only available to people who have purchased special event tickets. Tickets range in price, depending on the date you attend and if you purchase in advance.
See the calendars below for specifics (click the images to see them larger).
Tickets for 2016 went on sale on May 5 and can be purchased at DisneyWorld.com or by calling 407-WDISNEY.
When is it?
A few nights each week in September and October, Magic Kingdom closes early so that Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP) can be held from 7 p.m. to midnight (though people with party tickets can enter as early as 4 p.m.).
People often ask me how Disney filters out the non-party goers. The answer is that party attendees are given special bracelets to show that they are attending the party and starting at 7 p.m., Cast Members will usher out anybody who doesn't have that bracelet.
These are the party dates for 2016:
- September 2, 8, 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 23, 25, 29, 30
- October 2, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21, 23, 25, 27, 28, 30, 31
Important note! The party will go on regardless of weather so even if it's pouring down rain, it'll be taking place. If you don't want to risk it by purchasing ahead of time (it is during hurricane season, after all), wait until you're at Disney World to purchase tickets. Some dates do sell out ahead of time but many don't.
What exactly takes place during the party?
People who attend the party get to take part in special events including:
Everybody is given a bag when entering the party, but you can bring your own if you'd like to get more as well.
Go later in the night to avoid lugging around heavy candy, to enjoy shorter lines, to benefit from Cast Members often generous portions later in the night, and to allow you to do more important things earlier.
Disney used to allow everybody to wear costumes during the Halloween party, but the policy is different for 2016.
Here's the new policy.
- Disney reserves the right to deny admission to or remove any person wearing attire that is considered inappropriate or attire that could detract from the experience of other Guests.
- All Guests may dress as their favorite character, but may not pose for pictures or sign autographs for other Guests.
- Costumes must be family-friendly and may not be obstructive, offensive, objectionable or violent.
- Costumes may not contain any weapons that resemble or could easily be mistaken for an actual weapon.
- Costumes may not contain sharp objects, pointed objects or materials that may accidentally strike another guest.
- Guests who do not adhere to these guidelines may be refused entry into, and/or removed from, unless his or her costume can be modified to meet the above standards.
Guests ages 13 and under:
- Costumes and some masks may be worn, as long as the mask does not cover the entire face and eyes are visible.
Guests ages 14 and older:
- Layered costumes or costume props that surround the entire body are strongly discouraged and may be subject to additional security screening.
- Costumes may not reach or drag on the ground
- Capes may be worn if the length does not go below the waist.
- Themed t-shirts, blouses, sweatshirts, and hats are acceptable.
- Acceptable accessories include: transparent wings, plastic light sabers, toy swords, and tutus. Headwear may be worn as long as it does not cover the face.
- May not wear masks of any kind.
Here's a video from Disney explaining the rules.
Due to Florida weather, you might also want to make sure costumes are cool enough to wear in the heat and humidity, and choose something that can easily be covered in a poncho.
The parade is held twice during the party (at 8:30 p.m. and 11:15 p.m.). For easiest viewing, go to Frontierland for the second parade. The parade will come through that section about 15 minutes after the official parade start time so keep that in mind when planning.
One thing that's fantastic to see is the Headless Horseman who appears just before the parade begins.
Celebrate the Magic Villains Style Castle Show
The projection show at the castle takes place at 10 p.m. and changes to this villains version for the party.
Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular
This show takes place on the stage in front of the castle at 8 p.m.*, 9:15 p.m., 10:40 p.m., and midnight.
(* this showtime will be available starting September 16)
In Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular, the mischievous Sanderson Sisters from Disney "Hocus Pocus" return to the mortal world for one night during the Halloween season. With only a few hours to run a muck, the three sisters decide to use their magic to throw the best, most evil Halloween party this side of the graveyard!
A special version of Wishes called HalloWishes is shown at 10:15 p.m. during the party.
The best places to see fireworks are noted on the map below.
There are always chances to meet lots of characters during the party. Here are the characters that are available in 2016:
The asterisk means it's a popular/rare character. If you want to meet them, you'll want to line up early.
Main Street, U.S.A.
- Mickey Mouse at Town Square Theater
- Tinker Bell
- Aladdin, Princess Jasmine, Jafar* and Abu
- Tarzan, Jane and Terk*
- Captain Jack Sparrow
- Jack Skellington and Sally*
- Belle and Gaston
- Alice, the Queen of Hearts*, and the Mad Hatter
- Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore and Piglet
- Princess Tianna
- The Seven Dwarfs*
- Donald and Daisy
- Minnie Mouse
- Cruella De Vil*
- Buzz Lightyear and Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear*
Disney always has exclusive merchandise available to purchase during their parties. For 2016, there is a special edition MagicBand, trading pin, and t-shirt.
Here's what you can find where:
- The Emporium (largest shop, located on Main Street) - t-shirt and the MagicBand
- Mickey's Star Traders (in Tomorrowland, near the Tomorrowland Speedway) - t-shirt
- Box Office Gifts (right after you enter Magic Kingdom, it's on the right side) - MagicBand
- Big Top Souvenirs (in Fantasyland, near Dumbo) - t-shirt and trading pin
Shorter waits for rides
During the party, you can enjoy shorter lines on rides but there are no FastPass+ reservations available and not all rides are open (but most are - check the party map for details).
Note: though FastPass+ reservations aren't available during the party, you can get them for 4-7:00 if you plan to arrive in that time frame.
Although I think you should definitely take advantage of the special party events, the ability to walk onto rides is a huge luxury that's a lot of fun.
One ride you should definitely take advantage of during the party is Haunted Mansion where the maids and butlers are specially dressed for the party, there are storytellers and you can have your pic taken with the hearse driver.
Side note: Magic Kingdom is a great park to visit during the day of a party since less people want to be there due to the early closure. If you show up at 4 p.m., you'll be able to ride plenty of things between 4 and 7, before the party even begins.
PhotoPass photographers will take special photos during the party and when you see the pics afterward, you'll see something magically inserted into the photo.
These 2 Magic Shots are available in 2016:
You'll find this photo op at the main entrance of Magic Kingdom...
And this one at Haunted Mansion...
You can also find these two animated Magic Shots this year. These 2 are only available if you purchase Memory Maker.
Though I'd be careful about spending too much of your party time eating, there are some Quick Service and Table Service restaurants available during the party. A few of the Quick Service options even have Halloween-themed treats during the party.
Table Service restaurants that are available include Be Our Guest, Cinderella's Royal Table, and Crystal Palace. If you make an Advanced Dining Reservation for these restaurants and the reservation says "special ticketed event" then that means you must have a party ticket to dine there at that time.
Here are the times when the special ticketed reservations begin at each Table Service restaurant:
- Crystal Palace - 7:00 (last non-party ADR is at 6:30)
- Be Our Guest - 6:20 (last non-party ADR at 6:15)
- Cinderella's Royal Table - 6:40 (last non-party ADR is at 5:55)
Here are the Quick Service options (including the ones that have special treats available for the party!):
Main Street U.S.A.
- Main Street Bakery - Spider Cupcake and Worms and Dirt available here
- Plaza Ice Cream Parlor - Creepy Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich available here
- Casey's Corner
- Aloha Isla
- Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn
- Westward Ho
- Sleepy Hollow
- Liberty Square Market (until 9 p.m.)
- Columbia Harbour House (until 8 p.m.)
- Pinocchio Village Haus (until 10 p.m.)
- The Friar's Nook (until 10 p.m.) - Ghoulish Strawberry-lemonade Slushy available here
- Storybook Treats - Candy Corn soft-serve ice cream available here
- Gaston's Tavern - Pumpkin Spiced Cupcake available here
- Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe
- Cool Ship
- The Lunching Pad
These treats are also available throughout the park:
- Candy Corn Cotton Candy
- Vampire Mickey Popcorn Bucket
- Halloween Popcorn Bucket
- Halloween Hot Mug
- Poison Apple Stein
Exclusive Sorcerer's of the Magic Kingdom card
Guests attending MNSSHP can pick up an exclusive Sorcerer's of the Magic Kingdom card. The 2016 card features Clawhauser from Zootopia.
Get the party map
Here's the map for 2016.
(Download the PDF)
How to plan your time
In my opinion, these should be your priorities:
- Meeting popular characters like Jack Skellington and Sally, the 7 Dwarfs, villains, and the princesses
- Boo to You Parade
- Hocus Pocus show, Celebrate the Magic Villains Style Castle Show and HalloWishes fireworks
To fit it all together, this is how I would plan my time:
- 4:00 - 7:00 - ride rides, eat dinner, and then get in line between 5:30 and 6 to meet your highest priority character (like the Seven Dwarfs or Jack Skellington & Sally)
- 7:00 - 9:00 - rides, shopping
- 9:00 - 11:00 - Celebrate the Magic Villains Style Castle Show, fireworks, Hocus Pocus show
- 11:00 - midnight - Boo to You Parade at 11:15 p.m., trick-or-treat to get as much candy as you can, meet more characters with shorter lines
Is Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party worth it?
I think the party is worth it, especially if you consider that you can think of your party ticket as your park ticket for the day but with special entertainment and shorter waits for rides.
For instance, if you'll be in Disney theme parks for 7 days, you could get 6 day park tickets and tickets to the party. On the party day, you could use the first part of the day to rest or visit Disney Springs, and then go to Magic Kingdom at 4 p.m. to use your party ticket.
In general, Tuesdays are the least crowded day to attend overall, and September dates are less busy than October dates.
Disney also offers a Happy HalloWishes Dessert Package which provides VIP seating for the parade and a Halloween-themed version of the Tomorrowland Terrace dessert party. It costs $69 for adults and $39 for kids and can be booked online or by calling 407-939-3463.
Another bit of extra magic that could be added if you're visiting Disney World in September or October is the special in-room celebration called Mickey's Spooktacular Celebration where your room can be decorated for the occasion.
So what do you think? Will you be attending the party? Or do you have questions that weren't covered?
Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments.