Halloween is always so much fun! But a Disney Halloween celebration is over-the-top awesome! We have attended Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP) many times and each visit is better than the last. However, over the years I have learned a few tips and tricks that have helped to make the evening even more magical.
Tickets typically go on sale in May. The actual event runs on select nights mid-September through November 1st from 7:00pm to midnight. TIP – After you have purchased your MNSSHP ticket, you can arrive and enter the park as early as 4:00pm! You will be given a wrist band showing that you are a MNSSHP attendee. This way the regular day-guests without tickets are easily spotted and asked to exit the park. TIP - This is a great day not to buy or use a regular Magic Kingdom admission ticket, but instead to just use your MNSSHP ticket. By doing this you get 8 hours of park time and, with all the non-stop activity form the party-like atmosphere, that’s really all most kiddos (and some adults) can handle.
Many who attend this event wear costumes of some sort. I have seen everything from entire families coordinated in professional costumes to something as simple as a Jack Skellington t-shirt. TIP - When packing the Halloween costumes keep in mind that it is typically still hot and humid in Florida at that time. Bulky and hot costumes can quickly result in crabby kids!
Of course the cast members are selling a variety of light-up items for the party and they can be pretty pricy. TIP - I always pack glow necklaces or bracelets without telling the kids and then pull them out right after we have picked our spot to sit down and wait for the parade. This keeps them entertained while waiting and I have only spent a few dollars.
There are a variety of activities to choose from at MNSSHP, but there are three not-to-be-missed events. First, the Villain Mix-And-Mingle, which is the opening number in front of Cinderella’s castle and features many of the Disney villains that we love to hate. After the show the characters are free to walk around the park for photo opportunities with guests and some are assigned designated photo spots as well. TIP - As large numbers of Disney villains are not typically in the parks for photos and meet-and-greets the lines fill up FAST! If there is a particular character you are interested in getting a photo with ask a cast member where they will be stationed and get in line early. Second, is the “Boo-To-You” Halloween parade. This parade is wonderful and the Boo-To-You song that is played over and over is so catchy, you will be singing it for days! TIP - Arrive early to get a good spot to see the grandmaster of the parade, the Headless Horseman, ride full speed on a beautiful horse down the center of Main Street USA. The floats and characters that follow are villains or the traditional characters in Halloween or fall attire. TIP - The only portion of the parade that really is a little scary for children is the gravedigger portion. These men are in zombie-like costumes and drag their shovels over the street creating large sprays of sparks. The costumes combined with the loud shovel noise was a bit much for some. TIP - I recommend watching a YouTube video of the parade before you go so that young children can be prepared for that portion. The third and final not-to-be-missed event of MNSSHP is “Happy Hallo-Wishes.” This show and fireworks display is haunting and features the voices and theme songs of some of Disney’s most popular bad-guys. Running for about 11 minutes, the “ghost-host” opens the show and Cinderella’s castle is illuminated with images of villains, jack-o-lanterns and other traditional Halloween scenes all set on a background of black, dark blue, orange, and green while beautiful fireworks blast overhead.
In addition to all of the main events, there are character dance parties and trick-or-treat spots at designated locations. Upon entry to the MNSSHP everyone is provided a small candy bag. TIP - These bags are never quite big enough for all of the goodies, so I always stop in Main Street Confectionary as I arrive and get large and sturdy dated bags for my children. These are great keepsakes to have from the evening. At each candy stop, the children get huge handfuls of treats. I must say that I have always been pleased to see raisins and other healthy snacks mixed in with the candy. The park is pretty dark for this event and walking around with children can become a bit nerve-wracking. TIP - I highly suggest attaching a light-up necklace to your child so that they can be spotted easily in the large crowds.
This year is going to be even bigger and better with the addition of a few new characters. Jack and Sally, Phineas and Ferb, and Mike and Sully will be in attendance to liven things up a bit along with 220 tons of candy that is waiting to be consumed!
I would recommend MNSSHP to anyone lucky enough to be traveling to WDW in the fall. MNSSHP truly lives up to it’s name and it is an event that can be thoroughly enjoyed by guests of all ages. It’s really not so scary!