Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is one of the most exciting annual events the Walt Disney World Resort has to offer. And, after a two-year hiatus, last year’s party was more popular than ever- So we’re sharing the ultimate strategy guide for your next trip to this iconic “spooky season” event.
About Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is a separately ticketed event at Magic Kingdom Park that takes place each year with dates late summer through Halloween night on October 31.
Along with favorite attractions around the Park, this special event includes seasonal entertainment like the Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular fireworks, Mickey’s Boo-To-You Halloween Parade, the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular stage show, the Cadaver Dans Barbershop Quartet, and more.
Another major focus of the event is character meet and greets, which often feature rare characters who are seldom seen in the theme parks, like Disney villains and Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and the Fab Five dressed up in their Halloween costumes.
Of course, any Disney Parks event will also come packed with exclusive merchandise, specialty snacks, PhotoPass Magic Shots, and more, along with attraction overlays, trick-or-treating, and the chance to dress up, in the case of the Halloween party. So let’s get into the specifics….
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What are the dates for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party in 2023?
Walt Disney World recently announced that the 2023 Halloween party will run select nights from August 11-November 1, 2023.
All parties run from 7:00 p.m. to midnight; however, Guests with Halloween party tickets are able to enter the Magic Kingdom as early as 4:00 p.m. (which we highly recommend doing, but more on that later.)
How much do tickets to the Halloween party cost?
In 2023, tickets to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party cost $109-$199 for adults depending on the specific date and $99-$189 for Guests ages 3-9.
Generally, ticket pricing will be less expensive earlier in the season and on weekdays. Weekends and the dates closest to Halloween, including October 31, will be more expensive. The latter dates will also be more crowded, so for that reason as well, we recommend going to the event earlier in the season if you are able to.
How to plan your night at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
As we mentioned earlier, Guests with party tickets can enter the Magic Kingdom at 4:00 p.m. even though the festivities do not begin until 7:00 p.m. It only makes sense to arrive early to get the most value out of your event tickets, but having these extra three hours built into your party night can also help you plan your evening without feeling so rushed.
There are two ways to make the most of arriving earlier to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party: Focus on attractions that do not have overlays during the party, and/or hop in line for the most popular character meet and greets.
Ride attractions with no overlays first
While most attractions at the Magic Kingdom will be open during the event, you may not want to spend the time experiencing them if they are the same ones you can ride during the day. For this reason, if rides are on your must-do list, but you also want to make the most out of the party-specific offerings, entering the Park at 4:00 p.m. effectively allows you to do both.
Select attractions may have special overlays for the Halloween Party (like Space Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean.) If the overlays are offered in 2023, be sure to save those attractions for the party itself and ride others prior to the 7:00 p.m. start time.
Note: During the 2023 event, TRON Lightcycle / Run will operate with a virtual queue only.
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Prioritize must-see characters
Depending on which character meet and greets are on your must-do list, you may also want to hop in line for your first one before the party starts. Of course, this means some of your “early entry” time will be spent waiting in line, but for some of the event’s most popular characters this can free up enough time during the party to be worth the wait.
Disney has not yet announced which characters will be included at this year’s party, but in years past some of the most popular meet and greets have included Jack and Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) and all seven of the dwarfs from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937). (The dwarfs were not featured at last year’s event, but we are hoping to see them back this year!)
Other characters in previous years have included Stitch as Elvis, Captain Jack Sparrow, Aladdin, Abu, Genie, Jasmine, and Jafar from Aladdin (1992), Moana, Belle and Gaston from Beauty and the Beast (1991), and Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, and Goofy in their Halloween costumes, to name a few.
What is the best way to see the parade, fireworks, and shows?
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party offers some of the best entertainment the Magic Kingdom has to offer and no evening at this event is complete without making the most of it.
If the weather allows for it, we recommend seeing later shows and parades. As a general tip, nearly any Disney show is less crowded during its second performance (this is a great note to make for Fantasmic! if you are also visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios.)
In following this tip, you’ll want to see the later showing of Mickey’s Boo-To-You Halloween Parade and the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular if possible. We mention the weather because these performances could be modified or canceled in inclement weather. While the parade may run during very light rain, the Hocus Pocus show would likely be canceled as the stage in front of Cinderella Castle could be slippery. If the weather looks truly scary later in the evening, disregard this tip and see the earlier shows.
Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular fireworks only take place once during the party. If you want a prime viewing location in front of Cinderella Castle, you will want to secure your spot 40 minutes to an hour early, but anywhere in front of the Castle will offer an incredible view. While you would miss the projections watching from behind the Castle, Fantasyland also offers a nice vantage point for the show’s perimeter fireworks.
Other entertainment like the Cadaver Dans, ghosts outside the Haunted Mansion, and character dance parties take place periodically throughout the event, so it will be easier to fit them in around characters, trick-or-treating, and attractions in each part of the Park.
“Filler” activities for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
Don’t worry! We didn’t forget about trick-or-treating, and it is not really “filler,” since this is a Halloween party, after all. What we mean by “filler” though, is the parts of the party that you do not need to plan for. You will come across treat locations around the Park throughout the night, and it will be quick and easy to fit them in between everything else on your list. Definitely dress up and stop to grab some candy, but do not feel compelled to over plan this part of the night– Instead, focus your planning on character meet and greets, attractions with overlays, and entertainment.
Along with trick-or-treating, you will find plenty of time between everything else to stop for photo ops and snacks. In the weeks leading up to the event, Disney will release a foodie guide with all the treats specific to the Halloween party. (You will also find them in the event guide given out in the Park.) There are typically not long lines for snacks, so much like trick-or-treating, you can often fit in snacking between your other plans.
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is also a great night to take PhotoPass Magic Shots. Check with a PhotoPass Cast Member or the event guide once you are in the Park, but there are typically magic shots near Cinderella Castle and the Park entrance.
What about merchandise?
Merchandise may not be at the top of your list, but if there are any party-specific items you would like to purchase, try to shop early in the evening. In addition to Disney’s regular Halloween collection, special items will be offered that are only available at the party (usually pins, T-shirts, spirit jerseys, etc…) If you simply must have any of the merch offered, pick it up early in case it sells out.
In my experience, you will want to check out the shops on Main Street, U.S.A. prior to the fireworks, or in Frontierland before the first parade to grab your must-have souvenirs before they sell out.
Ready to plan your trip to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party?
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is just one of the reasons why we love visiting Walt Disney World in the fall. Along with this after-hours party at the Magic Kingdom, fall brings with it the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival as well as the Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic, making this time of year a foodie’s paradise.
While there is really no “slow” season at Walt Disney World anymore, late August and early September typically bring lighter crowds to the Parks, and when combined with all of the above reasons, it really could be the best way for you to plan your next Disney trip!
Once tickets go on sale for this year’s event, they will be available on Disney’s official website, along with any updates to the 2023 entertainment lineup.
Can’t make it to Disney World this fall? The Magic Kingdom offers a similar experience during the holiday season with Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party!
The opinions in this post reflect the author and may not represent Disney Tips as a whole.