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You may be wondering why you should pay $79 for special access to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. If you have just spent a small fortune on your dream Disney vacation including park hopper passes, Mickey’s Halloween Party may not be a good option for you. But if you are purchasing individual park tickets, particularly if you have visited the Magic Kingdom previously, then Mickey’s Halloween Party may be the best way to visit Disney from mid-August to Halloween each year.
If you are on the fence and need some convincing, here is everything you need to know about Mickey’s Halloween Party:
Mickey’s Halloween Party Special Gate Entry
Dedicated gates are set up for guests of Mickey’s Halloween Party to be ushered in as only Disney knows how. Employees – known at Disney as cast members – will greet you with excitement, wristbands, and bags to collect all of the candy that you and your kids will accumulate during Mickey’s Halloween Party. Trust us, you are going to need that bag! The cast members do not waste any time and immediately start handing out candy after you receive your bag. Cast members assigned to the candy stations throughout the park do not start dispersing goodies until the official start of the party at 7 PM.
A special Map & Time Guide is distributed for Mickey’s Halloween Party. All of the candy distribution stations are highlighted on the map, as well as all the special Halloween entertainment times.
If you have chosen to visit the Magic Kingdom earlier in the day, you do not have to leave the park to get your Mickey’s Halloween Party wristband. There are stations marked as “Wristband Distribution” set up throughout the park where you can scan your Mickey’s Halloween Party tickets and get your wristband and Maps & Time Guide.
Read More: Visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios with a Preschooler.
The Start Time of Mickey’s Halloween Party
You do not have to wait until the official start time of 7 PM to enter the Magic Kingdom. Guests of Mickey’s Halloween Party can access the park via the special gates starting at 4 PM. You may or may not be able to reserve fast passes for the three hours between your arrival and the official start of the party. Guests have reported both triumph and failure at this attempt, so you might as well give it a try!
The Crowds at Mickey’s Halloween Party
There are not any! At least by Disney standards. Mickey’s Halloween Party guests have special wrist bands, so anyone not wearing them are ushered out of the park at 6 PM. The Magic Kingdom has a maximum capacity of 100,000 on a normal day. However, the max number of tickets sold to Mickey’s Halloween Party is 30,000. Many Disney visitors opt to visit a different park on the select days of Mickey’s Halloween Party, so even the hours of 4 PM to 7 PM will be less crowded than a normal day at the Magic Kingdom.
Read More: Cruising to Disneyland with Mazda.
The Candy at Mickey’s Halloween Party
So. Much. Candy. You will seriously accumulate enough to take home and distribute it at your house on Halloween.
There are about 14 candy distribution points throughout the park, each with a glowing orange inflatable marked “Treats”. You probably will not need the inflatable to let you know it is a Trick or Treating spot, you’ll know it by the long line that has formed. Do not worry, the candy lines move very fast.
Most of the candy is of the Mars/Wrigley variety – think M&Ms, Snickers, Starbursts, & Skittles. There are two well-marked locations for allergy-friendly treats. The map also indicates where special allergy-friendly bags can be obtained.
The Costumes at Mickey’s Halloween Party
Mickey’s Halloween Party is one of the few times adults are allowed to dress up in costumes at Disney World because of their strict, yet necessary, rules against people over 14 wearing costumes. Here is the complete guide to Theme Park Dress & Costumes at Disney Theme Parks.
Read More: SeaWorld is an Orlando Theme Park for All Ages.
The Characters at Mickey’s Halloween Party
Many characters normally not present in Disney Theme Parks make a special appearance during Mickey’s Halloween Party. The characters you expect to see at the Magic Kingdom are also there, but with a twist. They are dressed in special costumes for the event, so going to Mickey’s Halloween Party is the perfect way to see your favorite Disney characters in a new way.
The Decorations at Mickey’s Halloween Party
Everything from mid-August through November is given a Not-So-Spooky Halloween spin at the Magic Kingdom. While you will see much of the Magic Kingdom aglow in Halloween decor on the evenings Mickey’s Halloween Party is not occurring, it is a totally different experience during Mickey’s Halloween Party.
The Ride Overlays at Mickey’s Halloween Party
Some rides at the Magic Kingdom receive a special Mickey’s Halloween Party overlay. Examples are live pirates joining your boat on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, special Halloween lighting and music on the Mad Tea Party spinning teacups, and the Space Mountain roller coaster in complete darkness with rock n roll music.
The Dance Parties at Mickey’s Halloween Party
What is a party without dancing? Mickey’s Halloween Party gives you and your kids two opportunities to dance the night away. Your first option to dance is with Sully and Mike from Monsters Inc. at the Scream-O-Ween Ball at RocketTower Plaza Stage in Tomorrowland.
Your other opportunity to boogie is at the Storybook Circus Disney Junior Jam with all of your children’s favorite Disney Junior characters. You’ll likely pass the Scream-O-Ween Ball multiple times during your evening, but the Disney Junior Jam requires a little more searching as it is buried all the way in the back of Storybook Circus.
The Entertainment at Mickey’s Halloween Party
For many, the special entertainment at Mickey’s Halloween Party is the reason they come. The signature events are the Hocus Pocus Villain Spectacular, Mickey’s Boo-to-You Halloween Parade, and a fireworks show which is currently called Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular.
The Hocus Pocus Villain Spectacular
This show is led by the villainous Sanderson Sisters from Disney’s film Hocus Pocus. The sisters conjure up a Hocus Pocus Party Potion to cast a spell on everyone at the Magic Kingdom attending Mickey’s Halloween Party. The show occurs multiple times throughout the night and occurs directly in front of Cinderella’s castle. As of this publication, showtimes are 7:40 PM, 8:35 PM, 10:45 PM, and 12 AM.
Mickey’s Boo-to-You Halloween Parade
Much different than any of the other parades at the Magic Kingdom, this ghoulishly delightful parade starts with the headless horseman making his way along the parade route. There are many Halloween themed floats and of course, your favorite characters will be donning their Halloween best. However, the highlight of this parade is the gravediggers who march methodically before dazzling you with their moves dragging their grave digging shovels along the ground which create sparks that fly along the dimmed parade route.
Main Street is probably not the best place to view the parade as it gets very crowded. To get a good spot, you would need to arrive long before the parade starts. You will end up missing many of the Mickey’s Halloween Party activities going on throughout the park. The cast members do their best to keep you entertained while you wait, but grabbing a spot in Frontierland is probably a better option as it is reported that a good vantage point can be acquired within 15 minutes of the parade start. As of this publication, the parade occurs two times each evening of Mickey’s Halloween Party, 9:15 PM & 11:15 PM.
Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular
New to Mickey’s Halloween Party in 2019 is Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular – a rebranded fireworks and projection show directly in front of Cinderella’s castle. Per Disney’s website, “this new show will feature state-of-the-art projection effects, lasers, lighting and dazzling fireworks that come together to tell a not-so-scary story about how anything can happen on Halloween night. The show will take guests along on a trick-or-treating adventure, where four friends – Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy – find themselves drawn into a mysterious haunted house. The journey takes them from one room of the house to another, encountering dancing skeletons, waltzing ghosts and a whole series of troublemaking Disney villains.”
The firework show only occurs once a night which is 10:15 PM as of this publication.
The End Time of Mickey’s Halloween Party
Mickey’s Halloween Party officially ends at 12 AM, but the park actually stays open a bit later. The last Hocus Pocus Villain Spectacular occurs at 12 AM, so to get the most time at the park, plan to watch this last bit of entertainment in front of the castle then meander your way along Main Street as you leave the Magic Kingdom. The shops will stay open as the park empties, so save all of your shopping for your special Halloween Disney items until the very end of your evening. Waiting to purchase your souvenirs until the end of the evening means you do not have to carry the items during your evening at Mickey’s Halloween Party. After all, your hands will already be full of candy bags!
When Is the Best Time to Visit Mickey’s Halloween Party?
August & September are less crowded than October dates. If you are going to visit in October, try to avoid Friday and Saturday nights. As for Halloween itself, that is the most popular date for Mickey’s Halloween Party. If you are staying on Disney property, there really is no reason to visit Mickey’s Halloween Party on Halloween. Disney World Resort Hotels offer trick or treating for children and Halloween activities throughout the day.
Where to Stay for Mickey’s Halloween Party?
Staying at a Disney World Resort is, without a doubt, the best way to experience the magic of Disney. Being able to rely on Disney to transport your family to and from the parks is a big bonus. As previously mentioned, all of the Disney World Resort hotels offer trick or treating and various Halloween activities including Halloween themed movies under the stars. Thus, any Disney resort is a good choice during Mickey’s Halloween Party.
However, the absolute best resort to experience Halloween at Disney is Fort Wilderness. While The Campsites at Fort Wilderness Resort are where most of the Halloween spookiness is found, staying at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge will give you easier access to the campsites which are completely transformed during Halloween. All of the campsites really get into the spirit and decorate their campsite as if their lives depended on it! You can book a carriage ride through the campsites to experience this Halloween wonderland.
Many guests at the Campsites at Fort Wilderness Resort bring or rent golf carts to get around the resort. Each year, campers decorate their golf carts and there is a Halloween parade. It really is amazing to see the creativity of these campers! The date for the golf cart Halloween parade changes each year so make sure to check before attending.
Another magical component of Halloween at The Campsites at Fort Wilderness Resort is the addition of “Return to Sleepy Hollow”. This event takes places inside the stables at the Tri-Circle D Ranch and features the Headless Horseman.
As you can see, there are endless amounts of Disney magic to be experienced during Halloween, especially at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. For those who have already visited Disney during other seasons, a visit during Mickey’s Halloween Party gives your family a completely new experience. For those of you who have not visited before and care more about meeting characters and entertainment, Mickey’s Halloween Party is a solid option. Of course, there are many Disney fans out there who are happy to get as many doses of Disney magic in during a trip, so Mickey’s Halloween Party is a great way to experience the extra magic of the Halloween season. No matter what type of visitor you are, you will have a spookily fun time at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.
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