It´s finally October, my favorite month of the year! The temperatures are milder, it´s looking gorgeous outside with the trees turning orange-yellowish, the air smells like pumpkin spice and, of course, the most fun holiday of all is approaching (nope, that´s not debatable). If you are a hardcode Halloween fan like me, but feels like your best Halloween years are behind you, this post is for you. Or if you don´t even know what is the fuzz about this holiday, but think you are past the age of finding out, this post is for you. If you like scary Halloween parties, well, this post is not for you – you are better off taking a look at Universal Studios´ Horror Nights review, here….if you dare… * evil laughter *
It doesn´t matter how old you are, at Disneyworld we are all allowed to be kids, and nobody will judge you for it. And what better holiday to enjoy this advantage than Halloween, when you can dress up, chase your favorite Disney characters, eat old time favorite desserts, and go trick or treating, without having to use your kid as an excuse? Sold!
What is it?
Mickey´s not so scary Halloween is Disney´s official Halloween Party happening at Magic Kingdom. During the event you can enjoy the beautiful themed decoration and many rides that are operational during the festivity, trick or treat around the park, watch special themed shows and the parade. You can also meet the usual Disney characters in Halloween costumes (Mickey, Minnie, Donald Duck, Daisy, Tigger, Pooh…), and take pictures with the villains we all love to love like Cruella Deville, The Queen of Hearts, Jafar and Gastón.
You can also meet and greet other special characters that you don´t usually see around except during the Halloween party like Jack Skellington, the seven Dwarves, Jack Sparrow, Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dee…You will have a hard time choosing your priorities! Oh, and let´s not forget about all the special food available at the party and the seasonal Halloween merchandise…
Make sure you grab a map at the entrance of the event, so you know exactly where to find the operational rides, trick or treating spots and character´s meet & greets.
Different from Universal Studio´s Halloween Horror Nights, you are encouraged to come to Mickey´s Halloween dressed up! Just be aware of the many rules that apply, here.
Mickey´s not so scary Halloween Party starts around middle August and the last dates are in November. This year (2019), it is happening from August 16th until 1st of November. After that, Disney changes the focus to the Christmas´ party. The event only happens at selective days of the week, so you better take a look at their calendar here , and plan carefully.
Just like Universal´s Horror Nights, all you need to do is to buy a special event ticket. The price normally ranges from $80 to $120 for adults. The price depends on the month and day of the week you want to attend the party. Weekends and the month of October are normally more expensive. Tickets for young children (3 to 9 years old) are a bit cheaper. For October this year (2019), adults are paying $115 and young children, $110. It´s not a big difference, but we are happy to get any discount at all, right?
With the party special ticket you can enter the Magic Kingdom park already at 4pm and start enjoying the rides. The official celebration starts at 7pm. I would advise you to take the day off, and rest until the time of the Halloween, especially if you have children. You don´t want the kids to be tired and asleep by the time you have to hit the party.
Many rides will be open during Mickey´s Halloween. Some of them are: it´s a small world, tomorrowland speedway, space mountain, seven dwarfs mine train, splash mountain, the haunted mansion, pirates of the Caribbean, the mad tea party. Some attractions even have exclusive additional features for the people riding them during the Halloween party! The Pirates of the Caribbean, for example, has real pirates interacting with the guests, while Space Mountain is completely dark with a special soundtrack on!
When it comes to the rides´ waiting times, it all depends on which day/month you are attending the party and also on luck…We went in October, close to the 31st, which is a date that the party tends to be fuller. Some rides had really long waits (the haunted mansion, the seven dwarfs mine train), while others were very easy to get in (splash mountain, under the sea…). A good tip is to connect your Halloween party ticket with your online My Disney Experience on the official Disney website, schedule your FASTPASS online in advance, and enter the park early (at 4pm, when you are allowed in with the Halloween ticket). So, from 4pm to 7pm, you can enjoy some rides with your Fastpass.
Another precious tip I was given, and I´m now passing it on to you, is to focus on the Halloween specials once the party officially starts (7pm), instead of on riding all the rides. You can go to Magic Kingdom and enjoy the rides earlier or on another day. But the Halloween only lasts a few hours and there´s sooo much to do that you will miss out on a lot if you decide to focus on the rides. We went to Magic Kingdom on the day before we went to the Halloween party, and we felt like we enjoyed the best of the two. Having said that….some rides like the Haunted Mansion can indeed spice up your Halloween experience! Try to find the perfect balance that suits your needs and expectations.
Mickey´s Boo to you Halloween Parade
The parade is definitely one of the highlights of the night. Disney excels in throwing a colorful party of floats with the catchiest song you will ever hear (it´s been a year, and it´s still crystal clear in my head). The parade lasts 20 minutes and happens twice during the night, at 8:35pm and at 11:15pm. If you can, it´s a good idea to watch the second one, for two reasons: it will be emptier (people with younger kids tend to go home earlier), and while most of the people are watching the first one, you can be enjoying rides, trick or treating, doing meet & greets or trying the special food of the event without lines.
The parade doesn´t change that much from one year to the other, but they do try to exchange some characters and floats in order to keep it interesting for people attending on a regular basis (oh, the lucky ones!). The 2019 Halloween – spoiler time! – has the gliding spectral bride (who´s pretty cool by the way), Buzz Lightyear with some alien explorers and the Incredibles as new additions to last year´s parade. My favorite are the Disney characters at the beginning of the parade, the hitchhiking ghosts around the middle of it, and, of course, everyone´s favorite, the headless horseman who opens up the whole thing.
I would say that the most magical place to watch the parade is at the main street, with the castle in the backdrop. But, in order to grab a good spot there, you will have to secure your place at least about an hour before the parade starts. As I was having a blast around the park, I didn´t want to stay still in one spot for an hour. So we watched it quite comfortably at the beginning of it, at Frontierland, and we grabbed our spot 20-30 minutes before it started.
Trick or Treating
Before you enter the party, you will receive a bag, a map of the park with the trick or treating spots, and your first candy. Yep, that easy! Doesn´t matter your age, every person gets a bag! Then you just have to walk around the park hitting the marked locations in order to get your bag filled. I don´t know if we were lucky or what, but we barely had to queue for the treats.
If you have any kind of allergy, ask a cast member to give you a blue bag. In this case, instead of candy, you will receive a blue token in the trick or treat spots, which later you can exchange for special sweets at the allergy-friendly stations! Disney thinks of everything!
You can also bring your own trick or treat bag. It basically depends on how much candy you are committed to take back home. As two adults who are not thaaaat crazy about sweets, we found the Disney bag quite enough. To give you an idea, we didn´t even go to all of the trick or treating spots and we went home with two overfilled bags. Fast forwarding to a year later….we still have pretty much half of it here.
I know what you´re thinking and, to put you out of your misery: yes, you can go to all trick or treat spots as many times as you´d like.
Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular
This is a live play with Disney villains that happens at Main Street, right in front of the castle. The focus of the story is the Sanderson sisters, who are trying to put a hocus pocus potion together with the help of the other villains, in order to throw the biggest Halloween Party the Kingdom has ever seen. The show lasts 20 minutes and features dancers and special effects.
It is pretty cool to see many villains all together, which almost never happens. Did we find it unmissable? Hmm, honestly no. But it all depends on your priorities.
The Cadaver Dans Barbershop Quartet
You will bump into these four ghosts around the park performing a Capella songs and cracking jokes. This is obviously a matter of taste, but I found them one of the coolest attractions of the party. Our focus was the parade, the trick or treating and the special candy/merchandise, so unexpectedly finding a fun performance in the middle of the street, between one trick or treating spot and the other, was such a pleasant surprise. We ended up watching them perform twice! The singers are so talented and the melodies are delightful to hear.
Mickey´s not-so-scary Halloween Party Fireworks: Disney´s not so spooky Spectacular
Now this is something not to miss. The light, projection and fireworks´ show happens at the castle at Main Street, normally at 10:15pm, and it´s indeed spooky spectacular! The 2019 show is hosted by Jack Skellington, who tells us a Halloween tale. The story goes that Mickey and his friends go trick or treating and end up at a haunted house, meeting some of its inhabitants. Disney never ever disappoints, but I do like the new firework show starting this year with Jack Skellington better than the “Hallowishes” Theme from the 14 previous years!
Keep in mind that on the Halloween party nights, this is the firework show you will see, instead of Disney´s Happily Ever After or the Once Upon a Time firework show. These both happen on every normal night (this means, when the Halloween party doesn´t take place), the former at 9pm, and the latter at 9:45 pm. This is one of the reasons why we chose to buy a separate ticket to go to Magic Kingdom on a normal day, so we were able to see these other light shows. The Happily Ever After one, for example, lasts 18 minutes and uses the most special effects in the history of Magic Kingdom.
Special Events inside the Event (well…you got it)
Not matter how much you have already paid, you can always make it worse for your pocket. I mean, let´s be honest: we all looove Disneyworld, but it isn´t a cheap vacation, especially if you want to make it more exclusive. Yep, all of those extras we love, that our monthly salary hates.
There are basically two ways you can improve your Halloween experience: you can buy an additional ticket to the Dessert Party happening at Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant, or one for Cruella´s Halloween Hide-A-Way, which happens at Tony´s Town Square Restaurant.
The Dessert Party is a buffet filled with delicious treats only, which includes fruits dipped in chocolate, ice cream, cupcakes, cheeses, lemonades, hot chocolate and sparkling cider, to name a few. This sugar rush feast costs $84 for adults and $50 for kids (3-9 years old), plus taxes.
Cruella´s Hide-A-Way happens from 9:30pm until 12:30am, costing $99 per person plus taxes. A buffet dinner is offered with savory and sweet options. Here you will feel among high society…and watch out! Cruella herself could be sitting at your table! As her VIP guest, you will also have a reserved area in order to watch the second boo to you parade.
I can´t tell you if these extra tickets are worth it, because I have never been to any of these parties. What I can tell you though, is that you will probably never be bumping into me there. I like the Halloween party itself, and I think there´s already so much to do during the night, that I wouldn´t like to miss on anything in order to go to these special events. I also think the price is too high (Halloween party ticket + dinner/dessert party ticket) for what it is, especially for me, that am not a huuuuge fan of desserts and can be a bit picky about food. I would rather try different desserts that I choose to buy around the park, especially at the Main Street Confectionery.
If you have already been to the Halloween party and have enjoyed it to its fullest, you have a little bit more money to spend and are looking for something exclusive to enhance your Halloween experience…then the dessert or Cruella´s dinner party is for you!
Mickey´s not-so-scary Halloween Party is definitely fun for people every age! I saw entire families there, and it was touching to realize that I couldn´t tell who was having more fun, the kids or the adults. By the way, I even saw 60+ couples alone, having the time of their lives, queueing for a picture with Mickey in his Halloween costume!
The ticket is not cheap, I know. But remember you are paying for a special event, where you will be able to enjoy the park with a different atmosphere than usual and you will go home with tons of candy! If you do enjoy the spirit of Halloween, I can only highly recommend the party.
*The article reflects the author´s unbiased opinion. I do not receive commission for any products or links here mentioned.