As Summer begins to wind down, it is clearly time to start thinking about Halloween. As the school supplies leap off shelves at local department stores, candy and costumes will appear before we can say “Boo!” If you are lucky enough to take a Walt Disney World Resort vacation this fall, you know that Halloween begins in September with Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP)! And the fun starts even earlier this year. Here are just a few of the reasons to join the happy haunts at MNSSHP this year.
1. Early entrance to the Magic Kingdom: Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party officially begins at 7:00 p.m. and ends at midnight. Traditionally, party Guests have been allowed entrance to the Magic Kingdom at 4:00 p.m. and all non-party Guests must leave the park by 7:00 p.m.. All party-goers receive a wristband, granting them access to all of the not-so-scary activities.
2. Costumes: Adults and kids alike can show off their Halloween best. As long as you don’t resemble the actual characters too closely, sign autographs or carry anything resembling a weapon, feel free to get as creative as possible. Ladies, this is your chance to get the hubby to dress as Jack Sparrow, Prince Charming. Or perhaps Goofy might be more appropriate! While costumes are not mandatory, chances are you will spot groups of monsters, pirates, princesses, dwarfs and countless others.
DIStracted Tip: When planning your perfect costume, remember that it is HOT in Orlando in September and often well into October. The party is rocking in rain or shine, so be sure to check and dress for the weather before heading out! If you have young children, tweens or even teens, you may want to check out these adorable and comfortable costumes from Mom Approved Costumes.
3. Trick-or-Treating in the Magic Kingdom: Yep, that is right. Adults and kids alike can trick-or-treat their way around the Magic Kingdom, hitting any or all of the Trick-or-Treat Trails or Treat Spots.
DIStracted Tip: All party Guests will receive a plastic bag to collect their candy. If you plan on doing a lot of Trick-or-Treating, you may want to bring a small tote bag or backpack to make it easier to carry all your loot! Some locations have passed out raisins in the past, but if you have dietary restrictions or are looking for healthy options, simply head to Guest Services where they will have peanut-free and sugar-free candy as well as healthier treats.
4. Special Disney Parks MNSSHP Merchandise and Snacks: Shops are filled with merchandise exclusive to party Guests, like trading pins, shirts, snacks and other Halloween-themed souvenirs, not to mention all of the Halloween themed desserts that can be found throughout the park. Candy corn cotton candy was a favorite of ours last year. Minnie witch candy apple? Don’t mind if I do!
5. Shorter Wait-Times for Attractions: My kids love to check out all of the attractions while the lines are short (and later in the night, nonexistent). Each year, we ride Splash Mountain multiple times without ever even getting off. I lost track of how many times my kids walked onto Space Mountain last year … a ghostly dream come true for them.
6. Character Interactions: At each party beloved characters host dance parties, so you can get close to your favorite characters in an informal, fun way. Want to do the Wobble with Mike and Sully? Last year the crew from Monsters University rocked it out in Tomorrowland, while Guests partied with their favorite bad guys and gals over at Club Villain in the Diamond Horseshoe in Frontierland. Then find out why “it’s good to be bad” by checking out the Villains Mix and Mingle Live on Stage in front of Cinderella Castle. Lines for all Seven Dwarfs and other favs can stretch for hours, so decide who you would like to see and stake out the line early! Your MNSSHP map will note locations for special character meets throughout the park.
7. Mickey’s Boo-to-You Halloween Parade/HalloWishes: Each party night is filled with spooky excitement and ghoulish fun, but the absolute highlight is Mickey’s Boo-to-You Halloween Parade. Each of the two nightly parades (8:15 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.) eerily begin with the Headless Horseman’s ride through the streets. After that, ghostly haunts who reside in the Haunted Mansion are released for the night, dancing (and digging!) their way down the parade route. Mickey and the gang, as usual, are in on the fun; they wouldn’t miss this opportunity to show off their Halloween costumes. Between parades, HalloWishes, the most amazing fireworks spectacular, is a must to top off the night.
8. Magic Shots: Before the night is over, be sure to seek out the Disney’s Photo Pass photographers to take a few “magic shots” unique to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. Don’t miss the ones outside The Haunted Mansion. You just might be followed home by some hitchhiking ghosts!
DIStracted Tip: You may want to consider purchasing Memory Maker, a way to download all of the pictures taken of you and your family by the PhotoPass photographers. Check out my recent article to learn all about Memory Maker.
While tickets to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party are an added cost to your Disney Parks vacation budget, each party is really magical in a not-so-scary kind of way that only Disney can offer. If you do decide to attend, be sure to check out Anne’s article with all of the dates and prices for this year’s MNSSHP celebration and share costume ideas in our comments section. Happy Halloween and Boo to You!