Boys and girls of every age, wouldn’t you like to see something strange? Come with us and you will see,
Did you sing along? It’s perfectly normal if you did. Halloween is our most favorite time of the year. And along with that, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is our “most looked forward to” event every year! Costumes are strategically picked, and each year we plan our evening as if we are visiting for the first time. There is SO much offered on these party nights, and doing it all with little ones is near impossible. This event is top-of-the-line unique.Unlike Christmastime events, the entertainment, parade, food and character opportunities are only available to guests attending the party. There are many party nights available in September and October, and I highly recommend you do attend a party if you can! With that being said, here are a few highlights and things you should definitely consider when attending this incredible, unique experience.
Be sure to have your camera ready and take photos of everything. Main Street USA sets the mood for this festive season. Jack O’ Lantern Scarecrows dressed as citizens grace the center of Main Street. Creatively carved pumpkins are lined up above the shops. Fun Halloween merchandise is available in the Emporium. Yummy treats can be found in the bakery. In the excitement of getting this not so scary party started, be sure to take a moment and appreciate the finer details of the season.
There are so many events, photo opportunities and entertainment selections available, it is hard to just choose a few things to do! There are some that you just cannot miss – the Headless Horseman leading the Boo To You Parade, fireworks, the parade, and the special character appearances, just to name a few! There are many resources available to help you plan your evening beforehand. One resource that we found very helpful was from Kenny the Pirate. His character location map proved to be a huge time saver!
Here are NDM 130’s top tips to make your Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party successful-
- Arrive at the park as close to 4pm as you can – If you are not a local and park time in the Magic Kingdom is crucial to your visit, arrive on time. Your MNSSHP ticket will grant you admission to the Magic Kingdom as early as 4pm. With party happenings not starting until 7pm, this gives you 3 hours in the park with generally low crowds. FastPass+ can also be booked for the 4-7 pm time frame only. No FastPass+ are booked during the party. Use this time wisely to visit the attractions and/or characters you just cannot miss during your visit.
- Get your Sorcerer of the Magic Kingdom card first- As soon as you enter the park, head to the Fire Dept. and get your card. We arrived at 6pm, and they were issuing these cards at that time. This unique card is only for party attendees, and you do not “have” to play the game that night to get the card. Your park ticket will be scanned and you will be given the special card, along with a set of 5 wrapped cards. Everyone in your party MUST be present with tickets in order to receive them. If you do play this game, but do not want to waste party time playing, no worries! Your new, special card will work whenever you do play!
- Steer away from normal, every day occurrences if you can – If you can do it when the park is open normal hours, and it is not a deal breaker if you skip it, I highly recommend focusing on party offerings. There are only five actual party hours – use your time wisely. You will be given a party map when you enter the park. This will list everything that is offered and the times for these events at the party: character locations, merchandise, food, the parade route and entertainment offerings. Take more than one map – they will get lost!
- Be prepared to “divide and conquer” – Any NDP who has ever taken a small child to the parks knows that a late night event, sugar and excitement can lead to a disastrous meltdown for any NDK. Lines can just be LONG! Our fun motto when we attend these events is “divide and conquer!” Basically, if NDK really had her heart set on a special snack or item, one of us would stand in that long line while the other took NDK for the character photo, ride or whatever it was that wanted to be done. Small children and long lines just do not mix well and some rides will be a literal walk on. This is a great way to accomplish a lot! But this theory doesn’t apply to just the NDKs! This year, NDD really wanted his photo with Jack and Sally. The line for that high-demand photo opp was hours long. He waited for that while we visited Storybook Circus and saw Minnie and Daisy. Everyone walked away happy 🙂
- Special photo opportunities – There are a few Magic Photos that are a part of MNSSHP. These can be a great addition to any family album! They are unique and offer a fresh look at the traditional castle family photo. Be sure to seek out the Hitchhiking Ghosts photo and the hearse driving ghost photo. These appear to be normal photos, but with a little Disney magic, some ghosts will follow you home when you view your Disney photos!
- Watch the second parade – The second parade is usually less crowded than the first. And this is why you should take advantage of that time during the first parade to hit a character photo, ride or attraction that would generally have a high wait time. During the first parade and the Celebrate the Magic Show, we were able to get photos with Winnie the Pooh & Friends (in costumes!) and the highly coveted 7 Dwarfs photo.
- Trick or Treat during the end of the night – Now, there is no way NDK could go all night seeing everyone trick or treating and not partake in it at all until the end of the night. But with more than 10 locations and very generous cast members, that can lead to a very heavy bag of candy – and I am sure I do not have to tell you who will wind up holding that bag towards the end of the night. Trick or treat locations are beautifully lit up with these Mickey pumpkin lights to show the way. As we happened upon one with no lines, I let NDK run though the line. She had a few handfuls of candy, was able to enjoy some during the party, and completely loved holding her bag throughout the night. After the second parade, we hit all the trick or treat locations, including the treat trails (multiple candy hand-outs!).
No matter what you choose to do when attending a hard ticket event like this, make sure that having fun is your first priority. When we attended our very first one years back, we were so disappointed that we missed so many unique opportunities. Being prepared and knowing what is a priority for you and your family when you attend is helpful, but having fun and making memories are the only things that matter!
Party dates for 2014 are: September 1, 9, 12, 14, 16, 19, 21, 23, 26 & 28 and October 2, 3, 5, 9, 10, 13, 16, 17, 19, 21, 23, 24, 26, 27, 30 & 31. Advance purchase (prior to event day) savings are available for select dates. To purchase tickets, be sure to visit the official Disney site for more details.
Disclosure : My family & I attended a special MNSSHP media event at the Magic Kingdom. No other compensation was received for this post. All opinions are my own.