A Mom’s Review of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
Let me begin by telling you that I’m a mom to two wonderful children, ages 2 years old and 6 years old. My review is based on my experience attending the party last week with them and my husband. I’m not affiliated with The Walt Disney Company. Ok, now on with the review!
Before the birth of our son, my husband and I loved visiting The Walt Disney World Resort during the fall. Between the Magic Kingdom’s Halloween party and Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival, Walt Disney World is busting with fun things to do. As young adults in our twenties, we worked for Disney and frequently spent time touring Epcot’s Lands during the month of October. Also, during that time I had paid to go to this Not-So-Scary event with friends and I really enjoyed it. That’s right, even as “cast member” you need to PAY to go to this event.
Now that our oldest child is six, we thought it would be a perfect time for him to experience Disney in the fall. Six years old is a perfect age for kids to participate in the fun to be had during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. But what about taking a toddler to the event? A baby sitter wasn’t an option for us and besides, we didn’t want her to miss out on potential fun. To be completely honest, I was concerned about bringing our little adventurer with us.
Below I’ve broken down the event into six categories to discuss: Ticket Costs, Event Time, Event Décor, Trick-or-Treating, Attractions, Parade & Fireworks.
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is a “hard ticket” event located at the Magic Kingdom Park within Walt Disney World. This means that you must buy a special Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party ticket to attend the event and that no other type of pass will allow you entry into the Magic Kingdom during the event. If you and your family would like to purchase a ticket to this event, I would suggest that you purchase the tickets before you leave home. The party has been known to sell out on some evenings, especially the dates that are close to Halloween. This year, an adult (10 +) ticket price is $62 and a child (3-9) ticket price $57. These prices are for dates Sunday through Thursday. Friday night’s prices are a few dollars more per ticket.
Pro: The cost of the Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party ticket is less than the cost of a one day ticket to the park. If you only have one day to spend at Disney, it’s perfect.
Con: Let’s be honest here, Ouch! Most families are already spending over a $1000 for a family of four to get into the Disney parks for a week. Another $200+ hurts to think about spending on just one evening.
Pro: The event is loosely scheduled to begin after the park’s closing at 7pm and continues until midnight. However, they allow MNSSHP guests to enter the park as early as 4pm. That’s 8 hours of fun! Take note that since park guests that are not attending the party will still be in the park until 7pm, the scheduled events, such as trick-or-treat locations, do not begin until roughly 7pm.
The day of our party we stayed out of the parks and relaxed at the pool during the morning and early afternoon. Then the entire family napped until it was time to go to the party. Without that nap I doubt we would have had such a wonderful experience. During the school year, both of my children start their bed time routine at 7pm. The time of this event obviously concerned me. I’m happy to say that we arrived at the park at about 5pm and stayed until 11:30pm! Yes, my two-year-old daughter fell asleep on the walk back to our resort but what party animals my kids are! There was so much activity going around them, that both kids didn’t give in to sleep until Mom and Dad were ready to leave.
Con: Since other guests are within the park from 4pm-7pm, Main Street USA does not “transform” for the event until 7pm. I felt that entering the park early diminished a touch of that magical experience you get when entering the park after it’s spooky transformation . Also, the guest traffic between 4pm – 7pm is obviously higher. In addition, as I mentioned before, with small children that have early bed times it may be hard to stay for the entire event. NAP is all I can say.
Pro: If you have small children, love Disney or both, the park’s Halloween décor will not disappoint. There is no blood or gore to be found at this park! The scariest sight for a little one to see would be the Headless Horseman riding down Mainstreet USA. And I must say, that’s cool! Magic Kingdom is already decked out for the fall, but once the sun goes down, guests find all sorts of creepy images lurking upon the buildings and spooky villain music fills the air. The mood is somehow spooky and magical, only Disney can do that!
Con: None that I can think of!
Pro: There are eleven different “Trick-or-Treat” locations throughout the park. In addition, there are two “Trick-or-Treat Trails”. Within these two trails there are multiple spots for little spooks to fill their bags. Locations are marked with huge pumpkin lanterns, pictured above, so my goblins found them very easily. Our toddler, whom I worried would tucker out by 9pm, was running to fill her bag at the final surprise spot we found while exiting the park at 11:30pm! We collected enough candy that we had to give most of it away to friends and family. This experience went above my expectations!
Con: About 40% of the candy that the kids received was not suitable for small children. There was a lot of hard candy that they could possibly choke on if they tried to eat it.
On a side note, Disney provides all guests with small treat bags to use at the “Trick-or-Treat” locations. They’re really small. It was a perfect size for our two-year old to use, but she filled rather quickly. We decided to purchase Disney’s reusable shopping bags and emptied her bag into it after a stop or two. Our son used the shopping bag all night.
Pro: Almost every attraction is open during the event! And since this is a special ticket event, the lines are just about non-existent. For a parent with small children, this alone equates in value to the ticket cost! When a ride ends and your child tells you she wants to ride the same ride again and you simply walk off the ride and get back on, with no wait, that’s awesome! For example, to ride on the new Little Mermaid ride, we had to walk into the attraction and sit down in a clam shell. There wasn’t even a line that had formed! The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh attraction- no wait. It was fantastic!
Con: You could find yourself missing out on some of the entertainment because you’re having too much fun riding the rides!
Mickey’s “Boo-to-You” Halloween Parade and “Happy HalloWishes” Fireworks
Pro: The Mickey’s “Boo-to-You” Halloween Parade is outstanding. From Mickey and Friends, to Disney Villains, to Pirates, to attraction favorite, Hitchhiking Ghosts, you’re sure to run into your favorite Disney character. This is definitely a must see when you’re at the party. There are two showings, 8:15pm and 10:30pm. If you can make it to the second showing, there is a smaller crowd.
Con: The parade is so popular that if you want to be up front, you’re going to have to reserve your spot and simply wait until it starts. My family was too busy having fun to do this, so we stood on the bridge in front of Splash Mountain and saw everything beautifully, but not in the front row. Our toddler rode on daddy’s shoulders for a perfect view and she was happy.
Pro: Happy HalloWishes is the name of the Halloween fireworks show. It’s shown once during the evening and falls nicely between both parades. This is a MUST SEE! Yet again, my family was having a blast on the rides and forgot to go to the front of the castle to see this fireworks spectacular. We happened to be BEHIND the castle by the Winnie the Pooh attraction when the show started. I think we may have been in one of the best spots to see the show! The fireworks were in front of us, behind us and all around us. I’ve never seen a better show.
Con: I kind of felt guilty watching them, because they had to of cost a fortune! By the end of the show, I was convinced the ticket price was worth every penny.
I also have to mention that there are tons of character meet and greets including character dance parties! In Tomorrowland, our Monster friends were having a “Monstrous Scream-O-Ween Ball”. We walked by the dance party where young kids were having fun dancing with Mike and Sulley. We even danced our way onto Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. But as you might have guessed, we chose rides over the dance party.
If your kids like to collect autographs, they’ll be busy that evening. For example, while the firework show was going on, the two female mice from Cinderella were next to us meeting with guests. Just a few short steps away from them were the Seven Dwarfs. Jake and Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas were at the front of the park. Their meet and greet location was the only spot in the park that you could find a line.
What a fantastic adventure we had that special evening! The memories that my family made together I will treasure for a lifetime.
If you have any questions about our experience at the party, please feel free to ask!