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A couple of years ago we took a fall trip to Disney World and got to experience Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP)! It’s so easy when you’re planning a trip to Disney World to get bogged down in the planning, and have such an agenda during the day that you forget to just take it easy and have fun! This is your vacation after all! And while I do a lot of planning for our Disney Trips, we took a much more “go with the flow” approach to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, and guess what? We still had a blast! Since Halloween is right around the corner, I thought I would share about the fun we had that night without the mad rush!
The MNSSHP is a special, ticketed event that takes place on select evenings throughout the fall. Party guests are allowed to arrive beginning at 4:00 and are given a wristband for the event. When the park closes to other guests at 7:00, cast members will usher those without wristbands on towards the front.
***Bonus Tip*** If you’re planning your trip to Disney World and see that several nights during your stay is a scheduled party, I would suggest visiting the Magic Kingdom Day the day of one of the parties… while you’ll have to leave by 7:00, the park will be lower attendance that day since guests without park-hoppers won’t waste the ticket on it. We found this to be true and enjoyed a day with very low lines! We left the park mid-afternoon, went back to our hotel to rest a bit before we ventured back out to Epcot for dinner that night at the Food & Wine Festival.
1. Don’t waste a park ticket the day you go to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party! Since the MNSSHP is a ticketed event, but you’re still allowed to enter the park around 4:00 and enjoy it for 6+ hours into the evening. I actually didn’t learn that little tidbit until we were already on our vacation. Essentially, if you’re wanting 7 days in the parks, including your party, then you’ll only buy a 6-day park pass and your party tickets. In our case, we wound up with a bonus day since I was already planning a day off! Once we realized it would be better to have our “day off” on the day of the party, we spent about an hour one night in our room rearranging the back half of our trip, and I’m so glad we did too! We spent the morning of the party getting in some much needed R&R. We slept in, took our time in the room watching cartoons, and then when MouseKeeping started knocking to clean, we packed up and headed to a late breakfast. After breakfast, my MIL and her sister went out to do some shopping, while we took the boys to the Boardwalk pool. We had a blast splashing around, and going down the slide! After a few hours, we were ready for lunch. Matt went down to the Boardwalk Bakery and grabbed us a few sandwiches and we took those up to the room to get ready for the fun night ahead.
2. Dress up, but keep it simple! Disney World allows guests, even grown-ups, to dress up for the event! Now, Matt has never been a Halloween guy. He hates costumes, masks, and all things spooky about Halloween. I talked him into wearing matching Incredibles t-shirts to at least “kind of be in costume,” and the boys had a special treat; we bought them Pirate Costumes at the gift shop outside Pirate’s of the Carribean on our first day in the Magic Kingdom. Landry LOVES to be in character! He was stoked to strut around like Captain Jack. Keep in mind that you are in Florida, and will still be hot! By the end of the night, the boys had peeled off their layers, and I noticed many grown-ups struggling with their costumes while I was still super comfortable. Incredibles t-shirt and yoga pants for the win!
3. Buy the Memory Maker Package! One of the really cool things about the MNSSHP is that there is even extra magic in your Memory Maker Photo Pass spots! I can’t recommend adding the Memory Maker onto your Disney vacation enough! As a mom, I take all the pictures, and Memory Maker allows me to actually be in them! Plus they get the lighting just right. During the Halloween Party, there are several spots that add in ghouls and ghosts to your photos for an extra creepy touch.
4. Arrive right at 4:00 with an idea of what you want to prioritize! Notice I didn’t say plan. We’re taking the “going with the flow” approach here. But that does not me that you can go without doing your research. Pull up the event map, then decide where you prioritize: is it characters, trick-or-treating, or rides? Make sure you’ve read up on what characters are there, and which ones you will want to see!
When you’re planning your night, you’ll find that you can easily get sucked into all rides and trick-or-treating. If your kids are all about the candy, then, by all means, go for the trick-or-treating! You can literally leave with POUNDS of candy and going down the trick-or-treat trails is really fun. Our family LOVES character interactions, and there are so many characters at special events that you don’t get to see at any other time so we made that a priority over other things. Our plan was to eat dinner early, ride a few rides, and be ready to go once the lines started forming for characters.
5. If characters are your priority, get in line early for the event only ones. At the time, the boys did not know about The Nightmare Before Christmas (they discovered the move about a week after the trip, of course, and I still have not lived down skipping their meet & greet), so our first visit was to Captain Jack Sparrow! I mean, duh, we had Mini-Capt Jack #1 and Mini-Capt Jack #2 with us who are massive fans of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Captain Jack did not disappoint! Yall, he was hilarious and spoke with Johnny Depp’s rum slur and everything. I even found myself a little tung tied when he called me “love.”
He spent several minutes with the boys asking them questions about their costumes, signing their autograph books and being very silly! Luke had a light up, spinny Buzz Lightyear thing, and Captain Jack asked to hold it, messed around with it for a minute, then asked: “Where’s the rum come out?” The boys were on cloud 9 and to this day talk about meeting the real Captin Jack Sparrow.
6. Go for a stroll & take it all in! We walked a little way down the trail, did a bit of trick-or-treating, and really soaked in the fun & spooky effects. There are so many touches that are for the party only, and I couldn’t help but noticed the families “on a mission” who missed all there was to experience by zooming from place to place. A little way into our walk, we found ourselves standing in front of the evil villain, Jafar! Jafar towers over you and has long creepy fingers! The boys weren’t too sure what to think at first but agreed to meet him only if I would come along! Luckily, he did not have his snake staff so couldn’t hypnotize us to do his evil bidding!
7. Catch the Parade First if You have Little Kids. The first of the two parades was about to start so we made our way to view it over by the Haunted Mansion. We had read on multiple blogs that this would be a great time to get in a bunch of rides, and it probably would have been, but we also knew that this would be the only time we could see this parade since the odds of the boys making it all night were slim!
The Boo To You Halloween Parade did not disappoint! All of our favorite characters were out for some spooky fun with. The gravediggers were really cool to watch dance with their shovels that sparked when they hit the ground, and I bet you’ll find yourself singing the Boo To You song before the parade is done! By far our favorite attractions of the parade were the Headless Horseman and Goofy’s candy float. Y’all the bubbles that come out of the float smell like candy! It’s the little things that amaze me!
8. If your kids want to ride a ride 10 times instead of waiting in another character line, ride the ride 10 times! After the parade wrapped, I wanted to go get in line for the 7 Dwarfs meet & greet, but instead we rode the Haunted Mansion (about 8 times) and then went back to Pirates of the Caribbean and rode that one (about 10 more times). I was a little disappointed at first, but the boys STILL are talking about riding those rides so many times in a row a few years later. You’re in Disney to make memories, and if that’s what the kids want to do, that’s where the memories will be.
9. Enjoy a Special Party Snack While You Take in the Show! Another fun part about special events are the special snacks! We picked up a few Monster Cupcakes, and some Halloween themed cookies and found a nice spot a little off to the side. Landry’s ADHD sometimes causes him to have a little bit of a sensory issue, especially with loud noises, so we have found that sitting a little ways back and off to the side helps in hang in there a little longer, but if he can’t it’s easy to duck out.
Landry was motived to stick it out because he LOVES Hocus Pocus. This movie has run on repeat every October in our house for years, so he was stoked to get to see the Sanderson Sisters live and in action. The evil Sanderson Sisters are back for one night only and bring in their villain friends to help them throw the “most villainous Halloween party the Kingdom has ever seen!” The boys were captivated by the entire show, loved seeing all the villains in action, and we all got into the fun when they sang “I Put a Spell On You!” This show was worth the ticket price on its own!
10. Know When It’s Time to Say Good-Night! By the time the show had ended, it was clearly time to head in and get some rest for another fun-filled day in the Disney parks! Luke was starting to get cranky, and we could tell they wouldn’t hang for another lap around the park. If your kids are older, this may be the time you’re catching the 2nd parade instead or getting ready for the 2nd showing of the fireworks. If this is not the last night of your trip, don’t push it too hard or you’ll regret it in the morning! Within minutes of sitting down on the buses, our little pirates were konked out!
The Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is definitely something I would recommend buying the extra ticket to if you are lucky enough to plan a vacation to Walt Disney World in the fall!Follow The Adventure