We attended the first Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party of 2018 and it’s nice this year to be able to change up my tips article more than usual. There are some new things to see and do! I usually wait until after the second Party to post a tips article, but there is a week between the two first events this year so I’ll update with some photos, video and anything I hadn’t yet experienced on August 25th. I’ve been posting about Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party here for 12 years now, and this is my 8th MNSSHP tips article.
We also will be posting our Mousesteps Weekly YouTube Show next weekend all about Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, we are holding off one week because there is so much for us to still see! Next weekend I should also have an article with 100+ photos.
Here are our tips.
Tip 1 – Plan ahead and prioritize what is important – There is a lot to see and do during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party! You could meet characters and be busy all night without doing much else. Or you could see Mickey’s Boo-to-You Parade, Happy HalloWishes, the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular and a handful of attractions and be done with your night. So plan ahead to maximize time. For example, you can get in line for certain characters early and meet them before the Party officially starts (more on that below). And the last Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular starts at midnight, when the rest of the Party is over. You can’t do it all, and I often recommend a second Party for those who want to see and do more of it.
Cast Members in front of a Main Street vehicle.
Tip 2 – Dress as your favorite Disney character – While I personally don’t follow this tip, a lot of guests – adults and kids – love wearing Disney costumes and cosplay. Rules on what costumes are and aren’t allowed can be found here.
Tip 3 – Make the most of your ticket and arrive at 4pm – guests can enter at 4pm on the Party ticket. New for this year, DVC members can arrive at 2pm. There is a special area behind Main Street (to the right) where guests can pick up their first treats, purchase merchandise and enjoy photo opportunities. It closes around 8:00pm. Arriving at 4pm allows for 8+ full hours of fun!
Main Street bypass with treats and photo opportunities.
Tip 4 – Pick up your souvenir Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom card – You can pick up the card at the Main Street Firehouse when you arrive! This year it features the Orange Bird, and is included with the Party price.
Orange Bird Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom card.
Tip 5 – Meet characters meet before the Party starts – Jack and Sally met at 5:00pm on the first Party night, I expect that to continue. Get in line at 4pm, it will still be a wait but you should be able to meet them before the Party. The Seven Dwarfs also meet early, I am not sure on their time but we’ll have more information after Party #2. Jack and Sally are always a great meet and worth the wait.
Tip 6 – Pick up your character autograph cards – Most characters don’t have them, but Jack and Sally do and I am guessing the Pooh characters have them again this year. The cards make a nice souvenir! It also usually means the characters won’t sign autographs.
2018 Jack and Sally autograph card.
Tip 7 – Adults Can Trick or Treat too – Take a bag for everyone, since all guests are welcome to collect candy. And while I am talking candy, I recommend collecting it later in the evening in August and September – much of it is chocolate and it melts quickly in the heat.
Treats given out in Main Street bypass.
Tip 8 – Allergy friendly offerings are back – Guests can pick up a teal treat bag and trick-or-treat around the park. Cast Members will give out teal tokens, which can be redeemed at an Allergy-Friendly Center in the Magic Kingdom (one is at Town Square Theater, the other at Heritage House in Liberty Square). We will be trying this out again this year during the second Party.
Tip 9 – View the second parade – As long as the weather promises to hold out, the second parade is almost always less busy than the first. A lot of guests usually leave after fireworks, leaving a less busy Main Street audience for the second parade. If it rains for the first parade, the second one will be extra busy.
Tip 10 – Watch Mickey’s Boo-to-You Parade in Frontierland. Or not. – While Mickey’s Boo-to-You Parade looks better on Main Street for photos, Frontierland is much faster. It takes maybe 20 minutes for the parade to go from Frontierland to Town Square (which is where we usually watch from). If we aren’t looking to take photos, we head to Frontierland so we can go back to the rest of the Party quicker. However…
Tip 11 – Nick & Judy from Zootopia entertain crowd on Main Street before parade – Nick Wilde and Judy Hopps entertain guests on Main Street and Town Square with the Party Patrol but not in Frontierland or Liberty Square.
Judy Hopps, Nick Wilde and the Party Patrol.
12 – Watch for changes in the parade this year – Clarabelle Cow has a new costume (and face), Wreck-It Ralph talks; Flynn Rider is now with Rapunzel and more! Tinker Bell also sits atop a treasure chest float.
Tinker Bell is on a former Pirates & Princess Party float, new for Mickey’s Boo-to-You Parade.
Tip 13 – Don’t miss Happy HalloWishes – Happy HalloWishes is a terrific fireworks show and is a Party exclusive, with 180 degree fireworks. The fireworks themselves can be seen from other locations in the park. I used to say to watch on Main Street to see the projections, but if you’ve seen any other Disney fireworks show like Disney’s Happily Ever After, the projections aren’t anywhere on that level – just shapes and such. There is some nice lighting on the castle and a few fun effects if you watch from Main Street.
Tip 14 – Treat Yourself – Specialty treats are sold around the Magic Kingdom during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. We tried just one, a Not-So-Poison Apple cupcake at the Main Street Bakery (so I could get my Starbucks reward points too). The cupcake is large and very sweet, really too much sugar for the two of us in one cupcake. The spiced cake is very good, while I am not a fan of the crunch in it. There are other treats too – but candy around the park is plentiful, so I expect to skip anything extra next Party.
Not-So-Poison Apple Cupcake.
Tip 15 – Stop at Photopass Magic Shot locations through the park. – Photopass photographers are everywhere at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and some were out on Main Street until around 1:30am the first night. There are Magic Shots like at the front of the Main Street Train Station with a Headless Horseman image.
Jeff at the Headless Horseman photopass location.
Tip16 – Ride Space Mountain in the dark – There are three attractions with minor changes this year. One is Pirates of the Caribbean, which is so minor (a couple of Cast Member actors in the queue and during the ride) that I would say to skip that unless you really just want to ride Pirates of the Caribbean. The Mad Tea Party had some special lighting and music, it was a cute addition and there was no line when I went. We haven’t tried Space Mountain yet, but it is in the dark with music.
Tip 17 – Enjoy entertainment offerings around the park – The Cadaver Dans are always very popular, there is a Monstrous Scream-O-Ween Ball (dance party) in Tomorrowland and more. A Disney Junior dance party in Storybook Circus is new this year.
Monstrous Scream-A-Ween Ball.
Tip 19 – Trick or Treat during the final hour of the Party – Take a nap in the afternoon if you need to, but it is definitely worth pushing through the Party until at least midnight if you possibly can (I know it isn’t always possible). Trick or Treat stations can be really busy early on, but that isn’t the case during the final hour of the Party. The first wave of guests leave after the first Mickey’s Boo-to-You Parade, but the big exit is after HalloWishes and treat stations empty out for the most part.
Magic Kingdom projections.
Tip 20 – Enjoy the Party rain or shine – The main thing we found over our three Party nights last year was that Disney will make every effort to run components of the Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party in and around inclement weather. While everything was pushed ahead an hour or so on our big rain night (with some lightning), there were still two Mickey’s Boo-to-You Parades along with HalloWishes and I think just one full Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular (the castle show can’t be run in the rain like the others can). Most rides will be open in the rain, trick-or-treat locations are open and I believe characters are brought inside for meet and greets. There is still a lot of fun to be had, though it will be different than a clear night.
Tip 21 – Stay Through midnight (or later) – Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular offers three shows per night currently (it will eventually be four). The last one is at midnight. This allows guests to enjoy all of the elements of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and then the show at midnight – again, weather permitting. If there is any chance of rain, see it earlier (or if it is very important to you). But you can always catch a second show at that time if you want. The midnight show is fairly busy because nothing else is going on in the Magic Kingdom at that time.
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party dates for 2018 are:
- August 17, 24, 28, 31
- September 3, 7, 9, 11, 14, 16, 18, 21, 23, 25, 28, 30
- October 2, 4, 5, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 19, 21, 23, 25, 26, 28, 30, 31