We’ll set out for Magic Kingdom to see what we can expect from Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party 2k13.
Buying Tickets and Arriving
Like most things Disney, the pricing structure is somewhat convoluted. There are advance purchase discounts for some dates, as well as discounts for the military, Disney Vacation Club owners, and Annual Passholders. For the advance purchase discount, you must purchase tickets by 11:59pm on the night before the Party. All prices include tax. In short, unless you are using the military discount, the tickets will cost between $54-$74 for anyone age ten or older and between $61 and $70 for kids ages three to nine. It just depends on the date and potentially when tickets are purchased.
September 10 to September 27
Advance purchase adult: $62.84
Advance purchase age 3-9: $57.51
Day of event adult: $69.23
Day of event ages 3-9: $63.90
Annual Passholder and DVC Member adult: $59.64
Annual Passholder and DVC Member ages 3-9: $54.32
September 29 to November 1 (excluding Oct 31)
Advance purchase adult: $$66.03
Advance purchase age 3-9: $60.71
Day of event adult: $71.36
Day of event ages 3-9: $66.03
Annual Passholder and DVC Member adult: $61.77
Annual Passholder and DVC Member ages 3-9: 56.45
October 31 (Halloween)
Ages 3-9: $72.42
Blackout dates for passholder discounts
October 4, 11, 18, 25, 27, 29, 31 and November 1
Blackout dates for advance purchase discounts
October 11, 18, 25, 31
The easiest way to purchase discounted tickets is online at https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/events/mickeys-not-so-scary-halloween-party/purchase/. Click “Check for more special products and prices” if you qualify for an Annual Pass, DVC, or Military discount.
After selecting your date and number of tickets, you’ll have several delivery options. The easiest is printing at home. You’ll be able to take your printed tickets straight to the tapstiles for entry on the day of the Party. If you don’t have a printer or possibly if you live outside the United States, you can opt for Will Call to pick up your tickets at your resort concierge, theme park, or other ticket sales location. Alternatively, delivery options are available if you want to go that route. If you purchase tickets at the theme park or resort, you’ll receive a plastic ticket that looks just like other Key to the World Cards. These plastic tickets can be used in the FASTPASS machines prior to the Party. You should also be able to exchange your printed-at-home ticket for a plastic ticket at the theme park or resort concierge.
Your Mickey’s Party ticket will gain you admittance into Magic Kingdom at 4pm for the event that officially runs from 7pm – 12am. Phone/online operators may insist that the ticket is good only from 7pm onward, but they’re either lying to you or misinformed.
Additional bag checkers will be on hand to the right of the usual security lines, closer to the bus and ferry dropoff. Lines back up here later in the evening as most people arrive via Disney bus. If lines are long, proceed to the left to regular bag check, where lines are often nonexistent.
Event tapstiles are located on the far right.
Proceed through and you’ll receive your wristband and treat bag from cast members just inside the entrance. This year’s bag features what looks like Ice Age 7 and whatever the next Muppets movie is called. You can also bring your own trick-or-treat bag or empty this bag into a backpack, suitcase, or trough of your choice. Plenty of maps are available for your perusal.
Speaking of the map:
This outlines most of what you can expect from the Party, including show times, character and trick-or-treat locations, open attractions, merchandise, special food + beverage, and more.
What To Do From 4pm – 7pm and Attraction Wait Times Later in the Night
This overview assumes you want to make the most of the Party-specific activities.
Wait times for most attractions during the Party are nonexistent all night, whether you visit on September 17th (historically the least crowded Party of the year) or October 31st (a sell-out). The vast majority of people attending the Party are going to be interested in the fireworks, parade, characters, and trick-or-treating. Any Party is an excellent opportunity to experience the attractions with little to no waits. And with no FASTPASS or FastPass+ during the Party, standby lines move quickly. Peter Pan’s Flight may see 10 to 20 minute waits until after 10:30pm when crowds die down. Haunted Mansion, popular with the Halloween theme, also sees waits in the 10 to 15 minute range. Otherwise, you’re not going to wait for most attractions regardless of which date you choose to visit. Peter Pan’s Flight in the picture above has a 10-minute posted wait and about 25 total people in line at 10:30pm.
Eating a big meal between 4pm and 6pm is intelligent.
Columbia Harbour House closes at 5pm on Party nights, so take that into consideration when you’re planning when/where to eat. During the Party, a limited number of places are open and the ones that are open tend to offer a limited menu. For example, only Bay 2 at Cosmic Ray’s is open during most of the Party, even though it’s officially open through close. Casey’s Corner, in particular, tends to be slammed during the Party.
Otherwise, 4pm to 7pm is a great opportunity to do “normal” Magic Kingdom things before the Party takes over at 7pm. I recommend Mickey at Town Square in his normal outfit, Pete’s Silly Sideshow for Daisy/Minnie and Goofy/Donald in their usual outfits, the Railroad, Liberty Square Riverboat, Ariel’s Grotto, Merida Meet, Carousel of Progress, and whatever else you want to do.
Try to stay away from Main Street from 5:30pm – 7:30pm unless you’re in line for a character. This is the busiest part of the Park, even when Party crowds are relatively low.
Major Components of the Party
Parade – The Boo to You Halloween Parade runs twice nightly, at 8:15pm and 10:30pm. Unlike Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, which runs during regular theme park hours around Christmas, the Boo to You Parade is only available during the Party. It features many rare characters you won’t see at any other time, including numerous villains and Haunted Mansion inspired floats and characters. And the headless horeseman.
Fireworks and Celebrate the Magic – Happy HalloWishes, with its villain theme, is one of Disney’s best and most popular fireworks shows. Shown once at 9:30pm with Celebrate the Magic preceding it at 9:15pm.
Characters – Characters, some rarer than others, will be on hand to meet and greet. Some are in Party-exclusive costumes.
Villains Dance Mix & Mingle – Performed four times each evening at the Castle Forecourt Stage, this eight minute show features many of Disney’s most popular villains. After the show, the villains come down to take pictures with guests for about 15 minutes. Due to time constraints, they don’t sign autographs.
Rides – All major attractions and some minor attractions will be open during the Party, many of which will have short or nonexistent waits for much of the night.
Dance Parties – Each Party features two dance parties. At the Diamond Horseshoe in Frontierland, you’ll find Bullseye, Woody, and Jesse hosting a western style hoedown . In Tomorrowland, Goofy, Pluto, Stitch, Chip, and Dale join Party goers.
Candy – What’s Halloween without trick or treating? Cast members with barrels of candy can be found all around Magic Kingdom. Disney provides bags or you may bring/buy your own (or both).
Merchandise – There isn’t a ton of event specific merchandise, but you’ll find a few pins and the yearly edition of the t-shirt.
Sorcerer’s of the Magic Kingdom Card: Distributed at the old Firehouse on Main Street, every ticket holder is entitled to receive a complimentary Party-exclusive card.
Boo to You Parade
Arguably the most popular single piece of the Halloween Party, the Boo to You Parade is a must-see. Every website that discusses the Halloween Party will tell you the 10:30pm Parade is far less crowded and that’s 100% true. You’ll be amazed how many people leave immediately before or after HalloWishes. If you must see the 8:15pm Parade, find a location in Liberty Square outside Hall of Presidents or in Frontierland either across from Diamond Horseshoe or down closer to Pecos Bill.
This area outside the Train Station also sees much lower crowds than the rest of Main Street, for whatever reason. Most people file in further up toward Cinderella Castle. Note that the Parade takes about 25 minutes to reach this area and won’t arrive until 8:40pm or 10:55pm, depending on which Parade you see. Both Parades start in Frontierland.
Prior to the arrival of the Parade on Main Street, the Creepa Crew (which, surprisingly, is not comprised of Disney bloggers) entertains guests. Phineas and Ferb lead dancing.
This video shows the Headless Horseman galloping down Main Street and crowds in the circled area above. I arrived right at 8:15pm and had a front row spot. On busier Party dates, plan to arrive no later than 7:45pm.
And the full 13-minute 2013 Boo to You Parade. The only addition, three cones, occurs at 11:45. The cowboy portion is also choreographed slightly differently.
Seeing the second Parade from Main Street is a lot easier because crowds are so much lower and virtually everybody is positioned closer to the Castle for HalloWishes. You can often arrive on Main Street close to 10:20pm and find front row spots on Main Street. For sold out parties in October, plan to stake out spots as early as 10pm. Seeing the Parade in Frontierland will result in lower crowds and you’ll be on your way sooner, but it’s darker and the lighting isn’t as neat.
Celebrate the Magic and HalloWishes
Celebrate the Magic is the Cinderella Castle projection show. It’s scheduled at 9:15pm on Party nights and the same show is offered 15 minutes before Wishes on non-Party nights. It’s a must-see.
Above is the complete show, including the 75-second villain portion added a couple weeks ago. I like to watch both Celebrate the Magic and HalloWishes on the street in the Casey’s Corner/Plaza Ice Cream area. This spot tends to be less crowded than the area closer to the Castle and affords a view that is close enough to see the details on the Castle for the projection show as well as the panoramic fireworks during HalloWishes.
HalloWishes is (arguably) better than Regular Wishes and Holiday Wishes and includes panoramic fireworks and ghoulish narration. Seeing it from Main Street is easy enough and you’ll be able to enjoy the lighting and other effects. Plan to arrive for Celebrate the Magic by 9:05pm and stay through HalloWishes concludes at 9:45pm.
Character Meet and Greets, if you’re interested in them, are easily the biggest time drain at the Party. There are a limited number of special meets and even a lightly attended Party sees 15,000+ people interested in meeting characters. The following is a list of character meet and greets in order of priority based on wait times and rarity. Rare characters with long lines are prioritized over characters that can ordinarily be met with short waits outside of the Party.
Jack and Sally – In Between City Hall and Chamber of Commerce
Located just inside the entrance on the left, Jack and Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas are easily the top priority. This is the first time they’ve met inside a theme park in Orlando (as far as I know), though they met to lines that topped three hours at Downtown Disney in 2012.
- 7:30pm – 12am continuously
Best Time to Meet:
Getting in line at 8:30pm, right around the time the first Parade rounds Main Street, will result in the shortest possible wait. Most people will have their minds on the Parade, rides, or something else and the Parade helps cut traffic off to Main Street. You’ll want to be in this area by 8:15pm or plan to cut through the stores on either side of Main Street from Adventureland or Tomorrowland closer to 8:30pm.
If you’re less interested in doing things prior to the Party, you can opt to get in line before 6pm when lines are short. But be aware you’ll be waiting from 6pm until 7:30pm when the characters first come out. This will result in a long wait, but you’ll spend the least amount of Party time in line using this method. Expect peak wait times of 75 to 120 minutes. I waited from 6:30pm to 8:05pm on September 10th. Seriously.
The Dwarfs – New Fantasyland entrance to the right of Pinocchio Village Haus
The Dwarfs have moved this year. They have historically met near the exit to Splash Mountain in Frontierland.
- 7pm – 12am
Best Time to Meet:
This is the other meet you want to wait for prior to the Party starting or during the first Parade. You may also want to get in line immediately after the second Parade concludes, particularly if you can get here quickly from Liberty Square. They’re easier than Jack/Sally to get to during the Parade if you’re in Fantasyland. Peak waits hit 75 to 100 minutes. If you get in line at 8:10pm, expect to wait 20 to 30 minutes.
Princesses with their Princes – Town Square through the 17th and then Princess Fairytale Hall
Rapunzel, Snow White, and Cinderella currently greet with their Princes in their usual location in Town Square.
Beginning September 18th, the Princesses will begin greeting at Princess Fairytale Hall in Fantasyland.
Here, you’ll be able to meet Cinderella/Aurora and Rapunzel/Snow White with their Princes in two separate lines. Since they have not begun greeting yet, we can only guess they’ll be extremely popular. In the past, the Princesses have seen 70 to 120 minute waits during the Party.
- 7pm – 12am
Best Time to Meet:
Immediately after the second parade or 8pm if you’re skipping Jack/Sally/the Dwarfs and the first Parade. You could also get in line at 6:30pm to minimize Party time, but you’ll need to get in line a second time to meet all four princes/princesses.
Jack Sparrow – Adventureland to the left of Pirates of the Caribbean
- 8pm – 8:30pm
- 9pm – 9:30pm
- 10pm – 10:30pm
- 11pm – 11:30pm
Best Time to Meet: If you can swing it, getting in line by 10:50pm after the second Parade passes Frontierland would be best. Lines develop by 6:30pm, making the 8pm meet a poor choice as you’ll be waiting nearly 90 minutes. If you’re skipping Celebrate the Magic, get in line at 8:45pm. You’ll be done in time for Wishes and potentially the end of the projection show.
Villains – Maleficent, Dr. Facillier, Queen of Hearts, Captain Hook, Snow Queen, Frollo – In front of Cinderella Castle
The Villains Mix and Mingle show lasts about eight minutes and is scheduled at 7:45pm, 8:50pm, 10:05pm and 11:15pm. After the show concludes, the characters come down to the front of the stage to meet with guests. They are typically only out for 10 to 15 minutes, so if you want to meet more than one character, you’ll need to swing back for multiple shows. You could argue that it makes these characters a higher priority, but wait times are short because they can’t be longer than a few minutes.
Maleficent meets on the far left. If she’s your priority, watch the show close to the stage on the far left and wait for her to come down.
Then it’s Dr. Facillier and Snow Queen with Frollo roaming without a line.
Then to the right of them it’s Captain Hook and Cruella DeVil.
And Queen of Hearts. Maleficent and Dr. Facillier see the longest lines. Frollo is easy to get a picture with. Captain Hook, Cruella, and Queen of Hearts see moderate lines and you may be able to meet two characters at one mingle if you hurry.
Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, Eeyore – Regular meet spot to the left of The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh ride
- 7:30pm – 8pm
- 8:30pm – 9pm
- 9:30pm – 10pm
- 10:30pm – 11pm
- 11:15pm – 12am
Best Time to Meet: At the end of the night is best. Try to be in line by 11pm for their last meet.
Aladdin/Abu and Jasmine/Genie – Usual Adventureland spot behind Aladdin’s Magical Carpets
Aladdin and Jasmine meet separately most of the night in their regular outfits, but Abu is extremely rare and Genie is only out occasionally at Characterpalooza at Hollywood Studios.
- 7pm – 7:30pm
- 8pm – 8:30pm
- 9pm – 9:30pm
- 1pm – 10:30pm
- 10:30pm – 11pm and possibly later
- 7:30pm – 8pm
- 8:30pm – 9pm
- 9:30pm – 10pm
- 10:30pm – 11pm and possibly later
Best Times to Meet:
Try to visit between 10:30pm and 11pm when it’s more likely the characters will all meet together.
Jane, Turk, Tarzan – Adventureland Veranda
Turk meets continuously with Tarzan or Jane accompanying him.
Usual Meet Times:
7pm – 12am continuously. If you’re after Tarzan or Jane specifically and they aren’t present when you reach the front of the line, allow others to go in front of you. Tarzan and Jane typically meet for only 15 minutes before switching out.
Best Times to Meet:
After 11pm you have the best chance of meeting all three together.
Daisy and Donald – Outside Storybook Circus near Ariel’s Grotto
Pumpkin Donald and Princess Daisy greet just outside Storybook Circus on the Ariel’s Grotto/Journey of the Little Mermaid side.
The line winds around in front of them.
- 7pm – 12am with intermittent breaks
Best Time to Meet: These are a lower priority pair than most with wait times in the 15-minute range most of the night. Try to catch them late at night or during one of the parades if you don’t have a higher priority meet in mind.
Lotso – To the left of Tony’s Town Square Restaurant
- 7:30pm – 8pm
- 8:30pm – 9pm
- 9:45pm – 10:15pm
- 10:45pm – 11:15pm
Best Time to Meet:
Lotso typically sees lines of 15 to 20 people because he’s in a less obvious location. Work him in when you’re in the area.
Jafar – Town Square Theater exit
This is not a picture of Jafar at the Party, but hopefully it will catch your attention if he’s of interest to you.
- 7:15pm – 7:45pm
- 8pm – 8:30pm
- 10pm – 10:30pm
- 11:15pm – 11:45pm
Jafar roves around to the right of the entrance to Town Square Theater on Main Street.
Best Times to Meet: Whenever is convenient when you’re in the area.
Alice and/or Mad Hatter:
Alice and Mad Hatter rotate every 15 minutes or so, but occasionally appear together.
- 7pm – 11:30pm
Best Time to Meet: Your best opportunity to meet both characters together is 11:15pm – 11:45pm. Otherwise, visit when it’s convenient.
Mickey and Minnie – Town Square Theater
Mickey and Minnie meet inside Town Square Theater in their usual location, but they are wearing their purple/orange Halloween suits.
- 7:30pm – 12am continuously
Best Time to Meet: Work them in when you’re on Main Street for the Parade, HalloWishes, or other characters. Because there are multiple Mickeys, wait times tend to be 15 minutes or less. Note that this will take at least 15 minutes even when the posted wait time is 5 minutes.
Goofy – Outside Barnstormer in Storybook Circus
Goofy as The Great Goofini meets outside Barnstormer in the same outfit as Pete’s Silly Sideshow.
- 7pm – 11:30pm with intermittent breaks
Best Time to Meet:
Whenever you’re back here. While Goofy usually greets in this outfit, he’s usually inside.
The Rest of the Characters are in Their Regular Outfits in Their Regular Locations:
Merida – Fairytale Gardens
Merida meets in her usual spot from 7pm to 11:30pm with intermittent breaks. Meet her first thing in the morning or after 10pm.
Tinker Bell and Terrence – Adventureland
Tinker Bell meets in Adventureland to the left of where Turk, Jane, and Tarzan meet during the Party from 7pm – 11:30pm continuously.
Meet first thing in the morning or after 10:30pm.
Buzz Lightyear – In between Carousel of Progress and Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin
Buzz meets in his usual spot from 7pm to 11:30pm with intermittent breaks.
Meet him during the day or near the end of the night.
Ariel – Ariel’s Grotto in New Fantasyland
Ariel meets in her usual location in between Journey of the Little Mermaid and Storybook Circus from 7pm – 11:30pm.
Meeting her during the regular day makes the most sense, but waits are 5 to 15 minutes during the Party. Lines are shortest closer to 11:30pm.
Tiana and Naveen – Gazebo in Liberty Square
Lines are generally short because they’re less obvious than most characters.
Meet times are: 7:45pm – 8:15pm; 8:45pm – 9:15pm; 9:45pm – 10:15pm; 10:45pm – 11:15pm.
Gaston – Gaston’s Tavern area
Gaston meets in New Fantasyland in the vicinity of Gaston’s Tavern from 7pm – 11:30pm with intermittent breaks. Meet him during the day or when you pass by the area. Lines are usually in the 10-minute range and he’s one of the more entertaining characters, so waiting is usually fun too.
Tremaine Family – Town Square Area
The Tremaine Family is up to their usual antics around Town Square throughout the evening.
They’ll probably see you before you see them.
Villains Dance Mix and Mingle
As discussed above in the character section, the Villains Dance Mix and Mingle is an eight-minute show on the Castle Forecourt Stage with shows beginning at 7:45pm, 8:50pm, 10:05pm and 11:15pm.
The full show. The show is easy to see because the best view is actually further back from the Castle so you can see the whole stage. See whichever show is most convenient. The villains come down to meet guests and take pictures after the show, but only for about ten minutes.
As discussed briefly earlier, there are virtually no waits for the rides no matter which date you attend the Party. In fact, wait times are often shorter at the sold out Parties later in October because even more people are dressed up in costumes and more interested with trick-or-treating and other Party-specific activities. There is no relationship between attraction wait times and how crowded it “feels.” If characters are what you’re after, you’ll probably leave the Party saying it was packed. If rides are your priority, you’ll probably leave the Party saying nobody was there.
Virtually every attraction will be a “walk on” and FASTPASS is not available. The only exception is really Peter Pan’s Flight, which still sees waits in the 15 to 20 minute range until after 10:30pm. Space Mountain can also see longer posted waits, even if actual waits are usually closer to five to ten minutes. Expect wait times at most other attractions to read 5 minutes.
Haunted Mansion is one of the other more popular attractions, but with its monster capacity, waits are usually nonexistent even if more people are milling about.
There are two dance parties during the Halloween Party.
The first and most obvious is in Tomorrowland at Rocket Tower Plaza featuring Monsters Inc.
These informal meets are a great opportunity for kids (and adults) to interact with characters without waits.
While characters don’t sign or take much time posing, it’s a great opportunity to see and take pictures with three to five characters in the span of a few minutes.
Mike, Sulley, Boo(!), Needleman(!), and George Sanderson(!) dance here.
Woody’s Happy Harvest Roundup is the other Dance Party. This is located at Diamond Horseshoe in Liberty Square, near Liberty Tree Tavern.
Here, you’ll find a mix of Woody, Jessie, or Bullseye dancing with a Disney DJ on stage spinning tunes. It’s a lot of fun and rarely busy. It goes straight through 12am without interruption, so it’s a nice thing to do after 11:30pm when a lot of the character lines are closed or the characters have disappeared. You may well have the place to yourself. Avoid right after the Parade passes through Frontierland if possible because people follow others inside and crowds are larger (like they are now).
Trick or Treating
Trick or Treating locations are scattered around Magic Kingdom and are listed on the map.
This one is located to the left of the entrance to Tomorrowland Indy Speedway.
A great one to visit is along the path that connects Tomorrowland and Storybook Circus because there are multiple stops.
The path begins/ends to the left of Barnstormer and to the left of the Space Mountain entrance.
Another in the back of Storybook Circus at FASTPASS distribution for Barnstormer/Dumbo.
Inside Pinocchio Village Haus.
To the right of Peter Pan’s Flight and across from the Tangled restroom area.
The least obvious location is down the walkway to the left of the entrance to Liberty Square Riverboat. It exits near Haunted Mansion.
To the right of Pirates of the Caribbean.
Inside Enchanted Tiki Room is another with multiple candy dispensing stations.
And in the extended queue for Stitch’s Great Escape. There might be one or two more.
The candy assortment includes Butterfinger Snackers, Almond Joy, Hershey’s Bars, Snickers, Kit Kats, Lemonheads, Werther’s, Craisins, Tootsie Rolls, Candy Corn, Twix, Three Musketeers, Crunch, Lollipops, and probably more.
Each trip through the line will result in a few pieces of candy and you can go through each line as many times as you want. You can bring your own bag of candy or empty out bags into a backpack or whatever else if you want. I personally don’t spend much time in line. If I’m paying $65 to get into the Party, it seems more intelligent to purchase the candy I like at the store for a few dollars.
Merchandise locations are listed on the map. If a pin or t-shirt is important, consider sending someone to purchase merchandise right at 7pm. Sizes and items do sell out and may not be available at later Parties in October. Big Top Souvenirs and Heritage House are generally less crowded than Emporium.
Sorcerer’s of the Magic Kingdom Card
Every Party ticket holder is entitled to pick up a Party-specific Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom card at the old Firehouse just inside the entrance on the left. You’ll need your Party ticket.
The card is worth $30 or $40 on eBay at the moment or you could make someone’s day by handing a player a card during a regular day. Card distribution begins at 4pm and they can theoretically run out of cards over the course of the night. On the first night, they ran out at 10pm, but hopefully that’s just a glitch. If they “run out” before you arrive, you have my permission to go to Guest Services and punch someone in the face. Otherwise, plan to head over earlier in the evening so you don’t get shut out.
Haunted Mansion and PhotoPass Oportunities
Archival footage and commentary: Madame Carlotta and Rinotta appear on a bench on the Haunted Mansion lawn. Apparently they are two of the ghosts in the attraction. I have no idea why they don’t do traditional meet and greets. They’re hilarious, extremely well cast, and look amazing. Otherwise, you have to position yourself in front of them to get a picture or get a picture in front of the haunted carriage. There was basically no wait for the carriage and you could walk up and interact with Carlotta or Rinotta pretty easily. When they switch off to go backstage, they take the arm of a lucky gentleman in the crowd.
This is one of I think(?) three special PhotoPass “opportunities.” They take your picture and add the horses.
It’s hard to see, but this is another special shot to the right of Haunted Mansion looking up at Rapunzel’s Tower.
And another in Adventureland near Pirates of the Caribbean.
Is It Worth It?
In one word: Yes. You:
- Get five to eight hours in the Magic Kingdom.
- Get to see the Boo to You Parade, one of Disney’s best, featuring characters you’ll never see anywhere else. The Parade is only available during the Halloween Party.
- Get to enjoy one of Disney’s best fireworks shows, which clocks in at over ten minutes and features a fun villain theme.
- Get virtually unlimited access to the major attractions with short to nonexistent waits.
- Get Meet and Greet opportunities with some of the rarest Disney characters, including several interactions that may “make” the trip for a youngster. Don’t be surprised if Junior is still bragging about that high five from Jack Sparrow months from now.
- Get to watch the Villains dance on stage and then pose for photos immediately afterward.
- Get to experience ambiance unlike any other event, Disney or otherwise.
On the other hand, you can have an excellent trip without attending a Mickey’s Party. In fact, anyone visiting from January – August will have no opportunities to attend a Halloween or Christmas Party. If you aren’t attending the Party, but are visiting Magic Kingdom on a Party day, be aware that some characters do come out right at 7pm. If you don’t have a wristband, you won’t be able to get in line to meet them. If you have young kids that might get upset, you may want to leave closer to 6:30pm before the characters arrive and the announcements that Magic Kingdom is closing start. Otherwise, stay through 7pm because wait times only decrease from 5pm to 7pm.
Mickey’s Halloween Party may have its flaws. I would love to see more characters out and about, especially considering Disney has them on hand at the Party. I mean, how awesome would it be to have a picture with the hyenas? What about the caretaker and his mutt, the grave diggers, the skeletons, or the ghosts? Why aren’t Christopher Robin and Kanga meeting guests outside Winnie the Pooh? Why isn’t Alice riding Mad Tea Party all night (okay, maybe she would need some downtime, but it does load slow, maybe get an ice skater)? Just these sorts of things that seem like such a missed opportunity, especially when it takes an hour each to meet the Dwarfs, Jack Sparrow, or Rapunzel. And two hours for Jack and Sally. 99%+ of the people attending Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party are never going to see any of this advice or any of the advice elsewhere in books or on the internet, yet they are expected to be able to wade through the evening’s events. Perhaps that’s why there isn’t more to do – people would just explode from the sheer number of character interaction opportunities. WELL LET THEM EXPLODE! I’d love to see more characters and considering the cost of the ticket, they should be able to offer them.
Despite long waits for certain characters, the evening still packs a lot of fun. If you can swing the cost and make the most of the events, I highly recommend it.
How I Would Plan My Evening
- 4pm – Arrive. Eat dinner at Columbia Harbour House (closes at 5pm) or another quick service. A sit-down meal scheduled close to 5pm would also work.
- 4:45pm – 6pm – Do things that you won’t want to spend time on during the Party, like attractions or regular characters.
- By 6:15pm – Get in line for The Seven Dwarfs near the entrance to New Fantasyland.
- 7:15pm – Get in line for another priority character like the Princesses, Winnie the Pooh characters, Donald/Daisy, or someone else. Move toward Main Street to get in line for Jack/Sally around 8:15pm.
- 8:15pm – Get in line for Jack/Sally. If you have time before 9:15pm, meet Jafar, Lotso, and/or Mickey on Main Street.
- 9:05pm – Proceed up Main Street until you’re around the Casey’s Corner/Plaza Ice Cream area for Celebrate the Magic and HalloWishes.
- 9:15pm – Celebrate the Magic.
- 9:30pm – HalloWishes.
- 9:45pm – Grab snacks at the Confectionery, Main Street Bakery (Starbucks), popcorn cart, or something else.
- 10pm – Proceed to Main Street Hub in front of the Castle for Villains Mix and Mingle. If desired, wait for villains to come down to greet after. Maleficent meets on the far left with Dr. Facillier next to her. On the far right is Queen of Hearts.
- 10:20pm – Find a Parade viewing location on Main Street if there’s room or proceed to Liberty Square outside Hall of Presidents or up near Pecos Bill.
- 11pm – Get in line for Jack Sparrow or Jane/Turk/Tarzen or Aladdin/Jasmine or another meet.
- 11:30pm – Diamond Horseshoe or Tomorrowland Dance Party, rides, or trick-or-treating.
Trick or treat intermittently as you have time. This plan gets you to two or three of the priority characters with the shortest waits possible in addition to the three major shows and Villains Mix and Mingle. Time really does move that fast. Alternatively, you can focus on the rides. I’d just save Fantasyland for after 10pm. If you’re not interested in the big name characters, it will free up time for other characters/rides/trick or treating. But there isn’t a better way to handle the Dwarfs/Jack + Sally/Parade/Fireworks.
That’s the Halloween Party.