This is the first year my family is going to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, and once we get to the party, we want to focus on fun rather than figuring out how to navigate the party activities. The party offers a ton of stuff to do, which is a great thing but also means we need a plan to maximize our party time.
Here at TouringPlans.com, we offer three Premium Touring Plans specifically for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Party. A summary of these plans by TouringPlans’ Brian McNichols plus links to each of them can be found here. Using any of these plans will save you time and allow you to hit the highlights of the party. In addition, all of them are customizable, allowing you to add rides, meals, and other activities to suit your personal priorities. I went a step further and used the Personalized Touring Plan tool, which allowed me to build my family’s own Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Party Touring Plan from scratch.
In the rest of this article, I’ll run through the steps I took to create my family’s Personalized Touring Plan and then show the resulting plan. Also included are tips on specific party activities that helped me create our plan. In the course of planning, I learned several other excellent party tips and strategies that didn’t play so much into my planning. These are listed at the end of the article to help our readers planning for the party.
My first step in party planning was to make a list of things to do at the party based on TouringPlans.com’s Premium Touring Plans as well as combing through discussion boards, various other articles and websites, the Disney World website, and of course TouringPlans.com’s excellent information on the party. (Links to specific party activities throughout this article will send you to more details on TouringPlans.com.)
Here are the party activities, in no particular order, except that Mickey’s “Boo-to-You” Halloween Parade and Happy HalloWishes Fireworks are first because they should be part of any party plan. Multiple sources assert they are one of the best, if not the absolute best, of all the fireworks shows and parades that Disney World has to offer.
- Mickey’s “Boo-to-You” Halloween Parade
- Happy HalloWishes Fireworks
- Headless Horseman
- Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular stage show
- Character meet & greets
- Character dance party (Tomorrowland)
- Cadaver Dans
- Madame Carlotta and Madame Rinata
- Regular attractions
- Magic Shots
- Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom party card
Now to decide which of these activities would be part of our plan. The first decision was easy—our evening would revolve around the HalloWishes fireworks and the Boo-To-You parade. For this reason, we jumped on a reservation for the Happy HalloWishes Dessert Premium Package (which includes reserved areas for both the parade and fireworks), and it’s a good thing because it sold out quickly for many of the parties. I have been going back and forth on whether the dessert package will be worth the price, at $69 for adults and $39 for children, and mixed reviews have made me want to judge for myself.
To decide on the rest of our plan, I started by looking at how much party time we would need to devote to each of the activities listed above versus how important they are to my family in particular.
Two of the activities we definitely want to see—the Cadaver Dans and the Hocus Pocus Spelltacular show—run on a schedule. Reviews of the Hocus Pocus show have been excellent. Several sources recommend going to a later show for lower crowds, so I worked a later show into our plan. The Dapper Dans are a priority for my family on a regular Magic Kingdom day. Seeing them as Cadavers is absolutely not-to-be-missed. I am concerned we’ll miss them once we are involved in the HalloWishes Dessert Package, so their first show is in our plan.
Waiting in line for character meet & greets can be one of the most time-consuming party activities, and meeting characters is a top priority for many party goers. Character meets happen to be a low priority for my family, and we should be able to get at least a glimpse of some characters as they greet other guests. We do want to meet Mickey in his Halloween costume, so he is in our plan. Otherwise, we decided we’ll work in some character meets if they happen to have shorter lines but they won’t be part of our plan.
None of the rest of the party activities really stand out in terms of a significant time investment, especially with a good Touring Plan. There are several trick-or-treating locations throughout the park. When we are in Frontierland to watch the Dapper Dans, it will be convenient to hop over to the Enchanted Tiki Room for some trick-or-treating. Otherwise, because trick-or-treat lines are generally shorter toward the end of the party and we don’t want to have a lot of candy to carry during the party, we plan to do other trick-or-treating toward the end of the night.
We are planning to ride one regular attraction during the party and that is the Haunted Mansion. After all, we are at a Halloween party and it’s the Haunted Mansion. If we are pressed for time, though, more important to us than riding is seeing Madame Carlotta and Madame Rinata, who entertain outside the Mansion only on party nights.
We are also planning to get a couple of the special party Magic Shots. In a Magic Shot, a PhotoPass photographer has you pose so you are interacting with special effects that are added to the final photo. The party has three Magic Shots: an Apple and Cauldron in the castle hub, the Mansion Ghost at Haunted Mansion, and the Hitchhiking Ghosts near the Splash Mountain exit.
We also plan to collect the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom party-exclusive card. The card is available at the Firehouse on Main Street, U.S.A. and at the kiosk behind Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe in Liberty Square.
To put our plan to the test, I followed the steps to create a Personalized Touring Plan. The results:
(1) Collect the party-exclusive Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom card.
(2) See the Cadaver Dans perform in Frontierland (7:15 PM show).
(3) Get Magic Shot with Hitchhiking Ghosts (at Splash Mountain exit).
(4) Trick-or-treat at Enchanted Tiki Room.
(5) Meet Mickey in his Halloween costume at Town Square Theater.
(6) Check in for the reserved parade viewing around the Town Square flagpole (included in HalloWishes Dessert Package).
(7) See the Headless Horseman (rides from Frontierland to Main Street ahead of the parade).
(8) See Mickey’s “Boo-To-You” Halloween Parade.
(9) Experience the Dessert Party at Tomorrowland Terrace, with view of Celebrate the Magic and Happy HalloWishes Fireworks.
(10) Trick-or-treat on the trail between Tomorrowland and Storybook Circus.
(11) See Madame Carlotta/Rinata.
(12) Get Mansion Ghost Magic Shot outside of Haunted Mansion.
(13) Experience Haunted Mansion.
(14) See the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular (12 AM show).
Other Party Tips
Here are some other party tips and strategies I found during my party planning:
- Although the party starts at 7 PM, party guests are able to start entering the park at 4 PM. This leaves time to have some fun before the party starts. One option is to ride some favorite attractions. Although FastPass+ is not available during the party, if you haven’t pre-booked any FastPass+ reservations for earlier in the day, try pre-booking some for before the party starts.
- Another option before 7 PM is to meet Jack Skellington and Sally, who are known to have the longest meet & greet line during the party. They have been appearing as early as 5-5:30 PM with a much shorter wait than during the party. Along with Jack and Sally, the Seven Dwarfs are the most popular characters to meet during the party. Although the Seven Dwarfs don’t meet early, a good strategy to avoid missing party time is to join their line around an hour before the party starts.
- Another pre-party tip is that party merchandise is often available starting as early as 4 PM. Lines for this merchandise can be long, and shopping before 7 PM means not missing party time.
- Cast Members start distributing the party’s special Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom card as early as 4 PM.
- If you are in the park before 7 PM, you don’t need to go to the park entrance to get your party wristband. Starting around 4 PM, Cast Members give out wristbands in several locations in the park, including across from Pirates of the Caribbean, at Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor, and next to Mickey’s PhilharMagic.
- A caveat: For party-specific meets, merchandise, and the Sorcerers card that start or are available before 7 PM, Cast Members are reported to be checking that guests have a party wristband.
- Frontierland is a great place to watch the parade, which starts in Frontierland and ends in Town Square. The parade runs twice during each party, at 8:35 PM and 11:15 PM. Crowds are generally lower at the second parade. Don’t forget to look for the Headless Horseman before the parade.
- A great spot to watch the HalloWishes Fireworks is between the Plaza Restaurant and the Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant. Another good spot is the bridge from Main Street to Tomorrowland.
- If you haven’t been able to score a FastPass+ for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train during regular park hours, or want to ride it again, the line may shorter during party time than usual.
Obviously, everyone has different priorities, but I hope the information here helps you develop your own plan. And, even when you have the “perfect” plan, be flexible during the party. Even if my family runs into some snags, I already know we’re going to have a great time!
TouringPlans.com has several other articles about this year’s Mickey’s Not-So Scary Party. An article by TouringPlans writer Guy Selga offers a detailed summary of the Premium Touring Plan for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party for Parents with Small Children (focus on treats). Rikki Niblett covers the Hocus Pocus show, which is new at this year’s party, as well as the HalloWishes Dessert Premium Package. Brian McNichols writes about the predicted least crowded parties.